Yesterday, I suggested that one of the two witnesses mentioned in Revelation 11:3-12 has to be Elijah. Before the Christ of Israel comes to establish His Kingdom, the Scriptures say Elijah will set the stage for Him (Isa. 40:3; Mal. 4:4-6; Matt. 17:10-13; Lk. 1:17).
First, Elijah did not die (2 Kg. 2:11), and the two witnesses will be martyred (Rev. 11:7). In light of Hebrews 9:27, the only two Old Testament characters who qualify are Elijah and Enoch (Gen. 5:24; Heb. 11:5). Enoch represents the Gentiles, and Elijah represents the Jews. The Church will have already been "caught up" in the Rapture (Jn. 14:1-3; 1 Thes. 4:13-18).
Then there is the stoppage of rain by Elijah (1 Kg. 17:1; Lk. 4:25; Jam. 5:17); the two witnesses are able to stop the rain (Rev. 11:6). It is interesting that Elijah stopped the rain for three and a half years, the exact length of the second half of the Tribulation (Rev. 11:2-3; 12:6; 13:5). There is little doubt that one of the two must be Elijah.
The seven year Tribulation period precedes the Millennial Kingdom of Christ, and it is ended when Christ returns (Dan. 9:27; Rev. 19:11-21). Satan is temporarily bound for the thousand year reign of Christ upon the earth (Rev. 20:1-7). The Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of heaven, and the Millennial Kingdom are the same thing; they are the seventh dispensation or stewardship.
The kingdom Israel still awaits, and for which His disciples longed in Acts 1:6, will have come at last. It is the kingdom of which the prophets spoke (Isa. 9:6-7; Jer. 33:14-22; Ezek. 37:24-25; Dan. 7:13-14; Hos. 3:4-5; Amos 9:11; Zech. 14:4-9; etc.). In it, all of the yet unfulfilled prophecies regarding the land, the Jews, and the Christ, will be fulfilled. Christ will rule by delegating responsibility, or stewardship, just as He did for the first six dispensations. This time, He will Tabernacle with mankind.
The seventh dispensation, the Millennium, might be described as:
Man's responsibility or stewardship: Obey Christ (Rev. 20:1-7)
Man's diet: Plants (Isa. 65:21-25; 66:3)
God's Command: Obey Christ and His chosen leaders (Rev. 19:15; 20:6)
Man's Response: Rebellion when Satan released (Rev. 20:7-9)
God's Judgment: Physical death and the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20: 9-15).
For a more in-depth look at dispensations, see my posts dated Jan. 31-Feb. 6, 2010. God bless!