“DOOMSDAY” Variant (Keeping People Bound In Fear)

A friend posted an article that got my eschatological mind’s gears grinding again. Here is the article graphic of Newsweek’s cover:

My Comments, partly tongue-n-cheek, but not…. if that makes sense.

Doomsday?

CHECK.

Require proof of ID to buy and sell…..?

…..CHECK.

Sounds like a bit of stealth eschatology out in the world. I mean, when the Apostle John penned this, there was no real way to (a) catalog anyone en masse to “number” them. Nor (b) were there ways to curtail shopping for necessities for a large population.

Well, at least there isn’t technology for the world to view the Two Witnesses within days available to us (that an author in 90A.D. warned us about):

REVELATION 11:9-11 (NASB)

Those from the peoples, tribes, languages, and nations will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and [h]will not allow their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb. And those who live on the earth will rejoice over them and celebrate; and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who live on the earth. And after the 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.

I mean, that would take some small device that most people would own in the world, small enough for a pocket, or something most homes have, and shareable with those who don’t have one.

[Nervous] Lol.

It isn’t like the poorest of people living on our streets have them?

Research shows that many homeless people have cell phones. In Karin M. Eyrich-Garg’s study of homeless people in Philadelphia, 44% of the adult participants already had their own cell phones. (Amongst those participants, 80% owned, 18% borrowed long-term, and 2% rented.)

In another study, 70.7% of homeless patients visiting emergency departments had cell phones, compared to 85.9% of people who were stably housed.

Similarly, in Melody Kim, Melissa Cameron and Alex Fung’s study in San Diego, 8 out of 11 participants had cell phones and the other 2 were seeking replacements

(HOMELESS HUB)

Oh… wait.

Well.

It isn’t like the cave dwelling peoples of places like Afghanistan have these devices!

Mmm… maybe that isn’t the best example either.

Oh well. It isn’t like we have a large set of moral busy bodies concerning themselves with what others do.


BIBLICAL COMMENTARRIES


  • The ENTIRE WORLD WILL WATCH (undoubtedly on the latest form of visual media) and glorify the Antichrist as the bodies of the dead prophets who have been killed begin to decay. — John F. MacArthur Jr., The MacArthur Study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2006), Re 11:9.
  • The death of the two prophets (v. 7) will set off a GLOBAL CELEBRATION among unbelievers who have hated their message of truth. — Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald Barclay Allen, and H. Wayne House, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version (Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers, 1997), Re 11:9–10.
  • TV news services can broadcast the awe-inspiring drama. — James E. Rosscup, An Exposition on Prayer in the Bible: Igniting the Fuel to Flame Our Communication with God (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2008), 2772.

Remembering the reaction of Pharaoh to the plagues of Moses, one can easily imagine the frustration of the general public at finding their water turned to blood, conditions of worldwide drought, and the visitation of various other plagues. Doubtless, all of this is blamed, and with some accuracy, on the two witnesses since it is not readily discerned as a part of the overall judgment of God. However, equally probable is the possibility that the “torment” people experience is also due to the fact that these are “witnesses.” In other words, probably they did a great deal more than simply announce the inevitability of certain plagues on the earth. They were preachers of morality, witnesses of God and Christ, and harbingers of the coming of even more severe judgments of God in the days to follow. Again, recalling Exodus, the audacity of Moses to stand before Pharaoh and command him to let God’s people go and sacrifice to him in the wilderness was doubtless just as irritating as the plagues to Pharaoh. So it would be if these two witnesses opposed the worldviews, system of morality, and violation of the laws and purposes of God. This torment was simply too great and thus engendered the wrath of the beast.

Another interesting observation concerns the information that “men from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies.” The fulfillment of such an anticipated event would be incredible and even unthinkable until modern times. Certainly there is no reason for anyone to doubt the prophet even in AD 95 since after all he is the prophet of a miracle-working God. BUT THAT WHICH WAS UNTHINKABLE IN AD 95 WITHOUT A MIRACLE OF GOD IS NO LONGER EVEN IMPROBABLE IN THE ERA OF SATELLITE COMMUNICATION. Hence, events that happen in faraway places are now almost instantly available around the globe to observers with the proper equipment. Too often interpreters of Revelation and of all apocalyptic/prophetic literature read modernity back into the text in a way totally unanticipated by the author and inevitably incorrectly. Here to read modernity into the text would certainly be anachronistic, but at the same time the text may render an understanding even more comprehensible to the contemporary era than it was to the recipients of John’s Apocalypse.

