Revelation 11:8-10 ESV 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. (9) 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, (10) 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.
Verse 8: “their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city that symbolically is called Sodom and Egypt, where the the Lord was crucified.”
This verse is filled with clues; one being so blatant that it should slap you in the face. Jesus was crucified on Golgotha hill, a stones throw from Jerusalem.
Why make a big deal out of it?
Because there are those that deny Jesus' crucifixion on the cross, and have no clue as to what is being referred to when God identifies the city with Egypt and Sodom.
The unlearned might say, “but Sodom was destroyed because of homosexuality, and that is not the case with Israel.” Wrong! Sodom was destroyed because of their acceptance of the homosexuality.
Genesis 19:9 ERV The men surrounding the house answered, "Get out of our way!" They said to themselves, "This man Lot came to our city as a visitor. Now he wants to tell us how we should live!" Then the men said to Lot, "We will do worse things to you than to them." So the men started moving closer and closer to Lot. They were about to break down the door.
When you consider that Abraham pleaded with God to spare the cities involved, there was not even ten righteous people to spare. Knowing that the city was to be destroyed Lot's future sons-in-law refused to go, and no one survived the destruction except for Lot and his two daughters. You think you can dismiss the statement that there was an overt acceptance of sinful behavior?
I do not see Israel as a leader in homosexuality, so where is the connection there? The connection comes in an acceptance of sinful behavior as the normal way of life.
What is the primary issue God has with Israel? A rejection of the Messiah and in essence a rejection of the Father. Even though one of Israel's leading and respected Rabbi's wrote it out for all Israel to see prior to his death, they still argue over the correctness of such a declaration, as he told them that Yeshua was the awaited one and he is coming. (Rejection of truth.)
Okay then, what about Egypt?
Egypt was where Israel was enslaved and still to this day Egypt represents bondage. But the Jew will tell you that they are not the slaves to anyone.
Then what does God mean?
Remember, John's main audience, at this writing, was Jewish believers. Perhaps, if we stop looking at this through human eyes we can see that Jesus life, given on the cross, the redemptive payment necessary, a payment in blood, freed us from the bondage of sin, entitling us to be God's children once again. The problem is that so many Jews refuse to accept that premise, telling you that because they are Jew they are the true sons of God, no questions asked. Their logic seems to exclude the fall of man, and the extent of Adam's treason, and demonstrates an arrogance and return to slavery/Egypt once again.
Though you may be entitled certainly does not mean that you are restored to the family. God has done all that is necessary on his part for that to happen, but there is clearly a corresponding response that is necessary from you. I tend to liken the process to a large adoption agency where God has come, decided that he wants us all, pays the fees and signs the papers. Given the opportunity to go with him and join him in his peaceful kingdom they open the doors, with only one small stipulation: While you are free to walk out on your own, in any direction that you choose, to join with God you must symbolically sign the acceptance agreement. That happens to be the easiest part.
That acceptance happens in so many ways, such as: I believe in you; take me as I am; I need you; come into me and change me; I want what you offer me; have your way in me, or so many other words and methods.
The world will tell you that there are many paths to God. No there are not. Jesus said he is the only way, but God will certainly come down and stand on the path you are on and invite you to come with him.
I ask now that God fill your mind and heart with dreams and visions of him. I ask that he be relentless in his quest for you. He will come and invite, over and over again, until there is no more time left. The choice is yours and time is short.
You do not have to be a mathematician to figure this out, just look around you and watch Jerusalem. The words of a prophet are to be judged, and I could repeat things I have heard but then what do I have to judge those words against, only God's word.
Jesus gave us a huge clue! When you see these things come to pass, then you can know that the end is near. What things? Israel becoming a nation, almost overnight. He called that the tree budding and related it to the seasons. The time for picking the fruit has come.
Allow me to bring us back on point.
“Their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city..” More frequently now Israel is taking center stage in the news. And what is the camera shot they show you? The western wall and the square that holds those that visit and pray for Jerusalem. Considering the events that must transpire I believe that every eye will be on this spot during this time.
Revelation 11:9 ESV 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,
If they were in an area considered to be an active war zone I might not be surprised to find them lying in the streets. But that does not seem to be the case here.
Things to consider:
The tribulation is ongoing, and involved with that time frame is a deluge of pain and death as part of God's judgment and wrath. These two witnesses will be the single point of anger against God.
We know that the “beast/false prophet” is released upon the earth at some point. There is a logical approach to this calculation. Seeing as the two witnesses are killed by the beast, and the two witnesses are on the earth for three and one half years, then the beast is released at the mid-point, or at the end of the seven years. Seeing as scripture describes a continuance of grief due to the false prophet it tends to imply his appearance at the mid-point.
