The Two Witnesses - J.L. Robb -
I had lunch with a good friend a couple of weeks ago. In her mid-fifties, she hardly ever misses Sunday Church but told me she had never heard of the rapture until she started reading my book series. I almost dropped my teeth!
This week I spoke to a Bible study group about the Two Witnesses in Revelation. I chose the subject because another Christian friend mentioned that he had never even heard of these witnesses. That was right after he told me that the rapture is not even in the Bible. I hear that a lot and usually answer that, neither is the word trinity in the Bible.
One thing I have learned from six-plus decades of life is, two people can read the same sentence and come away with two different interpretations. If they read the same story, the difference is even more drastic.
Rapture is the English interpretation of the Latin word, rapere. Rapere means "to snatch away" or "to be caught up." This has happened before but only twice and is documented in Genesis 5:24 and 2 Kings 2:11.
Enoch lived a long time ago, pre-flood and was the great-grandfather of Noah. Enoch is described in the Bible as a "man who walked with God." Then God "took him away" before he experienced death.
A couple of thousand years later, the same thing happened to Elijah, the Jewish prophet; and his disappearance was witnessed. Vanished. So there is precedence for the Latin word, rapere; and it is predicted to happen on a much larger scale in the near future, in my opinion. When it does, the people left behind will be astonished. This is sad especially for the many who believe that Jesus is the Christ but did not get the message about the rapture and the Two Witnesses.
God established the rule that a single witness was not enough evidence to convict someone of a crime.
"One witness is not enough to convict anyone accused of any crime or offense they may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses." ~Deuteronomy 19:15 NIV
The Two Witnesses are described in Revelation and are to begin their ministry during the tribulation period. The tribulation (distress) are described by Jesus:
"For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now-and never to be equaled again." ~Jesus
Unequaled distress is not a good thing.
The Bible does not name the Two Witnesses, but scholars have dissected the scriptures and come up with a few scenarios, once again proving that people can read the same thing and have different opinions.
One scenario of the scholars is that it is not about two individuals but two groups of people, or nations.
One scenario is that it will be two Messianic Jews from the future.
One scenario is that it has already happened prior to the Roman Army's destruction of Jerusalem in the first century A.D.
One scenario is that it will be Elijah and Enoch, under the notion that since these two men are the only two who did not actually die and went straight to heaven or "to be with God," they will come back again in order to die; because the Bible states that all mankind will die at least once. Of course, Enoch was not a Jew as he lived pre-Abraham.
"Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment..." ~ Hebrew 9:27 NIV
Another scenario is that the two will be Elijah and Moses. Since Moses and Elijah are both mentioned in the book of Malachi and both appeared with Jesus during the transfiguration. :
"Remember the law of my servant Moses, the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb for all Israel.
"See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction." ~ Malachi 4: 4-6 NIV
In my book series, I go with Enoch and Elijah; but no one knows for sure except God. However, the Two Witnesses will cause a bad day for a whole lot of folk. They are to be given Divine power to thwart their enemies, and their enemies will be the people in the last days who begin to actually worship a world leader, a leader that the Bible refers to as the anti-Christ and the Beast.
One of the powers bestowed on the Two Witnesses is the power to cause climate change. They can shut off the rain, cause massive hail and wind storms... a lot of things that are already beginning to happen according to the daily news.
Another power is to destroy their enemies by fire. This fire is to come from the mouths of the witnesses, which could be actual fire or could be a command for fire. Either way, the people who try to kill these two men during their 1260 days of preaching to the Israelis and letting them know the grave error of their ways, especially killing their Messiah, will be devoured by fire.
Possibly the gravest power the Two Witnesses have will be the ability to turn water into blood.
"They have power to shut up the heavens so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want." ~ Revelation 11:6 NIV
And finally, they will have the ability to cause plagues throughout the world. Like Ebola. If the drinking water turned to actual blood or turned blood red due to an algae bloom, the result is the same. Lots of dead fish which brings lots of flies which brings lots of plague.
After 1260 days the witnesses will be killed by the Beast, since no one human seems to be able to do so. The Two Witnesses will be left lying on the Temple Mount from which they preached, for three days. This is indicative for the anger of the Israelis, because their religious custom calls for burial by sundown.
The story gets even more interesting from this point on.