Prophecy Article
Expanded Internet Edition  November 5, 1997 

The Asteroid Destruction
Its Timing and Purpose

By Ernest L. Martin, Ph.D., 1997

 

 

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The Holy Scriptures state in no uncertain terms that this Earth is to be hit with an asteroid from outer space. That's right. All of us should want to know about this prophesied event. That is the reason for this new Prophetic Report. I want to give you what the Holy Scriptures reveal in detail. In order to understand the information in this Report, the first place to look is not to the Earth but to our nearest satellite the Moon. That nearest neighbor to us is a visible witness that shows in abundant display the reality of impacts of celestial objects bombarding its surface over past periods.

The Earth, however, is much larger than the Moon. It has been similarly barraged with even more asteroids or comets from outer space. The reason we do not see the tangible results of asteroid destruction so spectacularly on Earth as we do on the Moon is the fact that the Earth has an active and energetic atmosphere that is constantly eroding the evidence of asteroid and comet encounters. The continual churning effect of our atmosphere causes intense and perpetual frictional activity onto the terrestrial features of Earth. This results in a constant erosion and alteration of the Earth's external geological features. This effect minimizes the observable asteroid and comet bombardments that have occurred on our own planet.

Only a few substantial evidences of such asteroid or comet encounters can now be witnessed in detail upon the terrestrial lithosphere of our Earth. An example is the well known meteorite crater east of Flagstaff, Arizona that all of us are familiar with. That crater was caused by a minor asteroid of no more than a hundred and fifty feet in diameter. Though that particular asteroid was small, it still generated a gigantic crater just over 4000 feet wide and 600 feet deep into the Earth's surface. Imagine what would happen to the Earth if an asteroid about half a mile in diameter would strike our planet (as many scientists believe happened about 65 millions years ago)? That asteroid of half a mile in diameter would wipe out civilization on Earth as we know it today. And folks, let's face it, there are asteroids out there in space and in near orbit to us on Earth that are much greater than that in size. The largest asteroid that has been observed by man is called Ceres. It is like a minor planet with a diameter of over 500 miles in diameter.

Scientists have catalogued almost 4000 of these near-Earth asteroids that are in orbit around the Sun. But these known celestial objects are not the problem. What concerns scientists are the unknown asteroids and comets (and there must be thousands) that could enter into our earthly environment without warning. The fact is, there is very little knowledge that scientists have today that can provide us with the essential information to detect these celestial objects that may collide with the Earth from outer space. Indeed, more asteroids and comets are being discovered every year that are arriving in near proximity to the Earth. Some of these celestial visitors are appearing "out of nowhere," just like the new comets that are being discovered which are entering our terrestrial domain without we humans having any prior knowledge about their existence.

Thankfully, it is rare that an asteroid or comet of a hundred and fifty feet in diameter strikes the Earth like that which caused the Arizona crater (or one of half a mile in diameter that our scientists tell us destroyed the dinosaurs over all the Earth). But the Earth has been hit by thousands of asteroids and comets in its history. What I am reporting to you about these celestial events is not the ranting of some crackpot religious nut that has little knowledge of what the Bible or history actually state. Believe me, brethren, this information I have been giving you is found in the most prestigious of scientific journals and it is even being reported in the normal news media and often with alarm for what the impending future might hold for man.

The simple fact is (and all scientists will inform us that this is true), there is no guarantee that the Earth will not be hit by an asteroid (or a comet) of significant size that could wipe out our civilization that we have been accustomed to. It could happen within the next twenty or thirty years. When one looks at the facts, it becomes evident that outer space is NOT a benign place. Though all of the creation is in harmony with God’s physical laws, nearer and outer space is dangerous to human kind.

Our celestial space relatively near to the Earth is utterly peppered with unknown objects of tremendous size that have the ability to penetrate our earthly environment in a most ominous manner and without any advance warning. The truth is, there are constant dangers lurking in every part of our near and far environments of space surrounding our Earth that could drastically affect the relative tranquility that our Earth has enjoyed for the past several centuries. And what does the Bible teach about such things? It shows that an asteroid of great size is heading directly toward this Earth. It is designed to hit an ocean area (not land), and its force of impact will be so severe and intense that all people on Earth will very quickly feel its encounter.

