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The Two Witnesses

 



Last month I wrote an article about the dispensations, and in it I discuss the fact that after each dispensation God only releases judgment on the part of mankind that failed to obey the ruling principle of a given dispensation and also extends an offer of grace in some manner. I mentioned that after the Age of Grace ends at the Rapture, God releases judgment on the world (an unsaved world that logically cannot include the saved Church) in the form of the Tribulation and its associated judgments (thus offering strong support for a pre-trib Rapture).

I also mentioned that He extends grace in the form of the 144,000 Jewish evangelists who take the gospel to the post-Rapture world and bring a huge number of people into the kingdom, both Jewish remnant believers and Gentile Tribulation saints. He also protects the Jewish remnant in the wilderness until the bloody end of the Great Tribulation so they can be ushered alive into the kingdom following the Second Coming.

A few days after I posted that article, I got an email from a nice gentleman whom I will refer to as G, and in it he politely expressed his opinion that perhaps the ministry of the Two Witnesses of Revelation 11 should be included in that offer of grace coming on the heels of the Church Age, since they are also preaching and getting people saved. I blubbered something like:

"Yeah, you could be right. But hey, you got those 144,000..."

But the honest truth is that his comment completely blindsided me because I hadn't even considered the Two Witnesses. For some odd reason the Two Witnesses of Revelation 11 had never even crossed my mind the whole time I was writing that article.

But G's email got me thinking, as readers' questions and comments often do, and a couple of things quickly occurred to me: (a) I had never studied the Two Witnesses to any significant degree, and as a result (b) I didn't know as much about them as I should. And I immediately recognized the Holy Spirit's tried-and-true method of giving me a wake-up call.

Translation: Heads up, hoss...new assignment.

So here we are—the Two Witnesses. In the course of this article, I want to discuss various aspects of these two enigmatic characters and in the process hopefully shed a little bit of light on questions such as who they are (and who they aren't), what they do, and where, when, why, and how they do it. Not necessarily laid out in that order.

As we shall see, some of these points are interrelated and tend to shine light on each other, so I don't feel compelled to do this laundry-list style. But what I will do is break this down into three major sections that speak broadly to all of the above points, and reduce this to three fundamental questions:

1. Who are they?

2. What is the nature of their ministry?

3. When do they minister?

Considering the extent to which students of the Bible argue over the some of the details surrounding the Two Witnesses, I suppose it's a blessing that everything we are told about them comes in a single block of Scripture in Revelation 11:1–13. So, here lies the sum total of everything the Bible has to say about the Two Witnesses, sprinkled with a smattering of notes to help get get our prophetic juices flowing:

1A reed like a rod was given to me. Someone said, "Rise and measure God's temple, and the altar, and those who worship in it. 2Leave out the court which is outside of the temple, and don't measure it, for it has been given to the nations. They will tread the holy city under foot for forty-two months [this is the second half of the Tribulation, and the "times of the Gentiles" ends with the Second Coming...some, however, assume this is the same period of time mentioned in the next verse—but it doesn't say that]. 3I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred sixty days [42 months, or three and a half years], clothed in sackcloth." 4These are the two olive trees and the two lamp stands, standing before the Lord of the earth [see Zechariah 3–4]. 5If anyone desires to harm them, fire proceeds out of their mouth and devours their enemies. If anyone desires to harm them, he must be killed in this way. 6These have the power to shut up the sky, that it may not rain during the days of their prophecy [reminiscent of Elijah]. They have power over the waters, to turn them into blood [reminiscent of Moses], and to strike the earth with every plague, as often as they desire. 7When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss [the now satanically indwelt Antichrist] will make war with them, and overcome them, and kill them [they will be literally killed, which is a helpful clue in determining who they are]. 8Their dead bodies will be in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified [Jerusalem]. 9From among the peoples, tribes, languages, and nations, people will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and will not allow their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb [a great and deliberate humiliation for Jews]. 10Those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, and they will be glad. They will give gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth [for a fallen world, it's party time]. 11After the three and a half days, the breath of life from God entered into them, and they stood on their feet. Great fear fell on those who saw them. 12I heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up here!" [precisely as in the Rapture in Rev. 4:1] They went up into heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them. 13In that day there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven [in other words, these didn't reject the Two Witnesses or their message].

(Revelation 11:1–13 / emphasis &
[comments] added)

So first, let's consider what is arguably one of the most hotly debated questions concerning the Two Witnesses, and that revolves around their identity.

1. Who are they?

Countless Bible expositors over the years have suggested a smorgasbord of possibilities as to the identity of the Two Witnesses in Revelation 11. These range from allegorical or corporate interpretations such as the idea that they represent the Law and the Prophets, Israel and the Church, the Old and New Covenants, the Jews and the Arabs, etc. to the idea that they are two actual individuals, such as Elijah and Moses, Elijah and Enoch, Elijah and (fill in the blank), Peter and John, Peter and Paul, Peter and (fill in the blank), or two unknown men alive during the Tribulation who will come in the spirit and power of one of the above pairs of historical characters.

Throughout the entire Church Age, however, the great majority of Bible commentators have gravitated to the idea that the Two Witnesses are real men, not symbols or corporate entities. The Greek in verse 3 strongly suggests as much since they are referred to using a form of the word martus (witness), which is invariably used for men throughout the New Testament.

So, the question focuses on just exactly who these men might be. Among those who see them as two historical figures whom God has allowed to return to the earthly domain, most pick Moses and Elijah as the top pairing. Problems cited for Enoch often center on the fact that he is a type of the Church, and so seems an odd choice to return to witness to Israel during the Tribulation.

Another issue that comes into play in regard to seeing the Two Witnesses as two historical figures is the question of their literal physical death in Revelation 11:7. Since Moses actually died (Deut. 34:5), one reason some lean toward Elijah and Enoch is that they are the only two men in Scripture who were taken alive to heaven without the inconvenience of dying (2 Kings 2:11; Gen. 5:24). So, the argument goes, they are uniquely qualified to return to earth so they can experience death as all men are meant to do:

27Inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once, and after this, judgment,

(Hebrews 9:27 / emphasis added)

As far as I know, this is about the only reason anyone picks Enoch. But this a weak, flawed argument since there are many millions of believers at this very moment who are anxiously waiting to be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye to be caught up to be with the Lord in the Rapture—and not a single one of them will ever experience death. The point is that Hebrews 9:27 obviously expresses a general principle, not an exacting rule that must hold true in every single case—because it clearly doesn't.

But we are not out of the woods yet if we want to see the Two Witnesses as historical figures such as Moses and Elijah who return to earth during the Tribulation. As the venerable John Walvoord astutely points out:

There are great difficulties in all points of view identifying the two witnesses with historical characters.

— John Walvoord,
The Revelation of Jesus Christ [Source]

The problem centers around the inconvenient fact that they will be killed. Some highly capable Bible expositors take it upon themselves to step carefully through a logical labyrinth in relationship to who is able to do what or appear in what form and when in regard to Moses and Elijah—and that's an admirable thing to attempt to do in the interest of being grindingly thorough and complete. But I'm satisfied we can save ourselves a lot of headaches by considering one basic scriptural fact.

Before we get to that, however, consider: As far as Moses and Elijah are concerned, they appeared in what were most likely glorified bodies at the Transfiguration (Matt. 17:1–13; Mark 9:1–13; Luke 9:28–36). Well, glorified bodies are eternal or "imperishable" according to the apostle Paul (1 Cor. 15:51–54), and will never die. So if we want to view the Two Witnesses as the genuine, bona fide Moses and Elijah, we have to believe that they will be changed back into their mortal, "perishable" bodies so they can minister and then be killed on earth during the Tribulation. (And even if we assume they weren't in glorified bodies, the argument doesn't get a whole lot better.)

Really? You know, God is omnipotent—He can do anything He pleases. But there is always a logical consistency in what He does, and what I just described degenerates into something that is neither logical nor consistent.

Body logic aside, however, the real headache-saver is the simple fact that Jesus Himself gives us ample reason to see the Two Witnesses not as literal, historical figures, but as men who are alive at the time whom God imbues with the spirit and power of those historical figures.

After the Transfiguration, Jesus is descending the mountain with Peter, James, and John, and He drops the following on them:

9And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead. 10And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias [i.e. Elijah] must first come? 11And Jesus answered and said to them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. 12But I say to you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not [i.e. someone has already come in the power and spirit of Elijah], but have done to him whatever they listed [or "wanted"]. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. 13Then the disciples understood that he spoke to them of John the Baptist [bingo...a first-century man named John who came in the power and spirit of Elijah].

(Matthew 17:9–13 AKJV / emphasis &
[comments] added)

What they are referring to is a well-known prophecy in the book of Malachi concerning a future appearance of the prophet Elijah, and this prophecy constitutes the closing words of the Old Testament:

5Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD [the Tribulation]: 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.

(Malachi 4:5–6 AKJV / emphasis &
[comments] added)

In other words, Jesus made it thunderingly clear that He interpreted Malachi's prophecy as referring to a contemporary individual who would rise up and minister in the power and spirit of Elijah, not literally Elijah the Tishbite from the ninth century BC.

Since there is no reason to assume that the same principle doesn't apply to both witnesses, all we need are the words of Jesus Himself to effectively make the case for the Two Witnesses being two real men (Jewish men, of course) alive during the Tribulation whom God imbues with the power and spirit of Elijah and Moses to minister to His people Israel and the world.

And that effectively takes care of the who. Now it's on to the what.

2. What is the nature of their ministry?

The big picture in regard to the ministry of the Two Witnesses is painted by the prophet Zechariah, who was born during the Babylonian captivity in the sixth century BC. The imagery of Revelation 11:4 harks back to the prophecies given by Zechariah in the years following the Jews' release from Babylon:

4These are the two olive trees and the two lamp stands, standing before the Lord of the earth.

(Revelation 11:4 / emphasis added)

Tony Garland does a terrific job with all of this in his commentary on the book of Revelation, which is easily one of the best there is. I can't recommend it highly enough to anyone out there who is serious about studying John's amazing vision of what is to come. Although I was aware of some of the historical details, I learned most of how this relates to the Two Witnesses from Tony's remarks on Revelation chapter 11.

In the sixth century BC, the Jews were released from captivity in Babylon, and the first wave of returnees was led by Joshua (the high priest) and Zerubbabel (the governor of Judah). They returned to Jerusalem and wasted little time in making plans to rebuild what would be the Second Temple.

Efforts to rebuild the temple, however, were met with fierce opposition from the surrounding peoples, and this caused the work to be delayed for 17 years—but the temple was finally completed in 516 BC. One of the main thrusts of Zechariah's prophecies (particularly in chapters 3 and 4) was to let the people know that God was empowering both Joshua and Zerubbabel through the Holy Spirit to ensure the completion of the temple and bring restoration to the nation of Israel following their release from Babylonian captivity. Zechariah uses the image of two olive trees to describe Joshua and Zerubbabel, through which oil (the Holy Spirit) flows to fuel a single golden lamp stand.

