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Two things are clear from Revelation 11 in regard to the Two Witnesses.
First, it is clear that their ministry of preparing the way for Christ is successful. In this regard, they are able to call down the baptism of fire from heaven, the former and latter rain, and cover the earth with the power of the blood of Christ.
Second, it is clear that their ministry ends in seeming failure. Their New Covenant message is "killed" in the "streets" of the Old Jerusalem, which is also Sodom and Egypt.
There is a great dichotomy here of success and failure, showing that even "failure" cannot prevent the success of the Kingdom. Remember that Elisha himself died before completing his 16th miracle, but it happened anyway. When men hastily threw a dead man into Elisha's tomb, the man was raised from the dead (2 Kings 13:21).
The successful failure of the work of the Two Witnesses has occurred over the centuries by the overcomers on behalf of The Seven Churches. The whole Church was called, as Rev. 2 and 3 shows, but only those who overcome are given the special rewards. It was the same in ancient Israel, where the entire nation was called, but only a remnant actually fulfilled the calling (Rom. 11:5).
There were overcomers in the Passover-Age Church, and there are overcomers in the Pentecostal-Age church. The patterns are the same in The Seven Churches of the Old Covenant as well as The Seven Churches of the New Covenant. And in both cases, the overcomers were given into the hands of Old Jerusalem for persecution.
Jesus said in Luke 13:33, "it cannot be that a prophet should perish outside of Jerusalem." In the OT times, the prophets were killed in the old city of Jerusalem; but during the Pentecostal Age, the prophets have been killed by the Old Covenant mentality of Jerusalem. Yet the day comes when they and their message will be raised up.
The resurrection of the Two Witnesses probably has more than one side to it. It is likely that this also is the first resurrection of Revelation 20, which is limited to the overcomers. I showed in my book, The Rapture in the Light of Tabernacles, that this "catching away" (harpazo) must occur on the 8th day of Tabernacles of some year to be presented to the Father. They will return the same day to be "manifested" to the world as the Sons of God. This is the manifestation of the Sons of God.
There have been long-term prophetic cycles of 1,260 years, wherein the Two Witness companies of overcomers have ministered the principles of the New Covenant. For the most part, they appear to have failed, because Old Covenant religion has remained dominent in the majority of people and certainly in the three religions of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity.
And yet it is also clear that they are able to complete their work of preparing the way for Christ's coming. While God allowed many of them to be killed over the centuries, He raises up more in each generation to continue witnessing of the New Jerusalem.
And here we see a clear distinction between John the Baptist and the Two Witnesses of Revelation 11. John's ministry was cut short at Passover of 30 A.D., and this established the pattern for Jesus' own death three years later at Passover of 33. The ministry of Elijah was to "restore all things" (Mark 9:12), but he died before being able to complete the work. It is left to the overcomers to complete this work, and though men have continued to kill them, they cannot kill them all, because they have multiplied into a whole body of people. There is always someone else to continue the work until it is completed in the final generation.
So it appears that we are now coming to the final end of the long-term prophetic cycles of 1,260 years for the ministry of the Two Witnesses. It is becoming clear also that we are now seeing a final, short-term prophetic fulfillment emerging, wherein the overcomers minister for 3-1/2 years. So far, two such cycles have been revealed. The first is completed (March 2006 to Sept. 2009). The second began on June 21, 2009 and should be completed by Dec. 21, 2012.
It is possible that we might see a further 3-1/2 year period emerge later. It is also possible that as we approach the end of the final 3-1/2 year period, we may see the prophecy condensed down to a literal 3-1/2 DAY period. It is too early to tell how the prophecy will unfold, but each level of fulfillment helps us to understand the other, because all are based upon the same principles and patterns.
For this reason, we can examine the 3-1/2 year period from March of 2006 to Sept. of 2009 and see how this has manifested the pattern. It began with a type of restoration on the 2,520th anniversary of the completion of the second temple (dated in Ezra 6:15). On March 15, 2006, precisely the anniversary in question, a demoniac woman came to my office and found deliverance from the spirit of Baphomet which had plagued her unceasingly since she was a child. She had been dedicated to Satan at the age of 5 by her Masonic parents. She was delivered from Baphomet, the primary evil spirit of Masonry.
She had found no relief from doctors, psychiatrists, counselors, or church pastors. But she was delivered in just a few minutes and was instantly healed of all kinds of mental and physical infirmities, including being color blind, deaf in one ear, having the inability to eat without food being spilled everywhere, and other things.
That is how this 3-1/2 year cycle began with a great restoration of a woman who, the Father showed us, was a type of the Church that is sick from head to foot (Isaiah 1:6). It ended last September 18 at the 216th anniversary of the corner stone being laid for the Capitol building in Washington D.C., which was laid by Masons (led by George Washington).
Sept. 18, 2009 was Rosh Hoshana, the beginning of the new Hebrew Year. It is thus the beginning of the year 2010, which is also 390 years from 1620. We reached the end of the time known as "No King in Israel." I believe that the old foundations are being uprooted, and a new Foundation Stone (Christ) is being laid in America. (See my weblog "A New Foundation" dated Sept. 21, 2009.)
We then saw the sign of "The Sickle of Leo" on Sept. 20, suggesting another fulfillment of the Scepter of Judah in the prophecy of Genesis 49:10. A few days later, on Sept. 24 we saw the signs of Joseph and the Birthright. It all suggests that the Birthright is being found on a historic level at the end of this 3-1/2 year period. Joseph was thought to be dead, but was found alive, and this too suggests the theme of death and resurrection.
The bottom line is that the Two Witness companies have continued their ministry for many centuries, and though most have lived and died without seeing the fruit of their labor, we are now seeing the first glimmer of success. But as I said earlier, there is still at least one more 3-1/2 year period ahead, and beyond that we have little insight. Nonetheless, whether we live or die to see it fully accomplished, we can rest assured that we are all part of one body and as such we will receive the same reward. Those who came first sowed the seed; others watered, and the last laborers harvest; but all are partakers of the fruits of the Kingdom.