Lord, give me eyes to see and ears to hear what You have to say to me today.
"When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them." (Revelation 11:7).
The two witnesses who are anointed and empowered by God, are going to prophesy for the first three and a half years of the Tribulation (Revelation 11:3), then be killed by the antichrist. But they won't stay dead long!
A little background helps us understand the incredible events in this chapter. The book of Daniel tells us the Tribulation will last for seven years due to a covenant between Israel and the antichrist (Daniel 9:27) which enables the rebuilding of the temple. But right in the middle of the seven year treaty, the antichrist will move into the temple and declare that he is God (2 Thess. 2:3-4). When the Jews refuse to recognize him as God, He will turn on them viciously, dispensing horrible persecution upon them for the remainder of the Tribulation.
It's possible that the murder of these two witnesses will be what catapults the antichrist to fame and inspires his attempt to establish himself as God. No one else has been able to harm the witnesses (Revelation 11:5), and the unrepentant people of the world are thrilled to have those tormenting voices of truth silenced (v. 10).
But the timing of God is clearly at work. Notice He does not allow these men to be killed until they have finished the task He called them to do (v. 7). Then, as all the world is gloating and celebrating over the demise of righteousness (vv. 9-10), god miraculously and gloriously brings these two men back to life! (v. 11). He reinvigorates their rotting corpses in the street where they lie (vv. 8-9) and calls these faithful witnesses up to heaven for all to see! (v. 12).
Because these men were faithful unto death, God receives glory (v. 13). And the message for us is that no matter what persecution we may face, we cannot truly be harmed. God not only empowers but also preserves those He calls to serve Him.