Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
Who Will Be the "Brand" Plucked from the Fire?
In the book of Zechariah in the Old Testament, we read about Joshua the high priest exchanging his "filthy garments" for "rich robes" and a "clean turban." What significance does this action have? This same man is also referred to as "a brand plucked from the fire" -- an enigmatic and mysterious expression. What can it mean? The answer to these questions can be found in the last book of the New Testament -- the book of Revelation. Here keys can be found to unlock the identity of the future "Joshua" and his companion who will be instrumental in rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem and preparing the way for the return of YEHOVAH God the Father!
by John D. Keyser
In the book of Zechariah we read the following:
Then he showed me JOSHUA the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him. And the Lord said to Satan, "The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! IS THIS NOT A BRAND PLUCKED FROM THE FIRE?" Now Joshua was clothed with FILTHY GARMENTS, and was standing before the Angel. Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, "TAKE AWAY the filthy garments from him." And to him He said, "See, I have REMOVED YOUR INIQUITY from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes." And I said, "Let them put a CLEAN TURBAN on his head." So they put a clean turban on his head, and they put the clothes on him. And the Angel of the Lord stood by. -- Zechariah 3:1-5.
Who is this JOSHUA -- the "brand plucked from the fire"? Is he a TYPE of someone yet to come in our time today? To find the answer to these questions we must turn to the book of Revelation --
"And I will give POWER to my TWO WITNESSES, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in SACKCLOTH." These are the TWO OLIVE TREES and the TWO LAMPSTANDS standing before the God of the earth. And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. -- Revelation 11:3-5.
Although it is difficult to reveal the exact identity of the forthcoming "Two Witnesses," there is a great deal we can learn about them from the TYPES found in the Bible -- such as WHERE they will preach, WHAT their message will be, and TO WHOM it will be directed.
The book of Revelation (eleventh chapter) clearly shows that the Two Witnesses will be carrying out their work AT THE SAME TIME the "Beast" and the "False Prophet" will be in power. They will be a MODERN-DAY fulfillment of Moses and Aaron withstanding Satan's idolatrous system of religion that now grips this world.
The Two Witnesses will be CARBON-COPIES of Moses and Aaron who performed MIGHTY MIRACLES from YEHOVAH God in the sight of the pharaoh of the Exodus.
Even as this pharaoh was warned by Moses and Aaron of the catastrophic plagues that would strike the land if he would not allow the Israelites to leave -- so also will these two servants of YEHOVAH God. In Revelation 11:6 the apostle John writes of the supernatural powers these two men will possess:
These [the Two Witnesses] have power to shut heaven, so that NO RAIN FALLS in the days of their prophecy; and they have POWER over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire.
Two Olive Trees and Two Candlesticks
Why, in Revelation 11:4, are these Two Witnesses labeled as "TWO OLIVE TREES" and "TWO CANDLESTICKS" as well? What could these symbols possibly mean?
To find the answer we must turn to the first chapter of Revelation --
Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw SEVEN GOLDEN LAMPSTANDS, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. -- Revelation 1:12-13.
In this passage the apostle John saw a vision showing SEVEN GOLDEN LAMPSTANDS, and in the midst of them "One like the Son of Man." Revelation 1:20 explains WHAT the seven LAMPSTANDS represent:
The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the SEVEN GOLDEN LAMPSTANDS: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw ARE THE SEVEN CHURCHES.
This shows that YEHOVAH's Church would exist throughout the ages -- from the first century to the return of the Messiah in the very near future! Matthew 16:18 plainly says that the Church of YEHOVAH God would NEVER die.
The "One like the Son of Man" who sits in the midst of the lampstands is, of course, Yeshua the Messiah -- who is the invisible HEAD of his church (see Ephesians 5:23). Since the Messiah is the invisible head of the TRUE CHURCH, then Satan is the invisible head of the FALSE CHURCH! As Revelation 1:20 explains, the seven stars are angels (Greek "messengers") set over the seven churches.
Now we come to the heart of the matter: Since the "seven lampstands" represent YEHOVAH's seven churches, and because the "Two Witnesses" are pictured as two lampstands, then these two servants of YEHOVAH God must logically represent TWO OF THE SEVEN CHURCHES! They must SYMBOLICALLY represent two of YEHOVAH's churches extant at the time of the end! WHICH two churches could these be?
Zerubbabel and Joshua
Zechariah 4:1-3 reads --
Now the angel who talked with me came back and wakened me, as a man who is wakened out of his sleep. And he said to me, "What do you see?" So I said, "I am looking, and there is a LAMPSTAND of solid gold with a bowl on top of it, and on the stand seven lamps with seven pipes to the seven lamps. TWO OLIVE TREES are by it, one at the right of the bowl and the other at its left."
We can immediately recognize that John's prophecy of the Two Witnesses is clearly related to the prophecy of Zerubbabel and Joshua in the book of Zechariah in the Old Testament. Who were Zerubbabel and Joshua?
According to Smith's Bible Dictionary, Zerubbabel was "the head of the tribe of Judah at the time of the return from the Babylonish captivity in the first year of Cyrus." This dictionary goes on to state the following --
In the first year of Cyrus he was living at Babylon, and was the recognized PRINCE OF JUDAH in the captivity -- what in later times was called "the prince of the captivity," or "the prince." On the issuing of Cyrus' decree he IMMEDIATELY availed himself of it, and placed himself at the head of those of his countrymen "whose spirit GOD HAD RAISED to go up to build the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem." It is probable that he was in the king of Babylon's service, both from his having, like Daniel and the three children, received a Chaldee name, SHESHBAZZAR, and from the fact that he was appointed by the Persian king to the office of governor of Judea. On arriving at Jerusalem, Zerubbabel's GREAT WORK, which he set about immediately, was the REBUILDING OF THE TEMPLE. In the second month of the second year of the return, the foundation was laid with all the pomp which could be commanded.
