Sunday, April 19, 2015
Two Witnesses Series #3 – Part 55 of Riddles, Enigmas & Esoteric Imagery of Revelation
Today is Part 3 in our series to solve the riddle of the Two Witnesses in Revelation chapter 11, by defining the metaphorical language and esoteric imagery, using Old Testament scripture to prove their identity.
We left off last week in verse 3…And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. In part 2, we explained in detail how 1260 days equals 3.5 years, the amount of time that Jesus and His apostles witnessed in the streets of Jerusalem to the 12 tribes of Israel – the New Covenant. What is the significance of the symbolism …clothed in sackcloth?
We will find our answer in the book of Job…I have sewn sackcloth over my skin, and laid my head in the dust…my face is flushed from weeping, and on my eye lids is the shadow of death…Job 16:15-16.
Job has sackcloth over his skin, weeping for his losses – waiting to die. In those days, an outward expression of mourning was to wear sackcloth on one’s head or over his body, while sitting on the ground in the dust. The sackcloth was woven from goat’s hair, then made into cloth. The prophets were often seen dressed in sackcloth and ashes (dust), mourning for the sins of the people involved in paganism and immorality.
Using the term sackcloth to describe the clothing of the Two Witnesses, symbolizes they are mourning for the people who are caught up in paganism and immorality in Jerusalem – dead in trespasses and sins – separated from their Creator.
Why do I equate the ministry of the Two Witnesses with Jesus Christ and His apostles by saying they…will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months?…Rev. 11:2.
This is easy to answer, because chapter 11 tells us who they are…these are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth…Rev. 11:4. Since this is a metaphorical description, we must turn to the Old Testament to find out how the olive trees and lampstands in the temple of God could possibly be the Two Witness of Revelation.
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, “I am looking, and there is a lampstand of solid gold with a bowl on top of it, and on the stand seven lamps…two olive trees are by it, one at the right of the bowl and the other at its left?…Zec. 4:1-3.
In this text, the Prophet Zechariah prophesied during the days of Darius the Mede, who ruled Babylon with King Cyrus near the time that Daniel and 50,000 of his people were released from their captivity to go back to Jerusalem and rebuild their temple. In this vision, the angel of God will explain the symbolism of the lampstands and olive trees in the temple of worship.
After the angel awakened him to see the lampstand and olive trees on either side, Zechariah asked…what are these two olive trees–at the right hand of the lampstand and at its left?…what are these two olive branches that drip into receptacles of the two gold pipes from which the golden oil drains?…Zec 4:11-12.
The angel answered by asking Zechariah, “Do you not know what these are?” Zechariah answered, “No, my Lord.” The angel told Zechariah who the two olive trees symbolized, “These are the two anointed ones who stand beside the Lord of the whole earth.”…Zec. 4:13-14.
In our attempt to find out who are the Two Witnesses of the Revelation, we now find them described as Anointed Ones – who stand beside the Lord of the whole earth. Two Witnesses = Two Olive Trees = Two Anointed Ones. Why did God bother to give this detailed explanation to Zechariah?
The Prophet Zechariah needed this confirmation, so that he would know that the two men chosen by King Cyrus to lead the released captives in the reestablishment of Jerusalem, and their temple, were appointed and anointed by God. Who were the two men chosen by King Cyrus and how do the olive trees symbolize their leadership – and eventually the Two Witnesses? Stay tuned…
God’s sheep question the doctrines of men…sheeple follow without question…