In other words, God let the Jewish people know through Zechariah's prophecies who was doing the heavy lifting here:

6Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.

(Zechariah 4:6b KJV)

But Zechariah's visions also clearly speak to the end times, when Christ ("the BRANCH" in Zech. 3:8) will return to fully restore the nation of Israel and finally lead them into their glorious kingdom. As is often the case with Old Testament prophecies, this notion of God having two olive trees on earth reverberates far beyond Joshua and Zerubbabel and into the end times, and his prophecies clearly hint at two other such men who, like Joshua and Zerubbabel, will urge the nation on in rebuilding their temple and help prepare the Jewish people for their ultimate restoration through the anointing of the Holy Spirit—the Two Witnesses of Revelation 11.

Two pairs of witnesses, two restorations.

I believe the image of the two lamp stands in Revelation 11:4 is connected to the seven lamp stands mentioned in Revelation 1:

12I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. Having turned, I saw seven golden lamp stands. 13And among the lamp stands was one like a son of man, clothed with a robe reaching down to his feet, and with a golden sash around his chest [Christ is among us in the sense that we are His body—we are in Him and He is in us].

[...]

20The myste of the seven stars which you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lamp stands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven assemblies. The seven lamp stands are seven assemblies [i.e. churches].

(Revelation 1:12–13, 20 / emphasis &
[comments] added)

We are told these seven golden lamp stands are the seven assemblies or churches Jesus was about to address, and together they represent the Church as a whole, serving as the temple of the Holy Spirit on earth and the primary conduit through which the Spirit flows and operates on earth.

But by the time we get to Revelation 11, the Church is long gone. Now it is the Two Witnesses who are the lamp stands that serve as the primary conduit through which the Holy Spirit flows and operates on earth in the absence of the Church. It is the Two Witnesses who shed God's light to the world, and who serve to encourage Israel in rebuilding their temple and help prepare the Jewish remnant for their kingdom.

But that's not all. It's not all about building the temple and all that. It's not all about turning the hearts of the Jewish people back the LORD in preparation for their ultimate blessing in the form of the kingdom.

There is also a dark side to the ministry of the Two Witnesses.

And that dark side pertains to those who foolishly and persistently reject the grace and mercy a holy, just, loving God expressed to mankind though His Son and the act of atonement that His Son carried out on man's behalf two thousand years ago at Calvary.

It is worth taking a moment to recall where the concept of "two witnesses" comes from in the first place, and that would be the Law of Moses:

6At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.

(Deuteronomy 17:6 AKJV / emphasis added)

15One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sins: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.

(Deuteronomy 19:15 AKJV / emphasis added)

This principle of having at least two or three witnesses willing to testify to a person's guilt is alluded to in about a half dozen other places throughout the Old and New Testaments.

The point is that the whole concept of two witnesses is primarily evidentiary in nature: The purpose of these witnesses was to testify truthfully to establish an accused person's guilt before a fair and impartial judgment could be passed and a just punishment could be meted out.

The ministry of the Two Witnesses during the Tribulation is to a large extent evidentiary in nature. God—the Righteous Judge—is about to unleash the final, ultimate judgment on the stiff-necked, unbelieving portion of His people Israel and a fallen, Christ-hating Gentile world who are both guilty of rejecting His grace and mercy and trampling underfoot the precious blood of His Son that was shed on their behalf so they could be forgiven of their sin and reconciled to Him through faith.

For 1,260 days, I see the Two Witnesses testifying to Israel's rejection of their Messiah; how they spurned His ministry and mocked His miracles; how they conspired to have Him convicted on false charges by lying witnesses who contradicted each other and who should have been crucified right along with Christ if their religious leaders had been possessed of the slightest inkling to actually obey the Law of Moses (Deut. 19:16–19).

I see them testifying to Israel's persecution of the Church, and how they foolishly added tons of their own opinions to His inerrant Word, while scrubbing it clean of anything that pointed to the truth of the First Advent and their Messiah's work of atonement for their sin, ad infinitum, ad apostasia.

They will also warn both the Jews and the world of God's final and most severe round of judgment that is about to be released in the Great Tribulation, chiefly in the form of the bowl judgments that follow the seventh trumpet.

All told, the preceding points speak to the why of their ministry.

On and on it will go, for three and a half years. The Two Witnesses will heap burning coals on the heads of unbelieving Jews, until they either seek God in repentance or seek to kill them in rage. But if they attack them or try to harm them, they will suffer the searing consequences of their actions (Rev. 11:5).

But at the same time, we should not lose sight of the fact that the ministry of the Two Witnesses is not strictly evidentiary in nature—there is undeniably a theme of restoration in what they do. The Holy Spirit uses the Two Witnesses to lead many Jews to repentance and faith, as seen in the reaction of many of them to their deaths:

13In that day there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.

(Revelation 11:13 / emphasis added)

In other words, the testimony of the Two Witnesses actually gets through to a good number of people. In the end, however, the majority of a fallen world greatly rejoice at their death and turn it into a reason to celebrate.

So G had a valid point in the email he wrote to me, and it was a point that I had missed. While it is true that the primary means of evangelization during the Tribulation will be through the 144,000, there will also be those who respond to the testimony of the Two Witnesses and in the end give glory to the God of heaven, rather than desiring to kill them and rejoicing at their demise. There is a strong, clear dimension of grace and restoration in the ministry of the Two Witnesses, in spite of its prima facie function of establishing guilt on the part of both Israel and the world in order to support the impending judgment of a holy God in the Great Tribulation.

OK, with that out of the way, now would be a swell time to get a few of the logistical details straightened out in regard to the nature of the ministry of the Two Witnesses.

In verse 8, the city where the Lord was crucified is Jerusalem.

Where:

The how part of the ministry of the Two Witnesses, however, warrants a few comments. Notice we are told that if anyone tries to harm them, they are able to perform a dragonesque maneuver and "fire proceeds out of their mouth and devours their enemies" (Rev. 11:5). And as wild as that sounds, there is really nothing in this passage that persuades most good Bible expositors that it must be taken figuratively. Bottom line:

These two guys are going to be

absolutely untouchable for the

entire 42 months of their ministry.

We are also told they have the power to (a) withhold rain from any area for as long as they choose, and (b) turn water into blood and strike any area with "every plague, as often as they desire" (Rev. 11:6).

Withholding the rain is reminiscent of what Elijah did, which is referred to in the book of James:

17Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain, and it didn't rain on the earth for three years and six months.

(James 5:17)

Elijah prayed and caused the rains to be withheld for...uhh, let's see...oh, for 42 months. My, what an intriguing coincidence.

And as you will recall, Moses turned the water into blood in the very first plague God inflicted on Pharaoh and his people:

17Thus said the LORD, In this you shall know that I am the LORD: behold, I will smite with the rod that is in my hand on the waters which are in the river, and they shall be turned to blood.

(Exodus 7:17 AKJV)

And as we read Revelation 11, we get the unmistakable sense that the Two Witnesses are actually doing these things, not just threatening to do them. Is it any wonder that a "tormented" world hates the Two Witnesses so intensely that in Revelation 11:10 we see that when they are finally overcome and killed by the Antichrist, people are so ecstatic they erupt into a global celebration?

In regard to the Two Witnesses being killed, Revelation 11:7 says when they Two Witnesses are finished with their testimony, "the beast that comes out of the abyss will make war with them, overcome them, and kill them."

"Hold up...these guys have been untouchable for 42 months, and now all of a sudden the Antichrist just ups and kills them? What's up with that?"

Two things to notice: First of all, we are told the Two Witnesses have "finished their testimony." In other words, they have completed the 42-month task God has assigned them, during which they have been supernaturally empowered and protected by the Holy Spirit. But now their work is done. God allows the Two Witnesses to be killed so that He can raise them from the dead three and half days later and "rapture" them (Rev. 11:7–12). The Greek word used in verse 12 is a form of anabaino (rise, come up, go up, ascend), and is exactly the same word used in Revelation 4:1 when John is told to "Come up here" in a verse that I am absolutely convinced speaks to the Rapture.

As I discuss in an article entitled "The Last Roundup," this aligns perfectly with what I believe will happen to the 144,000 Jewish evangelists. I believe the overall mission of the 144,000 will be complete by the time the seventh seal is opened, and before the dust has settled from the opening trumpet judgments they will all have been martyred by being beheaded (just as Paul their prototype was beheaded by an Antichrist-foreshadowing Emperor Nero at the conclusion of his ministry). And when I say their mission will be complete, I mean that no additional people will come to faith in Christ after the opening of the seventh seal—it's time for the trumpets and bowls, which together constitute the final outpouring of judgment.

The sound of silence: I believe this is one reason there is a half an hour of silence following the opening of the seventh seal in Revelation 8:1. There is rejoicing in the presence of angels when one sinner repents (Luke 15:10), and since when is rejoicing silent?

Second, consider: If the Antichrist had the power to kill the Two Witnesses during their 42-month ministry, don't you think he would have done so? In a heartbeat. Well, why didn't he? Two reasons:

1. The Two Witnesses were empowered and protected by the Holy Spirit for the entire duration of their ministry.

2. The Antichrist didn't yet have the power to do so anyway. During the first half of the Tribulation, he's just a charismatic, up-and-coming (and eminently human) world leader who brings a false, short-lived "peace" to the Middle East in the form of the treaty of Daniel 9:27 between Israel and the surrounding Arab nations who still loathe Israel, and is busy mesmerizing the world with his grand talk of uniting the nations of the world under a global government with a global economic system and a global religion. Don't look now, but...

We've got world leaders who could step into that role right now.

Just following the script: Never forget that every single thing that Satan and his man the Antichrist do during the Tribulation was known by God before Creation, and that Satan will be allowed and even assisted by that omniscient, omnipotent God to engage in his shortsighted, wannabe shtick so that God can carry out His own sovereign master plan—a plan that Satan has no control over whatsoever. Satan and his man the Antichrist are little more than useful idiots who play their predetermined roles in God's preordained scenario.

Consider: If the world had to watch some so-called "Antichrist" sit helplessly by and listen to the scorching testimony of God's Two Witnesses for three and a half years without being able to so much as lay a pinky on them, what kind of opinion do you think they'd have of him? Do you think they'd be overly impressed with him? Or more to the point:

Do you think they'd be inclined to worship him as God?

Not in a million years. I've discussed this before, but the Antichrist is not revealed as such until the midpoint of the Tribulation—his coming-out party doesn't come until around the middle of Daniel's 70th Week. He will suffer a head wound and Satan will stage a phony "resurrection" for his man, and in the process Satan will completely possess and control this man and only then will he be revealed as the biblical Antichrist. It is only then he truly becomes the beast of Revelation 13:1–10. Pop quiz:

Q. What do you suppose one of the first things this now fully satanically possessed and controlled Antichrist is going to do?

