Fred R. Coulter—November 10, 2007

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Someone brought me a very interesting book: 2008 God's Final Witness by Ronald Weinland. Is it true? Let's see what the Bible says, because this man claims to be one of the two witnesses. He also says that he knows who the other witness is. We've had many claims of people being the witnesses.

We need to take a look. I haven't read the book, but just from what was told me, and I may expand on it further. Unfortunately, Weinland is a man who, in the past, has had credibility because he came from one of the Churches of God.

Let's see what Paul prophesied would happen within the Churches of God. We will see what Jesus said, and what the prophecies tell us. This is one of the reasons why the New Testament had to be written and canonize by the apostles; very important for us to understand. Here's what Paul said in Acts 20. It was the last time that he would see those elders in Ephesus anymore.

Acts 20:22: "And now behold, I am bound in the spirit, and am going to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall happen to me there; except that the Holy Spirit fully testifies in every city, saying that bonds and tribulations await me. But I myself do not take any of these things into account, nor do I hold my life dear to myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to fully testify the Gospel of the grace of God. And now behold, I know that you all, among whom I have gone about proclaiming the Kingdom of God, will see my face no more; wherefore, I testify to you on this day that I am pure from the blood of all, for I have not held back from preaching to you all the counsel of God" (vs 22-27).

Verses 28 and 29 become very key. The truth is we are not to 'prove all things and hold fast to that which is good' only when we begin to understand the Word of God! We are always to prove all things and hold fast to that which is good!

Verse 28: "Take heed, therefore, to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to feed the Church of God, which He purchased with His own blood." When you start fiddling around with the brethren of God, you're dealing directly against Jesus Christ! A lot of ministers don't understand that. {note booklet: Is the Ministry God's Government?} The ministry is to be:

  • teaching
  • helping
  • encouraging
  • faithful to the Word of God

If a minister can't be faithful to the Word of God, what on earth worth is he to God or the people? He's certainly is going to lead them astray! After all can God build spiritual character:

  • with someone who doesn't tell the Truth?
  • with someone who's lifted up in self-importance?
  • with someone who exalts himself over God?

If you make such outrageous claims as different ones have, and this is nothing new! Every elder, every minister and teacher has to be on guard and watch himself all the time, because the way of man is not in him to direct His steps. It's not in a minister any more than it is in anybody else except as we all yield ourselves to God. That's the important thing!

Verse 29: "For I know this: that after my departure grievous wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock." There will be those coming in. Look what happened to the Church after they came in.

Look at the history clear down to our day and how there's so much confusion out there today. Just like in the world, there are 400-plus denominations of Protestantism. There are various versions of Catholicism and Orthodox. Then you have out of the Church of God, approximately 370 denominations or churches itself.

So today, when someone is trying to find the Truth, they've got all of these things out there. It's difficult to go through it all to find what the Truth is. "…grievous wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock."

Notice another warning, v 30: "And from among your own selves men will rise up speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after themselves…. Paul told them this again and again] …Watch, therefore, remembering that for three years I ceased not to admonish each one night and day with tears" (vs 30-31). Then Paul committed them into God's hands.

Now let's see what Jesus said. We will see what has to happen, because this man—Weinland—claims that the Tribulation will begin on Passover 2008. Why can that not be true? We will see, because Jesus told us to watch certain things and certain things must come to pass first. Jesus gave the warning. We've seen this down through history, down through time.

Matthew 24:1: 'And after going out, Jesus departed from the temple; and His disciples came to Him to point out the buildings of the temple."

That was an awesome sight when you understand how the temple was built up from the Valley of Kidron, and it was 450 feet to the floor of where the temple was in the area of the temple. They built great stones so that it looked like one sheer wall. Then the highest tower was another 105 feet above that.

So, they came down and went up on the Mt. of Olives and were looking back and seeing this mammoth building, all this white stone, and it was very, very impressive.

Verse 2: "But Jesus said to them, 'Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, there shall not be left here even a stone upon a stone that shall not be thrown down.'"

That's a key thing to understand, because today when you look at the Western Wailing Wall where the Jews go to pray:

  • What do you see? Stones stacked one on top of another!
  • What does this tell us? That that can be where the temple was, because Jesus said that 'not one stone will be left one upon another'!
  • What is that area where the Wailing Wall is?

