“Then I was given a measuring reed like a rod, with these words: “Go and measure God’s sanctuary and the altar, and count those who worship there. But exclude the courtyard outside the sanctuary. Don’t measure it, because it is given to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for 42 months. I will empower my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, dressed in sackcloth.” These are the two olive trees and the two lamp stands that stand before the Lord of the earth. If anyone wants to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and consumes their enemies; if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this way. These men have the power to close up the sky so that it does not rain during the days of their prophecy. They also have power over the waters to turn them into blood and to strike the earth with every plague whenever they want.” Revelation 11:1-6
Will you join me in prayerfully considering these verses?
When the temple is rebuilt in Jerusalem, two witnesses will stand at the altar of sacrifice and impact the world with their ministry of prophecy and their God-given power to stop the rain, turn water to blood, and to strike the earth with plaques. It is interesting to note why there will be ‘two’ witnesses. In the OT, the law required that facts or evidence must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. (Deut. 19:15). Facts and evidence? Indeed! They will establish evidence that Jesus is undeniably THE Messiah! All these things will be accomplished by the power of the Spirit.
So who are these two prophets? Some scholars surmise they are Moses and Elijah. Let’s consider these amazing fellows. First, Moses and Elijah were the only prophets who had the power to inflict plaques on earth and control the elements. They also were both taken up into heaven in peculiar ways. (Enoch also was taken up into heaven (Genesis 5:24) as Moses and Elijah but his impact on Israel and the Jewish people was not equivalent to that of Moses and Elijah.) Here are some anecdotal verses on these prophets:
† “No prophet has arisen again in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face. He was unparalleled for all the signs and wonders the Lord sent him to do against the land of Egypt — to Pharaoh, to all his officials, and to all his land, and for all the mighty acts of power and terrifying deeds that Moses performed in the sight of all Israel.” Deuteronomy 34:10-12
† Moses, at the Lord’s instruction, (Exodus 7-11) turned (1) the water to blood, brought (2) frogs, (3) gnats, (4) swarms of flies, (5) death of livestock, (6) boils on man and cattle. (7) hail, (8) locusts, (9) darkness, and (10) death of the first born.
† At Moses death, the Archangel Michael either (1) took Mose’s body into heaven or (2) buried him in the earth and then wrangled with the Devil over it!! (Jude 1:9) Can you imagine the scene!
† “Now Elijah the Tishbite, from the Gilead settlers, said to Ahab, “As the Lord God of Israel lives, I stand before Him, and there will be no dew or rain during these years except by my command!” 1Kings 17:1
† “As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire with horses of fire suddenly appeared and separated the two of them. Then Elijah went up into heaven in the whirlwind. As Elisha watched, he kept crying out, “My father, my father, the chariots and horsemen of Israel!” Then he never saw Elijah again.” 2 Kings 2:11-12 It is interesting to note that Elijah never died even though “it is appointed to men to die once” (Hebrews 9:27).
† Malachi has an interesting final statement at the conclusion of the book. The heading of this portion is A Final Warning. “Remember the instruction of Moses My servant, the statutes and ordinances I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel. Look, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome Day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers. Otherwise, I will come and strike the land with a curse.” The comment regarding, “turning the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers” is one of interest at a different level. Isn’t everything a matter of the heart? God desires the condition of our hearts to be pure and continually filled with His agape (love). Oh, that our hearts would not yield to our own desires but to His! Lord, we need the help of Your Spirit to accomplish this! Is this your hearts cry?
† “Elijah does come first and restores everything,” This is Jesus’ comment to Peter, James, and John after they witnessed His transfiguration with Moses and Elijah. (Mark 9:12)
† Remember the verse from last week? “Six days later Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up a high mountain to be alone. As the men watched, Jesus’ appearance was transformed . Then Elijah and Moses appeared and began talking with Jesus” (Mark 9:2,4) By the presence of Elijah and Moses with Jesus, they were testifying (witnessing) to the authenticity of Jesus’ credentials. Whoooo! Are you with me in saying. “Like He needs any??” DIVAs, this is another line of proof of His patience.
Revelation 11:1-6 first speaks of God’s sanctuary and the altar. His two witnesses will be in the temple speaking at the altar of sacrifice of the great atoning work of THE everlasting sacrifice of Jesus! God has a dramatic plan for Israel. By bringing Old Testament representatives Moses and Elijah to Israel to speak about the Messiah, whom they do not understand, is to me a demonstration of His overflowing compassion. His love is greater than our flesh can fully comprehend. Again, who of us can fathom his depths?
All of these demonstrations will be performed by the power of the Spirit! The temple WILL be rebuilt, His witnesses WILL come, and Israel WILL receive salvation and restoration! Well DIVAs, these past 15 weeks we have been reading/praying about a portion in the book of Revelation. I pray, if nothing else it has awakened you to the things that will come. Will we ourselves see these things play out before our very eyes? Only God knows. I do believe we should not EXPECT to be ‘raptured’ out of anything. No matter what the day brings, we should live out EACH one with a thankful heart that sings, “This is the day the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad in it!” Amen! Sweet things, He will call you up into the clouds when His timing says it is perfect, not ours. Meanwhile, He sits on His throne over all of our circumstances while His heart never stops bulging with love for us! Jesus faced some of his last hours in dread but was able to do it beautifully and not wreck His testimony in the process! We must do the same. Whether dealing with the issues of life or the days to come, our eyes must stay fixed on the Author and Perfecter of our faith and face this day and future days while keeping our testimony intact. How? Not by OUR power or might by HIS Spirt! GLORY!
In Revelation 11 we are informed that these two witnesses are finally killed by the beast and their bodies are left lying in the public square for all to see. No one buries them properly because in my opinion the beast desires for everyone to see that they are nothing more than dead, lifeless, meaningless bodies and that he now reigns. That is always his modus operandi – leaving people for dead and then gloating. But the story NEVER ends there! Remember, it will not be done by any might or power that is outside of the Spirit. After 3 1/2 days of disrespect, the breath of life from the Spirit of God enters the witnesses and they STAND ON THEIR FEET! Hallelujah! DIVAs, God always has the final say over EVERY situation! In the NT the witnesses lives on earth close with them being called up into heaven as they were in the OT. What an ending! All this while their enemies watched!
The Father loves you DEEPLY. Can you comprehend it?
In His grace,