As we have seen in the previous study, the 1260 day period is a spiritually exciting and power-packed timeline. During this time, God's people will experience extreme persecution. We have also studied how the 1260 day timeline is a time when YHWH's true followers will be protected by Heaven. Nothing can harm them unless God allows it, which He only does if there is some good to come out of it. And finally, we have already studied about how the 1260 day timeline is the time when probation closes for the professing people of God. All "Christians" will be judged. Either they will be weighed in the balances and found wanting, or will be sealed for all eternity. It is a serious and sobering time. And as if that all wasn't important enough, there are two more dramatic events to occur in this timeline. First, during the 1260 days, the Beast will reign as Christ over the whole world. We see this in Revelation 13:3-5 “…And all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? …And power was given unto him to continue forty and two months (1260 days).”
Last, but certainly not least, during the 1260 day timeline, God will raise up two mighty witnesses who will be unstoppable as they expose the fraud of the beast and his demonic kingdom. These two witnesses will spearhead the cause of God in front-page news sorts of ways during the entire 1260 day reign of the beast. As it says in Revelation 11:3 “And I (God) will give power unto My two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.” And with this brief overview, let's now study into these two events more deeply.
The Bible tells us that the Beast will be blasphemous against God. Revelation 13:6-8
“And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”
But who is the beast? Is it possible to identify this terrible power? In Revelation 17:10-11 it gives us a prophetic riddle. “And there are seven kings... And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.”
Revelation 17:9 “And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains...”
In the Scriptures, mountains represent groups holding power. Symbolically, a mountain in prophecy represents a leading group. One example of this is found in Jeremiah 51:24-25, where we find that the group who comprise Babylon are represented as a mountain: “And I will render unto Babylon... all their evil that they have done... Behold, I am against thee, O destroying mountain, saith the LORD, which destroyest all the earth...”
But mountains do not only symbolize evil groups. The group who dwell in Jerusalem are called “the holy mountain” (Zech. 8:3).
Since Babylon is the whore of Revelation, and Babylon is represented as a mountain, we find a clear connection between these seven heads which are seven mountains and spiritual Babylon. In the past, we have examined the identity of this Babylon whore (a church power which mixes the sacred with the profane - idolatry with the worship of God). This points us to the system of Papal Rome (for more information on this contact us).
But there have been many more than 7 heads or 7 popes in the mountain of Papal Rome. So does this apply? The number of "heads" isn't a count from the first pope. Rather it is a count that starts with the infliction of the "deadly wound" (in spiritual application). Prior to 1798, a king in Europe couldn't ascend the throne without the consent and blessing of the pope. This placed the papacy ABOVE these heads of state - as the woman who RIDES the beast in the first layer of application. This relationship ended in 1798, when Napoleon's General Berthier took Pope Pius captive.
Thus, the zero point for our seven head count takes place in 1798. But still, the riddle of seven heads and mountains does't seem to work. For there have been 22 popes since the deadly wound of 1798. But, this is the point where the mountain part of the riddle comes into play. Remember mountains are groups. The Bible says that the seven heads ARE seven mountains. So, it isn't seven INDIVIDUAL popes, rather it is seven groups of popes.
Interestingly enough, there are seven different names that have been used by the popes since the Vatican State was restored by Mussolini in 1929 (healing the spiritual deadly wound). Each of the seven mountains is one of the groups of popes that has had each name. In other words, from 1929, there have been seven names for popes: 1) Leo, 2) Pius, 3) Gregory, 4) Benedict, 5) John, 6) Paul and 7) John Paul.
The prophetic riddle tells us that the 8th head is the one to watch out for in the anti-christ reign. This 8th head is "of the seven," so he is also a papal head. But the 8th papal head must have a different name in order to be counted separately.
Some Catholics have wondered about Benedict XVI. And have stated that he is not a pope, but rather an anti-pope. "Cardinal Ratzinger [a.k.a Benedict XVI] is an Anti-Pope.” So what is an anti-pope? Again quoting from a Catholic source, we find an “anti-pope means a pretended pope. The anti-popes were men who by the aid of faithless Christians or others unlawfully seized and claimed the papal power while the lawful pope was in prison or exile.” Baltimore Catechism #3, Lesson 12, Q. 537
There is also an interesting Catholic prophecy about a coming pope. Some have wondered if this prophecy might apply to Benedict XVI. (This prophecy is not referenced to show that we believe in such prophecies, rather it is referenced to show that THEY do). "There will come a German Anti-Pope. Italy and Germany will be sorely troubled ..." (Father Gerald Culleton, "The Prophets and Our Times," 1941 A.D., Fresno California, p. 132.) This prophecy has caused a faction of the Catholic faith to look suspiciously at Benedict XVI, as he is of the foretold lineage.
There is an ancient Catholic prophecy along these lines. It is called the Prophecy of Premol. This prophecy states: "...And I see the King of Rome with his Cross and his tiara, shaking the dust off his shoes, and hastening in his flight to other shores. Thy Church, O Lord, is torn apart by her own children. One camp is faithful to the fleeing Pontiff, the other is subject to the new government of Rome... But Almighty God will... put an end to this confusion and a new age will begin. Then, said the Spirit, this is the beginning of the End of Time." (5th century)
If the seven papal heads are Leo to John Paul, and Benedict XVI takes the role of this anticipated anti-pope who is exposed at the "beginning of the end," the eighth pope (who heads the Babylonian woman who rides the beast power) is soon to come!
