Q. I was having a discussion with my Dad about when the Tribulation actually starts, and he doesn’t think that the first seal is the Anti-Christ confirming a covenant simply because it doesn’t use that exact wording, it only says that “he went out bent on conquering”. Is there any way to determine if the first seal is the signing of the covenant? I ask this because he believes we will at least see the signing of the covenant.
A. If by “Tribulation” you mean Daniel’s 70th Week, there’s no clearly defined starting point. Daniel 9:27 says the anti-Christ will “confirm” or “enforce” a covenant that will have a seven year term. But it doesn’t say he will actually sign it. Theoretically the covenant could have already been signed without being enforced.
Your father is correct in saying there’s no mention of this covenant in connection with the first seal judgment (Rev. 6:1-2), but that doesn’t mean the church will still be here, and there’s no Biblical support for his belief that we will. Many pre-trib scholars see hints of the rapture in Rev. 4-5.