The Destruction of
the World in Prophecy
By Ernest L. Martin, Ph.D., 1993
One of the principal ways that God shows himself as a personality who has all power, intelligence and glory is his ability to foretell miraculous events involving the heavenly bodies with world-shaking judgments occurring at the time periods previously predicted in his Holy Writings. In the Western World, the "Holy Scriptures" to us are normally reckoned to be the Old and the New Testaments of the Bible. And while some people in our societies accept additional books as the authoritative Word of God, in this article we will concentrate on the divine revelation which the Jewish authorities officially accept as their Scriptures (which some call the Old Testament) and the twenty-seven books that are attached to those books by Christians (which some call the New Testament). If the prophecies made in those books can be shown to be true, then the "God" of the Bible has a right to be considered the true God who has control of all affairs in heaven and on earth. This Report shows the legitimacy of that proposition.
One of the central prophetic features of the Holy Scriptures was the introduction of the Messiah in the person of Jesus Christ when he was born as a baby in Bethlehem. There is no other prophetic occasion (nor a single prophecy or a series of prophecies) more important than that unique arrival into the world of the Fatherís own Son -- His only begotten Son. Indeed, beginning with the prophecy of Genesis 3:15 about the "seed" of Eve playing a role in the destruction of the "serpent" and then the scores of direct or indirect prophecies about that divine "seed" (the future Messiah), it must be recognized that all those prophecies commence their fulfillment solely with the nativity of Christ.
In my book "The Star that Astonished the World," I give the historical and astronomical evidence that shows God maneuvering the Sun, Moon, Planets and Constellations to come into some extraordinary and spectacular relationships at Christís birth that thoroughly amaze our modem scientists. These truths reveal that it is God who controls the motions of the heavens and that he can manipulate them as he pleases to introduce his divine Son into the world at the precise time prophesied by the prophets in the Old Testament.
As a further illustration of this, my article in this monthís Communicator (January, 1993) shows it is predestined that some major events involving stars and extra-terrestrial objects are soon determined by the written Word of God to occur on earth. The things we are talking about are real and they should be taken seriously by all in the world. What we at A.S.K. are doing is indicating to you beforehand what God has shown in His Scriptures will occur. Let us look at some of those prophecies and what respected scientists are also stating as inevitable realities facing all people on earth. The prospects are world-shaking indeed.
The top scientists in the world today are beginning to talk about the reality of "Doomsday" for the earth. The word "doom" in "Doomsday" means "judgment," and "Doomsday" itself signifies "Judgment Day." And, we find that scientists who are some of the finest minds the world has to offer are talking openly of the possibility of a real "Doomsday" for the earth.
In the last part of November, 1992, Newsweek magazine had as its lead article a major account of what scientists were prognosticating for the future (as though it would one day be inevitable). They titled it "Doomsday Science." It was followed in early December, 1992 with the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco during which a major topic of discussion was the real possibility that the earth is one day going to be hit by some kind of asteroid, comet or other extra-terrestrial object from space that will wipe out civilization as we know it today. These scientists are not religious "kooks" carrying sandwich board signs warning people in Timesí Square New York or Pershing Square in Los Angeles of the nearness of the "End of the World." These are highly respected scientists in the various fields of astronomy and physics who are giving the warning. And they are serious in their statements.
Truly, the earth in the past has been hit by asteroids, comets or other extra-terrestrial objects (measuring from a few hundred feet across to five or six miles) that have wiped out local areas of life on earth, or have extinguished all the higher forms of life that then existed on earth. There is not the slightest doubt that these things have occurred in the past. And though there are still debates going on among the scientists concerning the times in the past when these devastations of local areas on earth (or the whole earth itself) took place, there is no disbelief whatever in the minds of the scientists that they did in fact occur. And, if they happened in the past, they are just as likely to occur in the future. The only question regarding the "inevitable" is WHEN WILL THE DOOMSDAY OCCUR?
