Shalom, shalom. This is Crystal Sharpe and welcome to the Ancient Scrolls program.
The feast of the Lord Yom T’ruah and Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement is over, and now the feast of Booths or Tabernacles begins tonight. In Hebrew it would be called Sukkot. The feast of Booths, or Sukkot, goes by other appellations like the feast of the Nations, and also the feast of Rejoicing. This feast is a rehearsal for an event yet future, the wedding feast of the Lamb found in Revelation 19.
If one understood the feasts of the Lord, one would be able to understand when reading Revelation that it is around these fall feasts where some major world events occur. Even now, it was a couple of evenings before Yom Kippur that President Trump announced (the 6th of October) the withdrawal of American troops from Syria. This gives Turkey, the once Caliphate State for Islam during the Ottoman Empire, the freedom to exercise their military in the fight against the Kurds. Of course as it is in the political arena there was this posturing to protect the Syrian immigrants in a buffer zone. Instead, Turkey begins the process of killing the Kurds. I am thinking this will allow other significant events to occur.
Now, what I am seeing in the Middle East is the forming of the beast, ISIS, which is an acronym for Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (al-sham/Levant). Our involvement in the Middle East has delayed its full development. Its strategy is to gain territory, because having territory legitimizes it as an entity to be recognized by all the world. This is quite exciting where we are in the world because all of it is prophecy being fulfilled. France has been considering for a few years of giving its southern half to the Muslims. Germany has always been affiliated with the Muslims and most likely will form with the Islamic State. We are seeing the rise of an Islamic Empire forming in the Middle East. The media, journalists do not want to use that term yet, because it has not morphed to that degree of what we know from history. What is obvious is that history is repeating itself again. We have hindered it. Once we are taken out of the way, then the Beast, or Empire of Islam, Confederate Islam (if you will) in Revelation 13 will become a significant force to cope with until it is finally destroyed by the return of Yesua. The good news is Yeshua is returning.
So this is where we are in the world today, watching prophecy being fulfilled.
I guess it’s been three weeks or so that we have been studying those earthquakes that were associated with resurrections. Matthew gave us some details on an earthquake occurring at the death of Yeshua that awoke the dead and then at His resurrection there was a great earthquake and those in the tombs came forth with Him and they went into the city of Jerusalem and were seen by many.
Ezekiel 37 also mentions a loud cry being given and an earthquake that summons the bones of the dead to rejoin each other, then they are covered with sinews and flesh, and finally these resurrected receive breath and live. Powerful imagery is seen in this chapter.
Using these as patterns we have been looking at those passages in Revelation that contain earthquakes and trying to make an educated guess on which one may be the one to wake the dead.
I will recite the Shema: Shema O Yisrael, the Lord God the Lord is one
Psalm 24. This is the passage is summoned over the Altar of the Lord by the priests to proclaim God’s sovereignty over all the earth.
The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof; the earth and those who dwell therein.
Let us pray:
Blessed are You O Lord our God, King of the universe. King over heaven and earth. We rejoice in Your cycles. We are appreciative of You revealing Your plans to creation through Revelation. Revelation 1:3, Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near. Surely we are a blessed people because we read and hear the prophetic book of Revelation. We desire Your return and the resurrection, we wait for the restoration of Israel and the nations. We eagerly await the Messianic Age where righteousness and justice will prevail over all the false religions of the world, over the arrogance and pride of the nations. We bless You, You are the Sovereign King over all the earth. Amen
Okay, last time we made it to the second earthquake in Revelation 8 where the seventh seal is broken. In this passage there was silence of a space of half an hour. Everything is hushed. Then another angel, having a golden firepan (censer) comes and stands at the altar (golden altar) where he is given much incense that would be offered with the prayers of the saints upon the golden altar before the throne. The smoke (kapnos, G2586) of the incense ascends with the prayers of the saints before God. Then the angel takes the firepan and fills it with hot coals of the altar and casts these to the earth, and there were voices (phone, G5456) thunders and lightnings and an earthquake.
The judgments in this passage are a direct result of the prayers and petitions of the martyrs that are found under the altar in the fifth seal in Revelation 6. After the incense and prayers are received the verdict is given and the judgments of the trumpets and bowls are released on the earth. The earth responds with an earthquake. But this is not the resurrection. It does remind me of the Hebrews being in the wilderness and it was in the third month (our May/June time which is the cycle of Pentecost) when Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Now Mt Sinai was completely covered in smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly. There are some elements here that are similar to Revelation 8. Exodus 19:16-18
I am thinking that the earth naturally convulses at His presence, and at His judgments.
So let’s go on to Revelation 11. In this chapter Israel is the focal point. Here John is seen with a reed like measuring rod, and he is told to measure the temple of God, the altar and those who worship there. The outside court has been given to the Gentiles, and it says they will tread the holy city for forty-two months.
This measuring could mean for preservation or destruction. It does not specify which it is. I would think for preservation because outside of it is given to the Gentiles.
