Aren't you saying that shortening the Great Tribulation period is the same as shortening a 1,260-day period? How is that possible?
On the one hand, you say that the final half of the 70th Week will last for 1,260 days. Yet, you also say that the Great Tribulation period (Matthew 24:21) will not last the full 1,260 days because it will be "cut short" (24:22). I can hardly believe that God would shorten this 1,260-day time period. I do not understand how this can be possible.
I think you may have misunderstood something I've written. I do not believe that God will shorten the 1,260-day or 3½-year period, which will be the time, times, and half a time in the scriptural passages mentioned in Daniel 7:25, 12:7 and in Revelation 11:3, 12:6,14. God will not shorten "time" itself.
What I am saying is that the Great Tribulation period, for the elect believers, will not last the entire 1,260 days. Technically, the Great Tribulation period will end not long after the opening of the Sixth Seal, at which time multitudes of believers will be removed, via the Pre-wrath Rapture, and will be translated into heaven (Revelation 7:9,10,14). This will be just prior to the opening of the Seventh Seal, when God's "day" of vengeance and wrath will begin.
In essence, the Great Tribulation will be, primarily, a time of Satan's wrath and fury upon mankind (Revelation 12:12,17), although his negative influence on the world will be in effect, to some extent, for all of the final 3½ years (Daniel 7:25). However, the day of vengeance or the "great day" of God's wrath (Revelation 6:17) will follow the Great Tribulation. It will be a time of God's wrath upon those who are left behind after the Pre-wrath Rapture has taken place. Thus, most of the final 3½ years will be composed of the Great Tribulation period (cut short for elect believers by the Pre-wrath Rapture—Matthew 24:22,30,31; Mark 13:20,26,27), followed by the period of God's "day" of vengeance and wrath upon the rest of the world, which will end with Jesus' return to earth at the blowing of the Seventh Trumpet (Revelation 10:7, 11:15-17). This will be the sequence of events:
Just prior to the second half of the prophesied 70th Week (Daniel 9:27), Satan and his angels will be thrown out of heaven by Michael and his angels (Revelation 12:7-9). We know this will be in the middle of that seven-year period because refugees from Judea will flee (Matthew 24:16) and will be protected, by God, for 1,260 days (Revelation 12:6) or 3½ years = time, times, and half a time (12:14).
Filled with fury, Satan will know that his time is short (Revelation 12:12). Since the remnant of Jews he had been pursuing will be protected (12:13-16), he will become even more enraged and will pursue "those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus" (12:17). Many of these will be the souls who will be "slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained" during the Fifth Seal events (6:9). This will take place during the Great Tribulation period.
The slain souls will cry out to God, asking when He will avenge their blood by judging the inhabitants of the earth (Revelation 6:10). These wicked inhabitants of the earth are those from the nations who will afflict, persecute and kill many of the saints of God (Matthew 24:9). This will be due to Satan's evil influence to carry out his wrath. Furthermore, presumably due to the terrible persecution against them, many believers will turn away from their faith at this time (24:10).
The only period of "tribulation" that Jesus referred to was the time of "great tribulation" (or "great distress" in the NIV), which will commence at the beginning of the final 3½ years. Thus, when Jesus alluded to what will happen immediately after the "tribulation" of those days (Matthew 24:29a; Mark 13:24a), He was talking about the events after the "great tribulation" has ended, which will include changes in the appearance of the sun, moon and stars, as well as a widespread shaking of essentially everything (Matthew 24:29b; Mark 13:24b,25). These are parallel events to what John described soon after the Sixth Seal is opened (Revelation 6:12,13).
After the opening of the Sixth Seal, the people of the world will see the face of Him who sits on His throne (Revelation 6:16). That is, they will see Jesus, the Son of Man, at His appearance in the clouds, which is when He will send His angels to gather His elect believers to be with Him (Matthew 24:30,31; Mark 13:26,27). He will Rapture a great multitude of believers into heaven, where they will be wearing white robes (Revelation 7:9); this multitude will have been taken out of the Great Tribulation (7:14). This will be the Pre-wrath Rapture (Matthew 24:30,31; Mark 13:26,27), which will cut short the days of Great Tribulation period for God's elect believers (Matthew 24:21,22; Mark 13:19,20).
As described in Isaiah 26:19-21, the resurrection of the saved dead (and living) will take place at the main (Pre-wrath) Rapture event, at which time they will enter their "rooms" (imperishable, immortal bodies—1 Corinthians 15:52,53) and will be protected until the passing of God's wrath. This wrath and vengeance will take place because God will be punishing those who, during the Great Tribulation, had slain His saints and shed their blood (Revelation 6:9,10).
After witnessing the extremely dreadful and terrifying events of the Sixth Seal, and the removal of God's elect saints, then the degenerate, reprobate people of the world will run and hide (Revelation 6:12-15), because they will know that God's wrath is about to be dispensed upon them (6:16,17). Soon thereafter, God's "day" of vengeance and wrath will begin, at the opening of the Seventh Seal (8:1). Primarily, it will be in response to the cry of God's slain saints to avenge their blood (6:9,10) that God will take vengeance upon the ungodly inhabitants of the earth during the "day" of God's wrath (6:17). This also will be known as the "day" of vengeance—which, according to Isaiah, appears to last for a year (Isaiah 34:8, 61:2, 63:4). The Fifth Trumpet Judgment, alone, will last for five months (Revelation 9:5,10) of that year.
If one considers the 70th Week to be a "week" of years, then each year (figuratively speaking) can be considered to be a "day" in that prophetic week. It makes sense, then, that the final "day" (that is, year, according to the prophet Isaiah) of that final "week" of years—the seventh year—will be the "day" of vengeance (Isaiah 34:8, 61:2, 63:4) or "day" of God's wrath (Revelation 6:17), during which He will avenge the blood of the saints slain during the Fifth Seal events (6:9-11). That year of God's vengeance, consisting of the seven trumpet judgments, will commence upon the opening of the Seventh Seal, after the elect saints have been caught up and away in the Pre-wrath Rapture.
Thus, the period of Great Tribulation for God's elect (Matthew 24:21,22; Mark 13:19,20), plus the "day" (year) of God's vengeance and retribution (Isaiah 34:8), will be 1,260 days (that is, time, times, and half a time) in length. This whole period of time will end with the second advent (bodily descent) of Jesus to earth at the blowing of the Seventh Trumpet (Revelation 10:7, 11:15-17). Technically speaking, the over-ripe or dried "grapes" who are harvested at the very end of the 70th week, specifically by Jesus, the Son of Man (Revelation 14:14-16), will have endured both the Great Tribulation period (for 2½ years) and the "day" of vengeance period (for 1 year).
I would not consider these people to be God's "elect" because they will not have been caught up at the primary Pre-wrath Rapture at the Sixth Seal. In essence, these "last-minute" believers will be raptured "in the nick of time" at a Post-tribulation Rapture, coinciding with Jesus' second advent (Revelation 11:15-17). They will have survived the great tribulation and distress of Satan's wrathful assaults, as well as God's "day" of vengeance upon the world, all of which will last for 3½ years. Loosely speaking, it could be said that these "last-minute" believers, who will be raptured "in the nick of time" at a Post-tribulation Rapture, will have survived the great tribulation and distress of Satan's wrathful assaults for a full 3½ years (Daniel 7:25), which will include God's "day" of vengeance upon the world for the final year of that period.
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