Continuing the Elijah series, I pray you are being challenged as we continue to study this prophet and the reason Abba includes this character in His Word in so many places.
[Obligatory warning: If you have not read the first 4 parts, you really need to before proceeding.]
In this part we will connect Elijah and the Two Witnesses and identify, or begin to identify the 144,000. I will tell you this, the Two Witnesses are not two individuals. Let’s dig in.
As we considered in part 1, Moshe and Eliyahu are the two prophets on the Mount of Transfiguration. If you do not recall the multiple roles and aspects they represent, you may want to review the end of that study.
We have completed the showdown at Carmel, but will connect that to the Two Witnesses later. Right now, we skip forward to identify the Two Witnesses.
Revelation 11:1-4 says,
11 Then there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, “Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it. 2 Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months. 3 And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” 4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth.
Before jumping to verses 3 & 4, I want to point out a couple items from verses 1 & 2.
- ‘given me a measuring rod like a staff’.. sounds highly reminiscent of Ezekiel 40 and following. This points, I believe to two things, false worship in the first half of Ezekiel and the preparation for a future Temple.
- ‘measure…those who worship in it…’ seems to point to as time of testing for those who would approach the Living El (God).
- I believe verse 2 has a ‘time stamp.’ It indicates that the Two Witnesses show up at the time a portion of Jerusalem, the ‘holy city’, is given to the Gentiles to be trodden underfoot. (Have you see the info on the dividing of Jerusalem w/ an ‘Old City’ section that the Vatican will soon rule over as an ‘international place of worship?’ Sounds like a literal fulfillment.)
- This event of dividing begins a 42 month timespan that coincides with the 1260 days of the Two Witnesses in verse 3.
Verses 3 & 4 contain the heart of what we need to unpack.
Quickly, these two are dresses in sackcloth a sign of repentance and mourning. Many in the Tanakh wore sackcloth and always it is a sign of repentance and/or mourning.
Now, who are they?
There are three HUGE clues: ‘Witnesses,’ ‘olive trees’ and ‘lampstands.’ All symbols are always defined elsewhere in Scripture, so let us consider these three clues.
Multiple places in Scripture we are told that judgment requires ‘two or three witnesses.’ Deuteronomy 17:6 , 19:15; and Matthew 18:16 among others. What is interesting is that Scripture demonstrates groups can be the witness. One instance is in Deuteronomy 27:11-13, however, there is a much more precise and specifically applicable instance in Isaiah 43. Consider:
43 But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob,And He who formed you, O Israel,“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;I have called you by name; you are Mine!….
10 “You are My witnesses,” declares the Lord,
“And My servant whom I have chosen,
So that you may know and believe Me
And understand that I am He.
Before Me there was no God formed,
And there will be none after Me.
11 “I, even I, am the Lord,
And there is no savior besides Me.
12 “It is I who have declared and saved and proclaimed,And there was no strange god among you;So you are My witnesses,” declares the Lord,“And I am God.
Here we see Jacob and Israel declared to be ‘My witnesses.’
Isaiah 44 confirms this, ““But now listen, O Jacob, My servant,
And Israel, whom I have chosen:…… you are My witnesses..”
“But Pete, aren’t the Two Witnesses, two individuals?”
Frankly, I held that belief for a long time… Usually Moses and Elijah, or Enoch and Elijah, but scripture doesn’t really support this. Let’s hold the ‘two group’ idea with an open hand and consider the other clues we have.
What does scripture say the ‘olive tree’ symbol represents? Jeremiah 11 spells out who the olive tree is:
9 Then the Lord said to me, “A conspiracy has been found among the men of Judah and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10 They have turned back to the iniquities of their ancestors who refused to hear My words, and they have gone after other gods to serve them; the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken My covenant which I made with their fathers.” 11 Therefore thus says the Lord, “Behold I am bringing disaster on them which they will not be able to escape;…..16 The Lord called your name,“A green olive tree, beautiful in fruit and form”;With the noise of a great tumult He has kindled fire on it, And its branches are worthless.
17 The Lord of hosts, who planted you, has pronounced evil against you because of the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have done to provoke Me by offering up sacrifices to Baal.
The House of Israel and the House of Judah are specifically called a ‘green olive tree’ whose branches were burned, therefore needing natural and wild branches to be grafted back in… Compare this with the illustration Rav Shaul (Paul) gives us in Romans 9-11 concerning grafting in and Israel/Judah.
Hosea 12:5-6 says,
I will be like the dew to Israel;He will blossom like the lily, And he will take root like the cedars of Lebanon. 6 His shoots will sprout, And his beauty will be like the olive tree And his fragrance like the cedars of Lebanon.
Zechariah 4 really helps to begin to define this symbol.
4 Then the angel who was speaking with me returned and roused me, as a man who is awakened from his sleep. 2 He said to me, “What do you see?” And I said, “I see, and behold, a lampstand all of gold with its bowl on the top of it, and its seven lamps on it with seven spouts belonging to each of the lamps which are on the top of it; 3 also two olive trees by it, one on the right side of the bowl and the other on its left side.” …..11 Then I said to him, “What are these two olive trees on the right of the lampstand and on its left?” 12 And I answered the second time and said to him, “What are the two olive branches which are beside the two golden pipes, which empty the golden oil from themselves?” 13 So he answered me, saying, “Do you not know what these are?” And I said, “No, my lord.” 14 Then he said, “These are the two anointed ones who are standing by the Lord of the whole earth.”
The two anointed ones who stand before the Lord of the earth are the Houses of Israel and Judah. There is much more Scripture to explain and reveal this. If you have not seen The Lost Sheep, I highly recommend it. Abba’s grand plan, the ‘mystery’ Paul speaks of in Romans 9-11, is revealed in that video.
Go back to the end of part 1 of this series and consider the chart revealing Moshe and Elijah as types and shadows of the larger picture. Here is that chart again:
- Moses Elijah
- Genealogy No genealogy
- Jew (technically of Levi) Gentile
- Judah Ephraim (‘Fullness of the Gentiles‘!!)
- Truth Spirit
- Torah Prophets
- Natural Branch Wild Branch
- Elder Brother Prodigal Son
- Son of David Son of Joseph
- Native Sojourner
Abba reveals His plan with two sticks, Ezekiel 37:15-23, throughout Scripture! The Elijah clue in 1 Kings 17:12 just points to this again! ‘Gathering two sticks‘ is a neon sign! Okay, the color was over the top, but I couldn’t resist.
The Zechariah passage gives clues as to the connection of the lamps, but an even better clue is the Book of Revelation itself: 1:20 says, “As for 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 are the seven churches.”
In short, the Two Witnesses are two groups, the House of Israel and the House of Judah. They are Jew and Gentile, grafted into the Root of Yeshua and keepers of the Commandments of God. Hit that link to see Scripture where we are told FOUR times in Revelation that the saints meet two specific requirements.
Youtube, Two Witnesses (13 minutes) Someone sent this to me last night… Exactly speaks what Abba is teaching me…
Two Witnesses, another article.
So, if they are two groups, who are they?
We will attempt to reveal this from Revelation using the clues we have so far and we will bring this full circle back to Elijah and the Mt. Carmel Showdown at the end of the 42 month drought/Great Tribulation in our next installment.
Much to review and ponder here. I would love to hear thoughts and input concerning the study thus far.
I do pray the peace of Yeshua on you.