For the Elect's Sake
Or, That a Merciful God Will Shorten the Tribulation Week
"And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the Elect's sake those days shall be shortened"
by Tom Stewart
he Providence of God allows for angelic assistance to those "who shall be heirs of Salvation" (Hebrews 1:14). Man as a race is undeserving of the least of the favors and mercy of the Almighty God. "They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one" (Romans 3:12). Not only has the Holy One of Israel freely offered salvation to the entire human race; but, He has kindly made provision for even the preservation of the physical life of the Lost-But-Still-Elect. "11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth;) 12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. 13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated" (9:11-13). In particular, the final Salvation of both the Nation Born In A Day (Isaiah 66:8), i.e., Israel, as well as the Salvation of the Gentiles, who shall enter the Millennium, depends upon the LORD God's merciful cutting short of the Tribulation Week. "And the Gentiles shall come to Thy Light, and kings to the brightness of Thy Rising" (60:3).
Except Those Days Should Be Shortened
he LORD Jesus Christ painted a bleak picture of the events that will follow the Abomination of Desolation (Matthew 24:15). These days that will come after the Abomination are often identified as the Great Tribulation. "For then shall be Great Tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be" (24:21). Immediately after this discourse on the enormous difficulty of this part of the Tribulation Week comes the LORD Jesus' statement, "And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved" (Matthew 24:22). No human beings will be left alive on this planet, except that the LORD will cut short the days of His judgments for the purpose of saving the Lost-But-Still-Elect. "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!" (Romans 11:33).
The willingness of God to go to extreme measures for the Elect's sake can be seen in what He has done to bring about the salvation of wayward Israel. He has provoked Israel to jealousy by bringing His salvation to the Gentiles, who were "aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world" (Ephesians 2:12). But the Jews, "as concerning the Gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes" (Romans 11:28). So this entire Church Age has not only been for the benefit of the Gentiles-- "For the Grace of God that bringeth Salvation hath appeared to all men" (Titus 2:11)-- but to provoke Israel back to Jehovah Jesus and Salvation, as well. "I say then, Have they [Israel] stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall Salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them [Israel] to jealousy" (Romans 11:11).
Exactly How Long Will the Tribulation Week Be?
Daniel's 70th Week is the Tribulation Week.
he term Tribulation Week is derived from the prophet Daniel and the teachings of the LORD Jesus. Daniel's prophecy of the 70 Weeks concerns Israel and Jerusalem (Daniel 9:24) with the present significance pointing to the remaining 70th Week. "And he [Antichrist] shall confirm the covenant with many for one week [the 70th Week]: and in the midst [literally, half or middle] of the week he [Antichrist] shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he [Antichrist] shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate [i.e., upon the desolator-- the Antichrist]" (9:27). Our LORD's words confirmed Daniel's prophecy. "15 When ye therefore shall see the Abomination of Desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 21 For then shall be Great Tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be" (Matthew 24:15,21).
A Prophetic Week is 7 Years. Daniel's 70 Weeks are understood to be more than a period of 490 days; instead, it is a period of 70 weeks of years, which would be 490 years. This concept of a "week of years" can be seen in the Book of Leviticus. "And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years" (Leviticus 25:8). The same concept of assigning "a day for a year" can be seen in Ezekiel's prophecy of 430 Days (Ezekiel 4:1-6). "And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year" (Ezekiel 4:6). [See our article, "1998: Year of the Apocalypse (Part 2)" to see how Ezekiel's 430 Days prophecy predicted the 1967 recapture of Jerusalem.]
A Prophetic Year is 360 Days. The Gentiles will tread under foot the city of Jerusalem (under the Antichrist) for 42 months-- 42 times 30 equals 1,260-- which is the same as 3 1/2 years of 360 days. "But the court which is without the Temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the Holy City shall they tread under foot forty and two months" (Revelation 11:2). The ministry of the Two Witnesses during the Tribulation Week will be for 1,260 days, which is the same as 3 1/2 years of 360 days. "And I will give power unto my Two Witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth" (11:3). [See our Tribulation Chart to see how we have understood these events in the Tribulation Week.]
Time, Times, and Half a Time is 3 1/2 Years. Both the prophet Daniel and the Apostle John describe a similar 3 1/2 year period. Daniel describes a "time of trouble [beginning with the Mid-Tribulational Abomination of Desolation], such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book [ending with the Post-Tribulational Nation Born In A Day of Isaiah 66:8]" (Daniel 12:1). Daniel is told that this period is for "time, times, and an half" (12:7). Specifically, "6 How long shall it be to the end of these wonders? 7 And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto Heaven, and sware by Him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished" (12:6-7).
