THE FINAL WITNESS
THE FINAL WITNESSCopyright Š 2013 Robert B. Thompson. All Rights Reserved
("The Final Witness" is taken from The Theology of Robert B. Thompson, copyright Š 2012 Robert B. Thompson, found in the Kindle Library)
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright Š 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
Some passages of Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLEŽ, Copyright Š 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
The Developing the Final Witness
The Final Witness
The Completion of the Program of Redemption
The Developing the Final WitnessChristians often speak of our need to "witness." Actually, what we mean by this is telling others what we understand about the Christian salvation.
But bearing witness of Christ, and of God's purposes in Christ, is infinitely more than telling others about our understanding of the Christian religion.
"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 no god was formed, nor will there be one after me." (Isaiah 43:10NIV)
Notice that the emphasis, in the verse above, is on knowing God. It is not on telling others what we think may be true of God and his salvation.
I hope I am mistaken in this, but it seems to me that while we have an abundance of preaching in the United States, a true witness of God and Christ is not as abundant.
When we read of Paul's determination, in the third chapter of the Book of Philippians, we notice his goal has to do with knowing Christ. Honestly, when you hear of some of the things that are said and done in Christian circles, you wonder if we know Christ at all!
We read in the New Testament that in the last days the Gospel shall be preached as a witness to every nation. The number of people who "accept Christ" is not the measure of a true witness. A true witness is borne only when the Person, will, way, and eternal purpose of God in Christ is presented, whether or not anyone is "saved."
It may on occasion be a good thing, and result in lasting fruit in the Kingdom, when a zealous believer tells someone about the salvation that is in the Lord Jesus Christ. But it might be better to refer to this effort as personal work, or as evangelizing or proselyting, rather than as "witnessing." To bear witness is to describe something we have seen or experienced, without drawing a conclusion.
In court a witness is directed to just tell the facts he or she has experienced and let others draw conclusions.
Notice what the Apostle John has to say about bearing witness:
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touchedthis we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. (I John 1:1-3NIV)
Most of us have not seen the Lord Jesus Christ living on the earth, as did John. But God in his own time and ways will reveal Christ to us. Then we can tell what we know, what God has shown to us. We then can actually bear witness.
Speaking personally, I have had what may be an unusual number of Divine interventions during my 65 years as a Christian. I have mentioned several of these in my new book, Godwill Castle. These are actual events I have experienced.
Also, as is true of all disciples of the Lord Jesus, God has answered numerous prayers and has shown himself to be absolutely true and faithful throughout my many years of patient, cross-carrying discipleship.
During the last few years the spirit world (Heaven) has become more real to me. Just when I thought I was going to be called home I am becoming aware of what is taking place in the invisible world.
What I am "seeing" is a very ordinary world, with people doing all the things people do. If I am hearing the Lord correctly, He has told me that many will be dying in the near future and He wants people to be prepared and not panic when a loved one dies, or when they themselves are facing death.
So much for going home! Oh well, I guess my work is not finished as yet.
I have just finished three books based on my new perception of the spirit world: Godwill Castle, John and Mary Visit Heaven, and HeavenGod's Wonderful World. This third book is being prepared for publication. It should be being advertised pretty soon. It is somewhat ironic that after having spent the last forty years telling believers that Heaven is not our eternal home (which is true!), I now am describing Heaven. Isn't that just like Jesus?
When telling about the spirit world, I am bearing witness of what I am experiencing. I am not writing doctrine, as I have for so many years.
Let me repeat this verse. I think it is of the essence:
"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 no god was formed, nor will there be one after me." (Isaiah 43:10NIV)
We can bear a true witness of God after He has dealt with us for a period of time. It may be true that we have had a dramatic Divine intervention at the time we first were saved, and we can tell about that as the Lord leads us. But for most of us, we come to know, believe, and understand God after a lifetime of problems and frustrations.
We may imagine that once we die and go to Heaven we will see God, and then we will have faith. This is not the case. Even if it is given to us to actually see God, that would not increase our faith. Faith is a gift from God, and it increases in us as God gently leads us from victory to victory. Satan was right next to the very Throne of God, but that did not give him faith!
