If you were to ask, I would tell you that my favorite biblical character is the prophet Samuel. Like Elijah, this man did it all. Because of Israel’s pleas for God’s help Samuel prayed and the Lord sent lightning strikes, hail, and earthquakes against the Philistines. Look up the dynamics of lightning and you might get this.
Lightning is a discharge of electricity. A single stroke of lightning can heat the air around it to 30,000°C (54,000°F)! This extreme heating causes the air to expand explosively fast. The expansion creates a shock wave that turns into a booming sound wave, known as thunder.
Surprisingly, people have been struck by lightning and lived. But what about the shock wave from a lightning strike?
the brain—even without a direct hit to the head—could be seriously injured by primary blast waves that last just milliseconds. Scientists discovered a distinctive honeycomb pattern of broken and swollen nerve fibers in the brains of five Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans who survived multiple IEDs and died later of other causes. The tiny wounds—different from brain damage caused by car crashes or collision sports—were identified in brain regions that affect decision-making, memory, and reasoning, and maybe “the signature of blast injury,”
Imagine baseball-sized hailstones raining down upon you while you are running for cover, just to have the earth open up and swallow some of your troops. This is how God responded to Samuel’s prayer for help. But the most dramatic aspect of Samuel’s life came when he confronted King Saul for sparing the life of King Agag. Samuel hacks King Agag into pieces. So for a while, when Samuel came into town, the town leaders would ask him if he had come in peace.
As a youth I was anything but feared or respected, and the hope that coming to Jesus might change all that was a real thing for me. I will add, when I graduated from high school I was five foot seven; I am now six foot four, and yes, I have used my size to intimidate, but in truth, I did it to keep people from seeing the fear in me. (If you have been abused in any way, it will take your lifetime to try and get past it, and it is a struggle.)
For the reasons that I have pointed out, I have loved the story of God’s two witnesses; and thus begins this dive into Revelation 11:3-12.
“Also I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, dressed in sackcloth.” These are the two olive trees and the two menorahs standing before the Lord of the earth. If anyone tries to do them harm, fire comes out of their mouth and consumes their enemies—yes, if anyone tries to harm them, that is how he must die. They have the authority to shut up the sky so that no rain falls during the period of their prophesying; also they have the authority to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want. When they finish their witnessing, the beast coming up out of the Abyss will fight against them, overcome them and kill them; and their dead bodies will lie in the main street of the great city whose name, to reflect its spiritual condition, is “Sodom” and “Egypt”—the city where their Lord was executed on a stake. Some from the nations, tribes, languages, and people see their bodies for three-and-a-half days and do not permit the corpses to be placed in a tomb. The people living in the Land rejoice over them, they celebrate and send each other gifts, because these two prophets tormented them so.
But after the three-and-a-half days a breath of life from God entered them, they stood up on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. Then the two heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here!” And they went up into heaven in a cloud, while their enemies watched them. (Revelation 11:3-12 CJB)
“Also I will give power to my two witnesses”
I have said many times that we are to look for witnesses. In this case, the scripture that would explain who these witnesses are according to the Torah or Tenach (for us Gentiles, that would be the Old Testament.)
In light of their authority – In Isaiah 8:2 NASB God says, “… I will take to Myself faithful witnesses for testimony, …” Now, He goes on, in this instance, to name, Uriah the priest and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah. Does the mention of those names exclude this from speaking about God handpicking two ancient prophets that never tasted death? Of course not, and, as you may well know, Jesus, on several occasions, used portions of passages to fit the moment. An example of this comes when Jesus announced His mission on earth.
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners; (2) To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, Isaiah 61:1-2 NASB
That Sabbath day, He left off a portion as He said nothing about the day of vengeance of our God. Why leave that part off? Because that time was yet to come when His judgment will be unleashed.
In Malachi, we find a reference to Elijah coming.
Malachi 4:5-6 NASB “Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD. (6) “He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.”
What is the great and terrible day of the Lord? God’s wrath, that time we so foolishly call the tribulation. Has the time of God’s wrath come? Absolutely NOT, but soon.
Thankfully, we have a heads up as to who one of the prophets is.