It is time to take these matters seriously, especially since the Holy Scriptures tell us in no uncertain terms that the prospect of an asteroid hitting the Earth at the period of the Second Advent is very real indeed. In a word, we should get ready for an asteroid attack on earth. It is prophesied in the Holy Scriptures. Let us notice the sections of Scripture that show this.

This prophetic event is described in Revelation 18:21. Note the text.

"And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all."

There is much in this one verse that needs to be considered. First of all note that this mighty angel was giving a visual display to the apostle John of how the false Babylonian system that will govern the world under the Antichrist will be destroyed "in one day" (Revelation 18:8). Or, to be more specific and punctual, the destruction of the great whore will actually occur "in one hour" (Revelation 18:10,17). The overthrow of this commercial and political empire throughout the world (which will be established in the next few years) will be accomplished by the throwing of a stone into the ocean.

Does the text of the Book of Revelation simply mean a "pebble" will be thrown into the ocean? In no way is this what it signifies. We have the added information in the text that the disbursement of this stone into the ocean required the efforts of "a mighty angel" (not simply an ordinary and less influential angel) to perform this symbol that God is disclosing to humanity. This particular celestial sign is given to mankind by this mighty and powerful angel for mankind to comprehend the scope and authority of God's divine power. It is designed to show God's judgment in His dealings with mankind.

But how could the casting of a stone into the ocean cause an utter destruction with a worldwide influence against the authority of the great whore of Babylon — and within a short period of one hour? This is the point that we need to consider. There is more to this millstone being cast into the ocean than at first meets the eye.

The truth is, that visual display of the angel casting that particular stone into the ocean was really a symbol of something far greater in magnitude. It will be a clear sign of a judgment by God. This is because the "stone" falling into the ocean will have the appearance of "a great millstone." It means the stone will actually resemble a gigantic basalt rock that is shaped like a millstone. It is self-evident that all millstones with which we are familiar have been manufactured by mankind. The best type of stone that is found on earth for grinding grain was normally basaltic in composition. These stones were chiseled into a circular slab with an aperture in the center that contained an axle of wood or iron so that the millstone could rotate when force was applied. The rotation in ancient times was usually accomplished by the force of a rope surrounding the millstone that was attached to a harness placed on animals that could pull the rope. As the animal pulled the rope, the millstone would rotate to provide a grinding effect on a lower stone that would produce flour from wheat, barley, or other grain placed between the basalt stones. In simple terms, all normal millstones were "doughnut" in shape. And how will this prophesied asteroid appear? Most normal asteroids are misshapen pieces of elongated rocks, but this prophesied one will be different. It will appear like a manufactured stone — just like a huge or gigantic millstone. It will have a shape like a "doughnut," but not rounded at its edges. Its circular edges will be hewn sharply and it will resemble a circular slab of basaltic stone.

When astronomers first spot this asteroid through their telescopes, they will be amazed at its manufactured appearance. They will recognize that this is a special asteroid that has been designed to have a definite shape and form. The appearance will convince the scientists that this particular asteroid must have a special purpose for its mission to Earth. Because its shape will be that of a millstone, this shows that the celestial object is an asteroid and not a comet. Comets are normally round balls of dirty ice and they do not look like millstones.

The astronomers may have a few months to a year to observe the asteroid and be able to calculate its trajectory as it hurls itself toward Earth. They will discover the exact place in an ocean area where it will strike the Earth. Absolutely nothing will be able to be done to prevent the catastrophe in human terms (like sending a rocket with atomic warheads to intercept the asteroid and destroy it before it enters the Earth's atmosphere). People will begin to realize that this particular asteroid is being sent by God as a judgment for the acceptance by the world of the commercial, political and religious system established by the Antichrist which God calls "Mystery, Babylon the Great." This evil system is shown in the Book of Revelation, chapters 17 & 18.

