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A Closer Look at The Rapture – A.V. Rauf - http://bibleprophecyfortoday.com/2015/04/04/a-closer-look-at-the-rapture-part-1/
There are people today denying there will be a rapture, or catching up, to be with the Lord Jesus. As absurd as this sounds, even within the Body of Christ many believers are being told that there is no rapture.
When studying our Bibles, we have to look at what else happened in a given location to understand the full dimension of its spiritual and theological significance. That being said, let’s look at some of the people who were raptured and some who were resurrected:
Genesis 5:21-27—And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: 22 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: 23 And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: 24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him. 25 And Methuselah lived an hundred eighty and seven years, and begat Lamech. 26 And Methuselah lived after he begat Lamech seven hundred eighty and two years, and begat sons and daughters: 27 And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died.
A couple of interesting points in this reference to note here is that for starters, Enoch walked or fellowshipped with God.In others He knew God and He obeyed God despite the world that was in contrast around him. From the very beginning, God had a relationship with Adam and Eve that found them “walking in the garden in the cool of the day”
Genesis 3:8—And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.
So God created man for the enjoyment of a walking relationship that involved companionship, dialogue, intimacy, joint decision-making, mutual delight, and shared dominion. Prior to the rapture of the Church, the Church must be doing so likewise. Here is the interesting part: Enoch must have discovered something even Adam may not have experience. He pressed into God until he learned how to commune with God through every facet of life. To find that dimension of relationship certainly required an intense spiritual pursuit, and then when he found it, the Lord made a graphic statement by taking him up to heaven.
As we walk with Him, he will open the Scriptures to us through the Spirit of wisdom and revelation and reveal to us the light of the glory of God that is to be found in Him.
When we walk with God, we enter the dimension where God unfolds the secrets of his kingdom.
Deuteronomy 29:29—The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law. (in this case, law = the teaching and instructions of God.)
Matthew 13:11-16— He answered and said unto them, “Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it is not given. 12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance. But whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that which he hath. 13 Therefore speak I to them in parables, because seeing, they see not, and hearing, they hear not, neither do they understand. 14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which saith, ‘By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive. 15 For this people’s heart has waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.’ 16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear.
These are the paths that the Old Testament Patriarchs travelled before us. Noah knew the secret of walking with God:
Genesis 6:9–These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.
Although he was not raptured, Noah and his family were spared from the judgment which was in the form of the global flood. Abraham also knew the secret of walking with God.
Genesis 24:40— And he (Abraham) said unto me, The Lord, before whom I walk, will send his angel with thee, and prosper thy way; and thou shalt take a wife for my son of my kindred, and of my father’s house….
Even Daniel understood the secret things of God:
Daniel 4:7-9—Then came in the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers; and I told the dream before them, but they did not make known unto me the interpretation thereof. 8 But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and before him I told the dream, saying,
9 ‘O Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in thee and no secret troubleth thee, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen and the interpretation thereof.
As New Testament believers, we are instructed to “walk,” by faith:
2 Corinthians 5:1-7–For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: 3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. 5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
Through Christ, we can explore the glorious riches of knowing God like they did—and to even a greater degree because of the Spirit which has been given to us! The mysteries of God are always unveiled to the faithful Church. In preparing for the return of the LORD, there are three specific mysteries which must be unveiled in order to fully comprehend the end-time events that are to come. They are:
1. The mystery of Iniquity:
2 Thessalonians 2:1-7–Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and by our gathering together unto Him, 2 that ye be not soon shaken in mind or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as if from us that the Day of Christ is at hand. 3 Let no man deceive you by any means, for that Day shall not come, unless there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sitteth as God in the temple of God, showing himself to be God. 5 Remember ye not that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 6 And now ye know what withholdeth, that he might be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now holdeth back will hold him back, until he is taken out of the way.
2. The mystery of Israel and the Church
Romans 11:25-32—For I, brethren, would not have you be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits: that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.
26 And so all Israel shall be saved, as it is written: “There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. 27 For this is My covenant unto them when I shall take away their sins.” 28 Concerning the Gospel, they are enemies for your sake; but concerning the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes. 29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
30 For as in times past ye have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief, 31 even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that He might have mercy upon all.
