Revelation 11: Who are / will be the 2 Witnesses?

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Who are the 2 witnesses in Revelation 11? We don’t know emphatically who these two are, but some have suggested these are Moses & Elijah. Why?

1 - Their miracles are very familiar! The same types of miracles associated with Moses / Elijah.

2 - They appeared at the Transfiguration, the preview of the 2nd Coming (Matt. 17:3).

3 - They left the earth in unusual ways - Elijah in a chariot of fire (2Kings 2:11-12) and God supernaturally buried Moses in a secret place (Deut. 34:5-6, Jude 9)

BUT… Some say it's Elijah and ENOCH.

Elijah: in Malachi 4:5-6, the last words of OT, God said, Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes...

Wait, wasn't John the Baptist the return of Elijah? Not exactly...he came in the spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 1:17), but Jesus said Elijah WILL COME (Matthew 17:11). John the Baptist was ONE fulfillment of that prophecy, but Jesus clearly stated ALSO that Elijah will come. 

What about Enoch? Why him? Like Elijah, he also did not die (Hebrews 11:5).

During the 1st 2000 years of history, Adam to Abraham – God dealt with the world as a whole.

During the 2nd 2000 years, Abraham to Christ – God dealt with Israel as the focal point.

-Enoch was taken to heaven during the middle of the 1st 2000 years.

-Elijah was taken to heaven during the middle of the 2nd 2000 years.

It's certainly interesting to think about, but whoever these 2 are, the message in Revelation is clear. These 2 will be key players in the Tribulation. Supernatural power. Killed by the beast. Their deaths celebrated by the world. God has the last laugh as they are resurrected and raptured. Then God puts his exclamation point on it by shaking Jerusalem, destroying a 10th of the city and killing 7,000 people – resulting in people “giving glory to God”, which I believe means they got saved as a result of all this. 

What do you think? Comment below!

pastor jeff

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Didn't Make the Final Cut Sunday...

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I wanted so badly to talk about this Sunday, but it just didn't fit. So here are some notes from something I studied that I found crazy fascinating. 

The parallels between Isaac and Jesus are incredible:

-Isaac and Jesus are both known by their fathers as the ”son whom I love”.

-Neither Isaac or Jesus resisted being a sacrifice. 

-Both Isaac and Jesus carried the wood on their backs, the wood they were to be laid upon for sacrifice. 

-3 days: on the journey for Isaac, in the tomb for Jesus.

-Moriah, where Abe and Isaac went, was the site where Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem would later be built, and near the site of the crucifixion of Jesus.

-The only difference: God did not spare His Son! Abe's story introduces substitutionary atonement, and in that same place, ~2k years later, Jesus became our substitute.

Pretty amazing, huh? 


God is at Work, I Will Not Fear - Didn't Make the Final Cut, or "Bonus Sermon Material from Sunday."

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Things have to get cut from the sermon, and it's not always easy to decide what gets chopped. Here's a piece that I had to drop from the final edition of Sunday's sermon:

In verses 3-6 in Acts 28, Paul was bitten by a viper gathering firewood. His was not the usual panic of someone bitten by a snake – he calmly shook it off. If that were me, well, Luke would have recorded a very different reaction.

This is a reminder that following Christ doesn't mean “exempt from trouble”. Sometimes the Gospel is presented that way – follow Jesus and everything will be great! Reality check: sometimes you get snake-bitten, literally or metaphorically.

God didn't prevent the bite, but God instead healed Paul.

It sort of reminded me of Daniel. God didn't keep Daniel from the lion's den, but he kept the lions mouths shut. Speaking of the book of Daniel, this also makes me think of the Hebrews in the fiery furnace. God didn't keep them out of the furnace, He went in with them. You are not exempt from trouble when you follow Jesus, BUT - you are invincible until your mission is over.

IT IS FINISHED! Didn't Make the Final Cut, or “Bonus Sermon Material From Sunday":

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Here is a chunk that got cut from “It is finished”:

One of the things that is finished is the threat of facing punishment for our sins. Many Christian men I have personally spoken to have felt like God is still going to punish them someday for their sins, even though these men all claim to know and have received Jesus. 

There is a word used 3 times in the Bible that you need to learn: propitiation (Romans 3:25, 1John 2:2, 4:10).

What does this word mean? it means God is satisfied. God looked at the work of Jesus and said, "That's it. That satisfies my justice, my holy requirements, and my wrath. I am 100% appeased because of Jesus."

Jesus' death on the cross, in your place, satisfied God's wrath. God has none left for the one in Jesus. Even when a believer sins, God is not “angry” with them – that would mean God is still viewing us based on our performance. God views the believer based on Christ's performance - It is Finished!

I really wanted this in the sermon. It didn't make the cut. So we'll share it here. 

pastor jeff