Opposition to Anti-Christ
By Dave White
As we move through the tribulation period, God will raise up opposition to Anti-Christ and his government. The opposition will present the truth of Christ very clearly to the unbelieving world, again showing God’s grace and mercy by providing mankind another opportunity to be saved. The opposition will be manifested in three distinct ways:
The 144,000 Jewish witnesses or evangelists
The Tribulation saints or believers
The two Witnesses
For I do not want you brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery-so that you will not be wise in your own estimation-that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in;
And so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written,
“The deliverer has come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob. This is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.” (Romans 11:25-27)
This passage is a clear reflection of a God who keeps His promises. Many have said that God has given up on Israel after Her rejection and crucifixion of The Lord Jesus. However, by the predetermined plan of God, that was exactly why He came. Just when Satan was rejoicing over his supposed victory by planting Jesus in the grave, Christ triumphed, by rising from the dead, victorious over sin and death. Jesus knew he would be rejected by his own people, the Jews, and that He would die on the cross. Yet, God, the promise keeper made provision for Israel, as we see in Romans 11:25 that yes, a partial hardening would happen to Israel until “the fullness of the Gentiles has come.” This makes reference to what’s commonly known as the “church age,” which is recognized as from the time of Israel’s rejection of Christ until the rapture of the church. During the church age, God is seen turning His attention from Israel to the Gentiles (non-Israelis). God has worked His will principally (though not exclusively) through those gentile people indwelt by the Holy Spirit through conversion to belief in Christ and the regeneration of body, soul, and spirit. At the “Fullness of the Gentiles” (mission complete!) God’s attention is turned back to His chosen people, the Jews, which is reflected in verses 26 and 27. God will keep His covenant and provide for their salvation.
When you consider almighty God and His historical dealings with the Jewish people you must come away amazed and awestruck. His attributes come to mind in His forgiveness, mercy, love, long-suffering, patience and faithfulness. Attributes that have been available at all times toward all men, yet, sadly, for generations, largely ignored by Israel. His life, His spirit, shines like the sun, saying “take me! Don’t turn away, I’m here for you!”
He has said to the Jew first and then, to all mankind “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
He had a plan.
The 144,000 Jewish Evangelists
In Revelation chapter 7 we learn about the 144,000 Jewish evangelists or witnesses. This delineates the end of the church age and occurs just after the rapture. God is now dealing directly with the Jewish people again. All the world’s attention will be directly centered on tiny Israel.
After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth so that no wind would blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree.
And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, Saying, “do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads.And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel: From the tribe of Judah, twelve thousand were sealed, from the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand, from the tribe of Gad twelve thousand, From the tribe of Asher twelve thousand, from the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand, from the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand, from the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand, from the tribe of Levi twelve thousand, from the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand, from the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand, from the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand, from the tribe of Benjamin, twelve thousand were sealed. (Revelation 7:1-8)
What is pictured here is an amazing and supernatural event, 144,000 Jews, 12,000 each from the original tribes, are instantly and miraculously converted to faith in Jesus Christ. Verses 1-3 indicate certain judgments (Possibly bizarre weather patterns) cannot occur until the 144,00 are sealed (saved or set apart) by God with a visible seal or mark on their forehead. Revelation 14:1 indicates that all 144,000 will somehow survive all 7 years of the tribulation. Only through the supernatural protection and intervention of God can this happen. These 144,000 will be responsible for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to all those left behind after the rapture. And based upon the remaining verses in Revelation 7 they are mighty successful.
The Tribulation Saints
After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands.
Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “these who are clothed in white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?” I said to him, “my lord, you know.” And he said to me, “these are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the lamb.”
Many, many people from every country and region on earth will respond to the gospel message preached by God’s 144,000 Witnesses and respond by resisting anti-christ and his system. That will mean, at some point in the tribulation, losing the ability to buy and sell. They could, conceivably, become fugitives, literal enemies of the global government. Remember, Revelation 13:7 says “it was given to him to make war with the saints and overcome them”, and Daniel 9:25: “He will…wear down the saints of the highest one.” Yet, for those who resist, there is a prize:
For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in his temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them.
They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; For the lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life, and God will wipe every tear from their eye.
Not by any means will it be easy to resist the global government during the tribulation.
It seems in verse 17 God is making special note of the intensity of the sacrifice of the Tribulation Saints, personally wiping every tear from their eyes. What a beautiful moment that will be, what an honor!
The Two Witnesses
Revelation Chapter 11 brings us the account of God’s two witnesses. While Satan will have his antichrist and false prophet during these times, God will raise up His prophets of old; the two witnesses. Jerusalem has become the headquarters of the false prophet and the global religion. Worldwide attention is focused on the international agreement to rebuild the Jewish temple and the restoration of sacrifices and offerings.
Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months.
The international peace agreement involves the stationing of military troops of “the nations” and they will be patrolling Jerusalem and the temple for the forty-two months of the tribulation.
And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophecy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.
These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth.
And if anyone wants to harm them, fire flows out of their mouth and devours their enemies; so if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this way.
These have the power to shut up the sky, so that rain will not fall during the days of their prophesying; and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with every plague, as often as they desire.
When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them. (Revelation 11:3-7)
Talk about two royal pains in the rear! These two men of God appear on the scene at the same time as anti-christ and the false prophet rise to prominence. In Revelation 13 the question is “who is able to wage war with Anti-Christ. Here’s the answer. God raises up and supernaturally protects these two prophets dressed in Sackcloth.
Imagine the two prophets very publicly opposing and exposing Anti-Christ and The False Prophet for who they are. And they’re dressing the part to boot! Not only are they preaching against the Anti-Christ they back it up with the ability to withhold rain, send plagues, turn water into blood, and if you try to harm them they can breathe fire and kill! Ouch! As we reach the end of the tribulation (42 months) and we approach The Great Tribulation (marked by anti-christ proclaiming himself to be God) these two are standing in the way of Anti-Christ completing his mission. How can he proclaim himself to be God if he can not dispose of these two witnesses?
God gave the witnesses the authority to preach for 42 months and for 42 months that’s what they will do. Finally, in verse 7, their ministry is over, and the Beast, Anti-Christ, is allowed to kill them.
And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified.
Those from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and will not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb.
And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and celebrate; and they will send gifts to one another; because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.
But then after three and a half days, the breath of life from God came into them, and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who were watching them.
And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “come up here.” Then they went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies watched them.
Friend, you will not want to be on the wrong side of these two guys. But it seems the whole world will.
The world will rejoice at the supposed demise of these two prophets preaching a message in stark contrast to the Anti-Christ and his vast army of followers.
And they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts. (Revelation 9:21)
What a very foreboding time for mankind. anti-christ has eliminated the last obstacle (so he thinks) to his public proclamation yet the way in which the two witnesses are resurrected is frightening to those who have witnessed it. Mankind is still enjoying peace, but all that is about to change. The 3 ½ year tribulation period has come to an end and Anti-Christ can taste victory. It seems the Global Government is firmly in control, and most of the world has bought into the false prophet’s religion. Oh, how appearances can be deceiving!