So far, we have completed a survey of the first five of the alleged “signs of the times” to the terminal generation. Each of them were shown to be without Biblical basis. America and the world is being sold a bag of plug nickel’s for Bible prophecy. It is so serious that those who do advocate blowing entire countries off the map with nuclear weapons, all “in the name of the Lord!”
In today’s lesson, “Two Witnesses Prophesy – Do Hagee’s 10 Road Signs Countdown to Armageddon?, we examine number 6 of the alleged 10 Road Signs to End Times, and further answer the question, Are We the Terminal Generation?” In other words are we living in the last days of a generation about to see Christ return to this earth and set up camp in Jerusalem of Palestine? As bluntly as we can be, no.
Now those strongly disagree have probably already stopped reading, so if you’re still here, it means that you at least want to know why we make the above claims. John Hagee calls his sixth sign, “International Instant Communication.” In his book, “Beginning of the End, p. 95, he says that his father’s generation could not have explained how the whole world could have can see the two witnesses of Revelation 11:3, 7-10, in the streets of the city of Jerusalem.
He asserts that because of a satellite dish, CNN, cable companies, the invention of the antenna and the internet even those in remote corners of the world will see the above end times event unfold. God bless those who have HD! However, to cover his bet, he says this could happen, namely that everyone living during the Tribulation get to see the trio of:
- the two witnesses slain in the streets of Jerusalem
- the Antichrist and
- the coming of the Messiah
We have lots of ground to cover and must sacrifice due to the time and space it would take to adequately cover each issue raised. But let’s begin with the two witnesses and the great tribulation.
The Two Witnesses Prophesy – Do Hagee’s 10 Road Signs Countdown to Armageddon
The two witnesses found in Revelation 11:3-10 prophesy in the street of the “great city.” This is Jerusalem. First, because it is identified spiritually as Sodom, indicating its perversions, per the Lord’s words in Matthew 12;39, 16:4. Secondly, because it is likened to Egypt. Comparisons with Jerusalem as Egypt are noted in Galatians 4:24-25, and Hebrews 12;18-21, besides the Revelation text.
The most significant yet unmistakable clue to the identity of the great city is the phrase, “where also our Lord was crucified.” (Rev. 11:8). This points, not to the modern city of Jerusalem, but to the ancient city in the time of the Apostles of Christ, before it was destroyed.
We noted in the previous lesson that Jerusalem would be “trampled under foot” by the Gentiles, i.e. the Romans under Titus, who sacked and burned the city to teh ground in AD 70, (Luke 21:20-24; Rev. 11:2). Thus, the two witnesses prophesy before the city is destroyed. In other words, this event happened long ago in the first century. It will not be repeated.
The Tribulation occurs in connection with Jerusalem’s fall. Luke calls it the time of great distress in the land and upon the ancient Jewish people. Josephus, records their fate and doom. The great distress of Luke 21:23, equals the time of the great tribulation in Matthew 24:21. In both chapters, the writers record Jesus’ words limiting the time to his very own generation. The Apostles knew the events would occur not in ours, but in their generation, (Matthew 24:34, Luke 21:32).
Since, Hagee correctly sees the two witnesses prophesying during the time of the great distress/tribulation, there is no escape from the conclusion that the great tribulation is passed having occurred within the first century generation. Further, John, a member of the remnant of Israel, as was Paul before his death, wrote to the seven churches in Asia saying that he was their brother and companion in the great tribulation, (Rev. 1:9).
This also means that John was a member of the 144,000. The significance of this point is that John sees the vision of the 144 thousand, and is told that they have come “out of the great tribulation,” (Rev. 7:14). Now here is the point. John was a member of the 144000. He sees the vision of them victoriously coming out of the great tribulation. Therefore, John lives through the entire period of the tribulation.
This is as it should be because Christ spoke to John saying that he alone of the Apostles would not die until Christ returned, (John 21:22, 23). Does Hagee or anyone believe the Apostle John is alive today? Yet, Christ promised to come before John died, saying, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you?” (John 21:22)
Lastly, John belonging to the remnant of Israel, and the one hundred forty four thousand, is also part of the firstfruits community. Here’s the rub. Only first century Christians could be firstfruits saints. They are also called firstborn ones. Again, only the first century generation of saints could be the firstborn sons of God. That again, places the events in the first century. Not a single Christian alive today or anytime after the first century is or could ever be a part of the firstfruits.
How the World Could See the Two Witnesses Slain in the Streets of Jerusalem
When speaking of Bible prophecy, God does not place all events in the realm of natural eyesight. We must remember, that we have “eyes of understanding” (Eph. 1:18) which can see much more than our natural eyes will ever see. The word see is also used in the sense of knowing. We figuratively use it that way all the time with such expressions of “now I see what you mean.” That does not mean that we literally eyeballed the subject or event, but we mentally perceived or came to know it.
When God fulfills prophecy, he often uses events in the natural realm to help us see. Such was the case many times in the Exodus when God said to Pharaoh after he would send a plague, “Then shall you know (perceive or see) that I am the Lord.” Such was the case with Christ’s coming in the clouds of heaven as promised to Caiaphas the High Priest. Hereafter you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power and coming on the clouds of heaven26:63-64).
Now there were no satellites or CNN in the days of the High Priest. How then was it it possible for him to see Christ sitting on the throne in heaven? No one can do that today with natural eyesight even with our most powerful telescopes. Yet, all believers know, or perceive that Christ is on the throne by the word of God. We “see” or understand that fact.
We see spiritual things by spiritual testimony. Remember the angel communicated these events by signs and symbols, yet at a time which had drawn near and was shortly to take place when John wrote, (Rev. 1:1-3).
Now as we have demonstrated that the two witnesses prophesied and were slain in the streets of Jerusalem prior to its destruction by the Romans in 70 AD, and during the time of the great tribulation which belonged to the first century, it is inescapable that the event is in the past. Those with “eyes of understanding” can see it. Those who refuse to accept the evidence will not and will be left to speculation about some future event which will never occur.
We have 1900 years of testimony of these foolish false prophets and the world is getting tired of their demented hysteria. But until it ceases, Christianity must continue to suffer the lies and embarrassment of “future imminent dooms day prophecies that weaken the witness of its proponents.”
For more information on the Revelation and when it is fulfilled, see our book, Will Planet Earth Be Destroy? Includes A Full Verse By Verse Analysis of 2 Peter Chapter 3.
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