Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
Behold, I Will Send You Elijah the Prophet -
Who are the Two Witnesses of Revelation 11? Are they somehow connected with the Elijah to come? What about Elisha? Is Zechariah 4 a prophecy of the Philadelphia Church now being formed? What about the two olive trees? You also need to know about the "Synagogue of Satan" and its relationship to the Philadelphia Church!
by John D. Keyser
In the Book of Malachi -- the last one of the Old Testament -- we read the following INJUNCTION and PROMISE to the modern nations of Israel:
"Remember the law of Moses, My servant, which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. BEHOLD, I WILL SEND YOU ELIJAH THE PROPHET BEFORE THE COMING OF THE GREAT AND DREADFUL DAY OF THE LORD. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse" (4:4-6).
Malachi's prophecies ended with the statement, "REMEMBER THE LAW OF MOSES, My servant, which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel." IT IS THIS VERY THING [THE LAW] THAT YEHOVAH GOD'S PEOPLE HAVE FORGOTTEN!
This prophet, who is coming in the SPIRIT AND POWER OF ELIJAH, will accomplish the task of turning many in the modern nations of Israel back to OBEDIENCE TO THE LAWS YEHOVAH God gave Moses. This will be our last chance to repent before YEHOVAH's curses (as outlined in Deuteronomy 32 and Leviticus 26) come to pass. Many will repent, but as a whole, our nations will remain STIFF-NECKED AND DISOBEDIENT. The curses of the law will then descend upon us!
YEHOVAH God, in His mercy, is going to send a prophet to WARN the people and turn them back to the Eternal before He sends His judgments upon this earth. "And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers" can best be understood from the statement Yeshua made (Matthew 18:3-4) that all men must become as little children before they can enter the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God. This coming Elijah will preach REPENTANCE and turn many back to YEHOVAH God. These children's hearts will be turned to their fathers -- ABRAHAM, ISAAC AND JACOB!
The man whom YEHOVAH is sending will have the spirit of Elijah. John the Baptist fulfilled this prophecy for Judah, and prepared a people to receive the Messiah during his ministry in Palestine. The prophet yet to come in the spirit of Elijah will witness to ALL ISRAEL -- the United Kingdom, U.S., and the democracies of Northwestern Europe -- before the Messiah and YEHOVAH God return. A GREAT MANY PEOPLE will come into the truth during the end-time tribulations, and will be victorious to the very end.
The Nature of Elijah's Ministry
Elijah was a prophet sent to the northern kingdom of Israel during the reign of Ahab. Israel had turned away from the Eternal to Baal worship, and OUR NATIONS ARE STILL DOING THE SAME THING TODAY! Elijah's ministry was one of showing to Israel that the Eternal was the TRUE God and that they were following a false religion. The Elijah to come will do EXACTLY THE SAME WORK!
YEHOVAH God had Elijah announce to Israel that it would not rain except at Elijah's word. NO RAIN FELL FOR 3 1/2 YEARS!
YEHOVAH then instructed Elijah to appear before King Ahab and tell him to assemble all Israel before Mt. Carmel. The prophets of Baal and Asherah were commanded to assemble at Mt. Carmel also. Elijah then announced the purpose of the gathering:
"So Ahab sent for all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together on Mount Carmel. And Elijah came to all the people, and said, 'HOW LONG WILL YOU FALTER BETWEEN TWO OPINIONS? IF THE LORD IS GOD, FOLLOW HIM; BUT IF BAAL, THEN FOLLOW HIM.' But the people answered him not a word. Then Elijah said to the people, 'I ALONE am left a prophet of the LORD; but Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men. Therefore let them give us two bulls; and let them choose one bull for themselves, cut it in pieces, and lay it on the wood, but put no fire under it; and I will prepare the other bull, and lay it on the wood, but put no fire under it. Then you call on the name of your Gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD; and the God who answers by fire, He is God.' So all the people answered and said, 'It is well spoken'" (I Kings 18:20-24).
Elijah proposed a TEST that would demonstrate to the people of Israel who the TRUE God was. Baal worship was a sun-god worship and many of the same doctrines and symbols are used today in the so-called "Christian" religions! It was Elijah's purpose to make it known to Israel that they had been following a false god. When it came his turn, Elijah said the following prayer:
"And it came to pass, at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near and said, 'LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel, and that I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. Hear me O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that You are the LORD God, and THAT YOU HAVE TURNED THEIR HEARTS BACK TO YOU AGAIN.' Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench. Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, 'The LORD, He is God! The LORD, He is god!' And Elijah said to them, 'Seize the prophets of Baal! Do not let one of them escape!' So they seized them; and Elijah brought them down to the Brook Kishon and executed them there" (I Kings 18:36-40).
