WHO ARE THE TWO WITNESSES?
A study by Gavin Finley MD
endtimepilgrim.org - 2006
THE TWO WITNESSES.The subject of the two witnesses who are featured in the Book of Revelation is very heavily discussed by evangelical Christians. Just who are these two witnesses? And why has God commissioned and ordained two witnesses to perform a key role at the climax of the age?
WHO ARE THEY?
But first, you may wish to view this video. It describes the two witnesses in their broadest Biblical context.
The video below describes in further detail the LAW-GRACE CLEAVAGE in Israel and how it occasioned the fracture in Israel that occurred at the Breach of Jeroboam. Thus began a grievous blood feud, a collective amnesia in both feuding factions, that includes mutual vexation and a sad litany of 2900 years of Anti-Semitism. The video goes on to describe how Messiah is repairing the breach and restoring ALL Israel in the dual anointing of the Order of Melchizedek. We see this demonstrated in His First Coming in His High Priestly role as the Suffering Servant, the Passover Sacrifice Lamb, and in His Second Coming in His Kingdom office as the Conquering King, the Lion of the tribe of Judah.
So the narrative begins with the fall of man in the Garden of Eden and there we see that the soul of man went dark. This occasioned the necessity of a deep priestly ministry into a submerged subconscious of a sinful humanity as well as the decrees and directives through which God as King addresses the conscious soul of those who will listen, and to the extent that they can listen. This dual witness to the God of the earth is spoken of in Scripture and showcased in the life of Abraham, which is spotlighted with the visit of Melchizedek wherein we see the dual office and dual anointing of Messiah in the Order of Melchizedek as King of Salem (Jerusalem), and High Priest of God Most High. As the the history of Israel opens up we see the manifestation of the Law-Grace Dichotomy that split the nation/congregation of Israel in two at the Breach of Jeroboam. The saga moves on to God's response to this dichotomy as seen in the first and second comings of Messiah as laid out for us in the Seven Feasts of Israel. His First Coming saw Him as the suffering Servant, the Sacrifice Lamb featured in the Spring Feasts of Israel and climaxes in the Fall Feasts of Yehovah-Almighty God in the Second Coming of Messiah as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the royal Jewish house. It will be in the dual office, dual anointing of Messiah, in the Order of Melchizedek that the Restoration of Israel will come. This will reconcile, reunite, expand, and fully restore the Commonwealth/Congregation of Israel. All these wonders will unfold among the called out Ekklesia who will bring in the end-time witness, empowered to bring their testimony before kings and rulers in the promised End-Time Revival at the consummation of this age.Revelation 11:3-4
"3 And I will give power to my two witnesses,
and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.
4 These are the two olive trees and the two lamp stands
standing before the God of the earth."
Here in this scripture from Revelation 11 we see that the two witnesses are represented as two olive trees. Zechariah 4 tells a similar story, as we shall see. So what might be the wider story here? If they are two men then are they the sole actors on the stage of end-time holy history? Or do the two witnesses oversee or head up the two streams of the end-time witness of God's covenant people? We shall be looking into that in this article.
As we can see, from Revelation 11:3-12 the two witnesses are witnessing right inside the exact time period of the Tribulation period. Then at the end of the 1260 days they are struck down and lie dead in the streets of the Great City for 3.5 days. So since we see that they will suffer a mortal death then they cannot be Israel and the Church as our older denominations have taught. The two witnesses must be either human beings or heavenly beings manifest in human form. Are they Elijah and Enoch? Are they Elijah and Moses? In Revelation 11: we see that they are manifest as two prophets who appear to be individuals. So what is the real story of the two witnesses? Is there more going on here than we have been told?
TRADITIONAL INTERPRETATIONS OFLet us begin with the standard discussion of this subject. Are the two witnesses two men we have seen living here on earth in former times and showcased in Holy Scripture? If so, then who are they? Who are our candidates for these two witnesses? Elijah and Enoch are candidates that have been talked about. The prophet Elijah bore witness before God on behalf of the kingdom authority of the nation of Israel and the Old Covenant. And Enoch bore witness to the personal fellowship with God which is in fact the personal priestly ministry of God with individual men we see the New Covenant and exemplified in the "ekklesia", the called out Assembly, the true Congregation/Church) of Y'hveh-God.