I think those who have been appointed to a high rank in the Kingdom of God are dealt with more severely than those of a lesser calling. The higher the building the deeper the foundation. The Lord Jesus Christ occupies the highest rank in the Kingdom of God, and He was tested more severely than any other individual.
"Can you drink of my cup and be baptized with my baptism?" the Lord would ask those who dream of being a ruler in the Kingdom of God. We must be perfected in obedience before we are assigned to a position of rulership. Perfecting a human being in obedience to God is a long, painful process.
We are brought through fire, and we are not consumed because of God's faithfulness. We are brought through water, and we do not drown because of God's faithfulness. Fire, water, and seemingly endless problems until we learn to obey God at the moment and not worry about the future.
I like to say to people, "Jesus has been my best Friend for 65 years." This is a true testimony. It is my way of bearing witness, I suppose. It does not seem to offend anyone. I hope that the people who hear me will remember my words. America is approaching a time of chaos and destruction. Perhaps some individual who hears my statement will decide to call on Jesus for assistance during the dark hours ahead.
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord shall be saved!"
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. (Isaiah 43:2NIV)
The Final WitnessGod always has a witness of himself in the earth, and shall up to the time that the Lord Jesus appears. God's witness tells of his Person, his will, his way, and his eternal purpose in Christ. There is a great deal of preaching today, but I think a true witness may be in short supply.
According to the Bible, there will be one last witness before the Church Age comes to a close. The witness is set forth as "two witnesses," because it will be composed of Christ bearing witness with and within his victorious saints.
The tenth and eleventh chapters of the Book of Revelation really should be one chapter. The vision begins with the coming down from Heaven of a huge, powerful angel, with one foot on the sea and the other on the land. He is fiery, representing Divine judgment; and he has a rainbow over his head, revealing that his authority comes from the very Throne of Almighty God.
Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven. He was robed in a cloud, with a rainbow above his head; his face was like the sun, and his legs were like fiery pillars. (Revelation 10:1NIV)
I think this mighty angel has come already. The seventh (last) trumpet is about to sound. When it finally sounds, we will be changed into immortality.
The mighty angel shouts causing the seven thunders to speak. The seven thunders are the fullness of Divine power. But they cannot be released as yet because the Christian ministry at this time is characterized by self-will, self-direction.
And he gave a loud shout like the roar of a lion. When he shouted, the voices of the seven thunders spoke. (Revelation 10:3NIV)
Although the seven thunders are being restrained, the hour has come for the mystery of God to be accomplished. The mystery of God is Christ in us. The Scriptures, both Old Testament and New, show us that in the final hours of the Church Age, Christ will come to maturity in those who are living by his body and blood rather than by their own natural life.
"But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets." (Revelation 10:7NIV)
The final witness that is to be borne will be given by those who "eat" the Word of God rather than merely read it. It will be as honey in the mouth, but it will crucify the inner nature until Christ is formed in the saint.
I took the little scroll from the angel's hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour. Then I was told, "You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings." (Revelation 10:10,11NIV)
The words on the scroll are the prophecy that is to be given at the closing of the Church Age.
The saints, who eat the book, are destined to "prophesy again" about peoples, nations, languages, and kings. The Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached as a witness to all nations, and then the end of the Church Age will be here and the Kingdom will come to the earth through ChristHead and Body.
Notice the "prophesy again." The first prophecy was on the Day of Pentecost. These are not prophecies to build up the members of the Body of Christ but prophecies to the world of the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth.
But first the saints must be judged (measured), especially those who are crying "Not my will, but yours be done." While this judgment is taking place, the weaker Christians will be trampled on by the ungodly. I believe we can see the beginning of this prophecy today, as there is a separation between those who are living by the Life of Jesus and those who are casual concerning Christ and his Kingdom.
I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, "Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, and count the worshipers there. But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles." (Revelation 11:1,2NIV)
As soon as the saints have been judged, the power of the seven thunders will be given to them. They no longer are self-directed. Christ, the one Witness, is directing them. The saints constitute the other witness.