The Woman in the Wilderness is described alternately as fleeing for 1,260 days (Revelation 12:6) and "time, and times, and half a time" (12:14). "And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days" (12:6). "And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent" (12:14). If "time" equals 1, "times" equals 2, and "half a time" equals 1/2, then their combined total would be 3 1/2. Therefore, the Apostle John was revealed that "time, and times, and half a time" (12:14) and 1,260 days both referred to 3 1/2 prophetic years.
If 1,260 Days is Half of a Week, Then 2,520 Days (1,260 X 2) is a Whole Tribulation Week. You will notice that all of the Scriptural expressions that represent half of the Tribulation Week only describe the second half of the Week, which is the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21). The 42 months when the Gentiles shall "tread under foot" (Revelation 11:2) Jerusalem represents the time immediately after the Abomination of Desolation-- "in the midst of the Week [literally, in the middle of the Week]" (Daniel 9:27)-- proceeding until the End of the Tribulation Week. The "thousand two hundred and threescore [1,260] days" (Revelation 12:6) and the "time, and times, and half a time" (12:14) both refer to the Woman in the Wilderness, which is Lost-But-Still-Elect Israel fleeing from the Antichrist at the Abomination of Desolation. Therefore, it does appear that 2,520 days is the correct length of the Tribulation Week.
A Day Is As A Thousand Years
hen do we take Scripture literally? And, when do we take Scripture figuratively? We are to take the LORD's Words at literal face value; just as we would give that courtesy to any man. However, we would have to give Him more veracity than any simply human speaker. "God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent: hath He said, and shall He not do it? or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good?" (Numbers 23:19). Only when we are incapable of receiving His Words literally, should we receive them figuratively. "Thy Words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy Word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by Thy Name, O LORD God of Hosts" (Jeremiah 15:16).
The medium of time is not a difficulty for the Eternal God (Deuteronomy 33:27). "(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before Him Whom he [Abraham] believed, even God, Who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were" (Romans 4:17). Though the High And Lofty One That Inhabiteth Eternity (Isaiah 57:15) dwells in an Eternal Day, He does condescend to us and "remembereth that we are dust" (Psalm 103:14). Accordingly, He "hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son" (Hebrews 1:2). For this reason we lay so great an emphasis upon speaking, writing, and living "by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4).
The LORD Jesus has spoken to us plainly of the Father-- the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:9,13,22)-- by His Spirit ever since the gracious outpouring of His Spirit at the Acts 2 Pentecost. "13 Howbeit when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all Truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come. 14 He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine, and shall shew it unto you. 15 All things that the Father hath are Mine: therefore said I, that He shall take of Mine, and shall shew it unto you... 25 These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father" (John 16:13-15,25). The Only Wise God Our Saviour (Jude 25) will reveal to us plainly when He means one year or when He means 1,000 days.
"But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the LORD as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day" (2 Peter 3:8). Here, the Apostle Peter reminds us of the truth that Moses' Psalm taught the ancient Jews. "For a thousand years in Thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night" (Psalm 90:4). Whenever it seems that the LORD has cornered Himself with differing statements from the Scripture of Truth (Daniel 10:21) that "cannot be broken" (John 10:35), count on the LORD to show "you a more excellent way" (1Corinthians 12:31).
Joshua's Long Day
cripture is replete with instances of God's use of the miraculous to accommodate His people. Moses cooperated with the Great I AM (Exodus 3:14) for the children of Israel to escape Pharaoh's chariots by crossing the Red Sea. "21 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. 22 And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left" (Exodus 14:21-22). Elijah called fire down upon the sacrifice on Mount Carmel to call the people back to God. "21 And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word... 37 Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that Thou art the LORD God, and that Thou hast turned their heart back again. 38 Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. 39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, He is the God; the LORD, He is the God" (1Kings 18:21,37-39).
Earlier in Israel's history of the conquest of the Promised Land, Joshua needed extra daylight to defeat the Amorites. "12 Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. 13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day. 14 And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the LORD fought for Israel" (Joshua 10:12-14). The LORD accommodated Joshua.
