Summary: Translation and glorification of the Two Witnesses
Translated and Glorified, Revelation 11:11-14
I think we have all heard the term "victory snatched from the jaws of defeat". History is replete with such stories, ranging from the realm of sports to the theater of combat, from the world of politics to the history of business.
Of all of the stories that I could tell about how God intervened in a truly bleak, hopeless time, the best that comes to mind is not Santonio Holmes winning catch from Ben Roethlisburger in Super Bowl XLIII, how Truman defeated Dewey in the run for the Oval Office nor the story of Steven Jobs in the realm of business. No, it is a story that is near and dear to my heart; it is one about my father.
My dad was a pretty tough guy; at one point in high school he played a few football games with a broken collarbone, with arm strapped to his chest! But taken from the quiet rural setting of Western Greene County and thrown into the horrors of war was overwhelming for him. Having a combination of amebic dysentery and shell shock, Dad lost a huge amount of weight from his trim 145 pound frame and it seemed that the world was caving in on him. He was on the other side of the world from Richhill Township, in a tent in New Guinea.
But God is so good. Feeling just about as low as one could feel, suddenly the tent opened up and a huge man walked in; it was Ralph Goodwin, a man he had played football against. Ralph had seen Dad's name in Stars and Stripes and walked miles to visit with him. God sent Ralph, and Dad ended up not only recovering but finished the war as a Staff Sergeant and Bronze Medal awardee.
Evil may live and reign for a time, but it will not endure forever. This week, we will see how this is so true and how the world will acknowledge that which they had tried in many ways to deny: God is all powerful, God is truly in charge and God will uphold the righteous.--
Now after the three-and-a-half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up here." And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them. Revelation 11:11-12
The Breath of Life and the Ascension Into Heaven
Each life is a miracle. Some people think that if they just have the act of sex that they can "make a baby', but in truth it is God that creates life. Life does not occur by accident--it never has, contrary to the beliefs of Darwin and even modern day evolutionists. God is truly in charge, and there is not a single life that has ever been on Planet Earth that was not created by Him and ordained by Him.
The line of thought in the Jewish mind in Bible times was that the body would hold the spirit for three days and then the spirit would depart. Jesus knew of this superstition, and when he delayed going to see Lazarus who was gravely ill, Lazarus died. In fact, by the time that Jesus went to see him Lazarus had been dead for four days (verse 17), and Martha at Lazarus' tomb said "Lord, by this time he stinketh" (John 11:39, KJV). Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead (a resuscitation, not a resurrection), proving the power of Jesus over death and even the rot of the body. Four days rot would not stop Jesus.
There are two places in God's Word that the term "breath of life" come to mind. The first is in Genesis, where "the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being". (Gen 2:7, NKJV). The Holy Spirit breathed life into Adam. Also, in Ezekiel 37:5, we can see in the "vision of the dry bones" "Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: "Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live". This vision speaks of the breathing of life back into the nation of Israel, a prophecy that refers first to the re-gathering of Israel (when the bones come back together) and when the nation becomes alive in God again during the Tribulation period. One is a picture of human, physical life and the other is a picture of spiritual life.
These Two Witnesses will, all of a sudden in clear view of the entire world, come back to life, get up off of the pavement and onto their feet. While this is a picture of the Rapture of the Church, it's notably slower in progression. While only seconds or perhaps a minute or so long, it is not in "the twinkle of an eye" as is mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15:52. Why? So that the whole world will watch, see and have no doubt that God has raised them from the dead.