The two olive trees speak of the double portion of power, symbolized by the power given to Elisha. This is the "again prophecy," the first prophecy occurring when the Spirit of God was poured out at the beginning of the Church Age. First the power of Elijah. Then the power of Elisha.
These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. (Revelation 11:4NIV)
The end-time saints will not be primarily teachers of the Bible. Rather, their role will be to announce and bear witness of the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth. Notice that Elijah and Elisha were not known for their teachings. Rather they were witnesses, reminding the Jews of their God.
This tremendous witness will be given over a specific period of time. Then the power of the witness will be withdrawn, and the results of the witness will be sifted. Many who bore the witness will succumb to lust, worldliness, and personal ambition (Sodom, Egypt, and Jerusalem). Those who are able to stand will be hidden away by the Lord.
When an unusual anointing is bestowed, marvelous acts are performed. When the anointing is lifted, character is revealed.
In the last days there will be spectacular signs and wonders. The two witnesses, Christ, and his victorious saints, will work colossal miracles, as described in the eleventh chapter of the Book of Revelation.
But there is another set of people who also will work miracles. These are described in the thirteenth chapter of the Book of Revelation.
Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon. He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men. (Revelation 13:11-13NIV)
The above miracle worker often is referred to as the False Prophet.
So now we have two sets of people who work miracles in the days of Antichrist. The False Prophet is composed of people who work miracles but are not cross-carrying disciples. They speak with the voice of the dragon (I will! I will!) while they demonstrate the double portion of power (the two horns of the Lamb).
The two witnesses, on the other hand, are judged before they are entrusted with the power of the seven thunders. They have died to their own self-will.
These two kinds of people are in the earth today. The first group is seeking power rather than to walk in humility with the Lord Jesus. The second group, the true, victorious saints, are learning each day to look to the Lord Jesus for his will in every detail of their life.
Now when they (the two witnesses) have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them. (Revelation 11:7NIV)
Now we have come to the time when Antichrist will be allowed to exercise great power. His spirit and way will prevail in the earth. However, even in the deepest moral darkness, when ignorant people are crying "Peace and Safety," there will be deliverance available in the remnant whom God has hidden away.
At the time of the greatest spiritual darkness ever to be experienced on the earth, Christ will appear. The power of the witness will be restored. The true saints will be caught up to the heaven in a cloud.
But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them. Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up here." And they went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies looked on. (Revelation 11:11,12NIV)
Do you remember how the dead man touched Elisha's bones and came to life?
Now the seventh angel will sound his trumpet, and the saints will receive immortal bodies. They will descend with the Lord, and the kingdom of the world will become the Kingdom of God and of his ChristHead and Body.
God is preparing his witnesses in the present hour. They are measured, and measured, and measured again. Every particle of their personality is being examined. They must become dead-living people before they can be entrusted with the total power of the seven thunders. Their inner nature must be as a white flame that has consumed everything except that which is of Christ.
It is possible to cooperate with the demands of the Holy Spirit as He prepares us for the final witness. But we must be prepared to give everything to Christ.
This final, terrifying witness is God's love for mankind. God wants as many as possible to repent so they will be saved when the Kingdom of God comes with power and by force is established among the nations of the earth.
The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever." (Revelation 11:15NIV)
The Completion of the Program of RedemptionThis may be a good point at which to add a recent understanding given to me. As I have written previously, the program of redemption has been moving along. The previous century was the Pentecostal century, in that speaking in tongues appeared in many countries, often in the historic churches.
Pentecost was the fourth of the seven Jewish celebrations. The spiritual fulfillments of the remaining three convocations, the Blowing of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and finally the feast of Tabernacles, will occur during the twenty-first century.
The Blowing of Trumpets signifies the coming of the Lord Jesus in the Spirit to drive His enemies out of the creation of God. This work of deliverance will begin through the most fervent servants of Christ.
The Day of Atonement portrays the reconciling of man to God. The two goats symbolize the forgiveness of sin, and then the removal of sin. The work of reconciliation will continue throughout the eternal expansion of the Kingdom of God, as I understand it.
The feast of Tabernacles is fulfilled spiritually when the Father and the Son take up their eternal residence in the believer.