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 DO THE SAME TYPE OF WORK AS THE FIRST ELIJAH! HE WILL DEMONSTRATE TO THE PEOPLE OF OUR NATIONS THAT THEY ARE FOLLOWING A SUN-GOD WORSHIP, AND ARE NOT WORSHIPPING THE ETERNAL -- THE GOD OF THEIR FATHERS!!
Elijah fled for his life to Mount Horeb (Sinai). The following scripture gives us a glimpse into the man himself:
"And there he went into a cave, and spent the night in that place; and behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and He said to him, 'What are you doing here, Elijah?' So he said, 'I HAVE BEEN VERY ZEALOUS FOR THE LORD GOD OF HOSTS; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life'" (I Kings 19:9-10).
Elijah the prophet was very zealous for 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.
John the Baptist fulfilled this same ministry in his day. He came to the Jewish nation with a message of REPENTANCE, preparing the way for the Messiah's ministry in Palestine. The greatest sinners among the Jews were the most religious -- the Pharisees and the Sadducees. John the Baptist and Yeshua himself verbally blasted these leaders, calling them vipers and hypocrites (Matthew 23:13). John called the people to true repentance in preparation for the Messiah.
The prophet who is coming in the spirit of Elijah before the Day of the LORD, will attempt to turn the people of our nations back to the true God, just as Elijah and John the Baptist did. The TRUE GOSPEL of Yeshua the Messiah will be preached to the people of Israel through this man's ministry. Many will perceive the truth about the Messiah and REPENT before their God. The true Yeshua the Messiah will be preached at that time and not the FALSE, IMITATION MESSIAH preached today.
"I watched as the lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, 'Come!' I looked, and there before me was a WHITE HORSE! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest" (Revelation 6:1-2).
The true gospel of Yeshua the Messiah will go forth CONQUERING and, finally, to conquer in the end. The period of time when Yeshua has allowed the oracles of YEHOVAH God to be preached as men see fit, will be over. The Eternal is sending a man in the spirit of Elijah to do the same job as Elijah -- in the midst of the SAME TYPE OF RELIGIOUS PERVERSION, to descendants of the SAME PEOPLE!
The Two Witnesses
In Revelation 11 we read about two witnesses who prophecy with the power of the Eternal for 3 1/2 years.
WHO are these two witnesses?
Could they somehow be CONNECTED with the Elijah to come?
In the first part of Revelation 11:6 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..."
Is it possible that we can find a similar occurrence in the life of Elijah? Let us turn to James 5:17:
"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."
Is this a coincidence?
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?
The answer is YES!!
"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.' AND FIRE CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN AND CONSUMED HIM AND HIS FIFTY" (II Kings 1:10).
I think it is becoming apparent that one of the two witnesses is none other than the work of the Elijah to come!
Revelation 11:3 further corroborates this: "And I will give power to My two witnesses to prophesy 1260 days [3 1/2 years] 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 was also dressed the same way!
There is another link, connecting these two prophets, in Revelation 11:13:
"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."
Is it mere coincidence that this 7,000 is the same number that YEHOVAH God reserved for Himself during Elijah's ministry?
"You know what the scripture says in the passage where Elijah pleads with YEHOVAH 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 YEHOVAH give him? 'I HAVE KEPT FOR MYSELF SEVEN THOUSAND MEN WHO HAVE NOT WORSHIPPED THE FALSE GOD BAAL'" (Romans 11:2-4).
And now the final "clincher"!
In Revelation 11:12 we read: "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."
The same thing happened to Elijah -- see II Kings 2:11: "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."
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!!
Of course, the question that now comes to mind is: "What about the other witness in Revelation 11?"
The Aid to Bible Understanding, published by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of New York, makes this observation:
"Since the work that Elijah did was prophetic of things to come in Jesus' day, with also a yet later fulfillment, IT IS REASONABLE TO ASSUME THE SAME THING REGARDING ELISHA'S WORK, since he actually completed the work Elijah began, carrying out his unfinished commission" (Article "Elisha," p. 512).
