[Taken from the Prophecy Papers by Walter R. Dolen
Copyright © 1977-2003 by Walter R. Dolen and/or BeComingOne Church]
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|PR8: Two Witnesses
pr495» At the end of the age before Christ's physical return someone shall come and restore all things (Matt 17:10-11). John the Baptist was merely the typical Elijah, but there shall be an antitypical Elijah who shall restore all things. He comes "before the great and dreadful day of the Lord" (Mal 4:5). Therefore before he comes the Truth shall not be full in the Church. But when he comes he shall restore all things, yet they will do "unto him whatsoever they listed, as it is written of him" (Mark 9:13). Elijah was rejected in the scripture by physical Israel, the true Elijah will also be rejected before Christ returns by those who will eventually become a part of Spiritual Israel. He will endure and restore the Truth, the Spiritual sacrifice of the Spiritual altar, to Spiritual Israel, which is the Church (1 Kings 18:30 with Heb 13:10; Matt 17:10-11). Spiritual Israel, is the Israel of God, which is the Church (see "Seed Paper" [PR1]).
pr496» But who are the two witnesses who "shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days" (Rev 11:3). Although many have identified one of the two witnesses, as he who is to come in the spirit of Elijah, as promised by Malachi 4:5-6, most don't know who the other witness is or, that is, what the second witness will represent Spiritually from the Old Testament. Some believe they will be Elijah and Elisha. Now is the time of the end of the old age, and somewhere on this earth the two witnesses are alive. Herein we will identify not the names of the two witnesses, but what Spirit they will or are coming in, that is, what two Old Testament people the two modern day witnesses will fulfill. One of these two witnesses is Elijah, not the Elijah of the Old Testament, but a person who will do the major things that the Elijah of the Old Testament did. This person will be the antitypical Elijah.
pr497» Let's prove that one of the two witnesses is Elijah, and let's identify the other witness, and at the same time we'll break the symbols of Revelation chapter 11.
Two Olive Trees / Two Witnesses
pr498» Notice, "these are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth" (Rev 11:4). The two witnesses are called the two olive trees.
pr499» "And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof ... What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof ... What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? ... Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand till the Lord of the whole earth" ( Zech 4:3, 11, 12, 14).
pr500» These two stand on the right and left of the candlestick. But the Church is the candlestick (Rev 1:20). And the Church is the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:12). Notice that Christ is in the midst of this same symbolic candlestick (Rev 1:13; 2:1). Thus, these two stand on the right and left of Christ, they "stand till the Lord of the whole earth" (Zech 4:14).
pr501» Further they stand "immediately preceding the God of the earth" (Rev 11:4). These two teach for 3 ½ years immediately preceding the return of Christ (Rev 11:3,7,11,12,14,15).
pr502» What exactly is the purpose of having these two witnesses? There are at least two reasons:
pr503» Next notice these two are the "anointed ones." But from the Hebrew, it should read -- the two sons of the oil. And from the Septuagint it reads -- the two sons of the fatness. Now the anointed one is Christ. "Christ" is a translation from a Greek word that means, anointed. The two witnesses are the sons of the anointed one through the Spirit in them (Rom 8:16). Yet not only are they sons in this sense, but they are commissioned like sons who take the place of their father while he is away. Christ will be the Father when He returns (Isa 9:6), and these two are His sons who act as His agents while He is away, until He comes.
pr504» Now "if any man will hurt them, fire proceeds out of their mouth, and devours their enemies" (Rev 11:5). Now this is symbolical, as is much of the book of Revelation. What is the symbolic meaning of fire?
pr505» Thus, the fire that comes out of these two agents of Christ is God's word. Any one who tries to hurt them will be devoured by the fire of the truth that comes from their mouth.
pr506» Further Revelation 11:5 says that any who harms them will be likewise harmed. These two are eventually killed near the end of the 3 ½ years (3 ½ days before Christ returns) by the Beast of Revelation (Rev 11:7), but the Beast in return is killed (Rev 19:19-20).
pr507» Next they have power to smite the earth with plagues, etc (Rev 11:6). But as Christ did the will of his Father (John 14:31; 12:49; 6:38), so too will these two do only the will of God. And the will of the God is manifested in the Bible. The plagues shown in the Bible are what they have power over. Or more correctly, they will tell the world what is to happen before it happens and they will ask for the will of God to be done (1 John 5:14).
