The Death Sentence

There are two people in the Bible who did not die.  Do you know their names?  Enoch and Elijah, both were taken by God. Enoch was simply taken, “When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah.  After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters.  Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years.  Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.” (Genesis 5: 21-24).  This is the account of Elijah, “When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?’  ‘Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,’ Elisha replied. ‘You have asked a difficult thing,’ Elijah said, ‘yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yoursotherwise, it will not.’  As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.” (2 Kings 2: 9-11).

I believe these two were taken by God for a specific purpose and that they will experience death before the end of all things.  Scripture declares, “Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment,…” (Hebrews 9: 27).  I can not be dogmatic about this as it involves prophecy, yet unfulfilled, but it seems to fit many purposes.  “And I will appoint my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.  They are the two olive trees and the two lampstands, and they stand before the Lord of the earth.  If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies.  This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die.  They have power to shut up the heavens so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want.  Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them.  Their bodies will lie in the public square of the great citywhich is figuratively called Sodom and Egyptwhere also their Lord was crucified.  For three and a half days some from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial.  The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and will celebrate by sending each other gifts, because these two prophets had tormented those who live on the earth.  But after the three and a half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them.  Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, ‘Come up here.’  And they went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies looked on.” (Revelation 11: 3-12).

They are called witnesses since living from ancient days till then they would have seen history as it was written.  They are men and able to testify as men to the truth and the law requires the testimony of two witnesses.  They also have stood before the Lord of the earth, during all history.  They will give their testimony and be able to defend themselves against all who try to silence them by death.  They will have power to verify their authority and credibility.  They will occupy or gather a world wide audience and testify for about three and a half years.  After they have completed their testimony the “Beast” from the Abyss comes and kills them, which I believe is a servant of the enemy.  They will lie dead in the public square. The entire world will look upon them and celebrate with joy at their demise.  Until our generation this would be impossible, but with satellite TV and internet it is quite possible, particularly considering the three years of associated messages, miracles, and hostility that will ensue.  After three and a half days they will return to life, stand up and ascend to God in a cloud in accordance with a voice from heaven.

I can imagine the collision of truth with historical revision, political correctness with scriptural precepts, and secular humanism with Holy Spirit inspired faith, it would be a clash of opposites in every respect, a show down much like the Exodus of Israel from Egypt.  God came to earth as a lamb and He will return as a Lion.  The enemies of God can not be convinced of their error, even if someone rises from the dead, because it is willful, intended, and purposed. (Luke 16; 31). In the end all will see how patient, merciful and generous is God Almighty and no one will question his lovingkindness, even as wrath overtakes the enemy.

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