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Description: “The Beast vs the Prophets of God”
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VOICEOVER: Welcome to End Times Today with Author, Speaker, and Bible teacher: John Claeys. This episode is entitled, THE BEAST VS THE PROPHETS OF GOD
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We’ll take a look at THE BEAST VS THE PROPHETS OF GOD in just a moment, but first let’s see what’s happening in our the world right now. Here’s John Claeys
What in the World Is God Doing?
In this episode of “What in the World Is God Doing?”, we will focus, once again, on the amazing peace deals that have recently occurred in the Middle East and what those mean to Bible prophecy.
Viewer Screen: Israel Has Become Too Valuable to the Arab World to Be Treated as a Pariah - Walter Russell Mead (Wall Street Journal)
As we have mentioned here at End Times Today that the rapture and the Tribulation period will convene on the very same day. The one event that will inaugurate each is the confirming of a seven-year treaty between Israel and a ten-leader confederacy. I believe that five of those leaders will come from the Middle East.
We have already seen leaders of Middle East Arab nations aligning with Israel, but what is it that is drawing them to Israel’s side? According to this article:
Viewer Screen: “The more the U.S. withdraws from the region, the greater the value of Israel to the Sunni Arab world. Growing numbers of Arab leaders believe that Israel is the only country with both the will and the means to help the Arab world defend itself from regional threats.”
A short time ago, Arab nations in the Middle East were seeking the destruction of the Jewish state. Today? Well, the writer of this article states: “As a military and intelligence partner, as a diplomatic force multiplier, as a trading partner, as a source of investment and of development expertise, Israel is too valuable to the Arab world to be relegated to the status of a regional pariah. It has earned its place in the Middle East.”
Wow! How amazingly God has worked—and in such a short time!
This next article . . .
Viewer Screen: UAE FM slams “non-Arab, nonstate players” for “perpetual resistance” (Debkafile)
. . . cites the article by UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan in the Wall Street Journal declaring that the signing of peace accords is a reminder that “the Emiratis and Israelis and all the peoples of the Middle East are tired of conflict.”
In this same Wall Street Journal article, the writer states:
Viewer Screen: “. . . we need a regional dialogue on peace and security.”
I emboldened the phrase “peace and security” to highlight it. If you have been with us here at End Times Today, you know that phrase is a critical one tied to end-times Bible prophecy. It comes out of 1 Thess 5:3 and is the declaration world leaders will make upon confirming the seven-year treaty with Israel. This is a phrase that has been on the minds of world leaders for decades, but, now, leaders can envision it happening.
This optimism has been fueled by the peace pacts between Israel and the UAE and Israel and Bahrain. But this won’t be the end of pacts between Israel and Middle East states. Remember that I believe there will be five leaders of Middle East nations that will be part of confirming that seven-year treaty with Israel. Take note of this Debkafile article:
Viewer Screen: Trump: Another 5-6 states waiting to sign peace with Israel (Debkafile)
The article states: “President Donald Trump at a joint news conference with PM Binyamin Netanyahu in the White House on Tuesday, Sept. 15 disclosed that 5 or more nations are ready to sign peace with Israel after the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. ‘They all want peace; they’re tired of war. Israel is a very strong country militarily, but it also wants peace,’ he said.”
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu underlined the same thought the President expressed when he declared: “I promise you, from what I see here, that more countries are on the way.”
In a recent article in the Daily Wire,
Viewer Screen: Up To 9 Additional Nations Could Join Peace Deal With Israel, Including Saudi Arabia, Trump Says, by Daily Wire News (DailyWire.com)
President Donald Trump is quoted as saying: “I spoke with the king of Saudi Arabia, at the right time I do think they will come in, yes, I do. This is a very big and very historic moment.”
He also declared that this is the “dawn of a new Middle East.”
These agreements are known as the “Abraham Accords” and allow Muslims to visit Islamic holy sites in Israel. President Trump said the deals would form ‘the foundation for a comprehensive peace across the entire region.'”
Allow me to quote just one part of the Abraham Accords Declaration:
Viewer Screen: We pursue a vision of peace, security, and prosperity in the Middle East and around the world.
