You Are My Witnesses

William P Goff
3-8-2014

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I’d like to start today’s message with some I’m sure we are all familiar with idioms.

No, no, Not Gideon’s, “Idioms” i-d-i-o-m-s.

Idioms are defined as = a language or style of speaking that is kind of strange or odd to a people.

(Let me give some examples :) That assignment was a “piece of cake

Now we are not talking about “desert” here, what we are saying is that the assignment (or task that we had to do) was quite easy to accomplish.

Some other common “idioms”  are:

“He let the cat out of the bag” (Meaning: He disclosed a secret.)

“You can’t judge a book by its cover”

This idiom doesn’t only apply to books, but can be used for everything in general. Essentially it means that you should not decide on something based on just outward appearance.

Here’s another one that can apply to almost everything that we purchase nowadays: That “Cost an arm and a leg.”

Speaking of leg, how about this common one: “Break a Leg”

Idioms are just another language that we sometimes use communicating with one another. Language itself is a system that enables us to communicate intelligibly with one another.

One definition for “language” is:  a way of communicating by a system of formalized sounds, symbols, signs, even gestures, or the like used as a means of communicating with each other.

Now “language” itself is a Big subject…. It’s believed that there are around 6 or 7 Thousand different languages in the world today. And it’s also said that between 50% and 90% of languages spoken at the beginning of the twenty-first century will probably have become extinct by the year 2100.

(Do you remember “Rip Van Winkle” it was a short story written by Washington Irving, published back in 1819 about a man who fell asleep for twenty years, and then he awakes to discover some “shocking changes” that have taken place in the world around him.

Now Rip would have been in a heap of trouble trying to communicate with people when he woke up, if he had slept for [let’s say 2,000 years, instead of 20 years] He would have needed someone to interpret for him and a strong call for “Vernaculars” to say the least, so others could understand exactly what he was saying.

 (Hold that thought, because we’re coming back there a little later in today’s message.)

While I was doing this little study about languages, the “origins” of languages was addressed, and to my surprise, the “Tower of Babel” was mentioned.  At first my eyes lit up, but then I realized it was referred to as a “fairy tale” or “fable.”

Quote:  “Humans have speculated about the origins of language throughout history. The Biblical Myth of the “Tower of Babel” is one such account. It is claimed (and I’m still quoting here) that the existence of "myths” in the Bible would now be admitted by nearly everyone, including probably all Roman Catholics and a majority of Protestants".

(Let’s hope the “church of God” doesn’t make that list of unbelievers if it hasn’t already.)

Now “language” is Not the main topic of my message today, but “language” does play in, because what I want to address today, is a subject that has often been spoken about and often been addressed, in the church, but with nothing more than “speculation” “opinion” and even “fables”, but it never seems to be communicated with much “soundness”.

But this ought not to be, because we are the church, “The Pillar and Ground of The truth”, Not “The pillar and Ground of “speculation” “obscurity” or “fables”.

And, the subject that I want to address today concerns something that continues to draw closer & closer, considering the perilous times in which we are living.

Now without any more “beating around the bush” Let me switch gears and disclose the topic that I want to place on the table today. I want to discuss the “Two Witnesses” of Revelation 11 (And if time permit, the “place of safety.”

Now I don’t clam to be an expert on this subject (far from it) But I do believe that the Scriptures are a lot clearer concerning this issue than we may have realized in times past.

And I’m hoping that today’s message will begin to “hit the nail on the head” concerning who, yes who, these witnesses are, and where “those who are accounted worthy to escape what is surely coming” where or how they will be protected.

Now over the years I’m sure we’ve all heard countless discussions, comments, and opinions concerning who these witnesses may be. And I’m sure we’re aware that there have been numerous individuals falsely claiming to be one (or more) of the witnesses. But their true identity seems to have remained to this day, shrouded in secrecy.

Now there’s another saying that we hear from time to time, and I’m not sure if its an “idiom” or not, but I’m sure we’ve all heard it, and probable all experienced it occasionally when searching for something that we just can’t seem to find (even though it may be right in front of our eyes.)

