We have been looking at the intervals which take place between the 6th and 7th seal judgment, and the 6th and 7th trumpet judgment. The seal interval described in Revelation chapter 7 is the sealing of the 144,000 and the multitude beyond counting before the throne of God. The trumpet interval is the opening of the little book and the two witnesses of Revelation chapter 10 and 11. It seems to me that an interval period is something that begins at its time in the unfolding prophecy, but it doesn’t necessarily end until the end of the age. So 144,000 are sealed after the rise of Constantine and before the fall of Rome, but the great multitude beyond counting which follows the 144,000 will not be completed until the end of the age. The testimony of the 144,000 is still at work in the world.
So also the witness of the little book, the measuring of the temple and the testimony of the two witnesses begins after the Fall of Constantinople to the Turks in 1453 (the end of the 6th trumpet judgment), but the interval with the two witnesses might not end until the end of the age. Some historicists believe the time of the witnesses was finished with the end of the French Revolution. I don’t believe it has finished, and this is why:
“These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth.
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. These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire.” Revelation 11:4-6
Now, we have not yet seen this, to my knowledge. Fire devouring enemies, heaven shut up so that no rain falls (reminiscent of Elijah) and water turning to blood and plagues (reminiscent of Moses). Wow, there are the two witnesses again, Elijah (Ephraim = Gentiles = Christians) and Moses (Judah = Jews). Jesus said that Elijah would come before His return; and here in Revelation we see one of the witnesses shutting up heaven in the manner of Elijah before the Messiah’s return. (Let us remember that there are two witnesses of God who were taken up to heaven and never died, even though they were born into the human family with Adam’s sin nature: Enoch and Elijah. The two witnesses might be those two actual men returned to earth; we will not know for sure until it happens.)
In reading the rest of this chapter, I get the sense that none of this will be done in secret. The world will know who the two witnesses are, and that they are testifying to God, Creator of heaven and earth, that He is and is coming again. The signs of shutting up heaven and striking the earth with plagues will follow the testimony of these two witnesses, just as signs followed Elijah so that Ahab would know that he was speaking the Lord’s word, or as signs followed Moses so that Pharaoh would know he was indeed sent by God. So since these things are not yet happening, then I believe the interval period following the Fall of Constantinople at the hands of the Turks (the 6th trumpet judgment described in Revelation chapter 9) has not yet come to an end.
To be continued …
Update: continued in Revelation 11: the beast from the abyss