The two witnesses? Mark of Christ vs the Mark of the Beast? 144,000 Jews. Earth bows before Christ.
During the first three and one-half years of the Tribulation, Jerusalem will have two identifiable witnesses for Jesus Christ. We find this discussed in Revelation 11:3.
Side Note: There is room to consider that they witness before the beginning of the 7-year tribulation. Our best understanding is that they witness during the first half of the tribulation. We determine this by studying the sentence sequence in Revelation 11:2,3. According to verse 2 of Revelation 11, Gentiles will *tread Jerusalem underfoot for forty-two months. This is 3 ½ years. The two witnesses will step forward to proclaim the return of Jesus Christ. It will be to the world but come out of voices in Jerusalem. We also know from Revelation 11:3 the two witnesses will prophesy for a thousand two hundred and threescore days which too is 3 ½ years. Since they prophesy, a future event, they cannot be in the 2nd half of the Tribulation.
*This is the second 3 ½ years of the 7-year Tribulation. It is also known as the time of Jacob’s Trouble. Why is the Tribulation called Jacob’s Trouble in Jeremiah 30:7? Jacob was renamed Israel by God in Genesis 35:10. One could say “Israel’s Troubles” and be correct.
These two are protected by God. They will have supernatural powers. The antichrist will oppose them. The ending of their time to witness, most likely at or in front of the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem, is as amazing as anything found in scripture.
Revelation 11:7-10 explains these time-sensitive events. When scripture gives or offers a timing of events, they are not estimates. In this case, the 3 ½ years whether listed in years, 42 months, or 1260 days is the same period. In verse 7 the antichrist has assassinated the two witnesses. As a warning to others, or as a display of the antichrist’s power, their bodies are left in the streets for 3 plus days (Revelation 11:11). Their bodies are left in the streets as a demonstration to the world to heed Satan’s power. However, God intercedes. Three 1/2 days later they are given life again. The world may witness both events via video technology, in person, and word-of-mouth. They stand up right where they had been slain. What a shock this will be to the eyes of people…Left Behind. What a loss for Satan as the world sees this resurrection and begin to realize Satan does not have the last word.
NOTE: Daniel 9:24-27 is a parallel example of the pending End Time Tribulation. These parallel events occurred back in 167 B.C. Recall that Satan, the Red Dragon, can no longer access Heaven. He and his fallen angelic minions are confined to the earth and its atmosphere. Scripture tells us that his anger is stoked. He knows he has but 7 years remaining for him to destroy all that God created: mankind, believers and Jews.
Here is a summary of the two witnesses: (1) They are giving warnings to the world. (2) They are very much disliked by the public. (3) They accompany a measurement of the Temple [found in Revelation 11:1,2]. (4) They are killed but 3 ½ days later return to life. (5) They perform miracles. (6) Their public ministry lasts for three and a half years. (7) They ascend to heaven in front of all who witness their resurrection.
Mark of the Beast and the Mark of Christ:
Many know or have heard that the mark of the beast will be put on the forehead or the back of mankind’s hand. Few understand that there will also be the mark of Christ during the same time period. Both marks are a choice but only one is of positive eternal value. Those who reject the mark of the beast regardless of their reasoning will be excluded from the marketplace. This includes anyone who rejected being told what to do by anyone.
This is a good time to remind the reader that reality and actuality are sometimes two different things. One’s realities may not align with actualities. However, one’s realities are one’s interpretation or perception of actuality. This is what Satan will do through the antichrist (Revelation 13:4). People will be deceived by the performance of seemingly miraculous wonders. Deception is often rooted in one’s rejection of the the truth.
*Beast #1 is Satan. Beast #2 is the antichrist.
Revelation 13 discusses this in some detail. This conclusion is found using its own words. We teach but YOU must decide.
