Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Who Are the Two Witnesses That Come During the Tribulation Period?

In Revelation 11, we are introduced to two witnesses and there has been much speculation as to who these two are. We are going to take an in-depth look using Scripture to see if there might just be some clues to who these two are and what their purpose is. The Bible says that it is appointed to every man, once to die, but we know there are exceptions to this. The church will be raptured some day and they will not see death. The Bible also tells us that Elijah didn't see death, he was taken away to be with God in heaven. Enoch was taken from the earth, he didn't see death. The Bible also teaches that before the Lord comes back in His Second Coming, two witnesses come back to the earth. Some believe one of them is Moses, who represents the law and the other is Elijah who represents the prophets. It could also be Moses and Enoch or Elijah and Enoch. No one can say for 100% certainty, but we will do a little digging to see if we can find some clues that will point to some clarity in the Bible regarding these two. The world will definitely find out and to say that they are empowered is a understatement.

God is about to make a very special announcement to mankind by the mouth of His witnesses.

Revelation 11:3 ~ "And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1260 days, clothed in sackcloth." 

1260 days is 3 1/2 years or 42 months. All these numerical references to time specific time are all the same no matter how you measure it. God will place these two in the world and it will be in Jerusalem. They are wearing sackcloth which is kind of like a gunny sack or burlap. This is the same type of sackcloth that Isaiah wore or John the Baptist wore. It's referred to as camel's skin. The fur remained on the outside. The wore the most uncomfortable part against their skin, not the soft furry side. They did it so the prophet of God would never be comfortable or used to it in his ministry. The ministry reminded him constantly that it was God's business. It was God's Word.

These two special evangelists, everyone wants to know who they are. There are a few things we need to remember that are important. They are the mouthpiece of God. These are prophets of God that speak in the name of God, they are dedicated to the Word of God. They say what they need to say no matter what with no concern for their own personal safety. God has two witnesses appointed and what could be their possible identity?

Their identity tells us that they belong to God. You belong to God if you are a Christian. You are the property of God. He loved you enough to have bought and paid for you through the death and resurrection and faith we place in Jesus Christ. Jesus paid that price with His own blood.

Notice the words " I will give power..." Who is speaking to John? The messenger or angel. This is another reference that points the the mighty angel in Revelation 10 might just be Jesus Christ. They are powered by God. The word for power is dunamus, which is where we get our word dynamite from. It is a life changing, explosive power. These two also live and die before the Lord.

Revelation 11:3 ~" And I will give power to my two witnesses," 

The word for witnesses here is the word martyrs or martis. We use the English word "witness."It means to live for God and we all called to be witnesses for God. This means we no longer live for our lives but for God's life.

Romans 12:1-2 ~ "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will."

God doesn't want a dead sacrifice, He wants a living one. One that tell others about Him. It also refers to these two witnesses that there is an unveiled courtroom setting be revealed before us. They stand there to bear witness and share the truth of God's Word against an unbelieving world. A courtroom is being set and the world is getting ready to be judged.

Deuteronomy 19:15 ~ "One witness is not enough to convict a man accused of any crime or offense he may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses."

Our entire judicial system in America is based on Deuteronomy 19:15. The Roman government even operated that way. These two witnesses are the tools God is using to tell the world that judgment is coming. They are commanded by God to prophesy.

Revelation 11:3 ~ "And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1260 days, clothed in sackcloth."

If you do the math, you will come up short by 5 days. The Bible from Genesis to Revelation, does not use a calendar with 365 days, it never has and it never will. God uses a Greek calendar with 360 days. So when we see 3 1/2 years, we are counting it on a 365 days calendar not God. God uses a 360 day calendar to arrive at 1260 days or 3 1/2 years on a biblical calendar or 42 months.

This is a wonderful link whenever you go through the Bible and read Bible prophecy now. You will either see times defined by 42 months, 3 1/2 years, 1260 days or times a time and a half. That is how it reads in English. Times = 2 in Hebrew, Time= 1 in Hebrew and a half is a half. That is exactly how you find it! 2 + 1 + 1/2 = 3 1/2 !  That is why when you open the Bible and begin to study it you might not understand what is being said. This demands that you and I both study the Old Testament!

So what does all this have to do with you? Because when God says something will last 1260 days or 42 months or 3 1/2 years it will last exactly that long. Same as when He tells you that if You come to Him and put your faith in Him, He will never leave you. He loves you. You can rest in those promises as much as you can rest in the details God gives us in the Bible. What God says, He keeps!

Revelation 12:14 ~ "The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where should be taken care of for a time, times and a half a time, out of the serpent's reach."

You already know how long that is, 3 1/2 years!!!

Daniel 7:25 ~ "He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time."

Daniel 9:27 ~ "He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven.' In the middle of the 'seven' he will put an end to the sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him."