When you understand the history of the times, you will see that that is where the Roman property of Fort Antonia was. So, as you come from the north to the south you this sequence of things:

Fort Antonia, and then the pavement that is up on the colonnades, which comes from Fort Antonia right on down. It's about 600 yards from the end of Fort Antonia to the end of the temple area. So, you have about 300 yards and 300 yards, and it comes down and the temple was in the area where the Spring of Gihon was, because they needed the water to do all of the cleansing and washing for the sacrifices and rituals that they had there. Then the wall comes down to the Valley of Kidron. So, all those stone are gone.

Everything there is missing, and we're going to see that there had to be a temple rebuilt. Unless they can rebuild it real quickly between now and Passover, it isn't going to happen. You can't spiritualize it away.

Weinland says that it's going to be a spiritual temple. Since when were the Jews spiritual? You need to think on all of those things.

Verse 3: "And as He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, His disciples came to Him alone, saying, 'Tell us, when shall these things be?…. [everyone wants to know when will it be] …And what shall be the sign of Your coming, and of the completion of the age?' Then Jesus answered and said to them, 'Be on guard, so that no one deceives you. For many shall come in My name, saying, "I am the Christ"; and they shall deceive many'" (vs 3-5).

That certainly has happened! Let's see what else that Jesus told them, because the disciples wanted to know if Jesus was going to institute the Kingdom of God then, after He was raised from the dead. We'll look at the key things that have to happen; the main important key things that must take place first.

Acts 1:6: "So then, when they were assembled together, they asked Him, saying, 'Lord, will You restore the kingdom to Israel at this time?' And He said to them, 'It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has placed in His own authority…'" (vs 6-7).

God the Father is the One Who determines when it's going to be. With the Sabbath and the Holy Days in the end-time we have a greater idea of the events as they unfold, but we still don't know when.

Verse 8: "But you yourselves shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses, both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and unto the ends of the earth."

Everyone wants to know, and we've had many rise up and say that Jesus is going to return and He hasn't!

Matthew 24:6: "And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars…." Is that not so? What are we talking about today? What are we involved in today?

"…See that you do not let these things disturb you. For it is necessary that all these things take place, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines and pestilences and earthquakes in different places" (vs 6-7).

As we read some of these things, even though we know that down through history there have been wars, famines and things like this, let's understand that this also showing that Matt. 24 really is a to be understood in the end-time.

Let's just say that we go back 150 years, and we were living then. How soon would news get to you? If you heard that there was war in Pakistan 150 years ago, when would you hear it? When the war was over! So, this tells us that this has more fulfilling in our time today, to tell us what's going on. We can know that wars, rumors of wars, kingdoms rising against each other. Why? Because we have instant communication today!

"…and there shall be famines and pestilences and earthquakes in different places" (v 7).

  • Are there famines going on today? Yes!
  • Are there disease epidemics going on today? Yes!
  • How about AIDS? That's one of them!

Verse 8: "Now, all these things are the beginning of sorrows." I've often wondered if '9/11' a point of the beginning of sorrows? I don't know, but it's possible!

Here's the next thing to happen, and it's happened in the past, but it's going to happen again, v 9: "Then shall they deliver you up to affliction, and shall kill you; and you shall be hated by all nations for My name's sake." That's something!

That hasn't happened, yet. We haven't been arrested, but in various places in the world are there people arrested and killed for the name of Jesus Christ. Not understanding the differences in doctrine, but at least they stand for the name of Jesus Christ.

Yes, there are placed in the world today: Sudan, Darfur, China. I don't know how they're doing in Russian today, but especially those other areas.

Here's what's happening today, v 10: "And then shall many be led into sin…" Today we are under the pall of a great deceiving deception that permeates the whole world. Satan the devil is the one behind it, and he has his agents:

  • through the media
  • through the churches
  • through the governments

So that he can gather everyone together for his grand battle against Christ when He returns, and to keep people from understanding the Truth.

"…and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another… [that's what we have today] …And many false prophets shall arise, and shall deceive many." (vs 10-11).

Verse 23: "Then if anyone says to you, 'Behold, here is the Christ,' or, 'He is there,' do not believe it. For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and they shall present great signs and wonders, in order to deceive, if possible, even the elect" (vs 23-24).

That's pretty powerful stuff. Remember that Jesus said they would come in His name. Everyone wants to use the name of Jesus, because that's a powerful name.

Let's also see what Christ is going to say to them when it comes time for the judgment. Matt. 7 talks about false prophets and so forth.

Matthew 7:21: "Not everyone who says to Me 'Lord, Lord' shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but the one who is doing the will of My Father, Who is in heaven."