If you were to ask who the other might be, I would have to lean toward the idea that man is appointed once to die, and there were only two people that the bible tells us did not die, Elijah, who has already been identified, and Enoch; and yes, Enoch is referred to as a prophet. Jude 1:14 tells us Enoch prophesied. Hebrews 11:5 tells us that he was taken up so that he might not see death. You cannot apply these parameters to Moses, as much as you might try. So by witnesses, we have established the authority of these two witnesses.
“A single witness shall not rise up against a man on account of any iniquity or any sin which he has committed; on the evidence of two or three witnesses a matter shall be confirmed.” (Deuteronomy 19:15 NASB)
So this begs the question, are they testifying of God’s power, and who He is, or are they testifying against Israel and the nations?
What a great question. I believe the answer is both, but don’t expect to hear this answer in church. Our religious mentality perceives testifying as openly speaking about what God has done in your life, with the hope of winning over the lost to Jesus. The testimony services we had in church, were along this same line. While many were interesting the main benefit of these services was that we got to bypass some hell, fire, and brimstone preaching that night.
With all that in mind what can we expect these two to do?
Revelation 11:5 AMP
“And if anyone attempts to injure them,”
If? how about no doubt about it. Every Islamic will be trying to kill them. At first, because they may look old and feeble, it would be personal attacks. Since that won’t work, it will move on to snipers, rocket-propelled grenades, and perhaps mortars.
Fire pours from their mouth and consumes their enemies; if anyone should attempt to harm them, thus he is doomed to be slain.
An interesting thing about using the Amplified is that they typically give you cross-references, and they did that here. [II Kings 1:10; Jer. 5:14.]
II Kings 1:10 speaks of Elijah and gives testimony that he had done this before. (One of the reasons that many think Moses would be one the prophets has much to do with the miracles and signs that he performed.)
Jeremiah 5:14 tells us that God said, “ thus says the LORD, the God of hosts, “Because you have spoken this word, Behold, I am making My words in your mouth fire And this people wood, and it will consume them.” If anything this verse promotes the idea that God’s words would be fire in their mouths and that those words would consume those that hear. Honestly, it is a bit of a stretch to use Jeremiah, but the Jews, hearing these words might say, ah yes.
Revelation 11:6 NASB
These have the power to shut up the sky, so that rain will not fall during the days of their prophesying;
Why might this be important? Because when they are gone the false prophet does the opposite. He turns the rain back on. Note what the scripture says it does not rain, in at least the region, for the entire time they are prophesying.
and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood,
This should make bells go off in your head. This is what God had Moses do to Egypt. Strangely, the Egyptian priests also turned the remaining water into blood. They took the remaining clean water and ruined to prove their point.
and to strike the earth with every plague,
While the word used does have plague as its main definition, it also means blows, wounds or injury.
Why is this important? Because during the entire time of God’s wrath, the earth and the people alive here have been receiving blows, wounds, and injury. There is one other thing, and that is the man-made plagues that the global elite has released upon the earth. God will match you blow for blow. The fact that they can strike the entire earth indicates that there is NO limitation to the Word of God.
as often as they desire.
And this tells me that there are NO restrictions placed upon them. You might think that they would only go after those who have tried to harm them, but that is not the case.
We are told, in Revelation 11:3, that their time on the earth in 1260 days.
Revelation 11:7 NASB
When they have finished their testimony,
Jesus told us, no one takes my life, I lay it down. They knew their time is done and so did God.
the beast that comes up out of the abyss
In a previous post I went into detail about how that this is Satan. You don’t have to answer this, but how many names does Satan have? Go back to Revelation 9:11 and study that out. We are jumping ahead but let’s look at Revelation 17:8 for a moment.
Revelation 17:8 NASB “The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and go to destruction. And those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come.
Ask yourself, when Jesus comes back as the warring messiah, only three persons are tossed into the abyss, who are they? The antichrist, the false prophet, and, for a time, Satan. In Revelation 13:2 we see the dragon (Satan) give one of the beasts his power. What power does Satan have? None, outside of deception, but there one other thing and the biggest of all, and that would be the title deed to the earth (he stole that title from Adam.) So when he is giving this beast his power, he is offering him power over the whole earth. Have you ever asked yourself, how is it that one person can seem to gain power over the entire earth? Empowered by Satan himself, the antichrist will make war with them, and, as you can tell by the next bullet point, succeed, or so he thinks.
will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them.
