"The second woe is past, and, behold the third woe cometh quickly."
The 2 Witnesses of Revelation 11 claim a key part in the first half of the 7-year Tribulation period. They are present at the very beginning, but murdered by the anti-Christ 3 ½ years into the Tribulation. Their ministry is exclusive to the city of Jerusalem (there is no indication they ever leave the city throughout their entire ministry), but their power manifests itself throughout the entire world. Whatever their task is, it must be accomplished during the first half of the Tribulation, and before the time of Jacob's Trouble. It is important to put some thought into who they are, and especially what their mission will be? I will speculate some ideas that seem to ring true. These are speculations, and should never be considered interpretation. Only when these events take place will we know how this prophecy finds its perfect fulfillment. I have done some Biblical detective work that seems to make sense. I would invite you to read it and comment.
And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.
A key part in this passage is a relationship between the Two Witnesses and an earthly Jewish Temple. The Second Temple of John's day (the author of Revelations) had already been destroyed in 72 AD. He is taken forward in time to see another Jewish Temple. This is not some mystical Temple as some have suggested. Many commentators have been perplexed when trying to explain this Temple spiritually as Dr. Seiss reveals.
The measuring here commanded implies that what is measured had not, up to that time, been acknowledged on the part of Christ. This could not be true of the Church. The language is especially Jewish. There is a fane, an altar, and a court of the Gentiles spoken of; which agrees with the ceremonial economy, but not with the Christian.
(NOTE: Dr. A. Clarke, in loc., says: "This must refer to the temple of Jerusalem;" though what to do with it he confesses he does not know.)
(from The Apocalypse: Exposition of the Book of Revelation, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1998 by Biblesoft)
John is commanded to physically measure it. He could see it, and touch it, and walk through its courts. This is very similar to the experience of Ezekiel (Ezekiel 40-48) after his First Temple was destroyed.
And he brought me thither, and, behold, there was a man, whose appearance was like the appearance of brass, with a line of flax in his hand, and a measuring reed; and he stood in the gate.
The Temple described by Ezekiel (Ezekiel 40-48) has never been built. It is much bigger then either the First Temple or the Second Temple (even after King Herod's expansions). Is it possible both prophets measured this same future Temple??? I believe so, and will pursue this proposition. I'm convinced that both prophets were taken forward in time to bear witness of a Third Jewish Temple built on the same spot as the other two. The Temple each prophet was familiar with had been destroyed at the time of their writing. Ezekiel's First Temple by the Babylonians, and John's Second Temple by the Romans.
John was given "a reed like unto a rod." It was probably some kind of writing instrument representing God's authority to write and record all that he saw. This chapter is a copy of some of those original writings he made that day. The rod part may well represent a divine scepter of sorts to authenticate the measurements he made are true. At the least it was a measuring device for accurate measurement.
He was commanded to measure three things: "The Temple of God, the Altar, and them that worship therein."
We are not told any more about this Temple by John other then it had an outer court not to be measured in the next verse. I'm convinced had John given us the actual measurements they would duplicate what Ezekiel measured when he recorded in chapters 40-44 the walls, the chambers, the gates, the roofs, the windows, the porches, the palm treed cherubim arches, the courts, the steps, the posts, the tables for offering, the meat hooks, the doors and door handles, the foundation, the galleries, the Altar, the planking, the stories of the building, the holy things of the Priests, the Sanctuary and the profane place, the thresholds, the settle, and the throne.
Ezekiel's Temple has a throne. It is unique to the other two. I believe the Temple John saw also had a throne for the Second Coming of Christ. It is astonishing to think that the future is this fixed by God! He is timeless in His attributes. Here, He takes two prophets separated by almost 800 years into the same future to see the same final plan and end for Israel and for Jerusalem. The future becomes the now for these "eye Witnesses." Everything is centered in and about God's Holy Jewish Temple. All worship done in this building project of 3 ½ years is as God ordains. A Third Temple is fixed by God's decree, and both Ezekiel and John were taken to it, and walked through its courts. God was not finished with Israel in either Ezekiel's day or John's. Though the people failed, God's plan for the Jew continues. God assures a future blessed relationship, and both Ezekiel and John (both Jews) saw it.
This Temple has an Altar of which both prophets recorded. An Altar necessarily means sacrifice as was done in both the First and Second Temples. Ezekiel saw the Priests at work in this future Temple. They were not angels, or spirits, or perfected saints, but Jews from the family Zadok who are unclean, mortal men, and must maintain the Old Testament laws of purity even in clothing.
When the priests enter therein, then shall they not go out of the holy place into the utter court, but there they shall lay their garments wherein they minister; for they are holy; and shall put on other garments, and shall approach to those things which are for the people.
19And thou shalt give to the priests the Levites that be of the seed of Zadok, which approach unto me, to minister unto me, saith the Lord GOD, a young bullock for a sin offering.
20And thou shalt take of the blood thereof, and put it on the four horns of it, and on the four corners of the settle, and upon the border round about: thus shalt thou cleanse and purge it.
21Thou shalt take the bullock also of the sin offering, and he shall burn it in the appointed place of the house, without the sanctuary.
These are Jews whose ancestry goes back to the days of the First Temple. They are part of the Aaronic priesthood. The Wycliff Bible Commentary examines Zadok, and the sons of Zadok.
15 But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of my sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me, they shall come near to me to minister unto me, and they shall stand before me to offer unto me the fat and the blood, saith the Lord GOD:
16 They shall enter into my sanctuary, and they shall come near to my table, to minister unto me, and they shall keep my charge.
17 And it shall come to pass, that when they enter in at the gates of the inner court, they shall be clothed with linen garments; and no wool shall come upon them, whiles they minister in the gates of the inner court, and within.
18 They shall have linen bonnets upon their heads, and shall have linen breeches upon their loins; they shall not gird themselves with any thing that causeth sweat.
19 And when they go forth into the utter court, even into the utter court to the people, they shall put off their garments wherein they ministered, and lay them in the holy chambers, and they shall put on other garments; and they shall not sanctify the people with their garments.
The Levitical priests, the sons of Zadok (RSV), were descendants of Zadok, a contemporary of David and Solomon (2 Sam 8:17; 15:24-29; 20:25; 1 Kings 2:27,35) and of Aaron through Eleazar (1 Chron 6:50-53). 16. The faithful priests will minister to God. Come near to my table. Cf. Mal 1:7,12. Keep my charge. Cf. Ezek 40:45-46.
(from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1962 by Moody Press)
Zadok is the High Priest of the First Temple initiated by David, and built by Solomon.
Certainly, it would be impossible for any Jew today to literally trace his heritage back to the line of Zadok. There are multitudes of Jews today with the last name of Cohen (Hebrew for Priest) which could claim by name a relationship to the Priesthood. My thoughts are that the 2 Witnesses who will have direct communications with God will have no problem choosing the present day Jews who will be qualified for Temple service. The point here with the Old Testament Altar and sacrifice being re-instituted is that the Aaronic Priesthood will also need re-establishment. It is clear this happens in Ezekiel's Temple. God once established the Aaronic Priesthood with a budding almond rod (scepter). It gave Zadok the authority to minister in the First Temple as its first High Priest. It is not beyond God's ability to re-establish the Aaronic Priesthood in similar fashion today. It might be Jews with the heart of Zadok following in his footsteps to oversee the building of the Third Temple as Zadok did the First Temple, and also instituted the proper kosher type worship. The Second Temple needed the heirs of Aaron, and God gave His promise to Jeremiah that He would accomplish it. Might this prophecy carry over into a Third Temple?
11Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Jeremiah, what seest thou? And I said, I see a rod of an almond tree.
12Then said the LORD unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it.
A double vision of a near and far view about a future Jewish Temple is a reasonable expectation. Could not God again cause the rods (scepters or their symbols of authority) to bud indicating His choice of those who qualify? Well, it's all speculation until it actually takes place, and then we'll know how God restores the Aaronic Priesthood.