Because the appearance of this asteroid shows it to be a manufactured "stone," the ten kings of the Earth who at first aided and abetted in the development of the Great Whore called "Babylon," will revolt against Babylon. The Scriptures say that God will then put it in their hearts to turn against the Great Whore and they will start to destroy this commercial, political and religious system (Revelation 17:1618). They will do this in hopes that God will divert the course of the asteroid and prevent it from striking the Earth. But the Bible says this will be to no avail. The asteroid will collide with Earth on time.

The Effects of the Asteroid Described in Detail

This asteroid is prophesied to strike the Earth immediately before the Second Advent of Christ. Because it hits the Earth, the remaining people will rise up in anger against Christ and they will fight Him when He returns (see all of Revelation chapter 19). At the precise moment of Christ's Second Advent, the resurrection of the righteous dead occurs (and we who are alive will be changed into immortal spirit beings). Then Satan will be placed in a prison in order not to influence the nations anymore for a period of 1000 years (see Revelation 19:1121 through 20:16). The asteroid destruction and the binding of Satan (with Satan's angels) are described in detail in Isaiah 24. That chapter shows in the clearest of words what can only be characterized as an asteroid attack from outer space. Indeed, in Isaiah 24:18 the prophet Isaiah said the destruction of the whole Earth (with few humans left) will be when "the windows from on high [outer space] are open, and the foundations of the earth do shake." Right on the heels of that destruction we are told that "the host of the high ones" [Satan and his angels] are to be gathered in a pit and "shut up in prison, and after many days" [the many days are equal to 1000 years as shown in Revelation 20:16].

So devastated will the Earth become that it will take 70 years for commercial activities to take on a worldwide significance like that formerly enjoyed in our age (Revelation chapters 17 & 18). The land of Edom (next to Israel in the Middle East) will be desolate for the ages of the ages (Isaiah 34:1-10). Egypt will be so ruined that not even a dog or other animal (let alone human beings) will be able to walk in the land for 40 years (Ezekiel 29:8-12). The region of Babylon will also lay desolate for a long period of time in the first part of the Millennium (Isaiah 13:19 through 14:23 and Jeremiah chapters 50 & 51). In Isaiah 24:13 it says the number of humans to be left alive after this terrible encounter with this asteroid will be similar to the amount of olives or grapes that are left on the trees or vines after a harvest (only a few that gleaners can pick). This would ordinarily be less than one percent of the crop. Since we are approaching six billion people on earth today, if one percent were left that would still equal 60 million people, but they would all be scattered and in disarray and in utter confusion. It will take about 40 years into the Millennium for some areas of the Earth to return to normal, and another 30 years for a proper commercial system to once again develop (Isaiah 23:17-18). Then (when the first 70 years elapses) there will remain 930 years of the Millennium for people to enjoy and reap great rewards. The world will then be under the direct control of Christ, David, the first apostles and those whom God picks to rule with Christ on Earth during that time. It is interesting that the exact number of years that our first parent [Adam] lived on Earth was that same allotment of time, 930 years.

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 extraterrestrial encounter that would wreak some major devastation on earth before the final ruin recorded in Isaiah 24? Christ said that there would be great signs in heaven and on earth before he appears to rescue God's 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; men's 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 wasn't joking when he prophesied these things.

Astronomical Judgments Are Near

We should 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) — 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 are not pleasant matters to read.

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 and Revelation 18:21 that will occur at the period of the Second Advent which will start the time of the Millennium. That final asteroid will cause the earth to be almost empty of people for the first 70 years of the Millennium. And don't 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. For more information on the "Rapture," send for our Prophetic Report number A088 on this subject.

You and I need to know, however, how we can maintain 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 that 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). What will happen to those who are "in Christ" (such as ourselves) at this period when the asteroids strike the Earth? There are two verses (out of several score) that show we can have complete protection from its effects. Those are Isaiah 26:20-21. God does not need to punish us. Let us look at the biblical principles that God reveals to show how we can all escape these judgments that are meant for the rebellious people in the world.

Are the Prophecies of God Inevitable?