The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge records concerning Joshua 10:12- "Joshua doubtless acted, on this occasion, by an immediate impulse upon his mind from the Spirit of God. The terms here employed to record the miracle, agree with the accustomed manner in which the motions of the earth and sun are described in our own day. The sun apparently moves, but really is stationary; while the diurnal movement of the earth on its axis is by us unnoticed, and would not have been known except by astronomical science. The sun appeared to the Israelites over Gibeon, and the moon over Ajalon, and there they stayed in their course for 'a whole day.' Many vain enquiries have been made concerning the way in which this miracle was wrought, and many difficulties and objections have been urged against understanding it literally. But the fact is authenticated by the Divine testimony; and the manner in which it was accomplished lies entirely out of our province, because [it is] beyond our comprehension."
Though we are not told how the LORD accomplished the feat of not allowing the sun to "go down about a whole day" (10:13), we are called upon to rely upon the veracity of God and His Word that He did. The New Testament Thessalonians were praised for their willingness to receive the Apostle Paul's epistles as the Word of God. "For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the Word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe" (1Thessalonians 2:13). Even the Jewish synagogue of Berea was given praise for their industrious searching of the Scriptures to verify the Messianic claims of the Apostle Paul about the LORD Jesus Christ. "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the Word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so" (Acts 17:11). We can do no less than to believe God's Word-- that He has and will perform miracles for His people. [Please read, "Miracles Wrought Through Servants of God" for more on this subject.]
ust as Joshua's Long Day demonstrated the miracle of causing the Earth to stop spinning, which would cause the sun to stand still; even so, King Hezekiah's miracle from the prophet Isaiah was for the Earth to temporarily reverse its rotation, which would set back the progress of the sun on the king's sundial. Both 2Kings 20:8-11 and Isaiah 38:7-8 describe this most interesting event in the life of this Godly king of Judah. Again, we are not told how the Omnipotent LORD accomplished such an act; but only that He did it. "Believest thou this?" (John 11:26). Because, "if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God" (11:40).
Hezekiah became "sick unto death" (2Kings 20:1). The LORD instructed the prophet Isaiah to tell Hezekiah, "Set thy house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live" (20:1). Hezekiah then turned to the LORD in prayer-- with the tears of extreme desire-- saying, "I beseech Thee, O LORD, remember now how I have walked before Thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in Thy sight" (20:3). Isaiah was still in the process of leaving the king's court, when the LORD told him, "5 Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of My people, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the LORD. 6 And I will add unto thy days fifteen years; and I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for Mine Own sake, and for My servant David's sake" (20:5-6).
Isaiah instructed Hezekiah to place a "lump of figs" on his "boil"-- and "he recovered" (20:7). Whereupon Hezekiah asked Isaiah for what appears to have been confirmation for his faith, "What shall be the sign that the LORD will heal me, and that I shall go up into the house of the LORD the third day?" (20:8). The LORD was willing to grant a sign to Hezekiah, just as He was willing to grant Hezekiah's father, King Ahaz, a sign that He would fulfill His Word in defending Jerusalem. "10 Moreover the LORD spake again unto Ahaz, saying, 11 Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above" (Isaiah 7:10-11). Though Ahaz stubbornly and ungratefully refused to seek a sign that God had instructed him to seek, God gave him one anyway. "Therefore the LORD Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel" (7:14).
And, what sign did the LORD give to Hezekiah, the son of Ahaz? "And Isaiah said, This sign shalt thou have of the LORD, that the LORD will do the thing that He hath spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees, or go back ten degrees?" (2Kings 20:9). Evidently, a type of sundial was visible to Hezekiah from his bed chamber, where Isaiah encountered him. This type of sundial, a primitive but unusual clock, i.e., the "dial of Ahaz" (20:11), possibly had steps that corresponded to "degrees" (20:9) of measured time-- possibly increments where a degree is the equivalent of 1/2 hour. Daylight time would be measured by watching the progress of the "shadow" moving "forward" on this royal sundial (20:9). Isaiah offered a choice of signs to Hezekiah of making the "shadow go forward ten degrees, or go backward ten degrees" (20:9).
Hezekiah desired a sign that would cast away any doubt or optical illusion. He did not want the clock to advance, but to retreat 10 degrees-- possibly as much as 5 hours. "And Hezekiah answered, It is a light thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees: nay, but let the shadow return backward ten degrees" (20:10). Some expositors have suggested that this was a mere bending of the light and shadow at Hezekiah's court, but the king of Babylon sent ambassadors bearing "letters and a present to Hezekiah: for he [the king of Babylon] had heard that he [Hezekiah] had been sick, and was recovered" (Isaiah 39:1). Evidently, even the Babylonians had noticed the strange occurrence of the time going backwards, connected the occurrence with the report of Hezekiah's unusual healing, and had dispatched ambassadors to investigate-- as well as furthering their diplomatic agenda in recruiting Hezekiah into a confederation against the Assyrians.
