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Most Recent Update
Jan. 17, 2012
Tribulation Preachers From Outer Space
(Two Witnesses and Three Angels - Rev. 11 & 14)
Our subject is the tribulation preachers from outer space. They will come from outer space to preach on earth during the tribulation period. Open your Bibles please to the book of Revelation. I like to expound on chapter 11 for it is in this chapter that we have the story told of the two witnesses. Then we will move to the second half of chapter 14 and talk about three angels. First of all, let's look at chapter 11 in the book of Revelation.
"And there was given me (John) a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein."
"And I (God) will give power unto My two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth." (1260 days or 42 months)
"These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth."
"And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,"
Events That Will Happen Soon
First of all, I want to give you a little bit of background. The Bible reveals that this present age called the Age of Grace, or the Age of the Church, will end with the sound of a trumpet and the rapture of the Christians. The Bride of Christ, the Church, all those who trusted Christ by faith, will be caught away into the sky to meet the Lord in the air. Right after that the Antichrist will come to power. He will begin to reign. I think he reigns during the first half of the period. There is some difference of opinion on that but he will reign for forty-two months, 1260 days, that's 3½ years. That's exactly half of this period. This period will last, Daniel says, "A week of years", that is, a seven of years or we would say seven years. And 1260 days is exactly half of that period. Well, this is the period that we're talking about. During this period God is going to send two people back from the other world to preach and to tell them what He wants them to know. Of course, people want to know, well, is anybody going to get saved during that period? The answer is yes, they are.
The Holy Spirit
Then the question comes up, well, I thought the Holy Spirit is leaving during that period. So how can anyone get saved during that period? Well, the answer is, yes, the Holy Spirit is leaving. The answer is, yes, the Holy Spirit is not leaving. Now, if this is confusing to you let me explain. You know the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost, but you also know that He is omnipresent. He was here in the Old Testament too. So how can He come when He was already here? Well, the answer is, He came in a special capacity to do a special job. Now He's leaving the special capacity because He indwells every believer. When the believers go up because He indwells us, He goes up and presents the Bride to the Lord in the sky. But by the same token, and this is for seniors in theology now. If you can't understand it, don't worry about it. By the same token, He is omnipresent. Even though He has taken the Bride up, He will still be present. Nobody was ever saved apart from the Holy Spirit, and nobody ever will be. During the tribulation period there will be a vast number saved as a result of the preaching of these two witnesses, and others that I'll be talking about. Now I must tell you that they are tribulation martyrs.
Maybe I should turn to that section before we actually expound this chapter. Keep your finger in chapter 11, and turn now with me to chapter 7 so that we can get this background straight and eliminate some of these questions to begin with.
The Tribulation Martyrs
Chapter 7, verse 9,
You see who they are?
"...all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues,..." (Rev. 7: 9)
That means languages, people from all over the world.
"...stood before the throne, and before the Lamb (Jesus), clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;"
Sequence of Events
They are in heaven, but it is not the Church. These people just arrived. The Church was in heaven before this. Revelation is for the most part a chronological book. That is to say you start in the beginning and move right through. In chapters two and three we have the story of seven periods of church history on the earth. In chapter four, the Church goes to Heaven. The invitation is given to come up, "...and I will show thee things which [shall] be hereafter." The trumpet sounds, and the shout of command is given, and there is the Rapture (Rev. 4: 1). Then the next thing you find is that the Redeemed Ones, in Heaven, are receiving crowns of reward. Then you find them playing in the harp orchestra, and singing in the heavenly choir. We are in heaven in chapter five. Not until chapter six does the Antichrist make his appearance and the tribulation period gets started. Then the Antichrist kills those people who will not worship him, and they become the tribulation martyrs, and enter heaven later on after we have been there for sometime. The Coronation Ceremony is well on the way. They enter late, as it were, and this is a picture of it. So they are not the Church, not the Bride. They are the tribulation martyrs, but I'm getting ahead of my story.
