In His major end-time prophecy of Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21, Jesus gave an outline of disasters that would occur on the world scene with increasing frequency and magnitude—to the point where people would be shaken with fear (Luke 21:26 Luke 21:26Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
American King James Version×). Discerning an increase in the scale of these events and reacting to them requires knowing about them.
At the time this prophecy was given, it could be many months or years before people heard about various disasters—and many they would never hear about at all, much less be able to put together the fact that catastrophes were on some kind of global increase.
Only with the proliferation of newspapers and other forms of mass communications did this become remotely possible. Yet the level of awareness and consequent fear in many that Christ speaks of implies an even greater availability of information—possible only since the development of rapid electronic communications.
In any case, only with the technological advances of the last few years has it become possible for the events in Revelation 11 to occur—for people around the world to see the fate of God’s final two witnesses.
These two witnesses, reminiscent of other biblical prophets like Elijah and Elisha, will carry God’s final warning to the world in the 3 1⁄2 years leading up to Christ’s return.
“And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days…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” (Revelation 11:3 Revelation 11:3And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and three score days, clothed in sackcloth.
American King James Version×, Revelation 11:7-10 Revelation 11:7-10 7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. 8 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. 9 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. 10 And they that dwell on the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelled on the earth.
American King James Version×).
Note that people the world over will be able to see their dead bodies during the 3 1⁄2 days that they lie on display in Jerusalem. This was not possible before satellite television, portable communications devices and the Internet. Again, only in the last few years has it become possible for this prophecy to be fulfilled. It still lies in the future, of course, but only now it is clearly possible for this to take place.