Friday, July 6, 2012

Understanding the Book of Revelation: Who Are the Two Witnesses?

 The Temple Measured

                 Chapter 11 reveals the two witnesses to us and the seventh trumpet, which produces the seven bowls that we will see further in chapter 16. In verse 1 John is given a reed like a rod to measure the temple. This is most likely meant to preserve the temple during the time of supernatural calamities and physical danger or for the reformation of the temple, while in Ezekiel the measuring of the temple was for the rebuilding of it. The altar mentioned here is the incense altar because the altar of sacrifice is in the court outside of the temple. The court is on earth. The holy city is the earthly Jerusalem. At the end of this age the Antichrist will make a covenant with the Jews for one week (7 years) during the last week of the 70 weeks (490 years) God appointed the Jews in Daniel 9:24-27 to end sin. During the last three and a half years, or forty two months, he will break the covenant and end the worship of God (Daniel 9:27). He will blaspheme God and persecute His people. He’ll destroy Jerusalem. This will be the Great Tribulation. 


The Two Witnesses      

          1,260 days is three and a half years. The two witnesses here are Moses and Elijah. The reason they wear sackcloth is because it’s funeral clothes. It’s a warning to mankind not to worship the Antichrist so they can escape eternal damnation. In verses 5-6, the actions are the same as what Moses and Elijah did. Moses had turned water to blood and brought plagues among men. Elijah caused the rain to stop due to his great faith. By saying they have the power to do these things again tells us they won’t do it but it lets us know their identity. Malachi 4:5 predicted Elijah’s mission.

“See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and
dreadful day of the Lord comes.”

                The prophet Zechariah, in Zechariah 4, received a vision of two olive trees at either side of a golden light stand. 4:13 says they are the two anointed to serve the Lord. In Matthew 17:1-3 both Moses and Elijah appeared before the Lord on the mount of transfiguration. Moses represents the law and Elijah represents the prophets (Luke 16:16). Olive trees produce oil for the lamps (like mentioned in Matthew 25:1-13). Oil signifies the Holy Spirit. Lampstands produce light through use of the oil. During the church age the churches are the lampstands for God’s testimony. During the 42 months the witnesses are the source of the Holy Spirit and the testimony. The Antichrist will kill these two witnesses and their bodies lie in the city of Jerusalem. It’s spiritually called Sodom and Egypt because even after the 1948 restoration they’re as sinful as Sodom and as wordly as Egypt. The torment that they brought upon the earth was the testimony that they spoke because mankind didn’t want to accept it. The three and a half days is included in the 1,260 or else it would extend past the Great Tribulation. In standing back on their feet they have been resurrected. Jerusalem then suffers an earthquake.

                The earth is no longer ruled by Satan and God’s judgment will now occur on the dead. The Ark of the Covenant is the center of all God’s accomplishments. The earthquake that then occurs is the fourth quake predicted in Revelation. The first occurred at the sixth seal, the second was before the seven trumpets, the next was at the rapture of the two witnesses, and now there is one during the seventh bowl which is the most sever calamity of the seventh trumpet. 

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