Sometimes when we’re anxiously looking for something (and don’t get me wrong here, I’m not anxiously looking for the “two witnesses” {never was}

(Same goes for the “place of safety”) I knew a church family that was obsessed with trying to locate the “place of safety” (literally searching the Scriptures daily, trying to find it) to me, that was ridiculous, even if one could locate it, only those “accounted worthy” will be there.)

(I always told them, better to be obsessed with walking the walk.)

(Getting back to what I’m trying to says here):

Sometimes when you’re anxiously looking for something, looking here, and looking there and looking everywhere, but just can’t seem to find it, someone will step in, point it out, and say: its right there! “If it was a snake, it would have bit you!”

I believe this is the case with the “two witnesses” there identity has been right in front of our eyes, but we just couldn’t see it.  Maybe because we spent too much time speculating on the obscure Scriptures that concern with “being protected” from what’s coming, rather than “first” acknowledging the clear ones that pertain to who these “witnesses” actually are.

So today, I want to start by examining the clear Scriptures that pertain to this subject first, and then allow the not so clear ones to fit into their proper places.

Now I know that what I have to say today will be considered by some heresy but that ok, fact is, it’s probably “good” because “heresy” is not necessarily a “bad” thing, on the contrary. Heresy is just an opinion or doctrine that doesn’t go along with what is normally taught or believed.

I know a man, his name was Paul, and at times, he was considered a preacher of heresy, and he was proud of it. (And I’m not talking about Saul, when he was persecuting Christians; I’m talking about after Damascus, when his name was changed to Paul. (Acts 24:14).

Now there’s another kind of heresy that is a “bad” thing, it’s called “damnable heresy”. But brethren, I warn you to be quite careful, not to get your “heresies” mixed up, because we live at a time when many call what is good bad and what is bad good.

Now before we move on in search of the “secretly shrouded witnesses” and the possible place of safety, let us refresh our memory concerning God’s view about “secrets”, because the time is at hand brethren, the fat lady is already on stage, the hand righting is on the wall, and the witnesses (who will be given Extraordinary Authority, Strength & Power) are soon to make their day view.

(Not turning, but in Amos 3:7 we are told: “Surely the Lord God will do “nothing” but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets.”

Psalm 25:14 says: “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him.”

John 15:15 says: “Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what His Lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard from the Father I have made known unto you.”

My point here is that these witnesses are not going to show up on the scene and take God’s true servants by surprise. Remember, we are not to be in darkness, we are of the day, children of light.

Now it’s been a belief in the church (at least to my knowledge) that the work of the church, the work of “preaching the Gospel to the world as a witness” will come to a close and will end as the “Two Witnesses” of revelation 11 come on the scene, and the church is taken to a “place of safety” in the “wilderness”.

Now there are numerous Scriptures that in and by themselves can lead us to thinking in that direction, but we need to consider all the Scriptures that pertain to the subject at hand.

And we need to take the “clear” & “concrete” Scriptures, and have the not so clear, no so concrete, fit in with them?

(Revelation 11:1 please)

And there was given me a “reed” like a “rod” (Apostle John speaking here) and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship there in.”

2, 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.

3, And I will give power unto my “two witnesses” and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

(No please note verse 4) (He’s talking about His “two witnesses” here:

4, “These are my “two olive trees” and the “two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.”

Let’s stop right here for a moment and realize something…. The Scripture clearly says that the “two witnesses” are “two olive trees” and “two candlesticks.”

(So in some manner, the two “olive trees” and the “two candlesticks” (or lamp stands, same Greek word) symbolize the “two witnesses.”  Now we can speculate all day about what these “candlesticks” & “olive trees” represent, and probably come to wrong conclusion every time… Or, we can let the bible interpret itself, and come to the right conclusion.

(The big question is = are we going to believe what the “God Breathed” Scriptures say?)

(Revelation chapter one please, let’s look at the “candlesticks” first.)

