Thursday, July 16, 2020

Are the Two Witnesses the Gentile and Jewish Christians

Where is Our Focus

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes.” (Malachi 4:5 AKJV)

All of Israel was looking for Elijah before the coming of Jesus. The religious leaders of the day, the Sadducees and Pharisees, were so set on seeing Elijah of old appearing suddenly before them that they missed the fact that John the Baptist operated in the mantle of Elijah. Zacharia, John’s father, received a word from an angel stating who his son would be before the child was born:

“And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous--to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” (Luke 1:16-17 AKJV)

The spirit and power is what we refer to as a “mantle.” The description of what John would do lines up with the rest of what was prophesied about Elijah coming before the Lord:

“And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers.” (Malachi 4:6 AKJV)

It is clear that John the Baptist was the “Elijah” that was prophesied about. The prophecy was never meant to refer to Elijah coming back to the earth. Because they were focused on the wrong person, most of the leaders and people missed the First Coming of Jesus. The religious leaders of the world today are in danger of making the same mistake concerning the two witnesses prophesied in Revelation. We must know who we are looking for!

Much of the Book of Revelation is metaphorical: a beast with seven heads and ten horns rising out of the sea and a woman riding a beast represent something that cannot be understood without the rest of the Book. The information given about the two witnesses is very limited, so how do we know who or what they represent?

One of the common beliefs about the two witnesses is that they are actually two people groups. It will take information from the Book of Revelation and the Word of God to determine the truth about this hypothesis.

Metaphors in Revelation

And there was given me a reed like to a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But leave out of your measuring the court outside the sanctuary of God; omit that, for it is given over to the Gentiles (the nations), and they will trample the holy city underfoot for 42 months (three and one-half years). (Revelation 11:1-2)

John is told to measure the new temple of God which means this is an actual temple which is created on Earth. What follows this statement will be literal not metaphorical just as the temple is. We know from the next chapter that the Jews will be making sacrifices for three and a half years. The Jewish people who worship at the altar in the temple of God will be doing just that.

The Gentiles, those who are not Hebrew by birth, will not be allowed inside the temple, only in the courtyard. They will “trample the Holy City” means that non-Israelites will flood into Jerusalem for three and a half years to see this temple even though they will only be allowed to enter the courtyard.

And I will grant the power of prophecy to My two witnesses for 1,260 (42 months; three and one-half years), dressed in sackcloth. (Revelation 11:3 AMPC)

Sackcloth means in a state of mourning. It doesn’t say “after this” so this means that while this is going on, the Lord will empower two people to prophecy as His witnesses. The sentence begins with “and” which means in addition to these two groups. The same time frame is given, so while these two groups are inside and outside of the temple, there will be two “witnesses” empowered by Jesus.

In the Book of Revelation and in the rest of scripture, God doesn't use a metaphor to describe a metaphor. If the two witnesses were metaphors for people groups, the book of Revelation would now be telling us what those metaphors mean, like it does with the beast rising out of the ocean. Instead we see a metaphor being used as a description.

Olive Trees

These [witnesses] are the two olive trees and the two lampstands which stand before the Lord of the earth. (Revelation 11:4)

This verse has been used to claim that the witnesses represent two people groups because the land of Israel is often likened to an olive tree. For this reason, the common theory is that the trees are Jewish and Gentile Christians. Does this line up with scripture? In the Old Testament we see that individuals can be trees:

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water… (Psalm 1:3 AKJV)

But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever. (Psalm 52:8 AKJV)

People are referred to as trees, and those who rely and trust in God as olive trees. In the Old Testament Zachariah speaks with an angel and we find both olive trees and lampstand interpreted:

“What are these two olive trees on the right side of the candlestick and on the left side thereof?” And I answered again, and said to him, “What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves?”... Then said he, “These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the LORD of the whole earth.” (Zechariah 4:11-14 AKJV)

The Hebrew word ben (ban) is translated “ones” can be translated “people” but has never been translated “peoples” as in two groups of people. There are scriptures that describe a group of people as a tree:

For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree.. (Romans 11:24 AKJV)

A single olive tree is used to represent God’s people. Gentile Christians are from a “wild olive tree whose branches are grafted in.” There is only one olive tree that represents God’s people, not two.

Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has triumphed to open the scroll and its seven seals.” (Revelation 5:5 AKJV)

Jesus is the root of the new olive tree. All who are Christians are grafted into Him. Our Lord said, “I am the vine, you are the branches” there is only one people group tree because Jesus is the root, the vine into which we are all grafted into.

Examining All the Scripture

How can we be sure that it is actually two people and not talking about the two groups that have just been mentioned? We must examine every part of what is said and only if every item is plausible can we have a reliable theory.

And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. (Revelation 11:7 AKJV)

Two “witnesses” are sent to “give testimony.” Both of these are terms used in a court of law. People groups could do this, that is true. However, what does scripture say about giving testimony?