A. The Two Witnesses have tormented those who dwell on the earth for 42 months. The Antichrist is going to do to them what the world has been aching to do to them the entire time.

He will kill the despised Two Witnesses and leave their bodies lying in the street for the world to see. This is a terrible, humiliating insult to the Jews and no doubt intended to send them a not-so-subtle message:

"You're next."

Satan is above all things a showman—and the bodies of the Two Witnesses will be the new Antichrist's first trophy. It's a safe bet that the next thing this now satanically controlled man will do is put a stop to the oblations in the new temple and proceed to desecrate it in a way that is intended to convey to the Jews and the world that he is God incarnate—the Jews' long-awaited Messiah and the world's Savior. And now the message will be even less subtle:

"Worship me or die."

At that point, it's on. The Jews will flee Jerusalem for their lives, and the forces of the Antichrist will seek to hunt them down and kill them. Many believe based on Zechariah 13:8–9 that he will ultimately get two-thirds of them, but God will protect the believing Jewish remnant in the wilderness until Christ returns to usher them into their kingdom (Rev. 12:13–17).

That's pretty much the long and the short of the nature of the ministry of the Two Witnesses, and I saved the when for last. After their identity, this is arguably the second most hotly debated aspect of the ministry of the Two Witnesses, so I felt it warranted its own section—albeit a short one.

3. When do they minister?

Although I wanted to speak to this point separately from other aspects of the Two Witnesses, in a sense it's difficult to do that because some of these points are inextricably linked. But if you don't already see clearly when the Two Witnesses carry out their ministry during the Tribulation, then you haven't been paying attention. Go back to page 1 and start over again.

That question has already been answered in spades.

After all that we have discussed, it should be blazingly obvious exactly when the Two Witnesses carry out their ministry.

The ministry of the Two Witnesses must

occur in the first half of the Tribulation.

Give or take a few days at either end, and I only say that because I try not to get bent out of shape in the drive for down-to-the-day precision the way some tend to get. God is never in a hurry, and does things on His own schedule. The point is that I was on the fence about the Two Witnesses for many years, but I had never taken the time to study the topic out in any degree of depth. But now that I have, I don't know what else to say: It could scarcely be any clearer. Here's a summary of the ministry of the Two Witnesses:

Around the time of the launching of the Tribulation via the confirmation of the treaty of Daniel 9:27, thanks to the efforts of the charismatic, up-and-coming Antichrist-to-be who is about ready to mount his white horse and go out conquering and to conquer (Rev. 6:2), the Two Witnesses will step forward in Jerusalem and begin to speak to the people of Israel and the world. Like Joshua and Zerubbabel, they will be empowered by the Holy Spirit to strengthen and encourage Israel in the rebuilding of the temple, and will also testify to the Jews' many previous failures to honor God and urge them to return to Him in repentance and to embrace His promised Messiah that their forefathers crucified so long ago.

They will warn both Israel and the Gentile world of God's impending judgment, and reactions will be mixed. Many Jews will be ecstatic over the temple bit, but balk at the Messiah bit. Some will be pierced to the heart and seek God. The world at large will hate them with a burning intensity, because the world hates and rejects Christ and because they will be tormented by the plagues the Two Witnesses will call down upon them on a regular basis.

After 42 months, which places us around the midpoint of the Tribulation, Satan's man will appear to be killed by a head wound, and Satan will stage a fake "resurrection" that will enable his man to return to duty under Satan's full possession and control. Now the real beast, the Antichrist will kill the Two Witnesses, who have finished their 42-month ministry and are no longer untouchable as they were during it. The Antichrist wins the praise and gratitude of the whole world by killing the Two Witnesses, and the world will rejoice. The Antichrist will enter the temple in Jerusalem and desecrate it in an act that horrifies the Jews, and he will be presented to the world as God in the flesh, to be worshiped as such on pain of death. And the Antichrist's 42-month kingdom will be off and running.

After being left out on the streets in full view of the public for three and a half days, the bodies of the Two Witnesses will come to life and God will "rapture" them in full view of a disbelieving world. The believing Jewish remnant will glorify God, and the Antichrist will begin to go after the Jews with a vengeance. The Jews will flee Jerusalem for their lives and the most severe period of judgment the Jews and the world will ever know will kick off: the second half of the Tribulation, aka the Great Tribulation.

At its climax, Christ will return to earth with the Church in tow, slay His enemies and send them off to eternal punishment, and then judge as to who among the survivors will enter the Millennial Kingdom He will establish according to His Father's promises to His people Israel, His Son, the nations of the world, and creation itself.

Now, as far as when the Two Witnesses minister, if you can place their ministry in the second half of the Tribulation and still make all these pieces fit together in a sensible, coherent manner that is consistent with Scripture, then my dear brother or sister in Christ, I take my hat off to you:

You're a whole lot smarter and more creative than I am.

Because for the life of me I can't.

The more I think about it, the more reasons emerge as to why it has to be the first half, not the second. Here are a couple of other miscellaneous tidbits that wiggled their way through my neurons for you to gnaw on:

Does it make any sense to see the Antichrist winning world acclaim by killing the Two Witnesses, right at the same time he is supposed to be getting his hind end kicked at Armageddon and being unceremoniously sent packing to the lake of fire along with the False Prophet (Rev. 19:20–21)?

Does it make any sense to see the Two Witnesses, part of whose ministry is to encourage Israel in the building of the Third Temple as did Joshua and Zerubbabel, not show up and begin to minister until the midpoint of the Tribulation when the Jews are fleeing Jerusalem for their lives and the already rebuilt temple has already been desecrated by the Antichrist?

Take your time.

Ding-a-ling-a-ling: As I mentioned in the notes on Revelation 11:1–13 back at the outset of this article, when it says the Gentiles will tread the holy city underfoot for 42 months in Revelation 11:2–3, some extremely capable commentators leap to the conclusion that...gosh, this must be the exact same period of 42 months that the Two Witnesses prophesy in verse 3...and since verse 2 refers to the second half of the Tribulation, so must verse 3! But Scripture doesn't say that—it must be read into the passage. OK, so go ahead and read that in there and see what you get.

Never mind...I'll tell you what you get: a tangled mess where nothing fits. People who persist with this interpretation (including some Bible teachers I greatly respect), rather than realizing they have taken a wrong turn and going back and setting things straight, continue to twist other clear passages to try and make this wrong turn look right. They end up with all the judgments (seals, trumpets, and bowls) occurring in the second half of the Tribulation; the Two Witnesses testifying to Jews who have already fled Jerusalem and headed for the hills; and other such anomolies that should be telling them loud and clear something is awry.

It never changes: When someone reads something into a passage that's not actually there, and then encounters other relatively clear passages that must be bent and twisted to accommodate that interpretation, an alarm bell should go off. And whenever that happens—and it happens to everyone sooner or later, strive to be one of the few who heed it.

Of course, I could be off on a few details—we invariably have to fill in a few minor blanks on our own in the study of the end-time scenario. But I am convinced this is a reasonably clear and reasonably scripturally accurate portrayal of the ministry of the Two Witnesses.

At least it's the best I can do at this point. And if it comes to my attention I've got something bad wrong, I assure you I will waste no time in fixing it.

Some final observations

To be honest, I've always had a tendency to give short shrift to the Two Witnesses in my study of the book of Revelation. I knew they were there and everything, but I sort of glossed over them because I had never gotten around to taking the time to study them. I was like "Yeah, we got those Two Witnesses in there somewhere, that's cool…" But now that I have put in the effort to study them to some degree, a couple of things occur to me.

One thing that strikes me is another one of those sparkling little gems that's just been lying there right in front of my face my entire life, but I never managed to put two and two together.

Consider: Many students of the Bible (this writer included) understand that the seal judgments of Revelation 6 are released in the first half of the Tribulation. We see the Antichrist-to-be prancing off on his white horse, going out conquering and to conquer in his effort to ultimately become the leader of a global government and accomplish his goal of establishing his 42-month kingdom (which begins at the midpoint of the Tribulation). We see the rider on the red horse, taking peace from the earth in the form of wars—wars that may very well eclipse those of the twentieth century.

Then we see the rider on the black horse, which represents famine and want, followed by the rider on the pale horse, which represents death from various causes—war, famine, "death," and wild animals.

Safe and effective...NOT: As I discuss in an article entitled "A Horse of a Most Peculiar Color," it strikes me that this peculiar reference to "death from death" could very well turn out to be a reference to the legions of people who are going to "die suddenly" in the next few years due to the effects of the "safe and effective" mRNA vaccines that are being malevolently pushed on the world by clueless, corrupt government officials, an obedient media lapdog, and wickedly greedy pharmaceutical companies that have collectively reduced themselves to little more than Satan's gofers.

Be that as it may, however, I had long been under the impression that all the famines, pestilences, and ultimately the deaths that characterize the third and fourth seal judgments were the result of the actions of men. Actually, I saw this as applying to all of the first five seal judgments, since it appeared to me that we don't really see the first good old fashioned wrath o' God stuff until the astronomical activity of the sixth seal.

Well, maybe...maybe not. Think about it: As we have discussed in this article, we also have the Two Witnesses ministering during the first half of the Tribulation—in other words, their ministry is occurring contemporaneously with the seal judgments. We see that they will possess the power to withhold the rain and turn water into blood in whatever region they desire for as long as they desire, and also call down on whatever region they choose whatever types of plagues they see fit. In other words, withholding the rain and turning water into blood are just two examples that happen to be mentioned. They will call down all manner of plagues on various regions in a manner similar to what Moses did in Egypt, where he called down a total of 10 different crippling plagues on Pharaoh and his people.

Scripture is also clear that the Two Witnesses will call down these plagues enough times and on enough places and for long enough periods of time that they will torment the entire world—so much so that the world will burst into joyous celebration when their new superhero the Antichrist kills them. Here's what I'm getting at, if you haven't already guessed:

It is not only possible, but quite likely

that the ministry of the Two Witnesses

will constitute a significant contribution

to the third and fourth seal judgments.

Would withholding the rain and turning water into blood contribute to famine, pestilence and death? You bet it would.

It makes perfect sense to see the ministry of the Two Witnesses—who will be empowered by God through the Holy Spirit—as an integral part of the seal judgments, because that way when people cry out during the sixth seal that "the great day of His wrath has come," they won't be saying that just because of the astronomical activity of the sixth seal (as I previously supposed)—they will also be saying that because they have been listening to the scathing testimony of God's Two Witnesses and have been watching them call down one plague after another on an unrepentant world for the last several years. In other words:

The Holy Spirit-empowered ministry of the

Two Witnesses during the seal judgments

will make it crystal clear that the judgments

falling on man are from the hand of God.

