THE MESSAGE OF THE TWO WITNESSES

Copyright

 

THE MESSAGE OF THE TWO WITNESSES Copyright Š 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The eleventh chapter of the Book of Revelation does not present the message preached by the two witnesses. Rather, works of judgment are emphasized in the eleventh chapter because the witness is preparing the way for the soon coming of the resurrection of the dead and the Day of Judgment.

Divine works of judgment are a necessary aspect of the last-day testimony because of the resistance of the nations to the Gospel of the Kingdom, and also because works of judgment portray accurately the attitude of God toward the earth and are a forerunner of what is to be expected when the Day of the Lord arrives.

We believe that the actual message the two witnesses will proclaim is announced in Isaiah, Chapter 40.

In addition to their warning to the nations the two witnesses will speak comfortably to a wounded, distraught "Jerusalem." Complete spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical healing is the "children’s bread."

Table of Contents

Introduction

Isaiah, Chapter Forty

Verse one Verse two Verse three Verse four Verse five Verses six through eight Verses nine through eleven

THE MESSAGE OF THE TWO WITNESSES  

Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people. He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.” (Revelation 4:6,7)

Introduction

We think the eleventh chapter of the Book of Revelation is speaking of the events of our day. The meaning of the passage has been hidden until the present hour by the use of symbolic language.

It is our point of view that the tenth and eleventh chapters of the Book of Revelation portray that which is beginning to take place in our time. We believe that the two witnesses refer to Christ and His Body testifying to all nations of the soon coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth. They will receive a double portion of the Holy Spirit in order to fulfill their ministry, as portrayed by the two olive trees that empty into the two lampstands.

The overcoming of the witness does not mean Christ Himself has been overcome but that His witness has been driven from the cities of the earth. Remember, the Lord told us that when His brothers were sick He was sick; when His brothers were in prison He was in prison (Matthew, Chapter 25). So it is that the overcoming of the witness is the overcoming of Christ in that special sense.

Since we have set forth in other writings the reason for our interpretation, showing the relationship of Revelation, Chapter 11 to Zechariah, Chapter Four, we will not repeat our explanation at this time. Instead we shall emphasize the message given by the two witnesses.

The eleventh chapter of Revelation does not present the message preached by the two witnesses. Rather, works of judgment are emphasized in the eleventh chapter because the witness is preparing the way for the soon coming of the resurrection of the dead and the Day of Judgment.

Divine works of judgment are a necessary aspect of the last-day testimony because of the resistance of the nations to the Gospel of the Kingdom, and also because works of judgment portray accurately the attitude of God toward the earth and are a forerunner of what is to be expected when the Day of the Lord arrives.

We believe the actual message the two witnesses will proclaim is announced in Isaiah, Chapter 40. 

Isaiah, Chapter Forty

Verse one. 

Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. (Isaiah 40:1)

The comforting of Zion is the third work of Christ and will be, we believe an important aspect of the ministry of the two witnesses. 

And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people. (Isaiah 51:16)

To plant the heavens.

To lay the foundations of the earth.

To say to Zion, "You are my people."

God’s people are in a wilderness of moral weakness, various disabilities, and doctrinal errors. They are a large pile of very dry bones. If the Spirit of God does not move on the dry bones the Lord will find a confusing state of affairs when He appears.

There are at least three reasons for the feeble moral condition of the believers:

Incorrect doctrine.

A self-serving ministry.

The humanism and lawlessness of our environment.

The Christian churches of today are filled with incorrect doctrine. Some of the errors are as follows:

The interpretation of Paul’s teaching of "grace" to mean the Divine salvation consists of the forgiveness of all of the believer’s sin, past, present, and future regardless of how the believer behaves. The tragic misunderstanding of the grace of God, making grace a perpetual covering for sinful behavior, is at the root of most of the errors of today. Salvation by grace apart from works is the ancient error of antinomianism, a branch of the historical Gnostic heresy. Antinomianism is prevalent in our day in our preaching and teaching.

The doctrine that salvation is unconditional, meaning once an individual makes a profession of Christ he never can be lost to the purposes of God whether or not he obeys the Lord’s commandments.

The view of Divine grace as an alternative to righteous behavior rather than what it is—the means of enabling us to practice righteous behavior. Divine grace is an alternative to the Law of Moses, not to godly behavior!

The emphasis on the goodness and love of God to the exclusion of the severity of God.

The view of the Judgment Seat of Christ as a kind of sports award banquet in which all participants receive some kind of award but no believer is punished.

The concept that Heaven, the spirit Paradise, is the eternal home of the saved and that the purpose of the Divine salvation is to bring us to Heaven to live forever in a mansion.

The division of the one Body of Christ into a Gentile church that will remain in Heaven and a Jewish kingdom that will govern the earth.

The view that the Lord will "rapture" Christians to Heaven so they will not suffer during the great tribulation or at the hands of Antichrist.

The endless emphasis on the catching up of the believers with practically no mention of the resurrection.

The current teaching that the commandments of the Lord Jesus found in the four Gospel accounts do not apply to Christians.

The current teaching that the Book of Hebrews does not apply to Christians but to unsaved Jews (the blindness exhibited here is incredible! May God save us all!).

The teaching that God is finished with the physical land and people of Israel and the Christian Church is now the only Israel of the Kingdom of God; that God has no intention of restoring the land and people of Israel.

The understanding of the fourteenth chapter of John to mean the Lord Jesus is building houses for us in Heaven.

The belief that all believers, all who have taken the "four steps of salvation," will receive the same reward.

The doctrine that the overcomer, of Revelation, Chapters Two and Three, is the individual who merely has made a profession of belief in Christ.

The interpretation of being saved "so as by fire" to mean the fruitless believer will be rewarded and never scolded but will have a smaller mansion than more diligent believers.

