Unraveling the Revelation
The Wonderful Numbers of Sacred Canon
Section IV – Part 47 – Rev. 10-11 – The Mighty Angel & Two Prophets
By Doug Krieger
Spliced between the Sixth and Seventh Trumpets of Revelation 9:13-21 and Revelation 11:15 – in the midst of Babylon’s judgment under the Wrath of the Lamb (for the River Euphrates has been breached – Revelation 9:14 – signaling Great Babylon’s demise) – comes an accounting from whence this court sentence emanated.
A universal judgment of this magnitude upon the Great City (the administrative center of the Beast and the False Prophet) could not have been adjudicated without the prophetic testimony presented by the Holy City, personified, as you will see, through John’s witness, and ultimately through the Two Prophets of Revelation 11. This hiatus disclosed prior to the finality of the Sevenfold Trumpet bears judicious amplification lest Babylon call for a mistrial – really, it’s too late for such dismissals…for the evidence presented by those chosen to testify have done so without hesitation with altogether convincing incrimination, yet under threat of death by the accused and the thugs assigned to intimidate the witnesses!
Thus, to rehearse how “all this came down” upon that Great City – how the “wrath of her fornications” were exposed despite the pernicious efforts of cover-up and phony exculpatory evidence in a vain attempt to exonerate the Accused, wrought by the very Accuser of the Brethren, who during the trial “accused them before our God day and night” (Revelation 12:10) – notwithstanding, and though there were myriads of angelic hosts viewing the proceedings, this was not a trial by jury which could have easily undergone tampering by the Accused (knowing his track record) in rendering a decision – no, it was a trial by the Universal Court, the Judge of all the Earth.
Therefore, and although judgment has forthrightly been announced and redress on behalf of the plaintiff being the supreme sentence – a sentence carried forth during the 30-days of the Wrath of the Lamb … still we await the finality of the sentence by the Sevenfold Trumpet. The last gasp of the Harlot’s sordid and seductive outbursts were staggering…TWO WOES of Babylon’s Tripartite nature have been uttered … but we await the THIRD WOE wherein that Great City’s administrative dissuasions, known as the “kingdom of this world,” are destined for total destruction, along with the Beast and Second Beast (a.k.a. the False Prophet) at the helm of this nefarious Empire of deceit, theft, murder and, above all, incessant “witness tampering” in order to obfuscate the “fornications of her wrath” through overt intimidation and deliberate annihilation of those willing to testify against the corruption throughout her environs.
Reflecting back throughout history – up through the final week wherein a voluminous and incriminating amount of evidentiary material was presented, even under duress, by the witnesses, is deemed admissible by the Mighty Angel Who commissioned these condemnatory prophetic testimonies and presented them as the Advocate on behalf of the Holy City (the Witnesses gaining a great deal of strength and enablement that their testimony would not be in vain)…as if “closing remarks” are being made by the Advocate using the very testimony of these Two Witnesses as total justification for the sentence so rendered. The Mighty Angel’s “witness protection program” – notwithstanding many were spared from the Devil’s final wrath – was considered a stunning success because the witnesses, those who kept the commandments of God and held to the testimony of Jesus, overcame the Accuser’s final strategy to dissuade them otherwise.
The repeated protests which broke out in the courtroom by the accused (after some 3.5 years of unmitigated and inflammatory testimony against the Accuser and his
Empire, Babylon the Great) – whose name as “Accuser of the Brethren” belies who’s actually on trial here – and then, though never made public, the serpentine efforts to dissuade the Judge as to the Accuser’s guiltless pleas because he could upon every occasion point to the vulnerability and weaknesses of the witnesses (accusing them on every hand of their seemingly duplicitous natures and hence, “character assassination” to defame the testimony of the witnesses, even under oath)…in a last ditch effort to exonerate himself and his ilk, thinking that the endurance of the Two Prophets was but a façade … yet in the end, they did not cave!
Alas! The King of Babylon, aware that after millennia of access to the Throne Room of God, was cast out of heaven’s portal to the Earth (indeed, he is a sore loser and will seek final revenge because the testimony of the Two Witnesses was so incriminating and utterly substantiated without justifying contestation that the Judge, prior to sentencing, had to him cast out of the courtroom…so raucous were his outbursts…that the Archangel Michael was called to unceremoniously escort, even battle with him and his imps as if it were the actual Lake of Fire (that would come 1,290 days later), prior to kicking him out of the courtroom).
The only “downside” in all this is the apparent, but limited, freedom he has (as if he were on bail) prior to his final execution (again, the Lake of Fire or the Bottomless Pit – there’s actually a difference) – especially, pertinent, the similar “freedom” given to his two stooges known as the Beast and the False Prophet, who run his operation, all find themselves part and parcel of a final outrage in an effort to overturn the testimony of the Two Witnesses. Naturally, these stooges were already implicated in the Judge’s verdict and sentencing, along with the “Great Harlot” who committed fornication with all the kings of the earth, along with all “the inhabitants of the earth (who) were made drunk with the wine of her fornication” (which, incidentally, was spiked with drugs, a.k.a., sorceries – Revelation 9:21; 18:23 – and, likewise, provided all nations to succumb to her deception – what a trio this outfit is!). Apparently, after the Great Harlot’s “usefulness” – shall we say, tops out (as in “her cup is full of putridity”) she will be summarily executed in a most despicable manner, the Almighty having given the honors to the Beast upon which she rides (She hasn’t a clue the “Gang of 10” plan to turn on her like that; although I find that hard to believe because she could “read all about it” in the Revelation if she had half a brain.).
We understand that much like the original Jezebel – she, being devoured by dogs and burned (well, what was left of her…her perfumed head, hands and feet having survived – dogs being wiser than we thought) – will be so hated, made desolate and striped that the ten-horns atop the Beast won’t be able to wait to eat her and then turn around and burn what’s left of her tragic form with fire (all this is recorded in Revelation 17:16…so it is well documented what’s planned for the “Mother of Harlots and of the Abominations of the Earth” – mystery solved).
Having been denied access and further defense against the tortuous comments made by the plaintiff, the Two Prophets, this insidious defendant, the Accuser of the Brethren – this thief, robber, murderer, liar (you name it), along with his accomplices, the Beast and False Prophet – now seeks direct access to his own accusers in a final attempt to confound the witnesses… “If I can overturn their testimonies…then I will have proven the Judge wrong!”). This forecasted 3.5 year effort (notwithstanding, it is considered “he has a short time”) to disqualify their testimonies and seek in final persuasion that “they perjured themselves” …(for the Devil incessantly professes: I AM NOT A CROOK (takes a liar to know a liar…so he thinks) …and will seek to have their testimonies overturned in this final outburst of “great wrath” whereby the Accuser will attempt to discredit these Two Witnesses…calling for a mistrial in the process because it’s more than obvious a plea bargain has already passed, the verdict rendered and the sentence is absolute) … how did it come to this?