Which, when you get right down to it, is pretty much the entire point. Please note with care, however, one wholly unexpected facet of this sparkling little gem that occurred to me:

Whose wrath is it? This gives a swift (and much needed) kick in the pants to the notion that God's wrath doesn't begin until much later in the Tribulation. The notion that the world first experiences the wrath of man, the wrath of Satan, the wrath of the Antichrist, the wrath of the Boogieman, or whatever until we finally get around to God's wrath relatively late in the Tribulation is pushed by some to support errant views of the timing of the Rapture, especially by proponents of the pre-wrath Rapture.

Bottom line: This point tends to confirm the fact that it's all God's wrath, from the first seal to the last bowl.

Another thing that struck me as I worked on this article, however, isn't really anything new at all. It's not some sparkling little gem I uncovered that I had never noticed before. As a matter of fact...

It's something I've been keenly aware of ever since the day I humbled my heart before God and received in faith His free gift of salvation.

And it is simply this:

We serve a loving God, whose

grace and mercy abound far

beyond anything we can imagine.

Many people read the book of Revelation and are overwhelmed by all the death, destruction, and outpouring of judgment they see.

And that's all they see.

What they all too frequently miss is the fact that during this period known as the Tribulation that we read about in the book of Revelation, God is doing everything in His power to extend grace and mercy to His hardened, stiff-necked people Israel and a fallen, sinful world until His final judgment must finally fall.

And fall it will.

During the first half of the Tribulation, before God releases His most intense round of judgment following the sounding of the seventh and final trumpet, He has been using His 144,000 Jewish evangelists and His Two Witnesses to get through to Israel and a fallen world with both His warning of impending judgment and His message of redemption from sin through the shed blood of His precious Son, the Messiah—the Savior. Up to this final, critical juncture—this point of no return, so to speak...

God is doing everything He possibly can

to convey to the world the message of

the greatest single act of love, mercy,

and grace in the history of the universe.

And even born-again believers—and I've been as guilty of this as anyone else—can get so caught up in the death, destruction, and judgment that pervades the book of Revelation that we sometimes overlook this magnificent, overwhelming truth in the apostle John's Apocalypse.

The book of Revelation caps off the greatest love story ever told, and that is the story of the amazing, self-sacrificial love God has for each and every one of us and the gift of salvation that He offers through the shed blood of His Son to all those who believe in faith and receive it.

And while He offers that gift freely, it's up to us to humble our hearts before God, believe in faith, and receive it.

Or not.

Trust me—receiving is better.




Post A Comment

65 comments:

  1. Great commentary on this subject. I've never considered too closely the "when" portion of the 2 witnesses, so that was new and interesting information. As to the "who" part, I've heard several arguments for different historical pairings, and had already concluded, as the author of this article did here, that they were probably not any historical figures (although if we're wrong, it won't break my heart). Unknown figures with power and similarities to Elijah and Moses seemed most reasonable to me.

    Anyway, I appreciated and enjoyed this teaching!

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  2. Shortly after the two witnesses are raised in 11:12, the seventh trumpet sounds in 11:15. This happens on the Feast of Trumpets at the end of the seventh year, at that point, "the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ." The bowl judgments follow during the Days of Awe. It seems likely that the earthquake that occurs when the witnesses are raised will destroy the third Temple, so it would come on Tisha B'Av. Backing up 1264 days puts the beginning of their ministry on Purim.
    Throughout the Bible, we see how God witnesses to the world. In Old Testament days, He spoke through prophets. His witness right now is the Church. The Church is removed at the Rapture and the 144,000 become God's witness during the tribulation. They are likely martyred by the midpoint, at which time the two witnesses fill the role. After their death, God witnesses through an angel in 14:6 until Christ's return.

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    1. Hi Harry, here is a different point to consider: Most scholars recognize that chapters 10:1-11:13 are a parenthesis. That is, that section is on a different topic, squeezed in between the 6th and 7th trumpets, but not necessarily related to them or in the order/timing of those trumpets. In Rev 11:14 it says the 'second woe is past'. This is not to do with the witnesses or the earthquake that just occurred in the previous verse but jumps right back to the 6th trumpet in Rev 9:13-21. So being a separate topic the two witnesses don't have to be at the same time as the 6th or 7th trumpet blast. It is a debated topic with good Bible teachers on both sides but personally I believe they fit a lot better in the first half of the trib and wrote about this a few years back if interested:

      https://jesusplusnothing.com/series/post/who-two-witnesses-revelation-11-when-minister

      God Bless! : )

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  3. Thank you for following the lead of the Spirit by putting this together, Greg! Your various interactions with the Spirit of God make me laugh...in a GOOD way...a recognizable way! I feel like He says similar things to me, especially when pursuing a new topic and/or uncharted territory in Scripture: "Heads up, hoss...new assignment" (lol).

    Also, as I was reading through the section on Rev. 11:4 and the tie-in to the Church, the seven lampstands (Rev. 1:20), it struck me that John first sees Jesus "in the midst" of the seven lampstands in Rev. 1:13, and then he sees Him walking "in the midst" of the seven lampstands in Rev. 2:1. But once John is caught up to heaven in 4:1 ("Come up here!"), his metaphors change, and he then sees Jesus as the "Lamb" who is standing "in the midst" of the elders in Rev. 5:6!

    Same referents in each instance (Christ and His Body), just different figures and different scenery in 5:6. Jesus goes from walking on earth among the seven lampstands to standing among the same group (now referred to as elders) in heaven!

    The key phrase linking Jesus and His Body in these texts, and others such as Hebrews 2:12, is en meso ("in the midst"). See the usage of Strong's Greek #3319 in the NT.

    And soon, and very soon, the seven lampstands will be taken ek meso "out of the midst" of the world (2 Thess. 2:7)!

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    1. Good point. Your comment concerning Jesus in Revelation 5 reminds me of another tidbit I once noticed, and I wrote about it back in 2015. Consider:

      Q. Where is Jesus right now?
      A. He is sitting at the right hand of the Father.
      Q. What is He doing?
      A. He is interceding for us at the throne of His Father.
      Q. Why is He doing that?
      A. He is our High Priest, who ever lives to make intercession for us.
      Q. Why does He have to do that?
      A. Because the Church--His body--is still on earth, saddled with a sin nature and we still sin.
      Q. So...how long does Jesus have to keep up with this intercession thing?
      A. As long as any members of His Church are still on earth and still sinning.
      Q. So how can Jesus be STANDING in Revelation chapter 5?
      A. Uhhh...

      For more, go here:

      https://www.alittlestrength.com/articles/2015/1505-gang.htm#kp

      Greg L.

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    2. Question on this sitting/standing thing: In Acts, why did Stephen say he saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God, when this was during the Church Age when Jesus was seated at the right hand of the Father?

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  4. Wow! Mr. Lauer this article is both timely and 'breathtaking' . Timely, because I feel that the Rapture could be imminent ; I am so much more composed and at peace when I better understand the situation . Like you, how the Two Witnesses may be directly linked to specific parts of the first half of the Trib. makes such logical sense. Thank you for so thoroughly sharing your research. Grace, Blessings and Peace be to you .

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  5. Thank all of you for your kind remarks. I just want to make one general comment after posting an article like this—the type of article that is certain to stir up lots of opinions and viewpoints.

    Which is a good thing.

    I generally respect the opinions of other believers about how things play out during the Tribulation, since I certainly don't claim to have all the answers. None of us do.

    For a topic such as this, however, you will forgive me if I politely refrain from responding to the alternate viewpoints of others and methodically clawing out the bits I happen to disagree with, as I am genetically inclined to do in a fairly mechanical manner. I was born with the *IKIA gene, and sadly it can flare up on occasion, numb my sensitivities, and cause purely unintended offense. I have no wish to start down any trails that can all too easily lead to that.

    So by all means, feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on the subject of the Two Witnesses and other aspects of the book of Revelation, especially thoughts that are at variance with what I have written. And do so with no fear of me (and hopefully no one else) methodically clawing out the bits they happen to disagree with. After all, my views are already out there.

    God told us how He wants us to carry on: Studying to show ourselves approved, workmen who need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth. And hammering out alternate opinions of controversial points is a natural part of that. That's how we learn and grow in His Word.

    In Christ,
    Greg L.

    *the Insufferable Know-It-All gene

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  6. "Substance and Shadow"

    You know, one only needs a basic understanding of how God uses the principle of
    "Substance and Shadow", to see how He reveals to us, that the Feasts of the Jews, fulfilled in Christ, become the Promises He makes to the Church.

    To the Jews, the Feast of Pentecost was a time of New Offering. It was established by God, at a “set time”. Pentecost was set 50 days after The Feast of Firstfruits.

    At this time of year, the Harvest season, the barley had been harvested, and unlike the previous Feasts of Firstfruits, where the ritual was to wave a sheaf of not yet fully grown wheat before God in the Temples Holy of Holies, symbolizing a promise to God of the full harvest yet to come, but the ritual at Pentecost symbolized completion, as the New offering to be made to God, was a finished product of the harvest like a loaf of bread or oil.

    Pentecost was celebrated by the Jews, in that way, year after year, on the designated day, ever since the law was given to them by God.

    So, God’s word, that He gave to the Jews in the form of a Feast day, is casting a shadow into the future. And from their perspective, that shadow is a “New Offering” made 50 days after the Feast of Firstfruits.

    Viewing it from the Christian perspective, the shadow casts by the Feast of Pentecost, is a time set, 50 days after the resurrection of Christ for a new offering to be made. An offering of the Finished Product, with Christ as the substance.

    This shadow is fulfilled in Acts, chapter 2 of the New Testament. It is the explanation of how God used that set time, the Feast of Pentecost, to “seal” the Apostles of Christ with the promised Holy Spirit, who then went forth with the New Offering, the finished product, which was Jesus (the substance), who had been completed by his crucifixion, resurrection and ascension, as the promised Messiah.

    So, if God has a need to “seal” a group of people again in the future, who will preach Christ as a new offering, He will undoubtedly use his already “set time” of Pentecost to fulfill His need.

    God, in Revelations, chapter 7 at verses 3 through 8 tells us of another time, in the future, that He will have a need to mark, or seal a group of people. The word says that 12,000 people out of each of the tribes of Israel, 144,000 in all, will be marked, or sealed for the purpose of bringing a new offering, concerning the Messiah, to the multitude left on the earth at that time.

    Pentecost becomes the pivotal feast where the shadow cast was of Jesus being offered in Jerusalem to the Jews as their Messiah for the first time by the newly anointed Apostles. Just as the last two witnesses will be christened on that day by the Holy Spirit at the appointed time to continue God's march to the conclusion of His covenant with the Jews and the rest of the house of Israel.

