anew branch shoot from the
stump between theLaw and Prophets;
Word goes out to the gentiles
"Look at the fig tree, and all the trees;
as soon as they come out in leaf,
you see for yourselves and know that the
summer is already Near.
So also, when you see these things taking place,
You Know that the kingdom of God is Near.
Spring 2022-spring 2023 harvest period
Spring 2023, Jesus Curses A Fig Tree
2 Fig Trees; One produced Ripened Fruit- One was Cursed
Fig Trees that sprouted in 2022 are Reaping
1 calendar year cycle later- 2023 spring, summer, summer, fall-
Gentiles back to Jews
Resurrection day 2023 Begin Reaping 2022 harvest-
Summer 2023 Fullness of the Gentiles Harvest
Fall 2023 Final Harvest- Final wrath dispersion-Jews,
Jews brought back into tree- complete Harvesting
Final wrath and redemption-Jews,
Fall Begins Reaping Kingdom of God-
beginning with the Jew first- then branches outward
Rod, Stem, and Branch
“And there shall
come forth a Rod out of the Stem
of Jesse, and a
Branch shall Grow out of his Roots
Here again is hope! This verse is a
clear prophecy of Messiah.
The last verse in Chapter 10 describes
the complete destruction of the Assyrian Army
It is cut down like trees are felled by an ax. (Burnt offering)
Although Israel, too had been cut down by Assyria (grain offering)
there shall come forth: A rod:
this is a shoot, or the stock that remains
in the earth after
a tree has been cut down.
Out of the stem of Jesse; 2015.. Jesse was David’s father.
dynasty from this family,
tribe of Judah,
thrive and Grow
in spite of the
efforts of Assyria and Antichrist
Jesus Christ is the Branch that would appear, born
in the line of David,
tribe of Judah, the line of Jesse.
For further study: Is. 11:1-12:6; Matthew 1; Luke 3.
“Do not think that I came to destroy
the Law or the Prophets
. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill”
Fulfill first Law and Prophets; 2005; Ax- stump
2015 Visitation, 7 years later
fulfill second Law and Prophets; 2022; plant seed
seed of David- Anew Branch- Jesus Christ was Born,
stemmed a branch and harvested a year of sowing,
spring 2023 bear fruit, reap 2022 sowing
Jesus came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets.
The Lord was giving a
purpose statement for His ministry
with the Pharisees and the rabbinic laws of the day
raised questions about
His relationship to the Law.
What was He trying to do?
Jesus did not come to destroy the Law and the Prophets,
but to fulfill
- “Jesus fulfilled the principles and precepts of the law” (Eaton,The Way That Leads to Life, p. 46). The Mosaic Law had hundreds of commands and prescriptions for Israel to fulfill. And the OT prophets often acted as covenant lawyers bringing suit against Israel for failing to obey those commands. In contrast to Israel’s disobedience, Jesus fulfilled all the requirements of the Law in both His thoughts and His behavior. No one could critique His life or accuse Him of failing in His obligations to God. In a related sense, Jesus was also the greatest expositor of the Law, showing us, through His life and teaching, what it truly demanded. In sum, Jesus fulfilled the ethical demands of the Law and the Prophets.
- “Jesus fulfilled the programs and prophecies of the Scriptures”(p. 47). Eaton explained that at the heart of the Scriptures was God’s plan to “undo the work of ‘the serpent’ (Gen 3:15).” The Bible is not primarily a book of laws, so much as a story of redemption. The Lord promised that the Seed of the woman would crush the serpent’s head. In other words, a Messiah was coming. And over time, God gradually revealed more information about what Messiah would be like, such as “a great Chosen King, a Suffering Servant, an Anointed Conqueror” (p. 48). Jesus fulfilled those roles (well, some of them; others await a future fulfillment in the kingdom). In sum, Jesus fulfilled the Messianic prophecies of the Law and the Prophets
- “Jesus fulfilled the patterns and pictures of the scriptures” (p. 48). Besides giving explicit commands and predictions, God’s Word also teaches through types and symbols. Trees, arks, lambs, priests, feasts, and sabbaths, and people such as Adam, Moses, Melchizedek, and David often foreshadow or prefigure what Messiah would be like and what He would do. Like Moses, Jesus taught on a mountain and delivered His people from slavery. Like David, Messiah will reign. Like a lamb, Jesus was sacrificed for sin. Like Melchizedek, He is a priest forever. In sum, Jesus fulfilled the Messianic types of the Law and the Prophets.
- “Jesus fulfills the psalms and proverbs” (p. 48). How does He do that? By embodying the figure of the King we meet in the Psalms and of the Wise Man we see in Proverbs.
In sum, Jesus fulfilled the wisdom of the Law and the Prophets.
The phrase the law and the prophets refers to the entire Hebrew Bible,
what we call the Old Testament.
Jesus spoke of “the law and the prophets” multiple times,
such as when He listed the two greatest commandments
In the Sermon on the Mount,
Jesus pointed to His absolute perfection, saying,
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the
Law or the Prophets;
I have not come to abolish them
but to fulfill them”
On the Emmaus Road,
Jesus taught two disciples
written about himself in the Scriptures,
beginning with the Law of Moses
the Books of the Prophets”
(Luke 24:27, CEV).
Clearly, all Scripture,
"the law and the prophets,” pointed to Jesus.
The same passage also contains a
three-fold division of the Old Testament:
"the Law of
Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms”
but the two-fold division
of “the law and the prophets”
was also customary
(Matthew 7:12; Acts 13:15; 24:14; Romans 3:21).
The books of the law, properly speaking, would
comprise the Pentateuch:
Eve and Adam the Fall, separation
Mary Magdalen and Peter the sinners,
Virgin Mary and Joseph, Parents of Jesus
Mary Assumption, and King David, Anointed King and Queen
Anew Eve and Anew Adam, reunification
The prophets, in the two-fold division, would include the rest of the Old Testament.
Although it may seem strange that poetic books such as
Job or Proverbs
would be included in the “prophets” category, it was common for the
Jews to see any writer of Scripture as a prophet.