“You Must Prophesy”
While awaiting the completion of the Sevenfold Trumpet and Babylon’s ultimate destruction (Revelation 11:15), we retrace the steps taken wherein the witnesses testified; were subsequently intimidated – some having escaped, others literally killed by the Accused/Defendant (for it is he who is on trial) in order to overturn, with prejudice, the outcome/verdict of the inevitable trial and thereby confound the proceedings – and, finally, the Judge of all the Earth…having sequestered the multitude of witnesses who survived this Devil’s Wrath, and in honor of those who were killed by this despicable Cohort - the Beast and Second Beast, at the same time, sealing and/or preserving upon the Earth a representative number of Israelites (the number being 144,000)…is now able to pour out His indiscriminant Wrath upon this TRIUNITY OF EVIL (the Dragon, the Beast and the False Prophet) and upon the hapless earthlings who conspired with the ultimate Culprits.
“I saw still another mighty angel coming down from heaven,
clothed with a cloud.
And a rainbow was on his head, his face was like the sun,
and his feet like pillars of fire.
He had a little book open in his hand.
And he set his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land,
and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars.
When he cried out, seven thunders uttered their voices.
Now when the seven thunders uttered their voices.
I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven saying to me:
‘Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered,
and do not write them.’
The angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land
raised up his hand to heaven and swore by Him who lives forever and ever,
who created heaven and the things that are in it,
the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it,
that there should be delay no longer,
but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel,
when he is about to sound the mystery of God would be finished,
as He declared to His servants the prophets.”
Where Have I Seen This Before?
From the appearance of the “Mighty Angel” to the sounding of the Seventh Angel – one cannot lose sight of the fact that this Sevenfold Trumpet’s prototype is clearly seen in the “trumpets of judgment” wherein the children of Israel marched around Jericho seven times on the seventh day and at the seventh blast the walls fell down flat:
“And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark but the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets”.
There you have it – 7 priests, blowing 7 trumpets, marching around Jericho 7 times on the 7th Day – talk about “complete and perfect” (“7”) judgment…indeed, if we configure 360° per each circumnavigation we arrive at 7 * 360° = 2,520° - giving us the Divine Measurement of the Sacred Cubit’s fractal/resemblance of 25.20” or “252” = “252” – however, as a forecast of that ultimate Day of Judgment seen in the Revelation wherein the Wrath of God and the Lamb is poured out we may see a picture of God’s Divine Governance and ultimate expression of His Judgment … for there are 4 sets of seven at Jericho’s final judgment: 7 (times around Jericho); 7 trumpets, 7 priests, all on the 7th Day. Therefore: 7 * 7 * 7 * 7 = 2401 which can be seen both as “24” (the 24 Elders of the New Jerusalem) as well as 2 + 4 + 1 = “7” and taking 2401 * 360 = 864,360 which, interestingly enough, demonstrates the “864” (which is the fractal of the Sun’s diameter – i.e., the Lamb) and “36” (which is the display of the 360° of the Eternal God as in 360° of a circle without beginning or ending) or we may see both the Wrath of the God and the Lamb in this manner: 864,360 = 8 * 6 * 4 * 3 * 6 = 3,456 seen as 3…45…6 or “36” (the Eternal God) enveloping the Sun of Righteousness (the “45 days” of the Coming of the Son of Man as seen unto the 1,335th Day or 45 days beyond the 1,290 days of desolation found in Daniel 12:11-12).
Even so, the Mighty Angel seen here in Revelation 10 is the ANGEL-PRIEST we saw in Revelation 8:3-5 Who offered up the prayers of the persecuted saints as incense from the Golden Altar for He alone can offer the prayers of the saints before the Throne of God – “for there is one Mediator between God and men, the Man, Christ Jesus” (I Timothy 2:5).
They who claim that the MIGHTY ANGEL is the Son of Man are correct …
“…we may understand at once that this Angel can be no creature; He is Himself the Creator of all things, our Lord Jesus Christ, clothed with the sign of the divine majesty.” (Harry H. Ironside, Ironside Commentaries – Revelation, Loizeaux Publications, p. 119).
… however, they who claim that His imagery bespeaks singularly of His Divine providence committed to Israel alone (and therefore this vision is naught but to the 144,000 sealed of Israel found in Revelation 7 – the Church having been snatched from the entire Seventieth Week of Daniel), are tragically mistaken…for as we shall see, the prophecy carried forth, personified in John himself to “many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings” is forthwith given a “measuring reed” by the very same MIGHTY ANGEL who declares in Revelation 11:3-4:
“‘I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy
one thousand two hundred and six days, clothed in sackcloth.’
These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing
before the God of the earth.”
Pray tell – when is the testimony of these Two Witnesses made known to the earthlings and the “many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings?” Obviously, during the entire Seventieth Week of Daniel’s prophecy. I would remind my pre-tribulational brethren that Israel’s 144,000 sealed is recorded after the Sixth Seal wherein we hear: “For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” (Revelation 6:17)…then, immediately are they sealed.
The 144,000 of Israel are not sealed until the very close of the 70th Week, but prior to the Wrath of the Lamb as indicated above … for Revelation’s sealing of the 144,000 of the 12 Tribes of Israel is recorded at the commencement of “His wrath has come.” The point being – to whom does the Mighty Angel charge to carry forth His Testimony? To whom is the commission given to speak forth what the Seven Thunders have uttered? Who will take the place of the aged John for the commission given clearly states: “You (i.e., JOHN) must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings” (Revelation 10:11)? As a biblical literalist, you may be having internal upheavals and spreading about contortions in a vain attempt to interpret the meaning of this “personification of the judgments of the Almighty?”
Ah, you say, “John’s written message – the book of Revelation – became the means whereby John became such a messenger of God’s finality!”
Listen up – SEVEN THUNDERS are ingested via John taking the “little scroll” and eating it! The Mighty Angel “Raised up his right hand to heaven and swore by Him who lives forever and ever…that there should be delay no longer, but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished” (Revelation 10:5-7).