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    1. Okay, I was thinking, as I read your comment "Oh, what an interest connection between the sealing of Church Age believers and the 144,000 witnesses. I wonder if they might end up sealed on Pentecost Anniversary." And then you completely blindsided me by not mentioning the 144k and somehow trying to connect Pentecost with the 2 witnesses instead, which seems like they have zero connection at all. No "sealing" or anything else mentioned in the Bible. So...yeah. Any connection with the 2 witnesses is a huge stretch.

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    2. Hi sherrill777

      The Feast of Pentecost is the set time for new offerings of completed things!

      And it will be on that day that God returns the Feasts to the Jews. As Pentecost will be used yet again by God, sealing or marking the Last Two witnesses and then later, the 144,000 of the tribes of Israel, destined to becoming preachers of the gospel of the kingdom, and on that day of Pentecost, they will go forth with the new offering of Jesus as The Messiah, pointing out that the earthly deliverer that the Jews have crowned, is a false Messiah, as God returns his attention to completing the covenant he made with them, having already ended the covenant made with the Church.

      Then the stage is set for Christ to fulfill the last three Feasts for the Jews! Trumpets - Atonement - & Tabernacles, which are, the harvest of the Jews, the affliction of their soul during the Great tribulation, and the time of their kingdom, here on earth, under the Messiah and His redeemed.

      Why are they for the Jews, and not for the Church? Because God harvests the Church under a separate covenant. The Church has nothing to atone for, Christ paid the price, that's why the Church belongs to Him, and during the millennium, all the saints, Old and New Testament and the saved Jews, returns to be the rulers and reigner's of revelations, in the capacity described in Hosea - as kings and priests of the Lord.

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    3. Here is a shorter version:

      1. Many of The Dead in Christ will rise on First Fruits and be seen in Jerusalem.

      2. The Rapture of the Church is in fulfillment of the shadow cast by Jesus at His ascension, 40 days after First Fruits.

      3. Pentecost is when God anoints the last two witnesses and returns the Feasts back to the Jews for the fulfillment of the final offering of the Gospel of the Kingdom.

      4. The completion of the Jewish covenant with the fulfillment of the Feasts of Trumpets, Atonement and Tabernacles by Jesus, the Messiah after the Rapture of the Church.

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  8. Concerning the antichrist, I do not any longer believe that he will be a regular man, a man that people will look at and think oh another overweight rich man in a suit. He will likely be someone akin to old word Nimrod, someone possibly genetically modified, a clone of Gilgamesh/Nimrod imbued with antichrist spirit. A Nephilim, 6 fingered and toed giant. These are the offspring of the Serpent, who most likely with the ambition of Nimrod will again unite the world under himself and glorify himself as god and as above all gods. Just food for thought. So much new information is coming out about the Nimrod and Nephilim and covert things governments are doing and have done since September 11, 2001. Extremely interesting, imho.

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  9. Hi Greg, (aka, IKIA),

    A critical topic for the day we live in!

    I've been living in the Revelation lately building models and have recently had a split from the conventional wisdom of the crowd in my understanding and belief concerning the who's who of the seals and where we are in relation to their opening.

    Here's a basic rundown,

    1. I no longer believe the white horse rider is the AC
    2. I believe the first five seals have already been opened
    3. The Great Sign is shadowed in the fifth seal
    4. The Great Sign is seen in the sixth seal in conjunction with the sealing of the 144K
    5. The sixth seal begins with the harpazo and ends with the martyred saints complete which include,

    a) The second order of the resurrection of the righteous (dead in Christ)
    b) Satan and its lot cast to earth - winter figs blown by a gale
    c) Every mountain and island removed - the harpazo of Christ's at His coming
    d) The sealing of the 144K - perhaps beginning at the Great Sign
    e) The sixth seal begins with the Day of the Lord - Wrath of the Lamb
    f) The sixth seal ends with the complete number of martyred Tribulation Saints

    6. The seventh seal begins the 70th Week of Daniel - the hour of trial
    7. The seventh seal opens with silence in heaven for about a half hour (1,260 days)
    8. The seventh seal begins the ministry of the two witnesses
    9. The seventh seal begins the rise of the AC
    10. The seventh seal paves the way for the trumpet judgments

    I won't rehash the (Psalm 90:10) model that I've extensively discussed here but will add that Pentecost is a high watch time on the calendar for multiple reasons and that it is possible (per the model) that the 144K could be sealed on or by Pentecost this year.

    Again, the (Psalm 90:10) model suggests the arrival of the two witnesses and beginning of the 70th week on October 12, 2023.

    The day count model layout is thus,

    <---------- 1,260 ----------><30>AoD<---------- 1,260 ---------->Shabbat Shuba, 2030
    <------------- 1,290 -------------->AoD<--------------- 1,335 --------------->Hanukkah I, 2030

    So who do I believe the rider of the first horse is?

    The Spirit-filled Church of Christ sent out conquering and to conquer no later than the first Pentecost in 32 AD.

    I would agree that the two witnesses are humans coming in the spirit of Elijah and Moses. Elijah was taken alive by G-d and didn't die. Moses died and was rescued from Abraham's Bosom by Christ after His death on the cross. (Still scratching my head at how Moses was on the mount of transfiguration if he was still in Sheol but that's another rabbit hole!) I don't discount that the witnesses may be THE Moses and Elijah but trend that they would be contemporary humans coming in the spirit of Moses and Elijah.

    I am on a mission to really nail down the timeline as I am convinced time is getting very, very short.

    Blessings!


    PR

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    2. ...and before anyone asks, "No!" I am not a mid-tribber. Still very much the pre-tribulation, dispensationalist that I've ever been. The hour of trial (70th week) that is coming on the inhabitants of the earth is split in two by the AoD. That is the mid-point of the 70th week in the model and per Scripture. This is when Daniel was told that the daily sacrifice would be ceased and seen at the end of the 1,290 days.

      The two witnesses are resurrected at day 1,260 per the model and Scripture.

      *IF* true we would be gone anywhere from my next key stroke to just before the arrival of the two witnesses (who arrive in time to mark the beginning of Torah reading at Parashah Beresheet on Saturday, October 14, 2023). A day which also happens to be the day an annular solar eclipse will divide North America and South America in two.

      Hmmm...

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    3. PR,

      I am intrigued by the idea that the seals are already opening. And these last two days, I have been trying to reconcile this next 7-year Shemita cycle that everyone is talking about with other curiously-timed events.

      For example, January 2020 reveals a new pale horse, in the form of a designer covid strain . . . and at the same time, the Deal of the Century is presented to the world, still yet to be fully confirmed. The possibilities are endless, but I can't help but notice that this summer will be 3.5 years after those events. Or that next year represents 7 years from the Rev 12 sign. To say nothing of next year's total solar eclipse, etc.

      I was speaking to a great Pre-Trib friend of mine quite literally hours ago about this very topic and couldn't help but smile to see what you wrote here. Referring back to my previous question for you: What time frame do you ascribe to the previous seals?

      Thanks,
      Jeremy

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    4. Hi Jeremy!

      What time frame do I ascribe to the previous seals?

      If to represent these as event lines I would characterized them as,

      1. White horse (first seal) - the earliest date being the giving of Great Commission to the latest date being the conception of the Church at Pentecost (Shavuot) both in 32 AD. The end of this event line will be the Rapture of the Church, the restrainer removed. My (Psalm 90:10) model suggests that as being in 2023 AD.

      2. Red/Black/Pale horse (second/third/fourth seals) - their release some time contemporary to the conception of the Church on Pentecost in 32 AD. The end of their event line would be at the latest when Death and Hades are cast into the lake that burns with fire. When all things are made subject to Christ and all His enemies placed beneath His feet.

      3. Martyred saints (fifth seal) - their event line begins after the resurrection of Christ and is composed of Church Age Saints. These are not the Tribulation Saints as we see them later in the sixth seal. These saints are unique in that they are servants of God who's brothers will be killed in the same way as they were. (Revelation 6:11) Clearly two groups are indicated here, one belongs to the Age of Grace and one to the 70th Week. The end of their event line comes when the last Tribulation Saint is killed in the Great Tribulation or last half of the 70th week (hour of trial). By my model that suggests between 2027 and 2030.

      I believe the next event will be the opening of the sixth seal. There are some who would disagree with that which is okay. But the pattern of order appears well established and the shadows of events in each seal do follow a logical pattern consistent with other patterns in Scripture.

      The event line of the sixth seal appears to begin with the Rapture and includes reference to the "angel ascending from the rising sun" - an echo it seems of the Great Sign. The Great Sign is itself a sign of completion or fullness. The fullness of a count or number. This is reinforced by the introduction of the 144K followed by the brothers of the Saints found under the altar in the fifth seal. But the sixth seal also introduces us to four angels standing at the four corners of the earth. They are restrained until the 144K are sealed. This brings to mind a question. Are these angels reflected in a heavenly sign as is the woman of the Great Sign? If so, are the four blood moons of the last tetrad representative of these four angels? If so, their event line may mark the opening of the sixth seal at Passover 2014 blood moon and no later than the advent of the Great Sign in 2017.

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    5. (Continued...)

      The Great Sign is not just a sign about the Rapture of the Church. It is a sign of fullness and completion. A count or numbering. Yes, a picture of birth, Christ and His Church, but more than that. It is a picture of the fullness of a number of Saints yet to come in. That fullness is seen through the seed of the woman. Those who are killed for their faith and the elect who are kept from the hour of trial in the wilderness until the Second Coming. That event line ends (at the latest and likely much earlier) on Shabbat Shuba, 2030 - the day before Yom Kippur, 2030.

      The trumpet judgments begin almost immediately after the seventh seal is opened. The bowl judgments begin after the AoD at the midpoint which is modeled on or about April 25, 2027. This date begins the Great Tribulation in the model and the 1,260 days for the remnant of Israel in the wilderness.

      NOTE: I am NOT dogmatic on these dates. They are suggested as part of a greater study of (Psalm 90:10) that pegs the birth of the last generation on May 14, 1948 and endures for 80 prophetic years (28,800 days). This generation is personified by the two witnesses who minister for 1,260 days beginning in October of this year to March 25, 2027 when they are resurrected by God and taken into heaven.

      These events (the two witnesses) are seen in the 11th chapter of Revelation because they are part of the prophecy shown to John. The little scroll in the hand of the mighty angel that John is told to eat is prophecy. Once John eats of it he begins to prophesy at which point we learn of the two witnesses and the woman travailing in birth. The Great Sign.

      This is why we see these events in the middle of Revelation. They are prophetic to the seals yet to come. Building the scroll model of these events made sense of it all for me. I hope to refine this model and offer it as download for study and teaching.

      Yes, I've been very busy and enjoying my quiet time (QT) with the LORD!

      I hope that answers your question, Jeremy!