The applying of the numerous warnings of the Apostle Paul, such as Galatians 5:19-21 and Romans 6:23, to unsaved people when they obviously were written to the believers in Galatia and Rome. The reason for this misunderstanding is that the religious leaders of today cannot believe that God actually would punish a Christian severely or disinherit him or her. "Thou shalt not surely die" is heard from many pulpits.

The church leaders do not understand that the program of redemption requires much suffering before we are freed from our sins and reconciled to God, although the concept of salvation through fiery ordeals is taught clearly in the fourth chapter of I Peter.

The concept that the Christian must never suffer. Christ did all the suffering for us. It was His part to be poor and rejected, to suffer agony. Our part is to be rich, popular, and never to be chastened severely by the Lord.

A modern doctrine is that Christians are to be rich in this world and that they can use "faith" as a tool to acquire riches.

Christians are to imagine what they want and then speak the creative word that will bring their imagined object or situation into physical existence.

Today we have thousands of Christians who believe the role of the churches is to govern secular society and to force unsaved people to behave in a manner acceptable to the Christians.

One division of Christians is teaching that the Lord will not return until the Christian people, using the gifts God has given, have created the Kingdom of God on the earth.

Some Christians still believe that the gifts and ministries of the Spirit are not for today; that Divine healing ended with the first-century Apostles.

The belief that the grace of God is enlarged by our sinning. The Apostle Paul firmly denounced this deadly error and yet it is implied by current "grace" teaching. 

For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner? And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just. (Romans 3:7,8)

The following passage is the source of the expression "where sin abounds grace does much more abound."

Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness [as defined by the sixth chapter of Romans] unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 5:20,21)

Paul is pointing out the superiority of the new covenant. The Law of Moses causes sin to abound. The grace given through Christ abounds to a greater extent than the sin brought to light through the Law of Moses. The sin aroused by the Law of Moses brings us to death. The grace of God in Christ brings us to righteousness, and the end of righteousness is eternal life.

Notice also:

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? (Romans 6:1,2)

The preceding are a few of the errors that have made the Christian churches a valley of very dry bones. The poisonous misunderstandings feed upon and reinforce one another and destroy God’s entire plan for the redemption of people.

The common denominator of many modern misunderstandings is that the new covenant is different from the preceding Divine covenants in two significant ways: (1) the goal of salvation is now understood to be the placing of the believer in a mansion in the spirit Paradise after he dies, where he will rest forever; and (2) the believer is made eligible for eternal rest in the spirit Paradise by the observances of whatever church he belong to. How these Christian myths began we have no idea, but there is no support in the Old Testament or the New for viewing eternal residence in Heaven as the goal of salvation and belief in Christian theology and the practice of Christian liturgies as the means of entering Heaven.

Theology and liturgy have value only as they lead us to the Man, Christ. We are brought to the Man, not so we can rest forever in the spirit Paradise (how does that benefit God or man?) but so we can be prepared to serve in the new world of righteousness, in the Kingdom of God that soon is to come to the earth.

The new covenant is Christ Himself and we are under the new covenant only to the extent we are abiding each moment in Christ. 

A self-serving ministry also has contributed to the spiritually impoverished condition of the Lord’s people. There are thousands of pastors and evangelists who, knowing the believers will not accept any negative preaching, any demands on their relatively comfortable lives, are telling them what they desire to hear. They are scratching the itchy ears of the churchgoers, informing them how wonderful they are and at any moment the Lord will whisk them away with the Holy Spirit so they may sit in air-conditioned comfort in Heaven, watching the Jews without the Holy Spirit preach the Gospel of the Kingdom in the face of Antichrist.

It does not seem to matter that such a doctrine is unscriptural and, in fact, preposterous. The people desire to hear it. The pastors want to be well-fed and have every material comfort. They want to "pastor" a large group of people so they will be considered successful. If you put fried chicken and apple pie in their mouth they will cry peace! peace! They do not tell their listeners that if they do not take up their cross and follow the Lord Jesus they neither are disciples nor worthy of the Kingdom of God. 

The humanism and lawlessness of our environment, particularly in the so-called "free nations," is increasing every day. Humanism, the philosophy that man is his own God, that self-will and self-love are to be encouraged, has removed the fear of God from the churches. The self-rule of man will find its fullest expression in the man of sin who will sit in the Temple of God and proclaim himself God.

Revelation, Chapter 11 states that the dead bodies of the Christian witness will lie in the street of Sodom, Egypt, and Jerusalem. This means the lust of the flesh, the attractions of the world, and the self-will of religious man will slay the Lord’s prophets in the last days.

Sometimes these three enemies of God will slay the prophets from within, meaning the witnesses themselves will be drawn away from God by the lust of the flesh, the spirit of the world, and their own self-will. In other instances the three enemies of God will slay the prophets from without, meaning these three spirits of wickedness will cause the peoples of the earth, particularly worldly Christians, to drive the Christian witness from their midst by scorn, violence, economic pressure, and every other means at hand.

Throughout the ages the Roman Catholic Church has attempted to slay the true witnesses of the Lord wherever they have appeared. So it will be in the last days as every religious institution rises against the Lord’s holy remnant.

No wonder the Christian churches are a valley of dry bones, referring to the absence of the Presence of God in their midst! their spiritual impoverishment! the sin practiced by the believers! the physical, mental, and emotional sicknesses that abound when the Scriptures promise healing and fullness of joy and peace to the Lord’s people!

The blood-washed are sick today in many instances. Not only are they unable to overcome sin but in addition numerous believers suffer from depression; some are manic-depressive; others are coping with childhood molestation; still others are addicted to drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes. Christians are experiencing every sickness from arthritis to AIDS. But the Lord Jesus is well able to heal every disease.

The children of Christians suffer from learning disabilities, hyperactivity, teen-age pregnancy, rebellion, and criminal behavior. Those who minister in jails and prisons find young people who have been raised in church.