Further, many of the psalms are clear
When Philip invited his friend Nathanael to meet Jesus,
he referred to the whole of Hebrew Scripture in
its two-fold division:
“We have found the one Moses wrote about
in the law, and the prophets also wrote about--
Jesus of Nazareth”
(John 1:45, NET).
Philip was right that all of Scripture has a common theme:
the Messiah, the Son of God, who is Jesus.
Leviticus receives its name from the Septuagint
(the pre-Christian Greek translation of the OT)
"relating to the Levites."
Its Hebrew title, wayyiqra', is the first word in the Hebrew text of the book and means
"And he [i.e., the Lord] called."
Although Leviticus does not deal only with the special duties of the Levites, it is so named because it concerns mainly the service of worship at the tabernacle, which was conducted by the priests who were the sons of Aaron, assisted by many from the rest of the tribe of Levi.
Exodus gave the directions for building the tabernacle,
and now Leviticus gives the
laws and regulations for
including instructions on
ceremonial cleanness, moral laws,
the sabbath year and the Year of Jubilee.
These laws were given, at least for the most part,
during the year that Israel camped at Mount Sinai,
when God directed Moses in organizing Israel's worship,
government and military forces.
The book of Numbers continues the history with preparations
for moving on from Sinai to Canaan.
The Book of Numbers
Is the fourth book in the five books of the Pentateuch or Torah,
the foundational texts of the Hebrew Bible.
These five books
form the first part of the Old Testament --
a collection of 39 books that make up the
first part of the Christian Bible.
It chronicles the forty years
that the Israelites spent crossing the wilderness,
in their trek from the
Exodus out of Egypt,
to the Promised Land of Israel
The word "Deuteronomy" (meaning "repetition of the law") arose from a mistranslation in the Septuagint (the pre-Christian Greek translation of the OT) and the Latin Vulgate of a phrase in Dt 17:18, which in Hebrew means "copy of this law." The error is not serious, however, since Deuteronomy is, in a certain sense, a "repetition of the law" (see Structure and Outline).
Deuteronomy locates Moses and the Israelites
in the territory of Moab
in the area where the
Jordan flows into the Dead Sea (1:5).
As his final act at this important time of
transferring leadership to Joshua,
Moses delivered his farewell addresses
to prepare the people for their entrance into Canaan.
In them, Moses emphasized the laws that were especially needed at such a time, and he presented them in a way appropriate to the situation. In contrast to the matter-of-fact narratives of
Leviticus and Numbers, here the words of Moses come to us from
his heart as this servant of the Lord
presses God's claims on his people Israel.
The trajectory of the story that unfolds in
seems to call for an account of the conquest of Canaan as found in Joshua
to bring closure
to the movement from
promise to fulfillment
(see Introduction to Joshua: Title and Theme).
But Deuteronomy intervenes as a massive interruption.
Here there is very little forward movement.
At the end of Numbers, Israel
is "on the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho"
and at the end of Deuteronomy, the people are still there (Dt 34:8) waiting to cross the Jordan (see Jos 1:2). All that has happened is the transition from the ministry of Moses as God's spokesman and official representative to that of Joshua in his place (Dt 34:9; see Jos 1:1-2). But Moses' final acts as the Lord's appointed servant for dealing with Israel are so momentous that Deuteronomy's account of them marks the conclusion to the Pentateuch, while the book of Joshua, which narrates the initial fulfillment of the promises made to the patriarchs and the conclusion to the mission on which Moses had been sent (see Nu 17:15-23; Jos 21:43-45), serves as the introduction to the Former Prophets.
So Deuteronomy creates a long pause in the advancement of the story of redemption:
- of deliverance from bondage to a world power (Egypt) to a place in the earth where Israel can be a free people under the rule of God;
- of deliverance from rootlessness in the post-Babel world (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) to security and "rest" (see Dt 3:20 and note; 12:10; 25:19) in the promised land;
- of deliverance from a life of banishment from God's Garden (Ge 3) to a life in the Lord's own land where he has pitched his tent (Jos 22:19).
Deuteronomy 24:9 “Remember what the LORD thy God did unto Miriam by the way, after that ye were come forth out of Egypt.”
Who was stricken with leprosy for speaking against Moses, and was shut up seven days. And they are reminded of this instance, partly to warn them against entertaining evil suspicions, and surmises of persons in power and authority, and speaking evil of them. And partly to expect that punishment would certainly be inflicted on them, should they be guilty of the same crime. Nor should they think it hard, either to be smitten with leprosy, or to be shut up for it. Since Miriam, a prophetess, and the sister of Moses, was so used; and that when;
“By the way, after that ye were come out of Egypt”: When upon their journey, and were retarded in it, and obliged to stay at least seven days before they could proceed on in it (see Num. 12:14).
Miriam became leprous and stayed that way for 7 days, when she spoke out about Moses marrying the Ethiopian woman. Her Leprosy was an outward show of the
sin that was within her.
Verses 10-13: “His pledge”: This would often be a cloak, an outer garment, which was given in pledge to guarantee the repayment of a loan. God’s people were to act righteously in the lending of money. An example of a righteous lender was one who did not forcefully exact payment and who allowed a poor person to retain his pledge (cloak) overnight if it was necessary to keep him warm. Lending to the poor was permitted, but without:
(1) Interest (23:19-20);
(2) Coercion to repay; and
(3) Extension of the loan beyond the sabbatical year (15:1-2).
Deuteronomy 24:10 “When thou dost lend thy brother any thing, thou shalt not go into his house to fetch his pledge.”
Any sum of money he stands in need of, or demanded a debt of him, as Jarchi. Money he is indebted to thee, which is the sense of the Septuagint version; and he is not able to pay it, but offers something in pawn till he can pay it.
“Thou shall not go into his house to fetch his pledge”: Which would be an exercise of too much power and authority, to go into a neighbor’s house, and take what was liked. And besides, as no doubt he would take the best, so he might take that which the poor man could not spare. And indeed, according to the Jewish canons, he could not take any pledge at all. But with the knowledge, and by the leave, of the Sanhedrin, or court of judicature.