Look with me at verse 11,
"Saying, Amen: Blessing (Praise), and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen." (Rev. 7: 12)
You know you don't have to be afraid to say Amen here. Some of our churches are a little too quiet. It would help if people learned to say Amen at the right time. It would keep them on their toes. It will also keep the speaker on his toes. It would also waken up the fellow next to you who was just ready to fall asleep. Some of my Pentecostal friends say it too often, and they will forgive me for saying this, but they say it without even thinking. I think there is a time for saying it, and it's good practice here below for Heaven because when we get to Heaven at the Coronation Ceremony we're going to say it and the angels are going to say it. Now and then I get to preaching, let's say I get it in high gear, somebody feels like saying Amen, but doesn't quite have the nerve and afterwards whispers to me, "I wanted to say Amen, but I didn't quite feel like I should." I say, "Go ahead, don't hold it back. Just be sure you say it at the right time." Well, here we have in Heaven above what is going to happen.
More About the Tribulation Martyrs
Now verse 13 says,
Somebody asked the question, who are all these people who just showed up? And John says,
The English says, "great tribulation," but the Greek says, "tribulation, the great one." What does that mean?
Christians Suffering For Their Faith in Christ
Well, that means that in the world you will always have tribulation. That's what the Bible says. Christians will always suffer somewhere for Christ. In the early centuries there were many martyrs. In my lifetime there have been more martyrs than in any previous era of history. Somebody is always suffering somewhere for the Lord. "In the world ye (the Christians, the followers of Christ) will have tribulation." (Read John 16: 33.).
Listen, there is coming a day when the tribulation is going to be universal, all over the world. Anywhere the Antichrist can catch somebody who is not worshipping him, he will be put to death. This is altogether different from the tribulation that we're talking about through the centuries, where someone is being persecuted here or someone over there or someone over here. But the time is coming when it's going to be the great one! Worldwide. It is going to last seven years.
Back to the Tribulation Martyrs
Verses 14 - 16,
"...These are they that came out of [tribulation, the great one,] and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."
The reason they got hungry was that they couldn't buy any food. They would not take the mark of the beast. Without the mark of the beast they couldn't buy and sell, couldn't buy any food, but that's all over now they are in heaven.
For the same reason, they suffered from exposure, and from lack of clothes because they could not buy. Now that's all over.
There was a lot of weeping. They had their heads cut off. They are the tribulation martyrs. The Antichrist killed them because they refused to take the mark of the beast that was the mark that indicated that they were worshipping him. So much for the tribulation martyrs, people who are saved during this period.
The Length of This Period
Now come back to chapter 11. Let us take a look first of all at the duration of this period as we see it in verse 3.
"And I will give power unto My witnesses, and they shall prophecy a thousand two hundred and threescore (1260) days, clothed in sackcloth."
The exact number of days. This is no figure of speech because elsewhere we are told it's 42 months. We have that figure in the previous verse. (See Rev. 11: 2.). Daniel says, "...a time times and the dividing (a half) of time." (See Dan. 7: 25.). A time which is one year, times which are two years (the dual word for times) and half of time: half a year. One year plus two years plus a half a year is 3½ years. That's exactly half of the period of 7 years. The whole period is 7 years. The great tribulation period. Some people only describe the second half as the great tribulation, but I do not really find that distinction in the Bible. I think the whole week can be thus characterized. I do not look for a period of 42 months of blissful peace because in chapter 6 when it tells us about the Antichrist coming to power, it tells about the awful war he will start, apparently in consolidating his power. Before you read more then a few verses in the sixth chapter where the Antichrist comes to power, you find out that already one fourth of the world's population is dead. That doesn't sound like peace to me. He comes promising peace, speaking peace, but there is no peace. Awful, awful suffering! Well, this period is 42 months, 3½ years, 1260 days. That's exactly half of 7 years. It must of necessity be the first half because of the sequence of events. At the time when they are killed on earth, the Coronation is complete in heaven (Rev. 11: 15). The 42 months are up (Rev. 11: 2, 15, 19). Then we come on to the seven and last plagues after that which take place in the second half (Rev. 16: 1). So I don't think there is any argument about the fact that the duration of this period is 1260 days, and it is the first half of the period. (At least part of Revelation, chapters 12 - 15 is flashback.).
