Who are the Two Witnesses of Revelation

The two witnesses described in Revelation, chapter 11, are prophets, who will prophesy during the great tribulation, for one thousand two hundred and sixty days, striking the world with plagues, and famine, as they stand against the kingdom of the beast, who will bring his armies into Jerusalem, to trample the city, and kill the followers of Christ. The Apostle John describes them below:

Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, “Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months. And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth. And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire.

When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth. Now after the three-and-a-half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them. In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven. ~ Revelation 11:1-13

In order to understand who the two prophets are, it is necessary to examine the description of the two prophets.

  • Two Olive Trees – Revelation 11:4 – The two olive trees can be found in two other passages in the Bible. The first is in the Old Testament, in the book of Zechariah, in chapter 4. They are described as “…the two anointed ones, who stand beside the Lord of the whole earth.” The second passage is listed below, wherein they are described as the nation of Israel (the cultivated olive tree) and the gentiles (the wild olive tree):
    • I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness! For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either.

      Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?

      For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: ” The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.” ~ Romans 11:11-27

  • The Two Lampstands – Lampstand are described in the New Testament as the church.
    • You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. ~ Matthew 5:14-16

    • The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches. ~ Revelation 1:20

  • Prophets – Revelation 11:10 – the two witnesses are called prophets. Therefore, they are the prophets of the church, just as Silas (Acts 15:32), and Agabus (Acts 11:27-28). But are they two individual prophets, or is the number “two” symbolic of two groups of people? It would have to be more than two prophet, based on Psalm chapter 79, which describes this period of persecution in Jerusalem, while showing that the amount of martyred saints in city are more than just two individuals:
    • O God, the nations have come into Your inheritance; Your holy temple they have defiled; They have laid Jerusalem in heaps. The dead bodies of Your servants They have given as food for the birds of the heavens, The flesh of Your saints to the beasts of the earth. Their blood they have shed like water all around Jerusalem, And there was no one to bury them (Revelation 11:9). ~ Psalm 79:1-3

  • The Beast will have them killed – Revelation 11:7 – This is also described in Revelation 12:3-4, and Daniel 8:9-10, because the two witnesses are Christ’s messengers/angels, as described in Revelation 1:20, and Revelation 8:1-6. The angels and stars are one and the same, and a third of them will be cast to the ground and trampled during the great tribulation. And in return, a third of mankind will be killed with fire.
    • The stars are the messengers/angels:
      • The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches. ~ Revelation 1:20

      • When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake. So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.  ~ Revelation 8:1-6

    • They strike the earth with plagues:
      • These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire.  ~ Revelation 11:6

      • So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
        First Trumpet: Vegetation Struck
        The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.
        Second Trumpet: The Seas Struck
        Then the second angel sounded: And something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. And a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.
        Third Trumpet: The Waters Struck
        Then the third angel sounded: And a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water.The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the water, because it was made bitter.  ~ Revelation 8:6-11

    • A third of the stars are thrown down to the earth, because they are the two witnesses who are killed:
      • And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth… ~ Revelation 12:3-4

      • And out of one of them came a little horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Glorious Land. And it grew up to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and some of the stars to the ground, and trampled them. ~ Daniel 8:9-10

    • And in return, a third of mankind will be killed with fire:
      • And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. ~ Revelation 11:5

      • Then the sixth angel sounded: And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind. Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them. And thus I saw the horses in the vision: those who sat on them had breastplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow; and the heads of the horses were like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and brimstone. By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed — by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which came out of their mouths. For their power is in their mouth and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents, having heads; and with them they do harm. ~ Revelation 9:13-19

In Revelation, chapter 5, John sees in his vision of the place where God dwells, twenty-four elders around God’s throne. These elders described themselves, as stated below:

…You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth ~ Revelation 5:9-10

Therefore, they are elders of the church, both Jew and gentile, because they are from all nations. Paul described the elders of the church as gifts, given to the church by Christ, to edify believers into maturity and unity in the faith, and to prepare them for ministry work (Ephesians 4:11-16). Some of these elders are prophets. During the great tribulation, the prophets of the church, both Jew and gentile, will stand against the kingdom of the beast, and be killed, and then they will be raised from the dead when Jesus appears in the clouds immediately after the tribulation, and calls his elect to meet him in the clouds, as stated below:

But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.

