18. THE TWO WITNESSES.
It is during the time of the trumpets that John is told about the two witnesses. It is helpful for us, to have a quick look at these two before looking at the sounding of the trumpets.
Revelation 11:1 Then I was given a reed like a rod. And the angel stood, saying, Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. 2 But do not measure the court which is outside the temple, for it has been given unto the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months. 3 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. 4 These are the two olive trees and the two lamp stands standing before the God of the earth. 5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if any man desires to hurt them, he must be killed in this manner. 6 These have power to shut the sky, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire.
Note: 1,260 days equal 42 months, which equal three-and-a-half-years.
In Luke 9:28 –36 we are told of two Old Testament saints Moses and Elijah appearing before Jesus Christ. Moses had earlier turned the waters into blood and struck the earth with every kind of plague, and Elijah had stopped the rain for three-and-a-half-years (James 5:17). It sounds most likely that these two, will be the two witnesses. God will once again return these two men to earth, and again they will strike the earth with every kind of plague and shut up the sky so that it will not rain for 1,260 days.
According to Daniel’s dream of the beast and the interpretation, the saints are given over to the anti-Christ for three-and-a-half-years, this being the last three-and-a-half-years of the seven-year covenant. Thus the forces of the anti-christ (the Gentiles) will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months. After this period of three-and-a-half-years, although the anti-christ no longer has any legal mandate to rule over the empire, he will still continue to rule over the eastern part of the empire. At this time in Judea, not only will we see the arrival of the two witnesses who have power to devour their enemies with fire that proceeds from their mouth, the Jews will rise up against the anti-christ and his troops, driving them out of Judea and Jerusalem, allowing the Jews in Judea to enter a period of self rule. However it does seem likely the local Moslems will remain in control of the temple for another two years.
Before the end, we are told that the king of the south (the king of Egypt) will come against the beast (the king of the north). The king of the north, like a whirlwind, will over throw the king of the south and many other countries, but Edom, Moab and Ammon (These countries lie east of Judea in what is now Jordan) will be free from the power of the beast. After these victories, the king of the north will again enter Judea and capture Jerusalem (Daniel 11:40 – 41).
Having recaptured Jerusalem, the beast will then kill the two witnesses. But then news will come from the east and the north, of armies coming against him and he will go out to do battle with them at Armageddon. (Daniel 11:44 – 45)
Revelation 11:7 Now when they have (The two witnesses) finished their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. 8 And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. 9 Then those of the people, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies for three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. 10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, make merry, and shall send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those that dwelt on the earth. 11 Now after the three-and -a-half days the spirit of life from God entered them, and they stood upon their feet, and great fear fell upon those who saw them. 12 And they heard a loud voice from the sky saying unto them, Come up here. And they ascended up into the sky in a cloud, and their enemies looked and saw them.
(Words in italics added)
After the Gentiles have trampled on the holy city for three-and-a-half-years, the two witnesses arrive and for the next three-and-a-half-years they preach Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God. When they have finished their testimony, the beast kills the two witnesses and their dead bodies are left lying on the streets of Jerusalem. Then after three-and-a-half-days the breath of life from God enters them, they stand to their feet and they are caught up to the sky in the cloud of God’s glory.
These two have their names written in the book of life. Daniel is told of a time when everyone whose name is found written in the book will be delivered, including many who will rise from the dead (Daniel 12:1 – 2). These two have been preaching about Jesus Christ for three-and-a-half- years. God has given these two to Jesus Christ who said that he would rise up all that the Father had given him at the last day (John 6:39 – 40). The general overall content of both the Old and the New Testament Scriptures is that all righteous dead, will be raised from the dead on the same day.
1Thessalonians 4: 13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again; in like manner God will bring with him those who sleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will not by any means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from the sky with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
So three-and-a-half-days after these two witnesses are killed, these two witnesses along with all the other dead in Christ will be raised from the dead. At the same time as the dead in Christ are raised up, a severe earthquake hits Jerusalem.
Revelation 11:13 In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell, and seven thousand men were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of the sky. 14 The second woe is past. Look and see, the third woe is coming quickly.
With the saints caught up into the sky, who are these terrified survivors, who give glory to God? In Philippians we are told;
Philippians 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in the sky, and things on earth, and things under the earth. 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Every knee and every tongue, this includes very knee and tongue of the wicked. On earth at this time, the wicked have just been through 541 days of God’s wrath. It is now the Great Day of God’s Wrath.
In Jerusalem, the day starts with by a great earthquake which kills 7,000 men, and all over world the cloud of God’s glory appears in the sky. At that time, the graves break open, the dead are raised to life, and the saints are caught up to meet Jesus Christ in the sky. Fear grips the wicked and they hide in the caves and the rocks. Trembling with fear, they bow the knee and with their tongue they acknowledge Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Then as the day draws to a close, another great earthquake, centred on every major city of the world, strikes the earth, very mountain flees and every valley is exulted, and great hail falls out of sky upon man (Revelation 16:18 – 21 & Isaiah 40:4).
God does nothing without first telling his servants the prophets (Amos 3:7). God told Noah, seven days before the rains came, that it was going to rain in seven days. Noah was also told at the same time, to enter the ark along with his family and animals. Then, when they were all safely on the ark, God shut the door. There shut in, God protected Noah and his family, while the wicked were destroyed. The day before God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, God told Abraham of his intentions. Then God did not rain down fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah until Lot had been both warned by the angels, and had escaped to the city of Zoar. Days before the plague of death passed through Egypt, God gave instructions to Moses. Instructions that resulted in the children of Israel being shut in their homes, protected by the blood of the lamb, as the plague of death passed over them. So it will be on the last day, for those marked in Christ with the seal of the Holy Spirit. Warned by God,rough his servants the prophets, they will remain shut behind their doors, until the wrath of God is past; or as Isaiah writes, until the indignation is past.
In Isaiah chapter 26 verses 19 to 21, God has this to tell us about the resurrection and the day of his wrath. Firstly in verse 19, God tells us of the coming resurrection. Secondly in verse 20, God tells us what we should do, when we see this day approaching. Thirdly in verse 21, God tell us what will happen on that day.
The coming resurrection.
Isaiah 26:19 Your dead shall live; together with my dead body they shall arise. Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust; for your dew is like the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.
What we are to do as we see that day approaching.
Isaiah 26:20 Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, until the indignation is past.
For this is what will happen on that day.
Isaiah 26:21 For behold, the LORD comes out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth will also disclose her blood, and will no more cover her slain.
Written by Kenneth Allan Clark and printed and published by
VICTORIOUS CHRISTIAN MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL. P.O. BOX 144 WYNNUM QLD 4178 AUSTRALIA.
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Scripture taken from the “Clarks English Translation” © Copyright 2011 by Victorious Christian Ministries International. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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