THE IDENTITY OF THE TWO WITNESSES.
To our knowledge neither Elijah or Enoch have seen physical death. Enoch knew God and entered into sweet fellowship with Him. He took a stroll with God and ended up walking right on up into heaven with Him. And Elijah may not have seen death. The prophet Elisha received Elijah's mantle before he saw him caught up to heaven in a fiery chariot. Both these men went up into heaven alive in their physical bodies. Could they return to earth again to take up their end time role as the two witnesses?
Moses is another candidate for one of the two witnesses. He, along with Elijah, was seen at the transfiguration on Mount Tabor. But unlike the other two Moses did in fact die. In fact there was a dispute between the angel Michael and Lucifer over the burial of His body. (Jude 1:9)
Suppose two men do return from heaven and are in fact the two witnesses? Is this all there is to the prophecy of the 2 witnesses?
Or might the end-time witness of which the two witnesses play a leading part of a wider story, perhaps a bigger story than we have been told?
TWO WITNESSES OF YHVH-GOD ARE SEEN IN BOTH THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS.
THEY ARE SEEN IN VISION BY ZECHARIAH AND ALSO BY JOHN IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION.
THEY ARE DESCRIBED AS "TWO OLIVE TREES WHO STAND BEFORE THE GOD OF THE EARTH".
The scriptures give other accounts of a twofold witness. And the two olive trees are a connecting key to our understanding of the two witnesses. The Apostle John in the Book of Revelation saw the two olive trees. John was told that the two olive trees were the two witnesses. He was also told that these two witnesses "stand before the God of the earth".REVELATION 11As we shall describe further into this article, the prophet Zechariah saw the two olive trees just as John did.
3. "And I will give power to my two witnesses, ....................
4. These are the two olive trees and the two lamp stands
standing before the God of the earth."
Zechariah asked what the two olive trees were.ZECHARIAH 4The prophet Zechariah received this answer.
4. "What are these two olive trees .......?"
ZECHARIAH 4In both the Revelation and the Zechariah accounts we see the same thing.
14. ....... These are the two anointed ones,
that stand by the Lord of the whole earth."
The two olive trees were "two witnesses" or "two anointed ones"
"standing before the Lord/God of the earth."
Zechariah gives us a lot more information. As we shall discuss, Zechariah saw the two olive trees issuing two flows of anointing oil into a golden bowl. From the bowl seven pipes were dispensing the oil into the seven lamps on the golden lamp stand. We know that the golden lamp stand with seven branches is the true symbol of Israel. It was fashioned according to the instructions YHVH-God gave Moses.
But we also see the golden lamp stand showcased in the New Testament. John the Beloved saw the seven candlesticks in the opening heavenly courtroom scenes of the Apocalypse. (Rev. 1:12-18) And right there in the midst of the seven candlesticks John sees Someone with His hair as white a snow and eyes a flame of fire.
John falls down at His feet.
He has seen the Son of Man.
THE TWO WITNESSES STAND BEFORE THE GOD OF ALL THE EARTH.In both the Revelation and the Zechariah accounts we see the same thing.
DO THEY PERFORM THIS ROLE BEFORE THE GOD OF HEAVEN OVER THOUSANDS OF YEARS?
IF SO THEN IS THIS MORE THAN WE CAN EXPECT OF MERE HUMAN BEINGS?
The two olive trees were "two witnesses" or "two anointed ones"
"standing before the Lord/God of the earth."
If these beings are standing before the God of all the earth then this looks like a long tenure. They have been standing before Him for over six thousand years of earth's history so far. And we must expect that they will continue this role in the Millennium to come and right up into the Millennial Rebellion at the end. We can expect these two witnesses to stand before God and report on earthly matters after that and right on up into the Great White Throne Judgment. So then, can the two witnesses be mere mortals? That statement about them standing before the God of the earth puts a big question mark on our traditional interpretations that these are Enoch and Elijah, or Moses and Elijah. We'll look into this matter further as we go on in this article.