— Paige Patterson, Revelation, ed. E. Ray Clendenen, vol. 39, The New American Commentary (Nashville, TN: B&H, 2012), 249.

The martyrdom of the witnesses (vv. 7–10). This comes only when they have finished their testimony. God’s obedient servants are immortal until their work is done. “The beast” (Antichrist) is now in power and wants to take over the temple; but he cannot succeed until the two witnesses are out of the way. God will permit him to slay them, for no one will be able to make war against “the beast” and win (Rev. 13:4).

The witnesses will not even be permitted decent burial (see Ps. 79:1–3). But even this indecency will be used by God to bear witness to mankind. NO DOUBT THE TV CAMERAS IN JERUSALEM WILL TRANSMIT THE SCENE TO PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD, AND THE NEWS ANALYSTS WILL DISCUSS ITS SIGNIFICANCE. The earth-dwellers will rejoice at their enemies’ removal and will celebrate a “satanic Christmas” by sending gifts to one another. It thus would appear that the power of the two witnesses will not be limited to Jerusalem, but that they will be able to cause things to happen in other parts of the world.

— Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 599.

  • Although THE EARTH rejoices that the testimony of the church is in the end apparently snuffed out, the temporary triumph of evil (“three and a half days”) will turn to heavenly vindication as the two witnesses (the people of God) are raised from the dead. — Robert B. Sloan, “The Revelation,” in Holman Concise Bible Commentary, ed. David S. Dockery (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1998), 674.

BONUS COMMENTARY I LIKE


11:9–10 People Rejoice over the Witnesses’ Bodies

The Sight of the Righteous Vexes the Unrighteous. Tyconius: Since they do not allow their bodies to be gathered in a suitable place, they prevent a day for their memory to be indicated by a sacred celebration of the living.… It is no wonder that the earthly minded rejoice over the deaths of the righteous. For in addition to the plagues that beset the human race on account of the testaments of God, even the very sight of the righteous oppresses the unrighteous, as it is written, “Even the sight of him is a burden to us.” Not only does it oppress, it also causes him to melt away, and so the psalm says, “The sinner will see and be angry; he will gnash his teeth and melt away.”61 Commentary on the Apocalypse 11:9–10.

The Wicked Delight in the Death of God’s Witnesses. Oecumenius: And seeing the destruction of the witnesses, those from every nation who have been deceived by the antichrist will rejoice over them, as though their own king had conquered. That they exchange gifts is another indication of their glee and delight. It says, “Because the two prophets had been a torment to those living on the earth.” [The prophets] will not torment them with any physical torment, but spiritually by mocking and reproving them for their sins and by making utterly clear their deceit. Commentary on the Apocalypse 11:7–10.

The Impious Strive to Remove the Church from the World. Primasius: The intentions are expressed by which the impious strive to remove the church of Christ from the world, as the psalmist says, “Let the name of Israel be remembered no more!” And although they are unable to fulfill their desire, yet they make their evil intention known. Commentary on the Apocalypse 11:9.

Let Us Pray That God Reprove Us. Andrew of Caesarea: Those Jews and Gentiles, who once were overpowered by the false wonders of the antichrist and who had indelibly engrafted that abominable name upon their hearts, prohibited the holy bodies from being buried, and they rejoiced because they were free from the torments that [the prophets] gave for their correction. For they did not acknowledge that “the Lord reproves him whom he loves,” and that “he scourges every son whom he receives” and “by muzzle and bridle he will pull and tug at those who are not near to him.” And God works in this way so that they might turn from necessity into the straight way from which they turned aside when they were deceived. We must make petition of the Lord and pray, “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes,”68 and “Turn us, O God of our salvation, that you do not enter into judgment with your servant.” “When we are judged by you, our beneficent master, we are chastened so that we may not be condemned along with the world”70 but may rather through a few torments escape an eternal punishment. Commentary on the Apocalypse, 11:9–10.

William C. Weinrich, ed., Revelation, Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2005), 164–165.


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