Understanding X, X’s & ½ a X, Pt. 3
The Great Tribulation will begin on the Feast of Trumpets (Hos. 9:5-6, 5:7, 9). This means the period of time described as time, times and ½ a X (X, X’s & ½ a X) will begin in the fall of the year and conclude in the spring of the year 3 ½ years later. The diagram below illustrates this timing.
The prevailing thought within God’s Church today is that the Feast of Trumpets represents the 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ. This is understandable given the fact Christ will return at the 7th trumpet (Rev. 11:15; I Thes. 4:16; Matt. 24:29-31). Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong speculated about this possibility during his last live sermon in 1985 on the Feast of Trumpets:
“Now, when Christ comes, Satan will still be on the throne (of this earth). And Christ isn’t going to have Satan put off (his throne) before Christ comes, but after He comes. Maybe it’ll be ten actual literal days apart (reference to the Day of Atonement). We don’t know. That’s the way the holy days are arranged anyway. Of course, it doesn’t mean that Christ will come on this certain day (Trumpets) in just so many years from now. But there is ample reason to think that things have happened that way in the fulfillment of prophecies previously in the other holy days, and it could happen that way. But we don’t know because God had said that no man, not even Christ, knew the time or the day or the hour when Christ would come. Only the Father knows that. So we can’t set any time whatsoever. But we do know by all signs and enough of the prophecies that we know, it’s now near. It’s even at the door. It’s very close to us now. We are in the last generation of this world and this age!” (emphasis: M24S)
While Mr. Armstrong’s speculation was biblically reasoned, it was not correct because he did not understand when the Great Tribulation would begin. In speculating Christ’s return to occur in the fall of the year, requires the Great Tribulation to begin in the spring of the year.
It is a common mistake for God’s servants to speculate beyond the times they were living in. This is understandable based on the desire each had for seeing Jesus Christ return in their lifetime (I Thes. 4:17; I Pet. 4:7; I John 2:18). Mr. Armstrong was no different. For him to speculate Christ could return on the Feast of Trumpets is reasonable given the biblical facts available to him in 1985.
God allowed Mr. Armstrong to die without understanding the sequence of events leading to Christ's 2nd coming. God did the same with Daniel (Dan. 12:4, 9, 13). God gave Mr. Armstrong all the information he needed to fulfill his commission (Matt. 17:10-11, 24:14), and him alone.
The Great Tribulation will begin at the midway point on the Hebrew calendar. That point is the 1st day of the 7th month, which occurs in the fall of the year (Lev. 23:24). Calculating forward from this point (fall) for a complete year will always come back to the same point (fall) in the next year. This is illustrated in the diagram above.
The 1/2 a X portion of X, X’s & ½ a X, the last 6 months of Great Tribulation, will begin on the 1st day of the 7th month and conclude on the 29th day of the 12th month. It is important to note this conclusion is a variable calculation, subject to change (Matt. 24:22). The diagram below illustrates this calculation.
Understanding when the Great Tribulation begins allows for the number of days in X, X’s & ½ a X to be calculated. Beginning on the 1st day of the 7th month and counting forward 3 ½ years, means X, X’s & ½ a X will end in the spring of the year.
This means the 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ and the 1st resurrection will occur in the spring of the year, not in the fall of the year as Mr. Armstrong speculated. These events will occur prior to the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread which are observed in the 1st month of the Hebrew calendar (Lev. 23:5-8)
The timing of these events are consistent with the meaning of God’s Holy Day plan. The Feast of Trumpets signals a time of war. The Great Tribulation will picture the greatest time of war this earth has ever experienced (Matt. 24:21-22). By contrast the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread picture a time of new beginnings (Ex 12:2, 6, 11, 17-18). This is what the world will experience once Christ establishes God’s Kingdom over all the earth (Rev. 7:16-17; Mic. 4:1-5).