Revelation Chapter 11: 3

Revelation 11:3 – “And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.”

After John measures the temple, the mighty angel who continues his dialogue from Revelation 11:1introduces two men as his witnesses. As discussed in Revelation 10:1, while there is some dispute over textual variants, the evidence is in favor of Jesus being the mighty angel. The fact that these two witnesses are clearly the Lord’s witnesses supports the notion that the mighty angel is Jesus. The Lord gives power to His two witnesses to prophesy. To prophesy means to share something God reveals that cannot be understood by the natural mind. A lot of revelation is about future events and coming judgment, usually accompanied with a plea for repentance. Those who prophesy are generally called prophets, and the two witnesses are no exception:

Two of the most colorful characters in all biblical prophecy may be the supernatural prophets that burst on the scene during the first half of the Tribulation. According to (chapter 11 of Revelation), these two are dressed in sackcloth, prophesy, dispense astonishing miracles and witness to the grace of God in the evilest culture known to mankind.

Though some believe Elijah and Enoch are the two witnesses, most Bible scholars consider them to be Moses and Elijah. Proponents of the Moses and Elijah argument point out these two Old Testament characters where the most influential Hebrew men of their respective times. Moses introduced God’s written Law to Israel, and Elijah was the first of the writing prophets and even started the school for the prophets. In fact, whenever the Jews said “Moses and Elijah”, they usually meant “the law and the prophets”.

Together with the 144,000 witnesses (see article “144,000”), the two witnesses of Revelation 11 will have awesome power and impact in producing the enormous soul harvest of the first 42 months of the Tribulation described (in Revelation chapter 7). They will provide the millions of Jews in the Holy Land a spiritual bridge to the Christian gospel. God will demonstrate His mighty power and existence through these two prophets over whom the Antichrist will have no power until the God-appointed time. Before that designated time, the two witnesses will be untouchable, and anyone who threatens them will be killed (Rev. 11:5).

These two witnesses of Revelation 11 will have awesome power and impact, together with the 144,000 witnesses, in producing the enormous soul harvest. They will provide the millions of Jews in the Holy Land a theological and spiritual bridge to the Christian gospel. Many of the souls harvested at that time will be the sons and daughters of Abraham.

“A thousand two hundred and threescore days”: Forty-two months or 3-1/2 years (compare 12:6; 13:5; see note on verse 2).

“Sackcloth”: Coarse, rough cloth made from goat or camel hair. Wearing garments made from it expressed penitence, humility, and mourning (compare Gen. 37:34; 2 Sam. 3:31; 2 Kings 6:30; 19:1; Esther 4:1; Isa. 22:12; Jer. 6:26; Matt. 11:21). The witnesses are mourning because of the wretched wickedness of the world, God’s judgment on it, and the desecration of the temple and the holy city by the Antichrist.

Revelation 11:10 – And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.

A witness does more than prophesy. A witness gives testimony, which is evidence or proof for something. As a point of interest, “witness” and “testimony” come from the same Greek word “martus,” which is also where we derive our English word “martyr.” In its original meaning, the word “martyr,” meaning witness, is found in the secular sphere as well as in the New Testament of the Bible. The process of bearing witness was not intended to lead to the death of the witness, although it is known from ancient writers (e.g. Josephus) and from the New Testament that witnesses often died for their testimonies:

“During the early Christian centuries, the term acquired the extended meaning of a believer who is called to witness for their religious belief, and on account of this witness, endures suffering and/or death. The term, in this later sense, entered the English language as a loanword. The death of a martyr or the value attributed to it is called martyrdom.”Source: Wikipedia

While the Greek word is not always used in the context of martyrdom, the following verses translate the word as “martyr” because the context shows that these witnesses died for their testimony:

Acts 22:20 – And when the blood of Your martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by consenting to his death, and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.

Revelation 2:13 – “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.”

Revelation 17:6 – I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.

While the two witnesses also die a martyr’s death, as did most of the prophets in Scripture, they are primarily witnesses because of their testimony, not their death. However, dying as a martyr strengthens the witnesses’ testimony and its impact on others. As mentioned earlier, the Lord introduces these two witnesses as His, which shows that their testimony bears witness for the Lord. God chose Israel to witness for Him too:

Isaiah 43:1, 10-12 – But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine…. you are My witnesses,” says the LORD, “And My servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after Me. I, even I, am the LORD, and besides Me there is no savior. I have declared and saved, I have proclaimed, and there was no foreign god among you; therefore you are My witnesses,” says the LORD, “that I am God.”