What is the will of the Father? You have it right here in the Bible! That's the will of the Father! That's what He has caused to be recorded for us, His very words!

Verse 22: "Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy through Your name?….'" Many do that and many have done that over and over again! That's why really understanding prophecy becomes a very intense watchful thing!

"'…And did we not cast out demons through Your name? And did we not perform many works of power through Your name?'…. [they're going to be absolutely shocked, because]: …And then I will confess to them, 'I never knew you. Depart from Me, you who work lawlessness'" (vs 22-23).

Lawlessness is a very interesting word. It can also lead to anarchy. But lawlessness in the sense of what God is talking about does not only mean anarchy, but it also means changing the laws of God and putting in place of it the laws of men! Has that happened?

When some people find out about the Sabbath, they run to their minister and say, 'We ought to keep the Sabbath.' Oh, no, the church changed that; it's the first day of the week!

  • Can a man change the Word of God and make it stick?
  • Is not God's Word greater than man? Yes, indeed!

Here's an absolute truism: If God is going to modify His Word, Who is going to do it? God! He told men don't add to! How did we get the holidays? Don't take away from! You don't need to read the Old Testament.

Ultimately, that exactly what every false prophet does. They add to and they take away from in order to design their own doctrines. So, they've done all of these good things, and Jesus is going to say, "…Depart from me, you who work lawlessness!"

Verse 24: "'Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and practices them, I will compare him to a wise man, who built his house upon the Rock… [Christ!] …and the rain came down, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; but it did not fall, for it was founded upon the rock. And everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not practice them shall be compared to a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand; and the rain came down, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell, and great was the fall of it.' Now, it came to pass that when Jesus had finished these words, the multitudes were amazed at His teaching; for He taught them as OneWho had authority, and not as the scribes" (vs 24-29).

Yes, He had authority. Why? Because He was God manifested in the flesh!

Now we're going to see a signal thing that must absolutely take place before the Tribulation can begin.

Matthew 24:13: "But the one who endures to the end, that one shall be saved." So, there's a lot of enduring, which means there's a lot of proving, a lot of searching and knowing. Proved by the Word of God! We used to hear years ago, 'Don't believe me, believe the Bible.'

Now there are so many translations out there, you have to first of all prove which is the Word of God, and then prove out of the Word of God what is true and what is not true. That's why The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version!

Verse 14: "And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be proclaimed in all the world for a witness to all nations; and then shall the end come."

We will see how this is done. It's being done right now. I just hope that all of the Churches of God would return to God they way they ought to and teach the things they ought to. We have the means of:

  • the Internet
  • television
  • radio
  • the publishing

All of these things that are out there! Paul also said that 'the name of Jesus is preached, some in contention—not correctly—and some in sincerity and in truth.'

Nevertheless, the Truth must be preached as "…a witness to all nations…"

We'll talk about the two witnesses in a little bit. However, when the two witnesses start their ministry—and I can guarantee you that this Ron Weinland is not one of the two witnesses—it is going to be awesome, indeed! It's not going to be done over here in a corner. It's not going to be that the one of the two witnesses knows who the other one is but won't tell you.

If it's so important that the Tribulation at Passover 2008, then he better quickly tell us so that we know that he's telling the truth.

Verse 15: "Therefore, when you see… [it is something that we going to observe happening] …the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the Holy place.'…." Where is the Holy Place? That has to be in the temple!

Notice what is very, very important and key for us to realize, the parenthetical statement "…(The one who reads, let him understand.)" (v 15).

Why is that there? Because when Jesus was speaking these words, He didn't say, 'Let the one who reads understand.' He was talking and would have said, 'The one who hears, let him understand.' How did that get in there? With the canonization of the New Testament, the Apostle John probably inserted that there, because they understood something very profound:

The New Testament was canonized before John died in 98A.D. He saw Jerusalem destroyed! Or knew of it, and understood it. He knew that there was no man of sin, as the Apostle Paul wrote of (2-Thess. 2) going into the temple of God saying that he is God, and exalts himself above all that is called 'God' or worshipped as God.

No man went in and did that! He's called 'the man of sin, the son of perdition' who is going to be destroyed when Christ returns. So, John knew that this was an event at the end-time and he did not know when it was going to be done, but God inspired him to put in there: "…(The one who reads, let him understand.)" What are we to understand? There are two things:

  • the Tribulation cannot begin until the abomination of desolation is seen standing in the 'Holy Place'
  • that cannot be done until the temple is rebuilt in Jerusalem

Verse 16: "Then let those who are in Judea flee into the mountains. Let the one who is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house; and let the one who is in the field not go back to take his garments. But woe to those women who are expecting a child, and to those who are nursing infants in those days! And pray that your flight be not in the winter, nor on the Sabbath; for then…" (vs 16-21). When will the Great Tribulation begin?

