The Beast Declares War on the Two Witnesses.
Give Credit Where Credit is Due!
Many people try to equate Moses alone to the plagues of Egypt, but careful examination of the Word gives you a completely different picture. The water to blood, frogs and lice were after Aaron lifted his rod. Moses and Aaron threw dust in the air and the plague of boils ensued. Moses and his rod or raised hand can be attributed to the plagues of hail, locust and darkness. The Lord Himself took care of the flies, livestock death and the death of men. Those who extol Moses, why wouldn't they include Aaron? The Truth being said, neither Moses nor Aaron did anything but be obedient spokesmen to the Word of God, for He gets all the glory. The reason God hardened Pharaoh's heart was because He was not finished demonstrating His power among the heathen.
Likewise, Elijah, Elisha, Daniel, Paul, Peter and all those to whom miracles are attributed in Scripture; would never assume credit for any miraculous demonstration. The fact is that they would probably be very indignant. Man (the Bride) is to never assume the glory of any righteous act, whether it is the privilege of leading a lost soul to the Savior, healing, preaching, teaching, giving, hospitality and so on. The Bride will never out shine our Lord. Have you ever noted the problems that follow when someone becomes puffed up in the use of their gifts? God will not let such an unrighteous attitude go without correction, of which I have personally been a partaker.
Fight Fire with Fire
The reason I chose the picture to the right is only because it is closer the Word as far as the colors are concerned. The dragon is red like fire but the beast is scarlet like blood. Satan is NOT the beast but I am fairly sure I know who is. More later.
Throughout the Scripture, no prophet ever demonstrated the attributes of the two witnesses of Revelation 11. Man could never compete with the supernatural, but that is the role of the angels and has been since the Garden. Psalm 104:4 Angels are ministers (Heb. sharath - used 96 times, always in the "Piel" form meaning, one who serves someone of more importance or as in Leviticus, the service of worship) of "flaming fire" (Heb. lahat3857 - to set on fire). Satan just touched Job and he became covered with boils, and as we shall see, Satan and the Beast can cause fire to come from the sky. The godly angels of Revelation have power over the winds of judgment, the sun and much more. If you look at the judgments of the Old Testament, they resemble many of the judgments yet to come. I personally cannot think of any prophet that directly caused the death of anyone by a miraculous event. A lot of people died, but only after their authority was confirmed by an act of God. Per Luke 12: 49-56 Jesus came to bring fire upon the earth NOT peace, speaking of the division of people over Him being who He claimed to be. As 2 Peter 3 states; the earth is reserved for destruction by fire.
War is declared!
Per Psalms 18:7-8 and 97:3 fire is our Lord's weapon of choice. Along with fire, the two witnesses will bring droughts and plagues as they have been given the this power (Gr. exousia - lit. it is permissible or like "executive power") from the angel speaking. This angel has a power (dunamis - inherent power) and the God given right to pass it to whom he chooses. For exactly 1260 days, dressed in sackcloth (obviously they are not there on "happy" business), they will confront the whole world with their method and message. Contrary to a popular book series they will not be confined to Jerusalem and who says they will need cars, boat, planes or trains. The whole world will know who they are as the world knew of Hitler. They will be hated beyond measure and many foolish men will try to kill them without any success and finding themselves fried in the attempt.
Imagine being at the Super Bowl and these two walk out on the field, interrupting play and delivering their message. Not a friendly scene I assure you as they will not be favorably received. But since they are not men, they do not equate the situation as a man. A man may try to reason with the crowd but these two are nothing but business. Another reason to believe they are not men; they cannot understand man in his fallen condition and thus they come not to reason.
It Is Finished!
In Jerusalem it is finished (teleo - to end, complete), as Christ stated from the cross, everything they were sent to do, they did. That includes the plagues, droughts and death by fire for the wicked. When all was said and done, the Beast from the pit which is not Satan for he has never been to the pit, shall personally wage this final war with the two witnesses. The only Beast at this time that has spent time in the pit and is a recent arrival on the scene, is Apollyon, Satan's right-hand demon. Apollyon has been very busy for the last three and a half years, orchestrating the deaths of over a billion people along with the deceit of the whole world to worship his boss, the devil. He has another title though and we shall address it in a later blog. A question I wonder about is this, does it take a supernatural being to kill another or were they spiritual beings here in frail human bodies?
The apparent defeat of the two witnesses brings on a short-lived (3 1/2 days) celebration that would rival modern Christmas. Now the world is free of condemnation and being wicked triumphs. Oops! With the world watching, they stand up and ascend up into heaven as a now terrified earth watches. Even 30 years ago, who could have imagined the available technology for this to be a reality. Whether the earth hears the voice from heaven, is not clear but when they stand up, the wicked may not be in a listening mood. Now add to this an earthquake in which a tenth of Jerusalem is destroyed as 7,000 are killed. It is interesting that the remnant, those not killed in the earthquake give glory to God. The truth of Ecclesiastes is displayed at this moment for God has placed eternity in the hearts of men. It doesn't say they believed but that they acknowledged that it was a work of God alone. A short time later when the bowls are released, they will again acknowledge God, this time by blasphemy.
It is Time to Celebrate - For the End Has Finally Come
Where did you say the Ark was being kept?
The Seventh Trumpet - The Walls Are About to Fall
Revelation 11:1-13 covers the last half of the 70th Week and when the two witnesses are miraculously raised from the "dead" and taken to heaven, this marks the end of the second WOE. The third WOE will come with speed and as we shall see, it is quick and it is brutal. The seven bowl judgments and the return of Christ is all that remains between all humanity and their eternity.
We need to keep the times in perspective. The sealing of the 144,000 marked the beginning of the 70th Week and their testimony ended at the mid-point and shall be with Jesus for the duration. The two witnesses arrive on the scene and continue until just prior to the final wrath of God. Revelation 11:15-19 highlights the Church in praise, for we will have understanding of what all of this means, even more than the angels of heaven. (I wonder if anyone has thought of the real location of the Ark of His Testament?) Chapter 12 is a history of Israel until Satan's removal from heaven and his unsuccessful wrath against Israel. Chapter 13 will introduce the two main "earthly" antagonists for the last three and half years and their all out war against the "seed" of Israel, the Martyrs. Chapter 14 is the last call before the final wrath while chapters 15 and 16 is the final wrath upon this planet. Chapters 17 and 18 center around one "city" that does not fall during the seventh bowl for God has a special destruction reserved the "center" of the world's wickedness.
The reason I bring this up, is that many become confused with the order Revelation is presented and it becomes nearly impossible to see how everything fits together. It is not uncommon in Scripture to pull out a section of a previous passage and enlarge the detail; i.e. Genesis 3. Likewise, when we get to chapter 20 of Revelation and the Church reigns with Christ for a thousand years and the devil is exiled to the Pit for a thousand years; it is not two thousand but the same time period but from two different aspects. This is the nature of the Book of Revelation; blessed if you read or hear it; doubly blessed if you have set your mind to meditate upon it and to live a life of godliness in the face of a world about to die. I will attempt to create a timeline that will effectively be transferable to this media.