GOD HAS ALWAYS CALLED FOR TWO WITNESSES. THE END TIME DRAMA JOHN SAW UNFOLDING AND DESCRIBED IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION IS A DIVINE COURTROOM CASE. AND THE ANCIENT OF DAYS IS SEATED UPON THE THRONE, HOLDING COURT.As we have seen, our search for the two witnesses quite clearly takes us to the top of God's order of things. John the Beloved in the Book of Revelation takes us on a tour into the courts of heaven. And we get a glimpse of the Apocalypse and the judgments of YHVH-God as they relate to the thresholds of history upon this earth, specifically the Last Day. Here are some further scriptures that specifically mentions "two witnesses". Again, we see that they relate to God's holy ministry on earth and His righteous judgments on earth.
First we hear from Moses.Deuteronomy 17:6Then we hear from our Apostle Paul.
"At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death;"2Corinthians 13:1In other words, before judgment can come there must be a testimony presented by two witnesses. This is a testimony by two reputable and worthy observers who were on the scene at the time of the events and are actually a witness to what was going on. This is absolutely necessary in a court of law. And as we see in the Book of Revelation, the heavens were opened into the Day of the Lord. John saw the courts of heaven as they came into session. He saw the Ancient of Days seated upon His throne. He was attended by His angelic hosts. Before He pronounces the final Judgment He must receive their report as to what is going on down here on earth. As we shall see, He has demonstrated this legal protocol before. The pre-incarnate Messiah had his two witnesses with Him and topped that off by visiting His covenant family of Abraham as well for his input before He pronounced judgment at Sodom and Gomorrah.
"In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established."
So the End-Time is not a haphazard or chaotic affair. The Sovereign of the Universe is in control of events. But He is doing more than that. YHVH-God is presiding at court! In the Book of Revelation John the Divine sees the heavenly court set in readiness for the final events and the final judgment. And He sees the Ancient of Days take His seat. It now seems quite probable that the Judgment will take place at the end of this age and that this will in fact be on the Day of Atonement. The subsequent execution of the Judgment will immediately follow at sunset and the Apocalypse or unveiling of Messiah will come as the the heavens roll back, space-time unzips, and the Day of the Lord opens up with the release of the Harvest angels.
So the 70th Week of Daniel is not the chaotic shambles it has been presented to us by our Bible prophecy teachers. Pre-tribulation dispensationalist preachers have long misrepresented the Biblical truth here. The final seven years of this age is not just a chamber of horrors with "all Hell breaking loose" as we have been told. There is no dualism here! YHVH-God is on the throne! He is the One who is exercising sovereign oversight over holy history. He sets the limits over all of the critical end-time events. And all of His witnesses, every last one of them, will be there!
THE TWO WITNESSES AS SEEN BY THE PROPHET ZECHARIAH.
This wonderful image is from the Jewish Cervera Bible.
Spain circa 1299.
The prophecy of Zechariah presents us with another clue. In Zechariah chapter 4 specific mention is made of two anointed ones who stand before the Lord of the whole earth. They must relate to the dual anointing of God for kings and priests. This is showcased in our scripture passage in Zechariah chapter four. Zachariah saw two olive trees, one representing the King and the other the High Priest. Both of them were supplying the oil of anointing to a bowl. That bowl supplied oil to a seven branched candlestick or menorah, the true symbol of Israel. Here is our scripture.ZECHARIAH 411 Then answered I, and said unto him,
1 "And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep, 2 And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof: 3 And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof. 4 So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord? 5 Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me,
Knowest thou not what these be?
And I said, No, my lord.
6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying,'This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying,
Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the LORD of hosts'.
What are these two olive trees
upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof?
12 And I answered again, and said unto him,
What be these two olive branches
which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves?
13 And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be?
And I said, No, my lord.
14 Then said he, These are the two anointed ones,
that stand by the Lord of the whole earth." In Romans 11 our Apostle Paul speaks again of olive trees. We hear of "natural branches" and "wild branches".
This is in reference to Israel and the Church.
Clearly both are identified with the olive tree.
And the olive tree is a symbol of Israel.
