By Bill Britton
When the young Galilean stepped into the waters that day, all Hell began to tremble. Demons, wicked spirits, emissaries of Satan, yes, even “princes” gazed upon that simple scene and began to quake with fear. None of the Jewish people who watched the proceeding that day knew what was taking place. To them, from Scribe to fisherman, from merchant to housewife, it was just another baptism at the hands of this prophet John, the Baptizer. But the angels of God knew, and sang with joy. And Satan knew, and feared exceedingly! But why? This slender young man coming up out of the water appeared to be no great threat to the hordes of demon powers that had tormented and fought man since the Garden of Eden. But there was something different about this man. He was the Son of God … God come to earth in the flesh of man, and the satanic hordes knew their power was broken and their time short. The man Jesus was now being anointed with the Holy Ghost, and to Him the Spirit was given without measure. Heaven and earth were being united!
The previous chapters tell more of what happened here at the River Jordan, and the early childhood of Jesus. We found in the chapter on “God’s Greatest Sign” that Jesus is a Sign or Pattern for the Sons of God, the Body of Christ, those who overcome. Everything about His earthly life has its fulfillment in the life and ministry of His Body. The chapters on “The Voice in the Wilderness” and “The Open Heavens” go into more detail on the Jordan baptism.
Since we are going to deal today with the two witnesses of the 11th chapter of the Book of Revelation, I want to show how Jesus was actually two witnesses. For we shall see that those two witnesses in Revelation is really the Body of Christ, anointed and perfected, ministering the last great revival this world shall see, the real “latter rain.” This may shock some of you who were expecting Elijah, or Moses, or Enoch, or someone else to be reincarnated into flesh again and walk around the streets of the literal, natural city of Jerusalem. But God’s Word is very plain on this subject, and if your heart is open for truth, you will soon see what God actually plans for this end of the age.
In John 8:13 the Pharisees accused Jesus of bearing a false record because He alone could testify of who He was and where He was from. They were referring, of course, to the Law which states in Deut. 19:15 that “By the mouth of two or three witnesses let every word be established.” One witness was not enough to establish a truth or testimony. Jesus Himself reiterated this in Matthew 18:16, and so did Paul in II Corinthians 13:1. So by the mouth of His three greatest spokesmen, Jesus, Moses, and Paul, God laid down a rule of faith . . . His Word would be established by the mouth of two or more witnesses. Two is the number of witness. Because, you see, dear ones, two is the Bible number representing Christ in the fulness of His Body, the Church. For example, Adam and the beautiful bride who came from his side; the Sun and Moon, the moon, of course, reflecting not its own light, but light of the sun; the two rows of bread on the table of shewbread in the tabernacle; the two trumpets of silver in Numbers, chapter 10, made of one piece of silver showing that Christ and His Body are all “of one” (Hebrews 2:11), and that He shall sound the trumpet in these last days through His redeemed and anointed people. And other examples show that two is significant of Christ, the Head, in His people, the Body.
Now let us look in the Word of God and see whether Jesus was really just one witness, as the Pharisees claimed, or if He was Two Witnesses. Jesus answered these men in John 8:16-18, “And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me. It is also written in your law (Deuteronomy 19:15) that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that bear witness of me.” So what He is saying is simply this: that when you look at Jesus standing there, you actually see two– God and flesh. You cannot see God, but you see Him manifest through the flesh. So by His mighty works, far beyond the ability of man, God witnesses to the truth of the message Jesus came to bring. This makes Jesus a double witness, or actually two witnesses, thus meeting the requirements of His own Law. This is further brought out in John 10:25: “Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. ” And in John 5:31-32, 36-37 — “If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true …. But I have greater witness than that of John; for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.”
So it is very simple. God manifests His mighty power over death, disease, demons earthly elements, and all other forces through the earthly life of this man Jesus, thus making Jesus actually two witnesses–one seen, one unseen. Since Jesus is the Pattern for His Body, then we can expect God’s people in these last days to set up the Kingdom of God on earth in the same manner. Is it any mystery now why Jesus said He would give us His Name? Do you understand why He said, “As my Father sent me, so send I you”? And when He said, “The works that I do, shall ye do also .. . ” He had this purpose and plan in mind. So remembering this, let us now turn to the eleventh chapter of Revelation. Turn in your Bible to this chapter, so I won’t have to quote all of it in this book.