The ministry of the two witnesses is beginning in our day. The Spirit of the Lord is saying: 

Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. (Isaiah 40:1)

God sees the pitiful condition of His flock. God is ready for the Son of righteousness to arise with healing in His wings. It is a day of healing, not one of beating the members of the flock because they are sick and confused.

Verse two. 

Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. (Isaiah 40:2)

It is a time to speak words of comfort to the Lord’s people. The warfare of Israel has been accomplished. The wickedness, lawlessness, and rebellion of Zion have been pardoned.

Jerusalem, both natural and spiritual, has suffered much at the Lord’s hand, having been chastened severely by the Lord. We think of the holocaust of the Jews and the vicious torture and murder of millions of Christians.

Now it is time to comfort Zion, both natural and spiritual Israel, for the two are on a converging course and shall become one stick in the Lord’s hand.

Let us think for a moment about Divine healing. Divine healing includes healing for spirit, soul, and body for they all are part of our personality.

There are four conditions of eligibility for Divine healing, and one condition that is not eligible. There is some confusion over the non-eligible condition.

Healing for the Lord’s people.

Healing as a sign of the Lord’s truth.

Healing for the family of a Christian.

Healing for an individual who is not a Christian but who comes to the Lord’s people for help.

The non-eligible condition has to do with the world at large. Although we are hearing today that the Christian churches are to go forth and heal everybody so all can enjoy their life in the world, we do not find this directive in the Scriptures.

Divine healing is the children’s bread. It is Babylon (man-directed Christianity) that offers the children’s bread to whoever will accept it. Babylon and all her daughters (the Catholic Church and the Protestant churches) are prostitutes when they offer the Lord’s benefits to the world so the world will accept the churches and interact with them. 

They give gifts to all whores: but thou givest thy gifts to all thy lovers, and hirest them, that they may come unto thee on every side for thy whoredom. (Ezekiel 16:33)

The promises of the Scripture are not directed toward the world but toward the Lord’s elect, toward Zion. The Lord’s elect include the physical land and people of Israel, and also those of the Gentiles whom God has called. 

Healing for the Lord’s people.

But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. (Matthew 15:26)

Divine healing for spirit, soul, and body is the children’s bread. Healing is for Israel including the elect Gentiles. There is healing in the atonement. The Scriptures are very clear on this. Speaking to God’s elect: 

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)

Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed [have been healed]. (I Peter 2:24)

The healing of our entire personality has already been accomplished on the cross of Calvary—spirit, soul, and body.

Some have believed that although spiritual healing takes place instantly it is not true physical healing necessarily will occur. This is because we understand only instantaneous spiritual salvation and we may not see physical healing follow the moment we receive Christ. We do not realize we are in the process of being saved spiritually. As our spiritual healing progresses we can expect physical healing to occur.

Physical healing is associated with freedom from sin. Notice the following: 

Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; (Psalms 103:3)

Do you see in the above that physical healing follows the forgiveness of our wickedness? 

Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults [sins] one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (James 5:14-16)

In James (above) we are told to confess our sins one to another. Then we are to pray one for another that we may be healed physically. 

Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. (III John 1:2)

If we who love the Lord are willing to receive the fact that physical healing is included in the atonement, then we will have faith to go to the Lord for our healing just as we go to Him for release from the bondages of sin.

The Bible says, "who healeth all thy diseases." The Bible says, "but the Lord delivereth him out of them all," referring to afflictions. The Bible says, "by His stripes we have been healed."

If you are physically disabled, then right now begin to remind the Lord of the three statements in the preceding paragraph. Praise the Lord for His goodness. Give thanks to the Lord for all He has done for you and then remind Him of what He has said in His Word. Blow the trumpet! Remind the Lord of His promise! Do so with energy. Do it every day. You shall be healed.

Physical healing is the children’s bread. It is included in the atonement. Never, never, never give up! You may be healed instantly. Your healing may be five years down the road. But your healing will come at the best possible time, the time that will be most beneficial for you in terms of your entering the Kingdom of God.

We understand that sometimes God, for a season, uses physical illness to accomplish a spiritual purpose in our life. 

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (II Corinthians 12:9)

We understand also that we are required to suffer as God removes the love of the world, the love of sin, and self-will from us. 

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. (I Peter 5:10)

Spiritual and physical salvation take time. Never give up. Never make assumptions. Never reason with yourself that God has sent you a "thorn in the flesh" to humble you or He is perfecting you or you are not worthy. Do not make such assumptions. They probably are not true. You are just talking yourself out of your healing.

You can be healed and you shall be healed if you will praise the Lord each day, reminding Him of His promises. The written Word can never be changed, not one tiny bit; and the written Word promises healing to God’s people.

Please notice we are not referring to "speaking the word of faith" or anything of the kind. We are not attempting to manipulate the spirit realm by our faith. Rather we are looking to the Lord Jesus, reminding Him of what He has said and waiting confidently, patiently, joyously for His power to work in our life according to His Word. This attitude is necessary for all aspects of salvation, not just physical healing. 

Healing as a sign of the Lord’s truth.

And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. (Mark 16:17,18)

But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me. (John 5:36)

The miraculous signs performed by the Lord Jesus proved beyond all doubt the Father had sent Him.

God employs miraculous physical healing and other supernatural works as signs that the word being spoken is indeed His Word. The Kingdom of God in not in word but in power. Whenever the Lord Jesus is moving in a special way there will be many dramatic miracles including the miraculous healing of sick people.

A sign has little meaning of itself. The importance of the sign is what it points to. However, when people are healed of cancer, or tuberculosis, or heart disease, they are not thinking about a sign but about being healed.