The last thing John measured was "them that worship therein." I don't think he measured their length and girth. I think he measured their heart through God's power. These Jews of necessity have to be pure of heart. Before Christianity, the Old Testament Jews were and remain God's chosen people. Not every Jew was saved (or of a pure heart). Many who were circumcised of body ended up condemned into eternal damnation.
1 Sam 16:7
But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.
And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.
Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.
1 Chron 29:17
I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee.
16For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.
17The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
5Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
8The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
It seems that acceptable salvation is according to what God sees when He looks in the heart of each individual. In times past, before the coming of Christ, hearts were found that God declared (made) acceptable. Even before the days of Abraham, a scarlet thread is detected through the Bible of men and women who God found acceptable to Himself. Not one was perfect, and all exhibited the frailties of being creatures. I can't help but think that they looked forward to a Savior/Messiah much as we look back on Jesus Christ. They did not know His name, but trusted the promise of Him all the same. Today we know His name. He is a promise fulfilled. The heart that is acceptable to God today must be centered in Christ. (Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.) God knows in our Christian era who has accepted Christ as their personal Savior, and is born again. There is no other way to be pure of heart according to God. Jesus is the center of all human history. There is no other way to get a circumcised heart. Only He can look into the heart, and see what is really there.
There were unsaved Jews (hearts not circumcised) in the Old Testament just as there are unsaved Christians in the New Testament. The heart is deceitful, and must be examined and challenged according to God's evaluation.
There are Judas's among us. Only God can weed them out. Judas is one of the few people in the Bible who fulfills the literal meaning of a fool. He fooled himself. He fooled the disciples. But, he never fooled God. The disciples were told by Jesus a traitor was in their midst. I notice their very humble and fearful response as all asked "Lord is it I?" I note they did not all immediately point to Judas. They could not identify the betrayer, but God knew the heart of Judas identifying him in that way.
I pray you "Christian" have looked into the very depths of your heart with this same attitude that the disciples had. We must all ask "Lord is it I?" The heart is deceitful, and will not tell us the truth. It is a fearful thing to contemplate being a Judas, but the question must be asked. Many today make all kinds of claims to their Christianity. Many sadly have deceived themselves, as did many Old Testament Jews. With their lips they speak and do a worldly form of righteousness, but they posses an uncircumcised heart. They are not born again though they are Christian. The First and Second Temples were filled with Jews who never asked that their heart be circumcised. Who never humbled themselves before God in a personal way. Only God (without hands) is able to circumcise the heart. They trusted their Jewishness rather then the mercy of God. Christianity is filled with Christians who are not born again. Many are in Gospel preaching Churches where they have everyone fooled but God. Yes, it is a fearful thing to contemplate a Judas.
I assume John saw the truth among "them that worship therein" when he measured them. His assessment must have been positive for he says no more of the matter.
I can only wonder what God sees when He looks into your heart. I can say with great confidence, but with greater humility that I am saved through the blood of Jesus Christ. I asked Him to save me when I was 7 years old. Many times I contemplated being a Judas. Years of backsliding and rebellion made it appear true. I was convinced it was true at the time. My dad died when I was 29, and that ended the rebellion. I read the Bible through for the first time cover to cover. Then, I went through the Bible a second time using a Wycliffe Bible Commentary and Harry Ironside's Commentaries on the Bible. The next thing I did was purchase Dwight Pentecost's Things To Come, and looked up every reference. I went through his book with a fine toothcomb always comparing verses quoted to the context in which they appeared. I have never stopped reading the Bible, and the comments made by proven saints of God. It all confirmed that like the prodigal son, I also took my inheritance and dragged it through the filthy pigpen of worldly lust. What joy it was to see how the father welcomed the prodigal back home saying, "this is my son." Only He knew what was really in my heart. Only He could keep my smoking ember from being extinguished. Only He could keep such a broken reed from being destroyed altogether. I deserved hell, but was given heaven. It was only by the power of Christ who looked down into the heart of a little 7 year old boy in a Sunday School Class pleading that his sins be washed away. My greatest desire was to be clean and pure and acceptable to a holy God. A task only the blood of Christ is capable of accomplishing. I trusted Christ to have the power to do such a miracle that day, and He did. At that moment I loved God with all my heart, and all my soul, and all my might. Not until I was 30 did I realized by reading the Bible that God is faithful even though we are not. Yes, I have contemplated being a Judas many times since then. I'm thankful that God always through His word convinces me that because of Christ - it is not I!
But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.
An outer court is something a heavenly Temple would never have. The place where the unrighteous Gentile could mingle, and observe purity and holiness here on earth. A place where the castaway Gentile and even the unclean Jew could observe the kosher and acceptable sacrifice going on within. The Second Temple had a soreg (balustrade or wall) (balustrade or wall) separated the outer court of the Gentiles from the inner court. It was 4.6 feet high (waist to chest high), and ~608 feet around. At frequent intervals along the wall, stone slabs inscribed in Greek and Latin warned the Gentiles not to penetrate the sacred zone on pain of death. Two of these Greek inscriptions have miraculously survived, and may be seen in the Rockefeller Museum in Jerusalem, and the Archaeological Museum in Istanbul. A reproduction can also be seen at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. It reads: "No foreigner may enter within the railing and enclosure that surrounds the Temple. Anyone apprehended shall have himself to blame for his consequent death" (Biblical Archaeology Review Sept./Oct 1999). From the outer court, they could hear the lambs bawl before their throats were cut. They could see the agony of death as the blood poured out on the floor. They could watch as a challis filled with blood was past up to the altar to be poured upon it. But, they could not cross over the wall. Some saw in the sacrifice a meaning of what a Savior must do to wash away personal sin. Some put their trust in the promise given to the Jews that such a Savior would come. Many became proselytes in a desire to be obedient to this Jewish God of the Holy Temple.
3He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
6All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
A willing sacrifice is described here so this little 7 year old boy who cried out for his sins to be washed away would have an answer. It is very personal with me as it is with every born again believer. Not only me, but you too can find in Christ salvation from sin, and eternal life. Are you washed in the blood of Christ's perfect sacrifice?
This outer court or court of the gentiles was not to be measured. This was because of the carnage that will happen to the Two Witnesses and the Jews that worship within after the first 42 months or 3 ½ years ends. Our verse tells us that the unclean gentiles overrun the wall of separation, and desecrate God's Holy Temple. This lasts for another 42 months, or the latter half of the Tribulation. The Two Witnesses are put to death by the anti-Christ, and the time of Jacob's trouble begins. Faithful, pure in heart Jews trusting in Christ as their Messiah will flee Jerusalem for the wilderness. Secular Jews following the Pharisees of the day will continue the same Rabbinical Judaism of today, and remain in Jerusalem and Israel. This midpoint of the Tribulation is a major transition related to the Jews of this era or dispensation. It is a great mistake to substitute the Church for the Jews at this point in time as do the mid-tribulation rapture followers. The true Church of born again believers was raptured before the Tribulation began. All that is left of Christianity are the Judases which make up the Great Apostate Church. A mighty force of lip service to a Christ they know not. Some Jews, saved Jews, circumcised in the heart Jews, will be standing against that apostasy calling for all to come to Jerusalem to wait upon the real Christ's return. Apostate Christianity much as it exists today will turn on the Jews. Their Christ, and the Christ of the Jews can never mix. The Two Witnesses will not allow it. The 144,000 specially chosen Jews will not allow it. Every new believer in Christ who stands with the tribulation messianic Jews will not allow it. The wall of separation will only grow as truth proclaiming Jews confront the ever-growing lying claims of the Apostate Christians. The anti-Christ will find great support among these mostly gentile whores of Christ. The Catholics with all their moral pomp will still pray to Mary and hope their good works will be enough. The Charismatic's will continue with their false faith healing miracle meetings proclaiming a Christ that demands good works to keep your salvation, or you lose it. The Protestant denominations with all their liberal theology will proudly "in false humility" boast there are other acceptable ways then theirs to heaven. Their Christ is promoted as even more magnanimous then the Christ of the Bible. Their false Christ will accept individuals without sacrifice. A false Christ and false Christianity will promote today's doctrine of many roads to heaven. The Southern Baptists like Bill Clinton and Al Gore will continue to interpret the Bible in ways where adultery is not adultery when they do it, and perverted sex is something acceptable to their Christ. Another Christ is being presented who is more magnanimous (more worldly) then the Biblical Christ. What powerful friends the anti-Christ will have if he is alive today. What hatred truth speaking born again Jews will endure. What a dam burst it will be when the 2 Witnesses are finally silenced.