To get to the nitty-gritty of the issue, the scientists are saying that in the late 1980s they were finding 15 asteroids a year "of the size that could eliminate human society" (The Oregonian, December 17, 1992, page C 11). The report went on to say that now (in December, 1992) they are finding 35 such asteroids and they believe the number will soon be 100 a year. But that doesnít end the story. The NASA panel estimated early in 1992 that there were between 1000 and 4000 asteroids that cross the earthís orbit (the size that could send civilization back to what some historians call the Stone Age), but only 160 are known. Indeed, note the number of asteroids the scientists feel the earth could potentially encounter as it orbits the Sun. The number is staggering. The final report stated: "Of the 300,000 or so Earth-crossing asteroids at least 300 feet across, we know hardly any." Recall, the small asteroid that caused the Arizona crater we are familiar with was only 200 feet across. Even if the vast majority of asteroids could be discovered and we tried to send up spaceships to intercept them to blast them out of existence with hydrogen bombs 10,000 times more powerful than any ever exploded on earth, scientists say a full 10 per cent would go undetected until they would literally be so near the earth that nothing could be done to stop their devastating impact. And not only are there these great numbers of asteroids that are potentially dangerous to us on earth, there are also thousands of comets that could head toward earth that we know absolutely nothing about and any one of them (if only of moderate size) could wipe out civilization as we know it.
The truth is, we live in a very dangerous environment of space. True, the encounters of world-destroying asteroids, comets or other extra-terrestrial objects have-been rare relative to the span of life that we humans have experienced so far, but it is not without reason that the civilization that we know all over this earth could potentially be wiped out within minutes if even an asteroid of a mile in diameter would collide with the earth.
It may come as a surprise to some people but the Holy Scriptures describe a time associated with the Second Advent of Christ that any modern day scientist would attest is a classic description of an asteroid or comet of a moderate size (say a mile or so in diameter) hitting the earth. After mentioning that the mercantile system on earth that provides wealth and prosperity is to be destroyed (read all of Isaiah 23 along with the future prophecies in the Book of Revelation about the same thing -- Revelation 18:11-17), the prophet Isaiah continued his description of "Doomsday" by his prophecy recorded in all of Isaiah chapter 24. You should read that chapter and pay attention to every word. It shows, without the slightest doubt, the complete and utter destruction of world civilization. The world will return to a barbaric state with only a few men left over the entirety of the earth, and the wide devastation will last for 70 years (Isaiah 23:17,18).
Thus, the first 70 years of the Millennium (after Christ comes back to earth with his judgments) will witness the earth in a very devastated state. All civilization as we know it today (or as we have known it for the past 4000 years) will come to a sudden halt. The first 70 years of the Millennium (while the resurrected saints of God are in heaven learning how to adapt to their new spiritual bodies and the new spiritual environment that they find themselves a part of) will witness a time when the few humans left on earth will be struggling even to exist in a wild and uncivilized state in an almost empty earth.
But at the end of those first 70 years of the Millennium, God will cause the earth to begin to regain its civilization once again. Trade and merchandising will re-emerge to their former status (Isaiah 23:17,18), and a glorious time for the earth will once again develop that will last for 930 years (until the end of the Millennium). It is interesting that these 930 years the earth will be in a glorious and wonderful state will last precisely the length of time that Adam lived on earth (Genesis 5:5).
But is this the only "asteroid-type" of destruction shown in prophecy? The truth is, there is even more. It is possible that an asteroid or comet could hit the earth in the next few years before the events associated with the Second Advent of Christ Jesus. Could you and I and our own families and friends be affected by such an extra-terrestrial encounter that would wreak some major devastations on earth before the final ruin recorded in Isaiah 24? Christ said that there would be great signs in heaven and in earth before he appears to rescue Godís people. "And there shall be signs in the Sun, and in the Moon, and in the Stars; and upon the Earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; menís hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken" (Luke 21:25,26). Christ Jesus wasnít joking when he prophesied these things. Astronomical judgments are near.
Also recall that in the Book of Revelation there are numerous catastrophic destructions that are prophesied to occur before the Second Advent of Christ. When the seven woes are fulfilled with the blowing of seven trumpets, the Book of Revelation shows a third part of the trees will be burnt up (along with all the green grass); a third part of the sea shall become like blood when a huge "mountain-like" object is cast into the sea; the third part of all creatures in the oceans shall be destroyed and a third part of all ships will be devastated; a third part of the rivers and fountains shall be made bitter when a star out of heaven (like an asteroid or comet?) falls to the earth; the Sun and Moon will be darkened (Revelation 8:7-12) ó and these plagues are only from the angels blowing the first four trumpets, There will be three more woes to come after these devastating events (Revelation 8:13).
These things could affect you and me before the Second Advent of Christ. They could well be a forerunner of the events prophesied by Isaiah 24 that will occur -at the start of the Millennium which will cause the earth to be almost empty of people for the first 70 years of the Millennium And donít be misled by the erroneous teaching that Christ will come in the clouds of heaven before all these events to take all true Christians to heaven in what has been mistakenly called the Pre-tribulation Rapture. That "Rapture" being taught by many preachers today is pure fabrication and is not a doctrine of the Holy Scriptures. As a matter of fact, people who teach it ought to have their heads examined for believing such nonsense.