Now after the three-and-a-half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them. In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven. ~ Revelation 11:7-13

 

What does it Mean to be “Born of Water”?

The Christian concept of being born of water comes from the Bible’s passage in the gospel of John, chapter 3:

There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” ~ John 3:1-8

To understand what it means to be born of water, as Jesus told Nicodemus, it is necessary to find out what the Bible has to say about water, in relation to Christians.

Paul described the water as, “the word” which cleanses the church; which would be, Scripture.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. ~ Ephesians 5:25-27

Jesus also mentioned this in the gospel of John:

You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. ~ John 15:3

Paul, in Titus 3:3-6, also described the Holy Spirit as having the same effect when sinners are regenerated. He also described regeneration as being “made alive”.

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) ~ Ephesians 2:1-5

Therefore, the word of God, and the Holy Spirit, work together to regenerate sinners into children of God, by cleansing the hearts from sin, and making them new creations. That is why the Apostle John described Jesus as coming by water and by blood.

This is He who came by water and blood — Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood… ~ 1 John 5:6

Jesus came preaching the gospel of peace with God, and by shedding his blood in order to establish this peace (Ephesians 2:14-17). When those whom God draws to Christ hear the message of the gospel, they are regenerated. As Paul stated:

…if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17

And John stated:

…as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. ~ John 1:12-13

And the Apostle James stated:

Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures. ~ James 1:18

As the Apostle Peter stated:

Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because “All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away, But the word of the LORD endures forever.” Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you. ~ 1 Peter 1:22-25

This is the doctrine of regeneration. It is fulfillment of the promised made by God through Jeremiah.

Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah — not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more. ~ Jeremiah 31:31-34

This promise is fulfilled by the preaching of the word (Romans 10:14-17), and it is performed by the living word of God, and by the power of the Holy Spirit within the hearts and minds of sinners.

Are Christian Obligated to Keep the Law of Moses?

Yes or No, and Why?

No. Christians are not required to keep the law of Moses, because Christ has free them from the law by nailing it with him to the cross.

…you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. ~ Colossians 2:13-14

For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain. ~ Galatians 2:19-21

Christ has become the new master, in place of the law, by making a New Covenant, and therefore, abolishing the old covenant, which was not able to cleanse anyone from sin.

For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah — not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the LORD. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. ~ Hebrew 8:7-13

For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. ~ Hebrews 10:4

Does the New Covenant require Christians to keep any of the Old

Covenant Commandments?

Yes. That would be the law of love. For in so doing, the righteous requirement of the love is fulfilled.

…’You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets. ~ Matthew 22:37-40

Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.  ~ Romans 13:8-10

Believers are required to fulfill the righteous requirement of the law of Moses. But not through keeping the law of Moses. Instead, the law is fulfilled simply through obeying Christ – the new master – which Paul calls, walking in the Spirit, and Christ calls, abiding in him – the true vine.

Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law. ~ Romans 3:31

…what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. ~ Romans 8:3-5

I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.  Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. ~ John 15:1-6

What about the Sabbath?

That also includes keeping the Sabbath.

…let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. ~ Colossians 2:16-17

In order to understand why Christians are not required to keep the Sabbath, it is necessary to understand the symbolic significance of the Sabbath. The origin for the word “Sabbath” is the Hebrew word “שַׁבָּת/shab·bäth’“, which means intermission. Its root word is “שָׁבַת/shä·vath’“, which means “to repose, i.e. desist from exertion; used in many implied relations”. Therefore, as it is already understood, the Sabbath has to do with rest from labor, just as God rested from his six days of work on the seventh day.

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. ~ Exodus 20:8-11

And just as God rested, on the seventh day, from his labor, there remains a rest, for those who come to Christ, from their labor of law keeping.

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. ~ Matthew 11:28-30

And just as God blessed the seventh day, and made it holy, he also provides his chosen people with every blessing in Heaven, just as he gave them to his Son, to be holy.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love ~ Ephesians 1:3-4

And just as all of God’s work was completed on the seventh day, he also has made those who belong to his Son to be completed in him.

Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. ~ Genesis 2:1-2

Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. ~ Colossians 2:8-10

And just as God made man on the sixth day, and rested on the seventh day, because all of

lampstand1
Menorah

his work was completed, he also made believers complete in his Son, the true vine, as seen in the menorah – the lampstand with seven lamps; six springing forth from the main branch (Zechariah 4:1–10, Revelation 1:20, Revelation 4:5). Christ is the true vine, from whom all the members spring forth, and are made fruitful (John 15:1-6). Therefore, by themselves, they are mere men, but through Christ, they can do all things (Philippians 4:13).

