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Is the Great Tribulation 7 years or 3 1/2 years, and when does the rapture take place?
Personally, I call myself a Post-Tribulationalist, with a Pre-Wrath twist.
Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?
And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:
And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.
That means 3+1=4 years
3 1/2 years. There are three references to the same event in time periods of 3 1/2 years in the book of revelation. I believe great tribulation will come to the believers in Jesus and then the judgment will come upon the wicked. During the tribulation most believers in Christ will be persecuted and killed, the overcomers, and then will return with Him when He comes again. Those who do not die, will be 'raptured' to Him when He comes back.
3 1/2 years. Dan 9:24-27 has often been called the 'backbone of Bible prophecy,' and 'God's prophetic time clock.' It is God's answer to Daniel's prayer in the first part of the chapter, regarding the restoration of Israel from Babylon but also God goes further in describing Israel's ultimate and final restoration under Christ, the Messiah. The 70 sets of 7, or 490 years, concerns the Jewish people and Jerusalem (not the Church), 9:24, and spans until the 1000 year reign (or Millennium). When Israel rejected Christ in 33 A.D., God temporarily suspended his plan for Israel, leaving a gap of unspecified duration between the 69th and 70th sets of 7. The gap will end when the Church is raptured and the antichrist comes, making a 7-year 'covenant' with Israel (9:27), starting the clock for Israel to run again. At that point, the 70th set of seven begins. After 3.5 years the antichrist terminates this covenant and sets up an abominable, sacrilegious image of himself in the temple in Jerusalem (also in Mat 24:15; Rev 13:14-15). It is at this point that the Great Tribulation for Israel begins, Mat 24:21.
The Rapture Doctrine was not taught in the Church until the 19th century. In my opinion there will not be a physical Rapture. My Hub ' The Rapture: Dispensationalism's Candy Stick' will explain my view in more detail.
I frankly do not know. What does it matter if I know the scriptures by heart but have no peace in my Soul? How can I be satisfied in my Spirit when that poor aged atheist needs some help to cross the street? How can I walk by when the Jewish rabbi has just stumbled and fell?
My experience over 30 years or so is that the heart is purified and become receptive through prayer and service, ceaselessly, until my dying day.
I feel that all these transcendental questions would cloud my mind. I wish to fill my heart and Soul with love of God.
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