The antichrist does not allow anyone to touch them as they want to gloat over their dead bodies.
Revelation 11:8 NASB
And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified.
At this point the two witnesses are lying dead in the street. Imagine that, they think they have killed, or at minimum hurt God.
It is possible that Psalm 79 is addressing this very moment in time.
Psalms 79:1-2 NASB A Psalm of Asaph. O God, the nations have invaded Your inheritance; They have defiled Your holy temple; They have laid Jerusalem in ruins. (2) They have given the dead bodies of Your servants for food to the birds of the heavens, The flesh of Your godly ones to the beasts of the earth.
Pay attention to this part, “their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified.”
When you struggle to understand how Babylon can be resurrected and play an end-times role, consider what God is calling Jerusalem. Funny how God has added, where their Lord was crucified. Even then He was their Lord, but they refused Him, now He is making a harsh point.
Revelation 11:9-10 NASB
Those from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and will not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb.
Prior to the advent of 24 hours news, this aspect did not make much sense, but we come to the point where you are never without news, even if it is scripted and planned lies. There are webcams everywhere, and the fact that two ancient prophets are giving people havoc, is the news. The antichrist will not permit their dead bodies to be moved.
(10) And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and celebrate; and they will send gifts to one another because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.
Those who were hoping for the New World Order, will be having a party because of their deaths. Consider that God has been dishing out His judgments the whole of the time they have been standing in Jerusalem. But while standing there, they have been dishing out God’s judgments as well, with NO restraint. No wonder people are celebrating.
Revelation 11:11-12 NASB
But after the three and a half days, the breath of life from God came into them, and they stood on their feet;
Just a guess, but I suspect the first thing those watching might say, they will know that we have been laughing and will kill us.
God resurrects them from the dead; they have now met the requirement.
and great fear fell upon those who were watching them.
I imagine so.
And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” Then they went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies watched them.
When God spoke in a loud voice on previous occasions, anyone that heard it said it sounded like thunder, NOT THIS TIME. And God raptured them back up into heaven.
Revelation 11:13 NASB
And in that hour there was a great earthquake,
Throughout the time of judgment there are several intense earthquakes, some sound as though the continental plates could realign and connect making one land mass, again.
and a tenth of the city fell;
Only a tenth? Considering what much of Israel looks like, I would say it looks like rock and adobe construction. Much of Southern California was built from lath, plaster, and red clay bricks. In one of earthquakes many structures in the town of Whittier collapsed.
seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake,
Again I reference our Southern California earthquakes. In 1994 we had the Northridge quake which struck at 04:30. Fortunately the early hour still had many people in bed and not on the freeways which buckled and collapsed. Multi-story apartments collapsed, and colleges, eleven hospitals sustained varying levels of damage, and of course phone and electricity went down. Surprisingly, only 60 died, but over 9000 were injured.
Can you imagine how brutal this quake will be to kill over 7000.
and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.
“The rest”, these were the global spectators who laughed and partied only moments before. The entirety of God’s judgments are meant to drive you to repentance. Apparently, God made a dent in some of them.
For several posts I have referred to chronological timelines. Obviously, not everything fits precisely within a timeline, but, like these two witnesses, they insert easily. Everything about them screams that they come at almost the same time as the construction of the temple. There would be a huge association for the Jews if that happened. The amount of time that they are here is important as well, 1260 days. That is half of the seven years, and what happens at the halfway marker of the seven years? The peace treaty is broken and the false prophet steps forward.
If the false prophet is, as I say, the current high priest that presides over the sacrifices in the new temple, and, he makes a flip, converts to Islam, performs all the signs and wonders that the two witnesses have been performing, then can you see how the ELECT of Israel, the Jewish leadership, might convert and follow along with him?
Islam sees a man like the high priest within their prophecies as well, and strangely, it all makes sense.
I strongly suggest that you turn to Jesus as your savior now, not later. It is going to be unbearably difficult.