The healing revival of the last fifty years got off course because the emphasis was placed on getting anyone and everyone healed without reference to the fact that such healing is intended as a sign so people will believe in God, be saved, and serve the Lord. In some instances what the sign was to point to was not present. The signs were happening but there was no true, clear Word from God for the signs to verify. The miraculous healing became an end in itself. 

Healing for the family of a Christian.

And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them. (Matthew 8:15)

Peter’s mother-in-law was not an apostle and perhaps not even a believer. But the Lord healed her because she was Peter’s relative.

Salvation, including physical and emotional healing, extends to the household of the believer. God’s redemption has provided "a lamb for a house." 

And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. (Acts 16:31)

Lot was dragged from the city of destruction because he was Abraham’s nephew.

One believer in a household brings holiness to the entire family. 

For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. (I Corinthians 7:14)

Let us continue to pray for each member of our family that he or she may be healed spiritually, physically, emotionally, and mentally. God will hear our prayers for them and God will answer. It may take a while for the answer to come so let us hold fast in confidence before the Lord. He is faithful who has promised.

Many of us have severe needs in our own family and it is good to know the Lord will fulfill His Word and grant healing and deliverance if we continue to pray and trust in the Lord’s Word. 

Healing for an individual who is not a Christian but who comes to the Lord’s people for help.

Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour. (Matthew 15:28)

The Canaanite woman implored the Lord to heal her daughter. The Lord Jesus, after reminding her that healing was for Israel, was so moved by her faith He healed her daughter. There always is deliverance in Mount Zion, and the unsaved person who comes to Jesus for physical healing, or who asks the members of a Christian church to pray for him, may very well have his prayers answered! 

The non-eligible condition.

Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you. (Matthew 7:6)

Many Christian institutions are stressing today that the churches are to go out into the world and bring healing to the peoples of the nations. In some instances there is a conviction that Christians should become involved in the secular governments until they are able to force Christian values on unsaved people.

We do not see such a policy in the Scriptures. There is no Scripture to our knowledge that directs us to give the things of God to the world or to try to heal or correct the world. It is our role, rather, to bear a true witness of God. This we have not done. Instead we are seeking to either heal the unsaved people or else force them to live according to our standards.

We must keep in mind that the purpose of Divine healing is not to lift the Divine curse from the world. Unsaved people or lukewarm Christians would enjoy having us lift the judgment of God from them so they could continue serving the appetites and lusts of their flesh. The peoples of the world would gladly have us multiply food for them, heal all their diseases, and show them how to prosper financially. They might even profess belief in Christ if they could persuade us to help them in their material pursuits.

But this is not the role of the saints. We are not to try to buy the belief of the world with food, healing, or any other provision. As soon as people who have come to us to have their needs met are satisfied, or when persecution or hardship arises because of their "faith," they will fall away rapidly just as the multitude did when the Lord began to talk about eating His flesh and drinking His blood. We will be fortunate if such "rice Christians" do not turn us in to the authorities!

Notice the following:

Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. (Daniel 11:34)

"Many shall cleave to them with flatteries." We do not want insincere, hypocritical followers.

Divine healing is for the saints, for the member of his family, and for the unsaved person who comes in humility to the Lord and asks His help. Divine healing is also for a sign so that people will recognize the Word of God.

But Divine healing and all the other blessings of God are not for the purpose of enabling us to live a contented and prosperous life in the present world. Until we understand this we still are part of Babylon. We do not have a heart for the Lord. We are not on the Lord’s side but on the side of people. We are ripe for the rule of Antichrist who will use misguided Christian people to carry out his worldwide programs of cradle-to-grave security and prosperity.

Let us think for a moment about the purpose of the anointing of the Holy Spirit. 

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; (Isaiah 61:1)

It is clear from the above verse that the Lord Jesus has been anointed (along with the members of His Body) to preach the good news of the Kingdom of God, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim release and freedom for those in captivity. 

To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; (Isaiah 61:2)

The Lord Jesus read in His home synagogue from this portion of Isaiah. After saying "the acceptable year of the Lord," Jesus rolled up the scroll. The "day of vengeance" against God’s enemies had not come as yet. The day of vengeance is here now. God is ready to exercise judgment, through the Christian saints, upon all spirits; but only as we are led by the Holy Spirit.

What group of people is the Lord addressing? 

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified. (Isaiah 61:3)

"To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion." It is the children of Zion who are being addressed by the Lord in this passage from the sixty-first chapter of Isaiah.

The deliverance is the children’s bread. It is for those of God’s people who are weeping and mourning because of the sin in the world and in the churches, who are bowed down with every kind of disease and affliction.

Now comes the goal of Divine healing. The goal needs to be announced today because the leaders are assuming that the goal of God’s delivering power is to make people happy, contented, and prosperous in the world, and when they die to bring them to their mansion in Heaven to live there forever.

Here is the goal: "that they might be called trees [oaks] of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified."

The goal of Divine healing is that the Lord’s saint become an oak of righteousness—an oak of righteous behavior so the Lord may be glorified.

Anyone who is acquainted with oak trees is aware how slowly they grow and how large and immovable they become. An oak sapling can be bent and twisted at the pleasure of a child. A fully mature oak tree can withstand all but an enormous force.

God’s people of today are not even saplings. They can easily be bent and shaped by evil. The errors we have mentioned above have prevented all but the most feeble attempts to live righteously. But God’s intention is to create "oaks of righteousness."

After they become oaks of righteousness, what shall the saints do? 

And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations. (Isaiah 61:4)

As soon as the Lord develops some oaks of righteousness from among His people He will return with His oaks and use them to rebuild an earth that has been destroyed by men who were attempting to make themselves God, as we see today on every hand.

We mentioned previously some of the numerous sicknesses and afflictions that have disabled God’s people. Disabled believers cannot even begin on the path of rugged, cross-carrying discipleship until some emotional and physical healing has taken place. An individual cannot be exhorted to live the victorious Christian life when his personality is weak and sickly.