A man’s home is his castle. His home should be a very private place for him and his family. It is not a place of merchandise.
The debtor must bring the pledge out of
and give to the lender.
Deuteronomy (Ancient Greek: Δευτερονόμιον, is
the fifth book of the Torah (in Judaism), where it is
called Devarim (Hebrew: דְּבָרִים, Dəḇārīm, '[the] words [of Moses]')
and the fifth book of the Christian Old Testament.
Chapters 1–30 of the book consist of
three sermons or speeches delivered
to the Israelites by Moses on the Plains of Moab,
shortly before they enter the Promised Land.
The first sermon recounts the forty years of wilderness wanderings-which
had led to that moment and
ended with an exhortation to observe the law.
The second sermon reminds the Israelites of the need to
follow Yahweh and the laws (or teachings)
he has given them, on which their possession of the land depends.
The third sermon offers the comfort that, even should
the nation of Israel
prove unfaithful and so lose the land,
with repentance all can be restored
The image of Jesus
as the Prophet like Moses in Luke-Acts as advanced by
Luke's reinterpretation of Deuteronomy 18:15, 18 in
Acts 3:22 and 7:37
The final four chapters (31–34) contain the Song of Moses, the Blessing of Moses,
and the narratives recounting the
passing of the mantle of leadership from Moses to Joshua and, finally,
the death of Moses on Mount Nebo.
One of its most significant verses is Deuteronomy 6:4, the Shema Yisrael, which has been described as the definitive statement of Jewish identity for theistic Jews:
"Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God,
The LORD is one."
were also quoted by Jesus in Mark 12:28–34
Hear, O Israel, and be careful to observe them, so that you
may prosper and multiply greatly
a land flowing with milk and honey,
the LORD, the God of your fathers,
has promised you
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God,
the LORD is
(Luke-trinity-anointing- kingdom united)
And you shall love
the LORD your God with
all your heart
and with all your soul
and with all your strength.…
Jesus declared, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with
all your soul and with all your mind.'
Jesus replied, "This is the most important:
'Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul
and with all your mind and with all your strength.'
He answered, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart
and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'
and 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"
I and the Father are one."
since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised
by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith.
1 Corinthians 8:4
So about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that an idol is nothing
at all in the world, and that there is no God but one.
"never again did there arise in Israel a prophet like Moses,"
make a claim for the authoritative Deuteronomistic view of theology and its
insistence that the worship of Yahweh as the sole deity of Israel was the only
permissible religion, having been sealed by the greatest of prophets.
Luke identifies Jesus as the
Prophet like Moses
Luke- describes the assumption of Mary, whom is Elijah
Moses and Elijah are prophets like 'Jesus prior to unification
of the 'trinity that occurs in risen form
in Acts 3:22 more clearly than in any other text in Lk-Acts.
More importantly, Luke specifically presents
Jesus in this Mosaic role in his risen state.
Deuteronomy 12–26, the Deuteronomic Code, is a series of mitzvot (commands)
to the Israelites regarding how they should conduct themselves in the Promised Land.
Luke culminates and terminates his promotion of
the title of Prophet like Moses for the risen Jesus.
Luke's interest in the Mosiac title for the risen Jesus, however,
does not come as a surprise in Acts.
Rather, prophetic texts and themes throughout
the third gospel prepare
for the Mosaic title in Acts 3:22 and 7:37
Elijah ascends (assumption Mary) burnt offering
Ceremonies, offerings, and obligations from numbers and Deuteronomy
now fulfilled in Mary and Joseph
Moses ascends- grain offering
Elijah and Moses become the 2 witnesses that appear at the end
Joshua is appointed to lead in place of Moses to enter promise land
The Order to Cross the Jordan
Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, "Pass through the camp and command the people, saying,
'Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you will cross over this Jordan,
to go in to possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you to possess.’ ”
Remember the word which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, saying,
The Lord your God is giving you rest and is giving you this land.’
Your wives, your little ones, and your livestock shall remain in the land which Moses gave you on this side of the Jordan.
But you shall [d]pass before your brethren armed, all your mighty men of valor, and help them, until the Lord has given your brethren rest, as He gave you, and they also have taken possession of the land which the Lord your God is giving them.
Then you shall return to the land of your possession and enjoy it, which Moses the Lord’s servant gave you on this side of the Jordan toward the sunrise.”
Joshua and the 12 tribes (12 disciples) pass over the Jordan- (first fruits)
Now the people came up from the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month,
and they camped in Gilgal on the east border of Jericho.
And those twelve stones which they took out of the Jordan, Joshua set up in Gilgal.
Then he spoke to the children of Israel,
saying: “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying,
‘What are these stones?’ then you shall let your children know,
saying, ‘Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry land’;
for the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed over,
that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty,
that you may fear the Lord your God forever.”
The Lord had sworn to their fathers that He would
give us, “a land flowing with milk and honey.”
Then Joshua circumcised their sons whom He raised up in their place; for they were uncircumcised, because they had not been circumcised on the way.
Then Joshua [ad]charged them at that time, saying, “Cursed be the man before the Lord who rises up and builds this city Jericho; he shall lay its foundation with his firstborn, and with his youngest he shall set up its gates.”
The inheritance of the children of Simeon was included in the share of the children of Judah, for the share of the children of Judah was [db]too much for them. Therefore the children of Simeon had their inheritance within the inheritance of [dc]that people.
When they had [di]made an end of dividing the land as an inheritance according to their borders, the children of Israel gave an inheritance among them to Joshua the son of Nun. 50 According to the word of the Lord they gave him the city which he asked for, Timnath Serah in the mountains of Ephraim; and he built the city and dwelt in it.
51 These were the inheritances which Eleazar the priest, Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel divided as an inheritance by lot in Shiloh before the Lord, at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. So they made an end of dividing the country.
The Promise Fulfilled
43 So the Lord gave to Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they took possession of it and dwelt in it. 44 The Lord gave them rest all around, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers. And not a man of all their enemies stood against them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand. 45 Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.
