The concept of the 70th week, or period of 7 yrs., comes from Daniel’s prophecy in Dan. 9:24-27. 69 of the 70 weeks have already passed, ending with the Triumphal Entry followed by the Crucifixion, when Christ was “cut off.” As predicted in Daniel 9:26, the city (Jerusalem) and the sanctuary (Temple) were destroyed in A.D. 70 within 1 generation after Christ came, initiating the Great Diaspora, when the Jews were exiled from the Promised Land resulting in the gap between the 69th and 70th Weeks. With the re-establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 and recapture of Jerusalem in 1967, we are the first generation that can expect the fulfillment of the 70th Week since A.D. 70.
The entire 70th Week is not synonymous with the Tribulation period. Nor is the Great Tribulation equal to the Day of the LORD. Nowhere in Scripture are they used interchangeably or made synonymous with the 70th Week. There are 3 distinct sections to the 70thWeek: the Beginning of Sorrows, the Great Tribulation and the Day of the LORD. The 70th Week will begin with the signing of a covenant, or peace treaty, between Anti-Christ and Israel. This will initiate the Beginning of Sorrows as described in the Olivet Discourse (Mt. 24-25) which parallels the 7 Seals in Revelation 6. The same sequence of events (anti-Christ/false Christs, War, Famine, Death, Abomination, Persecution and Death, Signs in Sun, Moon and Stars, Rapture) in the Olivet Discourse and Seals, is also found in the book of Daniel (ch. 7, 9, 11, & 12) and I & II Thessalonians.
The Abomination of Desolation will be set up in the Temple at the midpoint of the 70thWeek. This is when the Anti-Christ will be revealed. He will demand worship and that everyone take his mark or die. This will initiate the Great Tribulation and the death and martyrdom of the 5th Seal. At this point we see the souls under the altar asking how long until God judges the inhabitants of the earth and avenges them. In other words, they’re asking when God will pour out His wrath in the Day of the LORD.
Also occurring at the midpoint: 144,000 Jews are sealed as a mark of God’s ownership and protection throughout the last half of the 70th Week. Elijah comes as one of the 2 witnesses who preach throughout the last half of the 70th Week. The War in Heaven is settled and Satan is hurled to earth and makes war (Great Tribulation/Time of Jacob’s trouble) on the Woman (Israel) and her offspring (Christians) while Michael (Israel’s protector) stands still and ceases to restrain Satan. The False Prophet through counterfeit signs and miracles deceives the world into worshiping the Beast who had a fatal wound that was healed. God sends 3 Angels: 1 to proclaim the Gospel to the world, 1 to proclaim the downfall of Babylon, and 1 to warn the world of the consequences of worshipping the Beast or taking his mark.
The Great Tribulation (not the 70th Week) will be cut short by the cosmic disturbances (sun going black, moon to blood, and stars falling) of the 6th Seal, which will be the sign that the Day of the LORD’s wrath has come (Rev. 6:12, 17). The same cosmic disturbances of the 6th Seal are described in Isa. 13:9-10; Ezek. 32:7-8; Joel 2:1-2, 10, 30-31; 3:12-15; Mt. 24:29-31; Mk. 13:24-27; Lk. 21:25-28; & Ac. 2:19-21. Also 2Pt. 3:10; Mic. 1:3-4; Isa. 64:1-2 & Zeph. 1:8; 3:8 describe the skies receding or rolling up. The cosmic disturbances are always mentioned as the sign that the Day of the LORD’s wrath and judgment has come.
The Rapture and the Wrath will be back-to-back events. As described in the Gospels, the cosmic disturbances occur immediately after the Great Tribulation and then the Son of Man appears in the clouds with power and great glory (the same Shekinah glory of the pillar of cloud by day and pillar of fire by night of the Exodus) and He sends His angels to gather the elect, a.k.a. Rapture the saints. God doesn’t exempt His people from man’s wrath, but He does exempt them from His wrath (1 Th. 1:10; 5:9). This will occur sometime in the 2nd half of the 70thWeek.
The 7th Seal which follows the Rapture, initiates the Day of the LORD’s wrath and the 7 Trumpet Judgments. The destruction of the Day of the LORD will be as comprehensive as the world-wide Flood of Noah’s day, but this time it will be world-wide destruction by fire. The 7th Trumpet contains the 7 Bowl judgments which will complete the Day of the LORD. The Day of the LORD will culminate with the Battle of Armageddon and the binding of Satan for 1,000 years.
This will also be the time of the national repentance and salvation of Israel.
The survivors of the Day of the Lord will then be judged at the Sheep & Goats Judgment (Mt. 25) to determine if they will be allowed to enter the Millennial Kingdom and celebrate at the Wedding Supper of the Lamb. The Bride of the Lamb will come down from Heaven with the New Jerusalem; the Earth and Heavens will be renewed (Isa. 65:17-66; Rev. 21-22). The saints will rule and reign with Jesus for 1,000 yrs.
At the end of the 1,000 yrs., Satan will be temporarily released and there will be 1 final battle of Gog and Magog. Then the Great White Throne Judgment will occur in which Satan and all those not written in the Book of Life will be judged and thrown into the Lake of Fire. All who are left will spend eternity with God and Christ.