Click on this link and read the passages of Revelation 13:1-2,11-18. The first creature to rise “out of the sea” is Satan. He can reveal himself in any form he desires. The creature that follows is the antichrist. In verses 11-16 we read that the beast is wounded as to onto death, then healed. The suggestion is that antichrist is wounded as unto death, then healed and raised from the dead; perception versus actuality. Satan has always tried to duplicate the life actions of Jesus. Since Jesus was wounded for our transgressions (Isaiah 53:5), Satan too is supposedly wounded. The word “sea” may mean from the midst of people or economies.
Now read or reread 13:16,17. The powers of beast #1 (Satan) are given, by him, to beast #2 (antichrist). Beast #2 performs great wonders in the eyes of man. Catch this…he only performs these wonders (v12) when in the presence of Satan. This implies that the antichrist is but a vessel of Satan; a vessel of and filled by Satan.
What is the significance of this and its connection with this article’s topic? (v15b through 17a) “…the idol that speaks causes those who do not worship the image of the beast to be slain; so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark…” The significance is the total economic bondage to and by Satan. The world is propelled into chaos. This also tells us that the mark of Satan must be given during the second half of the 7-year Tribulation.
The 144,000 witnesses
“For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work, but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way” (2 Thessalonians 2:7). What might this have to do with our subtitle “The 144,000 witnesses. First, let’s understand this verse. What does it mean to say it is already at work? We do miss the elephant in the room at times. Look around the world. Does one miss that freedoms and deteriorating standards of morality, truth, or deception of what is right and wrong already exist? Is wrong now being called right? Is freedom of expression (especially by Christians) being oppressed? Does no one know that Ecclesiastes 10:2 & 3 even exist? Better yet, review Ecclesiastes 10 and compare it to today’s social, schooling, and political environments.
What might these 144,000 witnesses witness? Precisely what Ecclesiastes 10 says and warns against. Dr. David Jeremiah says it well in this 4-minute clip. Click on this link to hear him. These witnesses, all from the tribes of Israel, (minus the Tribe of Dan that is replaced by the Tribe of Joseph) are mentioned by name in Revelation 14. In Hebrew history, the Tribe of Dan was the first tribe to leave the alliance of Israel after they crossed the Jordan River and settled in Canaan. They pulled out of their assigned land, migrated north, conquered other people, settled these conquered lands for themselves, and began migrating to northern lands. There is so much more one can discuss regarding this Tribe, but not in this article. Suffice it to know that the Tribe of Dan has always been associated with idols. They left the Promised lands on their own while taking their idols. Keep in mind, some may have remained in their allotted Israeli land.
The 144,000 will be a witness to the world, an example for they reject what the world has to offer and to what Satan desires. They are just the opposite of what scriptures point out are the sins of the world that will exceed the times of Noah before the flood. It is possible, though speculative, that these witnesses of Jesus will be the turning point of Jews (Israelis) to accept as theirs the very same Messiah they crucified back around 32 A.D.
Theologian and author Jeff Kinley states: “Scripture reveals that God will once again bring worldwide judgment on mankind. But unlike the Flood, it won’t be a single event, but rather a series of happenings that occur all over the world…” We already see these gradual changes to our world as mentioned earlier in this article. This will be covered in a future article, blog, or commentary. It is amazing what little detail is taught from the pulpit about the future of this world itself and who are the major participants.
Earth bows before Christ
Far too often this is but an aside in End Time messages and studies. Romans 14:11 is obvious. No additional commentary is needed. What about the mountains melting and Jerusalem physically rising in elevation? Here is a help to understanding. Click on the following passages and read for yourself how the world will bow before Jesus after it is too late for salvation. Once Christ returns, JUDGMENT.
To keep this simple, understand that Jerusalem has a major role in the foundations of this earth during the Millennial Reign. We read this in Ezekiel in chapter 47:1-9.
Rev. Dr. Jstark
PS; The Mark of Christ? Read Revelation 9:4. This is from the 5th angel of the Book of Revelation.