The Timing And Location Of The Ministry Of The Two witnesses

The ministry of the two witnesses lasts for 1,260 days which is the length of one half of the 70th week of Daniel. This could be the first or the second half. One important factor in determining whether their ministry occurs in the first half or second half is the starting point. If we look at the starting point of their ministry, it occurs at the same time as the takeover of the Temple by the Gentiles.

“And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.”(Rev.11:1-3).

This is the point in the 70th week of Daniel at which the antiChrist takes over the Temple. This is the point at which God gives power to His two witnesses to prophesy for 1,260days. This event occurs precisely at the midpoint of the 70th week of Daniel when the antiChrist relocates his headquarters to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

“And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.”(Dan.11:45).

“Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”(2 Thess.2:4).

It is at this point also that he surrounds Jerusalem with his armies.

“And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.”(Luk.21:20).

This event is concurrent with the abomination of desolation.

“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:).”[Matt.24:15; cp Mk.13:14].

And the self-apotheosis of the antiChrist and his demand of worship by all mortals(2 Thess.2:4). The Gentiles shall tread under foot the Holy City for 42 months. The two witnesses shall minister for the same length of time, 1,260 days. The 42 months and the 1,260 days have the same terminus-a-quo and terminus-ad-quem. It therefore follows that the 42 months and the 1,260 days are coincident, concurrent and simultaneous. More precisely, they are the same period of time.

The starting point of the ministry of the two witnesses cannot occur at the commencement of the 70th seven when the antiChrist signs a 7-year peace pact with the many from within Israel(Dan.9:27a) because the Temple was not taken over by the Gentiles at this point. The ministry of the two witnesses is in opposition to the antiChrist. The antiChrist is no where in sight in the land of Israel at the commencement of the 70th seven, and the Temple Mount in Jerusalem during the first half of the 70th seven of Daniel. During the first half of the 70th week of Daniel, the antiChrist is embroiled in war in others parts of the world. He went forth conquering and to conquer(Rev.6:2b). The Second seal of Rev.6:3,4 parallels the wars, commotions, rumours and threats of wars that Our Lord Jesus spoke about in the Olivet Discourse or Prohecy(Matt.24:6,7a). The antiChrist is allied with Israel. He offers the Jewish nation protection. He stations a protection force in the land of Israel to deter the enemies of Israel, the surrounding Arab and Islamic nations from attacking Israel. These nations are also allied to the antiChrist. Indeed, they are part of the ten nation confederation of the 8th and Final Beast Empire(Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Turkey: Ezek.38:5,6; Rev.13:2). These nations cannot attack Israel until the antiChrist is in disfavor with the Jewish nation. Their invading Israel in both the Jerusalem and Jehoshaphat campaigns is at the behest of the antiChrist. The Jerusalem Campaign occurs at the midpoint of the 70th week when the antiMessiah relocates his headquarters to Jerusalem from somewhere in Europe, in the land of Magog.

“And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.”(Luk.21:20).

“And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.”(Dan.11:45).

The other point we shall look at is the termination of the ministry of the two witnesses. If their ministry begins at the commencement of the 70th week, it shall end at the midpoint inasmuch as their ministry lasts for 1,260, 42 months or three and one half years. This is the starting point of the Great Tribulation. It also means they will be killed on the last day of the 1,260 of the first half of the 70th week or early on the first day of the second half of the 70th week.

“And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.”(Rev.11:11-13).

In that case, their resurrection will occur on the late afternoon or evening of the fourth day into the Second half of the 70th week.

“And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.”(Rev.11:7-8).

One of the functions of the ministry of the two witnesses is to provide encouragement and hope to believers and Jews who are persecuted by the antiChrist during the horrors of the Great Tribulation as they stand in opposition to the antiChrist and his minions as they persecute the saints and terrorize the whole world, moreso in Jerusalem which is the epicenter of the Great Tribulation. If they died before the beginning of the Great Tribulation or its commencement, this aim is defeated. Their location will be more or less confined to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, right under the nose of the antiChrist, though the effect of their ministry shall be worldwide. After the Rapture of the saints at the appearance of the coming of the Son Of Man, their ministry shall intensify as they begin to recompense affliction to those who oppose them during the trumpet judgments of the wrath of God. They will be seen by the living wicked earth-dwellers as God’s ambassadors of terror.

“And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.”(Rev.11:5-6).