In other words – this “happening” is not the past two-thousand years (necessarily) but is focused on the Apocalypse, the ultimate finality of judgment – the Sevenfold Trumpet – just as the final seventh day bespoke of the seven-fold circumnavigation of the Seven Priests with the Seven Trumpets – we’re at the end!
This is the very same imagery given in Daniel 12:5-7 and precisely dealing with the final Week of Daniel:
“Then I, Daniel, looked; and there stood TWO OTHERS,
one on this riverbank and the other on that riverbank.
And one said to the MAN CLOTHED IN LINEN,
who was above the waters of the river,
‘How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be?’
Then I heard the man clothed in linen,
who was above the waters of the river,
when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven,
and swore by Him who lives forever,
that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time;
and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered,
all these things shall be finished.”
Might these TWO OTHERS be a foreshadow of the TWO WITNESSES – and the MAN DRESSED IN LINEN holding up both hands and swearing by Him who lives forever (…and Who do you think can do such a thing but only the Son of Man?)…for isn’t the “time, times and half a time” the same time frame mentioned in Revelation 12:14 and clearly interpreted as the same time frame as found in Revelation 13:5 (42 months), as well as Revelation 11:2 (42 months)?
Of course it is – and the “Man Dressed in Linen” above the river is the same Mighty Angel of Revelation 10 – whereas, as well, the TWO OTHERS by the “prophetic river” are the same TWO PROPHETS by the “prophetic sea and land” accorded their commission in Revelation 11. How interesting, it is the False Prophet who ascends from the “land” (i.e., “the earth” – Revelation 13:11) and it is the TWO OTHERS who are found on the land of the river bank (on either side) in Daniel 12 who have led many to righteousness and now are strengthened for their purification for “time, times and half a time.”
Therefore, the commission given pertains to the “end of days” – the time when “there should be delay no longer…in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel.” Moreover, John’s personification of the finality of the message is the VERDICT of the Seven Thunders but it is immediately passed on to the others commissioned by the Mighty Angel via John when we read:
“Then I was
given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying,
But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it,
for it has been given to the Gentiles.
And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months.’”
The ANGEL-PRIEST pleads not only for Israel of the flesh but for the Church’s prevailing witness throughout the 70th Week; and, it is predicated upon the offering up of these prevailing prayers of the persecuted saints that the Mighty Angel, who originally commissioned them, STANDS FORTH upon the sea, from whence comes the Beast, and upon the land, from whence comes the False Prophet (Revelation 13:1, 11)…and in that order for first His right foot is mentioned upon the sea (from whence ascends the Beast) and then His left foot upon the land (from whence comes the Second Beast/False Prophet).
Beloved, the 144,000 are not sealed until “the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place…and the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains and said to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!’” (Revelation 6:14-16)… “After these things …I saw another angel ascending from the east… ‘do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads’ … And I heard the number of those who were sealed…One hundred and forty-four thousands of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed” (Revelation 7:2-4).
Why seal the 144,000 “Jewish Evangelists” at the end of the 70th Week and prior to the pouring out of the Wrath of God and the Lamb, especially, since they have apparently, according to the pre-tribulationists, been more than active throughout the 70th Week – and this despite the Great Multitude who had been beheaded for their testimony? It would appear that the Beast from the Abyss who kills the Two Witnesses has somehow overlooked the 144,000 (unsealed Jewish Evangelists) for the next 1,256.5 days? I’m not being facetious – this is truly a belief of the pre-tribulational secret rapturists.
The confusion among the pre-tribbers of the word “tribulation” vs. “wrath” (to say nothing over the confusion of the word “elect” or “chosen” used in Matthew 24:29-31 as somehow peculiar only to Jews (i.e., the gathering at the end of tribulation is just for Jews, not the Church). This absurdity is altogether erroneous in that multiple times Paul uses the term “elect” in reference to the Church (Rom. 8:33; Col. 3:12; Titus 1:1); notwithstanding, Jews suffering the tribulation, instead of
Christians, is a recurrent theme of the pre-tribulationists…it is so acute that persistent reading of the terms (“tribulation” and “wrath”) are interchangeable in their minds – which it is not. Jews have every right to suspicion the affection of Evangelicals who “opt out” of the Tribulation of those days through a secret rapture, leaving Israel and world Jewry holding the proverbial bag.
Once again, the Jews become the “bag man” – and the Christians make off with their “Blessed Hope” by not having to endure with the Jews…that sure wasn’t Corrie ten Boom’s attitude. Corrie knew full well what it meant to hide the Jews in her very own bedroom behind a fake wall – which in the end spared the lives of six when the Nazis raided the house and searched room to room…until they got to the top floor and found some hiding there but not the six!
“Tribulation” is nowhere obfuscated for the believer – however, divine wrath is NOT reserved for the believer … but the “Devil’s Wrath” in Revelation 12:12 is the destiny of the Woman’s offspring, “who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus”…for “the dragon was enraged” with them who so keep these two commitments thereby singling out both Israel (“commandments of God”) and the Church (“having the testimony of Jesus”).
Some have contended that in no uncertain terms today’s Israel – Eretz Israel – the Land of Israel – the Jewish State – is nothing more than an aberration of the West; an artificial State which is nothing more than “democratic apartheid” by definition – a “chosen wilderness” having little if anything to do with the Ancient God of Israel and far less to do with divine matters…it is nothing more than tradition and culture wholly antithetical to Christianity and Islam.
Furthermore, virtually all the nations of the earth are outraged with Israel for its so-called “policies” – policies which entangle the nations of the Earth in an on-going confrontation with Islam, the Arabs, the Shiites and Sunni Moslems and Orthodox, as well as Roman Catholic traditions and, in the main, “traditional Protestants” who found it more than convenient to reject the Jew in Nazi Europe as “Christ killers.”
But I tell you this – Almighty God has gathered them, fished for them – has drawn them back to their land in accordance with their prophets – and has done so regardless of their unbelief, atheism, agnosticism, religious peculiarities…in point of fact it is He Who declared through Ezekiel that these bones are VERY DRY! He will declare His judgment in that Day:
“For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem”
“‘Therefore wait for Me,’ says the LORD,
‘Until the day I rise up for WITNESS;
My determination is to gather the nations to My assembly of kingdoms,
All My fierce anger; all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of My jealousy…
At that time I will bring you back, even at the time I gather you;
For I will give you fame and praise among all the peoples of the earth,
When I return your captives before your eyes,’ says the LORD.”
