BEHOLD THE BEAST
The False Prophet
Can a woman forget her sucking child,
that she should not have compassion
on the son of her womb?
Yea, they may forget,
yet will I not forget thee.
AS already discussed, Revelation is not a mystery, but Jesus'
solution of one (Rev 1:1). Consequently, we can't go to that book
with our doctrines in place and expect to learn what Jesus may
have there for us. The Two Witnesses of Rev 11:3-7 are good
examples of why. Most believe these two witnesses to be a couple
of Old Testament saints like Enoch and Elijah, but they might be
someone else entirely:
Revelation 11:3 ... and I will grant authority to my two witnesses,
and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days,
clothed in sackcloth..
Taking the day-year principle of Eze 4:5-6 into consideration,
those two witnesses would have to witness for 1260 years. No one
in this age lives that long, so who can they be?
Revelation 11:4 These are the two olive trees, and the two
candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
Hummm ... olive trees and candlesticks. What can those figures
mean? Unless the Lord's Two Witnesses are a pair of real elderly
fruit-bearing olive trees and a couple of really ancient, oil-dripping
candlesticks, then, like it or not, we are dealing with figurative
language. So let's see if we can find biblical definitions for olive
trees and candlesticks.
To sort these figures out we probably need to apply one of the
rules of hermeneutics1. Now, hermeneutics is not a discipline we
play games with to fit our doctrines. It is a sound study of how to
interpret either the spoken word or a written document. Hermen-
eutics has some excellent, time-tested rules. Among them is the
rule of "scriptural adjacency." That rule states: When you read
something you don't understand, first study the surrounding text,
then the chapter, then the book in which that chapter appears,
then the testament that contains that book, and finally, relate the
verse to the whole Bible. That is one of the rules, and it.s a very
good one. In other words ...
We don't go to the Old Testament for definitions of New
Testament figures when there are New Testament definitions
that fit perfectly! 2
In Rev 11:4 quoted above, the Two Witnesses of the Christian Era
are described as olive trees and candlesticks. To find the correct
definition for those figures, we should find the closest contextual
address which explains them. Lo and behold, right in Revelation
we find candlesticks defined:
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
1 Hermeneutics is the science of interpretation, especially of the Scriptures. The
branch of theology that deals with biblical exegesis.
2 Candlesticks and olive trees are used figuratively in Zec 4, but the figures within
that chapter were defined for us as things that existed during Zechariah's time (the
Jewish leader Zerubbabel being one of them). So on the basis of the definitions in
Zec 4, could Zerubbabel and "the two anointed ones" be the Two Witnesses of Rev
11? Not very likely since he died about 2500 years ago. We see no end-time refer-
ence to a personage like Zerubbabel in the New Testament, and furthermore
Revelation does not call the two witnesses of the Christian Era "anointed ones."
However, since Zechariah's two .anointed ones. are not clearly identified, they
might possibly be an OT reference to the Two Witnesses in Revelation 11.
Right in Revelation 1, candlesticks are defined as churches. If
candlesticks are churches in Rev 1, then guess what? Candlesticks
are still churches in Rev 11. The only way they would not be
Churches is if the Lord God Himself changed the symbolic
meaning of that word somewhere between Rev 1:20 and Rev
11:4. No change of definition appears there (or anywhere else in
Scripture for that matter) so the candlesticks of Rev 11:4 are
churches. That interpretation is not the product of some clever
theologian's overactive imagination. Candlesticks are churches
because the Bible itself defines them as such.
So, if the seven candlesticks of Rev 1 are seven churches, what
do you suppose the two candlesticks of Rev 11 might be? Why,
two churches of course. But if the Two Witnesses are only two
churches, which churches are they? Probably every denomination
in the world would like to believe it is one of the Two Witnesses
(with the rest of Christendom being heretics, of course), but God's
churches of the Christian Era are far broader than man's sectarian
restrictions, and the Olive Trees figure positively identifies who
Still applying the principle of scriptural adjacency, we first try
for a definition of olive trees in Revelation and then in the rest of
the New Testament. Four times in the Old, and twice in the New,
Israel is defined as an olive tree.1 Old Testament verses are
included in footnote, but we still don't use Old Testament
1 Jer 11:16 The Lord called your name, "A green olive tree, beautiful in fruit and
form;" With the noise of a great tumult He has kindled fire on it, And its branches
Isa 17:6 Yet gleanings will be left in it like the shaking of an olive tree, Two or
three olives on the topmost bough, Four or five on the branches of a fruitful tree,
Declares the Lord, the God of Israel.
Isa 24:13 For thus it will be in the midst of the earth among the peoples, As the
shaking of an olive tree, As the gleanings when the grape harvest is over.
