The 2 Witnesses
THE LIVING WORD CENTER, INC.
This is a very fascinating topic of the scriptures, which will be explained within the context of each passage. It’s an essential knowledge to have today, since we’re living in a chaotic and corrupted world.
Rev. Jay Werman, Director
Text based: 1 Th. 4:13-18
“13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
How many “raptures” are taught in the Scriptures?
There are ten different raptures taught in the entire Scriptures. We will specify each with their respective scriptures. For the born again Christians, the rapture of the church is the most important one, for which will end our probation period.
- First rapture taught in the Scriptures:
“Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” Gen. 5:22-24
The Hebrew word used for “God Took him” is “lâqach”, which mean as follow: “to take, get, fetch, lay hold of, seize, receive, acquire, buy, bring, marry, take a wife, snatch, take away”. The Greek word used in the passage below expanded the meaning in Gen. 5:24. In other words, both passages compliment each other to express the event that took place. The Hebrew word is used 975 times in the Old Testament
“By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” Heb. 11:5
The Greek word used for “Translated” is “metatithēmi”, which mean “to transfer, that is, (literally) transport, (by implication) exchange, (reflexively) change sides, or (figuratively) pervert: – carry over, change, remove, translate, turn.” Enoch was transported literally to the third heaven.
- Second rapture taught in the Scriptures:
Elijah was translated into the third heaven. 2 kings 2:11-12.
“And the sons of the prophets that were at Bethel came forth to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Lord will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he said, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.” V. 3
The Hebrew word “lâqach”, which translated here as “take away” is used in the same sense as Gen. 5:24. It’s repeated again in verse 5. The Scriptures gives details of how Elijah was rapture to the third heaven.
“And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.” V. 11
“went up” from the Hebrew meaning “to go up, ascend, climb”. Elijah was taken in a “whirlwind” from the Hebrew word “se‛ârâh”, which mean “tempest, storm, whirlwind”. God allowed Elisha to see this event by the use of “Spiritual discernment”.
- Third rapture taught in the Scriptures:
Jesus ascended to heaven to offer His blood and to sealed the covenant and came back the same day.
“And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her. Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.”
In verse 17 after Jesus was resurrected from the dead, he was translated to the third heaven to offer his own blood for us the day to appear to the disciples.
“Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father”. V. 17
Why Mary Magdalene couldn’t touch Jesus? When Jesus resurrected from the death, He rose as our “High Priest”, which couldn’t be touch by anyone before the offering of the blood. In fact, the consecration and purification rituals done by the high priest was extended for the entire week prior to the Day of Atonement. Exodus 28, 29; Leviticus 8. The Holy of Holies was divided by a veil (the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. Mat. 27:51), and no one was allowed to enter except the High Priest, and even he could only enter once a year on Yom Kippur (the day of atonement), to offer the blood of sacrifice and incense before the mercy seat. Jesus is mentioned as our high priest in Heb. 2:17; 3:1; 4:14-15; 5:5-10; 6:20; 7:26-28; 8:1; 9:11, 25; 10:21; 13:11.
“But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”
After Jesus spoke to Mary Magdalene, Jesus as our high priest went to the Holy of Holies in the temple in heaven and he came back the same day as it is stated in the above passage and in the below passage:
“Then THE SAME DAY at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.”
- Fourth rapture taught in the Scriptures:
The translation of the “captivity” where the saints or righteous went after died; also known as “Abraham bosom” in the story told by Jesus in Luke 16:19-31. After Jesus resurrection and His ascension to the third heaven, Jesus took this place and all the saints along with it was moved to “Paradise”, which is located in the third heaven. Observe what Paul said in the following passages:
” I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.”
2 Cor. 12:2
Note the language used in the next passage;
“How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.” V. 4
The captivity underneath the earth is emptied. All the saints of The Old Testament were raptured or translated into the third heaven when Jesus took them.