At this point the Samaritans were successful in putting a stop to the work on the temple -- which lasted for the remaining seven years of Cyrus' reign and eight years of the reigns of Cambyses and Smerdis. Smith's Bible Dictionary goes on to say --
...during this long suspension of sixteen years Zerubbabel and the rest of the people had been busy in building costly homes for themselves. But in the second year of Darius light dawned upon the darkness of the colony from Babylon. In that year -- it was the most memorable event in Zerubbabel's life -- the SPIRIT OF PROPHECY suddenly blazed up with a most brilliant light among the returned captives. Their words fell like sparks upon tinder. In a moment Zerubbabel, roused from his apathy, THREW HIS WHOLE STRENGTH into the work. After much opposition and many hindrances and delays, the temple was at length finished, in the sixth year of Darius, and was dedicated with much pomp and rejoicing....Zerubbabel was the legal successor and heir of JECONIAH'S ROYAL ESTATE, the grandson of Neri and the LINEAL DESCENDANT OF NATHAN THE SON OF DAVID. -- Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, pp. 763-64.
Concerning JOSHUA (Jeshua) the Bible dictionary Insight On the Scriptures has this to say:
A HIGH PRIEST (called Joshua in Haggai and Zehariah), son of Jehozadak and grandson of Seraiah. He was of the house of Eleazar.
When Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem he put to death Seraiah, who was high priest then, and took Jehozadak captive to Babylon. JESHUA returned from Babylon in 537 B.C.E. with ZERUBBABEL and served as high priest to the restored Jewish remnant. Thus the high-priestly line was preserved by Jehovah, so that Israel had the services of high priests from the restoration until the coming of the Messiah. Jeshua took the lead, along with Zerubbabel, in setting up the altar, then in REBUILDING THE TEMPLE, encouraged by the prophets Haggai and Zechariah. He stood by Zrubbabel in opposing the adversaries of the temple reconstruction -- Ezra 4:1-3.
Some of the older ones among the returned Israelites had seen the glory of Solomon's temple and tended to view the rebuilt temple as nothing in comparison. Haggai the prophet was sent to speak to Zerubbabel and Joshua (Jeshua), telling them that the glory of the later house would become greater than that of the former one.
The prophet Zechariah was given a vision in which he beheld Joshua (Jeshua) the high priest standing before the angel of Jehovah, and Satan at his right hand to resist him. "Joshua" was given a change from BEFOULED GARMENTS to robes of state and a CLEAN turban. Then "Joshua" was told of God's servant Sprout. -- Zech. 3:1-8.
At another time Jehovah told Zechariah to put a CROWN on Joshua's (Jeshua's) head and to say to him: "Here is the man whose name is Sprout....And he himself WILL BUILD THE TEMPLE of Jehovah,...and he must become a priest upon his throne." The prophecy certainly applied to SOMEONE FUTURE for, under the Law, priesthood and kingship were strictly separate, and High Priest Joshua NEVER ruled as king over Israel. -- Zech. 6:11-13. -- Vol. 2, Wathtower Bible & Tract Society of New York, Brooklyn, N.Y. 1988, pp. 50-51.
Cyrus allowed Zerubbabel to lead the people of YEHOVAH God out of captivity in Babylon and to rebuild the Temple of YEHOVAH God in Jerusalem. Zerubbabel's very name means "out of Babylon." And working alongside Zerubbabel was Joshua the HIGH PRIEST of Judah.
Oil (olive) is used in the Bible to symbolically represent YEHOVAH's Holy Spirit, and in these LAST DAYS the Eternal God is going to ANOINT His Two Witnesses with the power of His Holy Spirit to perform MIGHTY MIRACLES again!
Similarly, a present-day Zerubbabel in YEHOVAH's True Church is leading the people of YEHOVAH God out of "spiritual Babylon." This man is THUNDERING YEHOVAH's warning, "Come out of her [spiritual Babylon], my people, lest you SHARE in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues." (Revelation 18:4).
The prophecy is DUAL -- this end-time Zerubbabel (along with Joshua) will help build God's spiritual AND physical temples.
Just as Zerubbabel and Joshua began a "new work," "NOT BY MIGHT [Hebrew hayel, i.e., sheer force of labor], NOR BY POWER [Hebrew koah, i.e., ability], BUT BY MY SPIRIT [Hebrew ruah]," so also will the TWO WITNESSES!
This will be a "NEW WORK" in the end-time -- centered, eventually, in Jerusalem and performed by the POWER OF YEHOVAH GOD working in and through them. This "power" will be the same Spirit that worked in the prophets of old and it will cause the glorious COMPLETION of YEHOVAH's work!
According to Ronald R. Wlodyga: "This unifying and completing end-time work is also symbolic of the CAPSTONE mentioned in Zech. 13:2, which completes and unifies the physical AND spiritual Temple." (The Restoration of the Kingdom to Israel. Sword & Shield Publishing Co., Buffalo, N.Y. 1992, p. 93).
In chapters 3, 4 and 6 of the book of Zechariah, we can glean additional information about the Two Witnesses. In Zechariah 4:2 we read that Yeshua the Messiah (as HEAD of the Church of YEHOVAH God) is represented as "a lampstand of solid gold with a BOWL on top of it" -- and "on the stand SEVEN LAMPS with seven pipes to the seven lamps." These seven lamps clearly represent YEHOVAH'S SEVEN CHURCHES -- just as the lampstands of Revelation 1:20 did.
Furthermore, the seven pipes leading to the seven lamps represent the connection or "link" to Yeshua the Messiah whereby his Holy Spirit (in the form of olive oil) can flow to his churches (Zechariah 4:12). It is through this "medium" that the Two Witnesses will receive their tremendous power (Zechariah 4:6)!
"These 'TWO WITNESSES' will have power to shut heaven that it rain not, and turn water into blood and to smite the earth with all plagues. They will have POWER AND AUTHORITY to kill anyone who tries to overcome them (Rev. 11:6-7). They are the Lord's anointed Ones that stand by the Lord of the whole earth (Zechariah 4:1; Rev. 11:4). (Ibid., p. 93).
Writes Philip Mauro --
Christ's witnesses will not be clad in ecclesiastical regalia, they will not be personages of rank and title among men, but will be of lowly station, and like Christ's first witnesses will be regarded "as the filth of the world and the offscouring of all things." For their testimony will be not of progress and world-betterment, not of peace and safety, not of the triumphs of science, nor of anything that the world loves to hear when it "goes to church." But they must testify of death and judgment, of the day of wrath and perdition of ungodly men, of the coming of the rejected Lord Jesus Christ...taking vengeance on them -- whosoever they may be and howsoever exalted their station -- who know not God, and who obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power (2 Thess. 1:7-9) (Things Which Soon Must Come to Pass, G.A.M. Publications, pps. 342-343).
