As we have seen in this study of the Two Witnesses, their work is revealed throughout the pages of God's Word, being found in various types and shadows.
The prophecy in Revelation 11 of these 'two anointed ones,' sends us to the Old Testament prophecy in Zechariah 4. In part 2, we looked at how these two anointed ones (being also translated 'sons of oil') are tied to the widow's two sons in 2 Kings 4, who had oil to sell.
We have seen them allegorically in the two angels sent in to Sodom to deliver Lot and his family out of the wrath which God had determined for the wicked cities of the plain. We have also seen them in Moses and Aaron, coming in to Egypt to deliver the people of God from the hand of a tyrannical king and bring them to the mountain of God to worship the Lord. Last month, we looked at their connection to the two faithful spies: Joshua and Caleb.
This month, I would like to look at one more similar Old Testament shadow of these two great prophets.
Forty years after God had denied that unfaithful generation's entrance into the promised land, Israel had come, as it were, full circle.
Joshua chose out two men, and sent them to go in and spy out the land. They came and lodged in the house of Rahab, a harlot. The king of Jericho found out that the spies were there, and sent word to Rahab to turn them in. Rahab, however, hid the men, and said, "There came men unto me, but I wist not whence they were: And it came to pass about the time of shutting of the gate, when it was dark, that the men went out: whither the men went I wot not: pursue after them quickly; for ye shall overtake them" (Josh. 2:4,5). So the king's men pursued them, and the gate of the city was shut.
Rahab then went up to the men on the roof, where she had hid them, and began to tell them about the stir that the news of the children of Israel's exploits had caused throughout the land. Then she asked for them to reward her kindness to them. She said, "Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the Lord, since I have shewed you kindness, that ye will also shew kindness unto my father's house, and give me a true token: And that ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death." "And the men answered her, Our life for yours, if ye utter not this our business. And it shall be, when the Lord hath given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with thee. Then she let them down by a cord through the window: for her house was upon the town wall, and she dwelt upon the wall. And she said unto them, Get you to the mountain, lest the pursuers meet you; and hide yourselves there three days, until the pursuers be returned: and afterward may ye go your way. And the men said unto her, We will be blameless of this thine oath which thou hast made us swear. Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father's household, home unto thee. And it shall be, that whosoever shall go out of the doors of thy house into the street, his blood shall be upon his head, and we will be guiltless: and whosoever shall be with thee in the house, his blood shall be on our head, if any hand be upon him" (Josh. 2:12-19).
So it was, that when the children of Israel had marched around Jericho according to the word of the Lord, that the wall fell, and the city was taken. But Rahab had done as the spies had said, and hung a red cord out of her window. Joshua ordered all that were in the city to be destroyed: man and woman, young and old, and also every ox, sheep and ass. Only Rahab and all that were in her house were to be spared, as the two spies had promised. That same Rahab later married Salmon, and, as is clearly stated in Matthew 1, would play a part in the historical lineage that would bring forth the Messiah: Jesus of Nazareth.
The story of the two spies serves to reinforce some of the elements of the work of the two witnesses as revealed by the work of Moses and Aaron in Egypt and the two angels in Sodom. In each case - Egypt, Sodom and Jericho - two men are sent into a wicked Gentile nation. They prophesy the destruction of that nation, and deliver the people chosen by God out of the midst of His wrath, that they might serve Him.
The Word of God declares, "That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past" (Eccl. 3:15). That is why the subject of the two witnesses is crucial to the existence of the Church today! While the children of God today base their hope on an event seemingly foretold in a single verse in the New Testament, God has recorded, time and time again, the actual course of events that will facilitate the true manifestation of the deliverance of God's people out of the grip of the New World Order. Paul said, "For whatsoever things were written aforetime [that is, in the Old Testament] were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope" (Rom. 15:4). If we are to have a truly biblical hope, it must be clearly supported by prophecies, types, shadows, and allegories of the law and the prophets.
God has never whisked His people away to "higher ground" before pouring out His wrath on His foes. Rather, He has shown His great power by protecting them from the wrath while they were in the midst of the wrath. Whether it was Daniel, or Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael, Paul on the stormy seas, or the Children of Israel in Goshen, each time the mighty of hand of God could be seen keeping His people from harm, while, just next door, God's judgement was being executed on the ungodly.
At some point, God gives "the woman" two wings of a great eagle: the two witnesses. These mighty vessels of God's deliverance bring her to the mountain of the Lord's house. That is why it is of the utmost importance that we comprehend their work and ministry. If we reject God's messengers, waiting to be snatched away before all the trouble comes, we could very well find ourselves in the midst of darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Now after the days of their prophecy are ended, the beast makes war with the two witnesses, overcomes them and slays them. This, too, can be found in types and shadows, as we will see as we continue our study next month.