John the Baptist was beheaded when his mission was over, and even our Lord Jesus Himself was crucified at the end of His ministry. On a national scale it will be similar when the two witnesses complete their ministry. I believe this means a simultaneous, physical destruction will occur in America and Canada---leaving some alive, of course, but both rendered militarily helpless.

However, we can take comfort in this fact: death does not come until "they finish their testimony." You may be wondering if all the nations which have been a part of the British witness will be destroyed along with Canada and America. I think not. Today, it is well known that most of the international evangelistic outreach is eminating from Canada and America. Therefore, I believe that's where the attacking nation will concentrate their efforts.

In spite of the prevailing apostasy and ungodliness, Canada and the USA still represent the main threat against Satan's present kingdom-building process. Satan is limited in knowledge but he most definitely knows where God's primary work is being done at any given moment. It's always been this way. In spite of his evil nature, he understands the principle of "binding the strong man" before he can enter to "steal". For this reason he will focus his murderous, anti-Canadian-American scheme into the minds of those who are listening to his 'inspirational' suggestions. The binding is under way. But, for the moment, we are still here! The main question is, is the righteousness of the Church' remnant sufficient to resist the devil's plot?

THE "WALLS" OF ISRAEL

Ezekiel 38 and 39 are prophetic previews of an invasion of Israel. This is widely agreed upon among most prophetic writers. The leader, "Gog", is believed (by most) to be Russia; the nations aligned with her will be Ethiopia, Persia (modern Iran), Libya, Gomer (some suggest this means Germany) and Togarmah (apparently modern Turkey). Exactness of this coalition is debatable. However, I want to emphasize here one very interesting verse from that passage: (Ezek. 38:11)

"And thou (i.e., Gog) shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages: I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls and having neither bars nor gates." (My emphasis.)

The main essence of this passage is that in the "last days" there will be a group of nations who are intent upon annihilating the regathered nation of modern Israel. However, there is a very key concept here which others have apparently overlooked. It's found in the phrases "without walls" and the "unwalled villages". That the passage refers to modern Israel is certain but we need to examine other implications here.

In ancient Israel, as well as other nations, walls were built around cities for their protection against invaders. Obviously such walls would not be effective in Israel's behalf against modern warfare, so the prophet Ezekiel surely had some other kind of "wall" in mind. What could this mean by today's standards? That's the issue.

We must see the spiritual side of this verse in order to get its intended meaning. It seems rather clear to me that these 'walls' allude to the fact that Israel has allies who help protect her. There are two main nations today which continue to stand by Israel --- Canada and America. In fact, if it were not for these, modern Israel would probably be gone already. But here's the main point I want you to see: looking at the above verse again, note that "Gog" doesn't come until the "walls" are gone! If this is what a "wall" really means, we can only conclude America and Canada (the British remnant) will have to be removed before Gog invades Israel. From Russia's perspective, this makes good sense. Russia has already indicated she wants to avoid an all-out, direct confrontation with us which, they fear, could result in world-wide devastation. But once we are out of the way, then "Gog" --- whoever that is --- will move against Israel.

Because of Russia's fear of their own demise should they have a direct battle with Canada and America, it seems quite logical to me that our final defeat will come from some other source than her. Russia may very well supply the weaponry to the nation which responds to the inspiration of this "beast", but avoiding direct involvement.

The main revelation here is that the two witnesses (the "walls" of Israel) will be destroyed before Gog invades Israel. This may be the most important point of enlightenment in my entire book, insofar as the chronology of "last-days" events are concerned. I say this because almost all modern, Christian seers say the next main event on the prophetic agenda is Gog's attack on Israel. But if I'm right about Ezekiel 38:11, you can see the fallacy of that argument. Canada and America's destruction comes before Russia's invasion of Israel---and I think this is prophetically important!

I'm constantly amazed at the responses of famous prophecy experts to questions from their radio audiences such as, "What about America in Bible prophecy?" Or, "Where is America while Russia invades Israel?" Their answers are invariably weak, vague and, even evasive! Equally shocking is their assumption that God was Biblically-quiet about nations whose God is the Lord, at the same time speaking prolifically about nations which [they say] the Bible alludes to---in passages far more obscure than those I'm saying portray the two witnesses! I have to suppose their rationale goes something like this: since God didn't mention "Great Britain", "Canada", or "America" by name or identify them geographically, He didn't say anything about them. I'm convinced I have already shown you far more logic to confirm the correctness of the British and the Americans as the two witnesses than they can present to prove Gog is Russia.

