Sunday, May 10, 2015
Two Witnesses Series #6 – Part 58 of Riddles, Enigmas & Esoteric Imagery of Revelation
As we embark on the 6th part of this series which is developing scriptural proof for the identity of the Two Witnesses, we must remember that John was shown their identity when he wrote…these are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth…Rev. 11:4. So let’s recap what scripture has revealed so far:
Two Witnesses = Two Olive Trees
Two Olive Trees = Two Anointed Ones
Two Anointed Ones = Zerubbabel & Joshua
Zerubbabel & Joshua = Law and Prophets
Law & Prophets = Two Witnesses
The Law and the Prophets prophesied the coming deliverer of God’s people – the Messiah. These are the Two Witnesses. As members of the 12 tribes of Israel, the apostles of Jesus Christ represented the Law – the old covenant.
Through the Prophet Jeremiah God said that He would put His laws in their mind and write them on their hearts…Jer. 31:33. Jesus revealed to His apostles that He would provide a new and better covenant – a human being would become the living temple of the Holy Spirit. When the apostles heard the good news from Jesus, they immediately accepted His evidence as the fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy.
As with Zerubbabel & Joshua of old, the 12 apostles represented both the Law and the Prophets, as they began to Witness to the populous that Jesus was the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham in the old covenant. Now a new and better covenant was offered – sealed with the blood of Jesus Christ.
We can see clearly that the apostles of Jesus served and represented the first – old – covenant. Now the apostles of Jesus serve and represent both covenants. The two covenants witness that the Messiah will come – and the Messiah has come.
The two covenants witness God’s redemptive plan. The apostles of Jesus Christ qualified as the Two Witnesses because they represented both covenants – the Law and the Prophets.
The mystery of God is revealed and finished in the new covenant. What is the mystery of God?
The Apostle Paul explains the mystery…by revelation He made known to me the mystery…which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets…that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel…Eph. 3:3-6.
The first covenant promised salvation that would come through the promised Messiah – a deliverer – but understanding how that would be accomplished was hidden from the sons of men throughout the ages. Through the new covenant of Jesus Christ, the mystery of God was revealed to the holy apostles and prophets. The new covenant fulfilled the old covenant – becoming one in Jesus Christ. Now Jews and Gentiles become one new man in Christ…Eph. 2:11-28.
Have you ever thought about how difficult it was for the culture of the first century to accept this radical new doctrine that was being presented by Jesus and His apostles? For centuries the Jewish people had obeyed rituals, ceremonies, circumcision, and the blood sacrifice of animals to atone for their sins.
Now suddenly, all of these observance will be wiped away, by simply repenting for their sins and accept by faith that the blood of Jesus Christ wipes away their sins – nothing else required? Incredible! This would be considered culture shock by any society.
When Jesus anointed His 12 apostles with miraculous power, He was sending them to a society enslaved by rampant sin, who served many gods through paganism, and had an irreligious view of the apostles. This society freely practiced unrestrained immorality and sexual deviancy, while enduring disease, sickness, poverty, famine, slavery and every kind of degeneration.
Jesus and His apostles were presenting a powerful new religious concept that was hard to comprehend by the average person, and rigorously condemned by the religious elite. So was it any surprise they were met with angst from this society as the Two Witnesses of the old and new covenants – with the new covenant considered foreign and unacceptable?
Who were the Sons of Thunder during this tumultuous time of ministry? Stay tuned…
God’s sheep question the doctrines of men…sheeple follow without question…