"…shall there be great tribulation…" (v 21). What kicks off the Tribulation? The abomination of desolation standing in the Holy Place! That's what starts it! We will see other events that lead up to that point, that have to develop so that can be in that way.

"…such as has not been from the beginning of the world until this time, nor ever shall be again. And if those days were not limited… [God has limited them to three and a half years] …there would no flesh be saved…" (vs 21-22). But there has to be flesh saved, because Christ is going to return and setup the Kingdom of God.

"…but for the elect's sake those days shall be limited" (v 22). The King James says 'cut short,' but that is not a good translation. It is misleading because people think that God could cut short the time anytime He wanted to.

I've already told you about 'the man of sin, the son of perdition' (2-Thess. 2). We also know that there has to be a beast and false prophet (Rev. 13). So, we have two witnesses for Satan the devil. The beast and the false prophet, and they will be in Jerusalem because there has to be a temple built.

Rev. 11 is why John knew, when he wrote in there 'the one who reads, let him understand' that the temple had to be rebuilt, but he had no clue as to when it would be. That's why he phrased it the way he did.

Identifying the Two Witnesses:

We will see what kind of men that they are. These are specially chosen by God, and we will look at the prophecy of it in the book of Zechariah. It will tell us by office who they will be; not by name.

Revelation 11:1: "Then the angel gave me a measuring rod like a staff, saying, 'Arise and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and those who worship in it. But leave out the court that is within the temple area, and do not measure it because it has been given up to the Gentiles; and they shall trample upon the Holy city for forty-two months'" (vs 1-2)—approximately three and a half years!

Verse 3: "And I will give power to My two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth." Approximately the same period of time, but when you understand the prophecies it will begin a little before the beast and the false prophet. {note sermon series: Daniel/Revelation}

Let's see who it identifies as the two witnesses; v 4: These are the two olive trees, and the two lampstands that stand before the God of the earth." That's pretty powerful!

  • Where does it talk about the olive trees in prophecy that relates to the two witnesses? We'll read it in just a minute!
  • What kind of ministry are they going to have?

So, if this man—Weinland—is one of the two witnesses, let's see him do this. If the Tribulation begins on the Passover Day then I want you do the following:

Verse 5: "And if anyone attempts to harm them, fire will go out of their mouths and devour their enemies. For if anyone attempts to harm them, he must be killed in this manner…. [that is awesome power] …These have authority to shut heaven so that no rain may fall in the days of their prophecy; and they have authority over the waters, to turn them into blood, and to smite the earth with every plague, as often as they will" (vs 5-6). That's a tall order!

I remember that years ago there was another man who said that he was one of the two witnesses and the person who he said was going to be resurrected from the dead on a certain day didn't happen. So, he claimed to be the two witnesses himself! So, the only thing you can conclude is that he had a split personality. Why do men want to exalt themselves? Because they want power!

You should humble yourself under the mighty hand of God! Let Him do with you what He desires!

Zech. 3 & 4 are important because they show who the two witnesses will be, if we understand it properly, and I think we do. Here's something to really understand: God is yet going to deal with the Jews. He's going to do it in a way that's going to convince the Jews that it is God Who is doing it.

We find in Zech. 12 that God says that He's going to 'save the tents of Judah first.' Here's a principle to understand: No Jew or rabbi, or Jewish authority, will believe anyone who professes to be Christian! They will never accept a Gentile as one of the two witnesses!

Let me tell you a little story: In Jerusalem they have a special 'prophet squad' with the police department. They have different ones coming to Jerusalem saying that 'I'm Jeremiah, I'm Elijah, I'm Elisha, I'm one of the two witnesses.' So, this particular Jewish detective was dealing with a man who said that he was Elijah, because it says in the book of Malachi that 'before the great and terrible day of the Lord, God is going to send Elijah.'

So, here comes a man saying that he's Elijah. The detective was trying to convince him that he really wasn't Elijah. So, they were to get together for a meal the next day. Before they got together the police department turned over to the detective another man who said that he was Elijah. So, now he's got two Elijahs!

He thought he would just play it 'cool.' He invited them both to lunch and they sat down to eat, and he said, 'Elijah, I would like you to meet Elijah.'

So, the Jews have their false prophets!