"for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months."
Woe to Jerusalem. Woe to Israel. Woe to any who do not flee. The hatred against the truth tellers will be reflected on all Jews in general (both saved and unsaved). Living in Nazi occupied Europe or in the days of Antiochus Epiphanes will be child's play compared to what the Jews both saved and unsaved will face when the Anti-Christ, his false prophet, and Apostate Christianity join forces against them.
Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.
25And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
26But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.
7And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.
11And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.
12Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.
6And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.
5And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
6And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
7And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
8And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
There is truly a great transition that takes place at the midpoint of the tribulation. Jacob's trouble is if anything an understatement of what will happen to the Jewish people. There is purpose in everything God does. Trouble for the saved is experiencing an even greater trust in God.
The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.
Trouble for the unsaved drives some to the mercy of God, and God's true prophets.
Therefore thou deliveredst them into the hand of their enemies, who vexed them: and in the time of their trouble, when they cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and according to thy manifold mercies thou gavest them saviours, who saved them out of the hand of their enemies.
And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
Nothing can raise the ire of rebels as can the truthful witness of a God fearing man. Here there are Two Witnesses to give them a double portion. When the world can't refute the truth, it will undoubtedly go after the character of these men. The sackcloth means grief of which these Two Witnesses will be well aware knowing what is coming to Israel and to them. It also means poverty, and here the Two most famous people of the day will accept no gain from their service for Christ. They literally seem to live below the poverty level with no problem to themselves or their calling. Their reputations will be spotless. The millions and billions that the world would throw at their feet is counted as dung compared to their eternal reward. Much like John the Baptist they will exemplify humility during their most famous hour. They will not give in to worldly pressure, but remain separated from the world to the end.
Christians are making millions using Christ to sell music, videos, books, wristbands, and even ministries. Contemporary Christian Music is a multi-million dollar business run by worldly people who use all the filthy promotional and marketing skills found in only the basest of the money hungry manipulating businessmen. Christ did not cleanse the moneychangers twice out of His Holy Temple for no reason. Many find His behavior hard to take as He whipped them, and kicked over their tables. I wonder what He would do if He entered a modern Christian Book Store? I'm glad I never profited even a penny from any ministry. What agony is waiting many of these golden throated crooners of today who usurp the real servants of God with real ministries. They take an excess of the money that should go toward supporting pastors and missionaries, and leave the real servants of God to sackcloth. No health insurance, no home of their own, no savings account, not even an emergency cookie jar. No wonder the money exploiters were whipped and humiliated by Christ!
"And I will give power unto my two witnesses."
It is one thing to witness, but a whole other thing to see the power of God at work. The Catholic Church cringes when the born again missionaries go into Mexico and South America. People get saved. The born again parishioners begin to speak the truth, and leave the Church. The greatest critics of Roman Catholicism are those who were kept in the dark by it until Christ brought them to the light. The priests are left powerless as God moves through Catholic community after Catholic community. It is not uncommon for Catholic or Orthodox priests to stir up their people when they see such power. Their anger matches that of the inquisitions. Murder is not beyond their delusional methods of serving Christ.
What anger will boil up from Apostate Christianity when it sees this mighty power of their witness. No one will be able to stand on the fence when they speak. Either you are with them and their Jewish Christ 100%, or your part of the devil's crowd. The phony faith healers and miracle workers will be put to shame when the real power of God is manifested through these Two Witnesses. They will quickly join the ever-growing mob bent on silencing these Two Witnesses in sackcloth. Blind hate will rule the day for most of the world during this dispensation. Those who get saved will rejoice, but by far the majority will be driven into greater and greater hatred.
Hatred against God's plan and people is not new.
23For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all.
6:1Then the LORD said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land.
3And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt.
4But Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you, that I may lay my hand upon Egypt, and bring forth mine armies, and my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments.
5And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch forth mine hand upon Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel from among the
17And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them: and I will get me honour upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen.
18And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gotten me honour upon Pharaoh, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen.
"and they shall prophesy"
These Two Witnesses will be calling the lost to come out of the world, to come out of Egypt, and separate themselves unto Jerusalem and the construction of a Jewish Temple.
What causes the blind hate to build and build? It is the Word of God. This is especially true when it becomes confrontational, and that is just what these Two Witnesses are all about. I believe they will be able to look people in the eye, and by God's power tell them the truth about their eternal destiny. I have no doubts most of their witnessing will be about the absolute surety of eternity in hell without Christ. A message that will burn anger in the hearts of these worldly rebels. No good works, No praying to Mary, No Buddha, No Allah, No false Christ's, No philosophy, No more chances, Only the Jewish Messiah, the Christ!
The Modern Jewish religious philosophy of good works (mikva's) will be challenged as just another way to hell. Rabbi Lazerus speaks of Rosh Hashana and the traditions of Elue giving good account of what Judaism is today without a Temple..
"THE LAWS & CUSTOMS OF ELUL" Based on research by Rabbi
* * *
On Rosh Hashana, each individual is judged on the merit of his deeds. Whether he will live out the year or not; whether he will have financial success or ruin; whether he will be healthy or ill. All of these are determined on Rosh Hashana.
Elul - the month preceding Rosh Hashana - begins a period of intensive introspection, clarification of life's
goals and coming closer to G-d. It is a time for realizing purpose in life - rather than perfunctorily going through the motions of living by amassing money and seeking gratification. It is a time when we step back and look at ourselves critically and honestly, as Jews have from time immemorial, with the intention of improving.
We must be aware of the gravity of the situation. The quality of our lives is at stake.
Not true, "from time immemorial." There was a time when Jews realized that personal good works are not a trade off for personal sin. That is why so many generations faithfully sacrificed in the Tabernacle and Temples. When they rejected Christ, the only eternal sacrifice to which all sacrifice is pointed, the Temple was taken from them until this day. They were no longer allowed to sacrifice at the only spot on earth where sacrifice is acceptable to God.
"a thousand two hundred and three score days"
That is a long time to build the hatred in a resisting world, and a resisting secular Jewish community. 3 ½ years, or 42 months, or 1230 days, of confrontation by these Two men (of confrontation by Christ) will build hatred to new highs. Terms like Puritanical, Elizabethan, and most dastardly - fanatical, fundamental, right wingers will all be applied to these Witnesses of truth.
For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.
8Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads.
9As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.
The message will not be watered down for TV interviews. It will not be compromised to sell more books. It will be bold, in your face truth, that without the Christ, of whom only they represent and witness to, it is an eternity of torment in hell. The entire world and all of the world's religions will be exposed as false. They will all be declared a sure way to hell. The only saved people when they begin their testimony will be the 2 Witnesses, and 144,000 Jews who will receive the same Christ they represent and join them. The true Church of born again believers will have been raptured.
And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.
14:1And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.
2And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:
3And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.
4These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
5And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
Imagine the Two Witnesses, and these 144,000 Jews in the world's face? Imagine the frustration when God supernaturally protects them from all attempts to silence them? The terrorist's bomb will blow up in his hands. The assassin's bullets will not fire, or never find the mark. The clandestine government plots will all be frustrated. For 42 months they will give testimony to their exclusive soon coming Jewish Christ, and call all to come to Jerusalem, and prepare His Temple and throne.
These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
This is a key verse that Biblically identifies the mission of the Two Witnesses. They are called both two olive trees and two candlesticks. They will stand before the world for 42 months as the representatives of God, and their exclusive, soon coming, Jewish Messiah Jesus Christ. Only they will have and manifest the authority behind such a claim. The Christ's of the cults, liberal theology advocates, the social gospel crowds, and all the rest of Apostate Christianity will be clearly challenged and excluded as false. There will be no fence sitting on their watch. A clear line between the saved and the unsaved (something lost in our modern Church of today) will be proclaimed and maintained.