Two of the Seven Churches
These Two Witnesses will have a great part in reconstructing YEHOVAH's "spiritual Temple" -- the called OUT people of YEHOVAH God. Zerubbabel and Joshua rebuilt YEHOVAH's PHYSICAL TEMPLE shortly after the captive Jews were released from Babylon in 536 B.C. YEHOVAH GOD USES THEM SYMBOLICALLY TO SHOW WHAT THE TWO WITNESSES WILL ALSO DO IN THESE LAST DAYS!
According to Ronald Wlodyga --
Although the historical context of the book of Haggai and Ezra is to rebuild the "physical Temple," the book of Zechariah is primarily directed towards building God's "spiritual Temple."
During the time of the rebuilding of the Temple -- Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi were God's living prophets. But it wasn't until 400 years after Malachi, that Israel had another prophet through the preaching of John the Baptist.
During this interval of time, the Temple was not filled with God's shekinah glory! God's holy spirit was among them, but not IN them! God's glory only returned SYMBOLICALLY to the Temple when Jesus Christ entered with the LIGHT of truth!
Speaking to the SPIRITUAL Zerubbabel, God says He will help lay the foundation of His house and finish it (Zech. 4:9). Concerning God's "spiritual Temple," Jesus Christ is the ultimate fulfillment of laying the foundation. Other apostles throughout the ages have helped Jesus Christ build the spiritual Temple, including the apostle Paul (I Cor. 3:11). -- Ibid., p. 94.
Because the Two Witnesses represent two of the seven churches of Revelation 2-3, it seems very evident that they will symbolize the Philadelphia and Laodicean churches!
The leader of the Philadelphia church will be a person who YEHOVAH God finds little fault with (Revelation 3:10) and who has little strength (Revelation 3:8 and Zechariah 4:6). This would have to be "Zerubbabel."
Now the leader of the Laodicean church will be a person who is LUKEWARM in character (Revelation 3:16) and who has "filthy garments" symbolic of sin. This man will have to go through times of trial (Zechariah 3:2-4) in order to clean up his act and qualify for the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God. This has to be "Joshua." Notice what YEHOVAH God says in His Word: "Is this not a BRAND plucked from the fire?" (Zechariah 3:2). This certainly corresponds to the Laodicean character. Also notice that the words "the Faithful and True Witness" in Revelation 3:14 refer to the LEADER OF THE LAODICEAN CHURCH!
Once this man repents before YEHOVAH God and throws off his filthy garments -- along with those representative of this era (his "companions" -- Zechariah 3:8) -- they will then qualify to become judges in YEHOVAH's Kingdom (Zechariah 3:7). If you read Revelation 3:21 you will see that this CORRSPONDS with the Laodiceans since they will ALSO sit with the Messiah on his throne (Revelation 3:21). This means they will be doing what the Messiah does -- judging over the nations (Acts 10:42; I Peter 4:5 & John 5:22, 27).
In Luke 7:41-50 Yeshua indicates that one who has had many sins (filthy garments) also has much love, because that person knows how much he needed forgiveness. As a result, this type of person would probably be more qualified to judge since he had FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE in repentance and mercy. YEHOVAH God indicates in Revelation 3:19 that He loves those He rebukes and chastens, therefore He loves REPENTANT Laodiceans!
Zechariah speaks of these "companions" of Joshua as a "wondrous sign" -- in Hebrew "men of wonder" (3:8). These "men of wonder" (repentant Laodiceans) will reign with the Messiah (the "BRANCH" of Zechariah 3:8) who is building YEHOVAH's "spiritual Temple" (Zechariah 6:8).
"It is also fitting that the Philadelphia church will have the responsibility of being EDUCATORS in God's Kingdom -- because they are represented spiritually as PILLARS that hold up God's Temple (Revelation 3:12). A physical pillar is a structural support." (Ibid., p. 95).
Since prophecy often refers to the nation of Israel AND the church, there will be PHYSICAL COUNTERPARTS to Zerubbabel and Joshua in these end-times -- men who will be instrumental in building YEHOVAH's physical Temple in Jerusalem after the Messiah's return!
Joshua's "Filthy Garments"
It should be realized that Joshua's "filthy garments" in Zechariah 3:3 SYMBOLIZED the sins of Israel AS WELL as his own. Notice HOW Isaiah describes the national sins of Israel:
You meet him who rejoices and does righteousness, who remembers You in Your ways. You are indeed angry, for we have sinned -- in these ways we continue; and we need to be saved. But we are like AN UNCLEAN THING, and all our righteousnesses are like FILTHY RAGS [margin -- "FILTHY GARMENTS"); we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. -- Isaiah 64:5-6.
The changing of Joshua's "filthy garments" ALSO characterizes the RESTORATION and moral cleansing of the nation of Israel! Under Zerubbabel 4,289 priests returned to Jerusalem to restore the Temple service. Previous to this, Malachi indicates that the priesthood had become corrupted (Malachi 2:5-9) and the Temple offerings polluted. Therefore, the Eternal God "CLEANED UP" the nations of Israel and Judah at this time and made them ceremonially clean to rebuild the Temple!!
This same event will occur in the end-time! The moral cleansing of the physical nation of Israel will PARALLEL the spiritual cleansing of the Laodicean church under a spiritual Joshua. Realize that after Zerubbabel died, the priesthood once again became corrupt and the people TURNED AWAY from YEHOVAH God. Realize, also, that YEHOVAH does things in several stages. Since Zerubbabel and Joshua worked side by side rebuilding the MATERIAL TEMPLE in Jerusalem, they are FORERUNNERS or types of those building YEHOVAH's end-time SPIRITUAL TEMPLE!
