New view on the timing of the two witnesses

This pains me greatly, but I must reconsider my views on the timing of the two witnesses.  I am going to be publishing quite shortly some material that will present another option than what I have previously espoused.  I have argued, debated, and insisted to a variety of folks on the internet that the two witnesses begin their ministry at the midpoint of Daniel’s 70th week.  So going back on my blog you can read all about how I have this all figured out.

However, after reviewing Dr. Hultberg’s position, and after having some interaction with him, I have been reconsidering my views.  He was not dogmatic about his view.  He didn’t try to convince me.  He simply set forth the idea.  So I did as I often do with matters like this.  I went back and reviewed again why I have come to the conclusions that I have.  I asked if there were other possibilities that were supported by the scriptures.  I went to the relevant texts in the scriptures.  I turned it back and forth in my mind.

I have done this quite often before.  I have done this with pre-millennialism.  I have done this with Pre-Wrath.  I have done this with eternal security.  But with these issues, I have always come back to the realization that the scriptures have clearly laid these issues out and I continue to wholeheartedly espouse the previous three.

With the timing of the two witnesses, suddenly I feel like I don’t have it all figured out.  There is something unsettled in my mind about the issue.  My previous argumentation has been that the 42 months of Gentile domination over Jerusalem represents the last 42 months of this age.  Then the 1260 days of the ministry of the two witnesses is mentioned in conjunction with that 42 month period.  So these two periods of time must be parallel since they are mentioned together.  So why do these questions keep popping up in my mind?  For instance, “If Jerusalem is liberated from Gentile domination when the 42 months expire, why does it seem like the Gentiles still have domination over Jerusalem since they do not allow anyone to touch the two witnesses lying in the streets of Jerusalem?”  “If Revelation operates on a 3 1/2 year timeline, why does it seem like the two witnesses ascend after that 3 1/2 years are expired?”  “Why does it seem like the two witnesses are raptured when the church is already raptured?”  “Are the two witnesses a part of the 144,000?”

I am not going to be dogmatic about this, but I am seriously considering the following view.  Malachi 3:1-5 sets forth the coming of the messenger of the covenant.  In some translations it is unclear since the messenger is mentioned twice, once as the messenger then the second time as the messenger of the covenant.  What is compelling is that the messenger of the covenant is the one who is responsible for the refiner’s fire that purifies the sons of Levi in advance of the coming judgment of the LORD which is pictured in verse 5.  So this messenger of the covenant prepares the way before the coming of the LORD by preparing the Levitical priesthood.  Once the Levitical priesthood is purified, then the LORD comes in judgment.

Malachi 4:1-6 is to be set side by side with Malachi 3:1-5.  We see the judgment of the LORD coming in 4:1, but in verses 2-3 there is this godly remnant that is allowed to participate in the judgment of the wicked.  So if we remember Malachi 3:1-5 as the background for this, we can see that the godly remnant was prepared by this messenger of the covenant.  Then we have the remembrance of the law of Moses in Malachi 4:4 which would point toward the restoration of the Levitical priesthood once again.  Then in Malachi 5:5-6 we have named specifically that Elijah will come before the Day of the LORD.  This Day of the LORD should be seen as the judgment previously described in Malachi 3:5 and 4:1-3 with the righteous taking part in it.  Notice how Elijah’s ministry is likened to the ministry of the messenger of the covenant.  Elijah would come to prepare the Israelites restoring their hearts well in advance of the judgments of the Day of the LORD.  Once the Day of the LORD comes, the ministry of the messenger of the covenant and the ministry of Elijah should be considered as complete.

It is obvious beginning in Revelation 10 that the chronology of the seven trumpets and three woes is interrupted.  But exactly where does it resume?  This is where we need a heart of wisdom to know where to place the ministry of the two witnesses.  There is only one place in Revelation’s chronology that we see a restored remnant of Israelites and possibly a restored Levitical priesthood and that is in the 144,000 Israelites of Revelation 7:1-8 and 14:1-5.  The timing of this is at the sixth seal, just before the rapture of the church.  So it seems like good detective work to place the 1260 days of the ministry of the two witnesses before the Day of the LORD and even before the sealing of the 144,000.  The 144,000 must represent a godly Israelite remnant that is already restored before this point in time at the sixth seal.

So, I apologize to everyone that I debated against who insisted to me that the two witnesses perform their ministry in the first half of Daniel’s 70th week.  I did not give your views proper consideration.  I may even change my views to more closely resemble yours.  I probably will not go back and change all the posts on my blog but leave them as is.  I’m still considering this as a possibility.  Sorry again.

Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

-The Orange Mailman

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12 Responses to New view on the timing of the two witnesses

  1. Chris Perdue says:

    I don’t believe their ministry exactly lines up with the second half of the seventieth week. But end of their ministry is associated with the days in which the seventh trumpet is about to sound. I believe their ministry begins shortly before the Abomination, which is why the woman of Rev 12 is somewhat ready to flee at that time. But I believe it continues into the Day of the Lord and the trumpets, as well. They are described at an important point -the end of their ministry- just as the rapture (the end of the church age) is described in the context of the sixth seal just before the seventh. There may be some days difference their case rather than on the same day, though.