Let us add a few words of practical advice to the believers who are finding their way back to health, and from there to the path that leads to eternal life.

We recognize that sometimes God heals us sovereignly. On other occasions the Lord blesses those with professional or other experience as they assist us on our road to health.

Sometimes a professional health worker will prescribe medications. When he or she does we are to do what the doctor tells us to do and to do it faithfully. God cannot bless us when we go to a doctor and then refuse to follow his directions.

Going to a doctor or taking medicine will not prevent God from healing you miraculously (unless the Lord has told you not to seek medical help, which is unlikely but not unheard of). Is God without power such that if you take a pill He cannot heal you?

Do what is reasonable concerning your condition. Pray first. Confess your sins. Be anointed and prayed for by the elders of your church. Look to the Lord for wisdom as to what you should do.

If you decide to go to a doctor, go with faith and a clear conscience. Pray that God will give the doctor wisdom. Do what the doctor tells you to do unless there is some harmful aspect present such as hypnosis. Christians should not submit to hypnosis, neither should they participate in Freudian or Jungian psychoanalysis. The personalities of Freud and Jung were questionable enough to make a Christian very cautious concerning psychoanalysis.

There is psychological counseling that is helpful in the case of depression, addiction, child behavior, child molestation, marital conflict, and other emotional problems. Sometimes medication assists the healing process.

Maintain a sense of expectancy concerning your healing no matter how much time goes by before the answer comes. Listen carefully to the Lord. He may direct you to change your diet or living habits or may give you insight concerning a practice you did not realize was harmful. Do not let anyone accuse you of lack of faith because you are ill. Think as much as possible about the joyous aspects of your life.

Remember, it is the Lord’s will to heal you totally—mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually. This is what the Scriptures declare, both Old and New Testament. Keep on believing and resting in the promise of God until you gain perfect healing.

All aspects of the personality of the saint are eligible for healing. But we must be willing to follow the Lord until we have driven out the enemy. 

And it came to pass, when Israel was strong, that they put the Canaanites to tribute, and did not utterly drive them out. (Judges 1:28)

God had commanded the Israelites to totally destroy the enemy. God gave them the land but the Jews were not willing to fight hard enough and long enough to completely drive out the enemy. So it is true that God already has given us the healing we desire. Will we be willing to fight in the Lord hard enough and long enough to gain the victory in body, soul, and spirit that God has promised His saints? 

And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (I Thessalonians 5:23)

The healing is there for us if we are ready to go to the Lord with a joyful hope and discover how to follow Him to total victory.

Christians are not to despise professional help. We are not to give people simplistic advice: "you wouldn’t be depressed if you had faith or would pray"; "you would not be sick if you had faith"; the child with a learning disability should "try harder"; and so forth.

One professional who works with believers who are addicts urged us to keep on emphasizing forgiveness, to bless those who are struggling, to tell them that God loves them, because that is all they can bear at this time. He claimed that people are addicts because they have an addictive personality, and the addictive personality must be dealt with by someone properly prepared to do so.

To exhort a disabled personality to be strong in discipleship may be to disable him even further. To exhort a child with a learning disability to try to be at the head of his class is to produce discouragement rather than success. It is like exhorting someone with a broken leg to try to win an ice-skating competition.

We are not excusing worldliness or spiritual laziness. We are saying that people cannot start out on the Christian discipleship when there are severe emotional or mental and sometimes physical problems.

There also is a place for casting out devils. Again, this should be done by experienced Christians who know what they are doing.

God has called the writer to preach the victorious Christian life. However, we see the need for ministry to believers who have severe mental, emotional, or physical problems. The Lord would have us speak comfortably to Jerusalem and to minister to the many needs she has so that eventually the saints will become oaks of righteousness. We intend to keep on urging the Church forward into battle and at the same time, as the pastor of a church, make provision as we are able for those who need assistance so they too may one day join the army of the Lord.

We see, then, that the first task of the end-time witnesses of the God of the earth is to speak comfortably to Jerusalem, healing her until she is an oak of righteousness and a priceless jewel in the hand of the Lord.

Verse three. 

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. (Isaiah 40:3)

John the Baptist was a witness who prepared the way of the Lord. John came in the spirit and power of Elijah. 

For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. (Matthew 3:3)

There will be two witnesses who will prepare the way for the coming of the Lord. The two witnesses are symbolized by the two wave loaves of the feast of Pentecost. 

Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals; they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the Lord. (Leviticus 23:17)

The two witnesses are Christ and His Body. They are the two Lampstands and the two Anointed Ones standing before the God of the whole earth.

The world is a moral wilderness today and the churches of Christ are a valley of very dry bones. The way of the Lord must be prepared in the desert. A straight highway must be built in the wilderness.

If the Lord were to come today, what would He find? The Lord’s churches are a moral desert, a doctrinal wilderness. The people are wounded, sick, ignorant of the riches of God. The model of biblical interpretation that divides God’s elect into a Gentile church and a Jewish kingdom has robbed the new-covenant saints of the spiritual riches to be found in the Old Testament.

The Spirit of revelation has been replaced by traditional religious fables. Attempts to manipulate the spirit realm by various formulas are employed instead of genuine faith. Music has taken the place of the manifestation of the Spirit. Ministers "book" concert tours and entertain the believers. "Rock" groups amuse the young people. Clowns, ventriloquists, and magicians are brought to the platform to make sure people keep coming to church. Pianists who make no attempt to lead a holy life embellish hymns so the "saints" will not be bored. The husbands need to watch carefully their wives, and the fathers their daughters (and young boys), while such "ministers" are in town.

It is time for the churches to repent!

Many of God’s people have never met the Lord. They have heard about God and perhaps have learned to use a spiritual gift or two. But they have never met the God of Abraham. They have never been confronted by the God of the old-time Methodists or Baptists. The holy ways of the Lord are not known to them. They have not been spiritually circumcised.