The same volume further states:
"For perhaps six years ELISHA SERVED AS ELIJAH'S ATTENDANT. ELIJAH SERVED AS HEAD PROPHET AND ELISHA WORKED CLOSELY WITH HIM, being known as the one who 'poured out water upon the hands of Elijah' when Elijah washed his hands" (same article, p. 509).
"They [the two witnesses] have power to shut the skies so that no rain will fall during the three and a half years they prophesy, AND TO TURN RIVERS AND OCEANS TO BLOOD, AND TO SEND EVERY KIND OF PLAGUE UPON THE EARTH AS OFTEN AS THEY WISH" (Revelation 11:6).
Turning to II Kings 3:16-17 and 20-23 we learn that Elisha made the water look like BLOOD:
"And he [Elisha] said, 'Thus says the LORD: "Make this valley full of ditches." 'For thus says the LORD: "You should not see wind nor shall you see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, so that you, your cattle, and your animals may drink"...Now it happened in the morning, when the grain offering was offered, that suddenly water came by way of Edom, and the land was filled with water. And when all the Moabites heard that the kings had come up to fight against them, all who were able to bear arms and older were gathered; and they stood at the border. Then they rose up early in the morning, and the sun was shining on the water; AND THE MOABITES SAW THE WATER ON THE OTHER SIDE AS RED AS BLOOD. AND THEY SAID, 'THIS IS BLOOD; and the kings have surely struck swords and have killed one another; now therefore, Moab, to the spoil!'"
This is not all!
II Kings 6:18 says: "So when the Syrians came down to him, Elisha prayed to the LORD, and said, 'Strike this people, I pray, with blindness.' AND HE STRUCK THEM WITH BLINDNESS ACCORDING TO THE WORD OF ELISHA."
Here is a man TURNING WATER TO BLOOD and sending PLAGUES upon the earth!
The OTHER WITNESS in Revelation 11 is, therefore, none other than one coming IN THE POWER AND SPIRIT OF ELISHA!
THE TWO WITNESSES ARE TWO PROPHETS COMING IN THE POWER AND SPIRIT OF ELIJAH AND ELISHA!!
What could be plainer?
The Aid to Bible Understanding makes the following observations about Elijah AND Elisha:
"About 450 years after Elijah's time, Malachi prophesied that Elijah the prophet would appear 'before the coming of the great and fear-inspiring day of Jehovah.' (Mal. 4:5,6) The Jews of Jesus' day were in expectation of Elijah's coming to fulfill this prophecy. (Matt. 17:10) Some thought that Jesus was Elijah. (Matt. 16:14) John the Baptist, WHO WORE A HAIR GARMENT AND A LEATHER GIRDLE AROUND HIS LOINS AS DID ELIJAH, denied that he actually was Elijah in person. (2 Kings 1:8; Matt. 3:4; John 1:21) The angel had not told John's father Zechariah that John would be Elijah, but that he would have 'ELIJAH'S SPIRIT AND POWER...to get ready for Jehovah a prepared people.' (Luke 1:17) Jesus indicated that JOHN DID THAT WORK BUT WAS NOT RECOGNIZED BY THE JEWS (Matt. 17:11-13) After John's death a visionary appearance of Elijah along with Moses occurred at Jesus' transfiguration, indicating that THERE WAS SOMETHING YET TO TAKE PLACE AS REPRESENTED BY THE WORK THAT ELIJAH HAD DONE (Mark 9:1-8).
"Elijah had come into his prophetic work at a time when Israel was steeped in Baal worship and it required a FIERY MINISTRY. He accomplished a great work in turning the hearts of many back to Jehovah. Elisha took up where Elijah left off, and while his ministry itself was more peaceful, he saw to it that the work started by Elijah was thoroughly carried out and lived to see it done" (Article "Elijah," p. 508 and "Elisha," pp. 511-512).
Now that we have proved the two witnesses are the ELIJAH AND ELISHA TO COME, let us take this a step further:
The Two Olive Trees
Revelation 11:4 identifies the two witnesses as "TWO OLIVE TREES, and two candlesticks standing before the God of all the earth."