pr508» Notice that they have "power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy." Does this mean it will not rain for 3 ½ years? No! God tells us to look to the higher meaning (Phil 3:18-19; Col 3:1-2). Revelation is filled with symbolism. The "rain" in this verse is symbolic of a higher meaning. This event happened typically in the days of Elijah: "Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it not rain: and it rained not on the earth [land of Israel] by the space of three years six months" (James 5:17). This will happen in its antitypical or Spiritual fulfillment during the last 3 ½ years of man/Satan's misrule. Notice that "rain" is symbolic of God's word (see Isa 55:10-11; Deut 32:2). Christ said that "in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months ... great famine was throughout all the land" (Luke 4:25). It so happens that the higher meaning of "famine" is the famine "of hearing the words of the Lord" (Amos 8:11). Thus, there will be a famine of God's true word during this 3 ½ years, except for the two witnesses' teachings (Rev 11:6,3). "There shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my [Elijah's] word" (1 Kings 17:1).
pr509» Since what is to happen when the two witnesses teach (famine of God's word, except for the witnesses' teachings), has happened before typically with Elijah, and since Elijah is to come before the day of the Lord (Mal 4:5); then one of the two witnesses must be Elijah.
pr510» We want you to note that these two stand before the Lord (Zech 4:14), they are on the right and left side of the candlestick, which is the Church, which is the body of Christ. Therefore, they stand on the right and left side of Christ (Zech 4:11; Rev 1:20; 1 Cor 12:12). And also they are the two "anointed ones."
pr511» Now notice Acts 1:9-11, from the New International Version: "After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 'Men of Galilee,' they said, 'why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.'"
pr512» Who were these two men? These men were in bright-white clothes, and they said Christ would come in the same manner as the people saw him go up into heaven. When Christ went up these two men were there. When he comes again, he will come down when these two men are there. Who were these two men in bright-white clothes?
pr513» "Truly I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom" (Matt 16:28). Now the kingdom of God in its truest sense has not yet come, so what did Christ mean by this statement? [Note: The kingdom of God has come in one sense. That is, the Spirit of the kingdom has come into man through Christ.]
pr514» "And after six days Jesus takes Peter, James, and John his brother, and brings them up into a high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white [or as bright] as the light. And, behold! there appeared unto them Moses and Elijah talking with him" (Matt 17:1-3).
pr515» Thus, none of the disciples of Christ saw the kingdom of God coming literally, but they saw it by the means of the transfiguration. But what were they to see? -- "the Son of man coming in his kingdom." And what did they see? They saw Christ with Moses and Elijah.
pr516» What did the two men say when Jesus went into heaven? (Acts 1:9-11) They said he would come in a like manner. That is, he will come with the two men being present. And at the transfiguration of his coming to his kingdom Moses and Elijah were beside him.
pr517» Now notice Revelation 11:12. After the two witnesses were killed (v.7) their bodies laid around for 3 ½ days (v. 9). Then after these 3 ½ days they then were resurrected (v. 11), "and they ascended up to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies beheld them" (v. 12).
pr518» This isn't any special resurrection. "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout ... and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first" (1 Thes 4:16).
pr519» Revelation 11:11-12 pictures the resurrection of the dead. The witnesses went up into a cloud "and their enemies beheld them." That is, they beheld Christ and the two witnesses.
pr520» And how was Christ's coming shown in the transfiguration? He was with Moses and Elijah.
pr521» Who stands by the Lord? The two olive trees, or the two witnesses stand by the Lord (Zech 4:14, 11).
pr522» Who was mentioned with Elijah in the prophecy of Malachi 4:5? "Remember you the law of Moses my servant" ( Mal 4:4).
pr523» Through comparing what has been shown you, how could the two witnesses be anyone else other than the two who will come in the antitype of Moses and Elijah? There are no other persons even implied besides Moses and Elijah. The Bible seems to point out the two witnesses as coming in the Spirit or antitype of Moses and Elijah.
pr524» This makes sense, for the typical Moses led the typical Israel out of the typical Egypt. Today, the antitypical Moses will lead the antitypical Israel (the Church, Gal 6:16; Rev 7:4) out of the antitypical Egypt or Satan's kingdom (see Rev 11:8; and "Last War and God's Wrath" paper [PR5]).