Note in verse one that the command is given for John to rise and “measure the temple of God. ” But verse two tells us that the rest of the Holy City is not measured at this time. Yet we find in chapter 21 that the City is now measured. Why? First, let us find out who or what the City, Jerusalem, is, and what the Temple represents. It is very plain throughout the Bible that Jerusalem represents the Woman, the Virgin Church, the Bride of Christ. See what Revelation 21:2, 9-10, says about this: “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband . . . And there came unto me one of the seven angels. . . and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.” So the City represents a people, the born-again blood-washed children of God who make up His Bride. Nothing could be more clear than this. But now I show you a mystery–WHO is the Temple. Just as the City is a group of people, and not a bunch of bricks and stones, just so is the Temple a group of people. But who are they? Well, as the Temple is a part of the City, that building not made with the sound of a hammer, filled with the glory and presence of God, with the Holiest Place in the midst of it, just so is this Temple people a part of the Bride, that part which is anointed by the Spirit without measure, dwelling in the heavenlies with Christ, filled with His glory and presence in a way most people know nothing about – this is His Body, the Sons of God, the Overcomer! But see what happens to this group . . .
In verse 1 of Revelation 11, they come to the measure. What measure? Read Ephesians 4:11-13 . . . God has placed in the Church certain ministries, and though men and devils would not want them to function and would resist them bitterly, yet they shall operate unto the divine purpose of God. This purpose is to edify the Body of Christ, and to bring us (who are called into the High Calling of God) to “the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. ” Now in Revelation we find that at this time they have come to the measure and the Temple is ready to be filled with the glory and power of God. Not so the City. It has three and one-half years of judgment and tribulation before it comes to the measure. “Judgment must begin at the house of God. ” This is to make her, the City, ready to obey the Word of God (which she certainly is not doing now) that Christ might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing . . holy and without blemish. More of what happens to the City will have to be covered in another chapter. But she is to be trodden under foot, like salt that has lost its savor.
In verse 3 the anointing of power comes upon the Two Witnesses. This is the same anointing that came upon Jesus at the River Jordan when the Holy Ghost descended upon Him. But you say that we have already received that anointing when we received the glorious in-filling or Baptism of the Holy Spirit. No, my friend, we only get the earnest of our inheritance. …This anointing of the two witnesses is when the Glory of God (Jesus) fills the entire Temple of God (Body of Christ, the Overcomer) so that Truth and Life may flow out of the Temple to edify, strengthen and comfort those that mourn in Zion, the City of God (the Bride of Christ, the travailing Woman). Oh, beloved, this is not fantasy or a play upon Words – this is actually going to happen, and God is even now getting us ready for this glorious event. Picture, if you will, a group of people spread out across the world, sold out to Jesus, crying and travailing before God for the desperate need of the world. Suddenly, He appears! Not to everyone, but to those who are looking for Him. And He appears unto full salvation! Not to run away with us to hide from the battle in the day of the Lord, but to anoint us and fill us with His glory and power and the fulness of His Spirit! And by the act of His appearance this group of people are made one body, separated by many miles in the flesh, but joined to One Head, and operating under the same divine command. Suddenly the world sees Jesus again in the flesh, as He manifests himself through these thousands of saints simultaneously around the world. And if hell was shaken, if thrones and principalities toppled and fell, if the religious world was stirred, and if the common people were revived the first time God was manifested in the flesh, in one body, then think what it will be when He manifests that same Life through thousands at the same time. Blasphemy? Oh no, it’s the promise of God’s eternal Word, and it shall not fail! But the world does not like what it sees. If they loved Him, then they’ll love you. But they hated Him, fought Him, tried their best to kill Him, and finally did. But power is given to this Body of people to bring judgment upon the world. Yes, the saints of God shall judge the world (I Corinthians 6:2), and power is hereby given them to do this. This is not so the saints will be able to destroy the world in anger, but that they might be able to cleanse the world of sin, purify God’s people and call them out of their religious traditions and idolatry. My, what a Revival! The world has never seen the like of what shall happen here, the thing John was able to look forward to and get a glimpse of. Zechariah 4:14 tells us that these people are the Anointed Ones who stand before the God of the whole earth.
Notice that the earthly ministry of these witnesses is not only with the same divine authority that Jesus had, but it even lasts the same length of time, three and a half years. Jesus had no mass form of communication, no radio, not even a loudspeaker. He had to walk where He went, no swift form of transportation. He had no printing press to get His message into the hands of the people. He never got very far from that little insignificant country of Palestine. Yet think of what He did . . . John says that “even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written” concerning the works of Jesus. And now for this final onslaught God has provided us with mass communication such as radio, TV, newspapers, and with jet speed in transportation, autos, airplanes, etc. In three and a half years the whole world shall hear His Word and feel His mighty power, as God’s Army marches forth under His divine anointing. More about this Army, and the battle they wage, in another chapter.