3. The mystery of the Rapture itself:
1 Corinthians 15:51-58— Behold, I show you a mystery: We shall not all sleep; but we shall all be changed
52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
In addition, it merits mentioning here also that for those who do not comprehend the mystery of faith, the mystery of the Gospel and the mystery of Christ, they may not truly comprehend the mystery of the return of Christ:
1 Timothy 3:7-9—Moreover he must have a good reputation with those who are outsiders, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. 8 Likewise must the deacons be serious, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for filthy lucre, 9 holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience.
Ephesians 6:18-20— praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints. 19 And pray for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the Gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in bonds, that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
Ephesians 3:1-6— For this cause I, Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles— 2 if ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me toward you, 3 how by revelation He made known unto me the mystery (as I wrote before in a few words, 4 whereby when ye read this, ye may understand my knowledge of the mystery of Christ), 5 which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: 6 that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ by the Gospel,
Now getting back to Enoch. It is very important to know that the Bible clearly tells us in addition, when Enoch was raptured, his son, who represented the next generation lived for 969 years which is close to 1,000 years. We know that the name Methuselah means, “when he is dead it shall be sent.” Notice that after the Rapture, ultimately the next generation that will continue into the Millennial Kingdom will also last 1,000 years. As grim as this may sound, in addition, after the Rapture of the Church, death will be sent as the Seal, Trumpet and Bowl Judgments in the Book of Revelation come to pass.
Revelation 6:4— And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.
Revelation 6:7-8—7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. 8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
We must understand the importance of the eternal nature as well as the temporal nature of redemption. When we are “born-again,” our old self is crucified and we are redeemed to both go to Heaven and to reign with Christ in the Millennium. Yet while on earth, which is our temporal abode, we all fulfill a purpose in this temporal life on this temporal earth. This is done collectively as the body of Christ so that we can ultimately facilitate the coming of the future kingdom. Our navigation device on this earth is the Holy Bible itself:
II Timothy 3:16-17—All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
Some may say, “Oh, well you are so heavenly-minded that you’re of no earthly good.” I beg to disagree. Being correctly heavenly-minded if anything should directly affect your conduct on earth. Whether or not we, as born-again believers fulfill such a calling will then determine the very magnitude of our status and rewards when Christ does return.
The strong emphasis on the fact that Enoch walked with God is synonymous with that of a New Testament believer who is striving to walk in the spirit:
Romans 5:8-11— For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
There is another rapture that takes place in the Bible that is the rapture of the prophet Elijah:
2 Kings 2:1-12— And it came to pass, when the Lord would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. 2 And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry here, I pray thee; for the Lord hath sent me to Bethel. And Elisha said unto him, As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they went down to Bethel. 3 And the sons of the prophets that were at Bethel came forth to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Lord will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he said, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace. 4 And Elijah said unto him, Elisha, tarry here, I pray thee; for the Lord hath sent me to Jericho. And he said, As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they came to Jericho. 5 And the sons of the prophets that were at Jericho came to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Lord will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he answered, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace. 6 And Elijah said unto him, Tarry, I pray thee, here; for the Lord hath sent me to Jordan. And he said, As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And they two went on. 7 And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went, and stood to view afar off: and they two stood by Jordan. 8 And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and smote the waters, and they were divided hither and thither, so that they two went over on dry ground. 9 And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me. 10 And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so. 11 And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. 12 And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces.
What one must understand in regards to Elijah’s ministry is that God raised him up to deal with the Ahab and Jezebel and the priests of Baal among other things:
1 Kings 16:29-33–And in the thirty and eighth year of Asa king of Judah began Ahab the son of Omri to reign over Israel: and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty and two years. 30 And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord above all that were before him. 31 And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him. 32 And he reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. 33 And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him.
1 Kings 18:17-39— And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? 18 And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim. 19 Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel’s table. 20 So Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together unto mount Carmel. 21 And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. 22 Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the Lord; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men. 23 Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: 24 And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken. 25 And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under. 26 And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made. 27 And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked. 28 And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them. 29 And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded. 30 And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down. 31 And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the Lord came, saying, Israel shall be thy name: 32 And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed. 33 And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood. 34 And he said, Do it the second time. And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time. 35 And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water. 36 And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. 37 Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. 38 Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. 39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The Lord, he is the God; the Lord, he is the God.
We read in the above account that the priests of Ba’al, who were actually Hebrew priests seduced by the paganistic beliefs of Queen Jezebel, could not make it rain when they called upon their God Ba’al. Why am I mentioning this and how does it apply to us today?
