Wed, Mar 12, 2008
I was wanting to know if you had any insights/holy musings about the identity of these two. From what I’ve studied and been exposed to regarding this, I’ve heard the following conclusions:
1. They are symbols for the “dispensation” of Israel & the Church
2. Elijah & Moses ala James, Peter’s, and John’s vision/visitation on the Mountain.
3. Daniel & John (a different take I thought)
4. Enoch & Elijah, or Enoch and some other combination.
5. Some other hitherto, unrevealed, yet comprehensively fulfilling (for all ages), symbolic designation per Zechariah chapter 4.
Of course, many, many er…”inspired” folk have also taken upon…(suprise) themselves!- to be either one or both of these personages as well, but in a precious moment of spiritual sobriety, I will forgoe the conclusion that these cases are moot for the negative. Now, I have just got my copy of David Baron’s commentary on Zechariah, so I don’t know what he has/had to say about it…but regardless, any further insight would be appreciated.
Yes, there it is; it had to come. I’d say that you could scarce get a more reliable guide than Baron, though I’ve yet to check out what he might have to say on Zech 4. I’m looking at him now on chapt 5 of Zechariah, as I’m interested in his view of the woman and the ephah.
I’m sure we’ve long since exhausted most of our group that track with us in some of these discussions, so I might as well share my view of the two witnesses for you and any that might have the endurance. Otherwise, please don’t be hostile, just use the delete, or wait till something that seems more relevant to your interest comes around.
Certainly Zech 4 is the key. There the two witnesses are called “the two anointed ones that stand by the LORD of the whole earth” (Zech 4:14). Clearly, this is the background of Rev 11’s reference to the two witnesses. When I think of two anointed ones “that stand by the God of the whole earth,” I think of the Mount of Transfiguration, when Moses and Elijah appeared standing by Jesus. This is rich. What they represented then is what I believe is represented in the two witnesses in the over all divine purpose to “restore the fallen house.” There is much to this, as I believe ‘the house’ must first be restored ere captive Israel can return.
Just as the anointed offices of priest and king meet perfectly in Christ in Zech 6:13, so here is the combined witness of Moses and the prophets all pointing to the perfection that is in Christ. This does not mean, however, that I expect the literal Moses and Elijah to show up in the streets of Jerusalem for the final witness, although certain of the same phenomena associated with their ministries are reproduced in the tribulation judgments. It is enough to see that whoever the witnesses are, they come, like the Lord’s reference to John Baptist, “in the spirit and power” of Elijah, not necessarily the literal individual (which creates more problems for interpretation than it solves).
Note also that in Zech 4 there is mention of the seven candlesticks of the menorah, and this is carried over in John’s revelation as reference to the seven churches of Asia, very significant. The two witnesses pour the oil (of anointing?) through two pipes into the seven, which I take as symbolic of the corporate body of the redeemed, not only the church of ‘all’ tribulation, but particularly the church of the ‘last brief and unequaled’ tribulation, called in Rev 7 ‘the tribulation, the great one’ (according to the Greek use of the double article; Kenneth Wuest).
Although these figures and this imagery is rich with meaning for the church of all time, once more, it seems that there is a special corporate fullness in view for the tribulation church. If these witnesses are more than mere symbol, and if they are not re-incarnations (which is contrary to scripture), then something has brought these two servants, our brothers, to this point of special empowerment, and this is full of significance for all the church, because not only does the two witnesses receive ‘power’ at this point, but according to my reading of Rev 12 and other related passages in Daniel, so does all the true body at this time, or at least a vanguard remnant. This raises the compelling question: What has brought the church to this for such a time as this? The answer to that question touches everything that is currently at stake. It has all to do with God’s use of Daniel’s end time vision and its definite chronology to cut off all confidence in the flesh and to crowd the church to a place of reality, urgency, and ultimacy with God, (“another will gird you and take you where you would not have gone”). The same convergence of revealed truth and chronological certainty will powerfully move the church into a corporate urgency (‘travail’ in analogy to Daniel’s prevailing prayer in Dan 10) hat will enforce the victory of Calvary in the heavenly realms (great corporate apprehension of the power of the gospel), empowering Michael to evict Satan affecting the final exposure of evil and the last persecution of the victorious martyr witness church who “love not their lives unto the death,” because perfect love has cast out fear even in the face of the most fearful and certain prospect of death. No wonder the heavens respond with such glorious hallelujahs.
All of this is nothing new. It was lived out in the apostolic period in principal, but must have a time of final expression and vindication of fulfillment in the last 3 1/2 years, which is why I’m so personally interested in the critical role that the first half of Daniel’s last seven years plays in the church’s preparation for the last half of the week, which is the unequaled tribulation. I can’t go into all of it now, but if you’re interested, I’ll give the evidence for why I’m convinced that the two witnesses prophesy, not in the first three years and a half, but in the second half of the week.
Ever yours in the Beloved,