You and I need to know, however, how we can find complete protection from all these prophesied events that are associated with the Time of the End. We need to be aware of what the Holy Scriptures actually teach which will result in a salvation for us from all these major holocausts that God has prophesied to happen. Indeed, one of the most important things for people to understand is how God will fulfill his prophecies and how the people of God can escape his final judgments on this earth (his "Doomsday" events).
It is now time to look at some of the principles that the Bible uses to bring about the prophecies of judgment that are written in the Word of God. Believe it or not, there is no prophecy of judgment that God will not forgo entirely, greatly lessen its intensity, delay its occurrence or shorten the time periods for its fulfillment. One should note carefully that I am speaking only about Godís judgments concerning evil and sin.
Personally, I would like God and Christ Jesus to forgo entirely all their prophesied judgments upon us who are members of his divine Family. Indeed, I will take my own personal desire even further. I would hope that God and Christ Jesus will also forgo their prophesied judgments on any and all other people on earth who do not realize their Family status with God and do not behave properly. The way to get God and Christ to do this is simple. People need to repent of their ways. What especially needs to be done is this: If you and I and the rest of the world will simply get God and Christ to declare all of us "righteous" (and I mean perfectly righteous), then God and Christ will have no need whatever to bring judgments for sin and wrongdoing on you, on me and on all other people in the world. You should hear the lecture that I am offering for this month of January titled "Whom Does God Consider Righteous?" Some may be surprised in finding out what Godís definition of righteousness really is.
Truly, the righteous people of God can do wonders in changing the mind of God involving his judgments on mankind for their wrongdoing. There are several scriptural principles and teachings which show this. For example, when Jonah finally decided to warn the Assyrians at Nineveh of their impending doom (they had forty days before their complete overthrow), the Ninevites repented of their ways and God changed his mind. The Assyrians were spared from being overthrown. Because the Assyrians repented of their evil, God decided not to carry out his prophecy of judgment on Nineveh. This displeased Jonah very much because it made Jonah (in his estimation) look like a false prophet in the eyes of the Assyrians; and worse yet, it made the God of Israel look like a powerless God who could not really carry out his warnings of impending doom.
But none of these two opinions of Jonah was proper. The Assyrians truly believed God (Jonah 3:5) and they knew that Jonahís God was able to perform his prophecies. Indeed, it was such a belief (that is. THEIR FAITH in the power of Jonahís God) that caused God to spare the Ninevites. And note this. God did not ask the Ninevites to start worshiping God in the manner of the Israelites in order to spare them. God did not ask the Assyrians to adopt the ritualistic practices of the Israelites or to accept all the doctrines that God gave to the Israelites. All the Assyrians did was to repent in the best way they know how, and God honored them for it. What they did was to change their ways of living to be in accord with the normal rules of conduct that all humans should observe in dealing with other humans. As a matter of fact, the Ninevites as far as real spiritual knowledge was concerned were compared in the biblical revelation merely with the cattle of the Assyrians who were also spared (Jonah 4:11).
And to prove to Jonah that God was fully capable of exercising his power of judgment if he wished (which Jonah was beginning to doubt) or to rescind judgment if he wished, God caused the two miracles of the "gourd" and the "worm" to benefit Jonah so that the reluctant prophet could see the miraculous power of God with his own eyes (Jonah 4:6-11).
This prime example written in the Book of Jonah is showing a principle that God and Christ will use for all dealings with Israelites who know his ways (or Christian folk who love and honor his word) as well as with Gentile folk in other areas of the world who know very little about the true doctrines of God as revealed in the Holy Scriptures. And since Gentile nations (or the nation of Israel) are made up of individuals, it has to be recognized that God will honor any individual in the same way if he or she begins to mend his or her ways and starts practicing honorable life-styles that decent persons should perform.
There are plenty of examples in the Holy Scriptures to show that God will change his mind even in regard to his own prophetic pronouncements if people will give him a proper reason to do so. Look at the words of God himself in Jeremiah 18:7,8. "At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom [concerning any nation or kingdom on earth], to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it [in judgment for their evil]; if that nation, against whom I have pronounced [judgment], turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them."