Hos 14:6 His shoots will sprout, And his beauty will be like the olive tree, And his
fragrance like Lebanon.
definitions to define New Testament figures when there are New
Testament definitions that fit perfectly:
Romans 11:17 And if some of the [Jewish] branches be broken
off, and thou [the Gentile church], being a wild olive tree,
wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the
root and fatness of the olive tree.
Romans 11:24 For if thou [the Gentiles] wert cut out of the
olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary
to nature into a good olive tree [the Jews]: how much more
shall these [the Jews], which be the natural branches, be
grafted into their own olive tree?
Revelation is a New Testament book, and a New Testament
definition for olive trees appears in Romans 11. According to that
whole chapter, the Gentile church is one olive tree, and the Jewish
people are the other. As a result ...
One witness is the Jewish people
and the other witness is the Gentile church!
If we just accept the scriptural definitions for olive trees and
candlesticks, we are not left with a lot of doctrinal options. Take
a realistic look at history. The nation of Israel could not have
maintained its identity through nineteen centuries of dispersion,
under constant persecution, were it not for the protecting hand of
the Lord our God. The Bible itself affirms it. Listen to what
Jeremiah 31:35-37 Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for
a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the
stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the
waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name: If those
ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the
seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me
for ever. Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be
measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out
beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that
they have done, saith the LORD.
Our eternal Heavenly Father has not forgotten those words.
He stated right there that the children of Israel would be a nation
before Him forever, so He has remembered His chosen people all
along. The Lord's plans for the physical seed of Israel throughout
all time, including the Christian Era, are recorded in too many
Scriptures to ignore.1
Replacement theology2 notwithstanding, from the multitude
of verses cited in the footnote, it appears that the Lord never
intended to forget the physical seed of Israel. Let me tell you how
important that is. If the Jews could not trust the promises God
made to them in the Old Testament, how can the Church trust the
promises God made to us in the New? It's comforting to know,
despite man's doctrines to the contrary, that our God is an
absolutely Holy God who keeps His Word in eternity.
1 Gen 17:7 speaks of an unconditional everlasting covenant with the physical seed
of Abraham. Lev 26:44-45 shows that Israel's restoration was not to be conditional.
Isa 11:11 speaks of a second restoration of the Jews. Isa 26:20-27:1 speaks of a
final hiding of the children of Israel followed by Satan's complete judgment. Isa
27:12-13, in context with the above, speaks of a final re-gathering of Israel. Jer
30:4-8 speaks of the time of Jacob's trouble and future restoration. Jer 30:18-24
states that a restoration for the tents of Jacob will take place in the latter days, i.e.
not the first restoration of 536BC. Jer 31:35-37 speaks of the permanent nation of
Israel. Jer 33:24-26 is a definitive unconditional covenant with Jacob's descen-
dants. Eze 16:60-63 speaks of an unconditional everlasting covenant with the Jews.
Eze 37:1-28 speaks of an unconditional future restoration of Israel, followed closely
by Armageddon in Exe 38-39. Hos 11:9-10 speaks of a future restoration of Israel
from the West. Joe 3:1-3 predicts the restoration of Judah, followed by Arma-
geddon. Amo 9:11-15 speaks of an Israel restored to the land. Zec 8:8 speaks of a
post-exilic, unconditional restoration of the Jews to Jerusalem and the land. Zec
10 and 12 are more prophecies of a future restoration of the Jews. Zec 14 speaks
of Armageddon, with the Jews in Jerusalem. Luk 21:24 speaks of a dispersion, the
time of the Gentiles, and a restoration following. Rom 11:11 states that the Jews
have not fallen so as to be lost. Rom 11:17 states that only some of the branches
were broken off. Rom 11:17 states that the church was grafted in among the Jews.
Rom 11:28 states that the gospel-age Jews are still elect. Rom 11:29 states that
God's calling of the Jews is irrevocable. Rev 7:4-9 speaks of the 12 tribes of Israel
in the Christian Era. Rev 12:1-6 speaks of Israel in the Christian Era. Rev 15:3 is a
passage primarily about the Christian Era; there are two songs, one for the Jews,
one for the Gentile church.
2 Simply stated, Replacement Theology is the belief that the Church, as adopted
Israel, has totally replaced the physical seed of Abraham and that God is
completely finished with the Jews of the Christian Era. This view holds that during
this era, the Church is all the Israel there is. The Scriptures cited in the preceding
footnote, plus Rom 11:15, stand directly against such a doctrine.
Psalms 33:11 The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the
thoughts of his heart to all generations.