To determine whether Luke promotes Jesus as the Prophet like Moses
after his resurrection,
this dissertation examines Acts 3:22 and 7:37, two Lukan texts that contain Dt 18:15ff. The topic is analyzed in three stages. Dt 18:15, 18 in its original context as well as Old Testament traditions associated with prophecy that were utilized by Luke; Luke's treatment of Dt 18:15,18 in Acts 3:22 and 7:37; and his use of the title and traditions of "prophet" throughout the gospel.
The Mosaic text, Dt 18:15,18, originally authenticated God's occasional sending of a prophet to Israel. Luke, however, alters its meaning in Acts 3:22 and 7:37 to include the Prophet Jesus. Further,
Luke combines the formerly separate OT traditions of
the rejection and the murder of the prophet and applies them to Jesus.
Luke identifies Jesus as the Prophet like Moses in Acts 3:22
more clearly than in any other text in Lk-Acts. More importantly,
Luke specifically presents Jesus in this
Mosaic role in his risen state.
In addition to Dt 18:15ff Luke employs other Mosaic and prophetic titles and traditions to characterize the risen Jesus in Acts 3. Later, in Acts 7:37
Luke repeats the prophecy of Dt 18:15ff within Stephen's programmatic speech.
In a synthesis of the themes of rejection, murder, and Jerusalem.
Luke culminates and terminates his promotion
of the title of Prophet "like" Moses
for the risen Jesus.
Luke's interest in the Mosiac title for the risen Jesus, however,
does not come as a surprise in Acts.
Rather, prophetic texts and themes throughout the third gospel
for the Mosaic title in Acts 3:22 and 7:37.
In this way Luke presents a master plan to describe
Jesus as "prophet" from his
earliest ministry to his resurrection,
when the risen Jesus
fulfills the role of
the Prophet like Moses in Acts 3:22 and 7:37
Isaiah 59.19-21 provides not only a prediction of the
but imposes a sequential and thematic coherence on Acts 2,
(1) the powerful rushing sound
(2) of the wind/Spirit and the 'words in the mouth'/speaking (Joel 2)
(3) which cause
(4) the universal
(5) fear of
(6) the Lord's name and his glory.
(7) In this way, the redeemer (Ps. 16)
(8) comes to Zion/Jerusalem
(9) to Jacob/Jews, who, upon their repentance,
(10) will receive the covenant/promise of the Spirit
(11) that shall not depart from him (Jesus) nor from his children
nor from their children forever.
Thus Isa. 59.19-21 serves as the programmatic statement for the book of Acts,
building upon its mirrored programmatic passage (Isa. 61.1-2)
Luke's first volume.
In Luke, Jesus is the prototypical bearer of the Spirit;
in Acts, the bestower of the Spirit.
The Spirit, expressed in the growing and multiplying 'word',
is the unifying and structuring theme in Acts.
This thesis solves a number of problems in Acts studies.
Laws of religious observance
- All sacrifices are to be brought and vows are to be made at a central sanctuary.
- The worship of Canaanite gods is forbidden. The order is given to destroy their places of worship and to commit genocide against Canaanites and others with "detestable" religious beliefs.
- Native mourning practices such as deliberate disfigurement are forbidden.
- The procedure for tithing produce or donating its equivalent is given.
- A catalog of which animals are permitted and which are forbidden for consumption is given.
- The consumption of animals that are found dead and have not been slaughtered is prohibited.
- Sacrificed animals must be without blemish.
- First-born male livestock must be sacrificed
- The Pilgrimage Festivals of Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot are instituted.
- The worship at Asherah groves and the setting up of ritual pillars are forbidden.
- Prohibition of mixing kinds of crops, livestock, and fabrics.
- Tzitzit are obligatory.
- Judges are to be appointed in every city.
- Judges are to be impartial and bribery is forbidden.
- A central tribunal is established.
- Should the Israelites choose to be ruled by a King, regulations for the office are given.
- Regulations of the rights, and revenue, of the Levites are given.
- Concerning the future (unspecified) prophet.
- Regulations for the priesthood are given.
- Debts are to be released in the seventh year.
- Regulations of the institution of slavery and the procedure for freeing slaves.
- Regulations for the treatment of foreign wives taken in war.
- Regulations permitting taking slaves and booty in war.
- Lost property, once found, is to be restored to its owner
- Marriages between women and their stepsons are forbidden.
- The camp is to be kept clean.
- Usury is forbidden except for gentiles.
- Regulations for vows and pledges are given.
- The procedure for tzaraath (a disfiguration condition) is given.
- Hired workers are to be paid fairly.
- Justice is to be shown towards strangers, widows, and orphans.
- Portions of crops ("gleaning") are to be given to the poor.
- The rules for false witnesses are given.
- The procedure for a bride whose virginity has been questioned is given.
- Various laws concerning adultery, fornication, and rape are given.
- Kidnapping another Israelite is forbidden.
- Just weights and measures are obligatory.
Numbers and Deuteronomy- Numbers begins with Israel ready to take the Land that God promised to Abraham. The people enter the promised land but Moses and Aaron do not. Deuteronomy emphasizes the fact that God renews his covenant with his people. Passages like Deuteronomy chapter 8 indicate that the love of God is the most important motivation for their service. Moses ends by telling the people that the words of the covenant are their lives, not just idle words.
The prophet Isaiah, active in Jerusalem about a century before Josiah, makes no mention of the Exodus, covenants with God, or disobedience to God's laws; in contrast Isaiah's contemporary Hosea, active in the northern kingdom of Israel, makes frequent reference to the Exodus, the wilderness wanderings, a covenant, the danger of foreign gods and the need to worship Yahweh alone; this has led scholars to the view that these traditions behind Deuteronomy have a northern origin. Whether the Deuteronomic code – the set of laws at chapters 12–26 which form the original core of the book – was written in Josiah's time (late 7th century) or earlier is subject to debate, but many of the individual laws are older than the collection itself. The two poems at chapters 32–33 – the Song of Moses and the Blessing of Moses were probably originally independent. Deuteronomy, after becoming the introduction to the history, was later detached from it and included with Genesis–Exodus–Leviticus–Numbers because it already had Moses as its central character. According to this hypothesis, the death of Moses was originally the ending of Numbers, and was simply moved from there to the end of Deuteronomy.
