Jul 22, 2017

Who Are The "Two Witnesses"? III

The view that holds that the Apostle John is one of the "two witnesses" who will "prophesy" in Jerusalem for 1260 days, during "the great tribulation" and worldwide "hour of trial," while "clothed in sackcloth," is not generally accepted. It is believed only by a minority. Yet, the truth is not always to be found with the majority.

There are a number of bible interpretations in which I have found that the majority of scholars, bible commentators, and Christian students of the word, were in error. Some of these I have previously written about. For instance, I do not believe that the "weak brothers" mentioned in the first epistle to the Corinthians and in the epistle to the Romans are Christians, as most believe. I rather believe they are pagans, or polytheists, and find it bewildering that most interpreters of those texts are blind to that obvious fact. If anyone wants to read what I have written on this topic, just look into the archives of this blog for December 2010 through January 2011.

Another example is in regard to what is meant in the new testament concerning "adoption" (Greek huiothesia). The majority holds that the new testament teaches that God adopts children into his family in addition to birthing them. Yet, this is a grave mistake by the majority, and on this I have also written much, demonstrating the falsity of this view. See the archives for August through December 2016.

I have already affirmed my belief, along with the majority in this case, that Elijah is to be one of these two witnesses. I reject the idea that Moses or Enoch will be the other who joins Elijah in the time of the end to do what the two witnesses are appointed to do. I have given some reason for rejecting these two men as being the other to join Elijah and will perhaps, after this posting, give other reasons for rejecting those two men as one of the two. At this time I would like to give the reasons why I, along with a minority of others, see the Apostle John as being the one who will join with Elijah to fulfill the Apocalyptic promise of Revelation chapter eleven.

The Case For The Apostle John

There are several reasons why the Apostle John is to be identified as one of the two witness prophets of the Revelation prophecy. I believe a much stronger case can be made for John than can be made for either Enoch or Moses, or for any other. I believe that there is almost as much evidence for him as there was shown to be for Elijah the Tishbite. Further, it is surprising to me that this view is in fact a minority view, given the evidence for it.

I believe that we are living in the time of the end and that things are happening so rapidly. Soon Babylon will be rebuilt and become the economic capital of the world. Soon, the end time political realignment of the nations will be completed and we will have that long expected world government so much warned about in scripture, and which Antichrist will assume the lead over with the ten kings, mentioned by Daniel the prophet and by John in the Apocalypse.

We are living on the verge of the opening of the seals of the book, as described in the Apocalypse. We are on the verge of that time foretold by the Lord when

"there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken." (Luke 21:25-26 kjv)

You Must Prophesy Again

"And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth. And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter. And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings." (Rev. 10: 8-11 kjv)

These verses clearly demonstrate that John is to be one of the two prophet witnesses. The proof of it is right there in plain sight. The angel, who is doubtless Christ, says to John "you must prophesy again." And, such fresh prophesying will be "before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings." If the prophesying of the two witnesses does not fulfill this prophesy regarding John, then what is the meaning? What do those who reject John as being one of the two witnesses say about this clear prophesy concerning John's future? How and when did John prophesy "again"? Why is there widespread opposition from interpreting these words in the common ordinary sense? Why, even among those who promote the literal interpretation of the bible, and of the Book of Revelation, deviate from that rule and want to interpret the words "you must prophesy again" in a non-literal and uncommon way? Can it not be said of the two witnesses, if they be either Elijah, Enoch, or Moses, that they will "prophesy again"?

It seems so obvious that John will "prophesy again" as one of the two witness prophets that it is bewildering that so many miss it, or refuse to believe it. Why is it so hard to believe that the prophesying again of the apostle is literal and to be fulfilled in the time of the great tribulation? To accept one of the several explanations given by commentators, who do not believe John is one of the two prophets, requires one to understand the words and the language of the angelic prophesy concerning John in an abnormal manner.

To "prophesy" means to "utter" new revelation divinely given. How then can it be made to mean to write? Or, to simply preach or testify? Further, why deny what is intended by the word "again"? Whatever kind of "prophesying" John was to do in the future, after the angelic commissioning, it must be of the same kind as that which was done at the first. Further, how can anyone apply the prophesy to any other than to John? When the Angel says "you (John) must prophesy again," how can we say that by "you" that the Angel intends someone other than John?

Further, look at the context and the flow of the verses. "You must prophesy again...And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth." It was John who was told that he must prophesy again and it was he who was immediately given the rod by which to measure the temple. Besides answering the question - "when did John prophesy again," we must answer this one - "when did John measure the temple, altar, and the worshippers"? Doubtless he will do this during those 42 months.

I realize that the Angel goes from speaking to John in the first person to speaking of the two witnesses in the third person. The Angel could have said "And I will give power unto you (John) and to another with you," but this is nevertheless what is intended. In such a case John would have been still addressed in the first person while "to another" would have been in the third person.

It just seems clear that the one who is told that he must prophesy again, and is given the reed and the commission to measure, is to be one of the two witnesses or prophets. What do the two witnesses do? And, what is their character? Do they not measure (judge) the temple, the altar, and the worshippers? Do they not prophesy? Are they not given power and authority? Yes, and this is exactly what is true of the apostle John.

Before I cite from some of the leading commentaries to see what are the various interpretations of the prophesy about John "prophesying again," let me summarize those views.

1) One view, a minority one, is the view I hold, which says that the prophesy is to be taken literally, in its most obvious sense, that John is to personally prophesy with his mouth at some point after receiving his visions regarding the Apocalypse. Among those who hold to this view, there are yet two differing views; a) those who say John, after his exile on Patmos, and after writing the Apocalypse, came to Ephesus in Asia Minor and preached or prophesied, b) those who say, like I do, that John will appear in the time of the great tribulation and personally preach and prophesy again.

2) Another view says that the prophesy is fulfilled in what John sees and records in the remainder of the visions, in what is recorded in Revelation chapters eleven through twenty two. In this view, John is to prophesy by means of writing, and not through speaking. Further, this view considers his previous prophesying to consist either a) in his prophesying from the time of Pentecost till his removal to Patmos, or b) in his prophesying in writing Revelation chapter one through eleven.

3) Another view affirms that the prophesy of John's "prophesying again" is fulfilled in his writing either the entire Apocalypse or his Gospel and then sending it out to the world.

4) Another view affirms that John is a representative man, representing all the saved, and so the prophesy about him "prophesying again" is fulfilled in the whole body of the redeemed prophesying.

In the next posting I will analyze each of these views and give what some of the leading commentaries say. As these are cited, we will see which one of the above views is being promoted. We will then look at other evidence that supports the view that John will prophesy again as the future measurer of the temple and as one of these two great prophets.

I think the burden of proof is on those who reject John as being one of the two witnesses to disprove it. There is a prima facie case for John literally and personally prophesying again as one of the two witnesses.

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