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    6. Well I have to say I am very, very intrigued Pastor Rich. This is almost in exact alignment with my prior writings regarding the pre-trib 6th seal rapture. Awhile back I removed my main article speaking of this but I would love to know more about how you got here, if you're able or willing to share. <3 Blessings, brother!

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    7. Hi Hillary!

      Yes, willing and able to share.

      From the beginning of my study I have tried to lean on prayer and the Word. That's a DUH statement but it has led me away from relying on commentaries and more on the Spirit. That is my (QT) or quiet time.

      As such I have been asking questions. Asking is followed by watching, waiting and listening. Taking in the sum total of all that is shown over the years and putting it together. One of the questions was, "How did the elders get where and when they are?" Other questions came which bit by bit were getting answered.

      Building models has helped a lot too. Digging into the verses and paying attention to the little things that most of us gloss over. (Not a criticism but a simple fact). I'm guilty of it too!

      To quote MercyMe, "We're more than conquerors"

      We Win!

      How did I get there? I have been led by the Spirit.

      Pre-trib sixth seal Rapture is exactly what I see. The opening of the seventh seal begins the 70th week. The hour of the testing of the inhabitants of the earth.

      Has the sixth seal been opened? Maybe. It depends on how things align for the sealing of the 144K. (A process not yet complete if already started). Signs in the heavens are pointing the way!

      Can't wait until we're serving Kingdom Cake!!!

      Everyone is invited!!!!

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    8. I don't know about you PR but Iam going to be with the Lamb and the 24 Elders singing the song of the redeemed before the first seal is opened.

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    9. "Worthy are you to take the
      scroll and to open its seals,
      for you were slain, and by
      your blood you ransomed
      people for God from every
      tribe and language and
      people and nation,

      10 and you have made them
      a kingdom and priests to our
      God, and they shall reign
      on the earth."

      (Revelation 5:9-10 CSB)

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    10. Yeah PR... You've put the finger on that difference of interpretation between KJV and some other versions.

      It's an issue that has always troubled me.

      In the KJV its Us, We, and Our.

      While in others it is Those, They, and Them.

      It makes a huge difference in who the Elders are...

      [🦊 Foxman] Jack

      🚫 🍇

      ·····|\︵/|··
      ··╱É· É·╲··
      ··╲\▼/╱··

      Foxman on the Wall

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  10. BLOOD MOON TETRAD

    Looking back at the blood moon tetrad (Passover 2014, Tabernacles 2014, Passover 2015 and Tabernacles 2015 with a total solar eclipse on Spiritual New Year 2015); I am reminded of a coded Torah skip count sequence taught by Chuck Missler.

    Equidistant Letter Sequence in Torah

    Hmmm...

    Is it me or is the skip sequence pattern demonstrated by Chuck the same type of pattern seen in the tetrad?

    Blood Moon, Blood Moon, Solar Eclipse, Blood Moon, Blood Moon <----- Celestial sequence
    Pesach, Sukkot, Nissan 1, Pesach, Sukkot <----- The feast dates of the tetrad
    Torah, Torah, YHVH, haroT, haroT <----- The sequence shown by Chuck

    Hmmm...

    A shadow of the four angels standing at the four corners of the earth? (Revelation 7:1), (Revelation 9:13-14)

    More study and prayer required...

    PR



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    1. Last night I was reminded of the dream of Joseph from (Genesis 37). His vision of the sun and moon (father and mother) both embodied and personified in God. Sun and moon eclipsed are an expression of this idea and a total solar eclipse is the only way you can see the Sun directly (if even for a moment). It's like that for us and God.

      The lunar tetrad discussed (above) has a total solar eclipse in the middle of the series. As though the angels (messengers) arrayed around the Sun. Standing before the Sun. The angels commanded by the Sun. Many shadows from Scripture suggested here. But the one the really caught my attention was the date of the TSE,

      Shabbat, March 21, 2015

      This is the FIRST DAY of the Spiritual New Year! New Year's Day as it were. First day of the year. First above all. Above all other days,

      1 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron
      in the land of Egypt:

      2 "This month is to be the beginning
      of months for you; it is the first month
      of your year.

      (Exodus 12:1-2 CSB)


      Bookend that with the Greatest Commandment,

      "Love the LORD your God
      with all your hear, with all
      your soul, and with all your
      strength."

      (Deuteronomy 6:5 CSB)


      In other words, Put God First (#PGF).

      GOD is light! How many expressions of light do we see in Scripture regarding God? The Word of God is a light and the lights in the heavens declare His Glory. A testimony that will never be altered by the enemy. God hung the stars in the skies. He named them all and knows they all by name just as He knows you.

      PGF and keep Him there.

      Always.

      PR





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    2. Please forgive me if I'm almost speaking in parables. What I've shared are things that are forming. Still coming together in my head and heart.

      Delete
  11. Agree with your comment above Gregg. What is shared here is basically what Stan @ the 11:11 sign has been saying for many months. But placing the rapture @ the 6th seal and saying that the previous seals have already been opened during the church age leads to more issues than it solves. Better off sticking to the order for Revelation stated in Rev 1:19 imo. Always good to discuss and friendly debate these things though : )

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    1. Thanks for that elgordo, it means a lot!

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    2. I'm all ears. Please elaborate on what issues you see in the rapture being in the sixth seal? I honestly think it's a topic that should be talked about.

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  12. J. D. Farag's Prophecy Update was on my watch list and boy did the title catch my eye--
    "Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop"--because of the 2 OPEN VISIONS the Lord gave me. Anyway, let me know what you all think--

    IS THIS THE 2ND SHOE THAT IS TO DROP?

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  13. Hi PR,

    Thanks for asking why I see some issues with the seals already being opened, and with the rapture being at the 6th seal. Let me start by stating that I understand that you (and others) may see things differently and that is fine. I have no intention to be argumentative. We are all trying the understand Revelation and rightly divide His word right!?! This is obviously not a salvation issue and how you have explained it, it isn't even a 'is the rapture pre-trib?' issue. It is just a discussion about making the most sense of God's prophetic puzzle that is Revelation.

    That said, here are a few points as to why I personally won't be boarding the 'rapture at the 6th seal' bus... Seeing we are dealing with Revelation we'll go with 7 points. And, well, cos at the time of writing I'm not sure that I've got an 8th! : )

    TBC...

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  14. ...continued... (why I don't see the seals as open yet or the 6th seal as the rapture)

    1. The God given outline/order for Revelation is in Rev 1:19 where John is told to write the past, present and future things. The present things, 'the things which are', speak of the 7 churches representing the church age. The future things, that which take place 'after these' ('meta tauta') starts in Rev 4:1 where this phrase 'meta tauta' is used twice in the one verse to make it clear this starts the future things. In other words the future events, after the church age, start in Rev 4:1, not in Rev 6:12 or thereabouts.

    2. In connection to point 1, Rev 4:1 is a far greater pointer to the rapture than the 6th seal. The imagery used in Rev 4:1 has an open door to heaven (which only opens twice in Revelation, here and when Jesus returns in Rev 19:11), a trumpet sound, a command given by Jesus to 'come up here' and an instant translation of John immediately into Heaven before the throne. This is a type of the rapture at the end of the church age before the 'future things' begin. John was called to ‘come up here’ to see the things that take place ‘after this’ and so will the church. In comparison, the 6th seal doesn't have the key signs of the rapture that we would expect. There is no trumpet, no shout or command, no coming of the Lord mentioned or any sign of believers getting caught up into heaven at the 6th seal.

    3. If the seals have been opened already and the rider on the white horse is the church right from Pentecost, when did they/we receive our 'stephanos' victors crown as this rider has? Believers in Christ do not receive their crowns until the judgement seat of Christ. Not before. Until then we run the race but it is not till the judgement seat, after the Lord returns, that we receive our rewards. Rev 22:12 Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.

    4. In connection to 3 above the elders are seen with their 'stephanos' victor’s crown. So Jesus has come by this point (because the crowns aren't given till He returns) which makes sense as the cross-over point to 'future things' is Rev 4:1, not the end of chapter 6. To say that the elders are Old Testament saints taken to heaven after the resurrection ignores the fact that everything seen in the elders (seated on thrones, dressed in white, crowns of gold etc) are promises in the letters given to the Church (Rev 3:21, Rev 3:4, Rev 2:10). It also ignores the fact that Old Testament saints are NOT made perfect without us (Heb 11:40) so will not be rewarded with their crowns yet.

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  15. ...continued...

    5. If the seals with the 4 horsemen have already been opened during the Church age then you have Jesus opening these seals and bringing forth judgements that include the death of 1/4 of the earth's population… during the age of grace! (Rev 6:8) It just doesn't make sense. Not only can we not point to when the seals have been opened in history (ie when did 1/4 of the earth’s population die?), but this is still the age of grace, not the day of vengeance and judgement.

    6. Many Bible scholars have noted the connection (in order even) between the seals and the events leading up to the second coming as stated by Jesus in Matt 24. For example, speaking of the signs of His coming Jesus said there would be false Christs (1st seal, rider on white horse), wars and rumours of wars (2nd seal, war, peace taken from earth), famine, plagues and earthquakes (3rd seal famine, 4th seal death), martyrdom (5th seal martyrs), then later after the tribulation the heavenly signs announcing His coming (6th seal heavenly signs). These signs are end time birth pains and tribulation signs, as are the seals, not general things that happen throughout the 2000 year church age.

    7. Finally, in connection to 6 and the mention of the 6th seal, let me go out on a wee limb and say that I believe the 6th seal is AT THE END of the tribulation, not the start as you have it. Jesus spoke of these exact signs in Matt 24:29 as AFTER the tribulation and linked it with His second coming (Matt 24:30) when all the nations see Him. Isaiah also spoke of this event (6th seal) when the heavens will be rolled up as a scroll (Isa 34:4) and linked it with the Lord’s destruction of the earth’s armies (Isa 34:2-3) and the great sacrifice even in Bozrah. This is when/where the Lord returns to at His 2nd coming to destroy those that try to kill the remnant of Israel hiding there (Isa 63:1-6). This is all second coming in glory stuff! And Isaiah places the 6th seal at this event at the end of the tribulation. As did Jesus Himself.

    I realise this last point differs from the more traditional view that the seals lead on into the trumpets. I believe that the seals give an overview of the entire tribulation period leading right to the end. I have written a little about this here if interested: https://jesusplusnothing.com/series/post/chronology-of-revelation

    Apologies for the length. Trust it is understandable even if you see otherwise. God Bless! : )

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    1. Thank you for that, elgordo! Thank you for the link to your article too. A wonderful website I might say too. Not too long a response at all and plenty of counter-point to consider - all appreciated. Will be digging into all of it as this is important to the times!

      Question: Have you attempted to build a model of the scroll based upon your event line?