The candlesticks are spoken of in the Gospels (and we’ll be going their shortly) but in Revelation chapter one, “The cat is unequivocally let out of the bag (Plainly put, the secret of the identity of the “candlesticks” is clearly disclosed.) (And if we know who the “candlesticks” are, we know who some of the witnesses are.)

(Let’s pick it up in Revelation 1:12) The Apostle John is speaking here, and he’s writing to the seven churches. (This is where the Scripture identifies the “Candlesticks” (seven golden candlesticks to be precise.)

Revelation 1:12 “And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks.”

13, “And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.

(Dropping down to verse 16) “And I saw in His right hand seven stars: and out of His mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and His countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

Well exactly what are these “candlesticks”?  and for that matter, what are these seven stars?

Now verse 20 solves the mystery: “The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

Brethren, some speculate that the witnesses are two unconverted Jews who are currently residing in Jerusalem; others brainstorm some other worldly figures.

But according to the Revelation of Christ, which was given to Him directly by the Almighty Father Himself, there is no need for speculation.

Revelation 11 plainly & clearly states that the “Two Witnesses” are “Two Olive Trees” and “Two Candlesticks”

Revelation 1 plainly & clearly states that the “Candlesticks” are the “churches”.

Now we may have some questions here that need to be answered, for one, why only “two Candlesticks” (Or churches) standing before the God of the earth at this end time, when there are actually a total of “seven churches” (seven candlesticks)?  And what are these “Two Olive trees”? Do the “two olive trees” and the “two candlesticks” represent the same thing?

(Zechariah 4 please) We have no room for speculation; we need the Scriptures to answer all of our questions.

Zechariah was commissioned by God to encourage the people in their unfinished responsibility to complete the building of the temple…  Now rather than exhort them to action with strong words of rebuke, Zechariah seeks to encourage them to action by reminding them of the importance of the temple, and the importance of its building being completed.

We also need to be reminded of the importance of the Temple, the Spiritual Temple, which must be completed, because our Savior is returning to inhabit it with His saints, for eternity.

Now those who returned from exile were concerned about rebuilding the physical temple, but those people were not merely building a building, every physical detail concerning the building of that “physical temple” (right down to the minutest detail) holds spiritual significance for the completion of the building of us, His “Spiritual Temple”.

(Remember: “Christ is going to present to “Himself” a glorious church, not have spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”)

Zechariah’s message goes far beyond physical walls & structures, his spectacular apocalyptic imagery and graphic detail points to our day today and the completion of the building of “us” His church, His ecclesia, His Spiritual Temple.

The building of His church that Christ began nearly 2,000 years ago is going to be completed now, during the reign of His “witnesses”.  And any and all truth that we may still be lacking is going to be clarified, rectified & restored at this time. (Calendar issues – Passover issues – all soon to be set straight.)

And when He gives Power to His “two olive trees” He will also be giving power to His “two candlesticks” (those spiritual gifts will be flowing, confirming The Word with those “signs following”! (Just like it did when the building of the church was first begun.)

His end time church will not be tucked away in some hidden place, but will be boldly “witnessing” to this world, as they are “nourished” by the two “olive trees.”

(let’s go to Zechariah and see this.)

Now chapter four of Zechariah concerns the “Gold lampstand”and the “Two olive trees”.

In my last message we noted how the “lampstand” (or chandelier) always symbolizes God’s church in the Scriptures, and how the “gold lampstand” was first spoken of in Exodus 25:31 where Moses was instructed to make it out of “pure” gold.

The “pure gold” (as we spoken of and elaborated on in the last message) represented the “churches” high standard of perfection with all the impurities refined out, leaving no spots, no blemishes, not even a wrinkle. Yes, the completed development (in us) of the Holy Righteous Character of the Father Himself.

Now the “Gold lampstand” or “chandelier” that God instructed Moses to make had seven lights or candlesticks, representing all “seven” churches, but in Revelation 11 we find only “two candlesticks” “witnessing” along with “two olive trees.”