Though Israel failed, God had commissioned them to testify to the Gentiles that He was the only true God by sharing the “oracles,” or the Word of God, and by living by those oracles in the covenant they made with God:

Romans 3:1-2 – What advantage then has the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God.

Isaiah 42:6-9 – “I, the LORD, have called You in righteousness, and will hold Your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the Gentiles, to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the prison, those who sit in darkness from the prison house. I am the LORD, that is My name; and My glory I will not give to another, nor My praise to carved images. Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.”

God says to establish a matter or someone’s word on the testimony of two or three witnesses:

Deuteronomy 19:15 – “One witness shall not rise against a man concerning any iniquity or any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established.”

Deuteronomy 17:6 – Whoever is deserving of death shall be put to death on the testimony of two or three witnesses; he shall not be put to death on the testimony of one witness.

Matthew 18:16 – But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’

2 Corinthians 13:1 – This will be the third time I am coming to you. “By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established.”

1 Timothy 5:19 – Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses.

Hebrews 10:28 – Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.

These passages show that charging someone with a sin requires the testimony of two or three witnesses. Likewise, God has chosen His two witnesses to not only testify to the world that He is the one and only God, but to also accuse the world of their rebellion against God and His Word, which is evident when the world rejoices at their death:

Revelation 11:10 – And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.

While these two witnesses are clearly human because they are later killed and resurrected (Revelation 11:7-12), Jesus shows that the Word of God itself acts as two witnesses: “the law and the prophets” which testify about God:

Luke 16:16-23 – “The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it. And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail. “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced from her husband commits adultery. “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.”

Luke 16:24-31 – “Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’ “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.'”

The “law and the prophets” is a phrase used to show the testimony of God in His Word. Jesus gave His disciples understanding of the Word so they could testify about what they were about to witness in His crucifixion and resurrection as prophesied in the “law and the prophets” (two witnesses) and the Psalms (a third witness):

Luke 24:44 – Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things.”

In addition to the plan of salvation through the Lord’s death and resurrection, God reveals through Paul that “the law and the prophets” also testify about God’s righteousness which is available to all who believe through faith in Jesus Christ:

Romans 3:21-26 – But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

It is widely believed that Moses and Elijah in the transfiguration symbolize the “law and the prophets,” since Moses received and gave the Law to Israel and Elijah is often singled out when talking about “the prophets” (Matthew 16:14, Mark 6:15, 8:28, Luke 9:8, 19):

Matthew 17:1-4 – Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. And behold, Moses and Elijahappeared to them, talking with Him. Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

The two witnesses stand before the Lord like Moses and Elijah in the transfiguration (Revelation 11:4). Since many associate Moses and Elijah with the “law and the prophets,” the picture of the transfiguration strengthens the belief that Moses and Elijah are the two witnesses themselves. There are other reasons to identify Moses and Elijah as the two witnesses, however, there is support for other candidates too, which we will discuss in Revelation 11:4.

Regardless of who the two witnesses are, God will send them on an important mission: To testify about God, offer the Gospel message, and preach against the earth dwellers who continue to reject Him in their rebellion. God gives the two witnesses power and supernatural protection to carry out their mission. There is another purpose to the two witnesses’ ministry, and that is to go up against the beast, or the antichrist:

Revelation 11:7 – When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them.

A casual read of this verse makes it appear that as soon as the beast ascends out of the bottomless pit he overcomes and kills the two witnesses. However, the phrase “that ascends” is a present active participle, which means it is a continuing action or a verb used as a noun. Since the beast doesn’t continually rise out of the pit it makes more sense as a title and not a continuing action. Another example of a present active participle verb used as a noun is in the following passage:

John 6:33 – For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.

Jesus had already come down from Heaven, but He describes Himself as the “bread…who comes down.” Likewise, John calls the beast the one “that ascends out of the bottomless pit,” which describes who the beast is; it is not a verb that describes an action at a point-in-time. This is important to point out because many have mistakenly used this passage as proof-text to place the two witnesses’ ministry in the first half of the Tribulation, based on these verses below:

Revelation 13:3-5 – And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months.