“Wherefore he saith, when he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.” Ephesians 4:8
Abraham’s bosom is now an empty space in the center of the earth and it’s a reminder to those in hell that the righteous are in a better place. It’s a separation between the wicked and the righteous for eternity.
“The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” Psalm 9:17
” For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.” Psalm 37:10
“And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” 1 John 2:17
- Fifth rapture taught in the Scriptures:
The ascension of Jesus to the third heaven in a literal cloud after His resurrection.
“To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.”
Noted the same statements in the following passages:
“And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.” Acts 1:9
“So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.” Mark 16:19
“And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.” Luke 24:51
- Sixth rapture taught in the Scriptures:
Paul was translated to the third heaven.
“I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.”
2 Cor. 12:2
The passage used the word “Caught up”, which in Greek is “harpazō”, meaning “to snatch out or away”, “to seize, carry off by force”. The same word is used in 1 Th. 4:17 related to the rapture of the church and in Acts 8:39:
“And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.”
- Seventh rapture taught in the Scriptures:
The rapture of the church, which is the general rapture that we all are waiting for. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” 1 Th. 4:17
“But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.”
1 Cor. 15:23
“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.”
1 Cor. 15:51-54
All the saints of the Old Testament are involved in the resurrection of theirs bodies.
- Eight rapture taught in the Scriptures:
The 2 witnesses of Rev. 11 will be translated to the third heaven after their resurrection as it is stated in Rev. 11:3-12
“And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.”
The two witnesses are Enoch and Elijah, who had not died because they are living in the third heaven since their raptured.
“And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. And after three days and an half the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.” Rev. 11:3-12
The context of the identity of these two witnesses:
“Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof? And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.” Zechariah 4:11-14
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” Mal. 4:5-6
Enoch and Elijah were translated previously to the third heaven (Gen. 5:24; Heb. 11:5; 2 Kings 2:11) will experience a rapture again but the difference in the last one is that they will ascend to the third heaven with a glorified body. Observe the law established in Hebrew 9:27 says:
“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”
Both man are living in the third heaven with a natural body and they will come back to bring Israel back to God after they fleet from Judea, fulfilling the prophetic word given by Jesus in Mat. 24:15-16. After that they both will die and will be resuscitate from the dead with a glorify body.
- Ninth rapture taught in the Scriptures:
The 144,000 Jews sealed by an angel (Rev. 7:2) in the first three and a half years of Daniel’s prophecy. Dan. 9:27; Rev. 7:1-8. These are not “the Jehovah witness” religion as they teach. It’s just a fallacy. These are JEWS, NOT GENTILES as it is expressed in the following passage;
“And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of ALL THE TRIBES OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL.”
The judgment angels were told:
“And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having THE SEAL OF THE LIVING GOD: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants (144,000 Jews) of our God in their foreheads.” Rev. 7:2-3
What keep these 144,000 from being harm? is it keeping the Sabbath as the Jehovah witnesses says? This is false and just another fallacy. What keep these 144,000 Jews from being harm by the judgements is that they are “sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.” Rev. 7:3
They will be caught up as the man-child as it is expressed in the following passage:
“And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.”
How we identified these 144,000 Jews as the man-child? Well, according to 1 Cor. 10:32 there 3 ethnic groups:
“Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God.”
The church is already gone by the time the great tribulation period start and the two ethnic groups left are The Jews and The Gentiles. The gentiles are the one persecuting the Jews, so they cannot be identify as “the man-child”. The only one left is the Jews, which identity is confirmed in Rev. 12:1:
“And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.”
This woman represents the nation of Israel. Noted what the following passages says:
“And she (Israel) being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.” V. 2
repeating the passage of Rev. 12:5 (compare with Isa. 66:7-8)
“And she (Israel) brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up (rapture) unto God, and to his throne.”
- Tenth rapture taught in the Scriptures:
The great multitude of tribulation saints who are saved after the rapture.
“And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.” Rev. 6:9-11
“After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. 16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.”
“And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.”
“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”
May our Lord give you strength according to His Holy Word!
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