Monday, May 16, 2022

The Two Witnesses

 


The Witness of Jesus

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

Before Jesus made His official debut, God sent a “Witness” to prepare the world. The Israelites were expecting Elijah to come from Heaven and prepare the way. The Encyclopedia Britannica speaks about how Israel looks at this event:

The fifth ceremonial cup of wine poured during the family Seder dinner on Passover (Pesaḥ). It is left untouched in honor of Elijah, who, according to tradition, will arrive one day as an unknown guest to herald the advent of the Messiah. During the Seder dinner, biblical verses are read while the door is briefly opened to welcome Elijah, who, it is further said, will resolve all controversial questions connected with the Law. 

An extra plate is set on the table for Elijah at the Feast of Passover. God’s people were so focused on the fact that “Elijah” would be preparing the way for the Messiah’s reign that they forgot he would be an “unknown” guest and one simple, undeniable fact: God is always the same. He never changes. God has never sent someone to Heaven to accomplish a prophesied action, only to bring correction like the destruction of Sodom and Gamora. The angels sent to guide humans after the fall of Adam and Eve rebelled against God and took women as wives. Since then, angels sent to do God’s will don’t stay for long periods to influence mankind and guide humanity, they simply followed God’s orders.

The religious leaders of the day, the Sadducees and Pharisees, were so set on seeing Elijah of old appearing suddenly before them that they ignored what was happening: John the Baptist who 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 are what we refer to as a “mantle” which often brings an anointing. The description of John’s assignment lines up with the prophecy about Elijah’s return before the coming of 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 the prophecy that referenced Elijah’s return was speaking about John the Baptist. The prophecy was never meant to refer to Elijah literally coming back to the Earth. Because Israel was focused on the wrong person, most of them 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 represents something that can not be understood without reading 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? How can we make sure we recognize the Two Witnesses? 

The Job of the Two Witnesses

John the Baptist was recognized as the Witness of Jesus Christ because of the job he was doing. Understanding the job of the Witnesses of Revelation may help us recognize them when they come.

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 11:2 AMPC)

In the Book of Revelation John, the Revelator, is told to measure the new temple of God which means this is an actual temple that is created on Earth. The courtyard is left for the Gentiles or those who are not Hebrew by birth: they would not be allowed to enter the temple. “Trample the Holy City” seems to indicate 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)

It doesn’t say “after this,” it says “and” so this means that while this is going on, the Lord will empower two people to prophesy as His Witnesses. Sackcloth means in a state of mourning. Do they actually prophecy from Jerusalem? Or could they be anywhere in the world? There is no real indication of which one it will be.

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) 

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)

It is necessary for two people to give testimony before God brings judgment. This is the job of the Two Witnesses. Once they have given their testimony, Satan makes war on them and kills them. There are several main evil spirits working through three evil players on the Earth at the end of time and knowing who they are is crucial:

And I saw, coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs. For they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty. (Revelation 16:13 ESV)

  • AntiChrist: one of the heads on the beast (Revelation 13:1-5, 17:10) 
    • the person with the power of Satan’s army, possessed by Satan
  • False Prophet: the woman on the beast, the spirit of Jezebel who inhabits a person (Revelation 13:11-15, 17:3-6)
    • leader of a one-world religion, able to do miracles in the sight of the AntiChrist
  • Beast: an AI brought to life by the false prophet (Revelation 9:11, 13:14-15)
    • at the end of the Tribulation that is inhabited by the king of the demons in the bottomless pit: an angel chained there

These three entities should not be confused with the Beast that rises out of the bottomless pit:

The beast that you saw was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the Earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. (Revelation 17:8 AKJV)

The Beast from the bottomless pit has Jezebel riding it and includes all the power of the Dragon who is Satan. It is the entire rebellious force that is opposing God. The Two Witnesses will eventually be taken out by Satan’s army. This verse only proclaims the date they finish their testimony which marks the middle of the Tribulation. Only God knows how long it will take the enemy to overcome and kill them. 

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 a half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. (Revelation 11:8-9 AKJV)

You will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that these are the Two Witnesses when they are killed in Israel, in Jerusalem where Jesus died. The AntiChrist will not allow their bodies to be buried in graves. They will be on display as trophies of his victory. 