Are there any more clues from scripture regarding a twofold witness and unity in God? Yes indeed. We have the two offices of the Order of Melchizedek. Melchizedek served as priest of God most High. He also served as king of Salem or Jerusalem. We know that our coming Messiah presides over these two offices of priest and king. The psalmist (King David), sees YHVH/God speaking to David's Lord the Greater David. God says,"You are a priest forever. According to the Order of Melchizedek." Psalm 110:4
THE TWO STICKS OF EZEKIEL 37.In Ezekiel 37 we have another prophecy of two becoming one. We have the prophecy of the two sticks uniting and becoming one stick. In this prophecy we see dual anointing and dual authority in YHVH-God. They are the authorities of Judah and of Joseph. The meaning of the prophecy is abundantly clear. They are both destined to become reunited to and restored as one.
THE TWO AUTHORITIES OF MESSIAH IN JUDAH AND IN JOSEPH.
Ezekiel saw two sticks that became one in his hand as he prophesied. (Ezek 37)
There was the stick of Judah and the stick of Joseph.
They appear to be the two authorities of YHVH-God upon this earth.
The image to the right is from Batya Wooten's book.
Out of Judah comes the Lawgiver, ruling from the Throne of David. (Gen.49:8-12)
He is the Lion of the tribe of Judah, our coming Messiah.
Joseph's coat of many colors is seen out in the nations. It is covered with blood, even the blood of God's martyrs. But out of Joseph comes the ministry of grace in the Gospel. The Light of Israel goes out into the nations. Joseph brings salvation to his brothers, and the world. He still feeds them the Bread of Life just as he fed bread to the world in the former time.
So, might the first witness represent God's law and His righteous rule? Melchizedek was King of Salem/Shalom. And so we are focusing in here on His Kingdom. The Throne of David is in the royal Jewish tribe of Judah.
Judah was separated from Israel in the breach of Jeroboam. Judah became the southern kingdom who went off into captivity in Babylon. These people, the Jewish nation, returned from their exile. They restored the royal and holy city of Jerusalem as a city-state. And the Jewish people know their heritage. They know and remember their earthly roots in Israel.
And what of the other witness? Looking back to the two sticks is it connected to the Gate of Joseph? Might the other witness be concerned with the ministry of God's grace and His mercy? Melchizedek was Priest of God Most High. (Gen.14:18) And God has sworn that our coming Messiah is "a priest forever according to the Order of Melchizedek". (Psalm 110:4)
And so we are focusing here on the High Priesthood of Christ. God in His mercy and grace makes covenant with individuals. This is not a bloodline matter. They come to God by the faith that was first seen in Abraham. The New Covenant sees God's righteous law written into the hearts of men. This is a work of grace. Salvation comes by God's grace through the exercise of a mans faith in God. Redemption is available through the atoning blood of the promised Sacrifice Lamb. This is the Gospel. It is the priestly ministry of the true Church, the Congregation of YHVH-God.
It certainly appears that the end time witness of God's Elect will be two-fold. There is a priestly ministry of the Gospel going on right now. And there will be a kingdom ministry, a "Gospel of the kingdom" seen in the end-time. This important end time covenant business relates to the returning Messiah, His High Priestly ministry and His future rule upon earth in the coming Millennial Kingdom. Priestly issues are involved. And so are kingdom, (or political), issues. Messiah will return to wrap up Church and State. This is why the nations, (and their hired churchmen), are raging as we approach the end of this age.
Here is another clue indicating that the two witnesses may be more than just two men. YHVH-God has said in Daniel 9:24-27 that He will reopen up a set period of time, the final week of the Seventy Weeks of Daniel. This time has been written in the Word of God and set. This time has been set and determined for God to resume crucial blood covenant dealings with His covenant people. Daniel tells us that these covenant issues are twofold. They relate to
1. His Holy City, (Jerusalem)
1. His Holy People, (His Congregation, His Church).
THE BREACH OF JEROBOAM SPLITS ISRAEL INTO TWO PARTS.
BUT THEY ARE DESTINED TO BE RE-UNITED IN THE APOCALYPSE AT THE END OF THE AGE.
"Now when all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, saying:
'What share have we in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse.
To your tents, O Israel! Now, see to your own house, O David!'