These two olive trees are a direct reference to another two olive trees of a past era. An era that also did not have a Temple on Mount Moriah. There was a need in Ezra's day to re-establish not just the physical Temple building, but kosher worship also. Zechariah saw two olive trees of his time who would accomplish this task. Did he also see another two olive trees he didn't know? The ones John recorded that also would fill the same rolls as those who were responsible for the Second Jewish Temple?
9The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you.
10For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.
11Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof?
12And 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?
13And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.
14Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the LORD of the whole earth.
The Wycliff Bible Commentary rightfully identifies the two olive trees of Zechariah as Joshua the High Priest and Zerubbable the administrative prince.
These are the two anointed ones. The two olive trees at either side of the lampstand represent the anointed ones (lit., sons of oil), who were the channels through whom the grace of God was then mediated to his people. The individuals under consideration were Joshua and Zerubbabel, the religious and civil agents of God. Ultimately, the one through whom all religious or spiritual and civil or governmental blessings are conveyed is the Lord Jesus Christ.
(from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1962 by Moody Press)
Matthew Henry concurs as do most conservative scholars that these two olive trees are Joshua and Zerubbabel.
1. If by the candlestick we understand the visible church, particularly that of the Jews at that time, for whose comfort it was primarily intended, these sons of oil, that stand before the Lord of the whole earth, are the two great ordinances and offices of the magistracy and ministry, at that time lodged in the hands of those two great and good men Zerubbabel and Joshua. Kings and priests were anointed; this prince, this priest, were oily ones, endued with the gifts and graces of God's Spirit, to qualify them for the work to which they were called. They stood before the Lord of the whole earth, to minister to him, and to receive direction from him; and a great influence they had upon the affairs of the church at that time. Their wisdom, courage, and zeal, were continually emptying themselves into the golden bowl, to keep the lamps burning; and, when they are gone, others shall be raised up to carry on the same work; Israel shall no longer be without prince and priest. Good magistrates and good ministers that are themselves anointed with the grace of God and stand by the Lord of the whole earth, as faithful adherents to his cause, contribute very much to the maintaining and advancing of religion and the shining forth of the word of life.
(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)
Zerubbabel was to build the physical Temple building, and Joshua the High Priest was to establish kosher worship within the Temple. Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament gives a scholarly concurrence. They also see the tie to the power of the Holy Spirit through the olive trees.
Others think of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah (J. D. Mich., Hofm., Baumg., etc.); but although there is no force in Koehler's objection, that in that case there would be a double order of prophets in Israel, since two prophets, both influenced by the Spirit of God, would not imply a double order of prophets, this explanation is decidedly precluded by the fact that two mortal men could not convey to the church for all ages the oil of the Spirit of God. The two sons of oil can only be the two media, anointed with oil, through whom the spiritual and gracious gifts of God were conveyed to the church of the Lord, namely, the existing representatives of the priesthood and the regal government, who were at that time Joshua the high priest and the prince Zerubbabel. These stand by the Lord of the whole earth, as the divinely appointed instruments through whom the Lord causes His Spirit to flow into His congregation.
(from Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)
I'm sure Zechariah was not ignorant of the two olive trees of his day, but his confusion might have been of another two olive trees he didn't know in a yet future Temple re-establishment era. A second return culminating on Monday May 14, 1948 (like the first) of Jews to the land, the city of Jerusalem, and a future Third Jewish Temple. History does repeat itself. Bible prophecy often has near and far views of the same kind of events. Two more mortal Jewish men like Joshua and Zerubbabel are raised up by God for this moment, and this task. After the first return (70 years), the only Jews alive who would have seen the First Temple were mire children at the time seeing with children's eyes. Seventy years later, it would have been impossible for them to reconstruct either the Temple building, or Temple worship exactly as it was. The design of the building was different from the First Temple as Ezekiel's Temple is different from both the First and Second Temples. Someone must guaranty it will be acceptable to God! The worship also different after 70 years had to be acceptable to God. There was a need for authoritative men (a Joshua, and a Zerubbabel) who could testify what meets God's approval. That everything done was fully acceptable? That the entire project would be kosher? Today, who could accomplish such a task? Only the Two Witnesses will have such authoritative powers to direct reconstruction after not 70 years like Joshua and Zerubbabel, but 2000 years of captivity. The Second return is a far view prophetic fact of our generation. The dry bones of Ezekiel 37 have again come together in our day. The next logical step can only be to reconstruct the Temple. It only waits for a Joshua and Zerubbabel. The land, the city of Jerusalem, the entire second return is meaningless without a Third kosher functioning Jewish Temple.
The perception of olive oil, and it being the source of power to the candlestick can only be reference to the power of the Holy Spirit who always empowers the testimony of Christ. The greatest of all miracles is not a supernatural healing, or claims of bringing one back from the dead, but the salvation/conversion of a totally depraved soul. It is here that we see the real power of the real Holy Spirit in the New Testament Church.
The Jamieson, Fausset, Brown commentary makes the right relationship between the olive oil and candlestick in relation to the power of the Holy Spirit through Christ.
(4) When we are disheartened in respect to the Lord's work in our own souls and in those of others, let us remember the lesson taught us here. If the candlestick and pipes had to feed themselves, their light would soon go out; but their supply is from the "fountain" above; and that fountain, even the Lord Jesus, the Head of the Church, is never-failing. Ever filled with the fullness of the living Spirit, He is the source at once of atoning grace and of sanctifying and glorifying grace. Let this, then be the watchword and the consolation of the people of God under all discouragements, "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts" (Zech 4:6).
(from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)
How sad that Charismatic's of this day who put such emphasis on the power of their Holy Spirit will be exposed for all their false claims and doctrine. The real power of the Holy Spirit will have left the predominately Gentile Apostate Church at the rapture. The people who remain will make up the continued Apostate Christian Religions of the world. The only real change will be that the truly "born again" Christians will be gone. God's Holy Spirit as in Old Testament times comes again upon individuals (Sampson) with true supernatural empowerment. Here, He comes upon these Two Jewish Witnesses for Christ with power enough to build, and establish kosher worship in Ezekiel's Third Jewish Temple. Power enough to change dispensations. Power enough to establish a new kosher Temple and proper worship through memorial sacrifice for their soon coming Messiah/Prophet/Priest/King. Power enough to tie together Old Testament commands, concepts, and promises in a New Testament context.
The candlestick is a very important object in kosher Temple Worship. Hanukkah celebrates an inter-testament miracle during the days of the Maccabees when Antiochus Epiphanes beguiled secular Jews, and then desecrated the Temple.
The two books of Maccabees are honest books on the history of the Jews in inter-testament times. They are not holy writ. They are called Apocrypha for that reason. They are as truthful as any history book, and of great value in understanding this forerunner (Antiochus Epiphanes) of the anti-Christ.
I Maccabees 1: 10,11
10 And there came out of them a wicked root Antiochus surnamed Epiphanes, son of Antiochus the king, who had been an hostage at Rome, and he reigned in the hundred and thirty and seventh year of the kingdom of the Greeks.
11 In those days went there out of Israel wicked men, who persuaded many, saying, Let us go and make a covenant with the heathen that are round about us: for since we departed from them we have had much sorrow.
I Maccabees 1:20,21
20 And after that Antiochus had smitten Egypt, he returned again in the hundred forty and third year, and went up against Israel and Jerusalem with a great multitude, 21 And entered proudly into the sanctuary, and took away the golden altar, and the candlestick of light, and all the vessels thereof,
I Maccabees 1:41-43
41 Moreover king Antiochus wrote to his whole kingdom, that all should be one people, 42 And every one should leave his laws: so all the heathen agreed according to the commandment of the king. 43 Yea, many also of the Israelites consented to his religion, and sacrificed unto idols, and profaned the sabbath.
The King James Version Apocrypha, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1995.
It was after the Jews rebelled, and reestablished proper worship that the miracle of Hanukkah took place.