Deuteronomy stresses the uniqueness of God, the need for drastic
centralisation of worship, and a concern for the position of the poor and disadvantaged.
The themes of Deuteronomy in relation to Israel are election, faithfulness, obedience, and Yahweh's promise of blessings, all expressed through the covenant: "obedience is not primarily a duty imposed by one party on another, but an expression of covenantal relationship." Yahweh has elected Israel as his special property (Deuteronomy 7:6 and elsewhere), and Moses stresses to the Israelites the need for obedience to God and covenant, and the consequences of unfaithfulness and disobedience
The core of Deuteronomy is the covenant that binds Yahweh and Israel by oaths of fidelity and obedience.God will give Israel blessings of the land, fertility, and prosperity so long as Israel is faithful to God's teaching; disobedience will lead to curses and punishment. But, according to the Deuteronomists, Israel's prime sin is lack of faith, apostasy: contrary to the first and fundamental commandment ("Thou shalt have no other gods before me") the people have entered into relations with other gods. Its many themes can be organized around
The three poles of Israel,
and the covenant which binds them together.
Husbands, love your wives, just as
Christ loved the church
and gave himself up for her
The Holy Trinity
49 Remember your word to your servant,
for you have given me hope.
50 My comfort in my suffering is this:
Your promise preserves my life.
51 The arrogant mock me unmercifully,
but I do not turn from your law.
52 I remember, Lord, your ancient laws,
and I find comfort in them.
53 Indignation grips me because of the wicked,
who have forsaken your law.
54 Your decrees are the theme of my song
wherever I lodge.
55 In the night, Lord, I remember your name,
that I may keep your law.
56 This has been my practice:
I obey your precepts.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is
The old-has passed away; behold, the
new has come.
And I will give you anew heart,
and anew spirit I will put within-you.
And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh
and give you a-heart of flesh.
And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and
the heart of your offspring,
so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart
and with all your soul,
that you may live.
For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly,
nor circumcision outward and physical.
But a Jew is one inwardly,
and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit,
not by the letter.
his praise is not from man but from God.
and hope does not put us to shame,
because God’s love has been-poured into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
God Is Love
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves
has been born of God and knows God.
The Greek word agape
Is often translated “love” in the New Testament. How is “agape love”
different from other types of love? The essence of agape love is goodwill,
benevolence, and willful delight in the object of love.
Unlike our English word love, agape is not used in the New Testament to refer to romantic or sexual love. Nor does it refer to close friendship or brotherly love, for which the Greek word philia is used.
Agape love involves faithfulness, commitment, and an act of the will.
It is distinguished from the other types of love by its
lofty moral nature and strong character.
Agape love is beautifully described in 1 Corinthians 13.
Outside of the New Testament, the word agape is used in a variety of contexts, but in the vast majority of instances in the New Testament it carries distinct meaning. Agape is almost always used to describe the love that is of and from God, whose very nature is love itself: “God is love” (1 John 4:8). God does not merely love; He is love. Everything God does flows from His love.
Agape is also used to describe our love for God (Luke 10:27),
a servant’s faithful respect to his master (Matthew 6:24),
and a man’s attachment to things (John 3:19).
The type of love that characterizes God is not a sappy, sentimental feeling such as we often hear portrayed. God loves because that is His nature and the expression of His being. He loves the unlovable and the unlovely, not because we deserve to be loved or because of any excellence we possess, but because it is His nature to love and He must be true to His nature.
Agape love is always shown by what it does. God’s love is displayed most clearly at the cross. “God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:4–5, ESV). We did not deserve such a sacrifice, “but God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). God’s agape love is unmerited, gracious, and constantly seeking the benefit of the ones He loves. The Bible says we are the undeserving recipients of His lavish agape love (1 John 3:1).
God’s demonstration of agape love
led to the sacrifice of
the Son of God for those He loves.
We are to love others with agape love,
whether they are fellow believers (John 13:34)
or bitter enemies (Matthew 5:44).
Jesus gave the parable of the Good Samaritan
as an example of sacrifice for the sake of others, even for
those who may care nothing at all for us.
Agape love as modeled by Christ is not based
on a feeling; rather, it is a determined act of the will,
a joyful resolve to put the welfare of others above our own.
Agape love does not come naturally to us.
Because of our fallen nature, we are incapable of
producing such a love. If we are to love as
God loves, that love—that agape--
can only come from its Source.
“This is how we know what love is:
Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.
And we ought to
lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters”
(1 John 3:16).
Because of God’s love toward us, we are able to
love one another.
Love Fulfills the Law
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,”[a] and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[b] 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
1 Peter 3:7
Husbands, in the same way, treat your wives
with consideration as a delicate vessel,
and with honor as fellow heirs of the gracious gift of life,
so that your prayers will not be hindered.
and walk in love, just as Christ loved us and
gave Himself up for us as a
fragrant sacrificial offering to God.
the voice which I heard from heaven
spoke to me again
"Go, take the little book which is open
in the hand of the angel
who stands on the sea and on the earth."
So I went to the angel and said to him,
"Give me the little book." And he said to me, "Take and eat it..."
"Take and eat it." -
sounds like what Jesus said to His apostles when
He told them to
eat the unleavened bread at the Passover service.
Revelation 10:9-10 And he said to me,
"Take and eat it; and it will make your
stomach bitter, but it will be
as sweet as honey in your mouth."
Then I took the little book out of the angel's hand and ate it,
it was as sweet as honey in my mouth.
But when I
had eaten it, my stomach became bitter.
Let's first understand who the "angel" is here - who's holding this book in His hand,
who stands on the sea and on the land.
This is Jesus Christ.
He is the "angel." If you go back to chapter 10, verse 1, you'll see that the
symbolism cannot be anyone else.
Revelation 10:1 I saw still another mighty angel coming down from heaven, clothed with a cloud. [Now, who went up in a cloud?]