"And Isaiah the prophet cried unto the LORD: and He brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down in the dial of Ahaz" (2Kings 20:11). The Scriptural record stands. The only apparent way that the sun's shadow would "return backward ten degrees" (20:10), is for the Earth's rotation to temporarily reverse. Impossible? Such reversal would destroy the world? But, "what saith the Scripture?" (Romans 4:3). The LORD "brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down in the dial of Ahaz" (2Kings 20:11). Our "God is able" (Luke 3:8) to stop the rotation of the Earth (Joshua's Long Day), reverse the rotation of the Earth (Hezekiah's Sundial), and speed up the rotation of the Earth (4th Trumpet Judgment). "Ah LORD GOD! behold, Thou hast made the heaven and the earth by Thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for Thee" (Jeremiah 32:17). Read on.
The 4th Trumpet Judgment
The 4th Trumpet Judgment Occurs During the Second Half of the Tribulation Week.
believe that an examination of the Judgments of God during the Tribulation Week as revealed in Revelation 8:7-9:21 and 11:15-19, indicate that the 7 Trumpet Judgments occur during the second half of the Tribulation Week. In particular, the 4th Trumpet Judgment (8:12-13 ) describes a darkening or lessening of the light of the sun, moon, and stars by 1/3. "And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise" (8:12). [See our article, "Tribulation Timeline: When Shall These Things Be? (Part 3)" for a discussion of the Seven Trumpet Judgments.]
The Trumpet Judgments Were Designed to Strongly Influence But Not to Finally Judge Mankind. A large part of the Trumpet Judgments is the concept of 1/3 of something being affected. This seems to indicate that the LORD is not desiring to place the world, which He is judging and attempting to reach, in the final position of judgment, i.e., as would be seen at Armageddon after the End of the Week (Matthew 24:29 cp. Revelation 16:16). The 5th Trumpet Judgment (Revelation 9:1-12) seems to take up the space of "five months" (9:5) with the torment of the sting of the Apocalyptic Locusts. In this 5th Trumpet Judgment, the Judge of All the Earth is attempting to judge and influence mankind by their suffering and not their death. "And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them" (9:6).
The Remaining 3 Trumpet and 7 Vial Judgments Take Up Approximately 18 Months of the Remaining Tribulation Week. The 6th Trumpet Judgment (9:13-21) indicates a time period of preparation of an "hour, and a day, and a month, and a year" (9:15)-- approximately 390 days-- for the unleashing of the Demonic Horsemen to "slay the third part of men" (9:15). Again, another indication that the Only Wise God (1Timothy 1:17) is not attempting to complete the annihilation of mankind at this judgment, is the fact that He kills precisely 1/3 of all of remaining humanity. True, this is an expensive lesson for the world. But, how "Great Salvation" (Hebrews 2:3) will it be for the Elect that remain and repent!
The 7th Trumpet Judgment (Revelation 11:15-19) and the 7 Vial Judgments (16:1-21) take up the last 8-9 days of the Tribulation Week. We believe that a Pre-Wrath Rapture takes place at the 7th and "Last Trump" (1Corinthians 15:52), where the "dead shall be raised incorruptible" (15:52), i.e., the "Resurrection of the Just" (Luke 14:14). The events that follow the Pre-Wrath Rapture are incorporated in the 7 "vials of the wrath of God upon the earth" (Revelation 16:1). These Vial Judgments fit easily inside the short period of about 8-9 days. [See our articles, "The Seventh Trumpet and the Second Rapture" and "Tribulation Timeline: When Shall These Things Be? (Part 4)" for a discussion of the Pre-Wrath Rapture and the Seven Vial Judgments.]
If after the 4th Trumpet Judgment, the Tribulation Week unfolds with 3 additional Trumpet Judgments and 7 Vial Judgments, then the combined length of time left in the Week would be about 18 months: (1) 5 months of the 5th Trumpet Judgment (Revelation 9:5), (2) approximately 13 months of the 6th Trumpet Judgment (9:15), and (3) 8-9 more days for the 7th Trumpet Judgment and the 7 Vial Judgments (11:15-19; 16:1-21).
