Revelation Lesson 27: Joy and Agony in the Resurrection :: By Sean Gooding

Revelation 11: 7-14

“When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.

“Now after the three-and-a-half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, ‘Come up here.’ And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them. In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven. The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe is coming quickly.”

Thank you for your emails. I have received extra insights from many of you who have offered extra websites, more information, more lessons and observations, helping me to learn more and to grow. Some have simply thanked me for the lessons, some may disagree on some things; but it is done in a loving way, and I appreciate that. I have not arrived, so to speak, when studying the scriptures. There is much more for me to learn; and as I read through the entire Bible cover to cover again, I see more and more things, I get more and more questions, and I see the majesty of God displayed in the minute details.

A few weeks ago, we talked about the two views of the Gospel. To the saved it is a joyous thing, but to the lost, the Gospel is painful. It brings them sadness, makes them defensive and – as we are seeing today – they begin to lash out at the messengers. Part of the power of the Gospel is the promise of the resurrection. Without it, the Gospel has no power and offers no hope. In 1 Corinthians 15:12-19, the Apostle Paul opens our eyes to the absolute power and necessity of the resurrection:

“Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.”

Without it, the Gospel is lacking in power, lacking in hope and lacking in anything good. Death is already guaranteed to all men; we are born dying. What makes the Gospel so powerful is that it promises that death is not the end, but a door to whole new and better life. I just recently had a dear friend die. He was a pastor, a husband, a father, a teacher and a very, very funny man. His last few years were not good; his body was destroyed by diabetes and his health just deteriorated. But he is with the Lord now, no more pain, no more sorrow, no more suffering. If we do not have this hope, we are pitiful.

Today we will see a resurrection. The Bible is filled with them. From Elisha (2 Kings 4:18-37) and Elijah (1 Kings 17:17-24) raising children from the dead; to a man who was dead and being buried coming back to life when his body touched the bones of Elisha (2 Kings 13:21); to Jesus raising a young man (Luke 7:11-17); to the story of Lazarus in John 11; to Paul raising a young man in Acts 20:7-12; and Paul himself coming back from the dead in the account given to us in 2 Corinthians 12:2-4.

The Bible is filled with mere men being resurrected, not just the account of Jesus’ resurrection. This is what scares our enemies; people who truly believe in the resurrection are not worried about death. People who know that angels will escort them to heaven upon death are emboldened to stand up for what they believe. This is the power of the promised resurrection.

When they finished, Revelation 11:7

These two witnesses cried out against Israel and the working of the antichrist for about 3.5 years. No one could harm them. They simply killed everyone who came near to do them harm. But when they were finished, then they were able to be killed. The Apostle Paul makes a similar observation in the New Testament; in 2 Timothy 4:7-8, Paul states that he knows he is about to die:

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

There are some cases in this life where even as saved people we can do something to hasten our deaths. But in general, we will die when our course or our work is finished. God has a plan for your life and mine; and when that plan is over, we die. We go home. Then we are judged on our faithfulness and obedience. Death is assured; it is living for the Lord faithfully that takes some determination and effort. It takes a choice on our part to humble ourselves and let the Lord have the glory.

These two men, these witnesses, did their jobs; they did them right up until the moment when they died. You and I should have the same determination. Let us enter eternity spent for the Lord. The Apostle Paul said that he was ‘poured out,’ referring to the drink offering from the Old Testament that was poured at the foot of the altar. Paul was used up for the Lord; he left nothing in it for himself, and he had finished the race. We need to finish our races.

The beast makes war and wins, Revelation 11:7

Some think that the beast is most likely Satan that comes out of the attack of these two men. In Revelation 9:11 we are introduced to another angel from the bottomless pit; but this particular beast seems to be special and powerful. Since the antichrist is on the ground there in Jerusalem, it is very possible that Satan equips him with the tools necessary to kill these men. But we know that they are dead because God has allowed it; they have finished their testimony.

You see, we as spirit-filled readers who have trusted in the salvation offered by the Lord Jesus, can not only see the narrative of the scripture; we can see the wonderful mysteries as well. The beast makes war and seemingly prevails, much to the delight of the world that can see all of this live online from all corners of the world. But we know that his rejoicing is temporary. The true power of death and life is not in the devil; it is with the Lord God who first breathed life in the first man, Adam. The world, as we will see, rejoices over death, but we wait for the resurrection.

Rejoicing in Jerusalem, Revelation 11:8-10

Jerusalem erupts with rejoicing over the death of these two witnesses. We have two names given for Jerusalem here: Sodom and Egypt. And God confirms that He is talking about Jerusalem by telling us that it is the city where Jesus was crucified. Sodom, of course, brings to mind the sinful acts of homosexuality and sexual perversion. If one were to take the time to read through the book of 2 Kings and then both volumes of the Chronicles, you would see that the ‘evil’ kings permitted male temple prostitutes in the city of Jerusalem as they pursued the pagan gods of their enemies. Sodomy was rampant in the city of Jerusalem; it was open and promoted by the evil kings and their leaders. How horrible this was for the Lord to have to see.