One of the theories of the Sadducees and Pharisees claimed that Jesus’ disciples stole His body and nursed Him back to health because He wasn’t really dead. Perhaps the AntiChrist will attempt to prevent any deception of this type by displaying the bodies of the two witnesses in plain view of the world. 

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

“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)

Trees are people. Olive trees are used to represent God’s people. Gentile Christians are “wild olive trees grafted in.” This means that they will not necessarily be Jewish by birth. A lamp gives light. These two will bring revelation from God. Oil is the anointing of God which will flow from the Two Witnesses.

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)

There is supernatural protection for this empowered pair. Fire pouring from their mouths is metaphorical, it is a strong rebuke to anyone who would try to injure them. Their attackers will receive what was intended to harm the Two Witnesses. 

This is the basic job of the Witnesses. As we continue to look at scripture we will see some attributes which may help us recognize them. 

The First Witness

These [two witnesses] have power to shut up the sky, so that no rain may fall during the days of their prophesying (their prediction of events relating to Christ’s kingdom and its speedy triumph)… (Revelation 11:6 AMPC)

The Witnesses are empowered to do certain types of miracles which helps define which mantles they will wear:

  • Shut up the sky: Elijah prophesied a drought. Since Malachi 4:5-6 states that Elijah will prepare people before the “great terrible day of the Lord,” it is reasonable to assume that one of the Witnesses will, again, be equipped with the mantle of Elijah.  
    • In Judaism, being baptized was symbolic of being immersed in the Living Water of God, the Holy Spirit, to cleanse sin from their lives. John the Baptist was equipped in the mantle of Elijah and would baptize people who were determined to turn from their sin (repent) to prepare for the coming of Jesus, the Messiah.
    • The Witness wearing Elijah’s mantle may remain hidden until he is called out by God as one of the Two Witnesses. 

The Second Witness

… and they also have power to turn the waters into blood and to smite and scourge the Earth with all manner of plagues as often as they choose. (Revelation 11:6 AMPC)

This is the description of the mantle of the second Witness. Turning water into blood is what Moses did along with calling down plagues in Egypt. The second Witness will wear the mantle of Moses. 

The second Witness has a job to do before the pair becomes “the Two Witnesses.” The witness of the Second Coming will teach people who have forgotten God’s ways as Moses did.

A famous minister went to Heaven in the 80s. He returned in time to preach at the church he was visiting. The congregation gasped and pointed at him. Much to his surprise, his face was glowing with God’s glory. 

Here is what Jesus told him when he asked about signs of His return:

“Many people are looking for signs of my coming, and they should be looking for my Witness.”

I was unsure of what this meant when I read it until one particular day when God spoke very loudly to me, “I called a Witness for the First Coming of My Son, would I not call a Witness for the Second?” 

It has become clear that together: the Witness of the First Coming and the Witness of the Second Coming will become the Two Witnesses of Revelation. The one equipped in the mantle of Moses still has a job to do as the Witness of the Second Coming of Jesus. 

Moses had to help God’s people relearn His ways after being in Egypt for so long. They had become accustomed to the ways of sin because the culture was focused on other gods. It was a long journey through the desert that allowed Moses to establish God’s people in His ways.

Our Father has spoken many things to me about the Two Witnesses, but I hesitated to believe. I asked Him where the foreshadowing was in the Bible that there would be a Witness of the Second Coming of the Lord. The answer came in a surprising way. 

In a Facebook group, someone posted when praying about a coming hurricane. This person had looked at their phone and saw the number 11:11 when God spoke clearly to them and asked the person to discover the meaning of those numbers. One commentator explained what the number 11 meant according to the common interpretation of dreams. The Holy Spirit said to me, “She got this wrong.” 

The number 11 does mean prophets and heroes of the Bible, great faith, and chaos. It also means a major transition from one thing to another. In this case, the typical definition was only a partial meaning. The Holy Spirit spoke loud and clear inside my head, “Look up passages in the Bible that are 11:11.”

The time on their clock “11:11” looks like a scripture verse. I started in the Old Testament (OT) and the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit came to me in a whisper, “It is in the New Testament (NT).” 

The moment I read Matthew 11:11, I knew this is what He wanted to say. Each and every verse in the NT lined up to form a hidden message from God. The presence of the Holy Spirit became stronger and stronger with each verse I read in the NT as He showed me the meaning and how it worked together with the last verse. The very last 11:11 confirms that this is who He is speaking of, so keep reading…

Hidden Bible Description 

Verse 1

Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist… (Matthew 11:11 AMPC)

The first 11:11 clearly states what we are talking about: the Witness of the coming of the Lord.