So Israel departed to their tents." (1Kings 12:16)
After the death of Solomon, Israel split into two kingdoms. Judah in the south, the royal tribe, included the city of Jerusalem. Within Judah is the House of David with the Throne of David. The Throne of David is the key to the raging of nations. This is the essential target of all anti-Semitism.
Here in the Jewish House of Judah is the burden for God's righteous rule or His Law. The heathen hate it. That is why they are raging against little Israel and against Jews as we approach the end of the age. King David wrote a song about this 3,000 years ago. (Psalm 2)
We also have the Northern Kingdom of the ten tribes. Right back at the breach of Jeroboam the ten northern tribes evidenced their burden and desire to find grace and mercy. The glory of Solomon's reign was fading. Taxes were burdensome. The northern ten tribes went to the King, King Rehoboam, asking for tax relief and relief from the hard labor the tribes rendered to the central government, the kingdom of Israel in Judah. Rehoboam of Judah, was at that time the sovereign over all Israel. Did the lost northern tribes find grace in the eyes of King Rehoboam? No, they did not. And that is why they walked out. They rebelled. The rule over the departing ten tribes was assumed by Jeroboam. He then proceeded to lead the northern tribes into gross idolatry. He set up golden calves for worship. The House of Israel, as it was called, ended up being carried off into slavery by the Assyrians in 722 B.C.. They never returned. They remain lost to this day.
THE EVENTUAL REUNIFICATION OF THE TWO KINGDOMS OF ISRAEL.
THIS PROPHECY WILL BE FULFILLED IN THE CRUCIBLE OF THE END TIME.
"Candles at the Wall" by Jewish artist Eizen.
Click the image above to go to the Israeli Poster Center.
The two witnesses are showcased in the two Shabbat candles.
And two candles are presented on our dining tables in Christendom.
The theme of 'two witnesses' is seen in both Old and New Testaments.
Why did Israel split into two Kingdoms? And what was the Breach of Jeroboam all about. For more on that see This Article. Cutting themselves off from the House of David in the Jewish House of Judah and from the Holy City of Jerusalem and from the annual Feasts of Israel the lost ten tribes descended into deep idolatry. They were taken captive by the Assyrians in 722 B.C.. What happened to them after their captivity ended? Did they stay up near the Tigris River south of the Caucasus mountains? In the centuries after their captivity ended where did they go? Did the bulk of them drift westwards into Asia Minor as Yair Davidiy of
britam.org and Steven Collins have reported? Did they come under the ministry of the Apostle Paul as is missionary journeys extended westwards from Antioch?
If the ten tribes were totally lost from the Old Covenant and from a sovereign connection to the nation of Israel through the House of David at the Breach of Jeroboam is there hope for them to be restored in Israel? Could it be that Y'hveh-God has arranged for them to be picked up in the New Covenant? We see some good evidence for this in Isaiah 49:6. If we look in Revelation 7 we see hope for this. There are certainly 12 tribes listed there. We see them in association with the vast multitude from every nation race and tribe. Then our Apostle Paul explains the basis for this repatriation in Ephesians 2:12-13. He states clearly there that those who are in Christ are no longer strangers to the covenant but under His atoning blood they are in the Commonwealth, (or citizenship), of Israel. So might the lost House of Israel be found? Will the scales fall from both partially blind factions of Israel as the mysteries are unveiled as the return of Messiah draws near?
We know that late in the first century there were seven churches in Asia Minor. Jesus left us with a valuable clue. He said that He went to the lost sheep of the House of Israel. This is a clear reference to the lost ten tribes.
The great divorce of Israel after the death of Solomon was an awful thing.
Since the breach of Jeroboam there have been two houses of Israel.
Both of them are indeed partially blinded.
They do not recognize each other as being the chosen people.
But throughout the body of Old Testament prophecy the Holy One of Israel, our Christian God says that He will restore both houses.
The Jewish house Of Judah will be saved. (Zech.12:7-13:1)
(They are blind to their Messiah.)
And God will find the lost ten tribes of Israel and their companions. (Ezek.37)
(They, and the Church at large, are blind to who they are in Israel.)