      Blessings

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    2. Hey PR - thanks for the comment about the JPN website. Very much a LABOR of LOVE with equal emphasis on both aspects! And no, I don't do modeling or dating of future events. Happy to just watch and be ready each day. But sounds like a good challenge for you though... you're Mr Model! Come up with a model that has three event lines with the last seal, trumpet and bowl ending on the same day - the day of His return. Add that to your long 'things to do' list! : )

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  16. SOME NOTES ON THE STRUCTURE OF THE SCROLL

    While we're on the topic of the scroll I thought it good to create a space for notes on the topic. To start it off here are basic observations on the structural facts we have of the scroll and the contents thereof...

    1. The scroll is "a scroll" (single scroll) and it is double-sided being "written within and on the back". (Revelation 5:1) The interior of the scroll is hidden within under the face which covers the interior of the scroll that is sealed from the outside.

    2. The scroll has structure. Seven, seven, seven distributed front and back on the scroll. My model of the scroll is based on seven sequential seals that open that which is written within (the front face that is exposed once the seven seals are broken); and written on the back which requires a turning of the document (page) to reveal that which is written there.

    a) Seven seals encapsulate that which is written within and on the back
    b) Seven trumpets encapsulate that which is written within on the front
    c) Seven bowls encapsulate that which is written on the back

    3. The scroll is sealed with seven seals that only Jesus can open. None other are worthy. Only the Lamb of God is qualified as kinsman redeemer. He not only can open the seals He desires to open the seals. (Refer to Book of Ruth for more on the topic!)

    4. The scroll is in His right hand. The right side of anything in Jewish thought is the side of mercy, forbearance and forgiveness. The left side is the side of strict judgment.

    This is the underlying structure of the scroll in the right-hand of the Lamb. Three parts distributed across two surfaces each according to their own kind. (Trumpets and bowls). A shadow of a great many things perhaps!

    I will add more here as the opportunity arises. Please join in anyone with Scriptural observations.

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    1. A Pin-point

      The fifth seal is marked by martyred saints. Who are these and when do they come from?

      9 When he opened the fifth seal,
      I saw under the altar the souls
      of those who had been slaughtered
      because of the word of God and
      the testimony they had given.

      (Revelation 6:9 CSB)


      These are clearly Christian souls. Those who had been subjected to persecution and killed for their faith. If they are from the Great Tribulation as seen of those in the sixth seal they would be in the right place for the Day of the Lord which would come at the sixth seal. However, if they are not of the Great Tribulation then they are in the right place for a sixth seal resurrection. How can we know the difference? Age of Grace v Great Tribulation?

      I believe the key is in the term they should wait while "the number would be completed of their fellow servants and their brothers and sisters, who were going to be killed just as they had been." Keywords, "fellow servants AND their brothers and sisters". Two distinct groups,

      1. Fellow servants (denoting one era)
      2. Their brothers and sisters (denoting another era - similar but different)

      Both groups look alike and share many similarities with the difference begin the age they come from. They are born of a different generation. Brothers and sisters not the same servants of God being the Church.

      By the time we see those who are added from the Great Tribulation their number is complete and the plan to the end is revealed. Another shadow of the woman who travails in birth pains. The fullness of the number of saints coming in. A completion of the Gentile body to be born with the later coming from the Great Tribulation. We see them in celebration as their deeds and works follow them. They washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb. (Revelation 7:14)

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    2. Another Pin-point,

      (Revelation 6:1) informs us,

      1 Now I watched when the Lamb
      opened one of the seven seals,
      and I heard *one* of the four living
      creatures say with a loud voice
      like thunder, "Come!"

      [ Emphasis mine ]

      NOTE: It was "one" of the seven seals that was opened not the "first" in line of a count of seven. One, IMHO, imparts there were multiple seals not a single seal by itself. (A single seal would have been the first seal. Instead, we see "one" of the seals begin opened). Again, I think this detail makes a very strong case that these seals are arrayed as such that they have to be opened before that which is written within can be revealed.

      The first seal broken was one of the seals available to be broken.


      Delete
    3. (Revelation 1:19)

      19 Write therefore the things
      that you have seen, those that
      are and those that are to take
      place after this.

      I'm going to *try* to break this down...

      Things you have seen

      The things seen and the things that are: The One, the Lamb, the throne, the lampstands, the angels, the elders, the sea of glass, etc... These are the things John has seen. Things of God have not and will not change. Things of the angels, elders and martyred saints do change. They came to a place as created beings where there was no change.

      The things that will be: This is prophecy. An excellent example of this comes from the little scroll in the hand of the mighty angel. (Revelation 10:1-2) Once John ate of the scroll he saw the wonderful things to come that settled bitter in his stomach at the price they would come at. (The shear loss in human terms and eternal consequence).

      I concur that the seals are an overview of all that is to come from John's temporal perspective in the first century. At that point the first fruits of the first order of the resurrection of the righteous had already taken place. The elders were able to be seeded (as it were) by OT and early NT saints. Future to that witness is the 144K and Tribulation Saints who come out of the Great Tribulation. Thus the sixth seal is akin to a puzzle piece that has part of a picture on it (incomplete as it is) and spans from the Day of the Lord (Wrath of the Lamb) to when the number of the martyred saints is complete near (or at) the end of the Great Tribulation. (End of the 84 months being the second period of 42 months).

      (Revelation 4:1) certainly has Rapture language but how many times has a door been opened in heaven as such? The first was Enoch, second was Elijah and third was Jesus Himself. I guess you could argue that the taking of Elijah was contemporaneous to the taking of Enoch as there is no time in heaven. All instances exist in a singularity even though being generations apart in temporal terms. Still, I am not convinced that (Revelation 4:1) is *THE* Rapture as we have come to call it.

      Yes, I am suggesting that all that was seen by John was there before he arrived in verse one of chapter four. The elders had arrived just before him after their liberation from Sheol and the death of the first NT saints. (Stephen being one of them).




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    4. If we want to see John's arrival in heaven as *the* Rapture we should also be prepared that his arrival was *a* harpazo at least on par with that of the Apostle Paul. Enoch was taken. Elijah was taken. Jesus was taken. Paul was taken in a manner that may be similar to John. I have decided to gather the evidence at hand and put it to the test and so far am being led away from the standard model we often discuss here.

      Jesus opening of one of the seals (what we see as the first seal) may have been a real-time event. A point in temporal time when the proverbial starting gun fired and the race began. This is a point that deserves further study. It appears that all the first four (likely five) seals fall into that category. The remaining seals are future events.

      Given that Jesus opened "one" of the seals first and not the "first" seal I think we are given a MASSIVE hint that all of the seals were there and available to be broken in the same instance. All seven side-by-side and not in a sequence that would be exposed by breaking one and open the scroll further to expose another one. Thus all seven would have to be broken in order to expose that which was to come in the trumpets.

      Therefore the structure of the scroll (a single page written within and on the back) has seven seals that expose seven trumpet events (written within) which at their close turn the page to the (back) where the seven bowls of judgment are unleashed. Seven-seven-seven, title page, front and back. A neat and clean layout that makes sense and happens to be easy to model.

      These are my observations to this point and I am open to others. But I do not agree that (Revelation 4:1) has to be *the* Rapture. It certainly is the taking of John to witness all of these things and at least on par with that of Paul. I wouldn't say on par with Enoch as I am not aware he has returned from heaven. Elijah did return (in spirit) in the person of John the Baptist but I digress...

      Blessings, always!

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    5. I too tend to see the Seals as not part of the Tribulation, but rather started from Christ's Ascension to the right hand of the Father. At that time He took the Scroll and began to open the seals and is still in the process of such.

      This preserves for one thing, the Pre-Trib nature of the Resurrection and Rapture by redefining what is included in the Tribulation.

      Seal 1, I see as the Antichrist Spirit that was already at work at the time of the Apostles and the one spoke of both by Paul and by John.

      Seal 2 - War, Seal 3 - Famine and Hyperinflation, Seal 4 - Death and the Grave, as most will agree.

      I believe that we are at the 5th seal right now, and that the Martyrs are not Trib martyrs but all who have been martyred for Christ since Christ's ascension. They are not in a redeemed condition at this point at the throne, but rather are under the altar, and are told to wait a little longer for all their brethren.

      The thing about these seals is that they are not a one point it time event. The first for begin almost immediately and are consequences of each other in turn.

      They fit into the birth analogy and ultimately the birth pains at the end in travail just before the birth. Here I see Rev 12:1-2 as the warning and start of the travail period where all these seals begin to build in intensity and in shorter periods of time.

      As for Seal 6, there is a clue built into the text and in context also, that basically solidifies the fact that Judgment will commence shortly after Seal 6 and men on earth are quite aware of it (Rev 6:16-17).

      Seal 6 and Seal 7 have a particular relationship also, with the interlude of Chapter 7 between them. The three go together as a set. Seal 6 describing "below", Seal 7 describing "above". And between them Chapter 7 describing the sealing of the 144k, and the Great multitude, who are not from the Great Tribulation by the way, they came out of great tribulation, or better said, great trials. The addition of that one little word "the" throws everyone off.

      The phrase great tribulation there in chapter 7 isn't capitalized as a label for a defined time period as a noun, it is an adjective describing their lives. It is only in our day that we have significance in the term "Great Tribulation" since we created that significance in the last 100 years or so in relation to prophecy.

      Seal 6 is the earthly manifestation of Seal 7's spiritual manifestation of the casting of the Golden Censer to earth by the angel. The two go together like the classic scenario of a boloid object hitting the earth. Think of a dual prophecy fulfillment of the "Rock not made of hands" of Daniel and the Image of man's empires being crushed by it at the ten toes. The golden censer even looks like a boloid object hitting the atmosphere at speed. The physical description in Seal 6 of what occurs fits completely:

      - Great global earthquake from the lithic compression waves with every island and mountain moved from it's place.
      - Sun as black as sackcloth and the moon turned red from particulates and smoke in the air.
      - Stars of the sky fell to earth like unripe figs, are the impact projecta returning to earth via gravity as tektites etc which have a natural melt shape like unripe figs.
      - The great wind fits as well with the thermal and pressure waves of an impact.
      - The sky receding like a scroll being rolled up is none other than the huge thermal plume rising up into the atmosphere, reminiscent of a nuclear blast cloud but so much larger.

      Putting these three together we see devastation on a global scale on earth, the arrival of a multitude of saints at the throne, and God's retribution on the world on account of those saints via the Golden Censer filled with much incense and their prayers.

      It is easy to see that Seal 6/7/C7 is the nexus point in the big change of dispensation going back to Israel. Why else are the 144k sealed here?

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    6. The seal judgements are part of the 7-year tribulation. The purpose of the judgements of Revelation are to both to turn Israel to the Messiah and punish an unbelieving world. They begin after the church departs. It is the time of Jacobs trouble, not trouble for the bride of Christ. The church was not appointed for the wrath of God. The rapture is our blessed hope.