Before the infamous Gog-Magog War of Ezekiel 38-39 is the Vision of the Valley of Dry Bones (Ezekiel 37) …and what do we have here? What we have is a people nigh wholly secularized, without hope, alienated, isolated, besieged in a sea of hostility…therefore, only the Hebrews have given the gift of prophecy to the world – the language of philosophy may have come from the Greeks; law from the Latin; business from the British; music from the Italians, “holy men” from India; teachers from China; poetry from Russia; the language of warfare from the Germans; the language of romance from the French and the language of prayer from the Spanish – but the Hebrews have given us the thundering voices of the PROPHETIS – therefore: PROPHESY TO THESE BONES!
“Also He said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath, prophesy son of man, and say to the breath of life, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Come from the four winds,
O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”’”
So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the Breath of life came into them,
and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.
Then He said to me, ‘Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel.
They indeed say, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope is lost,
and we ourselves are cut off!’
‘Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GODP:
‘Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel …I will put My Spirit in you,
and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land.
Then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken it and performed it,’
says the LORD.’”
(Ezekiel 37 Excerpts)
Today Israel has become the Pariah State – a “Cup of Trembling” – of “poison” – to all the nations round about (Zechariah 12:2) … even “in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples, all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it” (Zechariah 12:3). The “United Nations” rage and imagine a vain thing – but they know not that they gather against the Lord and against His Messiah (Psalm 2)…that’s the witness of Israel and IT IS WHAT IT IS – scoff if you will: “He that sits in the heavens shall laugh; the LORD shall have them in derision!” (Psalm 2). It is that polarizing, that absolute – either you laugh with the LORD or bemoan your unbelief – again, there’s no two ways about it. They may today be a valley of very dry bones – but He gathered them from the Holocaust and has placed them in their land and now He intends to breathe into them the Breath of Life!
The Mighty Angel – the Prophetic Imperative
The imagery given in Revelation 10 is stunning. The Son of Man Whose “countenance was like the sun shining in its strength” (Revelation 1:16) is now expressed as the Mighty Angel with “a rainbow on his head (and) his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire” (Revelation 10:1) – whereas in the midst of the Seven Churches “His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace” (Revelation 1:15).
Brass – the symbol of judgment and the expression of the “SUN” allows us, once again, to recognize that He is the Sun of Righteousness (Malachi 4:1-2) Whose purpose is to shine upon the churches and Whose Coming again in glory is to heal, to refine and to judge.
His voice in Revelation 1:15 was “as the sound of many waters” – He was, in essence, speaking to the churches; commending and in most cases, exposing their sundry conditions calling them to task. His voice in Revelation 10:3 is a “loud voice” crying out and roaring like a lion – and as He cries out the SEVEN THUNDERS utter their voices. John’s pen was on the ready – he obviously heard the voices of the seven thunders and was about to transcribe their sounds – but then a voice from heaven told him to do something that may on the surface appear totally contradictory to all the “unsealing” going on in the Revelation … “Seal NOT the sayings of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand” (Revelation 22:10).
“Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and do not write them” (Rev. 10:4). Then in a most solemn gesture the Mighty Angel raises his right hand to the heavens and swears to Him, just as the Man clothed in linen did in Daniel 12:5-7. He “swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it” – for throughout the coming judgment the heavens, the earth and the sea and all that is in them shall be affected by Him Who lives forever and ever!
It is the voice of the Mighty Angel which triggers the voices of the Seven Thunders – voices which resound unto the “sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound” (Rev. 10:7). There is a “beyond-the-sense-of-urgency” going on here … “there should be delay no longer…the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets” (Rev. 10:6-7).
We’re at the terminus – the Mighty Angel has heard to the uttermost the cry of the martyrs, whose incense, ascended by Him, the ANGEL-PRIEST, to the Throne of God and He has heard their cry: “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” The answer: “…rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were was completed” (Revelation 6:10-11).
“Completed?” “Finished?” “Fulfilled?” “Time shall be no longer?” Revelation 6, under the Fifth Seal deals with a sense of completion and fulfillment; likewise with timing (“a little while longer”); Revelation 10 deals with the same issues in that “the mystery of God would be finished” (completed or fulfilled as in Revelation 6) but also with timing (“there should be delay no longer”).
I would, therefore, suggest that the “mystery of God” is altogether bound up with the people of God and the completion or fulfillment of their number which would constitute the Bride of Messiah as expressed in Revelation 19 wherein “He has avenged on her (Babylon the Great) the blood of His servants shed by her (those intrinsically associated with the souls beneath the Altar of Incense under the Fifth Seal and those that would be killed – that would join them)” (Revelation 19:2). They cried: “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” (Rev. 6:10) … and the overt answer to that inquiry is resoundingly given: “He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her” (Rev. 19:2).
Then there is this wondrous conflation for when the “number of their fellow servants…was completed” – yes, when “the mystery of God would be finished” and when “He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her” – we hear
Alleluias reverberating throughout the heavens:
“Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory,
For the marriage of the Lamb has come,
And His wife has made herself ready.”
The “Mystery of God” is mentioned in Col. 2:2 and alluded to in I Cor. 2:7-8: “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery” and in Eph. 5:32: “This is a great mystery, I speak concerning Christ and the Church.”
“What was hidden in the secret counsels of the Almighty was this: that an entirely new creation, made up of a diverse assortment of people including both Jews and Gentiles, possessing incredible spiritual riches (Eph 3:8), would come into existence.” (The Mystery of God)
Could it be that the “Mystery of God that would be finished” spoken of in Revelation 10:7 alludes to the same mystery disclosed through Paul that He would take of the two (Jew and Gentile) and make of them “One New Man, so making peace?” I believe so – that this “mystery” of taking out a people for His great Name from both Jews and Gentiles and making them “One New Man” – a New Creation – the Bride of Messiah – would be wholly sufficed, completed, fulfilled, finished during the Sixth Seal’s disclosure and the subsequent superior resurrection and rapture of those remaining from the Devil’s Great Wrath.
Yes, it is a stupendous mystery indeed – for it most definitely involves all saints past and present to the sounding of the sevenfold trumpet so clearly alluded to by the Mighty Angel in Revelation 10:7: “In the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the MYSTERY OF GOD WOULD BE FINISHED, as He declared to His servants the prophets.”
And just who are these prophets? Are they not the prophets of both testaments and are they not immediately yet to testify as the TWO PROPHETS commissioned by the Mighty Angel who through John would measure them? For we clearly read:
“And the angel stood
(Note: The very same Mighty Angel standing!)
Saying, ‘Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there…but leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles.
And they will tread the Holy City underfoot for forty-two months…
And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.”