These mysteries will be revealed during the Apocalypse, the unveiling of Christ as Messiah. All this awe and splendor will be seen as the 70th week of Daniel unfolds into holy history. As the 70th Week opens the trumpets will begin to sound. And God will resume His determined dealings with ALL His covenant people. The combined witness of the God of Abraham, Judah, and Joseph will go forth.
THE TWO WITNESSES IN THE END TIME DRAMAAs we come towards the consummation of this age men and angels will see a twofold witness from God. The nations will be under increasing stress. The principalities, powers and angelic rulers will recognize that their time is short. They will pull the strings of depraved and godless men. The end result will be that the nations will be raging. Increasingly they will find themselves coming against God Himself.
First of all, they will also find themselves in a dramatic clash with God's law and His righteousness as their armies press on towards Jerusalem. God Almighty will plead with the heathen as their armies muster at Armageddon. He will plead with the nations with pestilence and bloodshed. The end time drama upon the mountains of Israel involves God's Holy City and the witness of YHVH-God's righteous rule upon this earth.
Secondly, the witness of God's mercy and His grace will also be seen out in the nations. The 6th seal signs of the sun turning to darkness and the moon to blood will see the Holy Spirit outpouring coming to a climax at the very last day. And
"Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. (Joel 2:28-32)
Yes, even in the midst of tribulation, the Gospel witness will go out to the ends of the earth.
Francis Schaeffer spoke of the seemingly irreconcilable dichotomy between God's Law and His Grace.
But God will indeed bring it all together in Messiah at the end of the age.
Yes, YHVH/God's twofold witness will be seen in a magnificent way inside the Apocalypse.
1. The witness of His LAW will go out from His Holy City,
2. The witness of His GRACE will go out in the Gospel from His Holy People scattered abroad.
Then Messiah is coming to wrap things up.
THE TWO WITNESSES AND THE 1260 DAYSThe scriptures show the two witnesses as key players on earth and before the throne of God. The time of their ministry is precisely known. They minister during the Great Tribulation which is a period of 1260 days. So are these two witnesses two men who will come back to earth after a sojourn in heaven? Are they really men like Moses and Elijah or Enoch and Elijah? Are men these of the span of centuries caliber required to stand before the Lord Y'Hweh, over all the earth and perhaps a wider cosmos?
As we have been seeing, the two witnesses if they are individuals, (and there is good evidence that they are), may be joined by a wider company of God's Elect who minister in the dual anointing encompassing these two witnesses. Certainly we can clearly see two distinct and complementary ministry burdens exercised by God's witnesses in the end time. John said that God's two witnesses will be ministering during the 1260 days of the latter half of the 70th Week. The dual witness will go out through God's Elect during the very time frame of the Great Tribulation.
So the two ministry burdens of the two witnesses seem to be,
1. God's righteous rule or His 'Law', (the burden of Messianic believers out of national Israel).
2. God's grace in the Gospel, (the burden of the church).
As we have discussed, the prophet Daniel brings an important point to bear on this discussion.
The angel Gabriel told Daniel that the 70 weeks were "cut out of time" for two distinct purposes.
The witness goes out on behalf of God's Holy nation/Holy City.
And the witness also goes out on behalf of God's Holy People.
THE TWO WITNESSES STAND BEFORE THE LORD OF THE EARTH. A GOOD CASE IS NOW BEING PUT FORTH BY ELDER Max W. Mader of www.avoiceinthe wilderness.org THAT THESE TWO ANOINTED ONES CANNOT BE MEN BUT ARE THE TWO CHERUBIM FEATURED ON THE ARK OF THE COVENANT AS WITNESSES TO THE BLOOD OF RIGHTEOUSNESS AND THE MERCY THAT IS SPRINKLED UPON THE MERCY SEAT AND THAT THESE ARE THE TWO ANGELS MICHAEL, (WHO UPHOLDS THE NATION OF ISRAEL IN RIGHTEOUSNESS), AND GABRIEL, (WHO IS UPHOLDING THE MERCY OF GOD IN HIS WORD AND GOSPEL THAT GOES OUT TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH).Late in 2013 I was asked again about the two witnesses. As I was researching online to see if anyone had some further Biblical information that might be worth considering I came upon an article by Canadian Elder Max. W. Mader. He made quite a convincing case for these two witnesses being angels and not men at all. The Mp3 of Mr. Mader's sermon can be accessed by clicking on the button to the right.