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We saw in Rev. 11 about measuring the temple. This is how John knew that the temple would be built again. The temple will be patterned after what the Jews think was the temple in the in Old Testament. However, they don't really have the plans outside of the book of Ezekiel. That would the closest they could come to it.

But that will be for the Jews only, and a final witness to them that the temple that they build is really not the temple of God, though they call it the temple of God.

The two witnesses, as we are going to see, are going to come out of Judea. We will see who they are, and let's see what they are when God starts dealing with them, and then what God say of them that ties directly to Rev. 11.

Zechariah 3:1: "And He showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him." Here is a man being called out of the grips of Satan the devil, which is symbolic of what Judaism is today.

Verse 2: "And the LORD said to Satan, 'May the LORD rebuke you, Satan! May even the LORD Who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you!….'" God said that even though He rejected Jerusalem He would yet again choose Jerusalem.

"'…Is this not a brand plucked out of the fire?'" (v 2). What does this tell us? That his sins were really quite bad! Being pulled out of the fire!

Verse 3: "Now, Joshua was clothed with filthy garments…" What are the garments? The garments of the righteous are clean and white! What were the righteousness of the dress of the high priest to be but bright clean linen. This is saying that he is being called and redeemed by God unilaterally for what God wants him to do, very similar to God calling the Apostle Paul.

Remember, the Apostle Paul was a great sinner, causing Christians to be killed, to be persecuted and going out to arrest them himself. What did Jesus do? Knocked him down on his way to Damascus! He was converted instantly!

Here we have a pattern very similar to it. When God starts dealing with the Jews, the first one He's going to deal with is one who will be a high priest. The Jews have a Temple Institute. They have the garments, many of the implements, many of the pans, snuffers and all of that that goes along with the temple ritual that they had. They have that all ready to go.

This man is going to be dressed in these garments, but since they reject Christ, they are filthy garments. God is going to convert him instantly! He's going to know that this is God!

"…and stood before the angel. And He answered and spoke to those who stood before him, saying, 'Take the filthy garments from off him.' And to him He said, 'Behold, I have caused your iniquity to pass from you, and I will clothe you with ceremonial robes'" (vs 3-4).

What is that raiment going to be? Sackcloth! Though he is a high priest at the temple, he is no longer going to continue at the temple. He's going to be one of the two witnesses, as we will see.

Verse 5: "And I said, 'Let them set a clean miter on his head.' And they set a clean miter on his head and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD stood by. And the angel of the LORD charged Joshua, saying, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, "If you will walk in My ways, and if you will keep My charge, then you shall also judge My house, and shall also keep My courts, and I will give you places to walk among these who stand by"'" (vs 5-7).

There was a Joshua the priest who when the temple was rebuilt during the days of Ezra and Nehemiah that this was a literal man. So, he was type of the one who is coming.

Verse 8: "Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, you and your fellows who sit before you; for they are men wondered at, for behold, I will bring forth My Servant the Branch!' Talking about the return of Christ.

This prophecy is cloaked within what was given for the second temple, the beginning of it with Joshua the high priest, and then blends into the return of Christ.

Verse 9: "'For behold, the stone that I have set before Joshua: On one stone are seven eyes. Behold, I will engrave its engraving upon it,' says the LORD of hosts, 'and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. In that day,' says the LORD of hosts, 'you shall call, each man to his neighbor, to sit under the vine and under the fig tree'" (vs 9-10).

What does it do? It blends right into the Millennium! Now let's see something concerning Zerubbabel and what happens.

Zechariah 4:1: "And the angel that talked with me came again and awakened me, as a man that is awakened out of his sleep. And he said to me, 'What do you see?' And I said, 'I see, and behold, a lampstand, all of it gold, and a bowl on its top, and its seven lamps upon it, and seven pipes to the seven lamps on its top'" (vs 1-2).

This is not the one who is in the temple on earth, but symbolic of what is in heaven that God is going to do in calling the two witnesses.

Verse 3: "And two olive trees beside it…" What did we read in Rev. 11 about who the two witnesses would be?

Revelation 11:4: "These are the two olive trees, and the two lampstands that stand before the God of the earth."

Here in Zech. 4:3 is the only place in the Old Testament that is talking about two olive trees, a lampstand and God dealing with a priest, and since he was the high priest he had to be of the house of Aaron. We will see the significance of this as we go along.