And a rainbow was on his head,
his face was like the sun [Whose face is like the sun?], and his feet like pillars of fire. He had a little book open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea and his left
foot on the land, and cried
with a loud voice, as when a lion roars.
lion of the tribe of Judah
When he cried out, seven thunders uttered their voices.
That is, after His uttering, after His ministry.
So we see the time element there, that this Lion of Judah (whose face shines like the sun) spoke first and laid everything out. And then the seven thunders took up from where He left off and uttered their message as well - after Him, in succession. So the "angel"
from whose hand
John took the little book was Jesus Christ.
Now, who in the Bible is the one that gives the words for His ministers? It's Jesus Christ. He is the Word! He is the Logos. And the Bible is His authoritative message to the church.
It is the authoritative message - the Words, the spirit
(the words which are spirit and which are life, as it says there in John) -
that He gives to His prophets and to His apostles to teach others.
This is Jesus Christ. All the imagery fits.
So the Head of the church, the original "lion that roared,"
the original "thunder"
gives to His servant John - who was
both an apostle and a prophet.
He was the one who wrote this particular book of the Bible -
which was full of prophecy.
So he must have been both an apostle and a prophet.
[Christ gave John]
a book - the scroll
His words - to eat, to ingest.
Now, it was very pleasing to his taste.
I think that's the way we all approach the Bible. We love to go in there and study the Bible, and find new things, and to really take it in. And it is very good going down, but the consequences of eating it are quite unsettling once we understand what it is telling us to do. It can be even sickening in the way that it turns our world upside down.
In a way, you might even say that this "tasting good" is like our first love -
where we are all zealous for it.
And then, as we come to understand what it really means and
how it affects our life,
it becomes less and less and less sweet and more and more bitter.
And it makes us do things that are wrenching to our lives.
That's where the bitterness comes in.
We very often don't want to do the things that it tells us we must do.
And so it causes upset. It causes even pain.
And sometimes it causes even calamity - when we have to go against, let's say, a family member who does not like what we are doing.
It might cause the disruption of a family. It might cause the losing of a job. It might cause persecution. And it can cause death. That's how bitter it can be. And how bitter is death?
Now I think (and this is just my own little heresy) that what this means - when it says his stomach became bitter - is that it's not just queasy.
John threw up.
He just fell to the ground and threw up
all his guts, let's say
(to make it as gross as possible).
A little later, it says that the angel stood there and said,
"John, get up. Rise."
Remember that he had gone to
take the book,
and then he ate it.
And as soon as he ate it, he thought it tasted good;
but then it made his stomach bitter.
And I think he fell down and threw up.
I think that is in here to show us the reaction.
God is working here with symbols, and behaviors,
and very starkly opposite things.
That's the quickness.
He loved it.
It went down, and hit his stomach,
and came right back up again.
God wants us to see the reaction. Like in Ezekiel, in many cases, God worked with a man's behavior. He wants us to see how wrenching taking God's Words into us is to a life.
We come out of a world that is
totally opposite of His way.
And when these two - let's say, "water and oil" - meet,
it causes a reaction.
Maybe "vinegar and soda" would be better... [Blaaaaaaaaah.] And up it comes!
So there's a great deal here to show us
that things are not easy.
That is, putting together our way of life before
and God's way of life as He gives it to us.
And then He tells John,
"You have to speak about this. You have to talk about this."
But the result of this -
that he has taken it in - is that
now he has the inspiration, the information, and
the strength to
prophesy, or to preach, again.
Even though it caused this great queasiness, this upset
(the unsettling, sickening, painful feeling that he got),
it still filled him and gave him the strength
and the energy that he needed to
do the work that he was being given.
We cannot divorce John's prophecies from the prophecies of the Old Testament.
What Jesus Christ does in the book of Revelation is
to pull together all the pertinent prophecies from the Old Testament
into a cogent cohesive whole that gives us
all the information we need to know about end-time events.
I didn't say that it would give us all the information,
but just what we need to know about end-time events.
So what we see in Ezekiel 1:26 and down through Ezekiel 3:27 is the little book prophecy of Revelation 10; but here it's called the scroll prophecy. What's the difference between a scroll and a book? Not much! Both of them are made into something delectable for the prophet to ingest, and both have the same reaction. But Ezekiel's vision, Ezekiel's prophecy, fills out the details of what happens to John. (This may seem to be a long digression that we are taking here, but it is very important as background to the Two Witnesses.) I just want to pull in part of chapter 1, because this is where Ezekiel sees the mobile throne of God and all the cherubim. In verse 26, we get to God Himself.
Ezekiel 1:26-28 And above the firmament over their heads
was the likeness of a throne,
in appearance like a sapphire stone;
on the likeness of the throne was a likeness with the appearance of a man high above it.
Also from the appearance of His waist and upward I saw, as it were, the color of amber with the appearance of fire all around within it; and from the appearance of His waist and downward I saw, as it were, the appearance of fire with brightness all around. Like the
appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day,
so was the appearance of the brightness all around it.
This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.
This correlates directly with Revelation 10:1-2 in the description of the angel,
in a cloud, with a rainbow,
and the brightness of his face and all the rest.
And if you match this with Revelation 1:13-16, you'll see that there are other correlations between this in Ezekiel 1 and the Son of Man as He is described there in Revelation 1. So this is who we are dealing with here -
the very God of all the universe,
who became Jesus Christ.
Ezekiel 1:28 . . . So when I saw it, I fell on my face,
and I heard a voice of One speaking.
Ezekiel 2:1-10 And He said to me,
"Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak to you."
Then the Spirit entered me when He spoke to me,
and set me on my feet; and
I heard Him who spoke to me.
And He said to me: "Son of man, I am sending you to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have transgressed against Me to this very day. For they are impudent and stubborn children. I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD.' As for them, whether they hear or whether they refuse - for they are a rebellious house - yet they will know that a prophet has been among them. And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you dwell among scorpions; do not be afraid of their words or dismayed by their looks, though they are a rebellious house. You shall speak My words to them, whether they hear or whether they refuse, for they are rebellious. But you, son of man, hear what I say to you. Do not be rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you." Now when I looked, there was a hand stretched out to me; and behold, a scroll of a book was in it. Then He spread it before me; and there was writing on the inside and on the outside, and written on it were lamentations and mourning and woe.