They Will Come to Earth
Now, we want to talk next about the location, at least call it to your attention so that you'll understand it is on the earth. In verse 4, these are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks which are the light bearers for God standing before the God of the earth (Rev. 11). Two individuals come back from the next world. They come from outer space. They come to the planet earth. They are going to preach to the whole world. The location is on the earth. That's very clear.
The Two Witnesses
Now we're going to talk about the identification of these two. This I think becomes very interesting. Who are they? That is what we want to know. Well, I must caution you, God does not tell us. Not specifically, so that we can get dogmatic. However, He wants us to search out the scriptures and compare scripture, and when we do this, I think we can arrive at a conclusion. So let me read now what God has to say here.
The Two Witnesses Have Power Over Many Things
That gives us one clue.
"...and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed." (Rev. 11: 5)
They have the ability to talk, and fire will destroy their enemies.
They have power to give the order, and it will not rain.
"...that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood,..." (Rev. 11: 6)
They can speak, and water will suddenly, instantly, change to blood. Some of you Bible students are already thinking about some individuals in the Old Testament who did these things. Then we continue in verse 6.
"...and to smite the earth with all plagues,..." (Rev. 11)
They could give the word and plagues would fall upon their enemies.
"...as often as they will." (Rev. 11: 6)
Was it Elijah and Enoch?
Now many commentaries say that these two individuals are Elijah and Enoch because they are the only two people who never died. As we will see in a moment these two (witnesses in Revelation 11) will die. The argument that they use is that the book of Hebrews tells us, "It is appointed unto man once to die, and after that the judgment." These two did not die, therefore, they are going to come back and fulfill that verse so that everybody gets to die once.
Well, the book of Hebrews does indeed say that. Hebrews 9: 27, let me point that out to you.
"And...it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:"
That's Hebrews 9: 27. But now, with that thought in mind. Look at the fifth chapter of the gospel of John. Let me show you something that will indicate that there are exceptions, and this really will tell us what that verse actually means. We're in chapter 5 of the book of John, verse 24 and we read, "Verily, verily, I say unto you,...".
Jesus is speaking, and when He says, verily, verily, that means sit up and listen, that's very important.
"...He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath (present tense, now) everlasting life, and shall not come into [judgment];..." (John 5: 24)
The word condemnation, is the word judgment.
"...but is..." (John 5: 24)
That means already, as of the moment when he accepts Christ.
"...passed from death unto life." (John 5: 24)
Now in the one place the Bible says, everybody has got to die once. In another place it says, not everybody is going to die. So how do you explain it? Why it is very simple. The penalty of sin is death. Any person who does not accept Christ eventually will die. He dies spiritually being separated from God, but he will also die physically. Every mortal who ever lived on this earth, who does not accept Christ, will eventually die. There is no exception but that is not true of those who accept Christ.
You know that Paul said,
"Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: so shall we ever be with the Lord." (I Thes. 4: 17)
Jesus said to the sister of Lazarus after Lazarus had died.
"...he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:"
He is speaking of the living saints (those who are alive) when He comes. What I'm trying to tell you is, there will be hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of people alive on earth when the Lord comes in the Rapture. They are going straight up to meet Him in the air, and they will never die because Christ died for us, and we don't need to die physically. We'll go straight to heaven, being translated in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye. We'll never go by way of the cemetery or the undertaker. So don't use that verse in Hebrews to prove that these two people in the Old Testament didn't die. Enoch, bless his heart, is a type of the living saints who are going up when the Lord comes. Let me show you that beautiful verse about Enoch back in the book of Genesis, chapter 5, we have the story. Enoch was out for a walk one day, walking with God, and God said, "Enoch, how would you like to go home with Me for dinner?" Enoch said, "Oh, I'd love to." God said, "Well, let's go." Enoch liked it so much he never came back. Well, that's the Meyer version. That's not exactly what it says, but that's the general essence of it. Look what it says in the story of Enoch, in Genesis, chapter 5, verse 23, "And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five (365) years:".