At the death of the two witnesses, the Beast marked Earth-dwellers are found rejoicing and exchanging gifts one with another in merriment to the demise of their tormentors, the two witnesses.

“And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.”(Rev.11:10).

But there is no evidence of the inhabitants of the earth being tormented by the two witnesses in the first half of the 70th week. The events of the first half of the 70th week are emergence of false christs epitomized by the antiChrist, wars, rumours and threats of wars and commotions, famines, pestilence and earthquakes which are the consequences of war. During the first half of the 70th week, men have not yet been compulsorily branded with the mark of the Beast. This programme of mandatory branding of the antiChrist begins at the midpoint of the 70th seven when he makes his debut at the rebuilt Third Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. So, the ministry of the two witnesses cannot occur during the first half of the 70th week.

The terminus-ad-quem of the ministry of the two witnesses is the second woe.

“And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven. The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.”(Rev.11:7-14).

The second woe which occurs on the fourth day of the 30-day Reclamation Period corresponds with the end of the sixth trumpet judgement. The last three trumpets, fifth, sixth and seventh are the three woes.

“And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!”(Rev.8:13).

The trumpets judgments begin in the second half of the 70th week at the breaking of the seventh seal, after the cosmic disturbances(sixth seal), the appearance of The Shekinah in the heavens, the sealing of the 144,000, and the Rapture of the Church(Matt.24:29-31; Rev.7:1-17). The starting point of the trumpet judgments which is the breaking of the seventh seal is the beginning of the Day Of The Lord which is synonymous with the End Of The Ages. During the trumpets judgments God begins to pour out His wrath on all those who are not raptured except the 144,000 who are sealed for protection with the name of God.

“And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.”(Rev.7:1-3).

At this point, the ministry of the two witnesses is at its peak. The wicked earth-dwellers and worshippers of the antiChrist are being punished. They associated their calamities with the ministry of the two witnesses which is the reason adduced for their merriment at their demise at the hands of the antiChrist at the expiry of their ministry. If the ministry of the two witnesses occurs during the second of the 70th week, it will terminate on the last day of the 70th week which also more or less marks the end of the sixth trumpet judgment. They are killed on the last day of The 70th week or early on the first day of the 30-Day Reclamation Period Of The Kingdom. Their resurrection occurs on the fourth day of the 30-Day Reclamation Period Of The Kingdom three and one half days after their death.

Locating the ministry of the two witnesses in the second half of the 70th week makes perfect sense. During this period of the outpouring of God’s wrath, God is in perfect control. During the Day Of The Lord, the haughtiness of man shall be bowed down and the loftiness of men shall brought low. Only the Lord shall be exalted in that Day(Isa.2:18-22; Rev.6:15-17; 2 Thess.2:8). The antiChrist shall be paralyzed by the brightness of His coming. Christ shall be there physically to raise them from the dead, having rescued the 144,000 from the red rose city of Petra in the Edomite wilderness alongside with the remnants of unbranded Jews who survived the Great Tribulation and are purged, purified, and cleansed by the trumpet judgments, from the Judaean wilderness, and the remnants from Assyria and Egypt to Mouth Zion where he will reclaim God’s rule over the Earth on the fifth day of the 30-Day Reclamation Period Of The kingdom at the sounding of the seventh trumpet.

“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.”(Rev.11:15-19).

Of late some prewrathers have straddled the ministry of the two witnesses between the two halves of the 70th week of Daniel in such a way as to make their death and resurrection correspond with the Rapture of the Church. This they do because they believe the two witnesses are believers, and therefore cannot be left behind after the Rapture of the saints. There is no evidence the two witnesses are believers as we are today. Obviously, they believe in the Messiah, but they mirror OT figures like Moses and Elijah or some others with similar ministries.

“And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof. Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof? And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.”(Zech.4:3, 11-14).

John the Baptizer was the herald of His first coming; he was not part of the Church.

“Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”(Matt.11:11).

John the Baptist was the greatest of the OT prophets, but the least in the kingdom of God, that is the Church, is greater than he. John the Baptist is the friend of the bridegroom, Christ’s bestman at the marriage of the Lamb.

“Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.”(John 3:28-29). John the Baptizer cannot be the bestman as well as part of the bride at the marriage of the Lamb. It is therefore clear he belongs to the OT dispensation. The two witnesses are the two olive trees that stand before the God of the whole Earth. One of them has the ministry of Elijah. As Elijah, the premier prophet of Israel was the forerunner of His first advent, so shall he also be the forerunner or herald of His second advent. It is evident that Elijah belongs to the OT dispensation. If one of them belongs to the OT dispensation, then both of them must of necessity belong to the OT dispensation. It therefore follows that the two witnesses are not part of the Church. It is not imperative that they be resurrected at the Rapture of the Church. It will be stretching Scriptures beyond their elasticity and credulity to time their ministry in such a way as to make their resurrection correspond with the Rapture of the Church. Apart from encouraging all those who refuse the mark of the Beast, the ministry of the two witnesses involves plagues similar to the wrath of God in the trumpets. At their death, the wicked earth-dwellers rejoice because they associate them with the plagues of the trumpets. Besides, their resurrection corresponds with the second woe. It will be very difficult to dissociate the two without doing violence to the text of Rev.11:11-14. Does the Rapture then correspond with the second woe? Impossible.

It is also clearly stated that their ministry begins at the same time that the Gentiles take over the Temple(Rev.11:1,2). The length of the Gentile takeover of the Third Temple and the length of their ministry are the same. I think the Apostle John, the apocalytist wants us to understand they are concurrent. If they are not, what is the key for separating them? What is the reason for pairing two periods of equal length if they refer to two different and unrelated periods?

The two witnesses are of the household of Israel. The 70th week is a transition period. In the 70th week, God is dealing with the two families, the Church and Israel at the same time. The ministry of the two witnesses is a warning to the Church, the house of Israel as well as the world in general. Human history is coming to a consummate end. There is a handing over of baton from the Church to Israel like in a relay race as it happened in the first century after the 69th week of Daniel’s 70 week, from Israel to the Church. The twelve Apostles of the Lamb with whom God cut the New Covenant were representative of Israel before the covenant, and the Church after the covenant was cut. The Church ends with the Rapture. After the inception of the Church on the day of Pentecost, the Church and Temple co-existed side by side for 38 years until the destruction of the Second Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah by the Roman general Titus Vespasian in 70 AD. It is the same in the 70th week. After the erection of the Third Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem, and The resumption of animal sacrifice, wine and grain offerings, the two covenants, the Temple and the Church shall exist side by side at the same time until the Church is taken away in the Rapture of the saints in the second half of the 70th week.

As pertaining to the first resurrection, all believers do not resurrect at the same time. The OT saints rose at the same time when Christ rose from the dead.

“Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.”(Matt.27:50-53).

Did these dear OT saints return back to the graves after their resurrection or did they continue with Christ into Heaven? After Christ’s resurrection from the dead, paradise is now in heaven, no more in the underworld of the dead. At the beginning of the Millennial reign of Christ, the NT saints who are beheaded for the word of God and the testimony which they uphold during the reign of terror by the antiChrist shall be raised from the dead to live and reign with Christ for a thousand years.

“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.”(Rev.20:4-5).

Greek scholars tell us that the tense of the verbs are in such a way that the raising, sitting, and reigning occur at the same time. They are also referred to as souls which goes to indicate they have not been clothed with their new and glorified eternal immortal resurrection bodies up until this time. Are they not believers? What about those who believe in Jesus during the Millennium, will they not resurrect at the end of the Millennium? We must not twist Scriptures to conform to our preconceived notions.

They also forget however that situating the ministry of the two witnesses between the two halves of the 70th week can lead to speculation of the time of the Rapture aside from creating a third division of the 70th week which merits no biblical justification. One can then calculate the day and the hour of the Rapture, something that Jesus says neither he nor the angels in heaven know but the Father only.

“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”(Matt.24:36).

“But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.”(Mk.13:32 KJV).

Their ministry will last 1,260 days. They will be overpowered and killed by the antiChrist at the end of their ministry, and be raised from the dead three and one half days later. If their resurrection corresponds with the Rapture, one can then calculate the day and the hour of the Rapture three and one half years after their death right from the starting point of their ministry. The other point is that the living wicked earth-dwellers will be rejoicing at their demise. If they die before the breaking of the seventh seal which is the commencement of the wrath of God, the living wicked earth-dwellers would not have seen much of the wrath of God with which they are associated to rejoice at their demise. They would not have been seen as God’s messengers of terror.

There is no better period in the chronology of the events of the 70th week that presents a better scenario of the ministry of the two witnesses other than the second half of the 70th week of Daniel.

Avraham Shallom.

Published by midgdal

I believe the saints will go through the Great Tribulation before being evacuated from the Earth in the rapture.

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