Indeed, only when these TWO PROPHETS – TWO WITNESSES – have fully discharged their prophetic message to the whole world for 1,260 days and then are openly persecuted under the Devil’s Great Wrath as the Holy City (for they are the Holy City) for forty-two months, time, times and half a time, 3.5 days, 3.5 years, one-thousand two-hundred and sixty days, then and only then after the close of the Seventieth Week of Daniel’s magnificent prophecy of the Seventy Weeks will “these two prophets (who) tormented those who dwell on the earth” (i.e., “earthlings”) will they hear that glorious voice of the Archangel, and the trump of God, “saying to them, ‘COME UP HERE’ (Revelation 11:12) – then, and only then, shall the Mystery of God be complete, finished, and delay of His vengeance shall be no longer!
I don’t know if you can readily see it – I pray that you shall most clearly see that the Mystery of God spoken of by the prophets – both past and seen utterly manifested in these TWO PROPHETS – is the fullness of His One Body. There is no exclusion – He has made of the two (Jew and Gentile) One New Man via the Everlasting Covenant superior to anything whereby “Christ in you, the Hope of Glory” alone suffices … this is the Mystery of God and of Christ … this is the Mystery of God wherein “the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were was completed” … for “When they finished their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them (i.e., the Two Witnesses), overcome them, and kill them” (Rev. 11:7).
No, it is NOT a pleasant topic to discuss – this is NOT table talk – we do not discuss such matters in a manner that is somehow clinical, abstract, distant – no, this is so intensely personal – cutting to the core of our being – there is nothing, nothing trite or superficial here. You’re either in or you’re out – this is the most absolute it gets. No one here is playing any game – this is “deadly serious” – it involves “My utmost for His Highest” as Oswald Chambers’ classic declares. It is here we hear of the martyred saint, Jim Elliot, declare:
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep
to gain that which he cannot lose.”
…and to this we add…
If your faith is not worth dying for, it’s not worth living for!
Jim lived and died with his faith – when I was young I heard of his sacrifice and that of the other three missionaries. I was entering high school – without God and without hope but intensely aware that whatever compelled Jim Elliot to give his life for something he could not see but yet believed to the extent he would risk his life to fulfill an irresistible commission to reach out in love to what everyone seemed to consider a “bunch of savages” – I pondered: I want what Jim has – I want that kind of faith, his God to be my God…within one year God reached out to me and became my God!
“Take and eat it”
But what was it that compelled Jim and that “vast multitude that no man could number” – of those “who would be killed as they were was completed” – what inner strength fortified them to pay the uttermost … of whom it is said: “They overcame him (i.e., the Devil’s Wrath) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony and they loved not their lives unto the death” (Rev. 12:11)?
the hand of the Mighty Angel was a “little scroll” – somehow within it was the
message of the Seven Thunders. Extended to John was no “academic exercise” – a
“school of theological training” – a “study group” where one could be tested on
a given topic in an attempt to “know” or even to “critically think” of a
solution to a given problem. No, this was no “head trip” – in point of glaring
fact, it might not, and probably does not, make a whole lot of sense … after
all, what sense is there in spending ten of the best years of your life –
raising a family of three children – and doing so in one of the “furthermost
parts of the globe” in bringing the Gospel of Jesus to an obscure tribe of
Polynesians on one of the remote islands of Vanuatu in the South Pacific?
That’s exactly what my brother-in-law, Michael Smith, is doing with Wycliffe
Bible Translators – tediously, day by day, hour by hour, meticulously immersing
himself (and his family) into a culture that is so foreign to his own but
living out his faith without any glitz or glamour in a supreme effort to please
Him in fulfilling “My utmost for His Highest!” “This gospel of the kingdom
shall be preached to all the world … then shall the end come.” It’s guys like
Michael, and my sister-in-law Danielle, who are living out that commission –
literally inventing the language of a people whose tongue was never, ever
transcribed into a written language and certainly not that of the Bible.
“You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings” (Rev. 10:11). Is this MUST PROPHESY something John was commanded to do, or compelled to do or a little of both? I think both…for as he took the little scroll, the little book…and, listen, John had to take it, it wasn’t forced upon him…he willingly reached out and grasped it … it went like this: GIVE ME THE LITTLE BOOK!
You see, Michael and Danielle asked for it. You may suggest that their choice – especially when Michael graduated with an engineering degree and Danielle was graduated at the top of her class at Reed College in Portland, Oregon – was altogether altruistic and unreal … something you’re glad you were not called to do! But what does the “little book” have in store for you, for me, for anyone who is willing to say: “GIVE ME THE LITTLE BOOK”?
I’ll tell you what – as soon as we take it from His hand … knowing full well that it’s somehow connected to the message of the Seven Thunders and leads us up to the very Seventh Angel as he is about to sound wherein the mystery of God would be finished – the very message declared by prophets like Jim Elliott, Oswald Chambers, Corrie ten Boom and Michael and Danielle Smith … then we hear:
“… ‘eat it; and it will make your stomach bitter,
but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth’
Then I took the little book out of the angel’s hand and ate it,
and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth…
but when I had eaten it, my stomach became bitter.”
This is the price of the Lord’s enjoyment – of the Word that is sweet as honey but which sours and becomes as bitterness “in the heat of my spirit.” You see, in the wisdom of the Almighty there is a joy unspeakable that comes from “feasting upon His Word” – but it is the OUTWORKING that causes one an “internal bitterness” – all-consuming and costly – because the message eaten must be digested, internalized – you count the cost, you live the cost…then you hear this: “YOU MUST PROPHESY again to many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings.”
What’s all this about? I thought I’d just enjoy reading the Good Book – it’s so sweet to listen to a message by Pastor So-and-So from the Book and then go home … I dare not “chew on it” too much; after all, it just might cost me something to live out the life that was the topic of the day. If I were to truly “chew on it” – to enjoy the full taste of the Word of God, then would I not taste its honey? Surely I would and have so tasted – but the Mighty Angel isn’t doling out ice cream here. This “stuff” is potent – it will burn in your belly and with a “burning in your spirit” you will be compelled to prophesy!
Ah, the bitterness of the suffering saints – yet, the sweetness of their victory over the Beast, his Mark and the Image of the Beast – over political Babylon (the Beast), over commercial Babylon (the Mark) and over apostate Babylon (the Image). What struggles have the saints throughout the ages endured – but there is always the sweetness of His Triumph for as Abraham, who “looked for a city Whose Builder and Marker is God” – we, too, have here, no continuing city!