Typically, modern day 'prophets' criticize and deny allegorical analyses of the Bible. This makes one wonder how in the world they ever arrived at "Gog" being Russia, or that the "ten horns" of Daniel, chapter 7, is the revived Roman Empire, etc. The fact is, their spiritualized conclusions are based on far less information than I have found to support my convictions. Oh well, enough bickering. Let's look at some more evidence.

SODOM AND EGYPT

8 "And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified."

This verse may lend the greatest support of all concerning my position on the two witnesses. Notice where the bodies lie after they are killed. John emphasized we are to think spiritual Sodom and spiritual Egypt (not the literal city of Sodom or the literal country of Egypt). The wording is obviously designed to direct our attention to the underlying characteristics of those places --- not to their geographic locations. Now the literal-only Futurists say the two witnesses will be killed in Jerusalem. They get that from the phrase, "where also our Lord was crucified". Well, certainly there is no argument as to where Jesus was crucified. But note that the apostle John had just instructed us to look for the spiritual meaning here, even giving us two very identifiable terms to focus our thinking --- "Sodom" and "Egypt".

Jesus was not crucified in either Sodom or Egypt and if John only wanted to relate that Jerusalem was the place where the dead bodies of the two witnesses would lie, why didn't he just come right out and say it? What value could there possibly be to beat-around-the-bush? What conceivable reason could the Holy Spirit have had to not name the city of "Jerusalem" if that's all He meant? It just doesn't make good sense.

The logical approach to Revelation 11:8 is to take John's pictures (i.e., Sodom and Egypt) and concentrate on the implications. Just to make sure we get the point, John even qualified Sodom and Egypt with a modifier word --- spiritual. There's just no way that John was talking about a single town so let's 'spiritualize' his words just like we are told to do.

Jerusalem was the center of religious life. But, in Jesus' day, it had become a "den of thieves and robbers" and all kinds of perverse activities --- even causing Jesus to weep over the city. But Jerusalem, thought of as the center of religious life, was John's intentional inference to us. In our day, the center of religious life must be seen on a much broader scale. It now includes entire nations, the leading ones today, evangelistically, clearly being that of Canada and America.

So, the questions are very simple: What were the characteristics of ancient Sodom and Egypt? And, how do those characteristics apply to the two locations where the dead bodies of the two witnesses shall lie after they are killed? Many things could be said in answering the first question but I believe we need to look only at the outstanding traits in order to understand what John meant for us to grasp. Let me summarize it like this:

1. Sodom is remembered for its sexual immorality, and in particular --- homosexuality.

2. Egypt was always a spiritual enemy of God's order, best known for its idolatrous practices and paganism.

So, discovering what is meant by a "street" in a "great city" filled with signs and symptoms of gross IMMORALITY and IDOLATRY will lead to the correct identification of the location of the dead witnesses.

Reader, is it not plain to see that Christian Canadians and Americans live today in the home office of those very characteristics? We are the "street" of this "great city". Look about you. Start anywhere you like---the local newspapers, television, radio, magazines (secular or Christian), your home town, the very street you live on --- all will testify today to the facts that our nations have reached the pit of sexual immorality and idolatry. Immoral sin, cultic groups of all kinds, the New Age movement, even outright Satan worship, have all permeated every aspect of Canadian and American societies today. Now let's focus our microscope even finer.

SODOM

When writing the first draft of this manuscript 15 years ago, I predicted if my interpretation of the word "Sodom" in Rev. 11:8 was correct, that something would soon happen to substantiate the conviction. At that time I had no way of knowing AIDS was about to break out and become a national scandal and frightful health problem. And yet I'm not at all surprised at the occurrence. It validates that God saw all this two thousand years ago and, amazingly, it was necessary for the Holy Spirit to inspire John to write only two words in his book --- spiritual Sodom --- which would give us sufficient insight to know what was being conveyed.

I do not believe God has only recently sent AIDS as a present judgment against modern sodomites. This disease is the inherent result of the sin of sodomy. God made the judgment thousands of years ago! It has been there all the time waiting to erupt as the perverted lifestyle reached its full, widespread potential. It is as the apostle Paul said in Romans 1:27:

"And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust toward one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and RECEIVING IN THEMSELVES THE PENALTY OF THEIR ERROR WHICH WAS DUE."