It can be seen how this will affect the witness given by the Christian people. The evil that is dwelling in them at the present time, which greatly damages their testimony of the Person, will, way, and eternal purpose of God in Christ, will be recognized and renounced by the believers. Here is the fulfillment of the Blowing of Trumpets.
Then the adamic nature will be destroyed a little bit at a time as the believer is willing to forsake his or her own personality and enter the Life of Christ. This is the fulfillment of the Day of Atonement, Day of Reconciliation. We will surrender our individuality in favor of thinking, speaking, and acting in concert with Christ. Eventually all of saved mankind will be filled with Christ in this manner.
Our unique personality will not be harmed by this transfer of will, only enhanced. We will change from an animal human being to a spiritual human being in the image of God. Christ lives by the will of the Father, and yet He remains a unique Personality. So it shall be with us.
When the Nature of Christ has been brought to maturity in us, then the Father and Christ will enter us, making us Their eternal Tabernacle. Such is the climax of the program of redemption.
As the spiritual environment of the earth becomes ever darker, it will be time for the final witness to the nations of the earth. There now shall be people living on the earth in whom Christ is dwelling and who shall be moved only by the will of God. Consequently the power of the seven thunders will rest upon them.
God will give the Word. The testimony shall be given. The eleventh chapter of the Book of Revelation describes the mighty miracles that will accompany the word coming through the two witnessesChrist and His obedient saints.
The power of evil shall not be able to prevail against them. When the testimony has been completed to the Father's satisfaction, the double portion for witnessing (the two olive trees) will be lifted. This will enable Antichrist to be appear in full revelation.
The human beings who formed the one witness, with Christ being the other, will be attacked by the lusts of the flesh, the desire for worldly gain, and self-will and religious pride (Sodom, Egypt, and Jerusalem).
Many shall fall by the sword.
Those who are wise will instruct many, though for a time they will fall by the sword or be burned or captured or plundered. (Daniel 11:33)
Some shall be deceived.
Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time. (Daniel 11:35)
The love of the majority of the people on the earth will grow cold.
But at the same time, there shall be a company of overcomers who will conquer the Accuser by the blood of the Lamb; by the word of their testimony; and by loving not their life to the death, choosing instead to live by the Life of Christ.
The Father shall release Michael to his appointed task. Michael and his angels will proceed to drive Satan and his angels down to the earth. Such is the beginning of salvation in the heavens, a salvation that will come to earth with the appearing of Christ and His saints. God's will shall be done in the earth as it has been done in Heaven.
Thus we see there will be a revival of redemption in our day, although the evil in the world will become increasingly worse. The revival of redemption will lead to the last great testimony of the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth.
When the testimony has been completed, Antichrist and his followers shall be given power to overcome the saints.
The man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, lifted his right hand and his left hand toward heaven, and I heard him swear by him who lives forever, saying, "It will be for a time, times and half a time. When the power of the holy people has been finally broken, all these things will be completed." (Daniel 12:7)
Numerous of earth's people will have turned to Christ due to the testimony given by the witnesses. But because of the abundance of evil in the earth, their love shall grow cold.
We must keep in mind that these awesome events, both evil and good, always will be controlled by the Lord Jesus as He works out God's plan from the beginning of the creation.
How close we are to the end can be seen by the numerous American people who are declaring that our president is the second coming of Christ.
We may not be able to save America. But we can save ourselves and our loved ones by drawing near to Jesus and faithfully obeying Him in every detail of our life. The present period of time has been given to us so we may prepare ourselves for the moral and physical chaos on the horizon.
Wherever lawlessness abounds, grace does much more abound.
Let us pay attention to the Holy Spirit as He brings us through the spiritual fulfillments of the Blowing of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the feast of Tabernacles.
If we are faithful in pursuing these, perhaps it will be granted to us to be part of the company of witnesses who will go through the earth proclaiming the soon coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth.
"See, it is I who created the blacksmith who fans the coals into flame and forges a weapon fit for its work. And it is I who have created the destroyer to work havoc; no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me," declares the Lord. (Isaiah 54:16,17)