TRUMP AND DIVIDING JERUSALEM
We Are Missing Something Terribly Important
In the next few months, Donald Trump will push to divide Jerusalem and place the old city of Jerusalem under international sovereignty and un control. This will be the context for the arrival of the two witnesses of revelation 11: “and I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.” I am often asked who I think these two witnesses are, yet no one seems particularly interested or curious about their job description or more significantly what effect they will have on the worldwide body of Christ. Is it possible that the Lord has only hinted at the identity of these two, partly because he wants us to be more aware of their ministry and its effect, than their identity? I believe so, and will explain…
While it is true that the actions of the two witnesses are clearly described in Revelation 11, i.e. That they prophesy to the nations, can withhold rain, send plagues as often as they see fit, are invincible against all the world’s weapons and technology for three and a half years, etc., I have seen another purpose, perhaps equally significant and critical to believers in this age as these events unfold before our eyes.
These two witnesses prophesy in God’s chosen city, Jerusalem, which has just been divided by the nations, and under un control, if Trump’s proposed peace plan is implemented. The two are clothed in sackcloth, a sign of mourning and repentance, as the present government of Israel has agreed or been forced to surrender sovereignty over Jerusalem, a serious indication of the spiritual condition of the nation. The witnesses will not be wearing modern business suits or declaring their denominational association, sporting theological degrees or spiritual pedigree. Their only credentials will be prophetic anointing. So what can we expect their impact to be on the local assemblies and churches in the land, or those in the rest of the world, for that matter? Will they be seen as the worst case of “Jerusalem syndrome” ever to be manifested at the Western Wall? Furthermore, standing in direct opposition to these two men of God, will be the prophesied false prophet, who will also be demonstrating astounding supernatural power from hell, even causing fire to come down from heaven in the sight of men. He will be so convincing, even to deceive the elect, if that were possible. If, as we believe, the advent of these events may well be on our doorstep, let us consider the implications…
John’s revelation identifies the two witnesses as the two olive trees and two lampstands mentioned in Zechariah chapter 4.
“These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.” [Rev. 11:4] this is a clear prophetic identification connecting the books of revelation and Zechariah, and giving us further insight into the endtime ministry of the two witnesses. The description of them in Zechariah elucidates an important aspect of their ministry, not mentioned in the Revelation passage. I believe this purpose is critically relevant to the followers of Christ during the three and a half years of the witnesses’ ministry described in Revelation, if, indeed we remain here during that period.
Let’s turn to Zechariah chapter four and meet the two olive trees and lampstands there.
To better understand the two witnesses, let’s reflect on some historical background. During the sixth century BC, Israel was visited by other well-known prophets… Isaiah and Jeremiah.
Despite the highest level of divine revelation coming through these two prophets, the sinful nation refused to repent but went headlong into a 70 year exile into Babylon. I see here a historical foreshadowing and a terrible warning for our present generation. Why? “judgment begins with the house of God.” [1 Peter 3:17]
God judged His own house, Israel, using other nations as his instruments of judgment. But then His wrath fell on those nations for their own sins. And those who returned from Babylon were a small remnant. The prophets stated that God was sifting out the evil doers and the lukewarm from His nation, (where??) Although Israel was numbered as the sand of the sea, only a remnant would return, only a small number whom God had refined.
This refined remnant returned to the land, and under the leadership of Zerubbabel and Joshua the high priest, they had the task of rebuilding the temple. There was much opposition and hardly any resources; it seemed impossible. But encouragement arrived…
In Zechariah 4, Zerubbabel and Joshua are the two olive trees which will complete the temple, under extreme adversity.
“Not by might and not by power”, they would be anointed with the faith to have the strength and resources to finish the job.
And they succeeded. I believe these two men were prophetic types foreshadowing the two future men identified as “two witnesses”, in Revelation, who are also anointed with oil (the two olive trees) and commissioned to finish a “temple”… but not an earthly temple; rather that one which the apostle Paul identifies as us, believers in Yeshua! [1 corinthians 3:16-17] .
What does it mean to “finish that temple?”
In 1980, when I first received Yeshua, the Lord showed me clearly He was coming back for a bride. This, of course, is clear in Matthew 25. And here is the parallel: Just as it was a chosen remnant sifted and refined who returned from Babylon to complete the earthly temple, so a remnant in our age who will be sifted and refined will become the completed temple, the Bride of Messiah. How will this be?
Zechariah identifies two “olive trees” pouring oil into two “lampstands”. I believe these two lampstands represent the church which consists of Jews and Gentiles. [REVELATION 1:20] the “olive tress, or “witnesses” pour oil into the “lampstands” or church(es) the oil they pour into the church, God’s temple, serves to complete it. The oil is the Holy Spirit, who alone can finish the temple of God. The ministry of these two witnesses brings the presence of the Holy Spirit and the unction of His fire, upon the entire church of Christ, purifying a remnant bride for the Lord when He comes.
I believe it’s clear that one of these two witnesses is the prophet Elijah. Elijah must come before the day of the Lord. [Malachi 4:5]
In part 2 of this message, I will speak of the character of this remnant which will be the bride, the fulness of the gentiles, the church in its fullness, and also, about the condition of the church to whom the witnesses are ministering, and the serious implications of their ministry.
PLEASE CONSIDER TO BECOME A MONTHLY PARTNER AS WE GO TO THE JEWS FIRST
What is holiness, three dimensions
Let’s focus on Revelation 4:8
“And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
Have you made a golden calf?