  2. me says:

    The prophecy is yet selaed and will not make any sense to anyone. That does not mean you should not read it over and over. You should. But understand that it is not meant to be understood yet.

  3. Jeni says:

    You are mixed up Because you think Christians Are raptured, IE Christ comes 3 times! We meet him 3 days after the 2 witnesses die, at the 7th Trump 🙂

  4. steve snyder says:

    Hey Orange,
    My take on the two witnesses is they are tied to the resurrection/rapture at the sixth seal. So that would put them coming on the scene about 1 year before the great trib. (This is if their resurrection takes place along with everyone else) This would be to warn people about all that is to come, including the day of the Lord, and get Israel ready for the Lord. Much like Mal. says-before the day of the Lord.

    { As an aside: IMO, the 144,000 are not saved until they see the Lord coming in the clouds, but then it will be too late-much like the 5 virgins, so the angels then seal them to make it through the day of the Lord-and so that no man or beast can touch them Rev 9:4, Ezek. 9:4-6-notice the same verse!, and be the first fruits (of all Israel being saved) when the Lord returns to the earth. IMO, they are the Temple priests (Ezek. 43) of the Mill Temple, and only know the song they sing because they went through the day of the Lord-meaning the bloodline is still entact}

    Famines and plagues are pointed out in Mat 24 and Luke 21-the beginning of birth pains. This ties into the 3rd seal being broke. We know the 4th seal = when the great trib. starts, so the famines and plagues will be linked to the two witnesses, IMO. Notice the “earth dwellers” have a few days of celebration thinking that everything is great because their tormentors are dead. Rev 11

    To me this sounds very familiar to the peace and safety before the day of the Lord. Rev 11, 1st Thess. 5. This also fits with Rev 3:10, that the day of the Lord is for testing the “earth dwellers”, not us. The day of the Lord will test all works 1st Cor. 3:13, and the Church has already persevered through the time of the Beast, so the testing of the earth dwellers is in view now- TDOTL.

    The great trib. is cut short by the signs the day of the Lord is about to take place. The day of the Lord is the same length of time Noah was in the ark (1 year and 10 days), which happens to be the time from the feast of blowing of the trumpets on one year, and the day of atonement the next year, thus Jesus fulfills both, and then tabernacles with us on the new earth after that. Which also is very close to the time of “payback”, for the controversy of Zion- 1 year. Gen 7-8, Isa 34:8

    That would make the great trib. last about 2.5 years after the Antichrist is revealed in the Temple, and would have to end in the Fall around Sept/October- the blowing of the trumpets/shofar. Lev 25, exodus 19 By changing the times and laws, Antichrist thinks he can keep us from knowing the season the Lord will rescue us, but he is mistaken. 🙂

    So IMO, the two witnesses must minister before the DOTL. The earth dwellers then find out how bad the plagues will be during the DOTL, when only God is exalted! Amen!

    • I see Revelation 11 pointing to the two witnesses ministering before the beast even arises out of the bottomless pit, which I believe to be at the midpoint. I see that 1260 period to be the time period just before it arises out and then makes war which is the great tribulation.

  5. steve snyder says:

    It seems that the overall chronology- 2 witnesses first. Chapter 11, Satan thrown down. Chapter 12, Beast arising/ revealing of the man of lawlessness, mark of the Beast great trib. Chapter 13, Then a recap of key players and key events from the kingdom back to the resurrection at the six seal.

    I guess the only question is are the two witnesses part of the resurrection at the 6th seal, or are they a “stand alone” resurrection? I don’t think anyone can say 100% either way.

    Christ was the first fruits 1st Cor. 15:23, but there was more saints that were resurrected after Jesus. Mat 27:52-53 I tend to believe they are the 24 elders Rev 4:4.

    The wording of 1st Cor 15, seems to point all the saints being resurrected-along with 1st Thess. 4:13-18, at the Parousia. But we don’t have what will happen with those that die in the MK. I’ve read where they will be raised at a “gleanings harvest”, before the 2nd resurrection. My thought is Jesus could raise them anytime during the MK because it is all part of His Parousia, just not the arrival.

    Hebrews 12:23 seems to speak of another class of citizens, “spirits of the righteous made perfect”. Do you think these could be the MK saints?

    Something that always bothered me too is, why does it say we have the right to eat of the tree of life if we already have a resurrected body and eternal life? Rev 22:14. I know it looks like different fruit will be on it to eat every month, but in Gen 3:22, we read that Adam in his fallen state- in a mortal body could live forever by eating of the tree. By making the Cherubs guard the tree, it seems like anyone could, so the tree itself has power to do this.

    Do you think that the trees leaves may be used by God to “heal” those who are born again- to cure the sin that has been passed on from Adam in our bodies, and then people will be able to come in the city and eat of the tree? Then maybe all the other worlds in the universe can then be populated by these immortal people that will be like Adam and Eve before they sinned. It seems like there is a purpose to the tree.

    What do you think?

    • I believe the two witnesses could very well be resurrected at the sixth seal at the same time as the church. But the 1260 days of their ministry seems to be in the first half of Daniel’s 70th week. They minister, then after they finish their testimony, the beast comes out from the bottomless pit and at some point during the great tribulation, the beast kills them.