Where, in the Bible, do we find mention of "two olive trees?" The fourth chapter of Zechariah! This fascinating chapter reads as follows:
"Then the angel who had been talking with me woke me, as though I had been asleep. 'What do you see now?' he asked. I answered, 'I see a GOLDEN LAMPSTAND holding SEVEN LAMPS, and at the top there is a reservoir for the olive oil that feeds the lamps, flowing into them through seven tubes. And I see TWO OLIVE TREES carved upon the lampstand, one on each side of the reservoir. "What is it, sir?" I asked. "What does this mean?"' 'Don't you really know?' the angel asked. 'No, sir,' I said, 'I don't.' Then he said, 'This is God's message to ZERUBBABEL: "NOT BY MIGHT, NOR BY POWER, BUT BY MY SPIRIT," says the Lord of Hosts -- 'YOU WILL SUCCEED BECAUSE OF MY SPIRIT, THOUGH YOU ARE FEW AND WEAK.'
"Therefore no mountain, however high, can stand before Zerubbabel! For it will flatten out before him! AND ZERUBBABEL WILL FINISH BUILDING THIS TEMPLE with mighty shouts of thanksgiving for God's mercy, declaring that all was done by grace alone.
"Another message that I received from the Lord said: 'ZERUBBABEL LAID THE FOUNDATION OF THIS TEMPLE, AND HE WILL COMPLETE IT. (Then you will know these messages are from God, the LORD of Hosts.) DO NOT DESPISE THIS SMALL BEGINNING, for the eyes of the LORD rejoice to see the work begin, to see the plumbline in the hand of Zerubbabel. FOR THESE SEVEN LAMPS REPRESENT THE EYES OF THE LORD THAT SEE EVERYWHERE AROUND THE WORLD.' Then I asked him about THE TWO OLIVE TREES ON EACH SIDE OF THE LAMPSTAND, and about the two olive branches that emptied oil into golden bowls through two golden tubes. 'Don't you know?' he asked. 'No, sir,' I said. Then he told me, 'THEY REPRESENT THE TWO ANOINTED ONES WHO ASSIST THE LORD OF ALL THE EARTH.'"
What do the symbols in this chapter mean -- the GOLDEN LAMPSTAND, the SEVEN LAMPS and the TWO OLIVE TREES? We have seen that Revelation 11 identifies the two olive trees as the two witnesses, and we have proven that the two witnesses are the ELIJAH AND ELISHA TO COME. Zechariah 4 states that the "seven lamps represent the eyes of the LORD that see everywhere around the world."
Now what about the LAMPSTAND?
A lampstand in the Bible refers to a CHURCH (see Revelation 1:20). In Zechariah 4 it also stands for -- in a literal sense -- the temple that the governor Zerubbabel and Joshua the High Priest are rebuilding. In this LITERAL sense the TWO OLIVE TREES REFER TO ZERUBBABEL AND JOSHUA -- but what about in the FUTURE FULFILLMENT?
In the future fulfillment Zerubbabel and Joshua are TYPES OF THE ELIJAH AND ELISHA TO COME!
This chapter literally refers to Zerubbabel and Joshua (THE OLIVE TREES) rebuilding the temple (THE LAMPSTAND) through the POWER AND SPIRIT OF YEHOVAH GOD that passes through the two men! Projecting this into the future we can see that Zechariah 4 can also represent the two witnesses (ELIJAH AND ELISHA) building the CHURCH through the POWER AND SPIRIT OF YEHOVAH GOD!
The White Horse of Revelation
Further proof that Zerubbabel is the Elijah to come is found in Revelation 6:2. Here we read about the opening of the first four seals, representing the so-called "four horsemen of the Apocalypse." The first seal is the WHITE HORSE, with its rider holding a bow "and he was given a CROWN and he RODE OUT AS A CONQUEROR BENT ON CONQUEST."
A number of religious groups, including the Worldwide Church of God under Herbert W. Armstrong, claimed that the WHITE HORSE represents false religion. However, this is at odds with ALL interpretations of the word "white" in the Bible! (See Ecclesiastes 9:8; Matthew 28:3; Luke 9:29; John 20:12; Revelation 7:14; II Chronicles 5:12.) The Aid to Bible Understanding makes this statement:
"WHITE is the color most often mentioned in the Scriptures. Besides its descriptive use, it also serves as a symbol of righteousness and spiritual cleanness. (Rev. 3:4; 7:9, 13, 14) The WHITE HORSE, as portrayed at Revelation 6:2 and 19:11, symbolizes CLEAN, RIGHTEOUS WARFARE UNDER JESUS CHRIST'S DIRECTION."
