SOME THOUGHTS ON THE TWO WITNESSES
By Sandra Pearson
''And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth... " - (Revelation 11:3)
Please read the whole of Revelation 11 for a full description of these two witnesses and the time period in which they prophesy. They are yet to arrive on the world scene because:
(1) they will be killed by the Beast which ascends out of the bottomless pit, (verse 7). Revelation 17:8 tells us that it is the last revival of the Roman Empire which comes briefly out of the "bottomless pit" before final destruction. Itis not the purpose of this article to show how this identification has been made but we can see that last revival taking place now in the developing European Union.Continental leaders are quite up front about this even if British politicians are more reticent. We can say, therefore, that the time of the two witnesses may be close.
(2) they lie dead in Jerusalem on view to the whole world for three and a half days before being brought back to life (surely an age of mass satellite television communication?); whereupon they ascend into heaven. Shortly afterwards the seventh angel sounds his trumpet and "the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever", in other words the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the resurrection to eternal life of the faithful, of which the two witnesses must be a part. - (Revelation 11:8-12,15).
Revelation 11:4 describes the two witnesses:-
"These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth".
Zechariah 4:1-3 gives a similar description of two olive trees either side of the seven-branched menorah candelabra. Zechariah 4:12-14 states the two olivetrees are "the two anointed ones that stand by the Lord of the whole earth" referring back to the whole of chapters 3 and 4 to Zerubbabel, a descendant of King David who led back the first of the exiles of the House of Judah c.536 B.C.,and Joshua the High Priest of the levitical priesthood. Are these Old Testament types for the NewTestament two witnesses?
Both groups have special promises from God, additional to the general promises to the Houses of Israel and Judah:
"For thus saith the Lord; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel; Neither shall the priests the Levites want a man before me to offer burnt offerings and to kindle meat offerings, and to do sacrifice continually... If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season; then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and with the Levites the priests, my ministers. As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured: so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and the Levites that minister unto me." - (Jeremiah 33: 17-22).
Physical offerings have not been offered since A.D. 70 and are not needed since Christ's sacrifice of his own life,
"But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God" - (Hebrews 10:12).
God's people now offer the spiritual sacrifice of their own lives,
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God..." - (Romans 12:1-2)
The prayers of the saints are now incense offerings,
"And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having everyone of them harps, and golden vials fullof odours, which are the prayers of the saints." - (Revelation 5:8).
The family of David and Levi are found in Judah and Israel. In view of the promises in Jeremiah 33 what proportion of the Christian ministry may be of Levi? A genetic marker has been found in the Cohanim section of modern Jewry (published in Nature, 1998). If Joshua the High Priest mentioned in Zechariah 3 is a type of one of the two witnesses, will that man be of Levitical origin (knowingly or not) and represent "Church"? Similarly, will the other of the two witnesses be of the David line (like ZerubbabeI) knowingly or not and represent "State"? Will they come from two different Christian groupings represented by the two candlesticks along the lines of Revelation 1:20
".. .and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches."? (In Zerubbabel and Joshua's time the candlestick would be one because Judah was church and state.)
Revelation 11:5-6 shows the powerful miracles performed by these two witnesses (for which they will be hated, verse 10).Where else at this time will there be two men, one performing miracles? Why, none other than the Beast and the false prophet described in Revelation 19:20,
"And the Beast was taken and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles..." i.e. the revived Roman Empire and its accompanying religious power.
These two powers have been partners for centuries. The religious power took over the first century church of God.TheApostle Paul warns that Christ's Return shall not come until,
"... there come a falling away first,and that man of sin (i.e. who preaches contrary to God's law) be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sittest in the temple of God showing himself that he is God (i.e. our Holy Father) For the mystery of iniquity doth already work (in Paul's day and will grow until Christ's Return) And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: even him whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie, That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." - (2 Thessalonians 2:1-I2).
The big lie is that the returning Jesus Christ is "the AntiChrist" and to be fought against. - (Revelation 16:14;17:14). In preparation for this it has been mooted that the European Union is The Kingdom of God, and that speaking against it is "blasphemy".
The ancient Day of Atonement ritual in Leviticus 16:7-10 shows us only God knew which goat was "for the Lord" and which goat was the Azazel goat of Removal and had to be sent to the wilderness. Let us all continue to grow in grace and knowledge that we may be empowered by God to tell the difference between His TwoWitnesses and Satan's Beast and False Prophet. May we all be "for the Lord".
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