2uninterrupted for much longer, not only would it have meant an end to the remnant of faith uponthe earth, but it is also the case that “no flesh would have survived”. It is precisely “for the sakeof the elect” that our Lord has “shortened the days” (Mk.13:20). Beginning with the bowl judgments in the Tribulation’s final year, God’s direct and powerful intervention into humanevents will complicate Satan and the beast’s control of the world, leading inexorably andineluctably to our Lord Jesus Christ’s return in judgment and glory at Armageddon, and grantingbelievers a measure of respite in the process. For those who have survived until this point, themessage is clear: “Be strong! Don’t be afraid! Behold! Your God will come, as an Avenger.[Your] God will come, as a Rewarder. He will come, and He will deliver you.” (Is.35:4b).(25) “And there will be signs in the sun and the moon and the stars, and on the earth therewill be [great] distress among the nations [who will be greatly] bewildered by the roaringof the sea and [its massive] waves, (26) [and] men will lose heart out of fear andexpectation of what is about to come upon the inhabited world. For the luminaries of theheavens will be [powerfully] shaken. (27) And then they will see the Son of Man comingin a cloud with power and much glory. (28)
When these things begin to happen, stand up and raise up your heads, because your redemption is near.
(29) Then He told them aparable. “Look at the fig tree and all its leaves. (30) When they have already come out[like this], you can see for yourselves by examining it that summer is near. (31) So alsowhen you see that all things have come to pass, know that the Kingdom of God is near.
I. The Bowl Judgments: Revelation 16:1-21
As to the precise placement of the bowl judgments in the chronology of the Great Tribulation,scripture provides a number of clues which give us the ability to project a plausible time-line fortheir occurrence. As is made clear throughout chapter sixteen, the exact terminus for the bowl judgments is Armageddon and the Second Advent (see esp. Rev.16:16-17), since both of theseevents and the build-up to them are part and parcel of bowls six and seven. Further, the start-point for these seven judgments must occur at some point during the Tribulation’s final three anda half years (obviously, in that, along with everything else which follows Revelation 11:15-19and precedes Christ’s return in chapter 19, they are part of the seventh trumpet which representsthe Great Tribulation). So although there is clearly a relationship (and many obvious parallels)between the seven judgments of warning and the seven judgments of punishment, at first glanceit may seem impossible for the bowls to parallel the trumpets in terms of raw time since the totalnumber of months of warning comprised by the trumpet judgments is 63 (when the 42 months of the seventh trumpet, the Great Tribulation, are included in the count). On the other hand, thetermini provided by the start and stop points of the Great Tribulation can provide us with only 42months at most. In actuality, of course, the linear total has to be far fewer than 42, since a gooddeal of time must be allowed at the beginning of the Great Tribulation for the Great Persecution(for it is to this offence that the bowls constitute a divine response; cf. Rev.16:5-7). The correctsolution lies in positing an
in the effects of the bowl judgments (i.e., a continuation of the effects of each judgment even as the next in sequence begins, with the effects of all sevencontinuing until Christ’s return). In this way it is possible to telescope these seven in a manner