Jerusalem will effectively be overrun by Muslims at this point and will be considered the governing authority. Only recently (12/11/12) the United Nations granted the Palestinians a form of statehood. It have been a symbolic gesture but someone began putting up no trespassing signs immediately, indicating that the land was Palestinian territory. One might equate this to poking a stick at an angry dog; you are going to get bit.
Scenarios to ponder:
The Jews, while still rejecting God, leave the two witnesses in the streets. Not likely as they have strict sanitary laws.
God keeps people away. Maybe, but we don't see that in scripture.
The entire area is a war zone and it is unsafe to gather them up. Maybe. If it were not for specific details about the scenario I might consider that.
“the people” are Muslims and out of hatred, possession and mockery, they are left to lie there.
Having seen what the Muslims will do as an act of desecration to opposition forces, it will be no different. Imagine as the last one goes to kick the body and it rises to it's feet.
Revelation 11:10 ESV 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.
You might think that the impact of two witnesses will be strictly regional – not so.
There will have cataclysmic earthquakes, possibly of a magnitude to shift global land masses. This certainly makes it easier to affect more people at the same time.
Another consideration is that God is not bothered by geographical boundaries.
People all over the globe will be aware of the two witnesses, and who they represent. This of course flies in the face of their unbelief.
It is so difficult to deny God when he demonstrates himself so forcefully.
Killing these two will be like killing God, and it seems to give credence to the phony gods the haters of God serve.
The stupidity will feel right for three and one half days but should come to a crashing halt when they come back to life.
Again, if I ponder the arrival and departure of the two, there is clearly an end to the saints being caught up to heaven. (This is not to be thought of like the rapture, but upon their death the martyred are found before the throne of God, and they are worshiping Him.) From this point on we see no one turn to God, and in terms of traditional chronology, the two witnesses show up after the saints are seen before the throne of God in heaven.
My question again is: What purpose do the two witnesses serve coming to the earth so late?
To bring them in, so late in the game, can only be to punish and demonstrate the power of the God they have rejected, and to be honest, that doesn't make much sense.
“because these two prophets had been a torment to those who dwell on the earth.”
To preach the gospel is to bring life and freedom, not torment, so that is not their mission.
How do they torment?
For 42 months they stand as bold symbols of the living God the reigns omnipotent, and the God that the nations have rejected.
The attacks, driven by Satan's anger and hatred, will be non-stop. They will come from every direction and nation, using a variety of weapons in an attempt to kill them. The burned bodies littering the streets on account of the fire that proceeds from the mouths of the two witnesses, will be numerous.
Hatred and anger, on that level, cannot see or think clearly and they will perceive this as torment.
What else do the two witnesses do that causes torment?
Anywhere on the globe they can and will stop the rain. That does not sound so bad until you consider the far reaching effects of no rain for that length of time.
nothing to drink
and the violence of strongmen, as they horde what water there is, dispersing it a major cost.
Plagues – Consider what Moses called down upon Egypt to get a better picture of this. Frogs, flies, water into blood, and painful boils upon your body.
They will turn the water into blood. Again, look at what Moses did. The court sorcerers did the same thing. Regardless, having nothing drinkable will kill many.
When you think about Jesus death on the cross we seem to quickly say, “the Jews put him there.” But the reality is that he put himself there, and gladly. He voluntarily gave himself up to die for our salvation. He told those that wanted him dead, “I lay my life down, no man takes it form me.” (John 10:18 ESV )
For 42 months no one has been able to touch them. Much like Jesus their time has been fulfilled and either God gives them up or they give themselves up voluntarily.
I will guarantee you that there will be no war between the two witnesses and the satanic power of the false prophet who brings the rain as quickly as they can take it away. As long as the two stand upon this earth their word will reign supreme.
With that kind of thinking there can be only one place for the three and one half years of the false prophet, and that is at the back half.
God seems to tolerate contradictions from us at this time, while we operate under the covering of grace. Why would he put up contradictions once grace is removed, during the tribulation, the time of the two witnesses? The mere idea does not make sense.
Everyone on earth will celebrate and be happy.
“Everyone on earth will celebrate and be happy. They will give gifts to each other, because of what happened to the two..”
Of course they will, they will see this as killing God. The false prophet, who Islam calls Isa ben Maryiam, Jesus the son of Mary, not God (or Allah in their thinking.) will be not only be:
but of the lineage of Aaron, therefore quite probable that he is a priest and entitled to be in the newly built temple.
He will also be a declared Muslim and give allegiance to the beast/Antichrist.
Cause the image of the beast to talk
be the enforcer of Islam
and produce documentation that proves everyone was wrong in following Christ (Islams dajal. They call our Jesus that is coming a false prophet.)
Pray for these people. God is moving mightily in their lives. Find and get a copy of the book Dreams and Visions: Is Jesus Awakening the Muslim World? By Tom Doyle. You will be brought to tears and perhaps awakened yourself as you read their testimonies.