Yes, God saw AIDS a long time ago. It is an awful disease, although completely commensurate with the sinful practice which causes it. It is true that the disease is now also affecting some who are not guilty of sodomy, people who have received blood transfusions from the blood of other people with AIDS, drug users who share dirty needles with other AIDS' victims, babies born of mothers with AIDS, the spread through bi-sexuals, etc. But it is well documented where the disease started. AIDS is the direct result of the practice of sexual immorality, particularly amongst male homosexuals.

EGYPT

Canada and America are also becoming "spiritial Egypt". MOODY MONTHLY did a series of articles focusing on the rise of the cults and false religions in Northern America today. The numbers of adherents devoting their lives to these leaders and philosophies are staggering. The demons are making their last bid for the souls of human beings. Traditionally, I think no people on earth are more worship-prone than those here in America, but unfortunately it also seems many will go for anything wild and different. There is one commonality among all these cults: they don't consider the sinful nature of mankind. Demons and false teachers know that if you avoid that one fact, you can bring in 'believers' by the millions. Taken collectively, these groups spell spiritual Egypt.

One could perhaps write a book on just this one verse of Scripture (Rev. 11:8). However, I believe any open-eyed Christian can relate to the reality of my brief statement here. Canadians and Americans are living in spiritual Sodom and in spiritual Egypt. Just as Jesus died in the ancient world's center of worship (His beloved city of Jerusalem), which had in that day become a Sodom and Egypt, so also His two witnesses, Christian-Canada and Christian-America, will die in the "street" of our beloved "city".

Now, this thinking should put to rest forever any conclusions that I am saying Canada and America are altogether Christian nations. Obviously, we are not. However, the "witnesses" of Revelation chapter 11 are here within the confines of these nations. It is they who God has used, and will do so until the end, to reach the ends of the earth with the Gospel of Christ. You and I, brothers and sisters in Christ, are the "witnesses". How does the label feel? What does the understanding do to your sense of responsibility? What shall you do with the time and energy you have that remains?

Of course God's Hand of protection and blessing is upon every person and nation in the world, and especially so upon Christians, regardless of where they are. But nowhere has His blessed-touch been so evident as here in Canada and America. It has not been because of who we are but because of Whose we are. God did the choosing. It is He Who has done the work here, in and through the people He anointed. And, for the most part, without our even knowing it!

THE ROAD TO EMMAUS

After His resurrection, Jesus once chose to walk with two particular disciples on the road to Emmaus. I liken that incident to God's choice of the two witnesses. They had nothing to do with the encounter. Theirs was only to hear what He had to say to them. Here's the Scriptural account:

"And behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. And so it was, while they conversed together and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him." (Luke 24: 13 - 16) But then look at verse 27 and 31.

27. And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself."

31. "And their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight."

It could be these two witnesses commenced what eventually grew to be the two national witnesses, them handing the "baton" on to others, until eventually it reached the final stage of two nations. The parallelism is strikingly similar. Who can deny the reality that Jesus has chosen to be with Canada (the British remnant) and America in a special way? And like those two disciples, we have not recognized His unique walk with us, although as we went "down the road" we have enjoyed the fact He has clearly and especially opened the Scriptures to us. Yes, we have known His wonderful grace and love as it was shed abroad in our hearts on a national scale, but somehow we have not been fully cognizant of the fact that Jesus has singled us out from among the other nations for a unique ministry (like the two individual disciples Jesus singled out from among the others). I really believe the two disciples were a spiritual forecast of America and the British.

God has not favored Britain and America due to inherent goodness. We are no more pure than anyone else, individually or collectively. True goodness is revealed only by the Presence of Christ in the lives of His people. Near the end of Jesus' ministry, the apostle John realized Jesus had "loved" him specially. It has been the same with us as nations.

"HOORAY! THE WITNESSES ARE DEAD! LET'S HAVE A PARTY!"

9 "And those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three and a half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves.

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."

Many times individuals who receive a special blessing, such as a firstborn son for example, are scorned by other family members. This is also true on a national scale. The blessedness of the British and the USA has been like a thorn in the side to many other nations, especially hostile enemies. From the beginning of the national witnesses (my guess being some 1250+ years ago), starting with England, our greatness and endowments have been incomparable. Ironically, other nations seem to know it perhaps even better than we! Political power, economic power and the power of the Gospel eminating from our lands, have reached nearly every region of the world. Some have received it gratefully, some not so gratefully.

Satan is building a throne to sit on and true Christianity is his only threat to that end. The devil also knows where the "witnesses" are today, and where they have been over the centuries. At various times throughout the Christian age, he has put it in the hearts of ungodly leaders to destroy us, but until our "testimony is finished", he can't do it. However, when our course is completed, the destruction will come and those who hate us will rejoice. That is what the above verses predict. In fact, they will be so happy they will "send gifts to one another".