I Maccabees 4:47-51
47 Then they took whole stones according to the law, and built a new altar according to the former; 48 And made up the sanctuary, and the things that were within the temple, and hallowed the courts. 49 They made also new holy vessels, and into the temple they brought the candlestick, and the altar of burnt offerings, and of incense, and the table. 50 And upon the altar they burned incense, and the lamps that were upon the candlestick they lighted, that they might give light in the temple. 51 Furthermore they set the loaves upon the table, and spread out the veils, and finished all the works which they had begun to make.
Harper's Bible Dictionary tells of the festival of lights.
It was apparently the relighting of the Temple candelabras that led to the festival also taking the name 'lights' (Josephus Antiquities 12:7:7). Eventually it became customary for Jews to light a special Hanukkah candelabra in the home, adding one light each night during the festival. A legendary story (t. Sabb. 21b) of a small cruse of holy oil discovered at the cleansing of the Temple that was miraculously able to light the Temple lamp for eight days until more oil could be supplied has supplanted the origins of the festival rites.
Hanukkah's ongoing significance lies in its commemoration of the victory of the few whose desire for freedom to practice their religion impelled them to battle against far greater forces. Indeed, were it not for the Maccabees, the Jewish people and their monotheistic faith might have perished.
Achtemier, Paul J., Th.D., Harper's Bible Dictionary, (San Francisco: Harper and Row, Publishers, Inc.) 1985.
This Antiochus Epiphanies, and the candlestick are remembered every year by the Jews at Hanukkah (right around Christmas). Only he was able to extinguish the seven branched candlestick that gave light in the Holy Place, and entrance to the Most Holy while not destroying the Temple structure. He rather used the Temple to deify himself until the Maccabeean revolt. He exemplifies the old saw that history repeats itself. Another like Antiochus Epiphanes is seen in the anti-Christ who kills the Two Witnesses, and desecrates the Temple for 42 months declaring himself god. This first Epiphases gave decrees that forbade Jews from obeying the Bible. Any Jewish woman found with a circumcised male child was forced to watch her child, family and friends get murdered. Then, the baby's corpse was chained to her neck. She had to walk the streets of Jerusalem with a sign telling of her rebellious nature. This continued until she died herself from the putrefying flesh of her little baby.
I Maccabees 1:56-61
56 And when they had rent in pieces the books of the law which they found, they burnt them with fire. 57 And whosoever was found with any the book of the testament, or if any committed to the law, the king's commandment was, that they should put him to death. 58 Thus did they by their authority unto the Israelites every month, to as many as were found in the cities. 59 Now the five and twentieth day of the month they did sacrifice upon the idol altar, which was upon the altar of God. 60 At which time according to the commandment they put to death certain women, that had caused their children to be circumcised. 61 And they hanged the infants about their necks, and rifled their houses, and slew them that had circumcised them.
The King James Version Apocrypha, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1995.
As sickening as this treatment of the Jews is; it is child's play when compared to what the anti-Christ will do when he takes control of Jerusalem and the Temple. He also will extinguish the candlestick by destroying the Two Olive Trees who are the source of it's light. The anger of the world will support him as he desecrates the Temple and it's sacrificial altar pointing to the soon coming Lamb of God
Antiochus Epiphanes sacrificed a pig on the Holy Altar is defiance of Calvary. The anti-Christ will do worse. Anti-Semitism will rule the day much as it has many times in the past. The world will little care about this latest attempt at ethnic cleansing.
A last thought on the golden candlestick. The Bible tells us that its bowls were not to be bowls of olive likeness as would be expected, but rather bowls of almonds.
33Three bowls made like unto almonds, with a knop and a flower in one branch; and three bowls made like almonds in the other branch, with a knop and a flower: so in the six branches that come out of the candlestick.
34And in the candlestick shall be four bowls made like unto almonds, with their knops and their flowers.
35And there shall be a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, according to the six branches that proceed out of the candlestick.
36Their knops and their branches shall be of the same: all it shall be one beaten work of pure gold.
37And thou shalt make the seven lamps thereof: and they shall light the lamps thereof, that they may give light over against it.
The description is of seven shafts each with an almond shaped bowl at the top where the flame is supplied with oil. It is well known that only kosher olive oil could be used, but yet the top of every shaft was that of an almond bowl or bud. I believe this almond bowl represents the power of the Holy Spirit as administered through the original Aaronic Priesthood (Aaron's rod that budded almond buds, and later placed in the Ark).
8And it came to pass, that on the morrow Moses went into the tabernacle of witness; and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds.
I believe these Two Witnesses, and one in particular will represent that same revived priesthood. I believe one of these Witnesses will be declared by God the High Priest of the Aaronic (through Zadok) order to serve in Ezekiel's Temple. The other its builder, and finance coordinator.
5And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.
Nothing could build the world's hatred more then being powerless to silence these men as they proclaim the truth. Worldly people and their governments were infuriated when they could not kill Jesus Christ before His appointed time. Many times they tried, but all attempts ended in failure due to the supernatural.
22And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men:
23And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry.
And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill him.
31For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.
32But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him.
43So there was a division among the people because of him.44And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him.
28Then cried Jesus in the temple as he taught, saying, Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know not.
29But I know him: for I am from him, and he hath sent me.
30Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come.
The Lord Jesus Christ perplexed His antagonists much as the Two Witnesses will also perplex theirs until the appointed time.
"fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies"
Thoughts of Elijah surface whenever a consuming fire like this is mentioned.
2 Kings 1:9-12
9Then the king sent unto him a captain of fifty with his fifty. And he went up to him: and, behold, he sat on the top of an hill. And he spake unto him, Thou man of God, the king hath said, Come down.
10And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.
11Again also he sent unto him another captain of fifty with his fifty. And he answered and said unto him, O man of God, thus hath the king said, Come down quickly.
12And Elijah answered and said unto them, If I be a man of God, let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And the fire of God came down from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.
Elijah also called fire down from heaven to chasten the foolishness of the false idolatrous prophets of Baal.
1 Kings 18:28-31
28And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them.
29And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.
30And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down.
31And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the LORD came, saying, Israel shall be thy name:
1 Kings 18:37-39
37Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.
38Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.
39And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God.
It is important to know who Elijah is, and what his mission was, in order to understand why these Two Witnesses will manifest the same miracle type power. Elijah was called of God to prophesy to the newly formed rebel Israel of the North. After King Solomon's reign and the civil war, he was to confront secular Israel in particular, and expose all false worldly religions infecting them. King Solomon built the First Jewish Temple which Elijah defended. The First Temple was built on the only piece of this earth that is acceptable by God's decree.
Then there shall be a place which the LORD your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there; thither shall ye bring all that I command you; your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto the LORD:
But in the place which the LORD shall choose in one of thy tribes, there thou shalt offer thy burnt offerings, and there thou shalt do all that I command thee.
Thou shalt therefore sacrifice the Passover unto the LORD thy God, of the flock and the herd, in the place which the LORD shall choose to place his name there.
1 Kings 8:12-20
12Then spake Solomon, The LORD said that he would dwell in thick darkness.
13I have surely built thee an house to dwell in, a settled place for thee to abide in for ever.
14And the king turned his face about, and blessed all the congregation of Israel: (and all the congregation of Israel stood;)
15And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, which spake with his mouth unto David my father, and hath with his hand fulfilled it, saying,
16Since the day that I brought forth my people Israel out of Egypt, I chose no city out of all the tribes of Israel to build an house, that my name might be therein; but I chose David to be over my people Israel.
17And it was in the heart of David my father to build an house for the name of the LORD God of Israel.
18And the LORD said unto David my father, Whereas it was in thine heart to build an house unto my name, thou didst well that it was in thine heart.
19Nevertheless thou shalt not build the house; but thy son that shall come forth out of thy loins, he shall build the house unto my name.
20And the LORD hath performed his word that he spake, and I am risen up in the room of David my father, and sit on the throne of Israel, as the LORD promised, and have built an house for the name of the LORD God of Israel.
1 Kings 8:27-28
27But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?
