Q. In Daniel 7:25 it says the saints will be oppressed by the Antichrist for 3 1/2 years. That must be the first half of the tribulation 7 years. If the rapture takes place before the 7 year tribulation (which I believe) then who are the saints referred to as all saints have been raptured and there will be none on earth for him to oppress? Please straighten out my confusion – because Daniel 7:25 reads to me as a mid- trib. rapture verse.
A. Sorry, but Daniel 7:25 does not read as a mid-trib rapture verse. In the first place the word “saints” in the passage cannot be a reference to the Church because they will be handed over to the anti Christ. Daniel 7:25 corresponds to Rev. 13:7 where it says the anti-Christ will conquer the saints. In Matt. 16:18 Jesus said that will never happen to the Church.
Many Christians mistakenly believe that words like “saints” and elect” always refer to the Church But they can actually apply to Israel, the Church, and Tribulation believers. You figure out which group is being referenced through the context in which the word appears.
Second, the phrase “time, times, and half a time” always refers to the Great Tribulation which is the 2nd half of Daniel’s 70th Week, not the first half, and is the time of the anti-Christ’s official reign on earth. Even so, Jesus said He would keep the Church out of both the time and place of all the end times judgments (Rev. 3:10). Therefore, Daniel 7:25 has to apply primarily to Israel with secondary application to Tribulation believers as well.