Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Will the real "Two Witnesses" please stand up!

The Word for today:
Revelation 11:1-14
mark this: Revelation 11:3
And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days...
One of the great parlor games among Bible freaks (like yours truly) is to--
Who are they? That's the $64,000 question among my fellow Bible nerds. Some oft-mentioned possibilities from the pages of scripture include Enoch, Noah, Elijah, Moses, Steven, and John the Baptist.
Well, I know for fact who the Witnesses will be, so if you'll just send me $64,000 in a stamped, self-addressed envelope, I will provide you with the answer. (Or you can just read the rest of this article for free.)
I base my answer partly on the principal of rhyme, and partly on the principal of reason.
The Bible, you see, "rhymes" itself with its every other part. (Biblical rhyme is not a matter of matching sounds, but of matching thought or circumstances.)
Turning to the last chapter of the Old Testament, we see the Sun of Righteousness rising with healing in his wings. (We know that the Sun of Righteousness is a biblical metaphor for the Second Coming of Christ.)
Besides the Sun of Righteousness, only two other persons--Moses and Elijah--appear in that last O. T. chapter. In order, then, to fulfill biblical "rhyme," these two names must re-surface at the end of the New Testament, at the Second Coming of Christ.
Reason (which is far less reliable than rhyme!) also leads me to conclude that the witnesses must be Moses and Elijah:
Moses was Israel’s great leader and lawgiver who exercised God’s miraculous power to authenticate His message and destroy Israel’s spiritual enemies. There are many similarities between the plagues and judgments against Egypt (Exodus 7-11) and the future plagues and judgments of the two witnesses during the Tribulation.
Elijah was a vital leader to Israel during a critical time in the life of the nation. During his ministry, Elijah prayed that God would stop the rain for three and one-half years (1 Kings 17:1). This power over the rain corresponds to one of the supernatural signs of the two witnesses —- the power to shut up the sky so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying (Revelation 11:6), which will be a period of 1,260 days.
Finally -- and most convincingly, to me -- we recall that Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:2-3). Moses, representing the law, and Elijah, representing the prophets, appeared together to affirm Jesus’ claim as God’s Messiah.
It is likely that the Bible will be banned during the Great Tribulation. But should Moses and Elijah return, "the law and the prophets" (a phrase denoting scripture as a whole) will still be represented, not in paper form, but in the flesh -- similar, in a way, to Jesus' First Coming, when the Word became flesh and dwelt amongst us.)
The ultimate witness to Jesus is the Bible. It stands to reason that Moses and Elijah--representative of "the law and the prophets"-- would be sent to a Bible-banning world to maintain the testimony to Jesus, which is the entire purpose of scripture in the first place:
"For the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus."  (Revelation 19:10/NLT)

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