You think that's old, he was a youngster. His father died at the age of 962 and his son died at the age of 969, Methuselah, his son, the oldest man who ever lived. So Enoch was just in his, shall I say, in his late teens. Well, 365 in years is the prime of life. Verse 24 is the big verse.
"And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him." (Gen. 5)
If you read in Hebrews 11 you find out full well he went to heaven. Now what I'm trying to tell you is, Enoch does not fit in this chapter. Can't make Enoch come back and die because he never died. That just won't do. Enoch is a type of the living saints who will go up in a moment when the Lord comes in the sky. So let's forget about Enoch.
These Two Witnesses
Let's look at what it says once again now in Revelation 11: 5, and then let's go back in the Old Testament, and see who it was that had power to do this.
The first thing we read is,
"These have the power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy:..." (Rev. 11: 6)
Now who in the Old Testament could call down fire to destroy his enemies, and could speak the word and the heavens refuse to drop their rain? Well, you know full well who it was. It was the head of the Old Testament prophets, Elijah. So turn with me now to first Kings, chapter 17. Let me show you that is what Elijah did.
I Kings, chapter 17, verse 1,
That was a brief statement, but it stopped the heavens. There was no rain until Elijah in due time gave the word. The wicked King Ahab couldn't do a thing about it. God had given Elijah the power to stop the heavens. And in verse 7 we read the outcome.
"And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land." (I Kings 17)
Well, there's a lot more to that story, but I established the point that I wanted to make, namely, that Elijah was the one who had the power to stop the rain. Now, go on a little further to chapter 18, and let me show you that he had the power to call down fire.
Verse 37 of chapter 18, I Kings,
This is the great story where Elijah stood up and said, "Now let all Israel know that there is a God in heaven," and called down fire out of the sky. Later on he called down fire to burn up his enemies, not to burn up the sacrifice. So come on a little bit further now to the second book of Kings, chapter 1. In the first chapter of the second book of Kings, verse 10.
"And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty."
The King had sent a detachment of soldiers to Elijah. The captain who was in charge wanted to flatter Elijah and call him a man of God, but Elijah knew the evil motives that were back of this whole thing and why all these soldiers had come. Elijah said, "If I am a man of God let fire come and eat you, burn you all up," and that's exactly what happened. Elijah had the power to call down fire, and that was only the first time. A few verses later we read the King sent another detachment of fifty soldiers. Look what happened in verse 11.
"Again also he sent unto him another captain of fifty with his fifty. And he answered and said unto him, O man of God, thus hath the king said, Come down quickly." (II Kings 1)
So I think that's enough to establish the point I'm trying to make. Elijah, the head of the prophets in the Old Testament, was the one who was able to stop the heavens so it wouldn't rain. He was the one who could call down fire and consume his enemies. So my vote for the first individual is Elijah, head of the prophets.
Now read on with me in Revelation 11, verse 6, the middle of the verse.
"...and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will."
Who had the power to change water into blood? Who had the power to give the order and smite the whole land with plagues? Well, that's an easy one. That, of course, is Moses. We go now to the seventh chapter of Exodus. The story of Moses in the process of getting the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt where they were in bondage. First of all, let me show you that Moses could change the water to blood.
The seventh chapter of Exodus verses 20 - 21,
Not only could Moses change the water to blood; but he could give the order and terrible plagues could smite the land. We have the plague of frogs, the plagues of the lice, of the flies, of the boils, the cattle dying, of the hail, along with thunder and fire, and then we have the plague of locust, and the plague of darkness, and finally the tenth plague when the first born son in every family of the Egyptians died. Moses could speak the word and the plagues fell. So my vote, coming back to Revelation, chapter 11, for the second of these two witnesses, is Moses. How appropriate that the head of the prophets and the head of the law should come back and witness to these people.
You see, when the rich man died and went to hell, Hades in the heart of the earth, Jesus told the story. He said, "This man cried out for water," and he was told it was too late. And he said, "Well, send somebody back from the dead to warn my brothers so they don't come here." He was told they have Moses and the prophets. They have the law and the prophets. If they won't believe the law and the prophets then they won't believe somebody that comes back from the dead. (Read Luke 16: 19 - 31.).