Interestingly, Jesus Christ referred to Queen Jezebel (metaphorically speaking) to point out false religion and spiritual seduction which would be taking place in the Church prior to His return. OUCH!!!
Revelation 2:19-24—And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass; 19 I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. 20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. 21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. 22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. 23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. 24 But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.
As mentioned in the previous article, Jesus Christ himself referred to Queen Jezebel (metaphorically speaking) to point out false religion and spiritual seduction which would be taking place in the Church prior to His return.
Revelation 2:19-24—And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass; 19 I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. 20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
When churches lack qualified leadership and a lack of discipleship, there is always a very strong probability that they can become vulnerable to the lies of the false teachers and false prophets of the developed world.
Scripture says the following:
1 Timothy 4:1—Now the Spirit speaketh expressly that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils.
False religion and spiritual seduction not only leads to scriptural error and idolatry, but it can also cause one to be lead astray, to be lead into error, to be deceived and ultimately to fall away from truth. The teaching of God’s Word is not something that should ever be taken lightly:
James 3:1—My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.
Notice the NLT:
James 3:1–Dear brothers and sisters,[a] not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2 Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.
Although the context of the chapter focuses on the power of the tongue and how we should be careful with our words James clearly emphasize the seriousness of being a teacher of God’s Word.
Getting back to Elijah, whose name “Eliyahu,” in the original language meant “My God, He is Yahweh,” his very name became a polemic against false teaching and idolatry, specifically towards Ba’al worship which become the norm under reign of King Ahab and the pagan influence and spiritual seduction of Queen Jezebel. Jezebel, a daughter of the king of Zidon, led the people away from the Lord to worship Baal the sun-god, and the goddess Ashtoreth, whom the Zidonians worshipped.
This was the state of Israel when the Lord sent the prophet Elijah to warn the people and call them back to Him. He spoke as boldly as John the Baptist did years afterward. And like John the Baptist, his hair was long and he wore a leather girdle. Elijah is called the Tishbite. It is not sure where the town was in which he was born, but he was living in Gilead beyond Jordan.
The Lord sent the prophet to tell Ahab that there would be a drought and famine because the people were disobedient and no longer following God. And the famine came, and lasted three years and six months. In the meantime Elijah was cared for by the Lord. He was hidden from Ahab and Jezebel, who would have killed him, and was fed.
James 5:17-18—Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.
Notice how Elijah’s ministry was compared to John the Baptist, who was a voice crying in the wilderness. John the Baptist’s ministry was outside the conventional population areas. He was in the wilderness. Since the time of his birth,the Bible tells us tells us that he spent his entire life in the wilderness. . He wore camel’s hair and he ate locusts and wild honey. He was obviously a man apart from the establishment. He lived clearly outside the influences, the attitudes and the life style of his culture. By God’s design he was uninfluenced by his society, as was Enoch and was Elijah.
John the Baptist didn’t care about cultural relevance, he didn’t have any social savvy. He didn’t know his culture by personal experience or study. But he knew his God and he knew the message of his God.
I want to make a very important point here: The true prophet of God has never been called to find the common ground with his culture. The true prophet of God has always been called to bring the pure uninfluenced Word of God to confront that culture, preaching repentance for the forgiveness of sin. John’s responsibility also was to prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. That’s what John the Baptist did and that’s what Elijah did and that’s what the true Church will do prior to the Rapture.
I want to close with yet another interesting similarity between the times we are living in and the times of the ministries of both John the Baptist and Elijah: Notice there was a famine in the land.
Not only was there a famine in the land bot spiritually speaking there was a famine of hearing and understanding God’s Word in the land:
Amos 8:11-12—Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: 12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it.
In this regard, it can be said then that John the baptist broke the first famine in the hearing of God’s Word in preparation of the First Coming of Christ and ultimately Elijah the Prophet, who many Bible scholars believe will be one of the two witnesses God raises during the Tribulation period will be instrumental in dealing with yet another famine in the hearing of God’s Word prior to the return of the Messiah. Even these two witnesses will ultimately be “raptured,”:
Revelation 12:1-12—-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. 2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. 3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. 4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. 5 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. 6 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. 7 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. 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 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. 11 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. 12 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.
Keep in mind that before the two witnesses are revealed on the earth the Church must be raptured. In anticipation of these two events perhaps we are living in the last days whereas the true Body of Christ is being raised to bring the pure uninfluenced Word of God to confront the current culture, to preach repentance for the forgiveness of sin and to prepare the people for the coming of the Lord.