Do you see a familiar phrase inherent in these accords? Other ingredients are mentioned in the accords, but, in my opinion, the key focus is upon “peace and security.”
This is: “What in the World Is God Doing?”
FULL STOP. WAIT FOR MUSIC AND VOICEOVER
VOICEOVER: Thanks John! If you’ve got questions, about current events, you can send them to John by going to Endtimestoday.org. Now, let’s take a look at what in the Bible God is saying to us, as we take a look THE BEAST VS THE PROPHETS OF GOD Here’s John to explain.
What in the Bible Is God Saying?
“The Beast vs the Prophets of God”
Viewer Screen: “The Beast vs the Prophets of God”
In 1845, the Duke of Wellington led the English forces against those of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo. Citizens of Great Britain waited anxiously for news of this weighty battle, their hopes pinned on the desire to be free, once and for all, of the diminutive tyrant. News of the history-making battle came by sailing vessel to the south sea coast of England, and it was wigwagged by semaphore overland toward London.
Atop Winchester Cathedral, the semaphore began to spell out the eagerly awaited message: A dense fog began to settle down just as the words “Wellington defeated” appeared. The semaphore could no longer be seen, and the heartbreaking news of Wellington’s defeat spread throughout London.
Before long, the fog lifted and, again, the signaling semaphore atop the cathedral became visible. This time it spelled out the complete message of the battle: “Wellington defeated the enemy!”
At the crucifixion of Jesus, the fog settled over His disciples. Even though He had explained to them that He would die, that would not be the end; He would also arise from the dead. But from Friday till early Sunday morning, the disciples only saw the message: “The Christ has died.” But on Sunday morning, the fog lifted, revealing the message: “The Christ who has died has risen!”
Sunday morning also unveiled a deeper revelation, which is this: Final and complete victory comes at the hands of apparent defeat. This is a missive we need to cling to; this is what we need to remember as encounter difficulties, persecution, times when we appear to be knocked down, and even death: Final and complete victory comes at the hands of apparent defeat.
That is the message of Revelation 11 where God’s two prophets encounter the beast. Before we dig into that incredible passage, let’s do a quick review.
Shortly after moving his powerful army into Jerusalem, and setting up the tents of his palace facing the Temple Mount, the King of the North will suffer an assassination attempt by an attacker with a sword. As a result, he will appear to be mortally wounded. However, in what appears to be a miracle, his deadly wound will be healed! As Revelation 13:14 announces, he “was wounded by the sword and lived.”
The response to the healing from his apparent deadly wound is pictured in this way in Revelation 13:3–4:
Viewer Screen: “And all the world marveled and followed the beast. So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?’ ” (Rev 13:3-4)
From the world’s viewpoint, it will appear as if the king received such a wound that he should have died, but is miraculously healed. Or, it may appear that he does die and rises from the dead. It is at this point the king of the North becomes the beast—when the spirit of a departed Roman emperor from the first century arises from the abyss, the place of the unbelieving dead, and enters this man.
Following his healing, the beast will decide to take on the two prophets of God prophesying in Jerusalem and eliminate them. This is described in Revelation 11:7:
Viewer Screen: “When they [the two prophets] finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit [the abyss] will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them” (Rev 11:7).
We have also learned that these two prophets will be given great power and authority by God. In fact, here is what we find about them in Revelation 11:5:
Viewer Screen: “And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner” (Rev 11:5).
This description tells us that others will attempt to kill them before the beast is successful. After all, this information would not even appear in the Bible if no one would try to harm and kill them.
Revelation 11:5 shows how difficult it will be to kill these two prophets. In fact, it will seem to be impossible! God will grant the prophets such amazing power throughout their three-and-a-half-year prophetic ministry to Israel that no one will be able to harm them. And anyone who is foolish enough to try to eliminate these pesky prophets will be killed by them.
Since no one else will be able to bring harm to these prophets, how is it that the beast will be able to overcome them and kill them? The answer can be found by taking a close look at the very beginning of Revelation 11:7. God will allow the beast to kill them when
Viewer Screen: “. . . they finish their testimony . . .”
to Israel, but and not one day before! When their God-appointed ministry ends—on the exact day God has determined—he will then allow the beast to kill his prophets.
