THE TWO WITNESSES
by ralph jackson
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THE TWO WITNESSES OF REVELATION CHAPTER 11
Watching David C Packs video on ‘The Two Witnesses – Made Plain’, I was saddened that he has completely missed the mark as to who these two witnesses are? I think the main reason for his mis-understanding comes from his belief in the Rapture teaching, which in an early writing I explained was a false belief and a dangerous one for the saints of God who believe in the second coming of Christ. Prophecy foretells who these two witnesses would be and this has been amplified for our understanding in a book called ‘The Great Controversy’ p 266-267:
The Bible and the French Revolution - Said the angel of the Lord: "The holy city [the true church] 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. . . .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 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 a 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."[1 REV. 11:2-11.] The periods here mentioned--"forty and two months," and "a thousand two hundred and threescore days"--are the same, alike representing the time in which the church of Christ was to suffer oppression from Rome. The 1260 years of papal supremacy began with the establishment of the papacy in A. D. 538, and would therefore terminate in 1798. At that time a French army entered Rome, and made the pope a prisoner, and he died in exile. Though a new pope was soon afterward elected, the papal hierarchy has never since been able to wield the power which it before possessed. The persecution of the church did not continue throughout the entire period of the 1260 years. God in mercy to his people cut short the time of their fiery trial. In foretelling the "great tribulation" to befall the church, the Saviour said, "Except those days should be shortened, there (p. 267) should no flesh be saved; but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened."[1 MATT. 24:22.] Through the influence of the Reformation, the persecution was brought to an end prior to 1798. Concerning the two witnesses, the prophet declares further, "These are the two olive-trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth." "Thy Word," said the psalmist, "is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."[2 REV. 11:4; PS. 119:105.] The two witnesses represent the Scriptures of the Old and the New Testament. Both are important testimonies to the origin and perpetuity of the law of God. Both are witnesses also to the plan of salvation. The types, sacrifices, and prophecies of the Old Testament point forward to a Saviour to come. The Gospels and Epistles of the New Testament tell of a Saviour who has come in the exact manner foretold by type and prophecy. "They shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth." During the greater part of this period, God's witnesses remained in a state of obscurity. The papal power sought to hide from the people the Word of truth, and set before them false witnesses to contradict its testimony. When the Bible was proscribed by religious and secular authority; when its testimony was perverted, and every effort made that men and demons could invent to turn the minds of the people from it; when those who dared proclaim its sacred truths were hunted, betrayed, tortured, buried in dungeon cells, martyred for their faith, or compelled to flee to mountain fastnesses, and to dens and caves of the earth,--then the faithful witnesses prophesied in sackcloth. Yet they continued their testimony throughout the entire period of 1260 years. In the darkest times there were faithful men who loved God's Word, and were jealous for his honor. To these loyal servants were given wisdom, power, and authority to declare his truth during the whole of this time.
The Bible must be its own interpreter and must be the source of individual investigation to test all doctrines whether they are of God or not.
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