Next we see two witnesses. In Revelation there are seen lots of witnesses, the 144,000 that represent thousands of others; there are those witnesses, the martyrs under the Altar of the Lord; there are the remnant saints of the churches (they are no longer called the church because they are persecuted, they are in a crucible being refined and preparing herself for the wedding, these are the overcomers—the saints. The Word doesn’t focus on the church anymore, but what the saints are doing); and chapter 12 is the woman Israel whom the 7-headed dragon is persecuting and her seed that keeps the commandments of God and the testimony of Yeshua; and in chapter 3:14 (Laodicean church) we have Yeshua being the True Witness.
Here in chapter 11, are two witnesses. These are prophets and they will prophesy one thousand, two hundred, and sixty days and clothed in sackcloth. Sackcloth is an abrasive material to the flesh, and it is a sign of deep mourning. These two witnesses are mourning because of the sins of Israel, they are mourning because of the death and destruction coming to Israel. Israel does not appear to want to repent.
They are said to be the two Olive Trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth. Everyone has their idea of who these two might be: Moses and Elijah, Enoch and Moses, Enoch and Elijah, so everyone is guessing at their identity and no one seems to know exactly who these two people are. In Numbers 11 were two witnesses that stayed in the camp of Israel: Medad and Eldad. They are said to have prophesied concerning the Gog U’Magog war at the end of the age.
John does not mention their identity. And what is odd about this is he was there at the Mount of Transfiguration during the feast of Tabernacles and saw Elijah and Moses speaking with Yeshua. Matthew 17, Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain to themselves. Verse 3, And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking to Him.
So, you would think John after seeing Elijah and Moses would understand these two witnesses to be them. Perhaps John would assume everyone would know their identity. John does not give us any information, but he does leave behind some information that they were the two Olive Trees and the two Lampstands standing before the God of the earth. That is what is given in verse 4 of Revelation 11.
This would be in reference to Zerubbabel and Joshua. Zerubbabel was the descendant of King David and Joshua was the High Priest. These were of the few who had returned to Jerusalem after the exile in Babylon. They were re-constructionists. Zerubbabel laid the foundation for the second Temple. They encountered a tremendous amount of opposition and resistance from their adversaries in building and finishing the second temple. Ezra 4.
In Revelation these two witnesses appear to have the same experience. Lots of frustration, lots of opposition, and lots of resistance, but these two have the power to destroy those who wants to harm them. It is noteworthy that at the beginning of chapter 11, the temple and the Altar is being measured along with those who worship there. It is like a repeated pattern we see with Zerubbabel and Joshua.
Because of the resistance and opposition from the adversaries of Israel, there were lots of delays in finishing the Temple, to the point that God finally had to address it.
In the second year of King Darius, in the sixth month, on the first day of the month, the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet to Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah and to Joshua the of Jehozadak, the high priest, saying: Thus speaks the LORD of hosts, saying: This people says, The time has NOT come, the time that the LORD’S house should be built.
Verse 4, Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses and this temple to lie in ruins? Now therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways! You have sown much, and brought in little; you eat, but you do not have enough; you drink, but you are not filled with drink; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; and he who earns wages, earns wages to put into a bag of holes.
Go up to the mountains and bring wood and build the temple that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified, says the LORD. You looked for much, but indeed it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away, Why? Says the LORD of hosts. Because of My house that is in ruins, while every one of you runs to his own house.
Therefore, the heavens above you withhold the dew, and the earth withholds its fruit. For I called a drought on the land and the mountains, on the grain and the new wine and the oil, on whatever the ground beings forth, on men and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands.
Here are similarities, the discussion in this chapter concerns the Temple as it does at the beginning of Revelation 11, and drought, and harassment by the enemies of Israel. Verse 6, These (two witnesses) have the power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over the waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire.
I am getting ready to end the program. Just a couple of more things. Haggai 1:13 says that the message of the prophet Haggai was relayed to everyone and it goes on to say: and the people feared the presence of the LORD. So the LORD stirred up the Spirit of Zerubbabel and Joshua and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and worked on the house of the LORD of hosts, their God.
So everyone is revived again and set about building the temple of God.
Haggai then possesses, like this Messianic zeal or fervor, as he spoke in God’s name to Zerubbabel, promising that not even royal powers like those of Persia could stand against God’s power:
“I will shake the heavens and the earth. I will overturn royal thrones and shatter the power of the foreign kingdoms. I will overthrow chariots and their drivers; horses and their riders will fall, each by the sword of his brother. On that day,” declares the Lord Almighty, “I will take you, my servant Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel,” declares the Lord, “and I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you.” (Haggai 2:21-23).
I am going to end the program. I would not say that these two witnesses are Zerubbabel or Joshua. John appears not to know who they are. I would say maybe peering into the lives of these two men (Zerubbabel and Joshua) would give us some information on the roles of the two witnesses in Revelation. Indeed, they are very special people with unique roles to fulfill.
Rico Cortes will sing the Aaronic blessing
If it is God’s will I will be here next program. Remember to walk by faith and not by sight. Do two things this week: love and forgive. Ask God to cleanse you from all unrighteousness every day. Keep your spiritual garments clean from wrinkles, spots and blemishes. Love God, love your neighbor