Zechariah 4:4: "And I answered and spoke to the angel who talked with me, saying, 'What are these, my lord?' Then the angel who talked with me answered and said to me, 'Do you know what these are?' And I said, 'No, my lord.' Then he answered and spoke to me, saying, 'This is the Word of the LORD to Zerubbabel…'" (vs 4-6).

  • we have Joshua
  • we have Zerubbabel

They are identified as two olive trees!

"…saying, 'Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says the LORD of hosts" (v 6). The two witnesses of Revelation have the power of God that is greater than any two men on earth to that point, with the exception of Christ. Here's what it's going to be:

Verse 7: "'Who are you, O great mountain?…. [The Beast Power?] …Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain; and he shall bring forth the head stone with shoutings, "Grace! Grace unto it!"' And the Word of the LORD came to me, saying, 'The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house. His hands shall also finish it.' And you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you" (vs 7-9).

Just like the prophecies in the Old Testament, you have the current one and then you blend into the future one. Here we had the future, then the current one, and he did laying the foundation of the house (Ezra 6).

Verse 10: "For who has despised the day of small things? For they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel. These seven are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth."

We have something very important here. That's quite a statement. See how it blends from the temple on earth that they were building, back to God Who gives them power, then back to the earth again in what they were doing, then back to God again. Then who are the seven?

Rev. 4 shows coming from the throne of God; this is quite a thing.

Revelation 4:2: "And immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was set in heaven, and One was sitting on the throne. And He Who was sitting was in appearance like a jasper stone and a sardius stone; and a rainbow was around the throne, like an emerald in its appearance. And around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments; and they had on their heads golden crowns. And proceeding from the thronewere lightnings and thunders and voices; and seven lamps of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, were burning before the throne" (vs 2-5).

Let's see a further description of this. Rev. 5 is the beginning of the opening of the seven seals.

Revelation 5:5: "Then one of the elders said to me, 'Do not weep. Behold, the Lion Who is of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome to open the book, and to loose its seven seals.' Then I saw, and behold, before the throne and the four living creatures, and before the elders, was standing a Lamb ashaving been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God that are sent into all the earth" (vs 5-6).

It talks about in Zech 4:10 what we find in Revelation.

Zechariah 4:10: "…'These seven are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.'"

God sends these seven Spirits of God into the whole earth to see what's going on (2-Chron. 15). This is how God keeps track of everything. If anyone is seeking God, I'm sure that they will let God know of it, so God can send His Spirit to be with them. If they respond and repent then God's Spirit can be in them, after baptism, of course! This is how God knows what's going on everywhere in the world. Let's see how this comes together again with Rev. 11.

Zechariah 4:11: "And I answered and said to him, 'What are these two olive trees on the right side of the lampstand and on its left side?'"

In the temple God gave them instructions to build, there were not olive trees next to the lampstand. So, this has got to be the one in heaven.

Verse 12: "And I answered again and said to him, 'What are the two olive branches beside the two golden pipes, emptying the golden oil out of themselves?'" What is the oil? A type of God's Spirit!

Verse 13: "And he answered me and said, 'Do you not know what these are?' And I said, 'No, my lord.'…. [notice how this ties in with Rev. 11, the two witnesses]: …And he said, 'These are the two anointed ones who stand by the LORD of the whole earth'" (vs 13-14).

That's why this can only refer to the two witnesses! God say in Rev. that 'these are My two witnesses!'That's why they have such power!

  • Who is Elijah?
  • What will Elijah do?

2-Chron. 15 says that God will show Himself strong on behalf on anyone who seeks Him. Then it shows the eyes of the Lord (2-Chron. 16:9).

In Zech. 12 we have what's going to happen in the end-time:

Zechariah 12:2: "Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people all around… [couldn't describe Jerusalem any better than that] …when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem." Of course, it's constantly under siege!

Verse 3: "And in that day I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people. All who burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the nations of the earth be gathered together against it."

That's eventually where the battle is going to be fought against Christ and the saints by the beast and his armies.

Verse 7: "The LORD also shall save the tents of Judah first…" God is going to be dealing with them.

When the two witnesses come on the scene, what's going to happen with the Jews? They're going to see that the two witnesses are preaching the power of God and the return of Christ,and this is what the Jews have always waited for! For someone to come and save them! Will they believe the two witnesses? Yes! That's when there's going to be mass repentance and conversion of Jews. Not until then. Why? The Jews require a sign! When the two witnesses give the signs of the miracles—calling fire down from heaven, striking the earth with plagues 'as often as they will,' because they're empowered from God directly. God is going to save them! Then it shows the repentance that will take place in the following verses.