I must say that I had never heard this explanation before but as I looked at the two cherubim this was certainly a dual witness element another case of two witnesses laid out for us in Holy Scripture. It was one I had not considered. Can angels take on human form? As such can they be killed? We know that the two witnesses will be killed at the end of their witness which is congruous with the 1260 day, 42 Biblical month, 3.5 Biblical year time period of the Great Tribulation. This is clearly stated in Revelation 11:2-4. I had not considered that possibility before. Will they join the rest of the martyrs who have died for the witness of Messiah our God? Does not the word witness in Greek mean martyr? The two witnesses are destined to become two martyrs. They will be lying in the streets for 3.5 days before rising on their feet and ascending into heaven. Can such things happen to angels, God's two covering archangels no less?
The story of Abraham's three visitors astounded me when I realized who they were. I must say I was humbled to see that God Himself holds Himself accountable to two angelic witnesses and insists upon their presence before Him before He performs His great acts of judgment here below. When I realized that these two witnesses had taken on human form and came to earth before I was amazed. Why had I not seen that before? Two witnesses had attended the pre-incarnate Christ before He enacted another great judgment of God, that being the Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Those three men that came to visit Abraham on their way to evaluate the situation in those two wicked cities were Messiah and His two angelic witnesses! I was blown away by clear and evident consideration of the issues of justice and the mercy by our God before He brings down His judgments.
So who are these two witnesses? Throughout the Holy Scriptures and especially in the book of Daniel the guardian angel of the nation Israel and the upholder of His righteousness was the archangel Michael. And the angel of God's throne who brings God's Holy Word to God's covenant people is the angel Gabriel. It seems that both of them accompanied and attended the pre-incarnate Christ as He came to visit God's friend Abraham and talk things over with him. Abraham asked God to spare the city if He could find 10 righteous men. There were just Lot and his family. But God and His two witnesses personally took Lot and his family by the hand got them out of there before the city was destroyed. Such is the righteousness and the abundant mercy of God. What and incredible God we have!
This dual witness up in the angelic real has been the missing piece of the puzzle of the two witnesses. There up in the 3rd heaven and coming down across the chasm to earth we see the dual witness for law and grace, righteousness and mercy. This is reflected further down here on earth in the vision of the two olive trees that Zechariah saw and wrote about in Zechariah chapter 4. We also see the dual anointing of the Order of Melchizedek, who was High Priest and King of Salem, the place of God's peace. Messiah heads up both offices. This is further exemplified by the two sticks of Ezekiel 37, the Law-Grace feud we see in the Breach of Jeroboam and continuing blood feud which is the fracture line in the Kingdom of God that ws seen in the former times and continues in the Church vs. Jewish Israel misunderstanding we see today. So the two Sabbath candles of witness are lit every Sabbath by the Jewish ladies. They pray a prayer for reunion and restoration under Y'hweh-God.
The Elect still continue in a divided calling. They continue to minister under the two leavened loaves that were lifted up from Pentecost two thousand years ago. These two leavened loaves are the Church as we have it since the Council of Niceae and the Jewish synagogues that continue under the same rabbinical priesthood that was present 2.000 years ago. The split is perpetuated today in the Church with their Church vs. Israel dispensational dichotomy. This was written for the Church by 19th Century Freemasons and their dark human and angelic handlers. Dominionists are ready to write off Israel right now as they seek Dominion over the earth based upon compromise and a harlot pseudo-Christianity. Quite clearly, the two witnesses standing before God cannot report to Him that all is well down here. Nor can they report a refined remnant Elect, a purified Bride without spot, wrinkle, or blemish.
Our flawed theology and eschatology staggers on today. It is based upon a fractured, dysfunctional, malformed, and stunted Israelology. Does the Theology we are fed in the Church today and taught in the Seminaries even have an Israelology?