The Bible itself defines the word in Revelation 19:8: "Yes, it has been granted to her to be arrayed in bright, clean, fine WHITE linen, for THE FINE WHITE LINEN STANDS FOR THE RIGHTEOUS ACTS OF THE HOLY ONES." The Greek-English Lexicon to the New Testament, by John Dawson, verifies this. The Greek word for bright means shining, resplendent, bright, dazzling, WHITE. The word for linen means "made of the finest and WHITEST cotton."It is very obvious, then, that the white horse of Revelation 6 CANNOT REFER TO FALSE RELIGION!
Then WHAT does this horse represent?
We know that this particular white horse with its rider cannot refer to the Messiah himself because the Messiah does not return to this earth until several chapters later -- Revelation 10. Therefore, since the horse is white, it must REPRESENT ONE COMING IN THE NAME OF THE MESSIAH TO DO THE WORK OF THE MESSIAH!!
We should note that, according to John, the rider of the horse was given a CROWN.
What does this CROWN signify?
"The word of the LORD came to me, saying, 'Take the offering from the exiles, from Heldai, Tobiah and Jedaiah, who have come from Babylon; and do you go in on that day, and enter the house of Josiah, the son of Zephaniah. And take silver and gold and MAKE A CROWN AND PLACE IT UPON THE HEAD OF ZERUBBABEL, the son of Shealtiel, the governor. And speak to them, saying "Thus says the LORD of Hosts, saying, 'Behold a man whose name is Branch; and he shall branch forth from his place and shall rebuild the temple of the LORD. And he shall rebuild the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the honor, and shall sit and reign upon his throne. And JOSHUA, THE PRIEST, SHALL BE ON HIS RIGHT HAND; AND THERE SHALL BE PEACEFUL COUNSEL BETWEEN THEM BOTH."' 'The CROWN shall be for Heldai and for Tobiah and for Jedaiah and for Josiah, the son of Zephaniah, as a memorial in the temple of the LORD. And those from afar shall come and rebuild the temple of the LORD, that you may know that the LORD of hosts has sent me unto you. And it shall come to pass if you hearken closely to the voice of the Lord your God...." (Zechariah 6:9-15).
We can now see that the rider of Revelation 6:2, who receives the CROWN, is none other than Zerubbabel the companion of Joshua, who represents the ELIJAH TO COME! Since Elijah and Elisha worked as a team, and are the same as the two witnesses, the white horse of Revelation 6:2 represents the two witnesses thundering out the truth of YEHOVAH God to a sin-soaked and perverse generation! "...He rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest." (Revelation 6:2).
Here is something else to consider:
Revelation 6:2 states that the rider of the white horse was GIVEN A CROWN -- "and a crown was placed upon his head" -- BEFORE he rode out to conquer. In the message to the angel or leader of the Philadelphia church, he is told: "Hold tightly to the little strength you have -- so that no one will TAKE YOUR CROWN." This implies that the leader of this church ALREADY HAS A CROWN. This is in contrast to Revelation 2:10 which says: "Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will [conditional upon being faithful to the end] give you the crown of life." This is backed up by James 1:12: "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because WHEN HE HAS STOOD THE TEST, he WILL receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him."
Since we have already seen that the rider of the white horse represents Zerubbabel, who in turn is a type of the Elijah to come, it is readily apparent that this rider is the leader of the Philadelphia church!
Why, then, does he ALREADY have a crown?
Because he was SPECIALLY CHOSEN by YEHOVAH God to pave the way for the Messiah's second coming! Both John the Baptist and Elijah himself were specially chosen for their work.
The rider of this white horse is further described for us in Psalm 45, which is an inspired poem concerning a king. Verses 1-7, in prophetic address to this king, say:
"My heart is stirred by a good theme; I say, 'My work concerns a king; MY TONGUE IS THE PEN OF A RAPID WRITER.' You are the most fair of the sons of men; grace is poured out through your lips; therefore God has blessed you evermore. Gird your sword upon your thigh, O warrior; success to your praise and your majesty! RIDE ON FOR THE CAUSE OF TRUTH and to hear the right; and may your right hand show you wonders! May your SHARP ARROWS be in the midst of the king's foes! May peoples FALL UNDER YOU!"
The fact that the rider of the white horse is armed with a bow suggests that he will play the role performed by King Cyrus the Great of the ancient Persian Empire, who captured the city of Babylon in 539 B.C. It is to be noted that Persian kings rode WHITE HORSES and were EXPERTS WITH THE BOW. It was largely by use of the bow that the Persians overcame Babylon and established themselves as a world power. It is no accident that Cyrus was also CHOSEN BY YEHOVAH GOD for a specific purpose -- see Isaiah 44 and 45.
