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  1. Matthew 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. What did Jesus mean? First, what are "those days?" 21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. Many people imagine that Jesus put a TITLE on the last half of the week, titling it "The Great Tribulation." No, there is no such title for the last half of the week. In Jesus' own words, there will be "those days" of "great tribulation." What will cause "those days" of GT? John tells us: there will be an image erected, as Nebuchadnezzar did, and the Beast will force all to worship this image or be put to death. Next, there will be a mark established, and all must receive this mark, or be put to death. All will know, (whether they believe it or not) that to take the mark will doom them to the lake of fire. NO ONE will be able to buy or sell without the mark. Drinkable or safe water will become very hard to find. The only safe water will be in stores. But without the mark, no safe water to drink. Therefore, hunger and thirst will become intolerable and people may take the mark just to get a drink of water. In other words, GREAT PRESSURE will be put on people to take this mark. How long will "those days" of GT last? First, when will "those days" begin? If we follow along with John's narrative in Revelation, we see the warning not to take the mark is in Rev. 14. And in chapter 15, we see the beheaded people begin to show up in heaven. Therefore the days of great tribulation will begin sometime between chapters 14 and 15. However, this is not to say hard times won't come before. The Beast will begin his attack on believers shortly after the midpoint. As John shows us, the False Prophet or second beast does not show up at the midpoint, but some unknown time later. It is the False prophet that convinces the people to erect this image to the Beast. So the image itself will come some unknown time after the midpoint of the week. It is also this False Prophet that creates this mark without which no one can buy or sell. How long into the second half of the week will the image and mark be created? No one knows. John did not tell us. HOW will God "shorten" "those days" of "great tribulation?" When the murdering of the saints gets to a peak, God will begin pouring out the vials of His wrath, which will "shorten" those days of GT. In other words, after a few of these vials, there will be no one in the Beast's armies hunting down believers or beheading them. These vials of wrath will bring the Beast's operations to a HALT. Thus, the days of GT that could be, will not be. The beast will still have his 42 months of authority, but will be rendered helpless by the vials of wrath and associated plagues. Therefore, no one really knows how many days will be included in "those days." It is an unknown. All we can know is, the Beast, the False Prophet, and their armies will be rendered almost helpless as it relates to hunting down believers and beheading them. It will be the number of days that gets shortened. The 70th week will not be shortened, or will the Beast's 42 months get shortened.