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 if it is His will to do so. One should note carefully that I am speaking about God's 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 private 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. On the other hand, as we get closer to the prophesied events, I may change my mind and feel that what God has stated will occur in the Books of Daniel and Revelation should happen exactly as God says they will. The point is, God may change my mind on this matter. And if God does, notice what happens: "For it is God which works in you both TO WILL and TO DO [to perform] of his good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13). This means that God is able to change my mind to be in conformity to His mind. And, God is also able to change your mind to be in conformity to His divine mind. Let's face it, God is in charge in all our lives and every aspect of our lives and He is the one who calls all the methods to use to accomplish His purpose on earth. We have nothing to do with it. However, God will listen to us and even is persuaded by us IF what we suggest (or desire) Him to do falls within the divine plan which God has established before the foundation of the world. Nothing will ever go contrary to God's plan.

But don't give up praying. The way to get God and Christ to listen to us in our pleas is simple. People need to submit to them what we think is correct to do in any given situation. If we are wise enough to know all the details that can cause God to change His mind, then He will do so. If God does respond to our pleas, we will discover when we are resurrected from the dead and are in the very Family of God that what we wanted is the same thing that God actually desired.

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. To discover what God considers to be "righteousness," you should read my twenty four pages Doctrinal Report that I offered last month titled: "The Time Periods for the Resurrections." It shows biblical illustrations on what God considers "righteousness" to be. Some may be surprised to find out what God's 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 if that changing of His mind is determined to be found within the will of God. 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 Jonah's estimation) to look like a false prophet in the eyes of the Assyrians; and worse yet (in the eyes of Jonah), it made the God of Israel to 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 Jonah's God was able to perform his prophecies. Indeed, it was such a belief (that is, their faith in the power of Jonah's God) that caused God to spare the Ninevites. And note this. God did not ask the Ninevites to start worshipping God in the manner of the Israelites in order for them to be spared. God did not ask the Assyrians to adopt the ritualistic practices of the Israelites or to observe all the doctrines that God gave to the Israelites. All the Assyrians did was to repent in the best way they knew 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 with the brute 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 God 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. This was to allow the reluctant prophet to see the miraculous power of God with his own eyes (Jonah 4:611). Jonah needed personal teaching on this matter.

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). God will also deal with Gentile folk in other areas of the world in a similar manner that 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 lifestyles that decent persons should perform.

God Will Revoke Prophesied Doom

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 God's 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 7:13). 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 plumb line which presented a boundary 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, O 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 God's 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, God 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 Josiah's reign, but when Josiah rebelled and went to war, God cut short Josiah's reign (2 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 didn't really mean what He said," or "Jonah's 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 Christ's timing about his Second Advent was erroneous (people of the EndTime will say the same thing), then swift judgment will come according to Peter (2 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. They said, "all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation" (2 Peter 3:4). This false belief 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, War VII. 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 18:24). 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, Abraham's nephew (2 Peter 2:7-8). And it makes no difference what you and I or anyone else thinks about Lot's conduct — that is, whether Lot was righteous or not according to our opinions — God 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 God's 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 of time to equate with the seven years of 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."

That's right, prophesied judgments can be delayed, lessened in intensity, eliminated altogether or those prophetic times of fulfillment can be shortened. From a strictly chronological point of view (from a practical point appraisal), the prophecies of Daniel and those within the Book 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).

God can not only delay all prophesied judgments, He can even shorten their duration from what He originally planned if the final design of His plan made before the foundation of the world calls for this delay. I am not speaking in circular language about these matters. Let's face it, no one can thwart God's plan that He has devised to happen on earth. James said: "Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world" (Acts 15:18). What occurs on earth is always in accord with the will of God (Philippians 2:13). But, God has not divulged to us every detail of His divine plan. God can put any contingency into His plan that He wishes, and He has not privileged you or me to know what that final plan involves. God does as He pleases. If He wishes to shorten a time period or prevent a prophesied event from happening, He can do it, and it should be accepted without the slightest censuring from us humans who are His children.

Note that Christ Jesus said he was going to shorten the time of judgments at the End-Time 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 elect's sake those days SHALL BE SHORTENED."

