PREVIOUS PAGE: SECTION II SYNOPSIS
In this chapter, we will begin our examination of the first 42-month period of the period of Tribulations.
And there are two olive trees by it, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left. And I said to the angel who talked with me, “What are these, my lord?” He said to me, “Do you not know what these are?” I said, “No, my lord.” Then he said, “These are the two anointed ones who stand by the Lord of the whole earth.”
-Zechariah 4:4-5, 4:13-14
What the Bible refers to as tribulations is approximately a seven year period that ushers the world into being fully under the authority of God, the creator of Heaven and the Earth. Hence, after the events of tribulation, God’s throne will be established on this earth, and He will govern man.
As we will see from scripture, tribulations has two basic components. First there will be a 42 month period where God will send two divine messengers to prophesy to the world, and then, after about 75 days, another 42 month period will eventually ensue where the anti-Christ rules and has authority over the entire Earth.
For the beginning of this exploration, we will start with discussing the initial 42 month period. As such, this will begin when the events discussed in Revelation chapter 11 start occurring. So forth, since our interests are with the epoch of tribulation, this is where we will begin exploring the book of Revelation.
But do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months. And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth (presumably the two spoken of in Zechariah).
In the book of Revelation, chapter 11 begins sometime after the sixth trumpet has been sounded. Here we see a 1,260 day (1 month = 30 days and 30 X 42 = 1,260 days) period being referenced. This is significant because it tells us that there is a lengthy period of peace which takes place after these witnesses are made evident (I personally presume these witnesses are an incarnation of the two angels Michael and Gabriel).
In other words, the time leading up to the chaos of the anti-Christ’s rule will not be about death and destruction. It will, more or less, be a period of normalcy where these witnesses testify the kingdom of Heaven to the world and call for a form of repentance to every individual on Earth. As far as the sackcloth goes, I interpret this to mean that they will be very poor, or at least strongly refrain from worldly indulgence. Inasmuch as, their treasures will be truly perceived by them as residing in Heaven.
Regardless of who or what these witnesses are like, we can see from scripture that the appearing of these witnesses will serve as the most significant sign that the world is truly on the brink of destruction. They will essentially be the greatest sign to show that the world will soon go through its most violent period of transformation.
And if anyone would harm them, fire pours from their mouth and consumes their foes. If anyone would harm them, this is how he is doomed to be killed. They have the power to shut the sky, that no rain may 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 kind of plague, as often as they desire.
Essentially, they will undoubtedly have tremendous authority making it very clear that there is a God, and the world should abide first and foremost in the will of God. Nonetheless, given the severity of their ministry, they may perform feats, which without doubt, are, in fact, miraculous. Nonetheless the world will not honor their feats because the world (lovers of dust) does not recognize the Father as God, nor does the world wish to humble itself to even the possibility of needing redemption through the Son, Jesus Christ.
And when they have finished their testimony, the beast that rises from the bottomless pit will make war on them and conquer them and kill them, and their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city that symbolically is called Sodom and Egypt, where their Lord was crucified.
I would like to note the usage of the term beast. As we see in the upcoming chapter titled “Nature of the Beast,” that particular term does not refer to Satan, but it instead refers to some other end-time body. Anyway, whatever the beast is, it will end the witnesses’ reign and expose itself at the same time.
As for the great city, this term is used again in Revelation 18 denoting a very specific place on Earth. As the term is giving a definition in Chapter 18, it’s reasonable to assume the usage of the term is consistent in usage from Revelation chapter 11 and 18. As such, where and what the great city is will be explored in the upcoming chapter titled “The Great Prostitute.”
For three and a half days some from the peoples and tribes and languages and nations will gaze at their dead bodies and refuse to let them be placed in a tomb, and those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and make merry and exchange presents, because these two prophets had been a torment to those who dwell on the earth. But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood up on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here!” And they went up to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies watched them.
The first thing to mention here is that these witnesses are not out making a lot of friends, at the very least, with the people of the Earth. The fact of the matter is that the Bible says they were a torment to those who “dwell” on the Earth (I imagine this to only include those who similarly dwell on earthly things against the Father). After they are dead for three and a half days, they will resurrect in a similar manner to that of Jesus Christ. This will be a literal and observable sign to the whole world that through Christ we have power over death. It will also demonstrate to the faithful to endure what will be coming next, because what happens soon after this is the period of tribulations where the whole world is forced to suffer exceedingly (for the world will be handed over to Satan’s rule).
While the epoch of tribulations will be full of evil, where evil will be granted power to test, accuse, and persecute all Christians, Jews, and whoever else may be faithful to God’s Spirit, it should be noted and taken with a sense of ease that there will be great signs which happen beforehand that prepare God’s children to endure the ultimate time of trial.
– CONTINUE TO CHAPTER 7 –
“Armageddon and the Epilogue of Creation” © 2019 Matthew L Ainsworth
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