(This is what I want to focus in on now in Zechariah 4.)

Zechariah 4:1 “And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep.

2, And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick (chandelier) all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof:

3, And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof.

So here we have a “chandelier” with a “bowl” on top (the bowl is defined from the Hebrew as a cup for oil) with seven lamps (seven churches) being fed the oil through seven pipes that are connected to the bowl of oil on the top, to illuminate the lamps.  And upon the right of the bowl, and upon the left of the bowl, two olive trees.

Now “trees” often represent men in the Scriptures, and “olive trees” produced the oil used by the ancients in their lamps, these trees are represented as furnishing a constant supply of oil through the golden pipes to the lamps.

Let us always remember brethren “There is simplicity in Christ Jesus” He’s not trying to confuse us, or complicate things. And He always gives us the physical, so we can better understand the spiritual.

Now verse 4 through 10 speaks of how the hands of zerubbabel laid the foundation of the house of God (the church) and that his hands will also finish it, and not by might, or by power of men, but by God’s Spirit.

(That’s what’s coming brethren, “the day of small things” when those who have despised it, will rejoice, as they see the “plummet” in Zerubbabel hand as the construction to complete the “Spiritual Temple” commences in full force. We see the storm clouds and can almost smell “The latter rains” approaching.

(Now let’s drop down to verse 11 and notice something.)

(This question is now asked by Zechariah.)

11, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick, and upon the left side thereof?

12, 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?

(Notice back in verse 2, there were seven pipes feeding the oil to the seven lamps (or churches) but now only two pipes feeding oil. Why? Because now there are only two lamps (or churches) left at the time of this final witnessing, Philadelphia & Laodicea.)

13, And he answered me and said, knowest thou not what these be? And I said, no, my lord.

14, Then said he, these are the two anointed ones, that stand by the lord of the whole earth.

Brethren, there are “Two Olive Trees” (two anointed ones) that are going to be given tremendous power by the Almighty God in order for them to “witness” to this dying world.

And there are “Two candlesticks” (two churches) that are also going to be witnessing to this world, along with the ‘two anointed ones” as the oil of Truth (The Word of God) flows out of these “Two olive Trees” through the pipes, to illuminate the lamps of  “Two candlesticks” or churches.

Now the Philadelphians are going to be protected as they are witnessing through the Great Tribulation, but the Laodicea’s are not. But before we address those Scriptures that concern being “kept” from the hour of temptation that is coming upon the whole world, and how the Philadelphians will be nourished at a place prepared for them in the wilderness.

I want to look at something else first, it concerns the identity of the two anointed ones.  We read in revelation 11:4 that the “two witnesses” are “two olive trees”and “two candlesticks” standing before the God of the earth.

We saw that the Scriptures interpreted the “two candlesticks” to be “two churches”.  But who are these “two anointed ones, these “two olive trees”?  Is it possible that there identity is also right in front of our eyes?

(Let’s go back to Revelation 1 please)

In verse 16 we are told that Christ had “seven stars” in His right hand: and out of His mouth went a sharp two edged sword. Could these stars be connected to the “two anointed ones” - the “two olive trees”?

The identity of the “stars” is given in verse 20. The “seven stars” are the angels of the seven churches. Can we know who these angels are, maybe even their names? I think we can.

The word “angel” here in verse 20 means “a messenger” but not necessarily an angelic being. Fact is, most commentary out there says these “seven stars” are “seven pastors” one for each church.

Now if that’s the case (and I believe it is) then couldn’t the “pastor” of the Philadelphia church, and the “pastor” of the Laodicea church, be the “two anointed ones” that will be connected and working in unison with the two end time churches?

Physically, the “olive trees” are what produce the oil that illuminates the lamps light. That what the “pastor” is to do, “feed the flock, feed the sheep”

But who could “possibly” be the “messenger” of the “Philadelphia” church? That’s the church that is represented by “Love” Now I came into the church in 1984, and never really experienced too much genuine love from any of the ministry, fact is “love” didn’t seem to be in the picture.

