INSIGHTS INTO REV. 11 AND HOW IT RELATES TO THE 70TH WEEK AND THE TWO WITNESSES
Dear John and all Doves;
I have been doing a study of Revelation chapter 11 and what I found out is very interesting, and helps me understand where we are in relation to God's Time clock. The following information is a combination of studies done by Chuck Missler and Pastor John Whitcomb, as well as my own.
I have been wondering where we are in regards to the 70th week of Daniel. I believe rapture is going to happen very soon, but I also believe in a 7 year time line between rapture and the Lord's return to earth. With all that is happening in the world right now, and so many people saying we are in the middle of the 70th week, I wanted to clear this up for myself, and hopefully help someone else understand what just might be the correct view of what is truly in store.
First of all, I want to share something that Chuck Missler said that really helped me see things in a new way. There has been 2000 years of just Gentiles....Abraham up to the sons of Noah, and 2000 years of Gentiles and Jews,.....until Christ, and then 2000 years of Gentiles, Jews and the Church. When we look at Rev.11 we see that we are dealing once again with only Gentiles and Jews. The Gentiles will trample down the outer court for 42 months....there is no church, another proof that the church has been raptured before the literal building of the Temple, and the beginning of the 70th week.
Yes, the Temple will be rebuilt, a literal temple in Jerusalem. This is shown in the New Testament in Matt:24, Luke 21, and Mark 13. There will be a temple rebuilt and sacrifices will once again take place. Also, in the Old Testament, in Zech.2:1, and Ezek.40:5 we find that measuring the temple always proceeds God's judgment. Judgment always begins at the house of God and after the rapture comes judgment, on God's people, Israel. Before judgment can take place there must be the testimony given by two witnesses, and that is just what is happening here.
The two witnesses show up after the rapture along with the 144,000 sealed Jews. The two witnesses will witness for the first half of the 70th week at the temple that is being rebuilt and they will witness for 1,260 days. Right after the AOD, the Antichrist will be able to kill them, and the. The AC will then be in-dwelt by Satan and he will have 42 months to rule and reign, the same amount of time as the trampling of the outer court by the Gentiles. If it was the same time period as the witnesses, why did John label the same amount of time differently?
Just a side note here, my take on how the temple is allowed to be rebuilt. I think that Israel will agree to giving up land for a Palestinian State in exchange for being able to rebuild the Temple. But, the church, the Bride will no longer be here to witness what happens, exactly.
Now I would like to include a list of 6 reasons why the Two Witnesses will be witnessing during the first half of the 70th week. The first reason I have already mentioned above, but will start there, and state it again, a bit of an overlap of thought, so please forgive me. These 6 reasons were presented to me by Pastor Whitcomb, and much of what is said in this portion of this study is directly related to his presentation.
6 REASONS WHY THE TWO WITNESSES WITNESS DURING THE FIRST HALF OF THE 70TH WEEK
1.) The distinction between the time of the Gentile occupation of the Temple's outer court and the city, and the time of the Two Witnesses by means of different time units used: 42 months for the Gentile domination and 1,260 days for the Two Witnesses. Why is not the 42 month time block sufficient to cover both? Because they are two different time periods that encompass different events.
2.) The Two Witnesses are likened to Joshua and Zerubbabel (olive trees) of Zech.4:3 who returned from Babylon to re-establish legitimate worship in Jerusalem (Zech.3:1-4:6). They did not have to wait for the Temple to be rebuilt to begin sacrificing on the alter. Neither will the Two Witnesses have to wait for the 3rd Temple to be rebuilt. The reason this happens in the first half of the 70th week is that "in the middle of the week he (the AC) shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering" (Dan.9:27). The sacrifices have to be happening before they can be cut off. The AC will replace the legitimate, God honoring Jewish worship system, which only the Two Witnesses can inaugurate, with his own system, namely the AOD (Dan.9:27,12:11;Matt.24:15; 2Thess.2:4; Rev.13:14-15). But the AC cannot do this until the 1,260 days of ministry, alloted by God to the Two Witnesses, has been completed.
