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Saturday, July 2, 2016

Revelation 11: Two Witnesses. 42 Months. 1260 Days.

You'll need your Bible for this study. Read Revelation 11, and focus on the beginning of the chapter, up to the time the Two Witnesses are murdered.

In Rev. 11, we are introduced to a timeline. That timeline is about 3-1/2 years long, or 42 months. 1260 days is a slightly shorter time. the purpose of this timeline is to educate us about the length of the Tribulation period and all the things that happen then.

Here is what it looks like (remember, until these things happen, this is pretty speculative)

TWO WITNESSES_11:1-3_3-1/2 years_|||"THE BEAST"_13:5_3-1/2 years

Total Time: 7 years (See Revelation 13; I'm ADDING the time the two witnesses prophesy to the material in Revelation 13:5).

(After the 3-1/2 years we see Jesus arriving at the Battle of Armageddon, Revelation 19)

The 3 parallel bars represent the midpoint: Possibly the 7th Trumpet. I think that this is the proper way to view the timeline because Revelation seems to be roughly chronological.  In other words, all the events after chapter 3 fit in the first 3-1/2 years, and include the Two Witnesses, who are prophesying during that time of terrifying turmoil.  Their ministry is to preach the Gospel in the City of Jerusalem, and to announce the coming judgments.  They are murdered at the approximate midpoint of the Tribulation, and the ascendance of the Antichrist (the Beast) occurs at about the same time. There is evidence that the Antichrist takes over the religious worship of the Jewish nation, and replaces it with his own (himself and the Dragon) for those 3-1/2 years.

The timeline is important because it sets limits:
The limit to which God will allow evil and Satan to rule; the limit to which God assigns the arrival of His King, Jesus Christ, and the limit to which God allows the persecution of His people.

The timeline is important because it explains:
Christians are very much in evidence, but they are underground. We see them (us) only through a few peepholes in the story: martyrs; the 144,000, the people who've come out of the Great Tribulation. The Christian Church is not mentioned from chapters 4-19. Many have thought that this was because the Church (all the Christians) have been "raptured." I believe this to be the case (lots of evidence both for and against), but it may simply be that the church has gone underground because of the constant persecution.
In any event, the chapters from 11 and following detail the career of the Antichrist--his rise to power, his attempts to enslave the world, his attempted destruction of all Christians--and his ultimate destruction at the hands of Jesus the Lord and Messiah. Mingled with the terrible things the Antichrist does are the judgments, some of them aimed only at punishment, others an attempt to call the world to repent.

Finally, we discover that evil does not rule the world forever. God has a plan. He is taking back the earth, and it's a huge war against evil. This world (Revelation 12) is the last of Satan's strongholds, and he rules willing subjects. God's purpose is to rescue people from Satan's power and transfer them into His Kingdom (Colossians 1:12-13), and to ultimately create a "New Heavens and a New Earth, in which righteousness dwells"--see 2 Peter 3:13). Some will choose to be rescued. Others will follow the Antichrist. Which are you?

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