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 God 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. 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. Indeed, if God so wills, even the coming destructions by the "great mountain" being cast into the ocean (Revelation 9:8), or the "great star from heaven" that will have a vast burning effect on earth (Revelation 9:10), or the asteroid that is shaped like a millstone (Revelation 18:21) can all be averted if God so wills. However, the way the text stands in the Book of Revelation, those events are going to happen right on schedule.

In my own view, it is best not to ask God to delay or to thwart any of His prophesied judgments on the people of the earth. This is because you and I are not privy to all the circumstances involved. But, if you feel that you have a right to ask God to delay or to eliminate some of His prophesied judgments upon humankind, then that is fine. Go ahead and ask God to do so. If He feels you are right, what we will find in the resurrection is the fact that your appeal (and God's acceptance of it) were planned before the foundation of the world (2 Timothy 1:9). That is quite an honor to you for you (or anyone) to get God to change His mind and to know that that very change was designed to occur before the world's foundation. The simple truth is, God's will always prevails in all circumstances and in all environments. But we need to know that God loves us and what He does is to finally bless us with a divine Family status that we will all assume "in Christ" at our resurrections.

The Chronology of the Near Future

When will these prophetic events occur and especially when will the prophesied asteroid strike the Earth? Christ warned us that no one can know the times or the seasons perfectly (Matthew 24:32-51), but we can recognize the general time periods that God has allotted for mankind to exist on Earth. We can be reasonably assured that the Millennium begins with Christ's Second Advent. This means that a period of 6 times 1000 years of time must precede it. This is because the Millennium is called a "Sabbath" of 1000 years — see Hebrews 4:9 where the word "rest" actually means "keeping of a Sabbath," or observing a millennial Sabbath of 1000 years (see 2 Peter 3:3-10). For all of you who have my Home Bible Study Course, I have given in one of the Lessons the chronological factors that make up the periods of the Old Testament up to the time of Christ. I show that exactly 4000 years existed in that period up to what Daniel called "unto the Messiah the Prince" (Daniel 9:25). But what does Daniel mean by the phrase "unto the Messiah"? Does he mean that 4000 years would transpire from the creation of Adam to the birth of Jesus in 3 B.C.? Does Daniel mean until Jesus became 20 and was then an adult Israelite? Or does Daniel mean when Jesus became 30 (the same age a priest could assume office). Or, does Daniel mean when "Messiah be cut off" (Daniel 9:26). Some Jews thought Daniel meant when the Messiah would proclaim himself the King of Israel. So, just when does the 4000 years end within the time of Jesus' ministry with the ekklesia in the first century?

If the 4000 years end with Christ's birth in 3 B.C., then the 6000 years (leading up to the Millennium) will end on September 20th, 1998 (that is next year!). This, however, cannot be. There are too many things to occur in prophecy before the Second Advent can occur. If the 4000 years ends with the start of Christ's ministry in the year A.D.27/28 (Autumn to Autumn reckoning), then the Millennium will begin (some 2000 years later) in the year A.D.2028 (or some 29 years in the future of us). If the Old Testament period of 4000 years ends with Christ's crucifixion and resurrection, then the Millennium will start in A.D. 2030. There is even a remote possibility that it could start in A.D.2063.

In order to determine these chronological matters with precision, it will be necessary for us to establish a proper biblical chronology for the lapse of time between the First Adam (our original parent) and the Second Adam (Christ Jesus). I have been planning such a book of research study for the past few years (and I am much advanced in the research). I hope in the near future to present to all of you on the mailing list a detailed account of how biblical chronology can be married into secular chronology (especially in the difficult period of the Neo-Babylonian supremacy and the Persian government from the sixth to the fourth centuries before Christ). This period needs a drastic overhaul in order to bring secular chronological records into conformity with the accurate biblical chronological facts.

