What is the Coming Tribulation All About? Part 16

October 22, 2014 at 9:20 AM 1 comment


The Seventh Trumpet leads the way into the middle and second portions of the Tribulation

In our previous article – What is the Coming Tribulation All About? Part 15 – we went over a number of things that occur just after The Sixth Trumpet judgment, but before The Seventh Trumpet takes place. We learned about the small book that John was told to eat and swallow. It represents prophetic discourse and as usual, prophecy often “tastes” sweet because of the end result, but going through the events that lead up to that result are often difficult and trying.

This all leads us to the Two Witnesses seen in Revelation 11. There, we not only learn about these two men, but we learn more about the Temple area in Jerusalem. The chapter begins by highlighting the fact that John is given a measuring rod and is told to measure the Temple and altar.

Then there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, “Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it. 2 Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months, (Revelation 11:1-2)

The above verses tell us several important things. John is told to measure the area where people worship God. This excludes the outer court area, outside the Temple proper. Notice John is told that these areas have been given over to the nations for a period of forty-two (42) months. Forty-two months is three and a half years (3.5) and is the time of the first portion of the Seven Year Tribulation period, which at its end, will lead up to the physical return of Jesus.

We can see then that during the first portion of the Tribulation, the Gentile nations will continue to trample the outer court area, though it also appears that the inside of the Temple itself will be protected. This trampling began way back with Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylonian Kingdom. That was the start of the “Times of the Gentiles” and it will not conclude until Jesus returns.

From here, we are directed to the Two Witnesses (Revelation 11:3-6).

And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” 4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. 5 And if anyone wants to harm them, fire flows out of their mouth and devours their enemies; so if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this way. 6 These have the power to shut up the sky, so that rain will not fall during the days of their prophesying; and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with every plague, as often as they desire.

God grants authority to His Two Witnesses to do several things in order to call people to repentance and to protect the Temple area:

  • they will prophecy for 1,260 days
    • this figure is equal to 42 months, which is equal to 3.5 years (1 year on God’s calendar equaling 360 days, not 365 days)
      • this most likely refers to the Great Tribulation or the last 3.5 years of the Seven Year Tribulation (cf. Matthew 24)
    • prophecy includes teaching and in their case, they will teach people the truth (whether the people listen or not)
    • they will be dressed in sackcloth signifying the need for repentance by the people who hear them because of approaching judgment
  • they are called “the two olive trees” and “the two lampstands” who stand before the Lord
    • these two individuals will literally represent the Living God on earth during this time
    • there are two witnesses because in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) valid testimony required two witnesses
    • they are “lampstands” signifying they will be empowered by the Holy Spirit to be God’s representative light on the earth then
  • the witnesses will have the power to protect themselves from anyone who wishes to harm them
    • they may use fire from their mouths to literally devour enemies, or
    • it may also mean that they will be able to call down fire from heaven to kill enemies as Elijah did (2 Kings 1:10-14)
  • the witnesses also have the ability to keep it from raining for as long as they would like
  • the witnesses will be able to turn water into blood (not “like” blood, but actual blood)
  • the witnesses will have the power to use any plague they desire on the earth and its residents whenever they want to do so
  • since the witnesses’ ministry expands the final 3.5 years of the Great Tribulation, they may be the ones who also assist in the final trumpet and bowl judgments as well

These Two Witnesses will be nothing no one will want to mess with because of their abilities given to them by God. Once these Two Witnesses have completed their mission and ministry, their protective power will be held at bay and the “beast” from the Abyss will be allowed to kill them.

When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them. 8 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. 9 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. 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.

This beast of course, is the Antichrist, who is completely indwelt by Satan himself. Not only does the Antichrist kill these Two Witnesses, but prohibits anyone from burying them. He wants their dead bodies to remain in the streets for three and a half days. I find verse 10 very interesting. The people are so happy about the deaths of these Two Witnesses that they have a worldwide celebration even sending gifts to one another. Obviously, most people did not heed the message at all in spite of the terrible things that the Two Witnesses brought upon the earth. The people were simply very glad they were finally gone.

By the way, this situation with the Two Witnesses is actually what the Scriptures call the “second woe” (cf. Revelation 11:14). This second woe is the last event that takes place prior to the blowing of The Seventh Trumpet judgment.

But after the three and a half days, the breath of life from God came into them, and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who were watching them. 12 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. 13 And in that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell; seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.

They are resurrected and received into the heavens. Because of this, people are terrified as anyone would be. That very hour, a tremendous earthquake occurs leaving one-tenth of the city (Jerusalem) in ruins and 7,000 dead. The remainder of people were so terrified that they gave glory to God. However, it is short-lived.

We will return next time with The Seventh Trumpet judgment and move on from there. Things seem to be just getting started.

Entry filed under: Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, second coming.

What is the Coming Tribulation All About? Part 15 What is the Coming Tribulation All About? Part 17

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