Therefore, the Sabbath day is symbolic of the work that Christ would accomplish for his people. The ceremonial law is summed up in the ten commandments’ third command – “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy (Exodus 20:8).” That is why Paul said that the Sabbaths are “just a shadow of what was to come, and that its substance is of Christ” (Colossians 2:16-17)

What about the dietary laws?

That also includes the dietary laws, such as not eating meat with blood, and not eating unclean foods. This was explained by Paul, below:

So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. ~ Colossians 2:16-17

Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. ~ 1 Timothy 4:1-5

 

…whatever man of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell among you, who eats any blood, I will set My face against that person who eats blood, and will cut him off from among his people. For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul. ~ Leviticus 17:10-11

The life of Christians comes from Jesus’ blood, which was shed for them, as the atonement for sin.

Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. ~ John 6:53-57

Therefore, just as Christ fulfilled the law, he also fulfilled its Sabbath.

What purpose does the law serve?

The law was given to show mankind their sin, and their inability to live up to God’s righteous standard, for the purpose of leading mankind to Christ. As Paul stated below:

…whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.  ~ Romans 3:9-19

What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one. Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. ~ Galatians 3:19-26

What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead. I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me. Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good. Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. ~ Romans 7:7-14

Also, any teachings, and behaviors, that are contrary to the teachings of the New Covenant can be corrected with the Old Covenant law.

Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith, from which some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk, desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm. But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully, knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust. ~ 1 Timothy 1:5-11

Below is an example of how the law of Moses can be used to correct someone who is contradicting the teachings of the New Covenant:

Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. ~ 1 Corinthians 14:34

Therefore, it is wrong to cheat Christians to keep the law of Moses. This is why Paul wrote to the believers in Galatia, and corrected the believers in Colosse. False teachers were leading Christians astray, by telling them, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved (Acts 15:1)”, as they are now. Therefore, as Paul also warned the believers in Philippi, let the warning stand firm today:

Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe. Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.  ~ Philippians 3:1-11

 

Is Limited Atonement Taught in the Bible?

A biblical analysis of Limited Atonement

 

To listen to the blog below, click on the following link:

Is Limited Atonement Taught in the Bible?

What is Limited Atonement?

This doctrine claims that Jesus only died for the elect, and that Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient for all, but it was not efficacious for all, because Jesus only paid for the sins of the elect, and not for the whole world of sinners. However, these claims, “Jesus only died for the elect”, and “Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient for all” is clearly a contradiction. A sacrifice that is not made for all cannot also be sufficient for all.

Also, there is no clear Biblical support for Christ’s atonement being limited in this way, because no passage in the Bible clearly states that Jesus did not die for certain people, or even that Jesus only died for certain people.

Furthermore, studying what Scripture has to say about non-elect believers, and how the gospel affects them, reveals more about Christ’s atonement for sins than simply reading the passages which describes elect believers and how the gospel affects them.

For example, remember what Jesus said about people who receive the word of God with joy, and only remain in the faith until they are faced with tribulation or the threat of Christian persecution. Jesus said that they immediately stumble.

Matthew 13

20 But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;

21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.

Jesus also referred to people who are in him, but do not bear fruit. He said that the Father takes them away, and that they are cast out, and then burned.

John 15

1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.

2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.

The author of Hebrews also spoke of people who are believers, but return to sin, and remain there after receiving the knowledge of the truth, after tasting of the power of the age to come, and have even shared in the Holy Spirit. He said that it is impossible for them to be restored to repentance, because they crucify the Son of God a fresh, and put him to an open shame, and are, therefore, doomed to be cast out and burned.

Hebrews 6

4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit,

5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come,

6 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.

7 For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God;

8 but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned.

Passages like these shows us that the gospel is believed by non-elect believers, and that they even become fellow sharers in the Holy Spirit during the time in which they lived in obedience to the gospel.

Also, Scripture tells us that these kind of people were sanctified by the blood of the covenant when they lived in obedience to the gospel. But when they returned to sin, and remain there, they come under God’s punishment, because they have trampled the blood of the covenant, which sanctified them, under foot, and have insulted the Holy Spirit through their hard-hardheartedness. And, although these people are claimed by Scripture to be “God’s people”, they fall into his wrath because Christ’s atonement no longer pardons their sin.