Therefore (to follow it through logically) there will have to be TWO close associates building up the Church of YEHOVAH God in the last days -- two associates who will PARALLEL the lives of Zerubbabel and Joshua! That makes sense, doesn't it! We must remember that the main problem with the Laodicean church is their attitude which produces LUKEWARM WORKS! These "works" would obviously have to begin PRIOR to the events leading up to the Messiah's return, since it is these "lukewarm works" that has caused them to be thrust into these times of trouble! We must therefore conclude that the Laodicean church will exist AT THE SAME TIME as the Philadelphia church -- and may even be affiliated with it in some way.
The characteristics of Joshua found in Zechariah 3 and 4 may very well be a TYPE of the end-time spiritual Joshua. Zechariah reveals that Joshua was YEHOVAH'S CHOSEN LEADER until Satan found his weakness (or weaknesses), and overpowered him (3:1). When Joshua repented, he was given a new MITER (a symbol of GOVERNMENT) and NEW GARMENTS to replace his filthy ones (Zechariah 3:5). It seems evident, then, that Joshua had trouble obeying YEHOVAH'S LAW as previously laid down and enforced by Zerubbabel!
The "companions" of Joshua to come also have a similar problem and will have to go through times of trial to open up their eyes to their Laodicean attitude. They will not be walking in YEHOVAH's ways! (Zechariah 3:7).
According to Ronald Wlodyga --
Just as God has always had a DUALITY between the physical and the spiritual -- there may also be a DUALITY between Spiritual Joshua and Zerubbabel of the Church and their COUNTERPART in the physical nation of Israel. The TWO WITNESSES may be instrumental in building a PHYSICAL TEMPLE in Jerusalem in the last days as did the literal Joshua and Zerubbabel (Zechariah 6:11-13, 15). -- The Restoration of the Kingdom to Israel, p. 97.
How very true! Notice what the apostle John says in Revelation 11 --
Now I was given a measuring stick and told to go and measure the TEMPLE OF GOD, including the inner court where the altar stands, and to count the number of worshippers. "But do not measure the outer court," I was told, "for it has been turned over to the nations. They will trample over the Holy City for forty-two months. And I will give power to My TWO WITNESSES to prophesy 1260 days [42 months] clothed in sackcloth." These two PROPHETS are the TWO OLIVE TREES, and TWO CANDLESTICKS standing before the God of all the earth. -- Verse 1-4, Living Prophecies: The Minor Prophets Paraphrased. Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois. 1967.
Just as "Joshua" and his "companions" will be plucked out of the fire, so also will a remnant of Israelites: '"I destroyed some of your cities, as I did Sodom and Gomorrah; those left [of the Israelites] are like half-burned FIREBRANDS snatched away from the fire. And still you [the rest of "Israel"] wont return to Me,' says the Lord." (Ibid., Amos 4:11).
During the time leading up to the Messiah's return a REMNANT of our peoples will repent before YEHOVAH God and will be saved from the trials of this turbulent time.
Why did Joshua change his "filthy garments" as pictured in Zechariah 3? Because the removal of Joshua's "filthy garments" and the donning of "rich robes" was EMBLEMATIC of the perfect PURITY that will eventually overtake Israel and the Church -- the Messiah's "spotless Bride"!
The DAY OF ATONEMENT is symbolic of this! When the high priest entered the Holy of Holies in the Temple, he was not clothed in his ordinary golden garments but in a WHITE LINEN dress with a matching girdle. Even his miter (turban) was of a different material than he usually wore.
Therefore, on this most scared and solemn day of the year, the high priest appeared -- NOT as the BRIDEGROOM of our Lord -- but SYMBOLICALLY as the BRIDE! White linen is ALWAYS the symbol of righteousness in the Bible!
Elijah a Type of One of the Two Witnesses!
Malachi the prophet, a contemporary of Zechariah the prophet, announced:
Remember to obey the laws I gave all Israel through Moses My servant on Mount Horeb. See, I will send you another prophet LIKE ELIJAH before the coming of the great and dreadful judgment day of God. His preaching will bring fathers and children together again, to be of one mind and heart, for they will know that if they do not repent, I will come and utterly destroy their land. -- Malachi 4:4-6.
One of the most powerful prophets of YEHOVAH God in Old Testament times was ELIJAH the Tishbite. As a prophet he was a FIERY, ZEALOUS preacher who fought against cults and alien religious influences.
Well known by the way he walked and his manner of dress, King Ahaziah's envoys described Elijah as "a hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins" (II Kings 1:8). Elijah also wore a mantle, a cloak, that had supernatural powers. As he rose into the air, he dropped his mantle, and, with its help, his disciple Elisha performed miracles too (II Kings 2:8-13).
During his ministry, as a TYPE of OUR PRESENT TIME, the people were heavily engaged in BAAL or SUN-WORSHIP under the leadership of Jezebel the wife of King Ahab.
This insidious and reprehensible woman craftily promoted her pagan BABYLONIAN MYSTERY RELIGION (on which the Catholic Church is based), and during her husband's reign Baalism flourished in the land of Israel. As a result, he became known as the wickedest king to ever rule the nation. During his reign (according to the Bible), the prophets of Baal outnumbered the servants of YEHOVAH God by 450 to one!
Unger's Bible Dictionary states that "Ahab had taken for wife Jezebel, a Canaanite woman, daughter of Ethbaal. Of a weak and yielding character, he allowed Jezebel to establish the Phoenician worship on a grand scale -- priests and prophets of Baal were appointed in crowds -- the prophets of Jehovah were persecuted and slain, or only escaped by being hid in caves. It seemed as if the last remnants of TRUE RELIGION were about to perish." (P. 302).
In this spiritually debilitating environment, and without concern for his own life, Elijah proclaimed the Truth of YEHOVAH God -- clashing with King Ahab and Jezebel time and time again. He also challenged the prophets of Baal to a supreme test that would determine once and for all who was YEHOVAH's true servant and who was the one and only God of Israel.
According to Smith's Bible Dictionary --
There are few more sublime stories in history than the account of the succeeding events -- with the servant of Jehovah and his single attendant on the one hand, and the 850 prophets of Baal on the other; the altars, the descending fire of Jehovah consuming both sacrifice and altar; the rising storm, and the ride across the plain to Jezreel -- p. 166.