pr525» And the antitypical Elijah will come to challenge antitypical Israel (those who say they are in the Church) who will have "ministers" who will be between two opinions (Baal's & God's, 1 Kings 18:21-22), and this antitypical Elijah will "slay" these ministers with the sword of God, which is God's word (1 Kings 18:40). Thus, the antitypical Elijah will repair the altar (1 Kings 18:30), and restore all truth (Matt 17:11). This will help fulfill Daniel's word that at the end of the age "knowledge shall be increased" (Dan 12:4). Note: We know that the truest sense of the antitypical Israel is that all people ever born will eventually be in the antitypical Israel, the full Church or Body of Christ (see "All Saved" paper [NM 13], etc.). And we know that there are groups of people who say they are the Church who may only have a minority with the Spirit. Thus, there are two senses to the antitypical Elijah's challenge: (1), He will challenge all the people of the world at the end of the old age, who are between opinions on who or what is the true God; and (2), in this challenge of all the people he will challenge groups (churches) who say they are in the Church. But the real Church is the remnant of Israel.
pr526» What is another proof that the antitypical Elijah will challenge the antitypical Israel at the end of the age and not just the typical Israel?
pr527» First, we are to look to the higher meanings of the Bible (see "Duality Paper" [BP4]). Since we know the antitypical Elijah will come and do similar things that the typical Elijah did, then if the typical Elijah challenged the typical Israel's religion, the antitypical Elijah must challenge the antitypical Israel's religious belief: all religious belief in the world.
pr528» Notice further proof in Revelation, chapters two and three. In these chapters Christ the God speaks not only to each of the seven churches, but also to all the churches -- that includes the Philadelphia church (Rev 3:7-13). Revelation speaks of the Church and "them that hold the doctrines of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication" (Rev 2:14).
pr529» The higher meaning here is spiritual fornication with modern idols and doctrines. This event happened while the typical Moses was leading Israel to the promised land (Num ch 22-23). This again will happen, but this time to the antitypical Israel as Revelation 2:14 says.
pr530» Further proof is in Revelation 2:20. Note "Jezebel" in this verse. Her kind of fornication is what the typical Elijah went up against (1 Kings 18:17; 19:2; etc.). The antitypical Elijah will go against the spiritual fornication of Jezebel. But notice not all of the people who say they are in the Church will have fallen into spiritual fornication (Rev 2:14, 24). God "will fight against them with the sword of" his "mouth" (Rev 2:16). God will fight through his prophet, the antitypical Elijah (cf Rev 2:16 with 1 Kings 18:40; "sword" = God's Word, Eph 6:17).
pr531» Elijah will come at the end of the age to rebuke the world and those who say they are in the Church with God's word! Moses and Elijah will become the two witnesses in the 3 ½ years right before the Messiah returns with His peace and harmony.
pr532» Elijah means: "God [Eli] (is) Yehowah [Jah]" or "God (is) He (Who) Will-Be," or "God (is) (the) BeComingOne" since Yehowah or Jehowah means, "He (Who) Will-Be," or the "BeComing-One."
pr533» Moses means: "drawn from the water."
pr534» Now the sons of Kohath had to be 30 years old to do the work of the tabernacle (Num 4:3-4), for they took care of the holy things (Num 4:4; 3:30-31). Antitypically, Jesus Christ who is in charge of the holy things (the Church) was not set aside to begin his Spiritual work until he was 30 years old (Luke 3:21-23).
pr535» Now John was born six months before Christ (Luke 1:36, 26-66; see Unger's Bible Dict. under "John the Baptist"). John was in the wilderness teaching and preparing the ways before Christ's coming (Luke 1:80, 76-77). John began openly preaching when he was 30 years old (Luke 3:1-2), just like Christ began to preach at about 30 years old. Since John was 6 months older than Christ, then John's work lasted for 6 months before Christ came to him to be baptized. During these 6 months, John preached about the kingdom of God (Matt 3:2). Then Christ took over preaching the kingdom (Mark 1:14-15). Since John's commission was to prepare the people of Israel before Christ came, then when Christ came his official commission was over. Therefore since the commission of the typical John was before Christ came to teach Israel about the kingdom of God, then the antitypical John (Elijah) will teach before Jesus Christ's return to set up the kingdom of God.
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