Listen up – the Mighty Angel stands first upon the sea – for He has the ultimate victory over the Beast (Revelation 13:1)! Then with His left foot he stands upon the land – for He will defeat the Second Beast, the False Prophet (Revelation 13:11), who deigns to create an Image to the Beast, one that this anti-Type of the Holy Spirit “was granted power to give breath (in)to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the Beast to be killed” (Revelation 13:15). Knowing this….
The entire message of the Mighty Angel is concentrated in that little book containing the Seven Thunders – it may be small, but it’s mighty. Furthermore, the Mighty Angel tells us that the completion of this Mystery of God was “announced to his slaves (a.k.a., “servants”) the prophets” – including, most certainly, as we have discussed, both Old and New Testament prophets. It is here that we understand this to be:
“The Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan
to his servants the prophets.”
John, the Beloved, personifies the PROPHET – for the Testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy (Revelation 19:10)…he in turn is commissioned to speak forth to “many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings” – ah, yes, herein is the sweetness but, alas, the bitterness and suffering caused by these same “peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations” who trampled asunder the Holy City for forty-two months in that they too were “given to the Gentiles” as the very “Court of the Gentiles” and they who became the “earthlings” – “who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them (the death of the Two Prophets), make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those earthlings” (Revelation 11:10) … “But He that sits in the heavens shall laugh, the Lord shall have them in derision!” (Psalm 2) … for out from among these very “nations, tribes, peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands” shall be those “crying out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’” (Revelation 7:9-10) …
Yes, “You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain. And have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God, and we shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:9) … YES – Glory to Him Who sits on the throne for the “everlasting gospel” has been preached to the earthlings (i.e., “to those who dwell on the earth”) – to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people saying with a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give GLORY to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come” and now the heavens, the earth and the sea shall bewail His judgments (Revelation 14:6-7) … for the Beast who was given “to make war with the saints and to overcome them…and (given) authority…over every tribe, tongue, and nation” (Revelation 13:7) knows full well “he has but a short time” (Revelation 12:12) for though the “Waters which you saw, where the Harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues” (Revelation 17:15) who partook of her putridity (Revelation 17:4) – out from among these Gentiles came a bountiful harvest of souls reaped by the Son of Man wherein we heard:
“Behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man,
having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle…
And another angel came out of the temple,
crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud,
‘Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap,
for the harvest of the earth is ripe.
So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth,
and the earth was reaped.”
This is as much about the Everlasting Gospel, as much as it is about the pending judgment of the Almighty. The Mighty Angel with a “rainbow on His head” knows full-well His promise made in Noah’s time; yet, in a final act of mercy He commissions John as the SIGN of His unending love to reach out to “many, peoples, nations, tongues, and kings” – to the “tribes of the earth” and to call them, ultimately, through the Two Prophets, to repentance, for they are dressed in sackcloth (Revelation 11:3).
Measuring the Temple – the Altar – those who Worship There
Just as quickly as John received his commission to prophesy to many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings – even so, he was given a “reed like a measuring rod” – undoubtedly, the Almighty’s expression of ownership is in view here – does He truly OWN his Temple, those worshiping at the Altar? Ezekiel 40-42 and Zechariah 2:1-5 bespeak of similar measuring – here in Revelation 11 an initial commentary is more than helpful:
“As Giesen (1997: 241-42) points out, it is probably both God and Christ who give John the measuring rod, since they act in communion with one another frequently in the book. John is given a measuring reed resembling a rod. This was a small, lightweight, hollow reed that was straight as a ‘stick’ and was often used for measuring the length of things. It was about ten feet four inches in length…It is clear that for a second time (with Rev. 10:8-10) John is told to re-create one of Ezekiel’s visions.” (Revelation, Grant R. Osborne, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, p. 409).
In this measurement we may see an expression of Divine Governance in that there is one set of “24” as in 124” (10 feet = 120 inches + 4 inches = 124 inches) or 1…24. Of interest to us is that this measurement may have in view the “24” of God’s Plan and Purpose through His TWO PROPHETS, which we affirm are corporate beings – Israel and the Church – for it is Israel and the Church who are measured – are “owned” by the Almighty…and the 24 Elders of the Revelation, as we have repeatedly seen, are not representative of the 24 courses of the Levitical Priesthood (I Chronicles 15, 16:4-6, 37-43) but the 12 Gates (Israel) and the 12 Foundations (the Church) of the Holy City, New Jerusalem (12 + 12 = 24 and 12 * 12 = 144 = the Wall of the New Jerusalem).
But what is of profound meaning centers upon the “temple” – the temple which is measured being much greater than a miniscule temple found upon the earth – for throughout the Revelation appears a “heavenly temple” (Revelation 3:12; 7:15; 11:19; 14:15, 17; 15:5, 8; 16:1, 17) which ultimately gives way to the New Jerusalem… “But I saw no temple in it (i.e., the New Jerusalem), for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” (Revelation 21:22).
But the temple mentioned in Revelation 11:1 is the “Temple of God” and “the altar” and “those who worship there.” Three items – all of which are interconnected in that the Scriptures speak of the Temple among the Hebrews as the “dwelling place of God” and in the Christian Scriptures the “temple” signifies the church (I Cor. 3:16-17, “you yourselves are God’s temple”) or “we are the temple of the living God” (II Cor. 6:16; Cf. Eph. 2:19-22; Heb. 3:6; I Peter 2:5).
This “Temple of God” is set apart for God’s purposes – furthermore, this “part of the temple” bespeaks of those who are in the “inner court” – if you would, the “inner court of the priesthood” – hearkening to the overall thrust of the Revelation that those who are so possessed by Him have been made “a kingdom and priests” (Rev. 1:6; 5:10; 20:6; I Pet. 2:5).
They are at the altar – you can’t get to the Altar unless you are in the inner court – that intimate place of WORSHIP – for through “sacrifice” is worship given. These are, therefore, WORSHIPERS who in the New Testament sense “present your bodies a living sacrifice, wholly, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1-2).
What’s being measured here – prior to their declaration as the TWO PROPHETS DRESSED IN SACKCLOTH – is the imagery of total and absolute consecration where the worshippers are found utterly possessed by their owner, sanctified as His temple; at the altar (the altar of burnt offering) – consumed for Him as the ultimate expression of divine worship!
