I have previously discussed the concept of the Tribulation lasting for seven years. This period of time in reference to End Time events is found neither in The Revelation nor anywhere in the New Testament. The idea comes from the prophet Daniel and his prophecy of 70 Weeks. (Daniel 9:24-27) This equals 490 days and frequently in prophecy a day equals a year. Daniel tells us about the Abomination of Desolation in Daniel 9:27. It will occur in the middle of the “last week” or the last seven years. The Abomination of Desolation in Daniel 9:27 is also spoken of in Daniel 7:25 where the believing Jews will be handed over to this leader for a “time, times and a half-time.” If you add that up it comes out to three and one-half, or halfway through the last seven years.
I discussed all that to tell you this. I recently attended a prophecy conference that included several best-selling authors with names that most Christians would recognize. As I listened to the various speakers, I realized that they all were basing their opinions on an assumption. That assumption being that we are not now in the seven years of Tribulation.
The reason for this assumption is the war with Gog and Magog as described in Ezekiel 39. In this prophecy Ezekiel tells of the people of Israel using the weapons of the war for fuel for seven years. (Ezekiel 39:9) Because of this it is assumed that this battle will occur at the beginning of the Tribulation. To my knowledge there is nothing in scripture making the link between the Battle of Gog and Magog and the beginning of the Tribulation.
In fact, Gog and Magog are the legendary protectors of the City of London and statues of them are in the London Guildhall today. The City of London is a global center of finance and commerce and may represent or be a part of Mystery Babylon. Therefore, the Battle of Gog and Magog may be the last battle described in The Revelation chapters 16, 17 and 18.
My point is this; if the assumption of the timing of the Battle of Gog and Magog is not correct, then we could be in the Tribulation period. I know the people living in Israel would not argue with this idea. They are living under siege from maniacal men with bombs strapped to their bodies and from snipers hidden along highways.
In Matthew 24 Jesus tells the people living in Israel to flee when they see the Abomination of Desolation. That indicates that their lives will continue with some normalcy until that time. Things will not get really bad until three and one-half years, halfway through the seven-year period of Tribulation. Then they are to flee.
The Apostle Paul tells us that the “man of lawlessness” (“man of perdition” in the KJV) will not be revealed until the Restrainer is taken away. (Second Thessalonians 2:3-8) Many believe that the Restrainer is the Holy Spirit, who has been promised to the Church as a deposit or “earnest money.” (Ephesians 1:14) If this is so, then the Church could be on earth during a portion of the Tribulation.
This much is clear. We will not see the Man of Lawlessness or the anti-Christ because he will not be revealed until we are gone. Are we in the Tribulation? Sometimes it seems like it. My purpose for this discussion is for us not to assume things. The Lord’s Word is complex and multi-layered. The only answer is to study it more and then live as though we may see Him at any moment. You will be blessed for it.