If one wishes to remain thoroughly with the Scripture itself (and not go outside its boundaries for chronological matters), then one will have to pay attention to a purely prophetic time indication that is found in the Book of Daniel. It is known as the Seventy Weeks' Prophecy (or Seventy Heptads "sevens"). This prophetic period answers to a span of 490 years that is divided into four divisions. The first division represents 7 Heptads of 49 years. The second has sixty two Heptads of 434 years. There is one remaining Heptad of 7 years, and it is divided into two periods of 3 1/2 years each. This prophecy is found in Daniel 9:24-27. It has a Sabbatical Years' theme to it. This was given to Daniel to inform him that the full restoration of the Davidic kingdom in Jerusalem that he expected to emerge at the end of Jeremiah's prophecy of the 70 years would NOT actually come on the scene until a further (and greater) Seventy Weeks' span of time would elapse. At the conclusion of this period of Seventy Weeks, the promised rule of the Messiah would emerge and there would be the establishment of complete righteousness over all the earth.

This prophetic section of Daniel (which provides a bridging of a chronological "gap" between the First Adam and the Second Adam, the Messiah) is the most difficult for us moderns to figure out in relation to recorded historical events. In fact, one could say that there is no real association at all if we apply the present secular scheme of chronology with what the Bible states. This does not mean that the prophecy is invalid or even that secular historical records do not have the information. It just means that there are "secret" factors that we must discover (and I believe they will be) before this chronological segment in the history of the world can be understood within the mainstream of the historical evidence

When does the counting of the Seventy Weeks begin? There are at least five possible dates that are contenders. (1) The first year of Cyrus over Babylon (2 Chronicles 36:22- 23). (2) The second year of Darius (Haggai 1:1ff. and Zechariah). (3) The seventh year of Artaxerxes when Ezra decorated the Temple (Ezra 7). (4) There is the twentieth year of Artaxerxes when Nehemiah went to Jerusalem to rebuild the city after a recent destruction (Nehemiah chapter two). (5) There may be some unrecorded command to rebuild Jerusalem in the past (this is highly unlikely) or perhaps Daniel refers to a future command to rebuild Jerusalem such as that of the Ottoman Turk Suleymen the Magnificent in AD.1537, or to a command not yet given?

What are the year-lengths that Daniel had in mind? (1) Are they ordinary years of almost 365 and 1/4 days? (2) Are they lunar years of about 354 and 1/3 days? (3) Are they prophetic (or ideal) years of 360 days as found in other parts of Daniel and in the Book of Revelation?

Are there any "gaps" between the four divisions of the Seventy Weeks since the Hebrew says that each section has been "cut out" of the course of history and this may mean that the chronological indications are not intended to be understood consecutively? If there are "gaps," when do they start and end and how long are the lengths of time between?

When does the prophecy itself have its conclusion (or conclusions)? Especially is it important to know about the chronological benchmarks of the 69 weeks' portion that lead up to the advent of a Messiah, a Prince of Israel. (1) Do they end at Messiah's birth? (2) Do they end at the time of his manhood ceremony at 12 years of age? (3) Do they end at the time he reaches the biblical age to go to war (20 years) or when he becomes a spiritual (and mature) man at 30 years of age? (4) Do they end when He dies, is resurrected, or at a future date? Daniel does not say.

Conclusion

These anomalies do not mean in any way that the Holy Scriptures are wrong or contradictory. They simply reveal that we humans have not yet been graced with the historical or chronological knowledge to understand them. God has made it abundantly clear that as the Time of the End gets nearer, He will open up the doors of understanding of these most significant themes. We will discover that it is the Holy Scriptures that are right and that mankind needs to apply those divine writings if we hope to know the truth.

There are no doubt further "keys" to unlock this secret and ideal chronology that is found in the Holy Scriptures. This is the case because we are told that prophetic events will become understandable as we approach "the end of the age" (Daniel 12:4,9-10). We are learning more all the time. He will open the doors. The very reason that the Associates for Scriptural Knowledge exists is to study (with God’s Holy Spirit guiding) the prophecies and doctrines of the Holy Scriptures so that all of us can discover just what the truth is. I firmly believe that God will bring us into a complete knowledge of His divine word as the End gets nearer.

Ernest L. Martin

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