These worshippers are a rebuke, a terrible conviction, to those not measured, not owned – to those who’ve come all the distance to worship at the altar but are held at bay because, quite frankly, they must abide by the “Court of the Gentiles” (i.e., “leave out the court which is OUTSIDE THE TEMPLE, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles” (Revelation 11:2). Why can’t they come to the Altar, into the Inner Temple, to worship via sacrifice? Because, although they are enamored with the “Jewish Religion” they must stay in the “court of the Gentiles” because they are “uncircumcised.” Oh, they could be circumcised – but paying that price would be a “bit too extreme” – wouldn’t it? After all, isn’t religion just a “head game?”
“We’re intellectually committed to the One True God – why can’t we worship, we be measured, be inside the Temple, at the Altar?” The “flesh” is no small thing in the worship of the Lord. How often and nonchalant are we in our “flesh” to entertain the Almighty with our “commitment” – when all along it is naught but the outward expression of religious enthusiasm…the FLESH! He knows those that are His – and He also knows those who are playing games with the One True God.
Yes, you may come close – but keep your distance…and you know why you must. But in that distance there is an antagonism, a fleshly jealousy which during the Seventieth Week of Daniel shall reach its boiling point – for the same Gentiles, the same Earthlings (i.e., “they who dwell on the earth”), the same “peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations” who shall “see their dead bodies (i.e., the TWO PROPHETS) three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into the graves” – the same compromisers unwilling to abide the strictures of the Temple, the Altar and true Worship via their uncircumcised hearts; who will “tread the Holy City underfoot for forty-two months” and “those who…will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented” them “who dwell on the earth” – yes, that’s who we’re talking about here. For the most part they appear sanctimonious, quite religious – after all, they showed up at the Temple…but they were not allowed in! Rather than repent of their fleshly endeavors – they, instead, as the Court of the Gentiles, turn with unmitigated vengeance upon those who are within the Temple walls, at the Altar, worshipping – yes, they “will tread the Holy City underfoot for forty-two months” – the same time frame in which the Dragon is “enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus” (Revelation 12:17).
Can it be that this same “Court of the Gentiles” are the very ones spoken about in Matthew 24:9-10 whereof Jesus said regarding the commencement of Daniel’s 70th Week of Tribulation: “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake…and then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another”?
They longed for the “flesh pots of Egypt” and found them in the “Court of the Gentiles” – now, well fed, they commence their trampling of the Holy City with the “Beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit” who “will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them (i.e., the TWO PROPHETS)” (Rev. 11:7). They, as Jesus once said: “Ye are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him…When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44).
Can you see what is going on here? This, my friend, what you are witnessing, is a COSMIC COURTROOM – the TWO WITNESSES, the TWO PROPHETS have come forth to testify – but first they are utterly consecrated, measured by Him, at the Altar, worshipping. Now, really, do you think when it says to measure “those who worship there” (in the Temple, at the altar) are but TWO X-MEN? Just “two prophets” who will take on the Court of the Gentiles (a.k.a. “those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations who will see their dead body three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead body to be put into graves” – as in “open persecution” – Revelation 11:9) with the Beast who will ascend out of the Abyss? Come on now – you’ve got to see more than two – they are two but they are completely CORPORATE in their expression … they are “those who worship there!” They are facing the Court of the Gentiles – peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations – the very Beast of the Revelation!
Where are you and I? Are we consecrated, at the Altar of Worship – wholly consumed as a “living sacrifice?” Or, are we in the Court of the Gentiles? Are we as the Holy City prepared to be trampled asunder by the Court of the Gentiles for 42-months? “No,” you say – “They’re measuring someone else – they’re talking about somebody else…this is not me…this is a metaphor about the Jews, about the saints of the tribulation, two Jewish evangelists, or the Two Testaments … about folks sold out for Jesus (at best), most like Elijah and Moses or Enoch, anybody but me – surely, this doesn’t include me!”
Oh, it doesn’t – well, maybe it should! Who’s “side are you on?” Are you being measured in the Inner Court of the Temple, at the Altar where real worship is taking place – or are you stuck in the Court of the Gentiles preparing to trample underfoot, with the Beast, the Holy City? You see, there’s no two ways about it – you’re either part of the Holy City, or a part of Babylon the Great – either at the Altar of Worship or in the Court of the Gentiles (consorting to compromise with utter contempt against the Two Witnesses). You’re either owned by the Mighty Angel or given over to the Beast. This is NOT a “spectator sport” – you’re not watching Two X-Men by the name of Moses and Elijah or two abstract testaments known as the Old and the New – YOU, my friend, are either in the Court of the Gentiles with the rest of the “earthlings” ultimately collaborating with the Beast or you’re at the Altar, being empowered by the Mighty Angel – you’re either persecuting or prophesying – there’s no place for non-committal – no one is just “standing around” watching this “thing” – which will it be?
“And I will give power to my TWO WITNESSES, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth”
We’re talking AUTHORITY here. God-empowered, God-wrought authority – and to whom is this given? Yes, to the TWO WITNESSES who must prophesy … but who are they – we know what they do – but who are they?
“These are the TWO OLIVE TREES and the TWO LAMPSTANDS
standing before the God of the earth”
The Two Olives of Zechariah 4 were representative of Joshua the High Priest and of Zerubbabel, the Governor – the Priesthood and the Kingship. They were referred to as the “Two Sons of Oil.” They became the picture of God’s anointed for it was “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord” – in the building of the Second Temple. The symbolism became so overwhelming that today’s LOGO of Israel – her National Shield – is the Menorah surrounded on either side by Olive Branches – the Two Olive Trees – the Two Sons of Oil. Interestingly enough, and unbeknownst to Israel, the Menorah pictured in the midst of the Two Sons of Oil (i.e., the Two Olive Trees) constitutes the “Prophetic Nexus” wherein there is the TRIPLE CROWN of the Priest, the King and the Prophet – i.e., PROPHET, PRIEST & KING – the “Prophet” is clearly seen in the Christian Scriptures as the Son of Man in the midst of the Seven Golden Lampstands of Revelation – therefore, the TWO OLIVE TREES of Revelation 11:4 are Israel and the TWO LAMPSTANDS of Revelation 11:4 are the Church; and in their midst is the illumination of the Prophet Himself.
Both bear witness to Him Who sits on the Throne – Israel to the Gentile World Powers now accuse her of being an apartheid state and the Church as a witness to principalities and powers, i.e., to the heavens.
Frankly, in attempting to disclose these “two corporate witnesses” to the general public, especially to the Christian public who are dead set in configuring these two witnesses, two prophets, are naught but individuals such as Moses and Elijah, or two Jewish Evangelists or some other abstract notion – and NOT Israel and the Church in the latter days – is like explaining a stupendous sunset to someone who is blind or who is purposefully turned in the opposite direction from where the sun is setting!