The Pentecostal movement at one time was of the Lord. The people prayed, read their Bibles, trusted God for healing. The ladies attempted to be holy by wearing their hair in a bun and by not using cosmetics. There was much stress on modest clothing. The believers did not attend the theater or play cards.

Then the Charismatic movement arose and spread across the earth. The practices of outward holiness were rejected. People began to learn to operate the gifts of the Spirit. But there was little prayer. The preaching of cross-carrying obedience disappeared. In its place came errors such as the "faith" and "prosperity" errors, positive thinking and speaking, imaging, and other unscriptural practices.

The Lord left because of the lack of prayer and consecration.

So it was in the days of John the Baptist. The Pharisees loved to sit in the seat of Moses, a special chair of honor. But they did not know the God of Moses. They memorized the Law and spoke of it constantly. But they did not know the God who gave the Law. They robbed widows while making long public prayers.

They were not prepared for God when He came.

Out from the desert emerged John the Baptist. The Spirit of God was upon John and everyone came to hear him preach. He warned rich and poor, famous and unknown, the influential and those of little influence, to be baptized in order to show their repentance from their wickedness and their desire to please the Lord.

When God came He was as one Person (although the Father was in Jesus as another Person just as the Lord Jesus will be in the saints of the last days as another Person). John had prepared the way with his faithful preaching. He did not exalt himself but pointed to the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

The next coming of the Lord will include the appearing of the Body of Christ as well as Christ Himself. The next coming of the Lord will be worldwide instead of confined to the narrow streets of Jerusalem. The next coming of the Lord will install the Kingdom of God upon the earth in place of the rule of self-seeking people.

The second coming of the Lord will be infinitely more powerful and widespread than the first (although not more significant). In like manner the ministry of the two witnesses will be infinitely more powerful and widespread than was true of the ministry of John the Baptist. They too will point to the Lord instead of themselves. They too will be clothed with humility (sackcloth).

John came in the spirit and power of Elijah. The two witnesses will come in the spirit and power of Elisha, who is the strongest type in the Scriptures of the two witnesses.

The way of the Lord must be made straight.

Verse four. 

Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: (Isaiah 40:4)

Some of the Lord’s people of today are valleys. They are depressed. They hate themselves and believe God hates them. They cannot seem to rise up and live a normal Christian life. It is God’s will to deliver them, to remove from them the spirit of depression and condemnation, to give them joy and confidence in the Lord.

Some of the Lord’s people are mountains or hills. They are lifted up beyond their actual position in the Kingdom of God. They desire to be first in every enterprise. They are not content to be one of the group but must be someone of importance, someone who is noticed when he or she is in the assembly of believers.

It is God’s will to deliver the ambitious from the horrible chains of self-importance so they will be content with the lowliest place.

Some of the Lord’s people are crooked, devious, slippery. When you attempt to deal with them you find they manage to sidestep the truth. They do not like issues to be black or white, right or wrong, righteous or unrighteous. They slip and slide around when they should be walking a straight line. They tell half-truths and give false impressions. They have hidden plans, hidden agendas. They scheme and manipulate circumstances. They are not forthright with their brothers and sisters. If they were placed in a mortar and pounded with a pestle it is doubtful the lie could be driven from them.

The events that are upon us now will force the devious to come out of hiding and declare their intentions. 

He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. (Revelation 22:11)

Some of the Lord’s people are rough, rugged places. There are rocks and bushes in their personality that the Lord encounters when He seeks to enter their life. The Lord desires a plain, a broad valley where He can enter and find an eternal abode. In order to do so He must bring in powerful machinery that will remove the hindrances to His pleasure.

Has the Lord ever brought His "heavy machinery" into your life?

The message of the two witnesses to the world will be one of warning—the same message as that of John: "repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand."

For the elect, however, the message will be one of healing and of making straight the way of the Lord in the personalities of God’s flock.

Multitudes are in the valley of decision. The Day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. It appears the majority of believers are lukewarm. In order to stand in the age of moral horrors that is upon us we shall have to be "hot" of "cold." We shall be forced to cleave to the Lord or cleave to sin. Those who are neither hot nor cold will be driven out of the valley of decision and required to take a stand. There is no more time for lukewarmness and indifference, laziness and carelessness, in the matters of the Kingdom of God.

Anyone who is familiar with the Christian churches knows how unprepared the believers are to be caught up at this time into the Presence of the Lord. The Lord Jesus is the fiery Holiness of God. Were the disobedient, sinful, lukewarm, pleasure-loving believers of today to be caught up to meet Him at His coming they would be consumed by the Divine judgment.

The Scriptures cannot lie. The Scriptures teach that the Lamb will have a bride without spot or wrinkle. 

That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. (Ephesians 5:26,27)

The Word of God is capable of taking the present mob of undisciplined church members and transforming them into a glorious Bride for the Lamb, a Bride without blemish of any kind.

When we look at the multitude of very dry bones, and then think about an unblemished Bride for the Lamb, we are more in doubt than was Ezekiel. 

And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? and I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest. (Ezekiel 37:3)

What did God command Ezekiel to do? 

Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. (Ezekiel 37:4)

God’s witnesses do not have the wisdom or power to change the Christian churches from undisciplined groups, every man doing what is right in his own eyes, into the spotless Body of Christ. But God does have that ability. He commands His witnesses to prophesy to the "bones" and tell them what God has declared.

In order to make His Church one perfect Bride the Lord will send His Word, His Glory, His Spirit, and fiery tribulation. These working together will purify the members of the Bride and form them into one perfect Bride and Body of Christ.

The Spirit of God will be poured out without measure in the days to come. The Word of God will be revealed. There will be the greatest signs and wonders ever to follow the preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom.