Ezekiel 3:2-2 Moreover He said to me, "Son of man, eat what you find; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel."
So I opened my mouth, and
He caused me to eat that scroll.
That's why I did that disgusting noise [earlier] because it sounded like God just pushed it right in, all the way to his tonsils. And he could do nothing else but swallow.
Ezekiel 3:3-15 And He said to me, "Son of man, feed your belly, and fill your stomach with this scroll that I give you." So I ate, and it was in my mouth like honey in sweetness. [Where have we heard that before?] Then He said to me, "Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with My words to them. For you are not sent to a people of unfamiliar speech and of hard language, but to the house of Israel, not to many people of unfamiliar speech and of hard language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely, had I sent you to them, they would have listened to you. [There's some irony for you.] But the house of Israel will not listen to you, because they will not listen to Me; for all the house of Israel are impudent and hard-hearted. Behold, I will make your face strong against their faces, and your forehead strong against their foreheads. [You're going to be just as stubborn as they are.] Like adamant stone, harder than flint, I have made your forehead; do not be afraid of them, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they are a rebellious house." [How many times has He said that?] Moreover He said to me: "Son of man, receive into your heart all My words that I speak to you, and hear with your ears. And go, get to the captives, to the children of your people, and speak to them and tell them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD,' whether they hear, or whether they refuse." Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me a great thunderous voice [Isn't that interesting?] "Blessed is the glory of the LORD from His place!" I also heard the noise of the wings of the living creatures that touched one another, and the noise of the wheels beside them, and a great thunderous noise. So the Spirit lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the LORD was strong upon me. Then I came to the captives at Tel Abib, who dwelt by the River Chebar; and I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished among them seven days [a whole week].
I want to point out a few things that we just went through here. You saw how many correlations there were between Revelation 10:8-10 and Ezekiel 2 and 3. I just want to run through these as quickly as we can. We already noticed that
the same Being gives Ezekiel his commission as
He gives John in the vision.
It was a rainbow, the cloud, the brightness, the fire, the sun -
all those symbols match up quite clearly and succinctly.
Another thing, Ezekiel is sent to Israel and told to preach God's Word. He's supposed to do it, whether they listen or not. The preaching of the apostles was similar. Do you remember when Jesus told His apostles, "Go out and preach the word. If somebody seems good in that place, go ahead and stay in his house; and continue preaching until you wear out your welcome. But if nobody in that town wants to bid you welcome, then shake the dust off your feet and leave that place. So, whether they hear you or whether they don't hear you, preach the word." That is, "say God's words to them."
Now, who did Jesus Christ send His apostles to? The lost sheep of the house of Israel, primarily. Then He told them that they would preach first in Jerusalem, and then in Samaria, and then to the ends of the earth. But the apostles made it a habit to first go to the Israelites. And then when the Israelites rejected them (whether Jews or other Israelites), then they went to the Gentiles and spoke the words - just as they were commanded to do. So the commissions are very similar.
And it's very clear that God thinks and knows that Israel is rebellious and that they would not hear. So the Gentiles got the benefit of the preaching, in many cases; and Israel will one day rue that. We read one of those prophecies early on - that they are going to come to pretty much hate themselves for the way that they treated God and His prophets.
Also I should mention here that, in Galatians 6:16, the church is called "the Israel of God." So we have a physical/spiritual parallel here. Not only is Ezekiel (as well as John the apostle) told to go to the house of Israel physically; but here, especially in New Testament times, the church itself has become God's Israel. The church is the recipient of God's favor and His attention during this time.
Another point: Ezekiel - like John - is told to eat a scroll of a book. In John's time, it was simply "a book." But in Ezekiel's time it was more common to use scrolls (rather than books, like we use them), but the figure is the same. Notice that the contents of the book are more explicitly shown in Ezekiel 2:10. The writing on it was lamentations, mourning, and woe.
Not a very happy message!
The message that was given
by the prophets and by the apostles is
the same thing that John acted out
when he ate
It was bitter in his stomach; and it caused all this pain, an unsettling feeling, and calamity. And, of course, the overall message of the entire book is that things are bad. Things are really bad, and they are going to get worse. They are going to get worse before they can get better. There's a bright hope at the very end of things, but we have to go through a lot of bad things to get there. So the overall tone of this message, then, is rather a downer - lamentations, mourning, and woe. (Not fun to be an apostle, or to be a prophet.)
Both of them are specifically told to eat first, and then to speak - meaning that there's a time of preparation where they are taught, where they are instructed, where they are made ready for their jobs; and then they are sent out to the "wolves." That's the way it seems.
Along that same line, God makes Ezekiel equal to the task. Remember that it said He made Ezekiel's forehead just as hard as the Israelite's forehead. So this is another part of the preparation of the servant, or prophet. They are going to have faces as strong as the others, and foreheads as strong as the others. "Harder than flint," He says. That's pretty hard and tough.
You have to be quite a tough man to be one of God's prophets.
It says, "Receive it into your heart."
That's in Ezekiel 3:10. Elsewhere there are several scriptures that talk about this. What is written on our hearts is His law, His character, His way of life, and His covenant. Those are basically just four different ways of talking about the same thing. It's God's revelation to mankind. That's what is written in our hearts (or, what should be).
You'll probably recognize Jeremiah 31, where the
new covenant is given.
God says that He would make a
new covenant with Israel
write His law on our hearts.
That is the message that is written into the heart of the
servant of God - the prophet.
And what comes out of the heart? "
Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks."
man's heart must be prepared
before he can actually utter a
Word of God's
That's what we see, in symbol, happening to Ezekiel here. He's being prepared for his mission. He's to preach this message, no matter what. And we probably have the best articulation of this in I Corinthians 9:16, where Paul says: "Woe unto me, if I preach not the gospel." It was such a part of his heart that he felt certain doom - a curse - if he did not speak what God had written on his heart. And so he was motivated to do that. All the time, anywhere he was, whatever the situation - that's what he lived for.