But why? God will allow this for at least two reasons. First, He will use it to bring home a lesson to believing Israel. A clue to this lesson is provided in Rev 11:8-9:
Viewer Screen: “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” (Rev 11:8-9).
These two prophets, for 1,260 days—3½ years—prophesied to Israel, bringing untold thousands to faith in Jesus and preparing 144,000 Jewish evangelists to go worldwide with the good news of Jesus Christ; these two godly men used of God to eternally impact God’s chosen people will appear to be finally defeated. And their defeat will be on display for the entire world for three and a half days.
Further humiliation heaped on these two prophets of God is displayed in verse 10:
Viewer Screen: “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” (Rev 11:10).
The world knows that these two prophets delivered God’s judgment upon a rebellious world by bringing the global plagues of the Trumpet Judgments (Rev chapters 8 and 9). Thus, the world hails their deaths as deliverance from this torment. Furthermore, the world’s god—the beast—defeated the prophets of the God of Israel, signifying to the world that their god is more powerful than Israel’s God. For the world, this calls for celebration—feasting, giving gifts, making merry!
But the world is missing an important lesson; and why not? After all, the lesson is not for unbelievers; it is for believing Israel. It is a lesson connected to the significance of God allowing the prophets’ bodies to lie in the street for 3½ days?
This three-and-a-half-day period is mentioned twice within this passage (verses 9 and 11). In the Bible, repetition of a word, phrase, or concept is for the purpose of emphasis in order to drive home a concept. Repetition draws attention to a concept, showing its importance within a particular context. It is God’s way of saying, “Don’t miss this! I am communicating to you something of importance that I want you to grasp.”
Of course, God wants us to catch the meaning of these three and a half days, but it is likely He especially wants another audience to grasp their meaning—Jews in Israel who have believed in Jesus for eternal life during the first half of the tribulation period.
Viewer Screen: Tribulation Period = 2 Halves of 1,260 Days or 42 Months or 3½ Years
The significance and meaning of the three and a half days in which the bodies of the prophets lie in the street is related to the appearance of the number 3½ found earlier in the book of Revelation. The tribulation period is divided into two halves of three and a half years each. God is communicating that the three and a half days of apparent triumph by the beast will represent and signal the three and a half years of exhibited triumph by the beast that will follow.
Just as the two godly Jewish followers of Jesus were persecuted and experienced three and a half days of apparent defeat by the beast, other godly Jewish followers of Jesus will be persecuted and experience three and a half years of apparent defeat. But the operative word here is apparent, for all faithful followers of Jesus will experience ultimate and eternal vindication—and victory.
Due to the torment the unbelieving world will endure at the hands of these two prophets, they will be so excited about their deaths they will celebrate and give gifts to one another.
But, just when the world—and the beast—believe their problems are solved and that they have triumphed over God’s two prophets . . .
Viewer Screen: “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” (Rev 11:11-12).
An immensely surprising event occurs in verses 11 and 12. After three and a half days, the two prophets rise from the dead and ascend into heaven!
Details in these verses capture the drama of this scene: “The breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet . . . and they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, ‘Come up here.’ ” Clearly, these details are present for emphasis and dramatic effect. Each detail causes us to slow down a bit to visualize what this scene might look like.
Can you imagine what will go through the minds of the enemies of these prophets at this point? The very multitude that had just been excitedly and triumphantly celebrating the defeat of the two men who had caused the world such torment up to this point will watch their corpses rise, stand on their feet, and respond to the invitation from heaven by physically ascending into the air and out of sight.
Furthermore, God demonstrates that He, not the beast, is sovereign by bringing judgment upon the city where His prophets were killed:
Viewer Screen: 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” (Rev 11:13).
As if there is not enough drama with the resurrection and ascension of the two prophets of God, a devastating earthquake will hit. A tenth of the city of Jerusalem will be destroyed and seven thousand people will die.