Hebrews 10

24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,

25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,

27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.

28 Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.

29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?

30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The LORD will judge His people.”

Peter also wrote about people who have escaped the corruption of the world through the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, and later are again entangled by them because of false teachers, and that they become worse off than before they knew the way of righteousness. Scripture clearly tells us that their faith and obedience to the gospel cleansed them for a time, which, again, demonstrates that the blood of the covenant is efficacious for cleansing non-elect believers. And Since the blood of the covenant cleanses the non-elect, it is clearly apparent that Jesus shed his blood for them as well as the elect.

2Peter 2

18 For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. 19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. 20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”

Therefore, Scripture clearly shows us that the blood of the covenant applies to both elect and non-elect believers. Furthermore, it applies to them both, because Jesus died for them both. Not only that, but Peter, in the same chapter, said that Jesus also bought the false teachers who deny him, just as he bought the church.

2Peter 2

1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.

Acts 20

28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.

1Corinthians 6

19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

This is because Jesus bought the whole world so that he could inherit the elect, just as the man who purchases the whole field so that he could have the treasure hidden in it.

Matthew 13

44 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

Therefore, Jesus is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world, and not the elect only.

1John 2

2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

Therefore, Jesus is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.

1Timothy 4

10 For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.

Also, Calvinists have said that God will not punish unbelievers for rejecting the gospel, because the gospel is only for the elect to believe, and that the unbelievers will only be judged for all of their other sins, but not for rejecting the gospel. But Jesus said that unbelievers will be punished for not believing the gospel.

John 3

18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

John 12

48 He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him — the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.

Jesus also said that the punishment of the cities that he preached to would be worse than the punishment of previously existing, wicked, cities, because they did not repent after hearing him and seeing the miracles he performed which confirmed the veracity of his message.

Matthew 11

20 Then He began to rebuke the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent: 21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24 But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you.”

Paul also affirms the punishment of people for not obeying the gospel message.

2Thessalonians 1

7 …when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels,

8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power

And again…

2Thessalonians 2

9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

  • Therefore, Scripture clearly teaches that the gospel is for both elect and non-elect people.
  • Scripture also teaches that the blood of the covenant sanctifies both elect and non-elect believers.
  • Scripture also teaches that non-elect believers become sharers in the Holy Spirit.
  • Scripture also teaches that people will be punished for not believing the gospel, and not merely for all of their other sins.
  • Scripture also teaches us that Christ blood bought the world, which includes both sheep and wolves.

And that is why Limited Atonement cannot be true.

Another problem with Calvinist doctrine is that it subjects Scripture to private interpretations, which is wrong to do.

2Peter 1

20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation,

21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

It also denies the sufficiency of Scripture’s role in teaching on doctrinal matters so that believers will learn to trust Calvinist teachers over the word of God.

2Timothy 3

14 …you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,

15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,

17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Finally, Calvinism fundamentally alters the gospel message. Yet Paul taught that a little leaven leavens the whole gospel.

Galatians 5

8 This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. 9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

Therefore, the gospel must remain pure of falsehood.

If you have any concerns about the accuracy of the English translation on the above passages, I’ll share with you a helpful tool for examining the Greek and Hebrew texts. Click on the following link entitled “Scripture4All“, and then click on the executable file entitled “ISA basic v2.1.5“.

The software is only compatible with Windows operating systems.

Radical Takeover Pt. 5 – Rome’s Social Justice & Communism

SocialJustice-300x199

The oldest report of communism can be found in the writings of the Greek philosopher, Plato, and has been both implemented and perfected by the Jesuit order of the Roman Catholic church. The resurrection of communism took place in Paraguay of South America in the 17th, and 18th, century, in what is known as the Jesuit Reductions of Paraguay. The Jesuit Reductions were brought about because of Romes interest in making Catholicism the dominate religion of the indigenous region. At the same time, the Spanish colonies were enslaving the natives, and no conversions to Catholicism were taking place, nor were their any clergymen who spoke the language of the natives. To solve this problem, the Jesuits decided to employ radical conversion tactics to win over the natives to the religion of Rome, such as promising freedom from slavery, and equal status with Spaniard colonists, if they would agree to convert to Catholicism.

