FRIDAY MORNING MANNA
January 23, 2015
Biblical Numerology: NUMBER TWO – Part XX
Revelation 11: Solid Food not Milk
The Peril of Not Progressing. The Business Inside reports that: “Strains in the global labor market could lead to a surplus of up to 5 million low-skill workers and a shortage of up to 5 million high-and-medium-skilled-workers by 2020, according to a recent report by the McKinskey Global Institute (MGI).
MGI concluded that unless there is an immediate and massive global effort to improve worker skills, there will be ‘far too few workers with the advanced skills needed to drive a high-productivity economy and far too few job opportunities for low skill workers.” www.businessinsider.com/high-silled-worker-shortage-2012-6.
Even much more so in the harvest-field of God–the world! Jesus, the Lord of the Harvest said to the seventy disciples, and to all of us: “The harvest is truly great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves.” Luke 10: 1-3, NKJV. ”Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest.” John 4: 35. In the Parable of the Wheat and Tares, Jesus explained, “He who sows the good seed is the Son of man. The field is the world, . . . . the harvest is the end of the age.” Matt. 13:36-39. Furthermore, of this particular parable, “The field, is the world.’ “But we must understand this as signifying the church of Christ in the world.’”- Christ’s Object Lessons, 70 (Wheat and Tares Parable).
Indeed, there are far too few workers at this late hour of the harvest with advanced spiritual skills. Why? Picking up from last week’s FMM issue on the difference between the “milk” and “meat” or solid food of the present, sealing truths—the closing messages and work of the everlasting gospel for these last days, many still prefer milk. Paul explains:
“Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection,not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms [by water and Holy Spirit], of laying on of hands [ordination, and healing], of resurrection of the dead [spiritually and literally at the Second Advent], and of eternal judgment [investigative and executive]. And this we will do if God permits. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened [with the elementary principles of Christ], and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.” Heb. 6: 1-6.
WHO ARE THE “TWO WITNESSES” OF REVELATION 11? These, and all the other prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation are not “milky” but “meaty,” solid food. What else does this chapter reveal to the earnest seeker of the present, sealing truths for these last days? Our main references for these series are The Great Controversy (1911 ed.), The Bible and the French Revolution, chapter 15, pp. 265-288, and Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. IV, 1884 original edition of the Great Controversy, The Two Witnesses, chapter XI, pp. 188-193, and other authoritative extant sources.
A variety of interpretations of this prophecy have been proposed. Many end-time expositors say that these “two witnesses” are two literal persons–either Moses and Elijah or Enoch and Elijah. None of these are even sure about their propositions for such miss wide the mark of satisfying every specification of the prophecy and its broader context for them to be Biblically sound. Every diligent student seeking light and knowledge to navigate the treacherous and confusing times in which we live in, and that which lie ahead, are counseled:
“Let all who would understand the meaning of these things read the eleventh chapter of Revelation. Read every verse, and learn the things that are yet to take place in the cities. Read also the scenes portrayed in the eighteenth chapter of the same book.” – E. G. White, Last Day Events, (15MR 18, May 10, 1906).
All must understand for himself the key pivotal prophecy of Daniel 8: 14, “Unto two thousand three hundred days then shall the sanctuary be cleansed” in connection with the sanctuary doctrine/message. It clearly reveals the astounding truth of the opening of pre-advent judgment in heaven in this antitypical Day of Atonement, coming at the close of this great prophetic period—the longest time prophecy of the Bible—2,300 years.
The carefully calculated misinterpretation of the these “Two Witnesses” of Revelation 11 is to avoid the clear yet unpleasant conclusion that the former Protestant Reformers once arrived at that the antichrist of prophecy is the papacy. In its place is adopted the Futuristic school of interpretation of prophecy, a brainchild of the Spanish Jesuit priest Ribera introduced during the Reformation to counteract its work then (which sadly, largely succeeded), which is also a staple of the doctrine of dispensations and the Rapture. (This we will hopefully address in subsequent issues under the title, “The Secret of the Rapture.”). The antichrist, as a system, was already existing then and is not some charismatic, fuehrer-like individual who will allegedly appear yet in the future (hence, Futuristic) in the Middle East.
Uriah Smith, in his classic, Daniel and the Revelation, The Battle Between the Bible and Atheism, chapter XI, pp. 533-542, says:
“During this time of 1260 [538-1797 A.D.] years [538-1798 A.D.] the witnesses are in a state of sackcloth, or obscurity and God gives them power to endure and maintain their testimony through that dark and dismal period But who or what are these witnesses?” –pp. 533, 534
Verse 4 says: “These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.”
“Evident allusion is here made to Zechariah 4: 11-14, where it is implied that the two olive trees are taken to represent the Word of God. David testifies, ‘The entrance of Thy words giveth light;’ and, ‘Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.’ Psalm 119: 130, 105. Written testimony is stronger than oral. Jesus declared of the Old Testament Scriptures, ‘They are they which testify of Me.’ John 5: 39.
‘Says George Croly: ‘The Two Witnesses are the Old and New Testaments. . . . The essential purpose of the Scriptures is to give witness to the mercy and verity of God, Our Lord commands, ‘Search the Scriptures, . . . they are they which testify [bear witness] of Me. ’ This was addressed to the Jews, and described the character and office of the Old Testament. The New Testament is similarly pronounced the giver of testimony. ‘This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations.’ (Matt. 24: 14). –The Apocalypse of St. John , p. 164.
“These declarations and considerations are sufficient to sustain the conclusion that the Old and New Testaments are Christ’s two witnesses.
Verse 5: And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouths, and devoureth their enemies: ands if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.
“To hurt the word of God is to oppose, corrupt, or pervert its testimony, and turn people away from it. Against those who do this work, fire proceedeth out of their mouth to devour them, that is, judgment of fire is pronounced in that word against such. It declares that they will have their punishment in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone. (Malachi 4: 1; Revelation 20: 15: 22: 18, 19).
Verse 6: 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 smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.
“In what sense have these witnesses power to shut heaven, turn waters to blood, and bring plagues on the earth? Elijah shut heaven so that it did not rain for three years and a half, but he did it by the word of the Lord. [see James 5: 17, 18]. Moses by the word of the Lord turned the waters of Egypt into blood [1st plague on Egypt , Exo. 7: 17-25]. Just as these judgments, recorded in their testimony, have been fulfilled, so will every threatening and judgment pronounced by them against any people surely be accomplished.
“’As often as they will’ means that as often as judgments are recorded on their pages to take place, so often they will come to pass. An instance of this the world us yet to experience in the infliction of the seven last plagues.”- pp. 534, 535. The seven last plagues, Rev. 15: 1, 8; 16-1-21, are also called “the four winds of the earth,” Rev. 7: 1-3; “the wine of the wrath of God unmingled with mercy,” Rev. 14: 9; “the wrath of Him who sits on the throne and of the Lamb,” Rev. 6: 16, 17. (To be continued next week).