But why do they rejoice? Not understanding 'the blessing' aspect of course, from our opponents' perspective, the British and the Americans have simply hoarded and greedily consumed the best of what the world has to offer. (This has sometimes been true, by the way.) So, with us out of the way, now the rest of the world will have their chance to be on top for a while. You see, so much of the world's abundance being at our disposal has been, and still is, a "torment" to the others that dwell on the earth. For that reason, a world-wide celebration will break out at our destruction.

Also, the Godly-joy and Gospel-proclamation which still goes forth from here acts as a hindrance to those (both here and abroad) who violently oppose the true and living God we proclaim. Knowingly or not, those in false religions of the world are Satan's puppets. Thus, when the two witnesses are killed, they will surely be delighted, believing their "god" is the true god, made evident by the fact of our death! Such, we have seen, is the thinking of Muslims who regard their mosque in Jerusalem as an obvious and tangible stamp of God's (Allah) approval of Islam as the true religion. (Today, one-fifth of the world's population are Muslim, and growing! Certainly many in this group will be thrilled when we are gone --- maybe even the cause of it!?)

WHY NO GRAVES?

Verse nine says that the dead bodies of the two witnesses will not be put into graves. Now why do you suppose John would tell us that? What value is there in knowing the bodies aren't buried? There is another clue here which will lead us further into the correct understanding of this whole chapter.

The Futurists say that after "Enoch and Elijah", (or "Moses and Elijah"), are killed, those who kill them will want to use the incident to demonstrate to the whole world just who really is in control. So, the murderers will allow everyone to see the dead men by focusing television cameras on their bodies for 3 1/2 days, broadcasting the images into television sets all over the world. This would be quite a grandstand play, if true. As usual though, I have trouble with this line of thinking.

I believe there will be millions of dead bodies because of nuclear blasts! Oh, I know the news media and certain politicians say there will never be a limited nuclear war, believing that once it starts the whole world would be destroyed. That's humanistic reasoning and bears no Scriptural evidence. I suspect there may be a continental atomic attack on Canada and America and that's what would eliminate God's two witnesses. I don't know who will do it but I believe it may happen this way. And when it does, what nation would want to "come take a spoil" from a land devastated by nuclear blasts where radiation lingers long after the attack? That would explain why no one puts the bodies into graves. The only ones around will be those who remain in the land and they won't be too thrilled about burying bodies either. It'll be hard enough for them just trying to survive as they seek to reach safer areas as far as possible from the sites of the atomic explosions.

So, we have several conditions prevalent today which indicate we are fast-approaching the end of the two-witnesses' testimonial. The nations are crying "peace and safety" (peace talks, disarmament agreements etc.), there is an undeniable apostasy in our lands (falling away from Biblical faith), our beloved countries are filled with symptoms of sodomy and idolatry, and we have animosity growing in the world against the remaining Christian witness in Canada and America. These are the very characteristics which must be present to be in line with prophetic, Scriptural revelation.

It grieves me to say it but I honestly believe the final destiny of Canada and America may soon come. That is not to say that we must not resist it in every possible way. Christians need to pray unceasingly. We need to repent of our sinfulness and we must recognize our negligence in having allowed the humanists to become so influential in all systems of our societies today. We need to become involved at every level of government, seeking to restore that which has been lost, and above all, we need to be proclaiming the Gospel to a lost and dying world more fervently than every before. But even if we do all these things, there is a day coming when God will allow the "beast" which ascends out of the bottomless pit to "make war", "overcome" and "kill" the two witnesses. But do not let this word lessen your day, Christian friends! A brighter day is coming for us!

RESURRECTION BEGINS

11 "And after 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."

Earlier, I pointed out how often the number 11 is associated with my understanding of prophecy. Isn't it interesting that the happiest note in my book "just happens" to be Rev. 11:11?

To remind you now of the Futuristic viewpoint --- that God will raise up two individual witnesses to do a particular testimonial for Him at the time of the end, then lasting a literal 1260 days. If this is so too, I believe their ministry will begin at the death of the two national witnesses.