But God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, and God’s ways are not our ways, we have to look at the “bigger” picture here, we need to stand back and get a broader view of the church and its leaders, and a broader view of the book of revelation itself.

And, most importantly, we have to believe what the Scriptures say (there God Breathe ya know) and God means what He says, and says what He means (and oftentimes, quite literally!)

Now just as “Genesis” is the book of beginnings, Revelation is the book of consummation. In it, God’s plan for mankind is brought to completion. That includes this world being “judged” and Judgments include “legalities” & “procedures”

(Revelation 1 starting in verse one.)

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants (that’s us I hope) things that must shortly come to pass; and He sent his angel unto His servant John:

2, Who bear record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he (John that is) saw.

(That word “record” that John “bears” means = to be a witness, to testify, to give or have testimony.)

3, Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophesy And keep those things that are written therein: for the times is at hand.

(Let’s go to Revelation ten now and get blessed.)

(And remember; prophesy is history written in advance. If God says it’s going to happen, it will happen.)

(Revelation 10 starting in verse 8) were cutting in a little early here, but I want to make a point before getting to a particular verse.

8, And the voice which I (John speaking here) heard from heaven spoke unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.

9, And I (John speaking here) went unto the angel, and said unto him, give me (John that is) the little book. And he said to me take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in try mouth sweet as honey.

10, and I (John speaking here) took the little book out of the angels hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth (John’s mouth that is) sweet as honey; and as soon as I (John speaking here) had eaten it, my belly (John’s belly that is) was bitter.

Now verse 11 is the one that I want to read, and it’s the one that I want us to hear: And he said to me (he said to John) thou (you, John) must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and Kings.

Now what I hear being said in this verse is that John is going to prophesy again. (That word “again” means = once more, another time. Well how can that be, isn’t he dead, and in the grave?

In “Foxe’s Book of Martyrs” written by John Fox in the mid 1500, the fate of many New Testament Christians including the Apostles, are storied concerning how they were persecuted and killed (or martyred).

According to Fox, the Apostle John after being exiled to the Island of Patmos during what is called “The Second Persecution” of “Christians”, that John was released from Patmos, and that he return to Ephesus in the year AD 97, and that John remained there until he died (not martyred) at about the age of 100.

It was said in another source that the reason he was banished to Isle of Patmos in the first place, was because they tried to kill him at the coliseum at Rome, by boiling him in oil, but after being plunged into boiling oil, he suffering absolutely nothing from it.

He was protected like “Shadrack” “Meshach” & “Abengdo” were protected in the fiery furnace. (Not even a scent of smoke when they came out) Yes, he was protected like Daniel was protected in the Lions den.

It is said that all in the entire Coliseum audience were converted to Christianity upon witnessing this miracle.

So to this day, no record anywhere, of John being martyred, except one alternative account of John's death (ascribed by some later Christian writer to an early second-century bishop, claiming that John was slain by the Jews, but most scholars doubt the reliability of it.)

Now knowing how the “grape vine” works in the church, the chances of the Apostle John having been “martyred” and that piece of information being unknown, lost or forgotten, is quite slim to say the least.

Now if he wasn’t martyred, we know for fact that he soon will be. And we can see this with 20/20 vision, starting in Matthew 20:20.

Mat 20:20 “Then came to him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him.

21: And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.

22: But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.

23: And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with.”

Even if the Apostle John is asleep in the grave, if he hasn’t been martyred yet, he soon will be, because our Savior stated that he would be subject to the same “cup” and “baptism.”

Now Jesus’ baptism and cup, was by “scourging” & “crucifixion”, don’t be surprised if the “two anointed” ones, after completing their “Testimony” are put to death in the same manner (scourging & crucifixion)  and then left laying in the street in Jerusalem with cameras on them for 3 ½ days to insure that no one steals their dead bodies.

(They can’t afford another “garden tomb” incident, where the body becomes “missing” and people begin believing they were “true” witnesses of God and resurrected by Him.)