Mal. 4 talks about the Elijah of the end-time. Just like those two Jews that said they were Elijah, everyone wants to be somebody important. Listen, if you have God's Spirit, you're important to God. You don't have to be some great exalted one. Who does God look to?

  • He looks to the humble
  • He looks to those who love Him
  • He looks to those who obey Him

Not to those who use Christ's name and exalt themselves!You don't want to do that. If you're one of the two witnesses you're going to be filled with the Spirit of God and pointing everyone to God. Until that time, you're going to be pointing everyone to the Scriptures.

We live in a day now that we have the Scriptures, and we can study and when we have a Bible study if I happen to say something that's not quite correct, someone will raise their hand and they'll help me out. I appreciate that.

But when this happens and the two witnesses take place, and the Tribulation is going to start, nobody is going to have Bibles to look at. They're not going to be able to assemble in groups like this and say open your Bible. They're going to see the signs taking place and what is happening on the earth. There is going to be war going on. They're going to see the miracles of the two witnesses and they're going to repent. God is going to deal with them, and it's going to be a great day of salvation and weeping of those Jews who repent.

As it talks about in Zech. 12, after all of the centuries of waiting and waiting, and here they know the Messiah is coming because of what the two witnesses are doing. This is why God is going to raise up another Elijah.

  • there was the original Elijah
  • there was John the Baptist who came in the spirit of Elijah, as Jesus said
  • here comes the third one in that office

And #3 is complete!

Malachi 4:4: "Remember the Law of Moses My servant…" if there's any one thing that the Jews do today, it's follow the Code of Jewish Law and ignore the Law of Moses.

This also applies to John the Baptist. So, the prophecies of God have a dual application. Who was John the Baptist? He was the son of a priest! He taught repentance!

"…which I commanded to him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful Day of the LORD" (vs 4-5). That means there's an Elijah coming!

  • Who is he going to deal with? With the Jewish people!
  • Is he going to be the one to help bring them repentance?
  • Is he going to be the one to help baptize them like John the Baptist was?

We don't know; that's why we have to just wait and see. But I am convinced in my own mind that this is what it is.

Here's what he's going to do, v 6: "And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the sons, and the heart of the sons to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with utter destruction."

There we have some pretty powerful things concerning the two witnesses, and maybe a good idea of who the coming Elijah is going to be. We have to say that if we can understand to this point, do we have full understanding of it? No! We have partial understanding of it!

What we need to do is watch and see how these things come about. Let's see several things that have to transpire before the time of the end.

I'm reminded of another man—Bill Dankenbring—who said that the Tribulation was going to begin in 1997. Never happened! Here we are ten years later! He sold out and move to Washington state.

The Tribulation cannot begin until what we find in Dan. 11. The time of the end and the Tribulation is going to involve the whole world, all nations! It's going to involve the modern descendants of the 12 tribes of Israel, the Jews, the kings of the north and the east—the whole word!

The only government that man has not had the opportunity to develop, which God is going to let them do, is a world government. That will be broken down into ten regions. I'm summarizing some things that I have given in other sermons on prophecy. There are going to be two particular regions that are going to be very important and key in the beginning of the end with the Tribulation.
Daniel 11:40: "And at the time of the end, the King of the South shall push at him. And the King of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind…"

What does this tell us? There has to be a King of the South and King of the North! You can't have the end-time until there is a King of the South and a King of the North.

Let's talk about the King of the South. Maybe this will help us understand what's going on in Iraq, Iran and all of the Middle East. The Arab-speaking people of the Islamic world has always wanted to regain their glory of past ages. They're going to find that the only way they can recapture it is not by the sword, but by economics.

Many prominent Arabs and Islamists have been working to that end through The United Arab Bank. Let's look at the Middle East and North Africa. It's looks like the Iraq War and the invasion and everything may succeed. It probably will, and I'll tell you why that it will succeed: They need to have the whole Islamic world brought into the modern world. The only way to do that is to break the power of the extremists. Look at:

  • Kuwait, a semi-democratic country
  • Jordan, a semi-democratic country
  • Qatar, a semi-democratic country
  • Dubai, a semi-democratic country

You're not going to get full democracy there, the best you can get is semi!

If Iraq gets settled down, now you have a real basis for the whole Islamic world to unite in an economic union, provided that they can get Lebanon and Syria settled down as well.

Remember, Iran is a little different. It's today the ancient Persian Empire. So, it's a little different. Just think having from Morocco, which is a semi-democratic nation, then you come over to Libya, which has been tamed down. Remember Kadafi? He was 'converted' when the bombs fell on his house!

