8
min read
A- A+
read
Restoration to the Promised Land and the 2 Witnesses

Restoration to the Promised Land
and the 2 Witnesses

by Dennis Porter

The restoration and rebuilding of the Temple after the Babylonian Captivity, in no way fulfils the final restoration predicted by the Old Testament prophets.

"I will gather the remnant of My Flock out of all countries whither I have driven them; they shall be fruitful and increase. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, executing judgement and justice in the earth. In His days Judah shall be saved and Israel Shall dwell safely and this is the Name by which He shall be called, ‘Jehovah Tsidkenu.'” (Jeremiah 23:3-6). This Final Restoration is shown to be preceded by unparalleled Tribulation, as revealed initially by Jeremiah:

“l will bring again the captivity of My people Israel and Judah, and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they will possess it. Alas! for that day is great, so that there is none like it; even the time of Jacob’s Trouble. They shall serve the Lord their God and David their King, whom I will raise up unto them. I will save you from afar ... I will not make a full end of you.” (Jer. 30:1-11).

Christ, the Signet at God’s right hand, Who sits upon His Father’s Throne (Rev. 3:21) will come forth from Heaven to take possession of the kingdoms of the world (Rev. 11:15).

The 2 Witnesses are 2 individuals like their counterparts in Zechariah 4 - Zerubbabel and Joshua. Like them they are true sons of OIL, filled with the SPIRIT and in an attitude of mourning, wearing sackcloth. Their business is to prophesy for a set period of 1,260 days during The Tribulation. They are endowed with extraordinary powers for personal protection (Rev.11:5) and to declare God’s judgements on the earth.

The judgement of fire and the closing of the heavens to prevent rain falling, remind us of God’s opposition to Jezebel through Elijah (1 Kings 17:1; 18:24). Turning water into blood and smiting the earth with plagues, remind us of Jehovah’s encounter with Pharaoh through Moses (Ex. 7:17). When thinking of the PURPOSE of these ministries of prophecy and plagues, we are reminded of God’s good intention to call His people to repentance and the softening of hardened hearts (Jer. 7:3-7).

However, there is always stern opposition to the good purpose of God for Israel. In Nehemiah 2:10 we read: “It grieved them that a man had come to seek the welfare of Jerusalem.” In Psalm 83:4 the enemies of Israel said: “Come let us cut them off from being a Nation; that the name of Israel be no more mentioned.”

The 2 Witnesses have a more formidable enemy than Sanballat and Tobiah; and no one less than the Spirit can strengthen them to complete their testimony (Rev.11:7). The 2 witnesses of the final Restoration are left unnamed by the Spirit. With an inquisitive determination to discover their identity, most expositors are governed by the prediction of Malachi 4:5 – “I will send the prophet Elijah before the Coming of the great and dreadful day of The Lord.” This assumption is qualified by the comparable miracles performed by one like unto Elijah and the other witness (supposedly Moses) of Revelation 11:6. However, there are difficulties in proceeding with this assumption, when considering the words of Jesus. In Matthew 11:10-14, Jesus clearly acknowledges that John the Baptist was the fulfilment of the prophecy of Malachi - “If you will receive it, this IS Elijah which was to come.” Because they did not accept Jesus as the Christ, by the same token, they could not accept that Elijah HAD COME in the ministry of John the Baptist. (We should note here that John was NOT a personal embodiment of Elijah, but that he came: “in the Spirit and power of Elijah”). This accords with the word of the angel to Zacharias regarding John in Luke 1:17.

Again, on the Mount of Transfiguration, after witnessing the appearance of the glorified Elijah and Moses, the disciples asked: “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must first come? (Matt.17:10). Jesus again confirms what He had said previously: “I say that Elijah IS COME ALREADY, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatever theylisted." It is worthy of note that John coming "IN the Spirit and power of Elijah" equates to the coming of Elijah.

There is no difficulty in believing that Elijah could return to earth as one of the Witnesses; he made an appearance with his companion Moses on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt.17:3). However, there appears to be two problems - DEATH and DRESS (Sackcloth) - if we insist on believing the 2 Witnesses to be Moses and Elijah or Enoch.