The 4th Trumpet Judgment Points to a Speeding Up of the Rotation of the Planet Earth. As in Joshua's Long Day (Joshua 10:12-14), we can only speculate as to how the LORD will accomplish the 4th Trumpet Judgment (Revelation 8:12-13). "Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all Wisdom" (Proverbs 18:1). I now hypothesize that the darkening of 1/3 of the sun, moon, and stars (Revelation 8:12) refers to a speeding up of the rotation of the planet Earth by 50%; thus, it would cut a day down to 16 hours. This would be 1/3 less light from the "sun", i.e., daylight hours (normally 12 hours). 1/3 of 12 daylight hours equals 4 hours. 12 hours minus 4 hours equals 8 hours. So, 1/3 less light from the "sun" results in 8 hours of daylight in this new Apocalyptic Day. There would also be 1/3 less "moon" and "stars", i.e., nighttime hours, (also normally 12 hours). 1/3 of 12 nighttime hours is 4 hours. Again, 12 hours minus 4 hours equals 8 hours. So, 1/3 less light from the "moon" and "stars" results in 8 hours of nighttime in this new Apocalyptic Day. Combined, a new Apocalyptic Day would be 16 hours-- 1/3 less than the present 24 hour day-- after the sounding of the 4th Trumpet Judgment (Revelation 8:12-13).
The diameter of the Earth at the equator is 7,926 miles. The formula for finding the circumference (distance around) of a circle is C equals 3.14159 times D. Here, C is the circumference, 3.14159 is Pi, and D is the diameter. Replacing D with 7,926 miles, and multiplying it by 3.14159, we arrive at the result of 24,900 miles. Therefore, the circumference of the Earth at the equator is 24,900 miles (approximately).
Further, if a day is the equivalent of one rotation of the Earth on its axis, then the Earth must presently rotate 24,900 miles in a 24 hour period. This would be the equivalent of a rotating speed of more than 1,000 miles per hour. Mathematically, 24,900 miles divided by 24 hours equals 1,038 miles per hour-- the speed of rotation of the planet Earth on its axis, presently. Likewise, in an Apocalyptic Day of 16 hours (following the 4th Trumpet Judgment), 24,900 miles divided by 16 hours equals 1,556 miles per hour-- the speed of rotation of the planet Earth on its axis after the 4th Trumpet Judgment. 1,556 mph minus 1,038 mph equals 518 mph. 518 mph is approximately 1/2 of the present speed of rotation of the planet Earth. Therefore, a 50% increase in the speed of rotation of the planet Earth is a result of the 4th Trumpet Judgment.
hat the Almighty has planned for His people is difficult to comprehend. "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD" (Isaiah 55:8). But, what is most important is Emmanuel-- that "God [is] with us" (Matthew 1:23). Even the New Jerusalem that is prepared for the Elect's sake, boasts of this concept in its name, Jehovah Shammah. "And the name of the city [Post-Millennial New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:2)] from that day shall be, The LORD is there [Hebrew, Jehovah Shammah]" (Ezekiel 48:35).
What other implications does the speeding up of the planet Earth after the 4th Trumpet Judgment have on the Tribulation Week? The LORD Jesus succinctly stated one of the most important implications of the speeding up-- "those days shall be shortened" (Matthew 24:22). Remember, after the 4th Trumpet Judgment until the End of the Tribulation Week is approximately 18 months. If the planet Earth speeds up by 50%, then a day will be 1/3 shorter, or the equivalent of 16 hours. Likewise, 1/3 of the remaining 18 months is 6 months. Accordingly, the Tribulation Week would be shortened by a period of 6 months. And still, the Tribulation Week will be 2,520 days long. True, the last 18 months of the Tribulation Week will be 16 hour days; but, shortening "those days" (24:22) will complete the Week quicker. Thus, it will result in Salvation "for the Elect's sake" (24:22). (If you were surviving those days, wouldn't you want them to come to an end quicker?) Israel will be saved as a Nation Born in a Day (Isaiah 66:8) as well as the "Gentiles [that] shall come to [His] light" (60:3). "Is any thing too hard for the LORD?" (Genesis 18:14).
For those who were waiting for a Tribulation Week to start by November 19,1998, the Beginning of the Tribulation Week could be delayed for approximately 6 months, and the End of the Tribulation Week would be still 2,520 days-- ending on October 12, 2005. [See our Tribulation Chart for time approximations.] Our LORD is never late. He always comes in "the fulness of the time" (Galatians 4:4). His season is always "due season" (6:9). Patience. We shall "escape all these things that shall come to pass" (Luke 21:36) at the Pre-Tribulational Rapture "with exceeding great joy" (Matthew 2:10), "if we faint not" (Galatians 6:9).
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