According to biblical prophecies there is definitely a time of great distress and tribulation coming for Israel and the entire apostate world, from which only a small remnant will be saved. Jeremiah explicitly mentions the coming day of the Lord: “Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it; and it is the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it” (Jer. 30:7). The “trouble” not only refers to the wrath of God which will be poured out upon rebellious humanity, but also to the deception and fury of the false messiah which will be unleashed upon all the subjects of his global empire. In reaction to the severe trouble, a minority of Israel and the nations will turn to the true Messiah and be saved (Rev. 12:11), while the majority will follow and worship the false messiah. Many people will die during the judgements of God while they are in “the valley of decision” (Joel 3:14).
The coming time of trouble coincides with the 70th year-week of Daniel, when the false messiah will conclude a covenant of seven years with Israel and many other nations (Dan. 9:27). This seven-year period is clearly divided into two halves of 3½ years each or, even more specifically, as 42 months (Rev. 11:2; 13:5) or 1 260 days each (Rev. 11:3; 12:6). In this way the length of the 70th year-week is literally and unambiguously confirmed; 42 months of 30 days each being exactly 1 260 days, or 3½ prophetic years of 360 days each. These are clearly not symbolic expressions.
During the first 3½ years Israel and the Gentiles will regard the false messiah as the true Messiah and share in the deceptive benefits of his false world peace and unity. During this time Israel will rebuild the temple in Jerusalem – oblivious of the evil plans which the false messiah will have in mind for the project. This will not so much be a time of physical tribulation, but of spiritual deception as never before. The second 3½ years will comprise a great tribulation which will be unequalled in world history (Matt. 24:21).