Notice that these witnesses were clothed in sackcloth. Not with their eternal robes of priesthood and kingship. No, these were not angelic beings, they were mortals, humans. So these two witnesses are not Enoch and Elijah, for these witnesses are flesh and blood people who are brought down to death even as their Lord, and they loved not their lives unto the death (Revelation 12:11). They are those who overcome. They are clothed in sackcloth. Let men talk about their resurrected, glorified bodies here and now. Beloved, it is people in human, flesh bodies who shall conquer this world and defeat Satan. If God was only interested in killing the devil, then He could have done that a long time ago. For God has always been stronger than the devil, and there has never been any doubt about who was supreme. But the battlefield is over Man, and God is leaving the devil for man to defeat. It is this old human flesh that Satan has tormented, tempted and triumphed over since the Garden of Eden. And God is allowing us the privilege of rising up through the power given us by our Lord Jesus Christ, and tearing down all of Satan’s strongholds and all thrones and principalities. Thank God for Calvary and the empty Tomb! For it was here that Jesus defeated Satan and overcame for us and put all of hell’s forces to an open shame. And He did this in a flesh body. Since He is the Head of the Body, it is now in order for the Body to follow in the Pattern which He has set for us. The Head is now victorious (Hebrews 2:9) and crowned with glory and honour. But we do not yet see all things under the FEET . . . (Hebrews 2:8). This is what John saw happening, and thank God, we are living in the generation when it finally happens!
“And they shall prophesy. . .” Notice that this is a prophetic anointing. By that I mean that when this Glory fills the Temple (the Sons of God group), their words shall be anointed prophecy. They shall speak the word of the Lord. Even as Jesus did, for everything He said was prophetic, it was the Word of God. Prophecy is man speaking for God. Not always foretelling, though sometimes that is so also. The Body of Christ, now anointed, acts only under the orders of the Head, the Lord Jesus. So the Head and the Body (two witnesses, even as Jesus and His Father), perfectly joined together now, shall speak, live, walk, and act under the divine anointing of the Spirit. Today we operate in the realm of the Gifts of the Spirit. We know (word of Knowledge) in part, and we prophesy in part (I Corinthians 13 :9). Our operation is not perfect. But Jesus’ ministry was perfect. He had divine knowledge, all power, and every word He spoke was prophecy. For He did nothing except what the Father told Him to do or say. So He did not work for the Gifts. And when that which is “Perfect” (I Corinthians 13:10; Ephesians 4:13; Hebrews 11:40) is come, then the gifts will be done away. Tongues shall cease, knowledge shall vanish away, and prophecies shall fail (be “cut off” or cease to flow). But Love shall continue to flow, even greater now than ever. That’s why it is greater than all the gifts.
And now, filled with a compassion and love for the lost world that no man has had since Jesus wept great drops of blood in agonizing prayer and intercession, this people shall move out of the Church age realm and move into the victorious realm of the Kingdom of God. This is the stone cut out of the mountain, smiting the kingdoms of this world. They have dominion and power. No sickness can touch them, no plague can torment them, no locust can bite them, no devil can resist them, death can not overtake them until they have finished their testimony. Look at Jesus. Satan tried to kill Him many times, but could not touch Him until the fulness of time had come. Jesus said: “I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not; but the scriptures must be fulfilled”(Mark 14:49). So until the ministry of these Two Witnesses, the Body of Christ, be fulfilled, no man can destroy them. The governments of the world would like to, but they cannot touch them. Why are they hated? Because of the ministry and judgment God has given to them. This shall be brought out fully in another message, “MEN IN SACKCLOTH”. In this chapter we shall also see where Moses and Elijah fit into this picture. Notice in verse 6 that they have power to shut heaven for three and a half years that it rain not (a reference to Elijah), and they have power to turn waters into blood (a reference to Moses). This is the Moses-Elijah ministry that God had promised through his prophets, and which Jesus had confirmed was coming to restore all things. It is these “Men in Sackcloth” which shall restore all things spoken by the prophets, and bring Jesus back to earth in person. Oh, Glory to God, friends, this truth burns like a fire in my heart, and I want to share it with you. Remember this, knowing all this is of no value to you if you do not make it in to the High Calling of God in Christ Jesus. Paul feared, lest after having preached this to others, he might miss it himself and be a castaway, not lost in hell, just miss the High Calling. So he continued to press into it. How to make it in? Die to self. Bear the fruit of the Spirit. Hear His voice in these last days, and believe the Truth. And again, die to self. God is going deeper than the sin question now. (I said deeper, not around it). He is dealing now with our self life.