But if the Two Witnesses are two churches, when are they
going to witness? If we stand by the day-year principle, they
would have to witness for 1260 years:
they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore
The time of the Two Witnesses cannot come after the time of
the Gentiles because Jesus told us there would be only ONE
generation following 1967: "This generation [after the time of the
Gentiles] will not pass away until all things are fulfilled" (Luk
21:24, 32). A generation cannot be over 70 years (Psa 90:10), and
is usually considered to be 40 years, so we have to look back in
history for these 1260 years. The author could find only one 1260
year time period that had any spiritual significance at all during in
the whole Christian Era:1
1948AD - 1260 = 688 AD and the Dome of the Rock!
And this fits history perfectly! As of 1948, the Jews are no
longer witnessing in the nations. The Abomination that maketh
Desolate was set up in 688, and the Jews were driven into the
"wilderness" of the nations at that time.2 Now, 1260 years later,
there is a new autonomous nation of Israel, and the Jews are back
in the Holy Land again. So the Jewish people are one of the Two
Witnesses of the Christian Era.
1 Since there have been Hebrew believers all the way back to Abraham's time, and
the Church has existed since Pentecost, why do the 1260 days start in 688 AD?
Before that date, both Jew and Christian were free to worship in Jerusalem, even
on the temple mount itself. After 688 the Moslems persecuted the Christians and
Jews and drove them out of the land. That is when the most final of all the
dispersions of the Jews took place. By now we should begin to get the picture.
God's Word is eternal, and regardless of what nation ruled in the Holy Land, that
old temple site was always of inestimable importance to the Lord.
2 Eze 20:35 "And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people," shows the
Gentile nations to be the wilderness.
THE OTHER WITNESS
We can see 688 to 1948 as the time of Jewish witness, but
what about the second witness, the Church? How can the church's
time of witness be over since we are still here? Well, look at what
has happened to the Church since 1948. Most Christian homes
have a Bible, but few Christians still read them or continue to
witness to the lost. The immorality, involvement in the occult and
satanism in the western nations has mushroomed since 1948, and
the church has done little to slow the decay. As a result of our
apathy and questionable lifestyles that followed, much of the
Gentile church has fallen into apostasy.
Most churches in this country are terminally ill, many have
already fallen away, and Europe is far worse. Many are beyond
reach, .the sin unto spiritual death. (1 Jo 5:16). Since our battle
is really spiritual, one is inclined to wonder if the coming destruc-
tion of the visible Church may not be more spiritual than physical.
If it is, we are frighteningly close to that hour:1
finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the
bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall
overcome them, and kill them.
One way or another, in the final hours of this age, the Two
Witnesses are going to be destroyed. Read Rev 11:7 in the original
Greek or in any translation you like. All predict the end of the
visible Church. How can that be? Didn't Jesus promise that the
gates of Hell would not prevail against His church? Yes, but the
1 The National Council of Churches (to which your own church might belong)
joined the World Council of Churches in 1948. That organization has a declared
goal of causing social change rather than teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. That
is what "Liberation Theology" is all about. It is reported that through them,
millions of dollars from mainline denominational churches (your tithes included)
have gone to buy guns to support various third-world insurgent "liberation fronts."
As a result, it appears that the Gentile church has fallen into apostasy. As one
indicator of church conditions, elders and deacons within mainline churches have
become occultists and satanists or are into New Age.
true Church that remains isn't all those big buildings out there, it's
only a remnant now... a few hairs hidden in a hem of the Lord's
garment (Eze 5:3).
For the first time since the invention of the printing press,
books on astrology, satanism, and the occult are outselling the
Bible. Truth has fallen in the street (Isa 59:14), and the
consciences of our people have been seared as with a branding
iron (1Ti 4:2). This will eventually lead to a worldwide rejection
of the Bible and of the Lord. As the spiritual decay deepens, a
ruthless and devastating evil will be unleashed upon this planet,
and it will come with an intensity unknown since the flood. It has
What is a true Church to do when conditions become unbearable?
Later in this book, you will read how we may become united with
the faithful Jews, to stand with them in steadfast array against the
enemies of the Lord:
Isaiah 11:13-14 The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the
adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy
Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim. But they shall fly
upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they
shall spoil them of the east together.
That verse may not seem applicable to a true Church today, but
it's relevance will be explained in later chapters.
A NEWS BRIEF
Arutz Sheva Israel National Radio, 11/11/2001, 10:52am
On the Hussan bypass road, near Beitar Illit, a very powerful
bomb was discovered and safely detonated this morning. It
contained a 120-mm mortar shell. Two mortar shells were
fired at the Rafiach Crossing in southern Gaza in a pre-dawn
attack this morning. There were no injuries.
An Islamic Jihad terrorist was killed early this afternoon
in an explosion at his place of work in Bethlehem. PLO
sources say that the man probably suffered a "work accident"
in the course of preparing explosives. They say they are
continuing to check, however, whether he had been targeted
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