Then you come across and Egypt still need to be brought into the fold. Saudi Arabia has lots of money; it's a kingship, but they need to be brought into the fold a little more. They'll probably help lead it.

Then you go on to the East and you have Afghanistan and Pakistan, then all of Indonesia. If they can unite all of that into an Islamic economic union, then they will have a leader who will come out to be the King of the South.

Now, that is not dogma, but speculation and analysis after watching it for years and years.

Then there has to be a King of the North. You've got the European Union, which is going to develop into the leading power in the 21st century. The truth will be that America and their allies won WWII, but they lost the war. What Europe will develop into through the European Union is what Hitler always envisioned! And it's just about succeeding now.

So, they're going to grow in power and out of that will come the King of the North. In the meantime, America and Britain are going to be brought down in stages. We're going to have a big economic fall just around the corner. We all see it coming.

When the Soviet Union fell and was replaced by Russia, again, has it come back in power? Yes! How about China? We have prophecies about the King of the North, and we'll see he is worried about things that take place in the North and the East. Don't forget to include India. All nations are going to be involved in this. That's what we need to understand!

"…And the King of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind with chariots and with horsemen and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries and shall overflow and sweep through. He shall also enter into the glorious land… [right into the area of Palestine] …and many countries shall be overthrown. But these shall escape out of his hand: Edom and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon" (vs 40-41)—outside of the area where the Jews are.

Verse 42: "And he shall stretch out his hand also upon the countries. And the land of Egypt shall not escape. But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt. And the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps. But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall alarm him…." (vs 42-44). You can tie that in with Rev. 8 & 9.

"…Then he will go forth with great fury to destroy and to utterly annihilate many. And he shall plant his royal tents between the seas in the glorious Holy mountain. Yet, he shall come to his end, and none shall help him" (vs 44-45). You have the take the rest of the book of Revelation to understand that.

How is going to come to his end? Rev. 19 tells us that! But the thing that is important and the point that I want to make is that the two witnesses cannot come on the scene until the Jews rebuild their temple!

Then the 'man of sin, the son of perdition' comes in and says that he 'is God' (Dan. 11). That's when the Tribulation begins! Those events cannot take place until there is first a King of the South and a King of the North. If anyone tells you that we're on the verge of the Tribulation and it's going to start in the spring of 2008, ask:

  • Where is the King of the South?
  • Do we see him on the scene?
  • Where is the King of the North?
  • Do we see him on the scene? No!
  • Where is the temple that's going to be built?
  • Do we see that yet? No!

Those things have to take place before the Tribulation begins!

Until that time we're going to have troubles and difficulties as we go along. But let's keep that in mind. So, if you get anything from anyone saying that 'the Day of the Lord is at hand,' and 'the Tribulation is ready to begin,' it's not ready to begin until God says it's going to begin. And it's not going to be unleashed until Christ opens that seal to let it come.

How long do we have? Let's do a little hindsight: Do you remember 1975? At this point we're almost 33 years later! I'll tell you exactly how much time we have left: Exactly as God has determined, and He hasn't yet let us know!

I can be a little facetious and say that I can predict the year that Jesus is going to return only if I choose every year between now and the year that He returns. That way I'll be right! He says He's going to come in an hour that 'you don't think.'

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version

Scriptural References:

  • Acts 20:22-31
  • Matthew 24:1-5
  • Acts 1:6-8
  • Matthew 24:6-11, 23-24
  • Matthew 7:21-29
  • Matthew 24:13-22
  • Revelation 11:1-6
  • Zechariah 3:1-10
  • Revelation 4:1-3
  • Revelation 11:4
  • Zechariah 4:4-10
  • Revelation 4:2-5
  • Revelation 5:5-6
  • Zechariah 4:10-14
  • Zechariah 12:2-3, 7
  • Malachi 4:4-6
  • Daniel 11:40-45

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • 2 Thessalonians 2
  • Revelation 13
  • Zechariah 12; 4:3
  • Ezra 6
  • 2 Chronicles 15
  • 2 Chronicles 16:9
  • Revelation 8; 9; 19

Also referenced:
Books:

  • 2008 God's Final Witness by Ronald Weinland
  • Code of Jewish Law by Ganzfried & Goldin

Booklet: Is the Ministry God's Government?
                                    by Fred R. Coulter
Sermon Series: Daniel/Revelation

FRC: bo       Transcribed: 4/10/18

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