3.) The Lord Jesus issued this command to the Jews of the Tribulation period: "When you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the Holy place...then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains...For then there will be great tribulation such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, or ever shall be (Matt.24:15-21).
Here an obvious question arises: Would the Two Witnesses remain in Jerusalem during the 42 months of the AC's reign if Jesus told them to flee?
4.) If the 1,260 days occur during the last half of the 70th week, then the entire world would be celebrating the death of the Two Witnesses for 3 and 1/2 days after the Battle of Armageddon and the destruction of the antichrist!!! This is very difficult to imagine!! At the end of AC's 42 months the followers of the Beast are lamenting over the destruction of Babylon and the vials and are gathered together for the great battle, and are finally slain by Christ. This picture does not harmonize well with the three and one half days of rejoicing and gift giving in which the earth-dwellers participate following the murder of the witnesses. This discordance between the end of of the second three and one half year period and the three and one half days following the end of the three and one half year ministry of the witnesses makes it most unlikely that the prophesying of God's two servants takes place during the latter half of the week.
5.) Putting the Two Witnesses into the last half of the 70th week compromises the totality of the AC's dominion during that same time period. How can he bring fire from heaven upon his enemies (via the False Prophet) if the Two witnesses are simultaneously bringing fire from heaven on their enemies?
We are clearly dealing with two different time periods: the first half of the week with the overwhelming power of the Two Witnesses, and the last half of the week with the overwhelming power of the Beast and the False Prophet.
When the world asks the rhetorical question: "who is able to make war with the Beast?" (Rev.13:4) it seems rather obvious that no one can answer. The Two Witnesses are able to make war with him for the 1,260 days of their ministry, but during the second half of the week, their ministry will have ended and they will be gone.
6.) Our Lord stated that "Elijah is coming first and will restore all things." (Matt.17:11). No matter who Elijah turns out to be, his spectacular success (under God) in bringing Israel back to her Messiah must be during the first half of the 70th week, for Isaiah prophesied that Israel will have given birth "to her children" as soon as her time of tribulation begins (Isa.66:8). Furthermore, the basically regenerated nation called "the Woman" in Rev.12, will flee into the wilderness and be nourished by God for 1,260 days (Rev.12:6,14 and Isa.26:20-21) namely, the second half of the 70th week. "The dragon", Satan, will then "make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (Rev.12:17), presumably the multitude of Jew and Gentile converts, the Tribulation saints.
This all makes it pretty plain that the Two Witnesses will witness the first half of the 70th week. I would like to add a few more observations to all this. It seems interesting that when dealing with the AC, the dragon and the left behind Gentiles, John uses the measurement of time as 42 months, and when dealing with the Two Witnesses and the Woman, he used the 1,260 day measurement of time. I wonder if this has any significance other than showing the difference between the two.
Also, I would like to add, that I now believe the Two Witnesses to be Elijah and Moses, just like Marilyn Agee. The reason I have changed my mind is seeing that the Church is gone during the ministry of the Two Witnesses it would make sense that the two witnesses be persons who are well known to Israel, and Elijah and Moses fit the bill the best.
And one last note. I now see clearly that the wise virgins are the born again believers in the Church, and the foolish virgins are the Jews. They are virgins, in that they still worship the one true God, but foolish because they did not recognize their Messiah, Jesus Christ. These are the first that will be last.
The rapture of the Bride is the next event, all that is happening right now in the world is still birth pangs. The 70th week will not
commence until after we are gone. I totally believe it is going to happen very soon. I just do not want to read too much into what is happening and get confused as to what the Bible really says about the Tribulation. I am convinced we will be with the Lord for the whole of it, all seven years.
It is such a thrill to be studying and writing again. And also a thrill to be able to read all the great letters. So happy to be once again at my home away from my true Home with the Lord, but I have a strong feeling we will all be meeting in the air, soon!!
Many blessings to you all!