The Two Witnesses, Moses and Elijah
During the tribulation period, I believe, Moses and Elijah will come back from another world. They are going to be a thorn in the flesh of the Antichrist. He is trying to reign. He is telling everybody he is God. There are these two supernatural beings that are telling everyone it isn't so. You can see how mad that would make him. Well, let me read it to you.
It says in verse 7,
He is angry and he kills them. He can't kill them until God allows it. God does not allow it for exactly 1260 days. Then God does allow it.
If it didn't say anything more than that we would have a hard time guessing which city it is, but it says, "...where also our Lord was crucified." (Rev. 11: 8).
Now everyone knows where Jesus was crucified. So that is the city of Jerusalem.
These men preach for three and a half years and then, one day for every year that they preached, by and large their message is undoubtedly rejected, but one day for every year that they preached, their bodies are going to lie there in the street on display, but dead. Now, verse 10 tells us the reaction of the world population, and that tells us something about what happened while they were still living.
"And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry,..."
The people are delighted that these two are dead. Nobody could kill them. If anybody tried to hurt them they simply spoke and fire burned them up. Now, finally, the Antichrist has put them to death, and the people are happy. That tells us they didn't like their preaching.
You know, some people today don't like the preaching of the fundamentalists. They don't like us to tell them that there's a place of hot black fire where the lost of all ages are going to spend eternity. They don't want us to talk about fire and brimstone. They want us to talk about love and brotherhood. Well, love and brotherhood are beautiful if you get the Biblical context. Then the love of God is magnificent beyond compare. But what is the alternative? The alternative is the wrath of God. If a person rejects the infinite love of God that enables him to go to heaven through Jesus Christ, then what is the alternative? The Bible says the alternative is to go with the devil and his angels in a place prepared for them. That's hell. The preacher has got to tell the whole story whether the people like it or not he has got to tell the whole story. God says He's going to require the blood of the lost at the preacher's hand if he doesn't warn the people. So we read here the people are very happy when these two witnesses are finally killed. They're so happy they have a world celebration. It's like Christmas.
"...(they) shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets..." (Rev. 11: 10)
Now look at the next word. That's almost funny.
"...tormented them that dwelt on the earth." (Rev. 11: 10)
Tormented them! These two beings from outer space, I think are Moses and Elijah. Of course, I can't be dogmatic, but you can see the evidence all points that way. It makes sense in every way. These two are warning them! This one who is trying to reign is a phony. He is not God. Don't worship him! A great many will believe and they will be killed by the Antichrist and they become tribulation martyrs. But by and large the bulk of the population will not accept their message. They hate them. They're a public nuisance. They don't want them preaching, they don't want to be bothered, they want to worship the Antichrist. Now they're saying these two tormented them.
Reminds me of what Madalyn O' Hair said not long ago when she resigned from being head of world atheism. She said, "The Christians abused me." Now that is funny. That is like the kettle calling the pot black. She accused the Christians of abusing her when she was the one who abused the Christians and had prayer taken out of the schools and all that sort of thing. Well, she said, "The Christians abused me. The atheist would not support me. My own family would not support me. No individual supported me." So she divorced her husband, refuted her son and everyone. She said, "I quit." Well, these people are now happy and they're rejoicing. But in talking to each other they say these two people tormented us, we got rid of them. The reason they were tormented is because they just didn't want to hear it.
If you have any unsaved relatives to whom you have tried to witness from time to time some of you have at least have had this experience. Your dear ones have said to you, "Listen, let's not talk about that anymore. I don't want to hear it." Christians are having that experience all the time.