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    7. The Seals are not about Israel. They are about all men and the wrath of men and it's consequences The Scroll is the will and title deed to earth and creation, and Christ is exercising repossession of its ownership.

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    8. The riders sitting upon the red, black, white and green horses are not the wrath of man but the wrath of God. A quarter of the earth's inhabitants die from these seal judgements (over 2 billion people) and no one is currently hiding in caves and crying for the rocks and caves to fall on them to put them out of their miseries. This prophecy is clearly yet future and occurs during the 7-year great tribulation.

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    9. So anyway Pastor Rich,

      Just wanted to say you are not alone in your thinking. ;)

      Not here for the "Fact Checking" dialog session by others.

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  17. In not digressing from the subject in question, I would like to add my penny's worth by commenting on Revelation 11. In a logical sequence that chapter is a COUNTDOWN from Daniel 9:24-27.
    We have the Time of the GENTILES (62 weeks of years) or 434yrs from the command issued by Sultan Suleiman in 1533 AD to rebuild the walls and streets of Jerusalem. The year 434years after the Command was June 7th 1967 (6/7/67) - [Man's creation day / God's rest day] so after the GENTILE occupation that ended on that day where Jerusalem was again FULLY under Jewish control, the Time of the gentiles was COMPLETED (Fulfilled)
    Luke 21:24. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the TIMES OF THE GENTILES be fulfilled.
    This is brought out with Rev.11 as the COURTYARD where you have GENTILE area (62Weeks of years) as you approach the TEMPLE Measurement of 7 weeks of years - being 7 Shemittah before the Jubilee.
    So Rev.11:2. But the court which is without the temple [62 Weeks] leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles [till 1967]: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty [and] two months.
    So, from 1967 PLUS 7 Shemittah [49 years] = 2016 after TEMPLE measurement.
    The HOLY City is the Chosen Elect (Mark 13:20. And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.) - This is the WOMAN/144k/that DWELL in heaven - Rev.13:6. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name [Yahuah], and his tabernacle [Yahusha/Jesus], and THEM THAT DWELL in heaven [144k].
    This happens at the Rapture AFTER that CITY [New Jerusalem] is first trodden down for 42 Months (notice as time measure has SMALLER increments in the 70 weeks of years in Dan.9:24-27. - 62weeks [434yrs], then 7 weeks [49yrs], then 42 MONTHS, then we get 1,260 DAYS of 2 Witnesses.
    As Daniel 9 suggests, this has to do with the JEWS [DANIEL'S People], So I conclude that from 2016 till 2023 which is the time the 144k and the 2 Witnesses {Bilits & that other "Prophet"} preach to the Jews, who you don't hear of lately.
    With the Covid time past we are approaching the time when Michael STANDS up.
    Dan.12:1. And at that time shall Michael [Yahusha/Jesus] stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a TIME OF TROUBLE, such as never was since there was a nation [even] to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
    I believe that Pope Francis will be the (Little horn of Dan.7:8), who is the 7th "King" of the Sovereign Country called "Vatican" from 1929 who CONTINUES a SHORT space (Rev.17:10) and will be the HEAD of the UNITED BEAST [UN], of Rev.13:2, and HE will CONTINUE - for Rev.13:5. And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to CONTINUE forty [and] two months {a short space}.
    {to Blaspheme is to FORGIVE our Sins, which only God / Yahuah can have authority to do.}
    The UNITED Beast has 10 HORNS (WTO), if which the FIRST Horn/beast is depicted as the Beast that has the DEADLY Wound as in REV. Chapt.18 [9/11] 2x Babylon - is fallen - under an hour was its judgement come. [READ the chapter - TRADE Center - Merchants cry in ships] afar off. {DUST gets on the bystanders - Rev.18:19}
    There is much more in the prophecy that HAS been fulfilled!
    This should be enough.
    Olaf

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  18. Thank you for your response, Pastor Rich.

    Jeremy

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  19. Always love reading your articles, Greg! I had a thought...pure speculation, of course. But remember when Moses struck the rock twice? And he was punished because God had not told him to strike the rock twice...only once, because Jesus would only die once. It would be interesting if Moses himself, if he is one of the two witnesses, would die a second time. Might not be anything...just occurred to me. Keep writing...I always look forward to your studies! Hope to meet you in the air soon. Blessings!

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    1. The things that have been *bugging* me are this, how is it that Moses is on the mount of transfiguration if he was in Abraham's Bosom at the time. My puny brain would expect him to be in Sheol at that time. Elijah was surely in heaven but not Moses. But that aside if the two witnesses *come* in the spirit of Moses and Elijah then it wouldn't matter if "Moses" died again because it is one who comes in the spirit of Moses and not Moses himself. Moses should be resting as Daniel awaiting resurrection in his time to stand in his appointed place. That would be at the end. (White Throne Judgment) Any living human who comes in the spirit of Moses and Elijah then could be the two witnesses. Elder Israelis perhaps?

      Hmmm...

      Delete
    2. PR

      "Moses should be resting as Daniel awaiting resurrection in his time to stand in his appointed place. That would be at the end. (White Throne Judgment)"

      I don't understand what you are try to say here with the "White Throne Judgment" in regard to Moses and Daniel.

      Delete
    3. Hi Gregg,

      Many consider the time of the resurrection of the OT saints to be ambiguous and not specified in Scripture. We know for sure that they will be raised no later than the White Throne Judgment. IMHO, they will indeed be standing in their appointed place by that time. I believe that (Ezekiel 37) spells out plainly when they will come to life and that the time of their resurrection will be at Christ's Second Coming - the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom.

      Blessings

      Delete
    4. PR
      I guess you are entitled to your opinion, I don't think its ambiguous at all and (Ezekiel 37)
      is not for what you think its for.

      Delete
  20. We read about elders during the church period after Acts 2. Elders are part of the NT church or body of believers. They can only be present in Heaven in Rev 4 and 5, if they had been raptured along with the rest of the bride or body of Christ. It is only the believers or bride that can sing in Rev 5......." Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood...."
    We go home right after Rev 3... that is my humble opinion.
    S.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Several times in the past, I have referenced the Strong's Concordance versions of Greek and Hebrew years on this forum.

    I would point out this year's entry, yet again.

    "2023" in the Strong's Greek . . . "to supply" . . . "I supply, provide (perhaps lavishly), furnish"

    I tend to see this as a message to the Church congregation. Those who shared an early association with the Greek New Testament, and those who are today waiting for the words, "Come up here." Those waiting for their new "furnishings" in a far, far better place.

    "2023" in the Strong's Hebrew . . . "two mountains in Palestine"

    Admittedly, I don't know conclusively what this means today, any more than I knew in the past. But my intuition leads me to believe that it must apply to the Jewish people, as it represents a Hebrew perspective. And that is why my previous guesses referred to a "two-state peace agreement" or "the imminent rise of the AntiChrist and False Prophet."

    I decided to post this tonight, after reading from Isaiah 1 and 2. Here, we see the Lord's perspective on Tribulation, Judgment, and even a mention of a "remnant." But I especially wanted to mention Isaiah 2:2 . . .

    "And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it."

    I feel Strongly, pun intended, that this is support for the idea that what we are about to see in 2023, indeed what we have been seeing, is a monumental ramping up to the coming third Temple and a conversation or clash of two mountains in Jerusalem. Given the Abraham Accords, and even events of this week, with China brokering deals between Iran and the Saudis, it becomes obvious that BIG things are happening between the "mountains and hills" where the Hebrews are concerned. A foundation is being laid on firmer ground, at least in the hearts of God's people.

    I know that it's often nothing more than evidential, and that we have to be very careful when we build those "mountains" of evidence . . . the arguments which we pose in defense of Biblical understanding . . . and especially those that we use to inform our future vision. But I find all of this informative, and thought that I would add one final link, which points to upcoming confrontation. A "rock hard" archaeological look at the previous two Temples, and the certainty that the Holy of Holies had sat exactly where the Muslim Dome of the Rock resides today.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgCOoQbK2CM

    There will be difficulty ahead for the Jewish nation, for sure, but Jerusalem is very close to seeing its power struggle come to an end, once and for all. How cool is that? Come, Lord Jesus!

    Jeremy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The ARK of the covenant is right where it is supposed to be and guarded by ANGELS

      Delete
  22. Revelation 17:12-13 (KJV):

    12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
    13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.

    I think that is very likely that the antichrist will come to power during the elections for the European Parliament in May 2024. And these 10 kings who will give their power to the beast, could very well be 10 Euro commissioners who will receiver power just after these elections.

    If this is true, the Rapture is indeed very near.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Revelation 17:12-13 (KJV):

    12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
    13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.

    I think that is very likely that the antichrist will come to power during the elections for the European Parliament in May 2024. And these 10 kings who will give their power to the beast, could very well be 10 Euro commissioners who will receiver power just after these elections.

    If this is true, the Rapture is indeed very near.

    ReplyDelete
  24. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uHx301MFiU "True Shemitah 7 Year Cycle Begins in March!! 11th Cycle! Daniel's 70th Week?! Nuclear Rapture!"

    Very coincidental with the new financial crisis which began with the collapse of the SVB bank and now the Credit Suisse bank is in big troubles. See also http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/the-dominoes-are-starting-to-fall-very-rapidly-now-could-these-banks-be-next/ "The Dominoes Are Starting To Fall Very Rapidly Now – Could These Banks Be Next?" and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11857489/Will-Credit-Suisse-Bank-admits-material-weaknesses-financial-reporting-controls.html "Will Credit Suisse be next to need bail out? Bank admits 'material weaknesses' in financial reporting controls as it battles to shore up $120billion in customer withdrawals following a string of scandals as shares sink to all-time low".

    ReplyDelete
  25. Pardon the unrelated comment, but a person can't help wondering about how events of the past few weeks in Israel could impact matters related to prophecy. It's just stunning. These are not small issues. A couple of weeks ago Netanyahu was a day late in making a scheduled overseas trip, due to trouble finding pilots who would agree to fly his plane. The kinds of people now getting involved in the unrest are not the kind of people who take such decisions lightly.

    You can easily imagine that all of Israel's enemies are paying close attention, and scheming. Below is a link to a related article in an Israeli newspaper.

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/2023-03-19/ty-article/.premium/reserve-pilots-refusal-edges-israel-to-point-of-no-return/00000186-f68d-df90-a19e-ffbf7e590000?fbclid=IwAR0cW-7BSMAQUocW8l6dQhkLjAs343I2OQryQ7AGXSG9I4cmrtusgh0ei9E

    ReplyDelete
  26. So do the two witnesses and the 144,000 repent and come to faith in Christ within days after the rapture of the church? Does the rapture immediately open their eyes to seeing Jesus as the Messiah?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It certainly appears so doesn't it? They are sealed (ordained) and set apart before the trumpet judgments come into full swing. That is before the angels at the four corners are released for war.

      Delete
  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete


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