28Yet have thou respect unto the prayer of thy servant, and to his supplication, O LORD my God, to hearken unto the cry and to the prayer, which thy servant prayeth before thee to day:
Elijah's battle was with King Ahab of North Israel, and his wife Jezebel. Ahab realized that if the Northern rebels had to go to Judah and Jerusalem to obey God in worship; The cause would soon crumble under it's own hypocrisy. Ahab decided to proclaim an alternative to Jerusalem called Samaria built by his father Omri, and to also build an alternative Temple that would accommodate the Baal Worship of his Sidonian wife. Another fellow who promoted many roads to heaven, and many places to sacrifice to the gods.
1 Kings 16:31-32
31And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him.
32And he reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria.
It is within this context that God sent Elijah to confront Ahab and Jezebel. A false Temple was challenging the one true Temple of God's choice. The Holy Scriptures were being selectively changed to make it appear God chose Mount Gerizim in Northern Israel (The Samaritan Pentateuch) rather then Mount Moriah in Jerusalem, Judah of the South. This lie and false Temple continued into the days of Christ as seen with the discussion he had with a Samaritan woman.
Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.
The place issue which was so critical to this Samaritan woman was what Elijah stood against. False Temples, false religions, false philosophies of other places to sacrifice, and of other gods. Elijah defended and protected the First Jewish Temple with all his strength. The Northern Jews represented secularized Judaism as much as today's Liberal Christianity represents a secularized, twisted Bible, style of Christianity.
The last thing God said to the Jews through the last Old Testament writing prophets is found at the end of Malichi.
5Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
6And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
Another like Elijah is promised who will defend truth, and proper Temple worship in the proper place. Every year at Passover the Jews pour a glass for Elijah. The door of every participating Jewish home is opened during the Passover ceremony in expectation of his arrival. They have been waiting 2000 years for him to return (or a surrogate just like him). How sad that when God did send a surrogate Elijah, the Jews rejected his testimony.
12And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
13For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
14And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.
15He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
John the Baptist was a surrogate for Elijah proclaiming the need for Calvary much the same as these Two Witnesses will represent another surrogate of Elijah proclaiming and defending the only place on earth where the sacrifice of Calvary has significance to God. The single place of God's own choosing. The Third Jewish Temple, Ezekiel's Temple, built under divine direction by these two surrogated Elijahs. These repeat Joshua and Zerubbabel. The world will frustrate itself against their truth telling backed up by the power of God.
6These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.
These men will not be ignored. The truth of Jesus Christ will be heard by all those who hate the sound of His Name. It will be in your face, absolutely separated from all other worldly Christ's, evangelism that will drive the masses into vindictive frenzy. A precious few will be saved, and join with these Two Witnesses in building Ezekiel's Temple in the midst of great opposition. Nothing will stop these two men from accomplishing their mission. While the Temple is under construction, the world will be confronted by the power of these two surrogates much as Elijah confronted King Ahab, and all Northern Israel.
"have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy"
1 Kings 17:1
17:1And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.
25But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;
17Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
18And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.
1 Kings 8:35
35When heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou afflictest them:
The only place for prayer was "this place," God's chosen place. In Elijah's day, it was the First Jewish Temple. For 42 months the world will be held hostage to the prophecy of these Two Witnesses. By their word will drought (the very opposite curse of Noah's day) and all its cursed bedfellows be administered throughout this world of sin. How unique that the plagues of Elijah lasted the exact time period God gives the Two Witnesses to accomplish their ministerial task. Elijah failed to stop Ahab, and so will these two men when the anti-Christ kills them. The failure will only be in the eyes of the world, for God never fails. The ministry of Elijah, and the warnings therein continue to this day proclaiming God is the victor. Ahab, Jezebel, Northern rebellious Israel are nothing but dust. A lost memory in time. No doors are opened every year in remembrance for them. They became part of the great God rejecting masses throughout time that will all personally account to this Great God of which Elijah served. Their final eternal destiny is no secret. God has already declared His decision for them. Today those without Christ join their fixed fate in hell.
A final thought about withdrawal of rain as a punishment for sin. During Christ's millennial reign there will also be rebels who will think to show their contempt for Calvary by refusing to send a delegation to Jerusalem at the appointed time of the year.
17And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.
18And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
19This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
These millennial rebel's will find the same power of Elijah being manifested toward them if they refuse to pay Christ homage during the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles to which these millennial gentile nations are obligated to participate. The Feast of Tabernacles is a reminder of how God delivered, protected, and provided for Israel through the wilderness wanderings as they left Egypt. I would imagine a millennial people who take the name of the land of Egypt (like the Arab people do today) just might get angry at this millennial decree. This will mean coming to the only exclusive Jewish Temple at Jerusalem, Standing in the outer court, and watching sacrifice memorialized toward Calvary and the Jewish Messiah/King. A required millennial communion service for everyone to see, but only the pure in heart to participate. Only those who have a circumcised heart. Only those who are born again in Christ.
"and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will"
These Two witnesses go beyond Elijah in their miraculous power. Here we see a relationship to Moses and Aaron as God called the children of Israel out of Egypt. Egypt is a synonym for "the world" throughout the Bible. I believe these Two Witnesses will call out of the secular world a small remnant of mostly Jews, but some Gentiles to come join them in Jerusalem to build Ezekiel's Temple. How sad that Charismatic's of today make such a mockery of real miracles, and the awesome power of God. I'm sure they will be in the forefront denouncing these Two Jewish Witnesses for exposing their contrived miracles for just what they are.
7And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
This beast from the hellish pit is none other then the incarnate Devil himself in the guise of the anti-Christ. His primary target will be the Two Witnesses who testify of the already crucified, resurrected, and soon coming King of the Jews. The Witnesses will force the anti-Christ to appear the hypocrite unless he comes to this Third Jewish Temple. His final solution to this dilemma is murder. Ahab tried making a substitute which never caught the world's fancy, but this anti-Christ will just usurp the Temple and its throne declaring himself Christ incarnate. He will come with his cohort the false prophet who will be filled with all worldly mysticism.
12And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
13And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
14And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
Every mystical Catholic and Charismatic, every Hindu Faker, all who mix mysticism and religion, will lust after the power and miracles that they will see him manifest. The powers of Pharaoh's magicians could only duplicate God's power to a limited degree. So also will the power of this devilish duo have limitations. The false prophet by mysticism will duplicate to some extent the miracle of fire which symbolized the Two Witnesses authority. This devilish duo will feel a need to convince the world that the anti-Christ and false prophet take no back seat to the power the Two Witnesses manifested during the first 42 months of the Tribulation.
Faithful Jews will all flee Jerusalem and the Temple for the wilderness after the death of the Two Witnesses. They will remember what Christ said.
15When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
16Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
17Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:
18Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
19And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
20But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
21For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
No worldly power will be able to ethnically cleanse these Jews. They will flee the newly built Temple for the wilderness after the Two Witnesses are killed by the anti-Christ.
And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.
Many secular Jews will remain behind in hopes of coming to some compromise with the anti-Christ. They will rally behind a false shepherd of whom Zechariah speaks.
15And the LORD said unto me, Take unto thee yet the instruments of a foolish shepherd.
16For, lo, I will raise up a shepherd in the land, which shall not visit those that be cut off, neither shall seek the young one, nor heal that that is broken, nor feed that that standeth still: but he shall eat the flesh of the fat, and tear their claws in pieces.
17Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! the sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened.
Here is the Jewish leader who will lead secular Israel through the last half of the Tribulation. He will probably have opposed the Two Witnesses throughout their ministry. Now he takes charge. He will do everything and anything to compromise with the Hitler like attitude of the anti-Christ, and the anti-Semitism of the world. He will not care about Judaism or the Jewish people. He will do what is right for him. He will eat the flesh and fat of whatever secular Jews might have left.
The Witnesses are dead, The faithful Jews have abandoned the Temple to the anti-Christ, and now a foolish shepherd takes the lead in Israel politics. This one armed one eyed fool will be easily identified by anyone who reads the Bible.
The Jews will soon find the anti-Christ's dictatorial rule worse then anything Antiochus Epiphanes had done. There was no compromise with Hitler's final solution, and there will be no compromise with this man of evil. Jacob's trouble will be a time of anti-Semitism with a viciousness that the world has never seen. This Satanic duo will attempt to outdo those miracles performed previously by the Two Witnesses in an attempt to bolster to the world the false claim of the anti-Christ. Many secular Jews, and most all the gentile world will take the 666 mark in conformity to the decrees of the beast.