Introduction to Golden Calf teaching
“Whatever things were written before were written for our instruction.”
1 Corinthians 10:11
“All these happened to those (Israelites) as examples, and it was written for our warning.”
In the teaching which will follow this introduction, we will study one of these things that are set as examples to help us…the situation of the golden calf, related in Exodus 32.
This sin angered YHVH so much He was prepared to destroy His people, Israel!
We will explore the events that led to the building of the golden calf and what that actually represented to Israel at that time.
If this Golden Calf issue is given to us as a warning, an encouragement and a helpful ‘visual aid’, then we need to see what it represents for us today.
• Is it possible to make a golden calf in our life?
• Is there a spiritual parallel in our walk with Yeshua today?
• Is there a foundational principle in our faith we often forget?This forgotten principle results in provoking God’s anger and rendering us ineffective and fruitless.
If any follower of Yeshua has built a spiritual golden calf in their lives, the result is ‘broken tablets’ of Law!
Under the new covenant, there is a promise that He writes His Law on our hearts but how is it that it’s not always apparently manifest in some believers’ lives?
• Is it evidence of a spiritual ‘Golden Calf’, causing a broken covenant (broken tablets of Law)?
• Paul’s entire letter to the Hebrews was an encouragement not to break the covenant!
The meaning of “the ten commandments”, in Hebrew, is
“the tablets of the covenant” or “the tablets of the testimony”.
• Is it possible to call not applying the ‘forgotten’ principle, mentioned above, “breaking the covenant”?
• Is it possible to break the new covenant through a type of golden calf worship today?
These are provocative questions which need answers through deep study of the Word.
Listen to this audio teaching and see just how the lessons of the Golden Calf example are applicable today.
Palm Sunday, Yeshua our Messiah (the Christ or anointed one) did not ride into Jerusalem proudly on a horse. He came mounted upon a little donkey, even a small colt. No earthly king would do this. Yeshua came not to fight or to compete, but to be a meek King.
This meek king comes first of all not to be enthroned as King but to cleanse the temple, (cleanse our hearts).
Two different translations…
Two different meanings
Psalms 31:24 NIV
Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord.
Be strong, and He will make your heart stronger, all you who hope in YHWH
We must make the first move, then God joins us and makes us brave. We must start the ball rolling, he makes our heart stronger only after we decide we are going to be strong.
Esther, a prophetic picture of the church in the last generation
Three days of Purim in Jerusalem
Does the book of Esther have a prophetic fulfillment in our day? The Jews will survive, but the question is will you be part of it?
Are the words Mordechai spoke to Esther relevant to you today?
“If you remain silent, you and your father’s family will perish.” Esther 4:14
Esther proclaimed a fast of three days of fasting night and day without food or water.
Mordechai’s famous words to Esther;” If you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish.” Esther 4:14
One way or another the Jews will survive, the question is to Esther, will you be part of it?
The Jews will survive another worldwide persecution and threat of annihilation, but the question is will you be part of it?
The Jewish feast of Purim is a prophetic blueprint of the overcoming Church in the last days of this present age that brings salvation to the Jewish people.
This Church has a crucial role in the transition of the current Church Age to the purposed time when the Kingdom of Israel rules as a head.
Esther, A prophetic picture of the church in the last generation
Esther, a type of the Bride of the Lamb interceding for Israel
Esther, The Talmud compares Mordechai to Joseph
Homeless in Hell (Gehenna), a real place in Jerusalem
The kingdom of God, who goes to Gehenna and Hell
Gehennah is not only a real place, but it is right outside our back door in Jerusalem. I found some homeless Arab men in this valley, even in the middle of winter.
It is not every day you hear sermons on this subject. Yeshua mentions this valley, which in the Old Testament is called, the Valley of Hinnom, 11 times.
Christ stressed that it would be better to proceed through life with great loss (e.g., deprived of an eye or a limb), rather than having Gehenna as a final destiny (Mt. 5:29-30; cf. 18:9; Mk. 9:43-47).
“And be not afraid of them that kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Mt. 10:28; cf. Lk. 12:5).
How is it we think that these were requirements for those under the law and are not applicable to us?
But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, “Raca!” shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, “You fool!” shall be in danger of the fire of the Valley of Hinnom.
If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into the Valley of Hinnom.
And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into the Valley of Hinnom.
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in the Valley of Hinnom.
And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into the fire of the Valley of Hinnom.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of the Valley of Hinnom as yourselves.
Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of the Valley of Hinnom?
If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to the Valley of Hinnom, into the fire that shall never be quenched.
And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame, rather than having two feet, to be cast into the Valley of Hinnom, into the fire that shall never be quenched.
And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into the fire of the Valley of Hinnom.
But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into the Valley of Hinnom; yes, I say to you, fear Him!
And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by the Valley of Hinnom.
The Almond trees are blossoming in Israel
The almond tree is blossoming.
The almond his Hebrew means, to be alert, eager and ready. It is always the first tree to blossom in the spring, and now all over Israel, it is a symbol of resurrection life after the winter.
The lampstand with seven branches has Almond buds and flowers on it. The seven branches of the Lampstand represent the seven spirits of God.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
The Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
The Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—
3 and he will delight in fear of the Lord.
We light up the world with the light of God when we are alert, eager and ready, and waiting for the Spirit,
Paul, the apostle, said to “earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy”.
The word “Earnestly” is the same word for Almond, so to be the first, to be before all the other trees that blossom, is how to connect to the Spirit of God.