Friday, September 19, 2014
The Two Witnesses
“And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.” (Revelation 11:1-2)
In Ezekiel 40-47, Ezekiel sees a vision of a man measuring the land and dividing it up among the people who return to Israel from the countries of the world. He describes it as time when the Jews turn to God, offering the ancient sacrifices and worshipping him fully. The king of the North’s treaty with Israel and defeat of the surrounding nations will free Israel to rebuild the temple and worship God as they once did, and many who desire to worship will take advantage of the opportunity, according to Daniel 11:1. “He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him; thus shall he do: and he shall give him the daughter of women, corrupting her: but she shall not stand on his side, neither be for him.”
At the same time, there will be a widespread rejection of god by many in the land, and John was told not to mess with the land outside because it has been given over to the unbelievers. After the Antichrist comes to power, the entire city of Jerusalem will be controlled by the unbelievers for three and a half years.
“And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.” (Revelation 11:3-6)
God will give two special witnesses power and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, apparently in Jerusalem. They are special to God, and will be protected by him, miraculously sending fire from their mouths to burn their opponents and kill them. They have been given control of natural phenomena, controlling the weather and the spread of pollution and disease.
Because of the statement in Revelation 10:11, “…Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings,” many think John will be one of the two witnesses. Based on other things Jesus said, it may well be true. Some believe Elijah will be the other witness.
“And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.” (Revelation 11:7-10)
When their time of ministry is complete, the one thousand two hundred sixty days, they will be killed in Jerusalem by satanic power. for three and half days their bodies will be left lying in the street with photos broadcast to the entire world, extolling the antichrist’s power to eliminate these men who have stood against him. There will be a great celebration that they can no longer oppose what is happening.
“And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.” (Revelation 11:11-12)
One can only imagine the consternation when the two witnesses are restored to life and ascend into heaven on camera.
“And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.” (Revelation 11:13)
To further shake people up, when the Two witnesses ascend into heaven, there will be an earthquake that destroys one tenth of the city of Jerusalem, killing seven thousand people. The survivors will finally give God the glory.
“The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.” (Revelation 11:14)
Daniel 12:11-12 told us, “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.” Just thirty days after the two witnesses are killed, the antichrist’s kingdom will be destroyed, when the seventh trumpet sounds.
“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.” (Revelation 11:15)
When that seventh trumpet sounds, Christ will establish his earthly kingdom. He will reign for eternity.
“And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.” (Revelation 11:16-18)
When Christ takes the throne, the twenty four elders thank God for finally ending the rebellion and taking control. They look forward to the judgment and rewards of mankind.
“And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.” (Revelation 11:19)