Within a short time, the number of converts numbered in the tens of thousands, and continued to grew exponentially. These converts lived in colonies controlled by Jesuits, who enforced communism as their form of governance. This fact is also affirmed by Roman Catholic history, as stated below:

NewAdvent.Org

The economic system of the Reductions

The economic basis was a sort of communism, which, however differed materially from the modern system which bears the same name, and was essentially theocratic. “The Jesuits”, writes Gelpi y Ferro, “realized in reduccionestheir Christian commonwealth all that is good and nothing that is bad in the plans of modern Socialists and Communists.” The land and all that stood upon it was the property of the community. The land was apportioned among the caciques, who allotted it to the families under them. Agricultural instruments and draught-cattle were loaned from the common supply. No one was permitted to sell his plot of land or his house, called abamba, i.e. “own possession.”

The communist regime of the Jesuits has also been affirmed by the following author:

The Revolutionary Movement – A Diagnosis of World Disorders by J. Findlater (1933)

jesuitcommunism1jesuitcommunism2jesuitcommunism3

Giovanni Battista Nicolini’s History of the Jesuits (1854) P. 303

When once the Jesuits had raised up a generation so devoted and obedient, they then brought into operation their system of government, and made a successful attempt to realise that republic preconceived of old by Plato, and which, with perhaps more interested views is held out to us by the Socialists of our own day. In fact, their form of a republic was nothing else than that Communism which the famous Cabet is now trying to establish in nearly the same regions; the only difference being, that the Jesuits substituted themselves for the state or community.

In the 19th century, the Jesuit philosopher, Luigi Taparelli, who coined the term “social justice”, implemented the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas to be the voice of Rome in regards to the social changes that were taking place. Taparelli’s writings heavily influenced Pope Leo XIII’s 1891 encyclical, Rerum Novarum, which was an open letter that addressed the condition of the working classes, and amounted to the affirmation of socialism, as opposed to the traditional approach to communism, wherein private property is excluded.  Out of this Catholic Socialist’s philosophy has come a theology of work, which is currently being taught to Roman Catholics in the West. For more information on Rerum Novarum, click on the link entitled “Rerum Novarum – Catholic Social Teaching“.

This teaching on social justice can also be seen in the 20th century with the rise of “Liberation Theology“, which was started by the Dominican Priest, Gustavo Gutiérrez Merino., who attempted to reinvent the gospel of salvation into a more earth-based, works based, salvation, which is not centered on salvation from the bandage to sin, and the wrath of God, but, instead, is centered in the troubles, and injustices, of the poor, wherein converts must work to save the world from the plight of poverty, and oppression.

Aspects of the “social justice” philosophy can be seen today, such as “The Collective Salvation of the Superior Group” mentality, which can be seen in fanatical religious groups, such as the New Apostolic Reformation, who have a strong emphasis on liberation theology, and even dominionism. Another would be IB’s “World Peace” Indoctrination, wherein student around the world are being taught how to be world citizens, who work together for world peace. Alice Bailey & The Christian World Servers are yet another example of this due to the fact that they claim to be working together for the good of mankind. In this way, All Roads Lead to Rome for the good of mankind, because all religions, and even Protestant leaders, are coming into union with Rome for this very purpose, and is building a dominate world church, which author, Brannon Hows calls a “Religious Trojan Horse“.

These radical views of communism, and “social justice” are rooted in Roman Catholic philosophers for the intentions of advancing the kingdom of Rome, and not the good of mankind. Though Rome promises peace, its goals are deception, and enslavement for the world, just as it enslaved the Holy Roman Empire. Those who are seducing, and deceived by its teachings, and false hope for world peace, will be greatly disappointed.

1Thessalonians 5

1    But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you.
2    For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.
3    For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.

Daniel 9

27     Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate.”

Revelation 17

1    Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters,
2    with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”
3    So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
4    The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication.
5    And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
6    I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.
7    But the angel said to me, “Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns.
8    The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
9    “Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits.
10    There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time.
11    The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition.
12    “The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast.
13    These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast.
14    These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.”
15    Then he said to me, “The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues.
16    And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire.
17    For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled.
18    And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.”

2Thessalonians 2

1    Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you,
2    not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.
3    Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,
4    who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
5    Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?
6    And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time.
7    For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.
8    And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.
9    The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,
10    and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11    And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,
12    that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.