Unger's Bible Dictionary completes the story:
The Baalites are allowed to make trial first. All day long these false prophets cried to Baal, they leaped upon the altar, and mingled their blood with that of the sacrifice -- but all is in vain, for at the time of the evening sacrifice the altar was still cold and the bullock lay stark thereon -- 'there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.' Then Elijah repaired the broken altar of Jehovah, and having laid thereon his bullock and drenched both altar and sacrifice with water until the trench about it was filled, he prayed, 'Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.' The answer was all that could be desired, for 'the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.' The people acknowledged the presence of God, exclaiming with one voice, 'The Lord, he is God; the Lord he is God' -- page 303.
It should be noted that Elijah had the SAME POWER as the Two Witnesses of Revelation 11! In the first part of Revelation 6:11 we learn the following: "They [the Two Witnesses] have power to shut up the skies so that NO RAIN will fall during the THREE AND A HALF YEARS they prophesy..."
In the time of ELIJAH we find a SIMILAR occurrence taking place! Notice --
Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it DID NOT RAIN on the land for THREE AND A HALF YEARS. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. -- James 5:17.
Furthermore, Revelation 11:5 states: "Anyone trying to harm them [the Two Witnesses] WILL BE KILLED BY BURSTS OF FIRE shooting from their mouths." Did Elijah perform similar miracles in the Old Testament? "So Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, "If I am a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men." What happened? "And FIRE came down from heaven and CONSUMED HIM AND HIS FIFTY." (II Kings 1:10).
There are even more similarities between Elijah and the Two Witnesses. In Revelation 11:3 we read: "And I will give power to My two witnesses to prophesy 1260 days CLOTHED IN SACKCLOTH." Elijah appeared to the messengers of Ahaziah as "a HAIRY MAN [DRESSED IN SACKCLOTH], and [wearing] a LEATHER BELT around his waist." (II Kings 1:7-8). It is no coincidence that John the Baptist also dressed the SAME WAY!
In another link connecting the Two Witnesses and Elijah we read: "The same hour there will be a terrible earthquake that levels a tenth of the city LEAVING 7,000 DEAD. Then everyone left will, in their terror, give glory to the God of heaven" (Revelation 11:13).
Is it mere coincidence that 7,000 was the number that YEHOVAH God reserved for Himself during Elijah's ministry?
You know what the scripture says in the passage where Elijah pleads with God against Israel: "Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me." What answer did God give him? "I have KEPT FOR MYSELF SEVEN THOUSAND MEN who have not worshipped the false god Baal." -- Romans 11:2-4.
Even the end of the ministries of Elijah and the Two Witnesses is similar: "Then a loud voice will shout from heaven, 'Come up!' And they [the Two Witnesses] will RISE TO HEAVEN IN A CLOUD as their enemies watch." (Revelation 11:12). Now notice what happened to Elijah:
Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and ELIJAH WENT UP BY A WHIRLWIND INTO HEAVEN. -- II Kings 2:11.
Even the Arabs have traditions of Elijah the Prophet. They identify him with KHADIR and, as folklorist Beatrice Silverman Weinreich points out, there are at least three Elijah tales in The Arabian Nights (Weinreich, 1957). Here Elijah becomes an "ANGEL," or gadi (judge), or an unnamed "MESSENGER OF GOD" -- just like the leaders of the Philadelphian and Laodicean churches! (Revelation 3:7; 7:14).
It is therefore quite evident that one of the Two Witnesses is the SAME MAN WHO IS COMING IN THE POWER AND SPIRIT OF ELIJAH!
John the Baptist was a lonely voice crying out in the PHYSICAL wilderness of Judea -- preparing the way for a PHYSICAL Messiah to come to a PHYSICAL people in Jerusalem. Elijah cried out in the SPIRITUAL wilderness of the Israel of his time. During the LAST DAYS someone will also prepare the way for a PHYSICAL (in the Shekinah Glory form) YEHOVAH God's coming to a PHYSICAL temple in a SPIRITUAL wilderness of sin (religious confusion). Also, of course, a SPIRITUAL Messiah will be returning to his Spiritual temple -- the Church!
Yeshua the Messiah's second coming to this earth, along with that of YEHOVAH God the Father, will be an antitype of the work of BOTH Elijah and John the Baptist!
Turning the Hearts of the Children
Just prior to the return of the Messiah and YEHOVAH God the Father, a man in the spirit of Elijah will cry out amidst the wilderness of todays religious confusion. During the Messiah's first sojourn on this earth, John the Baptist was filled with this same spiritual power. He turned many in Judea back to the God of their fathers.
Concerning this eventful moment in history, Zacharias (the father of John the Baptist) received a special revelation from the angel of YEHOVAH God. The angel said that his son would,
...be great in the sight of the Lord. he is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth. Many of the PEOPLE OF ISRAEL will he bring back to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, TO TURN THE HEARTS OF THE FATHERS TO THEIR CHILDREN and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous -- to make reday a peole prepared for the Lord. -- Luke 1:15-17.
Who will be the man to fulfill this role in these last days? Whoever he is, he will do EXACTLY as Elijah did in his day!
It was Elijah's purpose to show the people of Israel WHO YEHOVAH God really was, and he attempted to turn their hearts back to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The coming Elijah will have the SAME MISSION, and will do the SAME TYPE OF WORK as the first Elijah! He will demonstrate to the people of our nations that they are folowing a SUN-GOD WORSHIP, and are NOT worshipping the Eternal -- the God of their fathers!
Elijah the prophet was very ZEALOUS for the work of the Eternal God, and this will be the CHARACTER of the prophet who is coming before the "great and terrible day of the Lord." He is coming to the descendants of Israel who have FORSAKEN AND REJECTED their God and His covenant.
The Prominence of Elijah in Jewish Life
Author Peninnah Schram tells us that "Elijah the Prophet plays three main roles in Jewish life. On Shabbat HaGadol, the Great Sabbath, which comes just before Passover, the last verse of the special Haftarah section read in synagogue is, 'Behold, I will send you Elijah the Prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord' (Malachi 3:24).' This passage highlights Elijah's dominant role as the one who will USHER IN THE MESSIANIC ERA -- HE IS THE FORERUNNER OF THE MESSIAH." (Tales of Elijah the Prophet. Jason Aronson, Inc. Northvale, N.J. 1991. P. xxiii).
