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The Prophets: The Two Witnesses
The few years just prior to the return of Jesus Christ will see the entire world in the grip of a great deception, a Satanic power that will claim to be, and appear to be, Christian (see the Fact Finder question below to understand how long it will last). Notice carefully however that at the very same time of that religious darkness, the "gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations."
"24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 24:6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 24:7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 24:8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
"I will give power unto my two witnesses"
While Holy Bible Prophecy has a great amount to say about Christ's return, it does not provide a specific date for that event. No one knows when Christ is going to return (see Could Christ Return Tonight?). The Scriptures do however plainly state that The Messiah will come right after the completion of the miraculous 3½ year / 42 month / 1,260 day ministry of His "two witnesses." When they first appear "with power," Christ's return will be 3 years and 6 months away. Those who recognize the two witnesses as the two witnesses (as stated in the Scriptures below, a great many people in every nation on earth are not going to recognize them for what they are) will then know that their Judgment is at hand (see When Will You Be Judged?). Those two prophets will be martyred, and resurrected, in Jerusalem; Christ's return will occur not long afterward.
"11:1 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. 11:2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months [see also Never Before, Never Again].
Fact Finder: How long will the "great tribulation" last? How long with the "abomination of desolation" last?