Now, we didn't read this one; but notice
in Ezekiel 1:24 (where it's talking about God's mobile throne), it says:
Ezekiel 1:24 When they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of many waters, like the voice of the Almighty, a tumult like the noise of an army;
and when they stood still, they let down their wings.
What I am talking about here
is the "noise," the sound,
the voice of
Then we saw several scriptures where it talked about
God's voice being
He heard thunder around him.
This connects, then, with Revelation 10 - with the
These symbols are not here by chance.
There are good clues to show that these are parallels, between the Old Testament
and New Testament.
This is kind of interesting. The bitterness that he experienced is explained in Ezekiel 3:14.
Ezekiel 3:14 So the Spirit lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness, [and then there's a kind of parenthetical phrase here, that explains his bitterness. He says...]
in the heat of my spirit.
Now, I don't know if your margin has this, but my margin says anger for the word "heat." That is, the anger of my spirit. Just hold on to that. It's kind of interesting. What he is talking about here is a kind of zeal - a heat of one's spirit. It's motivating! Something that makes you get up everyday and do something. You have this feeling right inside you that you can't suppress. You have to express it somehow. And the prophet does it through his preaching. But just remember that - "in the heat of my spirit," "in the anger of my spirit." We'll come back to that.
It also involves a bit of astonishment. He was astonished seven days! He couldn't believe what had happened to him. And I think this is a characteristic that the prophets have to have. They have to see the world and say, "What in the world is going on here?" Totally dumbfounded, almost, at the things that are going on. They have to see the total disconnect between the way it should be and the way it is! That's why they are so dumbfounded. They see things so clearly - from God's perspective - that it just dismays them to see what's going on in the world.
And then when you combine this dismay
(this dumbfoundedness, this astonishment) with this heat of their spirit,
they have to say something about it.
Or, at least, to point it out and say,
"Look. Don't you see?
This is what God says about this certain thing."
The next section I want to read begins with Ezekiel 3:16. In the New King James, it says
"Ezekiel is a watchman."
This was after his period of astonishment.
Now he was ready to work.
Ezekiel 3:16-21 Now it came to pass at the end of seven days that the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
"Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear the word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me: when I say to the wicked, 'You shall surely die,' and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at your hand. Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul. Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; also you will have delivered your soul."
The rest of it just tells that Ezekiel himself will be a sign,
by being struck dumb.
The only words that he was able to speak
(like the lamb to the slaughter before the great reversal)
were what God gave him.
And that was how they would know that it was God speaking.
What this says is that the
servant of God is a watchman sent to warn the people.
What God dwells on here is the sins.
He's to warn them of their sins.
There is also the element of warning them of what's coming.
But this warning message also has a very personal and individual aspect to it.
It's not just going and telling the world,
"The great tribulation is coming, and Jesus is coming not long thereafter."
But there's also the part of
"show My people their sins." "
Look, you perverts.
This is not the way it should be!
This is the way God has said.
You should change.
You should repent."
So this is what Ezekiel was supposed to do -
with the bitterness, the anger, and the astonishment
that had been building up inside him for seven days.
And God says,
"Okay. This is how you channel that attitude and those emotions.
You give a warning message, as a watchman."
Obviously, such a job would bring him into conflict with the people.
People don't like to hear such a message.
They don't like to hear that things are going down the tubes, and
they don't like to hear that they are personally responsible.
But that's, basically, what the watchman's message is. Nothing changes
unless it begins in the individual.
The individual must change! He must repent.
He must go God's way.
And as more individuals do this, society will change.
But he's already been told that everything he says is going to fall on deaf ears.
So he must have that forehead of flint,
that strong face, to keep repeating the message until he dies.
So what we take from all this in Ezekiel 2 and 3 is that the
preaching of the seven thunders, and the Two Witnesses, will follow this pattern. How can I say that?
The little book - the giving of the little book - is sandwiched
(pardon the pun) between the seven thunders and the
It applies to both.
The seven thunders
preach the same message
as the Two Witnesses - as Ezekiel preached!
What we've gone through in Ezekiel 2 and 3 is the pattern for all of God's prophets (or, you could add "apostles" as well).
They all do the same thing. They all preach the same message. God doesn't change! He says that twice in the Book, at least. The same message - all the time, to the same people (Israel), and it's always the same. Preach the words of this revelation - this Book. It's a message of warning. It's a message of repentance. It's a message of growth. And that's just the way it is. It never changes. Why should God change? It's a process that works. It's the way He has set it up. "The foolishness of preaching," Paul calls it. But it sure does witness. That's what it all comes down to.
It makes a witness for God.
"You are My witnesses, that I am God."
That is the bottom line
of every message that every prophet
has ever given.
Every prophet - every apostle -
is always pointing back, saying,
"These are the words of the LORD. By this way you will
come to know Him and to be like Him."
And so why are they called the Two Witnesses?
Because they are the slam-bang
end of all of it,
and they give the most significant
witness of God of all time.
Revelation 11:3 "And I will give power to My two witnesses..."
Do you know what that actually says? "I will give to
these witnesses of Me."
Isn't that interesting? He doesn't say He just possesses them.
That is, that they are His witnesses. He says that they witness "of Me."
They are pointing the world to Jesus Christ
and thus on to God the Father
The whole Old Testament points to
and the whole New Testament
tells His story.
So the whole Bible is also a witness of Jesus Christ and therefore onto God the Father. Everything comes down to witnessing of Jesus Christ. What are we called? "Christians." Our whole lives are totally focused (should be focused) on showing Jesus Christ in us. And these Two Witnesses are the pinnacles of that, among men. They'll do it for 3½ years, in the face of the entire world.
It's very interesting, when we get into this next time,
how these Two Witnesses correlate with Jesus Christ Himself.
They are going to be personal "images" of Jesus Christ
(if you take that in the proper way).
We are all supposed to come into the image of Jesus Christ, and these Two Witnesses - these two prophets - really show it to the world.
It's like they are two "Christs" walking the earth.