Revelation 17:8, 12-13 – The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition…. “The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast.”

When the reader takes the phrase “the beast that ascends” as an action instead of a title like the Greek indicates, they assume that the beast kills the two witnesses in the middle of the Tribulation as soon as he ascends from the pit, which means the two witnesses’ ministry must start at the beginning of the Tribulation, being 1260 days, which is 3 ½ years. However, there is much evidence presented below against the two witnesses’ ministry starting at the beginning of the Tribulation, and many reasons to place the start of their ministry toward the middle of the Tribulation:

    • The two witnesses’ ministry begins after the temple is rebuilt (Revelation 11:1-2) and ends before the seventh Trumpet judgment (Revelation 11:15). Since the two witnesses arrive on the scene after the temple is standing, their ministry cannot begin right at the beginning of the Tribulation unless the Jews build their temple before the Tribulation begins. Because the antichrist breaks the 7-year covenant in Daniel 9:27 by defiling the temple, this suggests the permission to build the temple is in the covenant itself, and thus construction would begin after the Tribulation starts.

 

    • During the first half of the Tribulation, the Jews will live in Israel under protection of the 7-year covenant (Daniel 9:27), that is, until the beast, or the antichrist breaks the covenant in the middle of the Tribulation by desecrating the temple. After the antichrist breaks the covenant with Israel he will receive power from Satan to succeed in his global conquest, including taking the land of Israel (Revelation 13:5, Daniel 11:40-45). Now consider the context of the two witnesses’ ministry:

 

Revelation 11:1-3 – Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, “Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months. And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.”

Time, times, and half a time

The forty-two months the Gentiles tread Jerusalem is clearly the same forty-two months that the beast rules after he breaks the covenant by desecrating the temple (Daniel 9:27) and conquers and rules from Israel (Daniel 11:41-45). The very next verse gives us a more precise time of 1,260 days, during which the two witnesses testify. This period-of-time is equal to forty-two months, or 3 ½ years. Therefore, the context suggests that these two times run concurrently, or mostly overlap.

The following passages give equivalent time periods, all of which describe the last half of the Tribulation:

Daniel 7:25 – He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time.

Daniel 12:7 – Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished.

Revelation 11:2 – But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months.

Revelation 12:6 – Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.

Revelation 12:14 – But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.

Revelation 13:5 – And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months.

There are no passages that tell us exactly how long in days or months the first half of the Tribulation is. However, the Hebrew word “uchtzi” in Daniel 9:27, usually translated “midst” or “middle,” literally means “half of,” which shows that the two halves of the Tribulation are about the same in length. That said, rounding of numbers occurs frequently in Scripture, so the first half of the Tribulation might be a few days or weeks long or short of 1,260 days.

Regardless if the first half of the Tribulation is precisely 1260 days, we cannot assume that the two witnesses’ ministry has to fit into one half of the Tribulation or the other. There is nothing in Scripture that would prohibit their ministry overlapping the two halves of the Tribulation, though the context of Revelation 11:1-3 suggests the two witnesses’ ministry occurs during the time that the Gentiles trample Jerusalem, which would place at least most of their ministry in the second half of the Tribulation, as mentioned earlier.

    • Another reason against placing the two witnesses’ ministry in the first half of the Tribulation is that the Bowl judgments can only be poured out in the final days of the Tribulation. The second and third Bowl judgments turn all the bodies of water to blood. Mankind will have a matter of days, or perhaps weeks to survive after these two judgments alone; therefore, these judgments cannot be spread out over a 3 ½-year period, otherwise no one could survive to the end of the Tribulation.

If we place the Bowl judgments near the end of the Tribulation, which is the most logical solution, then there will be a large gap between the Trumpet and Bowl judgments if the two witnesses’ ministry is in the first half of the Tribulation. We know the Trumpet judgments occur during the two witnesses’ ministry because the seventh Trumpet occurs after the two witnesses ascend to Heaven (Revelation 11:12-15). But if the Trumpet judgments occur in the first half of the Tribulation, there would be no direct judgments from God for most of the second half of the Tribulation, which Jesus characterized as the worst tribulation ever on the earth (Matthew 24:21)

If the Trumpet judgments occur in the first half of the 7-year Tribulation, the antichrist’s dominion is the primary source of tribulation during the last 3 ½ years until the end, when God pours out the Bowl judgments. Surely the antichrist’s rule is not greater than judgment from God. Why would Jesus characterize the last half of the Tribulation as “great” (Matthew 24:21) if God pours out two-thirds of His judgments in the first half and the last third near the end of the Tribulation, with no judgments for most of the last half?