We certainly see wonder and worship going on toward the papal head. Former U.S. president George W. Bush even said that he saw God when he looked into Benedict XVI's eyes! As it says in Revelation 13:4 “...And all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast...”
The beast power is certainly going to be supported by this Babylonian woman power. So, identifying the final whore of Revelation gets us at least into the ball park for identifying the beast power. But who is the beast?
There are several potential contenders for this final anti-christ power. But, ultimately, the beast only STARTS as a human. He ends up as a very supernatural being. To prove this, let's look at the riddle found in Revelation 17. Revelation 17:8 says, “The beast that thou sawest was (alive as a human), and is not (the human is slain); and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit (a demon from the abyss takes the form of the dead human beast - resurrecting the beast as a supernatural anti-christ), and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.”
The original Greek word that is translated as “bottomless pit” in this verse is “abussos” meaning “abyss” (Strong’s # 12) This same word is translated in Luke 8:30-33. Only in this Scripture it is translated as deep “And Yeshua asked him (the demon possessing the demoniac), saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him. And they (the demons possessing the man) besought Him (Yeshua) that He would not command them to go out into the deep (abussos)... And they besought Him that he would suffer them (the demons) to enter into them (the herd of pigs). And He suffered them. Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine...”
Very little is said about abussos in the Bible. We know that only demons are there. We also know that it is an unpleasant place and that they do not wish to be imprisoned there. We find this in Matthew 12:43. “When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.” The Bible goes on to say that the demons confined to this place will check back with their original human host. And if they find that "house" swept clean and garnished (but empty of the Holy Spirit) they will take seven demons and all of them will re-enter that human host so that he is now worse off (because he did not keep YHWH in residence in his heart) than before he was delivered.
But, quickly getting back on track, when it says that the beast of Revelation 17 was alive as a human, but now is not (human) and yet is (he has taken the form of the original human) and that he has ascended out of abussos, there is no question that the beast is now no longer human. A demon from the abyss has taken the form of the deceased human (who will be slain in the final fulfillment of the deadly or mortal wound).
Why do we suggest that the beast is a high-ranking demon, at this point, and not Satan himself? Because Satan in Revelation is symbolized by a dragon. And Revelation 13 tells us that the dragon gives power, seat and authority to the beast. The woman who rides the beast (the Papal power) is not the beast - for the beast doesn't ride itself. And the dragon is not the beast (for he gives the beast his power...). These entities are given separate symbols so that we will not mix them up in our minds. They work together and are certainly on the same side, but the papacy, the human (later demon) beast and the dragon are all separate entities.
The next key point to consider is how long the demon-beast will reign as the false Christ. The answer is given in Revelation 13:2-5. “And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death (this literally means that he receives a mortal wound and is slain); and his deadly wound was healed (an apparent resurrection - yet from Revelation 17, we know this beast isn't the same at all): and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months." So once the beast is healed from his deadly wound his time will be up in 42 Biblical months - or 3.5 years. (Note: in 1929 we had the spiritual application of this deadly wound being healed, but at the end of time there will be a literal final fulfillment of this prophecy).
42 months (with a Biblical month being 30 days) is 1260 days. This connects to a prophecy given of this power in Daniel 12. Daniel 12:1-7 “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book… It shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.”
How can we be sure that a time, times and a half time is 1260 days? A time is a biblical year (which was 360 days - a full circle in ancient times). This is evident in the life of Nebuchadnezzar. When he became insane and lived like an animal as a judgment from YHWH, the Bible says, "seven times" passed. Scripturally this was seven years. So the time, times and half time of Daniel 12 is 3.5 years. (The smallest unit that times - plural - could represent without being specified is 2). This is proven in several Biblical prophecies about this period of time, as we will soon see. And 3.5 years is 1260 days - again because there were 360 days in a Biblical year.
To answer this question, we must connect the writings of John the Revelator with the writings of Daniel. In Daniel 7:25 we read, “And he (the Little Horn power - which connects to John's woman who rides the beast) shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.”
Thus, we find that the 3.5 years will be not only the beast's reign, but will also be a time of unparalleled trouble and persecution for YHWH's true followers.
But there is also good news for the soon-coming 1260 days of trouble. During this time, YHWH will have Two Witnesses. These Two Witnesses will stand against the beast, demonstrating that his claims of messiahship are false. How so? Well, if the beast really is Yeshua, as He claims, why can't he stop the Two Witnesses? These mighty Witnesses will go about the earth doing exploits for Heaven. They will be similar to those done by Moses and Elijah of old. This is why many have believed that they will literally BE Moses and Elijah, come back to earth for this critical showdown.
The prophecy about the Two Witnesses is found in Revelation 11. In Revelation 11:1-4, it says, “And there was given me 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 will give power unto My two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.”