This means that the rider on the white horse -- the one representing the Messiah -- will be used by YEHOVAH God to help overthrow Babylon the Great, the GREAT FALSE RELIGIOUS SYSTEM that has permeated the societies of modern day Israel! This rider will call YEHOVAH's people out of this confusion through his message. Yeshua the Messiah and YEHOVAH God the Father, at their return, will finally DESTROY this Babylonian mystery religion!
Isn't that fantastic?!
We can learn more about this servant of YEHOVAH God -- THE ELIJAH TO COME -- from Isaiah 49:
"Listen to me, you islands, and pay attention: after a long time one will arise, says the LORD. THE LORD CALLED ME FROM MY BIRTH, from the body of my mother He has caused my name to be remembered. He made my mouth like a SHARP SWORD and in the shadow of His hand He hid me; He made me a POLISHED ARROW, and in His quiver He concealed me. He said to me, You are My servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified. But I said, "I have labored in vain. I have spent my strength for nothing; nevertheless surely my right is at the LORD's disposal and my recompense rests with God.
"But now the LORD, who formed me from my birth to be His servant, TO BRING JACOB BACK TO HIM AND THAT ISRAEL MIGHT BE GATHERED FOR HIM -- for I am honorable in the LORD's eyes and my God is my strength -- He says: It is too light a thing that you should be my servant, TO RAISE UP THE TRIBES OF JACOB AND TO RESTORE THE PRESERVED OF ISRAEL; I will make you a light to the nations that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth. Thus says the LORD, the Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, to the one despised by men, abhorred by the nation and the servant of rulers: Kings shall see and stand up; princes also shall pay homage; because of the LORD, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, WHO HAS CHOSEN YOU."
The Philadelphia Church
What have we learned so far?
We have the two witnesses coming in the POWER AND SPIRIT OF ELIJAH AND ELISHA, and through the spirit of YEHOVAH God BUILDING A CHURCH! Also, the white horse of Revelation 6:2 represents the truth of YEHOVAH God going out with great power through the work of the coming Elijah and Elisha!
Now, paraphrasing Zechariah 4:6-10, it all starts to become clear:
"Then he said, 'This is God's message to [ELIJAH]: Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit says the Lord of Hosts you will succeed because of My spirit, THOUGH YOU ARE FEW AND WEAK.' Therefore no mountain, however high, can stand before [ELIJAH]! For it will flatten out before him. And [ELIJAH] will finish building this [CHURCH] with mighty shouts of thanksgiving for God's mercy, declaring that all was done by grace alone. Another message that I received from the LORD said: '[ELIJAH] laid the foundation of this [CHURCH], and he will complete it. (Then you will know these messages are from God, the LORD of Hosts). DO NOT DESPISE THIS SMALL BEGINNING, for the eyes of the LORD rejoice to see the WORK BEGIN, to see the plumbline in the hand of [ELIJAH].'"
What church is this that Elijah, with the help of Elisha, is building?
Verse 6 of Zechariah 4 states: " -- you will succeed because of My spirit, THOUGH YOU ARE FEW AND WEAK." Verse 10 further says: "DO NOT DESPISE THIS SMALL BEGINNING, for the eyes of the LORD rejoice to see the WORK BEGIN, to see the plumbline in the hand of Zerubbabel [ELIJAH]."
What church fits this terminology?
Why, the PHILADELPHIA CHURCH of course!!
Turning to Revelation 3 we find the following:
"Write this letter to the leader of the church in Philadelphia: This message is sent to you by the One who is holy and true, and has the key of David to open what no one can shut and to shut what no one can open. I know you well: YOU AREN'T STRONG, but you have tried to obey and have not denied My name: Therefore I have opened a door to you that no one can shut. NOTE THIS: I WILL FORCE THOSE WHO ARE OF THE SYNAGOGUE OF SATAN, WHO CLAIM TO BE JEWS THOUGH THEY ARE NOT, but are liars -- I will make them to fall at your feet and acknowledge that you are the ones I love. Because you have patiently obeyed Me despite THE PERSECUTION, therefore I will protect you from the time of Great Tribulation and temptation, which will come upon the world to test everyone alive. Look, I am coming soon! Hold tightly to THE LITTLE STRENGTH YOU HAVE -- so that no one will TAKE AWAY YOUR CROWN. As for the one who conquers I will make him A PILLAR IN THE TEMPLE OF MY GOD; he will be secure, and will go out no more; and I will write My God's name on him, and he will be a citizen in the city of My God -- the New Jerusalem, coming down from heaven from My God; and he will have My new Name inscribed upon him. Let all who can hear, listen to what the spirit is saying to the churches" (Revelation 3:7-13).