There will be more sin practiced by people than has ever been true. An age of moral horrors is on the horizon. Every form of perversion, bestiality, pornography, every conceivable expression of lust and rage will be openly practiced as people give themselves over to demons and fallen angels. Murder and torture will be common. Satan will be worshiped. The Judaic-Christian faith will be scorned as being the worst of all evils ever to affect mankind. The love of the majority of believers will grow cold because of the availability of sin.

The worship of man will trigger a tribulation unequaled in intensity or scope. People will mock and curse God because of their pain. However, the same tribulation working together with the outpouring of the Glory of God will bring together the elect Jews and Gentiles and create them a perfect, unblemished Bride for the Lamb.

Verse five. 

And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. (Isaiah 40:5)

When the world began, God walked in the garden in Eden on the earth. Because the first people sinned God withdrew into the spirit realm, into Heaven. Since that day God has been invisible and His Glory not readily available.

The Good News of the Kingdom is that God will return to the earth when the way has been prepared. All the people of the world will behold His Glory. This is the Lord’s promise to us. 

But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord. (Numbers 14:21)

So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him. (Isaiah 59:19)

For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. (Isaiah 60:2)

It is the task of the witnesses to prepare the way for the coming of the Glory of God to the earth. This they will do, not by their own strength or resources but by the Spirit of the Lord. In the case of John the Baptist the witness was confined to a small area of the Middle East. The witness that will prepare the way of the Lord will speak to the whole world of the coming of the Glory of God—Glory that will shine to the ends of the earth. The Good News of the soon coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth will be proclaimed to every nation as a witness. After that the end will come, not the end of the world but the end of the opportunity for people to repent and be saved.

The time to work in the Lord’s vineyard is now. The hour is coming when no person in the cities of the earth will be able to do the work of the Lord.

Verses six through eight. 

The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. (Isaiah 40:6-8)

Since the time of the Prophet Isaiah there have been many "advances" in "civilization." As someone said, we now have "improved means to unimproved ends." There is a theory termed "evolution." However, there appears to be little evidence that man has evolved at all, except perhaps in wickedness, or that people actually are in a better situation now, more peaceful, more joyous, than in the days of Isaiah. You would think, however, from what the educators and politicians say, that we are living in a golden age of love and peace in which every day is more wonderful than the previous.

There have been great advances in medicine, such as antibiotics, that heal diseases that formerly claimed the lives of multitudes. We have healed people so they can be killed by drunken drivers, murder, war, and increasingly virulent diseases.

We have automobiles, airplanes, and personal computers. But countless millions of people are addicted to alcohol and drugs because they cannot bear the stress of life. This is the "forward" march of civilization.

We have wealthy, democratic governments in which the rights of people are emphasized. The United States of America is an example of these. The United States is seeking to export the philosophy of democracy to other governments of the world. Yet the large cities of America are in a state of anarchy. People are shot dead in the streets as target practice for roving gangs of criminals.

The authorities are afraid to use enough force to stop crime and violence because of the opinion of lawyers, politicians, educators, psychologists, and other people who do not know the Lord. The clear truth is, the democratic governments have lost the will to govern.

Is life really any better? Perhaps it seems so until your son becomes a homosexual and develops AIDS, or your teen-age daughter becomes pregnant while a freshman in high school and is demanding an abortion, or your wife is raped.

The citizens of the wealthy democracies are "happy" because they have "rights," because they are their own god. They are not able to perceive the destruction of their social institutions, the fraud and corruption in their government, the incompetence of their schools, their slavery to the wealthy who tempt them through skillful advertising to buy more and more things they do not need until their spiritual life is dead because of material goods and they are hopelessly in debt.

In addition to all of this, the wicked have agendas that are hidden in the present hour. The world is moving toward the rule of evil people. Such people, being filled with Satan, despise the Jews and the Christians and will not rest until all Jews and all true Christians have be removed from the cities of the earth.

All flesh is "grass." All the accomplishments of modern man have created as many problems as they have solved. The engineering marvels of the twentieth century will one day be rubble. Atomic fire may yet burn on the earth for years at a time. AIDS very well may be the forerunner of more potent viruses, although in the present hour AIDS alone is capable of wiping out the population of whole countries. All the inventions, learning, and philosophies brought forth in modern times will soon be forgotten as mankind brings itself into terrors beyond imagination.

The breath of the Lord will blow on the earth, and when it does the works of civilization will wither, die, and vanish as do flowers after they have shown their beauty for a brief season.

The world is proud of its achievements. The libraries are full of the records of the accomplishments of the arts and sciences of civilization. God’s witnesses of the end time will proclaim that all such advancements are as grass. All flesh and the accomplishments of the flesh are nothing more than flowers that appear today and are as dry grass tomorrow. Who of the world will hear and perceive that this is the truth? As our Lord said, "the flesh profits nothing."

Many Christian people of our day do not understand the temporary nature of the present world—that the earth and the heavens are destined to be tossed aside as worn-out clothing. 

They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. (Hebrews 1:11,12)

Why do we labor for vanity? Why do we act in the present world as though it were not passing away with the using of it?

The Word of our God shall stand forever. He who does the will of God shall stand forever. 

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. (I John 2:15-17)

"He that doeth the will of God abideth for ever."

God’s witnesses will warn the people of the world that all of their accomplishments, their feats of engineering, their scientific knowledge, their computers and other information systems, have never brought them and can never bring them the love, joy, and peace every human being craves. Some people may hear and appreciate the truth of what is being stated. No doubt others will mock the Lord’s witnesses as knowing nothing and being worthless members of society.

When the last testimony has been given to God’s satisfaction, God will permit the wicked to overcome his witnesses, driving them from the cities of the earth, so that Satan may be permitted to express himself in the earth without constraint.