Verse 2

And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when He had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, He went out unto Bethany with the twelve. (Mark 11:11 KJV)

The job of the First Witness, John the Baptist was complete when Jesus came to Jerusalem.

Verse 3

What father among you, if his son asks for a loaf of bread, will give him a stone; or if he asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent? (Luke 11:11 AMPC)

This is Jesus showing us that when we are seeking God, we will receive good results. It is in the job description of the Witness of the Coming of Jesus. The baptism that John performed was a declaration of turning from the sin that had drawn them away from God and returning to God's ways as they prepared for the arrival of Jesus. This renewal of their relationship with God was the best gift they could receive. The Second Witness will likewise urge people to renew their relationship with Jesus. 

Usually, Israelites would have to bring sacrifices (which cost money) to obtain forgiveness. However, John was preaching that it was a matter of the heart: come and change your ways and be baptized so that you are ready for the appearance of Jesus. It was from these baptisms that John earned the name, John the Baptist.

The Witness to the Second Coming will also be bringing a similar message and will encourage people to seek God above all.

Verse 4

He said these things and then added, Our friend Lazarus is at rest and sleeping; but I am going there that I may awaken him out of his sleep. (John 11:11 AMPC)

The Body of Christ is asleep, almost dead. Look for the anointing of the Lord upon His Witness that will awaken His church and turn people back to God’s ways.

Verse 5

And right then the three men sent to me from Caesarea arrived at the house in which we were. (Acts 11:11 AMPC)

The two verses before this give the meaning of a vision Peter had. Gentiles are no longer unclean. These three men arrive to take Peter to the home of the first Gentile who will receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Many think Enoch will be one of the Two Witnesses because he never died but was taken directly up into Heaven. Enoch lived before Abraham before there was a Jewish nation. Enoch was a Gentile.

The Witness to the Second Coming is a Gentile. This is the balance of God, one Witness from Israel and one from the Gentiles who are grafted in.

Verse 6

So I ask, Have they stumbled so as to fall [to their utter spiritual ruin, irretrievably]? By no means! But through their false step and transgression salvation [has come] to the Gentiles, so as to arouse Israel [to see and feel what they forfeited] and so to make them jealous. (Romans 11:11 AMPC)

This is speaking of the fact that Israel rejected Jesus so that salvation could come to the Gentiles. What God brings to and through the Gentiles will provoke the Jews to jealousy. 

Just as two witnesses establish a matter, so do two scriptures. God gave us this second verse to verify that the next Witness of the Coming of Jesus will be a Gentile and it will provoke Israel to jealousy. 

Verse 7

Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman. (1 Corinthians 11:11 ESV)

Men and women are equally joined together in God’s eyes. This comes at the end of what is perhaps the most misunderstood portion of the entire Bible. As much as I love the Amplified Version of the Bible, 1 Corinthians is better understood in every other version except the Amplified. 

Every statement Paul makes about praying with their head covered is connected to the fact that the city was dominated by the worship of a goddess. Women ruled the household and spiritually Paul was advising the Corinthians that Christian women should cover their heads to show they were submitted to their husbands, and not aligned with the ways of that goddess. This is shown at the end of this discussion:

But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God. (1 Corinthians 11:16 AKJV)

Paul was giving advice on how to remain separated from the culture which worshiped a goddess, and everything he stated was his advice given ONLY to them. For the remainder of the churches, there were “no such customs.” 

At the time this was written, Rabbis, such as Paul, would receive letters with questions about God and His ways. The Rabbi would then write a “Responsa,” a letter answering that question. These letters would often repeat the question, lest the reader forgets what he had asked months earlier, then the answer would be stated. 

The entire book of 1 Corinthians is a “responsa” written from Paul to the Corinthians. If you look carefully you will see a pattern of a statement, then an answer is given. There is another question about women: 

Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted to them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also said the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. (1 Corinthians 14:34-35 AKJV)

Paul is only stating what he has been asked. His response: 

What? came the word of God out from you? or came it to you only? If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write to you are the commandments of the Lord. But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. (1 Corinthians 14:36-38 AKJV)

 This is a very strong rebuke. He literally says, “What?” meaning this is total nonsense. 