Verse 8 states: "I know you well: you AREN'T STRONG, but you have tried to obey and have not denied my name..."
We further read in verse 11: "Look, I am coming soon! Hold tightly to THE LITTLE STRENGTH YOU HAVE -- so that no one will take away your crown."
Do you see the connection?
That Zechariah 4 IS talking about the Philadelphia church is made quite apparent by this KEY in Revelation 3:9: "Note this: I will force those WHO ARE OF THE SYNAGOGUE OF SATAN, WHO CLAIM TO BE JEWS THOUGH THEY ARE NOT, but are liars -- I will make them to fall at your feet and acknowledge that you are the ones I love."
When Zerubbabel and Joshua started rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem, they were approached by the Samaritans -- CLAIMING TO BE JEWS -- who wanted a part in the work. The Aid to Bible Understanding, page 1690, says:
"...in the second month the actual construction of the temple began. (Ezra 3:8) Recognizing THE BAD MOTIVE OF THE NON-JEWS WHO ASKED TO HAVE A SHARE IN THE REBUILDING WORK, Zerubbabel, Jeshua and the heads of the paternal houses stated: 'You have nothing to do with us in building a house to our God, for we ourselves shall together build to Jehovah the God of Israel, just as King Cyrus the king of Persia has commanded us'" (Ezra 4:1-3).
"THESE NON-JEWS, HOWEVER, CONTINUED TO DISHEARTEN THE TEMPLE REBUILDERS AND FINALLY SUCCEEDED IN HAVING AN OFFICIAL BAN PLACED ON THE WORK. Later, stirred up by the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, Zerubbabel and Jeshua (Joshua) courageously resumed the construction of the temple despite the ban."
Ezra 4:1-5 also says:
"When the enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that those who had recently returned from captivity were building the temple of the LORD, the God of Israel, they came to Zerubbabel and the heads of father's houses and said to them, 'WE WOULD LIKE TO HELP YOU BUILD, BECAUSE WE ALSO WORSHIP YOUR GOD AND HAVE SACRIFICED TO HIM SINCE THE DAY WHEN ESARHADDON, KING OF ASSYRIA, BROUGHT US TO THIS COUNTRY.' But Zerubbabel, Jeshua, and the heads of father's houses replied to them, 'We cannot permit you to help us build the house of our God, but we, ourselves together, will build to the LORD, the God of Israel, in accordance with the order of Cyrus, king of Persia.' THEN THE INHABITANTS OF THE LAND BEGAN TO HINDER AND TO BRING TROUBLE UPON THE PEOPLE OF JUDAH IN THEIR BUILDING; EVEN HIRING COUNSELORS TO WORK AGAINST THEM BY FRUSTRATING THEIR PLANS, WHICH THEY CONTINUED TO DO ALL THE DAYS OF CYRUS, KING OF PERSIA, and until the reign of Darius, king of Persia."
Here we see the people of Samaria -- "THOSE WHO ARE OF THE SYNAGOGUE OF SATAN, WHO CLAIM TO BE JEWS though they are not"obstructing and persecuting Zerubbabel and Joshua as they go about building the temple of YEHOVAH God. The same thing is going to occur to the leaders of the Philadelphia church as they go about BUILDING THE CHURCH and proclaiming the TRUE GOSPEL to the nations of modern Israel!
The "synagogue of Satan" mentioned in Revelation 3:9 cannot refer to the Catholic Church, because that organization has NEVER claimed to be "Jewish". In fact, over the centuries, this church has gone to GREAT LENGTHS to discourage ANYTHING "Jewish" within its congregations! This "synagogue of Satan" in Revelation 3 can only refer to a CHURCH OF YEHOVAH GOD!
What churches claim to be "Jewish" -- to have and be keeping all the laws and commandments and holy days of YEHOVAH God, yet WILL NOT ACKNOWLEDGE new understanding and new truth? The only churches that fit this description are the Worldwide Church of God, the Church of God International, the so-called Philadelphia Church of God and various other Church of God splinter groups!