16And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
17And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
This all will happen during the last 42 months after the anti-Christ signs a peace treaty with secular Israel.
27And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
The Tribulation of 7 years begins with a treaty the anti-Christ signs with secular Israel. The midway point of the 7 year week (7 days in a week) of Daniel signals the beginning of Jacob's Trouble. The halfway point of the 7 year Tribulation marks the gentile rebellion led by the anti-Christ who signed the treaty 42 months earlier. The Two Witnesses accomplish their ministry with the 144.000 Jews who also come to Christ in the beginning of this new dispensation. They build Ezekiel's Temple (Ezekiel 40-48). They establish kosher worship through sacrifice as a memorial to Calvary.
8And 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.
It is as if the world was caught by surprise. Their dead bodies are just left where they fell. No one seems to know what to do? These Two Jewish prophets started their ministry 42 months earlier at the Temple site in Jerusalem, and now they end their ministry at the appointed time in the same city. "The city where also our Lord was crucified." The city that turned on Christ at His First Coming. The city that put worldly sense above spiritual imperative. The city that Jesus would have gathered into His loving arms much as a mother hen gathers her chicks, but they would have none of it. They hated Him then. They hate Him today. They will hate Him 42 months into the 7 year Tribulation. Yet, God loves this city.
5If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.
6If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.
2In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.
3And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:
4When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.
5And the LORD will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defence.
God sees where man is blind. God sees the final disposition of all human history. He sees the Jerusalem of 42 months after the death of the Two Witnesses when Christ returns at His Second Coming. He sees You and me after we are perfected in Christ.
9And 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.
10And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.
The hatred of this world, by the people of every kindred , tongue, and nation, against Christ and His Witnesses will quickly turn to relief. The relief will soon turn to joy. The party begins. A Mardi Gras of worldwide proportion takes shape in just a day or two. The bodies of the Two Witnesses are now purposely left in the street to rot in humiliation. Their rotting flesh only the object of vermin to consume. I would imagine the street brats of that day will urinate on their carcasses as the mobs roar with gay approval. Nothing will be withheld from humiliating the memory of these men, and the Christ they represented. Not since the time of Calvary has the world been this gay. A mock Christmas type atmosphere materializes from the joy over their death. This mid-point of the Tribulation is spectacular in its momentous events.
11And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.
The God of Jonah, the Lord Jesus Christ, ends the party quicker then it started. God never fails. By His command, the rotted flesh is made whole. No magic potions, no computerized robotics just a word from the creator God, and anything can be made from nothing. By His command, the universe came into existence out of fiat. By His command, the Two Witnesses are made whole. They stand on their feet, and the world trembles.
I have watched some 45 years of the modern Charismatic movement with all its emphases on miracles. I have watched the Catholic Church authenticate all sorts of miraculous events from tears on statues to appearances of their saints on everything from watermelons to light reflections in windows. They are all dubious at best. I saw nothing that would put fear into the hearts of the unsaved. It is really more a mocking joke for the world to laugh at. Credibility has taken a back seat for desires to be the top healing dog on the block. I watched 25 years of the 700 Club, but never saw a lost limb appear out of fiat. I've heard claims, but never find the proof. The miracles are all unseen. They play on the desire of the faithful to see a spectacle from their top dog. Here, in this single miracle God does more then 25 years of miracles on the 700 Club put together. He puts fear in the heart of the unsaved. Nothing dubious here! Nothing that the world can make into a light thing. This is the real miraculous power of God at work.
12And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.
I love to watch the clouds. Elijah was taken up in a cloud. The Lord Jesus was taken up in a cloud. And, some day soon I also will be taken up in similar fashion.
1 Cor 15:51-54
51Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
The great promise of Christ to His own is that by His word we will be made perfect. Not everyone wants to be absolutely perfect. Not everyone is willing to submit totally to Christ, or to renounce their freedom forever in exchange for slavish obedience to His will alone. Many refuse a puritanically pious existence for the rest of time, and beyond. We will not be gods, but obedient, perfect sons. We will never have a thought that is not holy or centered in Christ. We will be immersed in the purity of God our Father. Clothed in the righteousness Christ purchased for us with His sacrifice at Calvary. Not everyone wants to never sin again. Not everyone wants to give up the freedom of their mind for robotic control by Christ. It must be done so no evil thought can ever manifest itself again for the rest of eternity. One heart, one mind, forever! Not everyone wants to spend all eternity worshiping God. But, for those who do, and have come to Christ for the promised perfection. A day of joy is at hand. God by His attributes can't change, but He has the power to change us creatures into His perfect children.
The same words these Two Witnesses hear will be said personally to each of us: "come up hither. " Becoming born again is not generic. It is very personal and emotional. The method of Christ coming to a lost sinner is varied and individually prepared. He comes to each in the privacy of his or her own heart. They either accept or reject. He does not limit Himself to one attempt. He knows the heart. He knows His own, and they know Him.
3To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
4And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
5And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.
The day is soon upon us when our loving Lord will take us out of this world that hates truth so much, and gather us into His loving arms. The Two Witnesses will be the most despised men on the planet, but in God's eyes they are O so beautiful. Let all the world be liars, but let God's assessment of the individual heart be true. Generic Christianity is another road on that broad road to hell. It really does not need an exclusive Christ. It will now face the wrath of God who will do to it far more then it can ever do to the Jew.
13And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.
The events of this day even put fear into the hearts of the saved. I have been scared many times as a missionary, and still get scared today. Things have happened that caused my knees to buckle. Yet, in every situation I found Christ adequate to provide a proper solution. Things that would have terrified me 30 years ago, are little things to me today. I could leave an unsold house, and move from one coast to another with only a few hundred dollars in cash. I could pack up the family, and head out to where God directs with no concern that there is no sure employment when we get there. Many probably think it irresponsibility, but I have found Christ adequate as long as it is His will and not mine. Experience has taught me to fear in expectation, and trust all the more. Fear of the Lord is a good thing. It keeps us tucked in His bosom where we belong.
9The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
10More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
11 Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.
29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:
Things are changing on planet earth during this time. The Tribulation is half over. The task of building the Third Jewish Temple (Ezekiel's Temple Chapters 40-48), and establishing kosher worship is completed and abandoned. The time of a perceived secular peace begins to unravel. There will be heartache for the Jew, but even greater heartache for this rebellious world that partied at the death of the Two Witnesses.
14The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.
This woe of the Two Witnesses, and their 42 months is past as John continues to go forward in time. The second half of the Tribulation is filled with woe's, judgments, hate, and the sin of sins - blasphemy by the anti-Christ. Mankind will be reduced to a few from the billions at the beginning. Only one here, and one there will respond personally to the call of Christ. The anti-Christ's mindset will be to fight Christ to the last man. Hitler's last comment was that Germany proved it was not good enough to deserve him. The anti-Christ will feel the same about the whole world. Cannon fodder will find new meaning when the anti-Christ manifests what he will call love for his own. Hitler had no intent of leaving anything of Germany after his death. They followed him to the end. The anti-Christ will have the same passion of loyalty by the world, even when he treats them as the fool.
Are we ready for such events to take place in our lifetime? Is the message of Christianity so muddled that who Christ is can be debated? Is there a clear line of separation between the saved and unsaved? Does the Catholic Christ save? Does the Liberal Christian's Christ save? Are born again Charismatic's saved by the same Christ of the Two Witnesses? God knows the answer. He sees the heart of Judas as well as the heart of Elijah.
The Tribulation ends with the faithful Jews returning to the Temple in the last days. The Temple is purified it in the midst of an invasion by Russia. The Russians are at the Temple doors. A last call goes out to those secular Jewish survivors of the anti-Christ's holocaust. The world gathers at Armageddon for the greatest battle in human history, but it never takes place. Christ returns The Second Time to Old Salem now called Jerusalem as the sole representative of the Melchizedek Priesthood, and sits on Ezekiel's throne as the Jewish Prophet/Priest/King of the whole world. He separates the sheep from the goats. The goats are cast into hell, and the sheep follow Him into the new millennium. No power on earth can stop Him.
