Q. I enjoy your ministry and website greatly. I have a question. After the rapture the seven years of tribulation begins. I understand why the second three and one half years are called the great tribulation but I was wondering why the first part is called a tribulation period? The Jews are at peace, they have their (false) messiah and they are building the temple. Where’s the tribulation?
A. The seven years immediately preceding the Second Coming are called the 70th Week of Daniel in the Old Testament (Daniel 9:24-27). For many years the Church has referred to this period of time as the “Tribulation Period”, referring to the first 3 1/2 years as “the beginning of sorrows” (from the King James translation of Matt. 24:8) with the Great Tribulation, as named by Jesus in Matt. 24:21, being the final 3 1/2 years. But you won’t find the term “Tribulation period” in the Bible. To be accurate we should call the last seven years the 70th Week of Daniel.
As for “Where’s the tribulation in the first part?” The Seal and Trumpet judgments both take place in the first half of Daniel’s 70th Week, before the Great Tribulation begins. The wars, pestilence, famine and “natural disasters” during this period, while not as bad as the Bowl judgments to follow, will still be worse than anything the world has ever seen.