- Fire devours anyone who tries to hurt them (Rev. 11:5)
- They will stop the rain (Rev. 11:6)
- They will turn the water to blood (Rev. 11:6)
- They will smite the earth with plagues as frequently as they wish (Rev. 11:6)
- They bear the testimony of the true God against the beast, causing him to hate them and seek their lives (Rev. 11:7)
One of the reasons it has been very confusing for Bible students to identify these Two Witnesses is that this prophecy, like most all prophecies, has BOTH a LITERAL AND A FIGURATIVE FULFILLMENT.
Many Bible students only view the Two Witnesses as literally being two people at the end of time. Many more Bible students only view the Two Witnesses as applying figuratively to a message, the Bible itself or to end-time groups of people. Both literal and figurative applications are right! Because people have tried to make Revelation 11 apply to only one or the other rather than be both literal and figurative there has been a great deal of controversy on this subject.
It is vitally important to remember that nearly 100% of all the prophecies have both a literal and a figurative application. The final fulfillment is almost always literal. But, in this case, there is also an end-time figurative fulfillment. The Bible gives us an important key to identifying the figurative fulfillment of the Two Witnesses. It says that they are two candlesticks (Revelation 11:4). It also says that the candlesticks are the churches (Revelation 1:20).
Of all the seven churches, only two are pure (God has no failings to list about them). They are Philadelphia and Smyrna (Rev. 2:1-3:22). Philadelphia is the 144,000 or the “living righteous” who are translated like Elijah. Smyrna are the multitude of martyrs (Rev. 2:10), or those who will die, like Moses did, before being taken to Heaven.
In a prophetic application, much of the prophecy is played out. But, not all! In the final fulfillment, EVERY piece of the prophecy will be completely played out.
There are many details of Revelation 11 that can only be played out literally (as will be demonstrated in the list below). For this reason, it is clear that there must be a literal final fulfillment of this exciting prophecy. This naturally brings up the question of identity. Who will these Two Witnesses be? Because they will turn the water to blood like Moses did in Egypt, some have speculated that maybe Moses will be one of them. And because they will stop the rain from falling like Elijah did in the time of Ahab, it has been thought by many that Elijah will be the other. Could it be that Elijah and Moses will literally walk the earth as the famous two witnesses of the 1260 days? Perhaps...
Or it may be two literal people, who like John the Baptist (who was the second Elijah - see Matthew 17:10-13) come in the spirit and power of Moses and Elijah.
So, now let's look at Revelation 11 and get the whole story on the Two Witnesses. Revelation 11:3-12 “And I will give power unto My two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies [shall lie] in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.”
Here we find that the Two Witnesses will be unkillable until the 1260 days are finished. Then, at the end of the 1260 day (or 3.5 year period) the Two Witnesses will be slain by the beast in the spiritual city of Sodom (to be spiritually compared to Sodom, means that this city will be a leader in wickedness), yet literally where our Lord was crucified. Now we know the literal location of this soon-to-be wicked city. It is Jerusalem - where Yeshua died. Jerusalem, is to be the center of the beast's throne, thus it makes perfect sense that this is the city where the Two Witnesses will die.
Now amazingly, the beast has been claiming to be the Messiah. Yet, if he really were the Son of God he should have the power to stop the Two Witnesses. But, his power is impotent against them (until the very end). They walk around the earth stopping the rain, striking it with plagues and turning the water to blood. They also preach. And in all of this they not only verbally but miraculously deny the beast's claim. For if he really were the Song of God, he would have the power to stop them. By the time the 1260 days of his reign is nearly finished, the beast will be practically foaming at the mouth with desire to kill them. But, he is unable to do so. Then, finally, he succeeds in killing the Two Witnesses.
How long are they dead before the beast's reign ends? Just 3.5 DAYS! Considering that the beast only reigns UNCONTESTED for three and a half days, he doesn't really get a very long reign at all. And in that 3.5 day period, the Bible says the wicked will party and dance over the bodies, which will literally lie unburied in the streets of Jerusalem. This will be a very dark 1/2 week for YHWH's cause. But, it is always darkest just before the dawn!
When the three and half days is ended, the Two Witnesses will resurrect and BE TRANSLATED in front of everyone! No doubt this will be front page news! And as the world witnesses this translation, there will be no question in anyone's mind anymore. The beast is exposed as a fraud. His kingdom comes crumbling down around his ears. And YHWH is known as the True God in every mind - willingly or unwillingly. This is the beginning of the TRUE MESSIAH'S REIGN!
As it says in Revelation 11:15 “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of YHWH, and of Yahshua; and He shall reign for ever and ever.”
What a spiritual showdown we have to look forward to! Can you imagine serving YHWH on the earth during the time in which His Two Witnesses walk it? It will be a time unparalleled for the cause of YHWH. Even the mighty days of Elijah (the first time around) will be a mere shadow in comparison with what's coming.
And what about the rest of us who are loyally part of the Elijah team? There are powerful promises for us to hang on to for the coming time of trouble. Jeremiah 30:7 says, “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.”
And Deuteronomy 4:30-31 promises, “When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be obedient unto His voice; (For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) He will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which He sware unto them.”