Moses represents those believers who enter Glory via the grave; whereas, Elijah and Enoch were both translated to Heaven without dying (2 Kings 2:11, Gen. 5:24). This means that they were instantly transfigured with immortal bodies like Jesus glorified body (Acts 1:9) and the saints at the Rapture (1 Cor.15:51-52). Yet these 2 witnesses, whoever they are, will be KILLED in Jerusalem - Rev.11:7.

Whoever the 2 Witnesses are, they must have mortal flesh in order to be killed. Three times in two verses (Rev. 11:8-9) the Spirit emphasises “their DEAD BODIES”. In the light of such considerations, we might see why the Spirit chose to omit their names in Revelation 11.

When we come to the end time, the enemy is demonic - a personal attack by Satan himself - more terrifying! The end time is dangerous because Satan knows that his time is short and is at his most destructive - “Woe to the inhabitants of the earth! for the Devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time” (Rev. 12:12). Satan is no longer hiding behind a

Pharaoh, a Haman, an Athaliah or a Herod, but leads the attack against God’s elect; especially the chosen witnesses (Rev.13:7). Can we wonder why the names of the 2 Witnesses are kept secret? Names are not readily banded about in times of wholesale slaughter, in any generation!

Our time is best spent in considering the purpose and timing of their witness. Moses appeared to deliver God’s elect Nation from their physical bondage (under Pharaoh), and presented the Law that would ensure their distinction from the Gentiles. His message: “The Lord your God is One Lord, and Him only shall you worship.” (Ex. 20:2-5). He was enraged at Israel’s idolatry! (Ex. 32:19-20). Elijah appeared to deliver Israel from their spiritual bondage, (under Jezebel); with the assurance that Jehovah neither slumbers nor sleeps, and answers by fire. He was enraged at Jezebel’s evil religion and false prophets (1 Kings 18:38-40).

Can we wonder why their lifeless bodies (killed in Jerusalem) are said to be lying in the city which is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt?” (Rev. 11:8). Sodomy and idolatry will be prevalent in the last times as recorded in the Revelation. Consider the rapid progress of LGBT and the unification with the subtle BLM, and the bowing of the knee.

The 2 Witnesses who are to be SENT, will remind all thoughtful Israelites of the LAW and the PROPHETS; personalized in Moses and Elijah.

On the Mount of Transfiguration, they appeared prior to the Lord’s departure for Glory, as a reminder that it is not only as the Perfect Man, but as the Perfect Saviour and Forerunner of the Redeemed, that He was to enter Heaven (Luke 24:26-27). The 2 Witnesses of Rev. 11, anointed with the oil of the Spirit, are SENT to prepare the way for the Lord’s promised return and the subjugation of all His enemies (Heb. 1:13; Matt. 22:44). In the Revelation, we are in The Day of The Lord’s Vengeance. In Isaiah 61 itis recorded that the anointing of the Spirit was for the proclamation of the Dispensation of Grace, which was accomplished at Christ’s first Coming (Luke 4:18-21). We notice that Jesus did not complete the full Scripture, He omitted the reference to The Day of The Lord’s Vengeance, which would be fulfilled at His Second Coming. Revelation 1:3 declares that the time is at hand. If we refer to Isaiah 13 we read prophecies re. The Day of The Lord in verses 6-10, which include plagues on the land, disturbances in the sun, moon and stars - concluding with the overthrow of Babylon. Such signs of His vengeance are evident in the Revelation chapters 6-18. The sending forth of the 2 Witnesses heralds forthcoming momentous events when the Conflict of the Ages will reach its climax. The Mystery of Iniquity (Satan manifested in the flesh) is reaching its climax as predicted in 2 Thess. 2:3-12.

The Post-Millenialists say that Christ will not come again until the world gets better, but according to the Scriptures, Christ will not come again UNTIL the ‘The Man of Sin - the Son of Perdition, is revealed and the world has waxed worse’ (2 Tim. 3:13). Satan is wrathful and seeks to silence the 2 Witnesses who arrive on the scene heralding the ARRIVAL of the Almighty: “Who is King of kings and Lord of lords” (Rev. 19:16).