One would have to be daft indeed not to recognize Godís gracious and merciful attitude through his own repentance from wreaking a devastating destruction of judgment on persons, nations or kingdoms if they turn from their evil ways. In simple terms, God is more than willing to rescind his pronouncements of judgments of destruction against evildoers if they will themselves repent of their evil. He further stated in Joel 2:13,14. "Rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow of anger, and of great kindness, and repents him[self] of evil. Who knows if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him?"
There is even more. When God gave the prophet Amos a vision of an impending judgment of grasshoppers upon the land of Israel for their sins, Amos beseeched him to spare Israel at that time. And what did God do? "The Lord repented for this: It shall not be, saith the Lord" (Amos 7:1-3). Yet Israel still kept up their rebellion to God. God then told Amos that he was going to send such a fire of judgment on Israel that a large part of the Mediterranean Sea (that they depended upon for rain and other blessings) would be utterly destroyed. But Amos again intervened with God for the sake of Israel and pleaded with God not to do it. And what did God do? "The Lord repented for this: This also shall not be, saith the Lord" (Amos 7:6). However, with granting Amos his second request to spare Israel, God then set a plumbline of final tolerance that he would give to Israel. If they passed that line in the future, then he would no more repent of his prophesied judgments (Amos 7:7,8).
Even earlier in the history of Israel, God told Moses, because of the sins of the Israelites in the wilderness, that he was going to wipe Israel off the surface of the earth -- both men, women and children (Exodus 32:7-10). But Moses interceded with God on behalf of the sinning Israelites. Upon hearing the intercessory request of Moses, the Holy Scriptures state: "And the Lord repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people" (Exodus 32:14). This request of Moses to spare Israel was no doubt the event that prompted Moses to write in Psalm 90:13: "Return, 0 Lord, how long? And let it repent you concerning your servants." So God responded to Moses. He revoked his prophesied judgments. There is not the shadow of doubt that God will do the same thing in the future if his people turn from their evil ways and begin to practice proper standards of living.
But now for a WARNING! The Bible makes a strong point that people should not take his graciousness and mercy as a sign of weakness or that he is fickle and arbitrary. Anyone who believes God to be inconsistent and erratic in his judgments has some serious lessons to learn. God does not condone snickering criticisms from his people or those of the nations. Just after telling Jeremiah that he would repent of his judgments on nations if they turn from their ways, he stated with a strong retort: "If [a nation or kingdom] do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them" (Jeremiah 18:10). People in the time of Jeremiah experienced this very thing. God promised peace through all of King Josiahís reign, but when Josiah rebelled and went to war, God cut short Josiahís reign (II Chronicles 34:27,28 with 35: 19-27) and brought about great evils instead (see all of Lamentations and Psalm 89:38-51 both written by Jeremiah).
But with the Ninevites, God was pleased with their reaction because they "believed God" (Jonah 3:5). They took God seriously and did not reckon him impotent. That generation of Assyrian Gentiles continued to believe God and his prophet Jonah. This was to their credit. But had the Ninevites a few days after the forty days were accomplished began to say "God didnít really mean what he said," or "Jonahís God was really powerless to do what Jonah was prophesying," the Scripture says God will not be mocked (Galatians 6:7). If people begin to say that God will not or can not bring his prophecies of judgment to pass, then watch out! The apostle Peter spoke to some Jewish/Christian folk of his time who were beginning to say that Christís timing about his Second Advent was erroneous (people of the End-Time will say the same thing), then swift judgment will come according to Peter (II Peter 3:3-12). Indeed, the Christians of Judaea and Jerusalem in the first century who started to say Christ was lying about his Second Advent and that all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation (II Peter 3:4), found the whole Commonwealth of Judaea destroyed and the city of Jerusalem desolated in about four years after they made their disbelieving statements. So ruined was the grand and glorious city of Jerusalem with its majestic Temple that the Roman general Titus (who was in command of the Roman legions that desolated the area) and other eyewitnesses viewing the area of Jerusalem said that unless they had formerly seen the city with their own eyes, they would not have believed a city had once been on the site (Josephus, Wars Vfl.1,1).
The proper principle is this: When God resolves to grant immunity from any prophesied judgment he has decreed, people who have been spared the judgment had better thank him for blessing them and never doubt that he has the full power to carry out his wishes of punishment instead of showing his grace and mercy. God judges people if they lack faith and trust in him. He can also (and does) bless people who demonstrate a faith and belief in him and his power, and when they show gratitude to him for blessing them (Philippians 4:6).
