What do the three main views on the Tribulation Period Have in Common?
They all end with the return of Jesus in Revelation 19:11.
And I saw heaven opened and behold a white horse, and He that sat on it was called Faithful and True. And in righteousness he judges and makes war. —Revelation 19:11 (GFS)
No matter what the differences that the proponents of different rapture views have regarding the timing of the Tribulation period in the book of Revelation, for the most part, they all have the same ending event —the return of the Lord in the above verse. Just so we are all on the same page, the Tribulation period being referenced here is found in Daniel 9:24-27.
24 Seventy weeks have been determined for your people and your holy city, to finish the rebellion and to make an end of sin, and make atonement for iniquity, to bring in perpetual righteousness, to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy place.
25 So know and understand: From the issuing of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem until the Messiah, the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it shall be built again with plaza and moat, even in anxious times.
26 Now after sixty-two weeks, the Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself. And the people of the coming prince shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end shall be overwhelming, and the end of the war desolations are decreed.
27 And he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week. And in the middle of the week he shall cause the sacrifices and offerings to cease, and on the wing of abominations he shall make desolate; complete destruction shall be decreed and poured out on the desolate. —Daniel 9:24-27 (GFS)
This is the 7-year period of time that most believe has yet to be fulfilled. Agreement by most scholars on events in the Bible, especially prophetic events, is quite rare. But most agree that this 7-year period ends with the the Second Coming of Christ in Revelation 19:11. The problem now, and where scholars disagree, is where in the book of Revelation is the beginning of the 7-year Tribulation period. I believe it is quite simple. I think the problem for most people not understanding the Tribulation period or the Rapture is that it is a simple case of, “you can’t find the forest for the trees.” And I believe there is a simple way of looking at this problem. Start at the end.
Start at the return of Jesus in Revelation 19:11 and go backwards to find any references to periods of time. Now we are primarily looking for periods of time relating to the 7-year Tribulation period, so references to time periods of 3 1/2 years, 42 months, 1260 days, or times, time, and half a time (the same as 3 1/2 years) are crucial for our understanding of the when the Tribulation period occurs in the book of Revelation.
So, going backward from Revelation 19:11 there are no relevant time periods in Revelation 18 which discusses the destruction of Babylon. Revelation 17 has no relevant time periods mentioned. This is section discussing the Great Prostitute and the Beast. Revelation 16 has no relevant time periods mentioned. This is the section of scripture that speaks of God’s wrath against this world and the system of the Beast. This is the where the 7 vials, or 7 bowls, or 7 judgments are poured out on the earth. Different translations use vials, bowls or judgments interchangeably. Revelation 15 has no relevant time periods mentioned. The verses in chapter 15 reference another sign that John sees in while in heaven watching the end-times unfold. Revelation 14 has no relevant time periods mentioned, but this chapter is critical to understanding the rapture as Jesus is standing on Mt. Zion and is then seen sitting on a cloud (see Timing of the Rapture). Revelation 13 is the first place a time period relevant to the 7-year Tribulation period. This is the chapter that describes the Antichrist coming to power. And Revelation 13:5 says that the Antichrist is given power for 42 months and was permitted to go to war against the saints and conquer them.
And there was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies and authority was given to him to rule for forty-two months. —Revelation 13:5 (GFS)
more to come…..