This is clearly a specific judgment of God upon Jerusalem. The primary reason for this judgment was revealed in verse 8 which describes the city as “the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified.” At that time, Jerusalem will be spiritually bankrupt in the eyes of God because it persecuted and killed God’s prophets. In addition, the beast will have desecrated God’s temple by this point in time. Thus, it will almost beg for God’s judgment to be brought upon it. And the Lord will comply.
Those who see the ascension of the prophets and who survive the earthquake will give “glory to the God of heaven.” This does not mean they will believe in Jesus for eternal life, but they will certainly be affected by the dramatics and give God glory.
The Greek word for “heaven” can also be translated “sky.” In fact, it is translated in that way elsewhere in the New Testament. Thus, it seems these unbelievers, who, shortly before were celebrating the death of God’s two prophets, direct glory to the God of the sky, because they continue to believe that the beast is the God of the earth. This hints at a future showdown between the God of the sky and the god of the earth.
Consider that the enemies of these prophets will see them stand on their feet and ascend into heaven. This declares the ultimate triumph of the God of the prophets over the beast and his followers. In addition, this dramatic scene vindicates God’s prophets.
The apparent triumph of the world over God’s prophets provides an important message for us:
Viewer Screen: Though we experience apparent defeat by the world, we will experience ultimate vindication at the return of Jesus.
We will experience vindication at the rapture when Jesus takes His out of the world; and we will experience vindication when Jesus returns to the earth in triumph over the world.
Our apparent defeat appears whenever we, as Christians, are attacked by the world in print, in word, or in the media. However, we can trust God will ultimately vindicate us and his Word.
As a follower of Jesus, there may be times you will feel discouraged, set back, devastated, and tempted to give up. The world may view you as defeated; but your victory is coming! Keep looking up!
The resurrection of the two prophets of God will be a setback for the beast. However, as we will see, he will set his course to control the world and to cause all to worship him. Join us next time here on End Times Today where we will encounter an event so weighty that it will divide faithful believers from unfaithful ones. Join us for “The Abomination of Desolation.”
FULL STOP. WAIT FOR MUSIC AND VOICEOVER
Questions / Answers
VOICEOVER: Thank you John. Before we go let’s take a look at a question from a viewer just like you. You can send questions by going to endtimestoday.org. Diane in Arkansas writes:
Q: Is only the Church raptured, or are all believers raptured, including those from the Old Testament time? -- Diane, Arkansas
A: The passage providing the greatest help to answer that question is 1 Thess 4:13-18. Verses 13-15 highlight those believers, including OT believers, who have died:
Viewer Screen: “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep [have died], lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep [have died] in Jesus. . . . we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep [have died]” (1 Thess 4:13-15).
In this passage, the Apostle Paul is describing the rapture. In so doing, he comforts us about fellow believers who have died, indicating they will not be left out. In fact, they will precede us in this blessed prophetic event. Then, in verses 16-17, Paul describes what will occur at that event:
Viewer Screen: “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1Thess 4:16-17).
The term “rapture” does not occur in this passage (nor anywhere in the Bible). It is a theological term coined to describe the snatching away of Christians off the face of the earth. So, technically, it is not the entire Church that is snatched away, or raptured; this refers only to believers alive at the time Jesus comes in the sky. However, all believers from the entire history of mankind will participate in this grand event.
As Paul explains, believers who have passed on to heaven will precede believers alive on the earth at the time this prophetic event occurs. Jesus will leave heaven, bringing with him all deceased believers. They will receive their glorified bodies in the sky; then, immediately afterward, believers alive on the earth will be taken up, receiving their glorified bodies at that moment. Then we shall all—believers from OT times and believers from the Church age will be with the Lord, in our glorified bodies, from that time on forever!
FULL STOP. WAIT FOR OUTRO VOICEOVER.
VOICEOVER: Thanks so much to John, for the information in today’s fascinating program. Don’t forget, If you’d like to sign up for notifications, see recent episodes, get copies of John’s books, or even ask John a question you can do that and more at ENDTIMESTODAY.ORG. In addition if you are interested in becoming a financial pattern with this or any of the shows produced by Free Grace International, you can donate at endtimestoday.org. Thanks for watching and we will see you next time on End Times Today, With John Claeys.