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.