What people need to realize is that God the Father and Christ Jesus can change their minds in regard to prophesied events for the future (even those involving minor or major judgments) if they can be convinced it is the proper thing to do. Look at the example of Abraham talking with God regarding the impending doom of Sodom and Gomorrah for their great sins and evil. Abraham, who was a righteous man, began to bargain with God. Surely, Abraham thought, God would not destroy the cities if fifty righteous people could be found in them (Genesis 18:23). And Abraham was right. God changed his mind and said if there were fifty righteous people he would spare the region for their sakes. Then Abraham got bold and reduced the number to forty-five, then forty, then thirty, then twenty, then finally ten. And God agreed. If there were ten righteous men in those cities he would spare them (Genesis 18:24-33).
Abraham, however, gave up too soon. Had he continued to bargain with God down to one righteous person in the region (in order to save the cities), Abraham may have spared the destruction of those cities. No one of us knows if Abraham would have been successful with God in his bargaining, but there was indeed one righteous person in that area. It was Lot, Abrahamís nephew (II Peter 2:7,8). And it makes no difference what you and I or anyone else thinks about Lotís conduct ó that is, whether he was righteous or not according to our opinions óGod said he was righteous and that makes him righteous no matter what any human might think. Lot was also an elect person of God and it is Godís opinion that counts. But Abraham did not carry on his bargaining and the cities of the plain were destroyed.
The same thing could apply for all the judgments of the End-Time that are prophesied in the Book of Revelation and other books of the Bible. God will listen to the appeals of a righteous person in eliminating or shortening periods of judgments which he has decreed. James said: "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are [he was a mere human as we are], and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain, and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months" (James 5:16,17). That punishment of drought could well have gone on for another equal period a of time to equate with the seven years of W judgment on Egypt in the time of Joseph. But Elijah did one other thing to shorten the time period. "And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit."
Thatís right, prophesied judgments can be delayed, lessened in intensity, eliminated altogether or their times of fulfillment can be shortened. From a strictly chronological point of view, the prophecies of Daniel and those within the Bock of Revelation should have occurred in the latter part of the first century. At the very beginning of the Book of Revelation it states that the prophesied events "must shortly come to pass" (Revelation 1:1). But in the Sabbatical Year of 62/63 A.D., God delayed the execution of those prophecies (he no doubt designed to delay them in his plan made before the foundation of the world, but he still delayed them from taking place). This gave the opportunity to give the world the grand teaching of "the Mystery" that was given to the apostle Paul and others which was the advanced Christian teaching designed to last until the Second Advent of Christ back to this earth. But God has his limits on this. With those events destined to occur as revealed in Revelation 10, Christ said he would not delay them any longer Revelation 10:6). Yet God has a history of delaying judgments if people respond to him favorably. King Hezekiah was told his time of life had ended in Godís plan, but Hezekiah cried to God for mercy and his death was delayed for fifteen years (Isaiah 38:1-22).
God can not only delay all prophesied judgments, he can even shorten their duration from what he originally planned. Christ Jesus said he was going to shorten the time of judgments at the End-Tune because of his elect who will be there to witness them. Christ said: "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days SHOULD BE SHORTENED, there should no flesh be saved: but for the electís sake those days SHALL BE SHORTENED" (Matt.24:21,22). This means that in the original plan that the Father and Christ designed, the time of tribulation was to be longer. And what was the Original plan? The apostle John recorded that he saw a seven-sealed prophetic plan of Cod that only Christ could open and disclose (Revelation 5:1). Though that prophetic plan was only made known to the world with the writings of John, that plan had been written before. James said: "Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world" (Acts 15:18). It implies strongly that the original prophetic plan was mapped out long ago and finally divulged to the apostle John to become known as the Book of Revelation. But Christ Jesus made the emphatic statement that the time of tribulation that had been originally planned was to be shortened. We could legitimately say that the final plan of Christ could be called the "Short Plan" while the original plan could be called the "Long Plans (its duration was to be longer).
The End-Time prophetic days of judgment are to be shortened. But by how many days? The Book of Revelation shows a prophetic design of three and a half years for the Two Witnesses to prophesy, followed by a further three and a half years for the Beast and the False Prophet (Revelation chapters 11,12,13). This is a judgment of seven years for the End-Time. These time indications are dear and plain and they are not ambiguous. This can be called "the Long Plan" because it was found in the original scroll of judgment found in the Fatherís right hand (Revelation 5:1), and God will use it in a precise way if He has to! But there is also what we can call "the Short Plan" that Christ has presently revealed as the means for judging the world.