How presumptuous of me to suggest – but I shall – unless the Holy Spirit miraculously reveals this to you, forget it, you’ll never see it (my final answer).
The whole world is impacted by their testimony for 1,260 days – they are called the “Two Olive Trees” and the “Two Lampstands” (i.e., “candlesticks”). They are entitled the “Holy City” (Rev. 11:2); the Beast from the Abyss will “make war against them, overcome them and kill them” – their dead body (singular) lies in open defiance in the street of the GREAT CITY for 3.5 days – repeated twice for emphasis at the latter half of Daniel’s Week under the Devil’s Great Wrath.
That “Great City” is “spiritually” or “allegorically” in which they suffer open persecution is called “Sodom and Egypt” – it is that GREAT CITY (not Jerusalem) which crucified our Lord Jesus. Yes, I am totally aware that the religious system of the day and the political system conspired in His crucifixion – but He was crucified OUTSIDE THE CAMP, outside the gate and we are enjoined in Hebrews to “go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach…for here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come” (Hebrews 13:11-14).
The clues for identification of the GREAT CITY are clearly spelled out in the Revelation: Rev. 14:8 (that GREAT CITY); Rev. 16:19 (GREAT CITY divided into three parts); Rev. 16:19 (GREAT BABYLON); Rev. 17:5 (BABYLON THE GREAT); Rev. 17:18 (that GREAT CITY); Rev. 18:2 (BABYLON THE GREAT is fallen); Rev. 18:10 (that GREAT CITY BABYLON); Rev. 18:16 (that GREAT CITY); Rev. 18:19, 21 (GREAT CITY, GREAT CITY BABYLON).
So, you say that Rev. 21:10 refers to the New Jerusalem as the “great city” – nope, not so, all of the New Testament texts clearly show us that this verse states: “And showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem.”
Therefore, the “first mentioning” of the GREAT CITY found in Revelation 11:8 which openly persecutes the TWO WITNESSES – for their body lies in the street of the GREAT CITY which crucified the Lord of Glory – is that very GREAT BABYLON, that Sodom and Egypt whose dregs and worldly culture permeate Babylon the Great.
It is after the “war against them” by the Beast who ascends from the abyss – yes, their “open persecution” in the street of the Great City where their body lies that their number is in fullness, complete, and that time can wait no longer that before all the celebrating earthlings who were tormented by their pristine testimony will, as well, “hear the voice of the Archangel and the trump of God” – “COME UP HERE”… “And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them” (Rev. 11:12).
Brethren – this IS the resurrection and the rapture of the Church! It is at the very commencement of the sounding of the Sevenfold Trumpet. This is not a “partial rapture” of two individuals taking off somewhere beyond the blue!
A series of “conflated events” now takes place: The superior resurrection of the saints and the rapture of those that are alive and remain (at the close of the latter half of Daniel’s 70th Week); the commencement of the pouring out of the Seven Vials of the Wrath of God and the Lamb…for “in the SAME HOUR there was a great earthquake” – wherein 1/10 of the “city” fell and “in the earthquake seven thousand people were killed” (Revelation 11:13).
This seems rather mundane – but it is horrific – for the Earthquake IS the Wrath of God and the Lamb – the 1/10 is His judgment upon the “10” – and the “10” in the Revelation is not pleasant, there being 10 kings, 10 crowns, 10 heads, 10 days of suffering for the Early Church… 7,000 is wholly representative of His perfect judgment upon the earthlings…thus, at the resurrection and the rapture the Second Woe is past and the third woe is COMING QUICKLY. So quickly that within the 30-days unto the final 1,290th day of desolations, the “GREAT WINEPRESS OF THE WRATH OF GOD” (Rev.14:19) whereby the Almighty crushes the “grapes of wrath” – Great Babylon “To give her the cup of the WINE OF THE FIERCENESS OF HIS WRATH” (Rev. 16:19). This takes place unto the 1,290th Day, at the terminus of desolations, at the SECOND COMING OF MESSIAH!
Immediately, after His wrath is poured out in Rev. 11:13-14, we read:
“Then the seventh angel sounded:
And there were loud voices in heaven, saying,
‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His
Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!’”
Yes, this is the Second Coming of the Son of Man – we have entered into the 45-days of Daniel 12:12.
I will leave you here with this astonishing imagery wherein the twenty-four elders, who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God – for there is no mention here of the 4 Living Creatures – it’s now the 24 Elders through whom the Judge of all the earth shall rule and reign – they are the 12 Patriarchs of Israel (the 12 gates of the Holy City) and the 12 Apostles of the Lamb (the 12 foundations of the Holy City):
“We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty,
The One who is and who was
(Note: “And who is to come” is not in the majority of texts –
why? Because He’s here!)
Because You have taken Your great power and reigned.
The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come,
And the time of the dead, that they should be judged,
And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints,
And those who fear Your name, small and great,
And should destroy those who destroy the earth.”
Now, the “temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple” (Revelation 11:19) – isn’t that just like the Lord – WE FOUND THE LOST ARK! But, why, oh why, is the Ark of the Covenant seen in His Temple? For hasn’t the Holy City, New Jerusalem, herself become the New Jerusalem which has no need of a temple because God and the Lamb are the temple of this Holy City? Yes, deep within God and the Lamb is the Ark of the Covenant attesting to the Eternal’s Covenant and Presence…what a glorious ending – what a wondrous beginning for all eternity!
HIS GRACE IS SUFFICIENT . . .
May I leave you with this – deep into the 70th Week of Daniel, when all seems to be lost – there is the superabundant grace of Christ supplying us beyond the outer limits of our ability to withstand – from Corrie’s letter:
“In the coming persecution we must be ready to help each other and encourage each other.
“Many are fearful of the coming tribulation, they want to run. I, too, am a little bit afraid when I think that after all my eighty years, including the horrible Nazi concentration camp that I might have to go through the tribulation also.
“When I am weak, then I shall be strong, the Bible says. Betsy and I were prisoners for the Lord, we were so weak, but we got power because the Holy Spirit was on us. That mighty inner strengthening of the Holy Spirit helped us through. No, you will not be strong in yourself when the tribulation comes. Rather, you will be strong in the power of Him who will not forsake you. For seventy-six years I have known the Lord Jesus and not once has He ever left me, or let me down.
“Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13:15).
“For I know that to all who overcome, He shall give the crown of life.
- Corrie ten Boom – 1974