If the experience of Zerubbabel and Joshua holds true, then the growing PHILADELPHIA CHURCH, guided and succored by the TWO WITNESSES, can expect CONTINUAL PERSECUTION from these apostate churches of YEHOVAH God!
Something to Think About
Is it just possible the 7,000 people YEHOVAH reserved for Himself during Elijah's ministry, and the 7,000 mentioned in Revelation 11:13, refer to the number of people YEHOVAH will call into the Philadelphia church? Paul certainly seems to indicate this in Romans 11, where he discusses Israel during the end-time:
"I ask then, did God reject HIS PEOPLE? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don't you know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah how he appealed to 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?' And what was God's answer to him? 'I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.' SO TOO, AT THE PRESENT TIME THERE IS A REMNANT CHOSEN BY GRACE. And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace. What then? WHAT ISRAEL SOUGHT SO EARNESTLY IT DID NOT OBTAIN, BUT THE ELECT DID" (Romans 11:1-7).
Another point of interest is found in Revelation 3:12: "As for the one who conquers, I will make him a PILLAR IN THE TEMPLE OF MY GOD..." This is ONLY mentioned in the letter to the Philadelphia church, and ties in perfectly with Zechariah 4, where it discusses Zerubbabel and Joshua as types of the Elijah and Elisha to come BUILDING THE SPIRITUAL TEMPLE!
In Ephesians 2:19-22 we read:
"Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of GOD'S HOUSEHOLD [CHURCH], built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Jesus Christ Himself as the cornerstone. In Him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a HOLY TEMPLE in the Lord. And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His spirit."
Think about it!!
Do you understand what all this means?
Bringing all the information into focus, we can see that the TWO WITNESSES of Revelation are the ELIJAH AND ELISHA TO COME, represented in type by ZERUBBABEL AND JOSHUA who built up the physical temple in their time. The LAMPSTAND or candlestick of Zechariah 4 refers to BOTH the physical temple and the spiritual temple -- THE PHILADELPHIA CHURCH OF GOD!! (I must mention here that this IS NOT the Philadelphia Church of God led by Gerald Flurry -- this church is GROSSLY MISNAMED!) The rider of the WHITE HORSE of Revelation 6:2 is the leader of this church (the Elijah to come) who, with the help of the Elisha to come, goes out to conquer with the truth of YEHOVAH God.
The two witnesses will build and succor the PHILADELPHIA CHURCH OF YEHOVAH GOD and THUNDER OUT the truth of YEHOVAH God to our nations -- just as Elijah and Elisha did in their day!
"And His disciples asked Him, saying, 'Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?' Then Jesus answered and said to them, 'Elijah truly is coming first and will RESTORE ALL THINGS'" (Matthew 17:10-11).
Yes, the two witnesses are coming to RESTORE ALL THINGS, and YEHOVAH GOD'S WARNING will go out unpolluted by unconverted men more concerned with their "position" in an organization than the truth of YEHOVAH God! The message will go out UNADULTERATED, and with GREAT POWER! No longer will it be WATERED DOWN and made of no avail by men.
There will be a GREAT MULTITUDE who will hear YEHOVAH'S TRUTH from the mouths of the ELIJAH AND ELISHA TO COME. Sad to say, not all of Israel will repent. The Eternal God will send the curses that are to come on the whole of modern Israel because of DISOBEDIENCE TO THE LAWS OF YEHOVAH GOD. Eventually, these judgments will force ALL of our nations to their knees, and to know that they had followed ABOMINATIONS as had their fathers before them. They will then abhor themselves and turn to YEHOVAH God in truth. It is then that Yeshua the Messiah and YEHOVAH God will begin the task of saving ALL Israel that remains.
The Elijah and Elisha to come, supported by the true Philadelphia Church of YEHOVAH God (NOT the FALSE CHURCH led by Gerald Flurry), will PREPARE THE WAY FOR THE COMING OF YEHOVAH GOD THE FATHER AND HIS MESSIAH. Yeshua the Messiah has finished his "passive" work of purchasing many people unto YEHOVAH God, and is now beginning a NEW WORK that will bring the remnant of Israel to REPENTANCE!!
May YEHOVAH God grant you the eyes to see!! (Revelation 3:18.)
Hope of Israel Ministries -- Taking the Lead in the Search for Truth!
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