Then he expounds: “did you get revelation from God that was given only to you?” Stating “any man THINK himself to be” shows that Paul doubts very seriously that this is a new prophetic word from God. It is very clear that the prior statements are far outside what God has taught His people.

  • Deborah was a judge and co-led the army into battle 
  • Isaiah’s wife, Huldah, Noadiah, Miriam, and Deborah are mentioned as prophets in the Old Testament 

In this case of an 11:11 scripture, it is the beginning of the answer to what was previously stated. Verse 12 completes that answer: “woman came out of man (in the beginning of time) but now man comes out of woman, so in God’s eyes they are equal, there is no difference.” 

The Prophet to the Second Coming will be a woman. There is a foreshadowing of this in the New Testament. When Jesus’ parents bring Him to the temple as a baby there are two people waiting to acknowledge Him as the Son of God. The first is a man named Simeon who prophesied over Him, the second is also a prophetess, a woman named Anna. 

The First Witness of the Coming of Jesus was a man, the Second will be a woman.

Verse 8

And why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do! (2 Corinthians 11:11 ESV)

God is taking a minute to remind us that He is sending His Witness because of His love for us. He loves all of mankind equally, men and women. The Witness of the Second Coming will be showing God’s love to the world.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28 AKJV)

God sees all His children equally, Jews, Greek, slaves, and free, men and women. The Witness of the Second Coming being female and a Gentile will show the truth of this verse. 

Verse 9

Because of faith also Sarah herself received physical power to conceive a child, even when she was long past the age for it because she considered [God] Who had given her the promise to be reliable and trustworthy and true to His word. (Hebrews 11:11 AMPC)

Because this is a revolutionary concept, God gives a second verse about a woman and one who “received physical power.” God’s people were brought forth from a man and a woman. Just as Sarah, Abraham’s wife, became the mother of the Israeli nation, so will there be a female prophetess, who is willing to believe God. She will be endowed with power and be the Witness of the Second Coming of Jesus.

More than one of the prophetic voices from prominent Christian men of today has stated that men are not getting the job done, and that God is raising up women for this next move of God. I’m not sure they know how right they are!

Verse 10

But after three and a half days, by God’s gift the breath of life again entered into them, and they rose up on their feet, and great dread and terror fell on those who watched them. (Revelation 11:11 AMPC)

There is perfection in the flow of all the 11:11 verses. The first 11:11 verse in the New Testament begins with a declaration of who is being discussed, the Witness of Jesus. His job description is stated next, then the description of the individual who will fulfill it. The very last verse is the death of the Witness; both of them actually which is the completion of their job for God.

God used 10 verses to reveal this truth. The biblical meaning of the number 10 is ordination which means to confer holy orders on someone. Only God could orchestrate such a thing where every piece has a perfect meaning!

John the Baptist did not come down from Heaven nor was he Elijah reincarnated. The book of Luke says, “he will go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah” speaking of John the Baptist. This means the same heart and gifting that Elijah had, John also had. 

God has never sent someone from Heaven who wasn’t born in a generation to teach, rebuke and prophesy over a generation. That would be cheating the system He has created. Mankind must be directly involved, this is why He had to send His son to live as a human being. Therefore the Two Witnesses are not two mysterious people coming from Heaven, but people born here on Earth with the heart and gifting for the job at hand just as John the Baptist was born and raised in his generation.

Identifying the Two Witnesses

And they that dwell on the Earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelled on the Earth. (Revelation 11:10 AKJV)

The Greek word (gay) is translated as “earth.” A fuller meaning is “the Earth as opposed to the heavens.”

People who are not citizens of Heaven, but are focused in this world will rejoice when the Two Witnesses die: even to the point of celebrating their death. 

These two people, one man and one woman, will be prophesying drought and plagues, giving testimony against the Earth. Much of the Word of God is not politically correct. What they say will offend many who are not really aligned with the Kingdom of God. You can easily identify these two because they will be hated as much or more than any other person on the planet. 

There are two events that will occur simultaneously when they step out together:

  1. The signing of a seven-year agreement
    • This marks the beginning of when they will appear
  2. Prophesying in power
    • They will announce droughts 
    • They will announce plagues 

Both of these must be present in order to correctly identify the Two Witnesses. Until that time, God may choose to hide them from the view of the body of Christ.

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