(And by the way, that word “testimony” in Rev 11:7 where it says: “after “the witnesses” finish their “testimony” they will be killed” that word “testimony” is not only the same Greek word used back in Rev 1:2 (translated record) where John says: that he (himself) bear “record” [or testifies] but is also used a second time in that same verse where John also says: that he “testifies” of Jesus Christ, and all things that he himself saw.)

No I’m not that bright a man, (and I don’t mean to get back to more “idioms” again) but isn’t testimony favored when it comes directly from “the horses mouth” (an “eye witness”?)

(If the Apostle John was witnessing, he wouldn’t be talking “hearsay evidence” he would be testifying with “I saw” evidence.

But, it would take a “Hugh Miracle” for someone who has been in the grave for 2,000 years to rise up and start working again, wouldn’t you think?  But with God, all things are possible; He can do “Hugh Miracles” just by speaking a single word.

Let’s go back to Revelation 11:1 again, and notice a particular word that we read there earlier, but may have a little for significance now:

Rev 11:1 “And there was given me (John speaking here) a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying (saying to John that is) Rise”, and measure the temple of God, and the Alter, and them that worship therein.

Now I want to go one more place concerning the “Olive Trees” and their “witnessing” before moving on. It has to do with “outdated” idioms…. Surely “idioms” are nothing new right? Solomon says that there’s nothing new under the sun.

Well how about ‘idioms” were they using “idioms” 2,000 years ago, and if they were, would we “comprehend” if someone began speaking them today?

We read in Zechariah 4: verse 11 where the question was asked: “What are these two olive “trees” upon the right & left side of the candlesticks? But in the very next verse, verse 12 the question is asked, what are these two olive “branches”?

That word translated “branches” means = shibboleth. Shibboleth is defined as = a peculiarity of pronunciation, behavior, mode or dress, that distinguishes a particular class or set of persons, a slogan, idiom, or catchword, a common saying with little “current” meaning.

Could this verse be telling us that the “two anointed ones” are going to show up on the scene a bit “strange”, a bit “odd” to say the least, in their attire, in their speech, in their behavior?

I think so; I think that many (including some in God’s church) will not even recognize them as being God’s “two witnesses”.

But make no mistake about it, the rest of that verse goes on to say that it is through those “two branches” (those two anointed one) that the “golden oil” is emptied out of “themselves” through the “two golden pipes” And the Scripture is quite clear that those “two golden pipes” are connected “directly” to the “two candlesticks” (two churches.)

(Matthew 5:14 please)

If some in God’s church are going to be puzzled by these “Two Witnesses” how about those in the world?)  Don’t you think that God (who does everything decently & orderly) will have His Ecclesia scattered throughout the world to “elaborate” on what these “two anointed ones” are saying & doing?

Didn’t Daniel hear the man clothed in linen say that when the “power of the holy people” shall be scattered, these things shall be accomplished? That “scattering” of God’s holy people is history now brethren.

(If you think God is going to hide His church, His candlesticks, His lights, during the time when their light will be needed more than every before in the history of mankind, think again, and remember “who we are” :)

Matthew 5:14 “you are the light of the world, a city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.

15, Neither do men light a “candle” and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick (same exact word used in Revelation 11:4 where He says His witnesses are “two candlesticks) “and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

16, Let your lights so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your father which is in heaven.

In Acts 1:8 Christ last words to His disciples was: “you shall be “witnesses” unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (that word translated “part” means = farthest, final (of place or time) latter end.

In Matthew 28:19 The church is given the Great Commission “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them.”

20, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you (with His church) always, EVEN UNTO THE END OF THE AGE.

(The age doesn’t end at the rise of the “two witnesses” neither does the church age end at that time (on the contrary, at the rise of the “two witnesses” the church will be shifted into “High Gear” to say the least, as it is “awaken” from the “slumbering sleep” that it is currently in. Remember, the “Midnight Cry” of Matthew 25, is where the virgins arise and “trim” their lamps.)