When wickedness has become fully ripe—at that moment the Lord Jesus will descend from Heaven with His witnesses, now in incorruptible bodies. When that day comes, woe unto those who have scorned the Lord’s witnesses! They shall be led away into the everlasting fire. But the Lord’s people shall rejoice and skip about like calves. 

And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; (II Thessalonians 1:7-9)

Verses nine through eleven. 

O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young. (Isaiah 40:9-11)

There appears to be some question on the part of the translators whether Zion and Jerusalem are the ones bringing the good tidings or whether the witnesses are bringing the good tidings to Zion and Jerusalem. Perhaps, at least in one sense, both are true. We personally favor the idea that tidings are being brought to Zion and to Jerusalem because this concept fits verse two: "Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished."

What does the witness say to the cities of Judah?

"Behold your God!"

It is the task of the two witnesses to prepare the way of the Lord by speaking words of comfort and healing to the Lord’s people. When God’s people have been healed they then can follow the Lord until they become oaks of righteousness. As soon as they become oaks of righteousness they will be ready to rebuild the ruins that self-seeking man has produced as he has sought to be his own God.

We think that it is time now for the Spirit of the two witnesses to begin to operate in the churches.

God’s witnesses are to proclaim the coming of the Lord. The power of the coming of the Lord will be great enough to immobilize the governments of the present world so the Lord Jesus may ascend His rightful throne as King and Lord of the heavens and the earth.

Notice how the kingdoms of this world become the Kingdom of God and His Christ just as soon as God’s witnesses have been raised from the dead, at the sounding of the last trumpet. 

And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 11:15)

When the Lord comes He will bring His reward with Him. Every individual will receive the consequences of the way he or she has behaved while living on the earth. The Lord Jesus will come as the Good Shepherd. He will look to the needs of His flock. He will carry the little lambs close to His heart and gently lead the nursing ewes.

The two witnesses of the last days, Christ and His Body, will preach the Good News of the soon coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth. They will command the nations of the earth to repent and be baptized in water, warning them of the destructive wrath of God resting upon all who reject His Son.

In addition, the witnesses will speak comfortably to the Lord’s elect, both Jewish and Gentile. Numerous Jewish people will receive their Christ (which is happening even today). The bruised reed will not be broken and the smoldering wick will not be extinguished. The Lord will treat people righteously, and those who hunger and thirst after righteousness shall be set free from Satan and filled with the Presence of the Lord.

The message of the coming of the Kingdom is good news for the righteous, for the meek of the earth. The message of the coming of the Kingdom is terrifying news for the arrogant, the proud, for those who destroy other people and their own environment as well.

It is obvious that the wealthy, democratic nations of our day are moving toward Divine judgment. The sexual perversions, the abuse of children, the abortion of the unborn, the rejection of God by the leaders and teachers, the worship of money, of lust, of drunkenness, of demons, of violence, are all calling for God to arise and refresh His earth with righteousness, peace, and sanity.

Meanwhile the Lord is calling out from the churches a holy remnant of people. He is judging them, requiring them to release their love of the world and trust in money, their bodily lusts, and their self-will and self-seeking. He is teaching them, asking them to open the door of their personality so He can enter and dine with them on His own body and blood.

The churches are continuing their various ministries, just as David installed the priesthood of the Tabernacle of the Congregation at the high place in Gibeon. But a holy remnant, symbolized by the Ark of the Covenant in Zion, is being prepared for the work of bearing witness of the Kingdom of God to every nation on the earth.

When the witness, the second lampstand, has been prepared, the Lord Jesus, the first Lampstand, will enter His Body. The Lord will "roar out of Zion." 

The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. (Joel 3:16)

Works of power will issue through the Lord’s witnesses as Christ bears witness of the coming of His Kingdom. Miracles never before seen upon the earth shall take place. Elijah called down fire upon men in the land of Israel but the witnesses shall slay by the fire of Divine judgment throughout the world. The prayer of Elijah prevented rain in the land of Israel but God’s end-time witness shall prevent rain throughout the whole earth. Moses, at the command of the Lord, turned water to blood and brought down plagues on the land of Egypt. But God’s witnesses shall turn water to blood and bring down plagues on every continent.

Elijah tormented Israel. Moses tormented Egypt. Elijah and Moses were forerunners of the two witnesses.

God’s witnesses of the last days will torment all who live on the earth except those who gladly receive the Lord’s salvation.

God will permit His witnesses to be overcome for a brief season so that Satan may fully express his personality for the heavens and the earth to see. God wants angels and people to understand the end result of worshiping Satan.

The death of Elisha by sickness is a type, a symbol of the overcoming of the witness.

As soon as Satan has been revealed in the man of sin, the Antichrist, God will raise from the dead His witnesses of all ages just as the dead man was revived when he touched the bones of Elisha and stood on his feet (II Kings 13:21). 

And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. (Revelation 11:11)

Truly, the Lord Jesus has kept the good wine until now. In the days ahead a godly remnant will be brought forth from the churches. The remnant will bring healing to their brothers and sisters, both Jewish and Gentile, and help them during the coming days of trouble.

The godly remnant (the Lord working in them) will preach to the all the nations of the earth the same message proclaimed by John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus: 

In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Matthew 3:2)

From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Matthew 4:17)

The two witnesses will proclaim: "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand."

All who repent and are baptized will be spared when the Lord returns. Those who refuse and rebel against the Lord and His witnesses will have their place in the everlasting fire. Make no mistake about this: Hell is as real as Heaven; there is a Hell and there is a Heaven. Those who are dragged down into Hell when they die will scream in terror and agony, but to no avail. They have rejected God’s witnesses and now it is too late.

But the Lord’s flock will be blessed with every delight. They shall sing and dance in the height of Zion. 

And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation. (Isaiah 25:9)

Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. The Lord hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, even the Lord, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more. In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack. The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. (Zephaniah 3:14-17)

Come, Lord Jesus. Amen.