      In Hebrews 12:23, the explanation is that this is the church of the first born. It’s a festal (public) assembly, the gathering of the Jesus people. Hebrews 11:39-40 states that they (all those heroes of the faith, Abel, Noah, Abraham, Moses) will not be made perfect without us (those washed by the blood of Jesus Christ who are a part of the church, the general assembly of the firstborn, the spirits of just men made perfect).

      The fruit of the tree of life is for the healing of the nations, ethnos, different people groups. The portrait being painted here is one of wicked people still outside of the city of the New Jerusalem which is here on earth. The nations will be taught the ways of God, see Isaiah 2:2-4, or Micah 4:1-8 for the more complete passage. Things that cause sin outside the city will exist, but will not be allowed within the city gates, see Revelation 21:27, 22:14-15. Some will have a right to enter the city and partake of the tree of life. That fruit of the tree of life will grant eternal life, but the leaves are for the healing of the nations. Psalm 72 is a great passage for what is occurring during this time period.

      Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

      -The Orange Mailman

      • steve snyder says:

        So you do see mortals partaking of the tree of life and living forever? This meaning there will people forever in bodies that will be able to procreate-like Adam and Eve. Because Jesus teaches when we get our resurrection bodies, we will no longer get married and be celebrate. Also, if this is true, what about the people allowed into the city, how will their sin nature be healed? Romans 7:14-25

        1st Cor 15:42-49, shows that the natural body has an “earthy” wants, whereas the spiritual body will want spiritual things. That is what I was getting at about having the natural body changed someway to heal the sin nature, by those people still being allowed to procreate. You see?
        It seems to me the only people who had no sin nature was Adam and Eve, but once they sinned it was passed on so everyone is born a sinner and we can do nothing good to earn salvation because of that sin nature, and we don’t even seek after God. (Romans 3:9-19)

        I’m not so sure that the tree will be needed for those in a resurrection body, that is why I’m trying to figure this out. 🙂 It could be that our new bodies will still be subject to getting hurt and need healing-or like you said just the nations in the MK, but the tree may be just be something we can eat from that proves we already have eternal life… maybe? We can now finally eat of the tree, something Adam and Eve could not do, and once a person is resurrected in the MK (possibly by Jesus himself at a ceremony every week or yearly at the feast of tabernacles), then this person may be allowed into the city to eat of the tree?

        Luke 20:34-36
        34 Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, 35 but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; 36 for they cannot even die anymore, because they are like angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.
        Also, what about the sin nature?

      • I’m not sure on the whole tree of life thing. It seems to be according to Revelation 2:7 that only those who already are immortal will be able to eat of the tree of life. Eternal life comes from Jesus Christ, not a tree. The sin nature can only be dealt with by putting it to death on the cross of Christ. It cannot be re-made or re-formed into something good. The point I was making is that the leaves on the tree are for healing, meaning there are nations on the outside of the city that are in need of healing. This causes us to rethink the idea that when the New Jerusalem is here on earth that it must be after the great white throne judgment.

  6. steve snyder says:

    Yeah, I’ve turned this over and chewed on it for a long time, and still can’t figure it out-about the tree of life. Yes, it does sound like a person has to be resurrected to eat from it, and could be just confirmation we do have eternal life- like a diploma. 🙂

    But it could also be (and seems likely to me) that Jesus resurrects those who die in the MK (Isa. 65:20), because He is the resurrection and the life-and could do it anytime, like resurrection Tuesday every week. 🙂 Then they are welcomed into the city. That is why the angels are seen as guarding the gates and sinners are with out- as you said and your reader.

    The language of the great white throne seems to be only sinners standing before God, and this is the second resurrection, so anyone partaking of this resurrection is not blessed or holy. This is the “end” in 1st Cor 15:24, when death is judged (26). So anyone in between that dies will have to be resurrected in the 1000 year period- it seems to me, which is still part of the Parousia, just not the arrival phase. We just don’t read of it.

    Come to think of it, another parousia of God and the heavenly city don’t seem likely-the word is not used when John sees it coming down, it just means descending downward. Maybe all the more reason to see the new Jerusalem either a satellite or on the ground, because this seems to be part of the Parousia of Jesus and God (Rev 6:16), and not a separate thing that happens in the next age. You see?

    Alan Kurschner in his book, “Antichrist before the Day of the Lord”, writes about the parousia; ” It will not be a simple instantaneous event as the rapture will be. The scope will include various events that will fulfill divine purposes”. He then goes on to talk about the approx. 30 year ministry of Jesus and all He accomplished, then He ascended. This was all Jesus’ first Parousia.

    Yes there is only one arrival-which pegs when the resurrection/rapture is and why the word is so important, and the Bible focuses on this, but it is everything He does afterwards too during the 1000 year reign(age) until after death is judged and the kingdom is transferred to the Father-and another age begins.

    That the tree does have life in itself seems to be true, but it could be used in future ages to come (Eph. 2:7).
    Gen. 3,
    22 Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”– 23 therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. 24 So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.

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