Future media events already shown in the Bible: What the Bible says people will see, we are only now starting to understand
In every war, the ordinary citizen who is not a solider or otherwise involved in the war, is drawn in ever closer to the centre of the action. Think about it – during the First World War, pilots started taking photos from the air, and crude black and white photos and videos taken on the ground were made available to the public. At first, this was a slow process. It took time to spread these images, although radio made it easier to comment on what was going on, on the war front. We saw troops in trenches, and we started living in the skin, so to speak, of those who were in the thick of the action.
World War II came, and colour photography and video gave us a much more detailed view. After this we had the Korean War, and then a few years later, Vietnam. People also watched the action on television, halfway across the world and a few time zones away. Of course, the American film culture cashed in on this, and you could later watch the action in Vietnam in all its gory glory, courtesy of films such as Apocalypse Now and all the others in this genre.
By the time the war in the Persian Gulf started, we saw live action at night, from the positions of gunners on the ground using surface-to-air missile equipment, to fighter pilot night vision equipment relaying the action in real time, from their cockpits. The feed was received by major news stations like CNN, and then broadcast all over the world. Fast forward from 1990 to the present, arguably the 30 years that saw the biggest improvement in social media, multimedia, and the ability to instantly forward information you have received, and we have high-definition video. Today, the war in Ukraine is not just fought between armies. Society has joined in, and mobile cellular technology and social media apps allow information to be spread even faster than ever, even if the reliability of a lot of it can be questioned. You could be on the other side of the world and see events as if they are taking place in your own time zone.
Where does the Bible comment on this? Have a look at this verse, the meaning of which we would not have understood just 30 years ago, maybe not even 20 years ago:
7And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. 8And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. 9And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. 10And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. – Revelation 11:7-10
To put these verses in context, read chapter 11 first. John describes the two witnesses from heaven who will spread the Gospel on Earth during the tribulation for 1260 days. They will also have amazing powers to kill their enemies with fire coming from their mouths; shut heaven so that it does not rain; turn water into blood; and smite the Earth with plagues. Then the beast that comes out of the bottomless pit will kill them. (Note: We believe that these two witnesses may be Enoch and Elijah, as neither has experienced physical death yet. According to Hebrews 9:27, physical death is a requirement for judgement.)
Watch what John describes now. In verse 9 the people of different languages and nations will see the bodies in the streets. In verse 10, John sees how those all over the Earth will know that the two witnesses have been killed. They will be happy (rejoice), have parties (make merry), and send each other gifts (Most likely this is some form of voucher, or of course, it is easy to send someone a surprise gift using Amazon, anywhere in the world). Note that these people dwell on the Earth. It is not just those who happen to witness the event at its location who will experience this, but information about this will be sent across the world, almost instantly. Think about this: Who reports events first today – those on the scene with their mobile phones, or major news stations?
The most frightening part of this event is that when the two witnesses are made alive again (Revelation 11:11), these same people see this event as well. They will see the two witnesses be raised from the dead when the Spirit of life enters them, and they stand up. The two men hear a voice from heaven calling them to go Home, and their enemies will see this! Within an hour, an earthquake strikes the city, and 7,000 of these same people perish. Those who survive will give glory to God. It does not mean they are turning away from their evil deeds, but merely that they acknowledge that they have witnessed an event that they could not have imagined.
John witnessed many things that he could not have described using his understanding of the technology of his time. He often used the word “like” to draw an analogy between what he saw, more than 2000 years into the future from his day, and what he knew and understood:
13And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. – Revelation 16:13-14
It is for this reason that many people want to see Revelation as figurative or symbolic only, and they are wrong in their assumption. It was never the intention of Jesus to reveal every minute detail of what would happen, to John. What is given, is sufficient for us to understand what is going to happen to most of mankind that is lost, and to make an active choice to repent today and not be on the receiving end of God’s coming wrath.
If we were to make a quick timeline and assume that what we see in Revelation 11 is about halfway through the seven-year tribulation, and the tribulation starts today, this would mean a period of about three years into the future, somewhere in 2024 and 2025. If you like technology, how accurate would you think your idea of mobile phones three years from now would be? Technology is increasing at such a rapid rate, that what was the best, the latest, and the greatest just last week is today already just “so yesterday” as the younger generation will say. If the social media apps we use today are cool, what will apps three years from now look like? Maybe those people seen by John will be using technology that we cannot even imagine. Nevertheless, God said it, and that settles it. Most of mankind has already made the choice to turn their backs on Jesus and the salvation He alone offers. All I know is that I will not be sent news about the two witnesses. I will not be here. I will be in heaven with Jesus.