In the above verse we see that the dead bodies of the national witnesses will come to life after three and one-half "days", (with long-range application still in force, this would indicate 3 1/2 years). Immediately upon the death of the national witnesses, the two individual witnesses would commence their 3 1/2 literal-year testimony which would last the duration of the same 3 1/2 years the national witnesses lie dead; then they too would be killed and remain dead three and one-half literal days. Their death might possibly occur in literal Jerusalem. And if so, you now see how, and when, the Futuristic aspect of Revelation really begins to fit in.

(Do you follow the reasoning of this explanation of the Law of Double Reference? This isn't double-talk, folks. It's double-application. It's the Law of Double Reference in operation. It's not some bizarre story I cooked up either. It's very Biblical and anyone who seriously studies the prophetic word of God should recognize this is nothing more, nor less, than a repetition of the pattern laid down in the Old Testament. Careful thinking will insure your grasping it.)

THE TRUMPET BEGINS TO SOUND!

Looking back at verse 11, we see that the dead stand upon their feet as the "breath of life from God" entered them. This must be the beginning of the rapture! Now if we read carefully, we will see that the rapture will be a progression of events, rather than a single happening. In fact, it covers everything described in the group of verses, 11 - 15. Want some proof of this? Look again at Rev. 10:7.

"...but in the DAYS of the sounding of the seventh angel, (i.e., the LAST TRUMPET) when he is ABOUT TO SOUND the mystery of God would be finished, as He has declared to His servants the prophets."

Note the apostle says during the days (plural) of the sounding... Therefore, even though we know that when God "energizes" Christian bodies at the end of the age causing an immediate transformation to take place, nevertheless, the above passages strongly suggest there is a sequence of events, not merely one, momentary occurrence. Thus, it appears the "changing of the guard" will last at least a few days. (More on that later).

[This idea may very well come as a surprise to most readers. It was for me. I certainly had no preconceived notion about this progression concept. I was reading this passage one day and suddenly, there it was. I decided a long time ago not to argue with the Word of God. If it says something which goes against what I supposedly already understood, it doesn't particularly bother me to re-check my thinking. When I did that here, I had no problem agreeing with what John said and simply took it at face value, "...in the DAYS of the sounding, ...the mystery will be finished."]

Now let's look at the two passages most often considered when thinking in terms of the rapture. (1 Thes. 4: 15 - 17 and 1 Corinthians 15: 51 & 52)

15-17 "For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord." Then, Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians:

51 "Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed-

52 "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."

These two passages help clear up the matter of the mysteries of the rapture. Actually it really isn't complicated, but in my opinion, many writers and expositors have made it so. We are told the time of the event will be "at the last trumpet". I take that just as it is, the LAST TRUMPET. And what is the last trumpet? It's the seventh trumpet, of course, which will be discussed in Rev. 11:15.

Now, I've heard some otherwise terrific preachers try to make Paul's statement here mean all kinds of things other than what it simply says. They say the "last trumpet" doesn't really mean the seventh trumpet, even though the seventh trumpet is the last trumpet! It supposedly means some other last trumpet. That's confusing and totally wipes out common sense. The fact is, there can be only one last trumpet and it would logically be the last of the numbered trumpets described by the apostle John in Revelation 11:15 --- the seventh. And, its sounding signals the rapture. It's that simple.

Recall now that the two national witnesses will be dead for 3 1/2 years, (the same 1260 days the two individual witnesses will be ministering) at the end of which their dead bodies will begin to raise up as the Spirit of God gives them life. This being the case, and in line with the above passage from First Thessalonians, which indicates that the "dead" rise before the witnesses who weren't killed, one can come to only one logical conclusion: THE RAPTURE BEGINS AT THE MID-WAY POINT OF THE FINAL SEVEN YEAR COUNTDOWN!

Therefore, by simple deduction, leaving all mental pre-conditioning aside, I can only conclude that the Bible teaches a Mid-Tribulation(1) rapture concept, not Pre-Trib, not Post-Trib. Both the latter views set certain Scriptures at odds against themselves which is absolutely not allowable. Once you've got the right answer, all the Scriptures will fit, not just those one might use to establish his already-decided viewpoint.

Regardless of all you've heard about how God allows our varying interpretations, etc., etc., the truth is, there's not but one valid answer concerning when the rapture will come. I certainly don't expect my analysis to be taken without reservation, but I am convinced the views presented above does less violence to God's Word when all the Scriptures are considered than do the typical, Futuristic beliefs.

1. Ed Moore, author, pastor and prophecy teacher, in his recent book "APOCALYPSE WHEN", has also taken a "mid-Trib" rapture position. His overall stand on prophecy is not like my own but it's interesting that other writers are re-thinking their eschatology these days.