Please have a listen to Max W. Mader's Mp3. Check out the Scriptures and pray for discernment in the matter. Remember if we as born-again blood bought Christians are in the Commonwealth or citizenship of Israel we can expect that we too are in just as much partial blindness as are our Jewish brethren from the royal House of Judah. Remember too that if we are grafted in to Israel this did not come by DNA or race. No, not at all. It comes by Grace, not by race. It comes by the precious blood of Jesus. In Ephesians 2:12-13 we see that His blood brings us nigh into the Commonwealth or Citizenship of Israel. This Commonwealth of Israel is both the restored nation of Israel and a Congregation or Church of Israel. Both witnesses are present and overseeing both houses of Israel. Can we see this?
The Church came out of Israel nearly 2,000 years ago. The birth of the Church came on Israel's birthday on the Day of Pentecost in the passion year. It came as an overflow out of Israel. The true Church has ignored Origen, Nicaea, and Augustine and never left Israel. Under the ministry of the two witnesses Messiah will take national Israel, (the royal Jewish House of Judah), and reunite it with the remnant Church, the Congregation of Israel. Together they will become a single remnant Elect. The two sticks of Ezekiel 37 will be one in the hand of Messiah. God will accomplish this magnificent restoration in the latter days. We know this for a certainty because in 1Peter 2:9 and in Exodus the royalty of the nation is applied to the Priesthood and the holiness is applied to the Nation. Both Moses and the Apostle Peter spoke of a royal priesthood and a holy nation or nation of priests.
THE TWO WITNESSES OF WHO STAND BEFORE THE LORD OF THE EARTH MINISTER TO REGATHER AND TO RESTORE ISRAEL ND THE CHURCH AS A SINGLE CONGREGATION AND NATION, THE COMMONWEALTH OF ISRAEL. GOD'S ELECT ARE DESTINED TO BECOME A SINGLE UNIFIED "ROYAL PRIESTHOOD AND A HOLY NATION"In the last days the scriptures show us only one Elect. God's Elect, His Chosen, are one single united confluent company drawn from both sides of Calvary. They are a "called out company", an "ekklesia", a "congregation" a "church" a "synagogue". And so they come into God's great Congregation. They come from national Israel and from out of the gentile (heathen) nations. Many will fall away in the persecutions under the harlot during the first 3.5 years and under the 666 Antichrist during the second 3.5 years of the 70th Week. But the Apocalypse sees the covenant people of Abraham, Judah, and Joseph come together as a single refined remnant. The remnant of Israel and the remnant Church become one and the same.
This is the magnificent completed Congregation and Nation of Israel the Old Testament prophet/poets saw.
The wild branches and the natural branches have been grafted back into the olive tree. (Rom.11)
Here is another valuable clue as to what God intends to do in uniting all His people.
God does not say Israel is to become a royal nation and a holy priesthood.
Notice, Moses and Peter "cross over" the attribute 'royal' and apply it to the priesthood.
And they cross over the attribute of 'holy' and apply it to the nation.
Israel has at last become a "royal priesthood and a holy nation". (1Pet.2:9)
Messiah at His coming will do something no one else since Melchizedek has ever been able to do.
He will "lock down" and "cross-link" politics and religion.
Only Messiah can do that. And why?
1. Messiah brings His peace/shalom and into His Holy City, Jerusalem.
(This action on behalf of national Israel is executed in the Old Covenant).
2. Messiah brings His peace/shalom into human hearts.
(This action on behalf of His Holy People is executed in the New Covenant). (Jer.31:31)
Messiah's two fold witness will go out at the climax of this age.
1. The Gospel of the Kingdom.
2. The Gospel of personal Salvation.
Messiah brings national salvation and personal salvation.
He re-unites all His people and brings them home.
Remnant Israel and the Remnant Church are destined to become a single united company. This will happen at the end of the age even as the Light of Israel shines out from Jerusalem to the heathen gentiles out at the ends of the earth. The races, tongues, and tribes have seen a Great Light. And as we come to the end of this age we see that God's work in the faith of Abraham has been completed for this era. All of Gods people have been found. Israel has been restored. And the huge company of Abraham, even as a magnificent wedding party with their lamps, will be passing on up the highway of holiness towards the gates of splendor. (Isa.35)
All of God's covenant people will be coming home.
They will be returning to Israel from the ends of the earth."Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return,
And come with singing unto Zion.
And everlasting joy, shall be upon their heads." (Isa. 51:11)