In Jewish legend Elijah is always introduced as the guardian of the interests of Israel, whether theologically or personally. He is, as it were, the constant living contact or medium between YEHOVAH God and His people -- the link that binds the Israel of the present to the bright Messianic future of which HE IS THE HARBINGER.
According to this author, Elijah's second role is that of arbiter of Jewish law. For example, if a legal dispute concerning money could not be resolved, the rabbis agreed to to put the entire sum into escrow until the coming of Elijah. In fact, if you read the Talmud, you will find that whenever there is an unresolved debate the word "taiku" is used. In his commentary at the end of Tractate Eduyot (8:7), Tosefot Yom Tov suggests that taiku is an acronym that means "Tishbi [Elijah] will resolve all of our questions and difficulties." In other words, the Elijah to come will be a man of great learning in the oracles of YEHOVAH God and quite capable of resolving disputes according to the laws of YEHOVAH God.
Peninnah Schram continues --
A third role that Elijah plays is that of mediator between parents and children. The Book of Malachi (3:24) describes Elijah as the one who will "turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers." As the one who will reconcile families, the one who will settle legal arguments, and especially the one who will ANNOUNCE THE IMMINENT ARRIVAL OF PEACE AND HARMONY IN THE WORLD, we all continue to search and hope for Elijah the Prophet to appear soon in our day. -- Ibid., p. xxiii.
Opinions differ as to the descent and birthplace of Elijah, however most sources represent him as a LEVITE and a priest. This is expressly stated in the Targum Pseudo-Jon. on Exodus xl.10, where it seems to imply that the Elijah to come will ANOINT the Messiah with the sacred oil -- the composition of which was among the things unknown in the Second Temple period -- but to be restored by the future Elijah. (Tanch on Exodus 23:20).
According to Jewish legend, when the time of Israel's redemption arrives Elijah will return. It is thought (Pirqe de R. Eliez.43) that this will be a time of genuine repentance by Israel, brought about by the preaching of Elijah. As well as this, his peculiar activities will include settling ceremonial and ritual questions, in making peace, RESTORING THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN WRONGFULLY PUT OUT OF THE CONGREGATION and EXCLUDING THOSE WHO HAVE WRONGFULLY FORCED THEIR WAY INTO THE CONGREGATION TO RULE OVER IT! (Bab. Mets. i.8; ii.8; iii.4, 5; Eduy. vii.7).
It is stated that the Elijah to come will also restore to Israel three things that have been lost: the GOLDEN POT OF MANNA (Exodus 16:33), the vessel containing the ANOINTING OIL, the WATERS OF PURIFICATION and AARON'S ROD that budded and bore fruit.
Jewish tradition says that Elijah will herald the coming of the Messiah by walking through the Shushan Gate in the Eastern Wall of the Temple mount at Jerusalem. He will triumphantly lead the Jews into the Temple through this gateway. Therefore, over the centuries, the MUSLIMS have built an ARAB CEMETERY along the Eastern Wall to thwart Elijah's plan, for Elijah is from the priestly clan (Levi) and a priest may not defile himself by entering a burial ground! This is why the great arched bridge was built across the valley between the Temple and the Mount of Olives during the Second Temple period. This way the RED HEIFER, which symbolized the Messiah, would not be defiled by coming in contact with a grave in the valley below.
The Talmud reveals that a discussion arose between the rabbis as to whether a priest may enter a NON-JEWISH cemetery. The opinion of Elijah himself was sought, and he answered that a priest may enter a non-Jewish cemetery (Baba Metzia 114b)! Obviously, the Arab designer of the cemetery was not a Talmudic scholar!
The more likely scenario, I am sure, is that a NEW BRIDGE will be built across the Kidron Valley just prior to the return of the Messiah.
The Role of John the Baptist
John the Baptist was certainly the Elijah of his day. He fulfilled this same ministry, and came to the nation of Judah with a message of REPENTANCE -- preparing the way for the FIRST COMING of the Messiah. As a nation the Jews of that day were very religious but, as the case always seems to be, the greatest sinners among them were the most religious! John the Baptist verbally blasted the Pharisees and Sadducees, calling them vipers and hypocrites (Matthew 23:13). But John called the PEOPLE to true repentance in preparation for the Messiah.
If we turn to Luke we will see what John's commission was to the people of his day --
And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will GO ON BEFORE THE LORD TO PREPARE THE WAY FOR HIM, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to GUIDE OUR FEET INTO THE PATH OF PEACE. -- Luke 1:76-79.
When the Pharisees queried John he denied that he was Elijah: "They asked him, 'Then who are you? Are you Elijah?' He said, 'I am not.' When the Pharisees finally said 'Who are you?' John gave the following answer: 'I am the voice of one calling in the desert [wilderness], make straight the way for the Lord.'" (John 1:21-23).
In prophesying of John the Baptist's role, Yeshua himself said: "And if you are willing to accept it, HE IS THE ELIJAH WHO WAS TO COME." (Matthew 11:14). The disciples, still confused regarding the role of "Elijah" in their day, came to the Messiah and asked him: "'Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?' Jesus replied, 'To be sure, Elijah comes and WILL RESTORE ALL THINGS. But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.' THEN THE DISCIPLES UNDERSTOOD THAT HE WAS TALKING TO THEM ABOUT JOHN THE BAPTIST." (Matthew 17:10-13).
Although the scriptures do not reveal the substance of their preaching, the CLOTHING of the Two Witnesses gives us a clue: "And I will give power to my two witnesses and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, CLOTHED IN SACKCLOTH" (Revelation 11:3).
Smith's Bible Dictionary defines sackcloth in the following way --
...cloth used in making sacks or bags, a COARSE fabric, of a dark color, made of GOAT'S HAIR, and resembling the eilicium of the Romans. It was used also for making the ROUGH GARMENTS USED BY MOURNERS, which were in extreme cases worn next to the skin -- p. 577.