In this period these two are trying to tell them the truth. They are trying to warn them not to worship the Antichrist, not to take the mark of the beast. They say they are tormenting them. Well, they are happy now because these two have been executed. We talked about the duration, the location, the identification, and now the execution. I don't know what method the Antichrist uses to kill them. It does not say. At the end of verse 7 we're told, "...and kill them." He certainly did. The tribulation martyrs are beheaded. The Antichrist himself is killed as we are told in Revelation, chapter 13, and we're told how: A sword was used to kill him. They stuck a sword into him and he was killed and resurrected again. But when he kills those who will not worship him, he sees to it, at least he tries to see to it, that they stay dead, and he cuts off their heads. What he does with these two we are not told. They are killed, that is what it says. The people were rejoicing, and for three and a half days they are holding a big world celebration. They will not permit the bodies to be buried because they want to hold a celebration. They really want to make something out of this and celebrate, and they are so happy they send gifts to each other and rejoice. Then look in verse 11. What a shock when the world television cameras are turned on these individuals and the reporters are telling the story and they are having interviews. There's nothing on TV and the news for three and a half days except this, The Great Story. All of a sudden, they get the shock of their lives when those two dead bodies stand up. Use your imagination. Think what the people will say.
We have a resurrection here.
"...and great fear fell upon them which saw them." (Rev. 11: 11)
Their party is over real fast! Now in verse 12 we have the ascension taking place.
"...they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither..." (Rev. 11)
You know three and a half years earlier, that's what the Lord said to the Christians, and then they went up. Now He's saying it to these two faithful witnesses.
"...And they ascend up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them."
Those are the tribulation martyrs who haven't been killed yet, saved Jews who haven't been killed.
In heaven above, at that point the final scene of the coronation, the declaration is made as the crown is placed upon His (Jesus') head.
"...The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever."
You will find that in the 15th verse. Well, that's basically the story of the two witnesses. (Rev. 11)
The Three Angels
Now, briefly, let's come to chapter 14 and talk about something that most people really don't know much about. Three angels are going to come from outer space and preach to the whole planet. Everyone is going to hear.
Chapter 14 of the book of Revelation, verse 6.
"And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,"
The First Angel
That tells me every last person is going to hear. This angel is going to fly through the atmosphere around the world and in a single night, without ever worrying about language, he'll speak the word, give the warning. A great multitude will believe. They become tribulation martyrs in due time. But by and large most of the people will not believe. There is a message, and it goes to everyone on earth.
Reserved For the Christians
You know, I am sure, the angels would love to do that tonight. The angels could finish this whole missionary enterprise overnight. But God said, "No! No, you angels, I know you would like to do it, but I'm reserving that great pleasure for My children. I want them to have the opportunity to give the good news." You know, if you learn something that's real exciting or really good news you should like to tell your friends. You would like to be the one to have the privilege of telling your friends. So here we get the greatest news ever-to tell the good news! Man does not need to perish, he doesn't need to be lost, he doesn't need to spend eternity in hell, he can go to heaven. We can tell it, but we have been so slow. Do you realize that people are being born faster than we are getting the gospel to them? The number of heathen is increasing. Well, we're having some great movements now in various parts of the world. Some tremendous, missionary enterprises, and maybe right in the closing days of the age, that whole process will be reversed. We hear some mighty good things from different parts of the world, and let us pray that many more will hear. Still the overall picture is that we have been so slow. It has taken nearly 2000 years since Christ just to get the Bible translated into a little over one third of the languages of the world. We have been so slow at it. Of course, it is a long, difficult process. We can't just go out there and talk and have them hear in the language we are speaking. We have to spend a long time learning the language.
Back to the First Angel
The angel is going to fly through the night or through the day, whichever. He can speak and everyone is going to hear. That is genuine speaking in tongues, by the way. Like it happened at Pentecost.
Verses 7 says,
Babylon is the name that God gives to the empire of Satan during the tribulation period. There is an ecclesiastical Babylon, the church of the Antichrist. There is a political Babylon, the political empire of the Antichrist. He heads both, he's ruler of the world, and he's head of the world church. Both of those things you read in Revelation, chapter 13, verses 7 and 8. Now the angel is saying, "Babylon is fallen." This is an announcement of what God is about to do, that which is imminent.
"...(a) great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication." (Rev. 14: 8)
According to Revelation 17, I think that is the city of Rome, headquarters of the Antichrist during that period.