What do we mean by "the Short Plan"? That is easy to answer if you will compare the Olivet Prophecy given by Christ as recorded in Matthew 24 with what Daniel said in Daniel 11:30 through 12:1. The time of trouble (called the Great Tribulation) should begin according to the Olivet Prophecy as soon as the Abomination of Desolation is set up in the Temple at Jerusalem (Matthew 24:15-22 with Daniel 11:30-32) and continue until the resurrection of the dead at the Second Advent (according to Daniel it is a period of three and a half years -- see Daniel 9:27 and Daniel 12:7 or 1290 days plus a further 45 days). But Christ is going to shorten the days of the final judgment and this will chronologically adjust some of the prophesied events or forgo particular judgments.
Now note this carefully. Though Christ told the future elect to flee Jerusalem and Judaea when the Abomination of Desolation is set up (at the beginning of the three and a half years of the Antichristís reign), he also said to pay attention to Daniel (Matthew 24:16) because the real sequence of judgments is going to be shortened in length ó and shortened quite considerably (Matthew 24:22). Note what Christ will do as recorded in Daniel. The Short Plan will give the Antichrist a prosperous and peaceful reign of three and a half years (referred to by Paul in II Thessalonians 5:3), then the Antichrist comes to his end (Daniel 11:45). This is when "the Beast of Revelation" (the same man) goes into perdition (Revelation 17:11). But as Daniel 11:45 shows, only AFTER the Antichrist comes to his end (goes to perdition) does Michael stand up and then comes the Great Tribulation (Daniel 12:1). The Tribulation comes after the Antichristís reign. The Tribulation was originally designed to last for three and a half years starting with the setting up of the Abomination of Desolation (with no prosperous reign of the Antichrist), but the Short Plan delayed the Tribulation 1260 days (even unto 1290 days) allowing for a non-Tribulation rule of the Antichrist. The Tribulation will continue until Daniel stands on his feet (this is the resurrection) which happens 1335 days after the Abomination of Desolation is set up (Daniel 12:11-13). So, the Great Tribulation is to be shortened from three and a half years to a mere forty-five days! One should be guided solely by the Book of Daniel to understand the chronology of the Short Plan (as Christ stated in Matthew 24:15), and not adopt the chronology of the original Long Plan which is given with detail in the Book of Revelation. Still, however, though Christ has now acceded to the Short Plan, he could go back to the Long Plan (28 times longer in duration) if he wishes.
Note that one of the major judgments in the Long Plan is a third of the sea becoming blood with a third part of the sea creatures and ships completely destroyed (Revelation 8:6,9). This is typical of what God prophesied in the time of Amos. "The Lord God showed unto me: and, behold, the Lord God called to contend by fire, and it devoured the great deep, and it did eat up a part" (Amos 7:4). But when Amos interceded with God, he revoked that part of the judgment: "The Lord repented for this: This also shall not be, says the Lord" (Amos 7:6). And so it can be with the Short Plan when Christ shortens the length of the Great Tribulation from three and a half years to 45 days! He can (as he did with Amos) even eliminate particular judgments if he feels he should. But if the End-Time people continue to do evil, God can return to the original Long Plan. This is what he said he could do in Jeremiah 18:10, and with King Josiah he turned his promise of peace for Josiah back into one of severe judgment.
There is no need for God to send the judgment of the Great Tribulation on his own people (his elect whom he has chosen). True, before the Great Tribulation period there is a time when the saints will be tried by the world (Daniel 11:32-34; Matthew 24:9,10; Revelation 6:9-11), but the apostle Paul told the Thessalonian Gentiles that they would be given a salvation [a deliverance] from the troubles at the End-Time (11 Thessalonians 2:13). Those who will be in Jerusalem and Judaea are told to flee before the end time of the Great Tribulation and they will be protected (Matthew 24:16-20). The Book of Revelation speaks about 144,000 Christian Israelites (plus a great innumerable multitude) who will be sealed and protected from either the Short or the Long Plan of prophetic judgments (Revelation 7:1-17). And a place of protection in the wilderness (on earth ó not up in heaven) will be made available for these saints of God (Revelation 12:14-16). And for those who are unable to flee, God even has a plan to protect them too. "Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast" (Isaiah 26:20).
Now especially note this point. The whole of Psalm 91 applies for Godís people at this time. Remember this classic verse: "A thousand shall fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come nigh you" (Psalm 91:7). So, whether it is Satan and his evil spirits, evil people in the world, floods, fire, 0 asteroids, comets or whatever, our Father and Elder Brother will keep us in their protective arms through all the End-Time period.
Ernest L. Martin
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