Author Ronald Wlodyga notes the similarities between Elijah and John the Baptist --
Here are more startling facts between the DUAL lives of Elijah AND John the Baptist. Both were crude men dressed in sheepskin (II Kings 1:8; Hebrews 11:37) and camel's hair (Matthew 3:4). Interestingly, Joshua, another TYPE of the "TWO WITNESSES" had unusual [filthy] garments (Zechariah 3:3).
Both men were audacious and rebuked kings. Elijah rebuked king Ahab of Israel, while John the Baptist reprimanded king Herod. Both were preachers of righteousness and acquired the animosity of a queen, whose king tried to kill them. Jezebel and Herod's wife are TYPES of the FALSE CHURCH while Ahab and Herod are TYPES of the "False Prophet."
Elijah was well known to the nations around him. One thing more is worth speculating upon. When Elijah's work on earth was over, HE PASSED HIS MANTLE TO ELISHA. -- The Restoration of the Kingdom to Israel, p. 104.
Once the soon-coming Elijah completes his work on this earth, he will indeed pass his mantle (authority) on to an Elisha to come! Who might that be? Only time will tell!
There is someone -- probably alive on this earth right now -- who will fulfill the tremendous prophecy of the Elijah to come. He will cry out in the wilderness of religious perversion and RESTORE the true worship of Almighty God. He will turn the hearts of the children to their fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and will "restore all things" -- preparing a people to meet their God! He will proclaim the good news of the coming Kingdom of YEHOVAH God to the nations of modern Israel (the U.S., Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the nations of N.W. Europe) as well as to the nations of the entire world!
We see in the Bible that both Elijah AND John the Baptist were prophets sent to the Houses of Israel and Judah in a TIME OF GREAT APOSTASY -- to call these nations to REPENTANCE! The Elijah to come will do the exact same thing! With the ministry of the Two Witnesses we will again see the sign of their message in their SPECIAL CLOTHING -- sackcloth, which was a SIGN of national mourning and repentance!
We must therefore conclude, from their distinctive clothing, that the Two Witnesses will announce the same message of REPENTANCE because the Messiah is at hand!
Moses and Elijah?
According to one theory (literalist) the Two Witnesses will literally be Moses and Elijah; and this is based (according to the theory) on several scriptural references.
The propounders of this idea assume that Moses will be one of the Two Witnesses because Moses appeared with Elijah in the transfiguration on the mountain (Matthew 17:3), and also because he carried out similar miraculous feats such as turning water into blood (Exodus 7:19-20; Revelation 11:6).
The literalists argue that Moses' body was preserved by YEHOVAH God so that he could be restored to life in the end-time as one of the Two Witnesses! He would then work with Elijah -- proclaiming the coming of the Messiah and the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God!
On examination, though, there are several glaring problems with this interpretation. First of all, Elijah is NOT going to be resurrected to physical life to assume the role of one of the Two Witnesses -- a man who will perform the work of an Elijah (just like the original Elijah) will be one of the Two Witnesses. Likewise, Moses is NOT going to be resurrected in the end-time (before the coming of the Messiah) either!
The "transfiguration" was a VISION of the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God -- not a literal resurrection of Moses. The Messiah is the firstfruits of the resurrection, so therefore Moses could not be resurrected before the Messiah! In other words, a vision is NOT a material reality, but a supernatural (from YEHOVAH God) picture observed by the eyes.
The Two Witnesses will have mortal bodies and will be subject to death. These two men will do the work of Zerubbabel and Joshua -- who in turn represent the leaders of the Philadelphian and Laodicean churches. However, Moses could be likened to the leader of the Laodicean church since he also was lukewarm and "Laodicean" in his attitude to the religion of his enslaved people. When YEHOVAH God called him, Moses was "cleaned up" and pulled out of the fire, as it were, to serve the God of his people.
A Rebuilt Temple?
Over the centuries the proposed identity of those known as the Two Witnesses in the book of Revelation has been many and varied! August theologians have speculated, in all seriousness, that these end-time servants of YEHOVAH God could be anyone from the resurrected Moses and Elijah, to the very angels themselves!
Although the Bible doesn't mention the actual names of the Two Witnesses, their nationality and origin can be safely speculated upon -- based on our previous knowledge of "TYPES" mentioned in the scriptures.
Now realize this: Whoever the Two Witnesses of Revelation 11 will be, they will most certainly be human! The Bible emphatically states that they will be KILLED in Jerusalem -- see Revelation 11:7-8. That eliminates angels or any other spirit being!
It is more than likely the Two Witnesses will be of Israelite origin. This realization is also based upon our knowledge of past TYPES of the Two Witnesses. Moses, Aaron, Joshua, Zerubbabel, Elijah and John the Baptist were all TYPES of the Two Witnesses. The first types of the Two Witnesses disclosed in the Bible were Moses and Aaron -- who turned water into blood and caused drought throughout the land of Egypt (Exodus 7:17). Revelation 11:6 plainly shows that the Two Witnesses will PERFORM SIMILAR FEATS!
With that in mind, we must realize this important point: BOTH Moses and his brother Aaron were LEVITES!
Elijah -- who brought down fire from heaven (I Kings 18:38) and prophesied a 3 1/2 year drought (I Kings 17:1; James 5:17) -- is a TYPE of one of the Two Witnesses who will exhibit identical powers -- see Revelation 11:5-6.
Although the Bible does not indicate Elijah's nationality (other than being a Tishbite of Gilead), Jewish tradition claims him to be a LEVITE! He had to be a Levite in order to erect an altar and sacrifice upon it -- otherwise he would have committed a grave offense against YEHOVAH God! Also, we must remember, John the Baptist was a TYPE of Elijah, and Luke 1:5, 13 states that John was a LEVITE.
In these end-times -- according to Malachi 4:5 -- a third TYPE of Elijah is yet to come. What will this future Elijah do? Once again the Bible provides the answer: "...Elijah truly shall come first, and restore all things" (Matthew 17:11). This "restoration" was also mentioned by Peter in Acts 3:20-21: "And that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the TIMES OF RESTORATION OF ALL THINGS, which God has spoken by the mouth of ALL His holy prophets since the world began."
But what things will the Elijah to come RESTORE before the Messiah returns? He will begin to RESTORE the Kingdom to Israel! The apostles were well aware that this had to occur some day when they asked Christ: "Lord, will You at this time RESTORE THE KINGDOM to Israel?" (Acts 1:6).
