Revelation Explained

This site contains my personal views on Revelation. I will be teaching through the book verse by verse. My teachings will be from a conservative evangelical background.

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Location: Brampton, Ontario, Canada

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Rapture

"Then, after three and a half days, the Living Spirit of God will enter them—they're on their feet!—and all those gloating spectators will be scared to death. I heard a strong voice out of Heaven calling, 'Come up here!' and up they went to Heaven, wrapped in a cloud, their enemies watching it all. At that moment there was a gigantic earthquake—a tenth of the city fell to ruin, seven thousand perished in the earthquake, the rest frightened to the core of their being, frightened into giving honor to the God-of-Heaven." (Revelation 11:11-13 - The Message)

After lying in the street for three days, God resurrects these two men. They stand up. Television again broadcasts this picture to the entire world and people shake in fear. The great victory of the Anti-Christ has turned into bitter defeat.

Then a voice out of heaven calls to the Two Witnesses, and the world watches as they are raptured into heaven. This is about the time, when I believe, the rapture will occur. As we will observe later in this chapter, this rapture of the Two Witnesses occurs at the sounding of the seventh or last trumpet.

“For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (I Thessalonians 4:16,17 - King James Version)

“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (I Corinthians 15:52 - King James Version)

At the same time as the rapture of the Two Witnesses occurs, there is a great earthquake centered in Israel. The tenth part of the city fallling refers to the physical layout of Jerusalem. This is the beginning of geological changes in the city of Jerusalem which will be completed with the great earthquake of the seventh vial. Seven thousand men will die in this earthquake.

The result of the resurrection and rapture of the Two Witnesses followed by this earthquake will be recognition of the God of heaven. Those who have not taken the mark of the beast will turn to God. Many will be saved. These will be the ones who enter into the Millennial reign in physical bodies.

This passage teaches us that even when Satan appears to have won a great victory, it is only an illusion. God is in final control. He will destroy the work of evil. Good will triumph.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Death of the Two Witnesses

"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. 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. 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. 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." (Revelation 11:7-10 - New American Standard)

Until their work for God is done, they cannot be destroyed. This is true for all believers. God will keep us until our work for Him is complete.

At the end of the 1260 days, God will allow the Anti-Christ to kill the Two Witnesses. They will be killed in Jerusalem. By means of television, the entire world will see their dead bodies lying in the street. For three and a half days, their bodies will lie where they fell. No one will bury them.

As they lay dead, the people of the earth will celebrate. The Anti-Christ will have finally destroyed two of his greatest enemies. Mankind no longer needs to fear the fire, drought and plagues which these two used to torment the earth. However, this celebration will be short lived.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Ministry of the Witneses

"These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die. These men have power to shut up the sky so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want." (Revelation 11:4-6 - New International Version)

The Two Witnesses are called the two olive trees and the two candlesticks, or lamp stands. The symbolism of the two olive trees comes from the writing of Zechariah.

“Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left thereof? And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil of themselves? And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. Then said he, These are the two ancient ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.” (Zechariah 4:11-14 - King James Version)

This would seem to an Old Testament reference to the Two Witnesses of the Tribulation. That the Two Witnesses are the two lamp stands indicates that they shine out brightly in a dark and immoral world.

The Anti-Christ will seek to destroy these two men, but God protects them. They are given the ability to do great miracles. Like Elijah, they use fire to destroy their enemies and they cause a drought. Like Moses, they turn water into blood and send plagues upon the earth. While Satan should be rejoicing as he rules the world and accepts the worship of most of humanity, these two will be a constant thorn in his side.

Friday, July 21, 2006

The Two Witnesses

"And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth." (Revelation 11:3 - New International Version)

The two witnesses are individual men who will be like the Old Testament prophets calling the world to repentance and denouncing the Anti-Christ. These are not Moses and Elijah, or Enoch and Elijah, or any other combination of men from the past. These are two men who will be alive when the Tribulation starts whom God will raise up to preach in His name.

We are told that they will preach for 1260 days. This is almost 3 ½ years which would be about 1278 days. The reason for this number of days being given is usually that the Hebrew prophetic years is 360 days. This sounds good until you read the last three verses of the book of Daniel. He is also writing about the last half of the Tribulation.

“And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.” (Daniel 12:11,12 - King James Version)

Daniel mentions two important lengths of time the begin with the setting up of the Anti-Christ's statue with the temple. There will be a period of 1290 days and then something will occur. And there will be a period of 1335 days. Those who survive that period of time are called blessed.

All three of these periods, John's 1260 days and Daniel's 1290 days and 1335 days are connected with the last half of the Tribulation. Most commentators ignore these numbered days but they are too specific to be just symbolic.

I believe that from the time the Anti-Christ defiles the new temple with his statue until the end of the Tribulation period and the casting of Satan into the bottomless pit will be 1335 days. From the defilement until the sounding of the seventh trumpet will be 1290 days. Which would mean that the seven vials of God's wrath are poured out over a period of 45 days.

If this is true, then the Two Witnesses begin preaching about 26 days after the Abomination of Desolation is set up in the temple. They preach until, as we will see, a few days before the sounding of the seventh trumpet. These Two Witnesses will be preaching during the last part of the Tribulation, during the Great Tribulation.

They are clothed in sackcloth. This is a rough material like burlap that was worn as a sign of grief. These two men will be grieving because of man's sin. Isaiah 22:12 shows the symbolic meaning of sackcloth. “And in that day did the Lord of hosts call to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth.” (King James Version)