Now concerning the other “olive tree” I think the Scriptures identify him quite clearly, but there’s not enough time here to properly address the issue, so my lips are sealed for today.

Instead, I want to quickly addressing some of the Scriptures that pertain to the “Philadelphians” protection, and the “place of safety”, as I bring today’s message to a close.

(Revelation 3:10 please)

I feel we have some “preconceived ideas” concerning the “place of safety”.

Again, we need to verify all of our beliefs with God’s Word.

Rev 3:10 (speaking to the Philadelphia church Christ says: “Because you have kept the word of my patience, I also will keep you from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon the whole world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.”

That word “keep” (Strong’s 5083) is defined as: to guard (from loss or injury, properly, by keeping the eye upon; and thus differing from 2892, which implies a fortress or full military lines of apparatus.

(A “fortress” is a large fortified place, where those being protected are gathered together. But the word used for “keep” here, differs from that type of group protection.)

“Keep” here speaks of protection “by keeping the eye upon”. Back in Zechariah 4, where it speaks about the day of small things, in verse 10 it says that the “plummet” will be back in the hand of Zerubbabel with the seven eyes of the Lord which run to & fro through the whole earth.

Speaking of those “seven eyes”, 2 Chronicles 16:9 tells us that the eyes of the Lord run to & fro throughout the whole earth, to show Him strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect towards Him. (Same “perfect” we spoke about in that last message “complete”.)

(Another place to look at is in Revelation 12.)

Starting in Rev 12:14 “And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.”

(The words I want to look at are: “wilderness” - “place” – “nourished”.

Wilderness: Strong’s 2048 = Lonesome, waste.

Place: Strong’s 5117 = a spot, (general in space, but limited by occupancy)

Nourished: Strong’s 5142 = to stiffen, fatten (by implication, to cherish (with food etc.), pamper, feed, nourish.

I think many in God’s church have a preconceived idea that when the Great tribulation begins and the “two witnesses” arrive on the scene, we are going to go from our ‘air-conditioned homes, to some air-conditioned bus, to some all-inclusive resort, to ride out the 3 ½ year tribulation in relative comfort”.

(All I’m trying to say here is that these verses don’t exactly support that.)

(Now I want to conclude in the book of Isaiah.)

The beginning chapters of Isaiah are filled with judgment upon immoral and Idolatrous men. Judah has sinned; the surrounding nations have sinned; the whole earth has sinned. Judgment must come because God cannot allow such blatant sin to go unpunished forever.

Isaiah also declares a message of hope, that our Lord & savior is returning as Sovereign, wearing a Crown, and He is going to use His servants, His chosen, His church to witness for Him, concerning who the real God is.

Isaiah 43:1 begins elaborating on the restoration, and who, yes who will declare it to the nations.

Isaiah 43:1 “But now, this is what the LORD says—
    he who created you, Jacob,
    he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.

For I am the LORD your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I gave Egypt for your ransom,
    Cush and Seba in your stead.

Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
    and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
    nations in exchange for your life.

Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
    I will bring your children from the east
    and gather you from the west.

I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
    and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’
Bring my sons from afar
    and my daughters from the ends of the earth—

everyone who is called by my name,
    whom I created for my glory,
    whom I formed and made.”

Lead out those who have eyes but are blind,
    who have ears but are deaf.  
(Lead out from where? Tribulation.)

All the nations gather together
    and the peoples assemble.
Which of their gods foretold this
    and proclaimed to us the former things?
Let them bring in their witnesses to prove they were right,
    so that others may hear and say, “It is true.”

10 You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD,
    “and my servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may know and believe me
    and understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed,
    nor will there be one after me.

11 I, even I, am the LORD,
    and apart from me there is no savior.

12 I have revealed and saved and proclaimed
    I, and not some foreign god among you.
You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “that I am God.

13     Yes, and from ancient days I am he.
No one can deliver out of my hand.
    When I act, who can reverse it?”

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