Now we come to the FINAL TYPE of the Two Witnesses to understand clearly WHAT will be restored by the Elijah to come! Notice what Ronald Wlodyga says:
The account of Joshua and and Zerubbabel PARALLELS what the "Two Witnesses" will do to a tee! They, like the "Two Witnesses" were God's "two olive trees" that stood before God on earth.
Now what did Joshua and Zerubbabel do? They RESTORED the Aaronic priesthood and sacrificial system in a REBUILT TEMPLE! Because they SYMBOLICALLY stood on each side of the seven branched candlestick in the holy place of the Temple (Zech. 4:2, 3) -- they must be LEVITE PRIESTS! Scripture tells us that Joshua was a high priest (Zech. 3:8). No Gentile or other Israelite tribe was permitted to enter the Holy Place in the Temple where the seven branched candlestick was located (Ex. 30:27). -- The Restoration of the Kingdom to Israel, p. 108.
While it is true that the Temple will be rebuilt AFTER the return of the Messiah, the sacrificial system will NOT be restored! Since the Messiah was the Sacrifice to end all sacrifices, no further sacrifices are needed! One of the great and eternal results of the Messiah's sacrifice -- a result upon which the Bible places the utmost stress -- is that it swept away forever the entire system of Jewish ceremonial law -- the Levitical priesthood and especially those sacrifices in which YEHOVAH God had "no pleasure," because they could "never take away sins" (Hebrews 10:1-12). The Messiah's death on the tree makes it impossible that YEHOVAH should ever again re-establish the abolished Jewish ritual, or any part thereof. All that system of worship was one of "shadows"; and like the "Old Covenant," of which it was an integral part, is done away forever.
So WHY rebuild the Temple at all? Because it will be the habitation of YEHOVAH God's Shekinah Glory during the Millennium, and Yeshua the Messiah will be the High Priest that enters the Holy of holies and those of us that arise from the grave to meet the Messiah at his return will become "priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years" to replace the Levitical priesthood!
Let us notice even more SIMILARITIES between Joshua and Zerubbabel and the Two Witnesses. We have seen that both are called "two olive trees" and "two candlesticks" or "two anointed ones" that stand by the lord of the whole earth (Zecharaiah 4:2-3, 14; Revelation 11:4).
And, understand this, both have something to do with measuring a Temple in Jerusalem! Notice the similarity in wording between the following two passages --
Therefore thus says the Lord: I am returning to Jerusalem with mercy; MY HOUSE SHALL BE BUILT IN IT, and a SURVEYOR'S LINE shall be stretched out over Jerusalem....Then I raised my eyes and looked, and behold, a man with a MEASURING LINE in his hand. -- Zechariah 1:16; 2:1.
In this passage Zerubbabel is seen with a surveyor's line in his hand to measure and complete YEHOVAH's Temple in Jerusalem. Now notice the similar wording in Revelation 11 regarding the Two Witnesses --
Then I was given a reed LIKE A MEASURING ROD. And the angel stood, saying, "Rise and MEASURE the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not MEASURE it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months." -- Revelation 11:1-2.
Without a doubt there are spiritual implications in these passages that pertain to YEHOVAH's church, but to think that the entire context here applies to a "spiritual Temple" is a fragrant error! Let Ronald Wlodyga explain --
Joshua and Zerubbabel were TYPES of the "Two Witnesses" and built a LITERAL Temple! Gentiles will literally tread down God's holy city of Jerusalem for forty-two months [3 1/2 years] (Lk. 21:24). If this Temple is "spiritual" -- why connect the "court of the Gentiles" to it which is LITERAL, and will be LITERALLY trodden under foot by Gentile armies? The "court of the Gentiles" can only be interpreted in a literal sense -- for what is its spiritual implication? -- Ibid., pp. 109-110.
Only One Possible Conclusion
After examining the TYPES of the Two Witnesses in the previous pages, we can only come to ONE possible conclusion: They will be of ISRAELITE ORIGIN and will be instrumental in constructing a house for the Eternal in the holy city of Jerusalem following the Messiah's return. Quite clearly, then, one of them will be of PRIESTLY ORIGIN as was Aaron, Joshua, Elijah and John the Baptist. This same one will also be "a brand plucked from the fire" -- a leader of the end-time Laodicean Church who has to have his "filthy garments" replaced by white robes that symbolize his repentance during the times of trouble ahead.
The other of the Two Witnesses will be a man in whom YEHOVAH God finds no outstanding weaknesses -- a man of little fault (Revelation 3:10) and who has little strength (Revelation 3:8 and Zechariah 4:6). This man will be the leader of the Philadelphian Church, and is likened to Zerubbabel in the book of Zechariah.
In the days ahead the eyes of the world will be focused on the Middle East and Jerusalem. It is here that the "Two anointed" servants of YEHOVAH God (the Two Witnesses) will perform outstanding miracles just like Moses and Aaron. Thousands in Israel will be converted just as thousands were converted by John the Baptist and the apostle Peter on the day of Pentecost in 31 A.D.!
Frankly, unbelievable miracles are about to occur in Jerusalem -- miracles that will parallel those the growing New Testament church witnessed right after the death of Yeshua the Messiah. The prophetic words of the Messiah back this up --
But you shall RECEIVE POWER when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be WITNESSES TO ME in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH. -- Acts 1:8.
At this time all things are to be restored in Jerusalem -- including a Temple. This will occur in Palestine as a result of the work of the Two Witnesses -- the two leaders of the Philadelphian and Laodicean Churches who join hands to convert thousands to a type of JEWISH CHRISTIANITY that was experienced during the first century!
Who will these men be? I have some possibilities in mind, but will defer comment until more of the prophesied events unfold. One thing is for sure -- these two men will come from the ranks of the seven churches of Revelation 2 and 3. they will come from the ranks of the Churches of YEHOVAH God that are identified by Sabbath-keeping -- churches that are little noted or recognized by the world today. That would certainly EXCLUDE the Worldwide Church of God since it is fast taking on all the trappings of the great whore (Catholic Church) or its daughter harlots (Protestant denominations).
Who do YOU think the Two Witnesses will be?
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