One witness shall not prevail against a man for any crime or any wrong in connection with any sin he commits; only on the testimony of two or three witnesses shall a charge be established. (Deuteronomy 19:15 AMPC)

 The Tribulation is preparing for God’s wrath to be poured out. Wrath is judgment. It is necessary for two people to give testimony before God brings judgment.

God has never sent an entire people group to give testimony. Often He sends a prophet to declare His word and the sin being committed. When disciples were sent out by Jesus, He sent them out in groups of two for this purpose.

And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. (Revelation 11:8-9 AKJV)

Once they have given their testimony, Satan makes war on them and kills them where Jesus was crucified: Jerusalem. Two people can lay dead in the street as people refuse to bury them. There are over two billion Christians on the planet, Jerusalem has 1.2 million people. There is no way that more than 20 times that amount of human bodies would fit into Jerusalem. It is literally impossible. How could the Antichrist gather every Christian and Jew from all over the world into a single city to kill?

And if anyone attempts to injure them, fire pours from their mouth and consumes their enemies; if anyone should attempt to harm them, thus he is doomed to be slain. (Revelation 11:5 AMPC)

Fire pouring from their mouths is metaphorical, it is a strong rebuke to anyone who would try to injure them. Their attackers will receive back that which is intended to harm the two witnesses.

When the Lamb broke open the fifth seal, I saw at the foot of the altar the souls of those whose lives had been sacrificed for [adhering to] the Word of God and for the testimony they had borne. They cried in a loud voice, O [Sovereign] Lord, holy and true, how long now before You will sit in judgment and avenge our blood upon those who dwell on the earth? (Revelation 6:9-10 AMPC)

We know that Christians will be murdered for the testimony of Jesus during this three and a half year period as stated by the breaking of the fifth seal. If the two witnesses are all Jews and Christians who have supernatural protection, it would not be possible for them to be sacrificed.

When we look at all the scriptures involved, it is clear that the two witnesses are actually two individual people, not Jewish and Gentile Christians.

This is part of a series of articles based on the Book of Revelation. We suggest looking at these in the order they were given because one message builds upon the others:

1. Microsoft Patent 060606 and the Mark of the Beast, and the Tribulation Timeline

2. Seals of Revelation: The Antichrist

3. Wormwood and the 1st 4 Trumpets of Revelation:

4. Three Woes of Revelation

7. The Future of Your Church

8. Is a Rapture (Catching Away) in the Bible?

9. Babylon, the 1000 Year Reign and New Jerusalem

11. Are the Two Witnesses Gentile and Jewish Christians?

12. Who are the Two Witnesses?

More Articles with messages from God can be found in: 

Messages from God
tab in the menu.

FREE Books

Believers' Boot Camp series

Believers' Boot Camp - Volume One
Believers' Boot Camp: Volume Two
Roadmap to Heaven
Destroying Curses
in the Courts of Heaven

Many people think of boot camp as a place you train for combat. Any veteran will tell you that basic training is about three things:
  • Knowing what weapons are available 
  • Learning how to use those weapons 
  • Receiving orders and following them 
Believer’s Boot Camp series is a collection of books which teach us how to hear more clearly from God with the goal to ready ourselves for a face-to-face meeting with our Lord, Jesus. The series reveals the “weapons and tools” God has given us and how to use them, so we can bring God’s kingdom to Earth. Each book in the series focuses on a single topic to clearly define one tool or weapon from our Heavenly Father. 

The series uses the Word of God to reveal all that He has given us through Jesus. The Bible is our instruction manual and the Holy Spirit is our guide to understanding it.

Volume 1: Why Doesn't God Speak to Me?

Eager hearts cry out, hoping for a single word to confirm that He hears us. Yet, many times the only sound is silence. Over the years I have heard several reasons why God speaks to some and not to others. One night, as I tossed and turned, I brought each of these reasons before the Lord, stating why each of them did not line up with who I thought He was. 

Words rose from my soul, pleading for Him to reveal why He has remained silent when a single word from Him would mean so much to so many. For the next few hours, God used things I learned about years ago and things I had just discovered to show why He talks to some and why He doesn’t, and in demonstrative ways. 

In His grace, He also showed me how people could hear more from Him. Basic instructions on how to hear more from God and how to be led by Him are included in this book. Thank you for taking time to consider the answers I received and share with you now.

Keys to Authority for Every Believer

There is untapped power that is easy for every Christian to access in the form of authority. The keys to this authority will unlock weapons we can use to free ourselves from the attacks of the enemy. We must be intimately aware of the bounds and limitations of our weapon if they are to be used effectively. 

Find out about your authority:
  • Why you need it.
  • Where it comes from.
  • What you can do with it.
  • How to get more.

1 comment:

  1. How to know if one is one of the two witnesses? Is there a way to know for sure if one is one of the witnesses?