The Third Angel
Verse 9 says,
Here is the number three angel preaching! What does the third angel say? "You people listen. If anyone takes the mark of the Antichrist and worships him, he thereby irrevocably, forever, seals his doom in a devil's hell! Nobody who takes the mark of the Antichrist can be saved." That is the meaning of his message. Let me read it to you so you can see it for yourself.
Verses 10 - 11,
Well, if they're tormented in fire and brimstone, and it lasts forever; that has got to be Hell! And in another words, the angel is saying, anyone who takes the mark of the beast and worships the Antichrist thereby seals his doom in Hell. That is to say, no, one who takes the mark of the Antichrist can be saved.
"...and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast (Antichrist) and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name." (Rev. 14: 11)
(These martyrs were killed in Revelation, chapter 6, verses 9 - 11 for a period of time. They heard the angels' messages and received, believed, and did what they said. They died for their faith in Christ.).
This is a reference to the martyrs, the tribulation saints. Those ones who accept the message, reject the Antichrist. They for the most part will be killed, although there will be some who will live through the period because they become the ones who repopulate the planet during the millennial reign.
Verses 14 - 20,
Now in connection with those verses we should read from the sixteenth chapter of Revelation (verse 16), and also from the nineteenth chapter for there we have the final fulfillment of that. This is, looking ahead to what is coming when God is going to pour out His wrath and tread the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. When the newly crowned King of Kings and Lord of Lords comes down out of the blue. He comes as a warrior. He comes as a King.
"And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations:..." (See Rev. 19: 15.). (Read Rev. 19: 11, 19, 21.).
He speaks the word and all the armies of Armageddon are dead. In the meantime, the awful battle that takes place is such, and it is the last battle ever to be fought, that the blood will flow to the horses' bridles at least in the low places. I don't think it will cover the whole valley, that deep, but in the low places where water now flows the blood will be flowing deep. The horse will get their bridles bloody when they go through the ravines. That is going to be for a hundred and seventy one miles according to the rest of that scripture. All the way from Haifa, I think, out across the valley of Armageddon to the Jordan River, down the Jordan, down that valley, all the way down to the Red Sea. All the armies of the earth will gather there and God will pour out His wrath.
Well, that's the story of the two messengers (two witnesses) and of the three angels. Five individuals who come from out in space to preach to the whole earth during the tribulation period, I call them the tribulation preachers. In the meantime, remember, during this present age, those beings, much as they would like to do it, cannot come and do our work for us. We have the privilege and the responsibility doing all that we can to give the message. So, we have a great job to do. A missionary enterprise, telling the world Jesus saves. Now, before we dismiss the service maybe there's somebody here tonight who needs that message. I presume practically everyone is saved. But, then there might be somebody here, who has never made a public declaration of faith in Jesus Christ. As we go to prayer, if you haven't, do it now. Ask the Lord to save you. As a Christian, ask Him to make you a little bit more faithful. Tell Him that you would like to love Him a little bit more and you would like to serve Him a little bit better, and you would like to do more, if that be possible, to get the gospel out to those who never heard while there is yet time. Let us pray.
Our Heavenly Father, we thank Thee now, for the privilege of living in this tremendous period when we see these prophecies leaping to fulfillment. We know what is coming up shortly and we realize we need to be about our Father's business. We know the age of grace is almost over. Tribulation is very near, and then, as far as we are concerned it will be too late (for those who are unsaved and without Christ). Help us therefore to be faithful. Now, in witnessing to our neighbors and our friends, to those near and far. Help us Lord, to be sensitive to Thy voice. We know that You are not calling everyone to go across the water and be foreign missionaries. But You are calling everyone to be a missionary right in his own neighborhood. Some You are calling to go overseas. Some You are calling to go to the ends of the earth. And all of us, You are calling to be faithful to do whatever You have assigned to us, whatever that task may be, using the talents that You have given. Thus Lord, help us, each one to be faithful. Bless abundantly, in every heart. Save such as need the Savior and strengthen every Christian in the faith. We pray it in Jesus' name, Amen.
The Nathan Meyer Bible Prophecy Association (BPA)
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