Seven is seven years. In the middle of the seven or 7 years is 3 1/2 years, 1260 days or 42 months. You can't have sacrifices and offerings in Israel unless you have a temple. God gives a very somber power over the supernatural. Their origin is supernatural.

Revelation 11:4 ~ "These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth."

You wouldn't understand the references of the two lampstands or the two olive trees unless you read the Old Testament. You won't find references to the two olive trees until you read the Book of Zechariah. The two witnesses in the book of Zechariah in Chapter 4, are referred to as the two anointed ones of God that will stand before God over the whole earth. These two anointed ones or two olive trees. See how reading the Old Testament makes sense of what we are reading now.

They will have a supernatural origin and so is their ministry. They will preach and do things that are of a divine nature. So who are these two witnesses? 1st view: Moses and Elijah. That is the popular view that they are divinely sent back from heaven to earth. Why? (1) Moses is referred to as the law giver. The ministry during the Tribulation period is predominately to the Jewish nation. They honor Moses right? When Moses died, God buried him. Nobody knows where Moses is buried. God says that nobody knows. This is what we do know what happened when Moses died, that Satan for some weird reason, tried to steal the dead body of Moses. What would he want with the dead body of Moses? It says that Michael, the archangel in the Book of Jude, fought and disputed with Satan over the body of Moses.  Why? Some scholars say, that is Satan could have inhabitated this body of Moses, he could have come back to the people of Israel, and given false doctrine to them. Interesting.

There is a second view. That those are simply just two witnesses ordained by God who are of the Jewish people, who are saved at that time during the Tribulation Period, and are specially anointed prophets of God. That could be. That they are not any of the Old Testament prophets or men of God. The Bible doesn't give us their names exactly.

The third view which I believe is the correct view. The Bible tells us over and over again that Elijah must come before the great day of the Lord. Elijah must come back. What is unique about Elijah is that he never died. He was caught up in a chariot in the whirlwind of God and was taken into heaven. Did Moses die? Yes he did. Elijah's ministry was directly a ministry of the prophets. If you go to Israel today and ask them who is your greatest prophet of all, they will tell you Elijah. They honor him tremendously to this hour. Jesus says that Elijah must come back before He returns. That's a queue that excludes the rapture from the Second Coming by the way. Elijah has to come back to earth before the Second Coming. Elijah does not have to come back before the Rapture. Elijah is coming back. So we know one of these guys! Elijah according to Old and New Testament.

Malachi 4:4-6 ~ "Remember the law of my servant Moses, the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb for all Israel. See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before the great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. He will turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse."

Matthew 17:10*11 ~ "The disciples asked him, "Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first. Jesus replied, "To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things."

So who is the other guy. I'll give you a hint. This guy had a specific ministry to the Gentiles. He preached the coming of the Lord. He used a term we know in Greek, "maranatha." Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousand of His saints. He too did not die. He never died. He was in fact "raptured" from the earth. This is my opinion. It could be wrong. I believe it is Enoch. Enoch and Elijah never died and Enoch preached to a Gentile world. Elijah preached to the Jewish world. Remember what is going on during the Tribulation period, judgment and events and by the way, these two witnesses can call down judgment and can do anything they want for 3 1/2 years. They will cause the earth to not receive any rain. The earth will dry up. We read that in previous chapters in Revelation, chapter 8. This is a parenthetical insert and what has happened in chapter 8 is being recapped in chapter 11.

These prophets will be ministering during that time. They will have tremendous power given to them by God. They will exercise this supernatural power.

Revelation 11:5-6 ~ "If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die. These men have power to shut up the sky so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have the power to turn the waters to blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want."

We have to remember that during the Tribulation period the world will be so demonized that what these two men will do, will simply fit in with everything else. Who had the power to shut up heaven so that no rain fell in the Old Testament? Elijah! Who turned the waters to blood? Hmmm, sounds like something Moses would do, as well as the plagues. Yet it was Enoch who warned that this would happen too! They have all this power to do all of this and more for 3 1/2 years. Now that is power.

These events will happen and they will come. You and I don't have to have any exposure or influence or any trauma of these events that are coming. It's not an escape view it is simply biblical. Now granted the Tribulation period could be 50 to a 100 years away. I don't think so, but frankly with all due respect, I don't really care. Jesus is the one I am looking for. He is the one that holds my hope.I'm not looking for the Antichrist, I am looking for the Living Christ. I am expecting to hear a trumpet blast at any time. Jesus told us throughout the Bible to be looking for Him and watching for Him. No where in the Bible does it say to be looking for the Antichrist. To wait for him and to be expecting him.

Always in the Bible it is to look for Jesus, expect Jesus, wait for Jesus. We shouldn't be looking for the undertaker but looking for the Upper taker! Let's look for Jesus every single day!

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