God never fails!
The biggest problem many Christians seem to have is an inability to step aside. We think we are so important to God that He is hostage to the subtle changes we make called Church tradition. The Christianity of the Puritans is not the main stream Christianity of today (nor should it be). The problem is when Christian tradition and worldliness become one in the same. Israel at one time felt very necessary to God's plan. They mistakenly thought they could play the harlot with their idolatress neighbors, or establish a Rabbinical (leaven of the Pharisees) religion based on good works, and God would just have to put up with it. Where else could He go? Twice they lost the land, Jerusalem, and the Temple. They found out quickly that God is too big to be manipulated by any group of men. Let all men be liars, but let God be true. The Church is about to learn the same lesson. We are about to be literally swept out of the way in preparation for another chance for Israel. The Church age is about to end. What we leave behind at the pre-tribulation rapture will be proof enough of our failure.
Edited by DDSrail August 21, 1999
Who are the Two Witnesses?
(Zechariah chapter 11)
I have read much speculation on this subject. The most common is that they are Enoch and Elijah who both never died physically, but were raptured up to heaven. I have also seen Elijah and Moses as good candidates because they appeared at the Mount of Transfiguration with the glorified Christ.
2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.
3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.
My personal preference is that they are two very ordinary unmarried Jewish men probably alive today living in the city of Jerusalem. They are not saved yet, for if they were they would not be Jews but Christians. They would be raptured with all the born again Christians at the end of the Church age, and would not go through the Great Tribulation.
They will be the foundation for the next Jewish Kingdom dispensation. The first fruits as it were of the return of Judaism back to the Bible. Their task as I have already stated will be the building of the Third Holy Jewish Temple! Again, the question arises who are they? I don't know their Jewish names, but I do believe I know the names God calls them. One is Beauty! The other is Bands!
I say this because I realize that the return to the Bible, and building of the Third Temple is going to bring great conflict. Conflict not only with the world, but also among the Jews! Not all Jews in Israel will be saved immediately after the rapture like the Two Witnesses and the 144,000. I'm convinced the rapture of all the born again Christians will be the very event that causes the foundational Jews to turn to Christ as their personal Messiah. The gentile Christian testimony will leave, but God will replace their witness with these newly converted Jews. The Two Witnesses will will certainly lead all Biblical Jews from Jerusalem. There will still be a majority of secular Jews needing to be challenged with Christ. The battle will be fierce. The old battle line of a secular Judaism represented by Israel of the North with a spiritually Biblically awakened Judaism represented by Judah of the South will again manifest itself. The divided Kingdom must be restored! This age old division will be part of what the Witnesses will have to contend. They will be calling out a people separated unto God, and will be right in the middle of this conflict. The words God spoke to Mosses are still true:
16 For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.
17 And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.
18 And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.
It is this separating of the Biblical Jews from the secular Jews that the Two Witnesses will find their greatest challenge. It is this conflict that God foresaw in Zachariah chapter 11. The secular Jews of Israel are clearly revealed! The false legalistic leaven of pharisaical Judaism, and the secular Jewish politicians are all condemned! It is Beauty and Bands that God calls to feed the flock that does come out. It is the same Christ of the Bible sold for 30 pieces of Silver that these separated Jews find their comfort after the death of their two most famous leaders.
11:1 Open thy doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour thy cedars.
2 Howl, fir tree; for the cedar is fallen; because the mighty are spoiled: howl, O ye oaks of Bashan; for the forest of the vintage is come down.
3 There is a voice of the howling of the shepherds; for their glory is spoiled: a voice of the roaring of young lions; for the pride of Jordan is spoiled.
4 Thus saith the LORD my God; Feed the flock of the slaughter;
5 Whose possessors slay them, and hold themselves not guilty: and they that sell them say, Blessed be the LORD; for I am rich: and their own shepherds pity them not.
6 For I will no more pity the inhabitants of the land, saith the LORD: but, lo, I will deliver the men every one into his neighbour's hand, and into the hand of his king: and they shall smite the land, and out of their hand I will not deliver them.
7 And I will feed the flock of slaughter, even you, O poor of the flock. And I took unto me two staves; the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands; and I fed the flock.
8 Three shepherds also I cut off in one month; and my soul lothed them, and their soul also abhorred me.
9 Then said I, I will not feed you: that that dieth, let it die; and that that is to be cut off, let it be cut off; and let the rest eat every one the flesh of another.
10 And I took my staff, even Beauty, and cut it assunder, that I might break my covenant which I had made with all the people.
11 And it was broken in that day: and so the poor of the flock that waited upon me knew that it was the word of the LORD.
12 And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.
13 And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD.
14 Then I cut asunder mine other staff, even Bands, that I might break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.
15 And the LORD said unto me, Take unto thee yet the instruments of a foolish shepherd.
16 For, lo, I will raise up a shepherd in the land, which shall not visit those that be cut off, neither shall seek the young one, nor heal that that is broken, nor feed that that standeth still: but he shall eat the flesh of the fat, and tear their claws in pieces.
17 Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! the sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened.
The brotherhood of Judah and Israel is broken with the death of the Two Witnesses (Beauty and Bands). The antichrist is welcomed by the secular Jews to Jerusalem and the Third Jewish Temple at the half way point of the Great Tribulation. The secular Jews are as frustrated with the Two Witnesses, and their Biblical righteousness as is the rest of the world! The Idol Shepherd thinks he can compromise with the antichrist, but in the end finds one even worse then Hitler. The time of Jacobs trouble begins 3-1/2 years into the Great Tribulation. The death of the Two Witnesses signals to the Biblical Jews that they must flee Jerusalem and Judah for the wilderness where the Lord directs and keeps them. The secular Jews are left to the merciless persecution of the antichrist who by now is leader of the Western World. Anti-Semitism will reach new heights of vindictiveness during the time of Jacob's trouble.
7 Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.
One of the Witnesses will be cut. The other will be broken. The Biblical Jews will be separated from the secular. It will be the secular Jews who must yield, and unite the Kingdom. This is what appears to happen at the end of Zechariah at the end of the time of Jacob's trouble. It will only a third, but they will come. The rest will die. A way will be opened at the end of the Great Tribulation so these last to be awakened can join the others in the wilderness. They will then as a united people return to Jerusalem to gain the wealth of the world.. The polluted Temple will be cleansed for their returning King. He will sit on His throne, and the dispensation of the Kingdom age will be here!
The Lord Jesus Christ will rule over Jewish Old Testament law with a rod of Iron. There will be no need for a Newer Testament to guide during the Kingdom age. The fullness of the law will be here on earth. The gentile nations that will reform throughout His reign will be required to obey Jewish law. They will be under command to come to Jerusalem during the Feast of Tabernacles and worship the Jewish King. It will not be optional!
13:1 In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.
2 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land.
3 And it shall come to pass, that when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat him shall say unto him, Thou shalt not live; for thou speakest lies in the name of the LORD: and his father and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through when he prophesieth.
4 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive:
5 But he shall say, I am no prophet, I am an husbandman; for man taught me to keep cattle from my youth.
6 And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.
7 Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.
8 And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein.
9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.
14:1 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.
2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
3 Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.
6 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark:
7 But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.
8 And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.
9 And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.
10 All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin's gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king's winepresses.
11 And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.
12 And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.
13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.
14 And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance.
15 And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass, and of all the beasts that shall be in these tents, as this plague.
16 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.
17 And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.
18 And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
20 In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD's house shall be like the bowl's before the altar.
21 Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts.
"Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done"
It will be the time when the lion will lay down with the lamb. All nature will be at peace and rest. Jerusalem will be HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD! What a glorious time it will be! The Lord Jesus Christ heir to the house of David will be King over all the earth!ddsrail 6/19/03
See Biblical events that open the door to the Third Jewish Temple - The Last Jihad
See Biblical events that point to a revived Aaronic Priesthood - Pomegranate or Almond Bud
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