Bible Question:

First of all, I thank God for your website and I pray for you and your ministry. My question deals with the time frame of the two witnesses of Revelation 11. You state that they will minister in the latter half of the tribulation. Can you give me a basis for this? I always thought that they would prophesy in the first half and out of their ministry would come the 144,000 of chapter 7. Once again, may God richly bless you for this tremendous ministry!

Bible Answer:

The two witnesses who appear in Rev. 11:3-14 perform their ministry in the last half of the Tribulation for several reasons.

And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. (NASB) Rev. 11:3

First it is important to notice that their ministry lasts for only 1,260 days, which is 42 months, or 3.5 years. There is a study at the site entitled the “Illusion of Freedom” which you may find helpful.

Scenes In Heaven

Verse 2

The major key to determining when their ministry starts in the Tribulation is found in verses 2, 7 and 15-18. Verse 2 tells us that the nations will be allowed to trample the holy city for forty-two months, which is 3.5 years. According to Jesus, this is the time of the Gentiles; and it occurs during the great Tribulation (Matt. 24:21; Luke 21:24), which is the last 3.5 years of the Tribulation. This means the two witnesses minister in the last half of the Tribulation.

tribulation period

Verse 7

Then in verse 7 we are told that the beast who comes out of the abyss will be allowed to kill them. This beast is the Antichrist (Rev.13) who is empowered by the angel who descends from heaven and is the angel over the abyss (Rev. 9:1,11). The Antichrist does not become violent until the second half of the Tribulation. This implies that the two witnesses die in the last half of the Tribulation.

Verse 15-18

When we come to v. 15-18, we discover that we are at the end of the Tribulation when Jesus will return and defeat the armies of the Antichrist. Jesus will completely deny any freedom to the Antichrist and the world forces. Jesus will destroy anyone who comes to fight Him.

Conclusion:

Maybe the most significant fact is that the expressions 1,260 days, 42 months, and 3.5 years as well as “times, time, and half a time” are only used in Revelation for the last half of the Tribulation. It is also important to notice that the only reference to the first part of the tribulation is the first seal (Rev. 6:1-2). The rest of Revelation is the last half. The first part of the Tribulation is all peace! The study in Daniel 9:27 may be helpful. What occurs in the second half is anything but peace. Then Jesus comes and establishes real peace. Do you think that Jesus likes peace? Do you think that Jesus loves righteousness? The answer is yes, and He loves His godly ones.