by Alan Yusko
3. And I will give [power] unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred [and] threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
During the first 3 1/2 years of the 7 year period 70th week of Daniels prophecy, God will send two witnesses to speak and witness on the earth. As you know this 7 year period called 'the times of Jacobs trouble' or 'the tribulation period' will occur after the rapture of the Church.
Many believe the two witnesses will either be Elijah and Enoch OR Elijah and Moses. Elijah is usually considered because he didn't know death but was carried to heaven on a heavenly chariot. No one really knows for sure who the two witnesses will be. Since the Bible does not name them these are only guesses.
The two witnesses will speak their message dressed in sackcloth. They will give a message of repentance and salvation and the sackcloth is an open sign of the importance and seriousness of it. John the Baptist wore sackcloth as also did Johah when he gave his message. Sackcloth also means separation from the world as well as the seriousness of the message.
During this time the church has been removed from the earth via the rapture. God will use these two witnesses as well as the sealed 144,000 Jews from the tribes of Israel to proclaim the Gospel to the world. They will take over the job of proclaiming the Gospel from the Church which will be in heaven during this time. An innumerable number of souls will be won to the Lord Jesus during the tribulation period.
4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
5 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.
God is serious about salvation and wants many to hear the Gospel and respond and be saved. He will not allow their message to be quenched by anyone. The two witnesses will have a free hand to proclaim the Gospel and there is nothing the devil or his servants can do to stop them.
6 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.
This is interesting and often overlooked by those who study the seven year tribulation period. During the first 3 1/2 years there will be no rain on the earth. Imagine what that will do the the ecosystem of the earth.
When God originally created the earth back in the book of Genesis, He created a large canopy of water in the atmosphere. There was no rain on the earth in those days. Instead the water canopy would water the plants by a mist of fine water. That is one of the reasons the people of Noah's day thought he was crazy. He was warning of rain and a flood and it had never happened before. Another function of the water canopy was to protect the inhabitants of earth from harmful rays from the sun and outer space. People in those days lived close to 1000 years. Another function of the canopy of water was to keep the temperature temperate throughout the earth. There were not the temperature extremes (hot and cold) like we get today. That is why abundant vegetation has been found buried/frozen in both the north pole and south pole areas.
When God sent the flood of Noah's day, He broke the canopy of water in the atmosphere and it came crashing down to the earth. It rained for 40 days and 40 nights and the earth was flooded. After it was finished raining, there was no more canopy. There were changes after the flood. For example there was now temperature variations and extremes. Rain and storms now pounded the earth. And finally the life span shortened for mankind. Men no longer lived 500, 600, 700 plus years before they died. With the harmful radiation hitting the earth very few men lived past 100 years.
So why have I gone through all this? Well during the first 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation period there will be no rain on the earth. This is a disruption of the water cycle which includes: rain and evaporation. So for the first 3 1/2 years there will be no rain but there will be water evaporation. During the time of the 70th week of Daniels prophecy (for the nation of Israel), God on the one hand will be judging the world. On the other hand He will be getting the planet for the blessings of the Millennium where the Lord Jesus will reign on earth for 1000 years. During that time men will live for 1000 years as the life spans will be increased. I believe the water canopy will again be restored to planet earth allowing the people to enjoy the blessings of the days before the flood of Noah. Part of what will restore the water canopy to earth will be the two witnesses with-holding rain from the earth.
Also during those days there will be great water pollution as the two witnesses turn waters to blood. There will also be plagues and other torments. It will not be pleasant days for the followers of the devil!
7 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.
At the end of the 3 1/2 years the two witnesses will be done proclaiming the Gospel. At that time God will allow them to be killed. The devil, who has wanted them dead from day one, will finally get to glory in their deaths.
8 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.
The two witnesses will be killed in the city of Jerusalem...the same city the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified. You can bet it will be covered world-wide by the news media. It will be prime-time news and every TV and radio will be tuned in.
9 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.
10 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.
How will the Christ rejectors react to the death of the two witnesses? Will they repent at the message? Nope. First, they will glory in their death. Their bodies will be on open display to the world for 3 1/2 days. Rather than repent the people of the world will rejoice that these two prophets of God are killed. It will be kind of a satanic christmas where they will make merry and give gifts to one another.
No doubt during this time the antichrist will puff himself up and people will 'wonder' after the beast and cry out 'who is able to make war with the beast' etc. At some point after this event the antichrist will enter the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem and proclaim he is God and demand worship. This is the abomination of desolation.
11 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.
What a disappointment to the devil's crowd. Their celebration will be interrupted by the resurrection of the two witnesses. The people will fear greatly at this event. You might say they will have a small foretaste of the terrors of hell at this time. The reaction will be 'great fear' upon the people.
12 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.
God will take the two witnesses up to heaven right in front of everyone. During those days there won't be many atheists. They will be a dying breed as all men must choose between God or Satan. There is really no middle ground. If a person rejects the Lord Jesus Christ then he WILL receive the devil and his antichrist.
13 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.
God will conclude the whole affair with a judgment of a great earthquake. However even though men have proof from God, men will still reject God. After the earthquake men will greatly fear, however I don't see any repentance here. This feeling will soon pass as the people continue on their pathway to hell.
What about you? Are you Saved? Is the Lord Jesus Christ your personal Saviour and Lord? Do you know for certain that if you were to die today you would go to heaven? Is it possible you may die and go to hell forever?
Consider the claims of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is God in human flesh, the Second Person of the Trinity. God the Son became a man, came down to earth, died and payed the penalty for sin. He now offers salvation to anyone who will repent of their sins and accept the free love gift of forgiveness and eternal life.
What will your decision be? Are you a Christ rejector? Are you going to be left behind after the rapture to follow the antichrist? Are you going to die without Christ and spend your eternity in the lake of fire? Why would you do that when heaven is offered as a gift?
Think about it!
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