Sunday, June 14, 2015
Two Witnesses Series #11 – Part 63 of Riddles, Enigmas & Esoteric Imagery of Revelation
When Jesus Christ appeared to John, He was not just revealing the future of His church, He was explaining in detail what had just been prophetically fulfilled for the 12 tribes of Israel, explaining a new way for them to interact with their Father in Heaven. So it is extremely important for us to keep the visions in their historical setting of fulfillment. By defining the metaphorical language, enigmas, and esoteric imagery the message unfolds for our understanding.
Last week, I asked what did Rev. 11:7 mean when it says…make war against them – the Two Witnesses? The ruler of the bottomless pit is Satan – he is the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. The word war in the original Greek language is peloma meaning: to bustle; move quickly; battle.
As soon as the ministry of Jesus and His apostles to the lost sheep of the house of Israel was fulfilled, God would allow the icy fingers of death to choke the breath of earthly life out of His Son – this is God’s plan.
When Jesus is standing before the powerful Roman Governor, we know that God has granted to the beast, permission to kill His Son, and make war against His apostles, eventually killing them too. Once permission was granted to kill Jesus, Satan moved quickly – bustled – to battle against Jesus and kill Him.
By the mouth of the enemies of Jesus and His apostles – Rome and the Sanhedrin – a major disinformation campaign was lodged against them, attempting to refute the gospel, by calling Jesus an imposter, and His apostles false prophets
I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered…Mark 14:27. Jesus Christ was brutalized and murdered at the precise time appointed by His Father in Heaven, who had orchestrated this great plan to redeem men from their sins. There were a lot of rumors in the town to get rid of His apostles too, in order to silence their “false” message that Jesus was the Messiah. Then they all forsook Him and fled…Mark 14:40. The confused and terrified apostles ran and hid from their enemies.
And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified…Rev. 11:.8. The Two Witnesses lie dead in the great city where the Lord was crucified – Jerusalem. Since the death of Jesus Christ, the two covenants that were witnessed by Him and the apostles, is no longer heard in the streets of Jerusalem. There is simply dead silence – Two Witnesses lie dead in the street.
Why does this text describe the great city as Sodom and Egypt? Sodom symbolizes immorality and homosexuality. Egypt symbolizes idolatry and oppression. The Two Witnesses – two covenants – were sent to an idolatrous and morally degenerate society who needed a Savior. They defied and mocked the old covenant, and covered their ears from hearing about the new covenant. Both covenants condemned idolatry and immorality, but offered salvation through repentance.
The religious interpreters of Bible prophecy in Jerusalem, as well as the rank-and-file, were looking for a Messiah who would deliver them from the oppressions of Rome, and set up His own kingdom in Jerusalem upon His arrival – no dilly-dallying! But all Jesus and His apostles did was preach what the Law and the Prophets had already witnessed – His kingdom is not of this world…John 18.36. Since Jesus and His rag-tags didn’t fit the bill – they had to be killed.
After Jesus was crucified, His apostles ran into hiding behind closed doors, trembling from fear. Dead bodies lie in the street of the great city is an idiom used to describe the disappearing of the apostles – silencing of their message – from the public square. They hid so well that it appeared as if they – and their message – were dead for 3 1/2 days. No one knew where they went. It must have been a welcome relief to no longer have to listen to the bombastic Sons of Thunder, challenging the idolaters of Jerusalem to give up their false gods.
Those repentance radicals were finally silenced – Dead! I’m sure no one was asking where they went, because the citizens were so relieved by the peace and quiet. Now they could return to the business of sinning without the scrutiny of the Two Witnesses.
Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three and a half days three and a half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves…Rev. 11:9. Can you solve this riddle? If not, we will next week…stay tuned.
God’s sheep question the doctrines of men…sheeple follow without question…