Another scenario places the Seal judgments at the beginning of the Tribulation with 3 ½ years between the Seals judgments and the Trumpet and Bowl judgments. The following graphic depicts this scenario and the one discussed above:

Judgment scenarios in Revelation

 

Note that in both scenarios, the Seal judgments occur at the beginning of the 7-Year Tribulation.

4 Broken Seals

As shown in Revelation 6, the interrelation between the Seal judgments shows that the Lord breaks the seals in rapid succession near the beginning of the 7-year Tribulation, with the consequences continuing and worsening through the rest of the Tribulation. Likewise, history shows that the consequences of conquest and war occur in rapid succession of each other in the region affected. For example, typically after conquest and war come economic turmoil and famine, followed by death from war, famine, and disease, which continues to worsen until a new government can restore order. As shown in the scroll to the right, the first four Seal judgments have the same consequences, but on a global scale.

Between the two scenarios, it makes more sense for the Trumpet and Bowl judgments to cover the last half of the Tribulation Jesus characterized as the worst tribulation ever on Earth (Matthew 24:21). This would continue the pattern of “birth pangs”increasing in frequency and intensity, where the worst and majority of the judgments come in the last 3 ½ years. This scenario also harmonizes with fact that the last Trumpet judgment includes all the Bowl judgments, and thus the Bowl judgments begin right after the angel blows the seventh trumpet (Revelation 10:7). However, this scenario still leaves the first half of the Tribulation with no judgments.

In addition to the two scenarios just discussed, a third scenario is possible where the Lord breaks the Seal judgments at the beginning of the Tribulation and pours the Bowl judgments out at the end of the Tribulation, with the Trumpet judgments spread out for nearly seven years. While this is certainly possible, it is not consistent with the “half hour of silence” in Revelation 8:1, during which there are no judgments from Heaven for half the hour of Tribulation, or 3 ½ years.

In summary, the period-of-time with no judgments in the first half of the Tribulation fits nicely with the view that the Lord breaks the seals at the beginning of the Tribulation, with about a “half hour of silence,” or no judgment from Heaven for about 3 ½ years, followed by the Trumpet and Bowl judgments in the second half of the Tribulation, as shown below:

Half Hour of Silence
 

In “The Pre-Tribulation Rapture” study, I discuss possible fulfillment of the fall feasts. In that study I explain why I believe the seventh Trumpet judgment fulfills the Feast of Trumpets, the return of Christ fulfills the Feast of Atonement, and the “Marriage Supper of the Lamb” fulfills the Feast of Tabernacles. I cannot be dogmatic on the issue, but there is a scenario that fits both with the “half hour of silence” and fulfillment of the fall feasts: the Feast of Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles.

Let’s say the two witnesses arrive at the temple about two weeks before the antichrist defiles the temple and breaks the covenant (Daniel 9:27), which is about 1263-1264 days before the Feast of Trumpets the year Jesus returns. The two witnesses’ ministry lasts 1260 days, which means the beast overcomes and kills them 3 ½ days before the Feast of Trumpets, or about two weeks before Jesus returns.

Right after the two witnesses rise from the dead and ascend to Heaven, the angel blows the seventh Trumpet, which announces Jesus’ return followed by Heaven’s “coronation of the King,” fulfilling the Feast of Trumpets. Over the next ten days, known as the “days of awe” by the Jews, the angels pour out the Bowl judgments between the Feast of Trumpets and the Feast of Atonement. Jesus then returns after the Bowl judgments, fulfilling the Feast of Atonement. Zechariah 12 supports the 2nd Coming of Christ fulfilling the Feast of Atonement, when Israel mourns over their Messiah who saves them and gives them the “Spirit of grace and supplication.” The “Marriage Supper of the Lamb” fulfills the last feast, which is Tabernacles, when Jesus begins to rule on earth in the flesh with His Bride, the Church, in the Kingdom Age. 75 days beyond the 1,260 days (Daniel 12:12) after the Feast of Atonement bring us to the Feast of Dedication, or Chanukah (or Hanukkah), when many believe Jesus will dedicate the Millennial temple. The following schematic shows this scenario:

Two Witness' Ministry and Fulfillment of the Feasts
In addition to the evidence presented above, which supports the two witnesses’ ministry occurring in the second half of the Tribulation when the antichrist has dominion over the world, there is also typology to consider. The following are some notable antichrist and false prophet types in Scripture, and all of them have prophets or servants of God that opposed them:

    • Pharaoh and his magicians against Moses and Aaron (Exodus 7-9)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    • Nebuchadnezzar and his magicians against Daniel (Daniel 1-4)

 

 

 

This typology is consistent with the two witnesses’ ministry covering the last half of the Tribulation during the antichrist’s dominion. The antichrist has a sidekick called the false prophet, and both are “beasts” who stand against God (Revelation 13). So it makes sense that God sends two prophets to stand up against the two beasts. As we will see in the next few sections, the signs and wonders performed on both sides suggest there might be a competition between the two witnesses and the beasts, similar to the showdown between Moses and Aaron against Pharaoh and his magicians:

Revelation 11:5-6 – And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire.

Revelation 13:11-14 – Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth – by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived.

The two witnesses and the second beast both perform great signs. John does not give many specifics about the great signs the false prophet performs except making fire come down from Heaven. However, typology suggests that to continue deceiving the earth dwellers, the false prophet might try to counterfeit the miracles and plagues of the two witnesses to discredit them the way Pharaoh’s magicians tried to discredit Moses.

The two witnesses wear sackcloth. Recall from Revelation 6:12, sackcloth was a dark coarse material made of hair from goats or camels used to make sacks, but became the attire associated with people in mourning and repentance, as demonstrated in the verses below:

Genesis 37:34 – Then Jacob tore his clothes, put sackcloth on his waist, and mourned for his son many days.

Nehemiah 9:1-2 – Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, in sackcloth, and with dust on their heads. Then those of Israelite lineage separated themselves from all foreigners; and they stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers.

Esther 4:1-4 – When Mordecai learned all that had happened, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city. He cried out with a loud and bitter cry. He went as far as the front of the king’s gate, for no one might enter the king’s gate clothed with sackcloth. And in every province where the king’s command and decree arrived, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes. So Esther’s maids and eunuchs came and told her, and the queen was deeply distressed. Then she sent garments to clothe Mordecai and take his sackclothaway from him, but he would not accept them.

Daniel 9:3 – Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.

Joel 1:13 – Gird yourselves and lament, you priests; wail, you who minister before the altar; come, lie all night in sackcloth, you who minister to my God; for the grain offering and the drink offering are withheld from the house of your God.

Jonah 3:4-8 – And Jonah began to enter the city on the first day’s walk. Then he cried out and said, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them. Then word came to the king of Nineveh; and he arose from his throne and laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published throughout Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; do not let them eat, or drink water. But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God; yes, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands.

Matthew 11:21 – “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.”

Sackcloth made of coarse hair was also the attire of the prophets in the Old Testament; even the false prophets:

Zechariah 13:4 – “And it shall be in that day that every prophet will be ashamed of his vision when he prophesies; they will not wear a robe of coarse hair to deceive.”

Like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, the false prophets wore sackcloth to deceive because sackcloth was the customary attire of the prophets. But true prophets wore the sackcloth as an outward show of their inward contrite and humble spirit toward the Lord. Likewise, the two witnesses wear sackcloth as an outward show of their humbleness before the Lord and their sorrow over the world’s sin and lack of repentance, as they testify for the Lord against the two beasts and the earth dwellers for 1,260 days.

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IMPORTANT
We are now living in the absolute End Times as per biblical prophecy.

Our Lord Jesus Christ – King of Kings. 2nd Coming and return is IMMENENT!.

Please do not waist another a minute.

No matter what religion you serve, there is only one God.

If, you want to be assured that you will not have to endure the perilous times that will befall you.

Irrespective, of what sins you may have committed at any time of your life. If you humble yourself and ask for God’s forgiveness. He will forgive you and wash them all away and welcome you as his beloved son or daughter with open arms.

If you are not a child of Father God or have not asked Jesus Christ to come into your life yet?

I implore you to do this without delay.

Read this prayer of Salvation and ask God to forgive you now and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and you will be assured of eternal life.

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