The 2 witnesses are given power to smite the earth with all plagues as often as is necessary. Revelation 16 records similar plagues to those inflicted upon Egypt. In Revelation 11 the number of plagues is again regulated by the opposition of the Dragon and the refusal of his captives ‘to Repent of devil worship, murders, fornications, thefts and sorceries’ Rev. 9:20-21. Satan produces his counterfeits in order to delay his final doom — ‘Spirits of demons working miracles; bringing fire down from Heaven and making the image of the Beast to speak and deceiving many to accept his mark’ (Rev. 13:13-16 & 16:13-14).

Satan is further angered, when the witnesses have power to shut the heaven and prevent rain falling for the duration of their prophetic ministry. Whatever they might say, we know that the word of these prophets is the last opportunity for faith to believe before the personal, visible coming of Christ. After the martyrdom of the 2 Witnesses, Satan’s rejoicing is shortlived; after 3 and a half days of lying dead in the street - resurrection power!

The 2 Witnesses may not come down miraculously, but they will certainly go up miraculously, to the utter amazement of the nations who will hate their prophecies. Like It or not, their prediction that the Son of God is returning with His mighty angels, will be fulfilled (2 Thess. 1:7).

What a sad world itis when sinners can rejoice and celebrate that they have silenced the convicting word of Salvation! (Rev. 11:10). In spite of the devastating consequence, an earthquake destroying a tenth of the City and the death of seven thousands, the remnant being affrighted, give glory to the God of Heaven. As Isaiah 27:9 predicts: “When Your judgements are in the earth, the inhabitants will learn righteousness.”

It is Haggai, who not only predicts such an earthquake, but makes it the signal for the coming of Christ, and promises a brighter future: “I will shake the heavens and the earth ... I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: I will fill this House with glory, ‘saith the Lord of Hosts”. This is in accord with the sequence to the earthquake and the end of the 2nd Woe. The 7th angel sounded, and great voices in Heaven cried, “The kingdoms of this world are become the Kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever” (Rev. 11:15).

The contemporary prophet Zechariah, anticipates the Glory of Christ’s reign: “Behold! The Man, whose Name is THE BRANCH, He shall grow up out of His place and build the Temple of the Lord; and He shall bear the Glory. He shall sit and rule upon His Throne” (Zech. 6:12-13). Itis the same prophet who predicts the return of Christ to Mount Olivet, and the fulfilment of Joel’s prophecy - when both Covenants, Abrahamic and Davidic, will be established to God’s Glory. “His feet will stand upon the Mount Olives” (Zech. 14:1-4). “The Lord will be King over all the earth” (Zech. 14:9). thousands, the remnant being affrighted, give glory to the God of Heaven. As Isaiah 27:9 predicts: “When Your judgements are in the earth, the inhabitants will learn righteousness.”

It is Haggai, who not only predicts such an earthquake, but makes it the signal for the coming of Christ, and promises a brighter future: “I will shake the heavens and the earth ... I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: I will fill this House with glory, ‘saith the Lord of Hosts”. This is in accord with the sequence to the earthquake and the end of the 2nd Woe. The 7th angel sounded, and great voices in Heaven cried, “The kingdoms of this world are become the Kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever” (Rev. 11:15).

The contemporary prophet Zechariah, anticipates the Glory of Christ’s reign: “Behold! The Man, whose Name is THE BRANCH, He shall grow up out of His place and build the Temple of the Lord; and He shall bear the Glory. He shall sit and rule upon His Throne” (Zech. 6:12-13). It is the same prophet who predicts the return of Christ to Mount Olivet, and the fulfilment of Joel’s prophecy - when both Covenants, Abrahamic and Davidic, will be established to God’s Glory. “His feet will stand upon the Mount Olives” (Zech. 14:1-4). “The Lord will be King over all the earth” (Zech. 14:9).

 

PRINT SUBSCRIPTION

ONLINE SUBSCRIPTION