Even today in national capitals, the rapid growth of sodomy in and amongst our politicians is scary to say the least. Over the past few days, I have begun to find out about the rampant sodomy in the music world. How many of the prominent men are actually gay? Sometimes, the women they are seen with are just “props for show.” The growth and acceptance of sodomy in the TV industry is evident. One cannot see a TV show that does not incorporate a homosexual or lesbian character. It seems that one cannot get ahead unless you are gay, lesbian or both. Even in politics we see openly gay leaders being elected by the masses.

Jerusalem is also called Egypt, a remembrance of oppression and slavery. This is a sad commentary. Jerusalem was supposed to be the light of freedom to the world. They had the Gospel from the Old Testament, the Law that showed the reader that they needed a Savior. No one except Jesus could ever keep the law to the nth degree. Jesus did. The law drove us to put our faith in the God of the law.

Later in the New Testament era, the local church began in Jerusalem. The first men to carry the Gospel were Jews. But over the millennia they had perverted the Gospel and added manmade rules to the freedoms that God gave. The Gospel became a slave master rather than a bastion of freedom. Even at the end, Jerusalem has gone back to the Law, opened a new temple, and settled for a counterfeit savior in the antichrist; they were still enslaving the world.

This great city is the center for the global celebration over the death of these two witnesses. It is like Christmas as they send gifts from all over the world. They won’t even let their bodies be buried; the whole world watches their bodies. If it is in the summer, the heat will begin to cause their decomposition, and no one will have the dignity to bury them. Let this sink in as to the depth of the depravity of the world system at the time of these events.

The system of the antichrist hates the truth, and the people of the world are so sold under the lies that they too hate the truth.

Notice the word that is used; they describe these two men as ‘tormenting’ them. How do you torment people with words? We are beginning to see this right before our eyes. We, the truth speakers, are being asked not to speak the truth. The truth has become offensive. The truth is being outlawed in some places in North America, the very last safe haven for free speech. We cannot allow a little thing like the truth to get in the way of the global agenda. While the sheep are trying to figure out if the men are women and vice versa, the globalist wolves can take away their freedoms in the name of tolerance; and the masses are too preoccupied to stop it.

So, the whole world celebrates that these intolerant truth speakers are dead. Let us be faithful to the call like the two witnesses. Let us give the father of lies a reason to celebrate our deaths. Speak the truth at all costs.

The Resurrection, Revelation 11:11-14

Right in the middle of the celebrations, about 3.5 days into them, the Lord gives these men the breath of life and they get up. I cannot imagine how loud the global gasp or the global silence will be when they stand up. The fear that will grip the people will be measurable. I suspect there will be a lot of heart attacks at that time. Then, to follow that up, the whole world will hear a loud voice telling them to “come up here,” and then they fly up to heaven for the whole world to see.

This will be a slap to the ego and the power of the antichrist. He will be celebrating the death and then be dismayed at the resurrection. This will be a reminder to Satan that he is not, nor will he ever be god. He does not have the power to give and take life, and then give it again. Hopefully this will bring him right back to that day at Calvary some 2,000 years ago when the kingdom of darkness thought that they had won, only to see the tomb open and Jesus walk out three days later. This time there is a whole world watching, and the power and majesty of the True and Living God will be on display.

At the very moment that these men are called into heaven, there is an earthquake; and a tenth of the city of Jerusalem is destroyed, killing 7,000 people. Then the whole city of Jerusalem begins to give glory to the God of heaven. The days of the antichrist are numbered, and the tide begins to turn for the antichrist and his minions. His short-lived fame as the leader or the one who killed the two witnesses is quickly forgotten, and he is no longer a god; BUT the God of heaven is worshipped.

The word ‘glory’ means ‘to give the right opinion of’ in its root sense. The people of Jerusalem begin to see God the right way; they begin to have the right opinion of God. Now, let us be cautious; this is a very emotional time – and even if some are glorifying God – it does not always mean a genuine repentance, but it is a beginning. A few chapters ago they were defiant and cursing God.

What will it take for you to finally come to the point of glorifying God? What will the good Lord have to do to bring you to the humility that is needed to glorify Him? The Lord loves you, and He will do all He can to bring you to repentance, but the current age of grace is coming to an end. The time to be saved is now. Tomorrow may be too late.

Isaiah 55:6-7 “Seek the LORD while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. Let the wicked man forsake his own way and the unrighteous man his own thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that He may have compassion, and to our God, for He will freely pardon.”