Are they really the source of global trouble the world will soon see? You need to know so you aren’t caught off guard.
[Steve] Two men lie dead in the street. For three and a half years they’ve stopped the rain and condemned the world. The crowd around them cheers, sparking a celebration of their death. A party atmosphere breaks out and quickly spreads around the world. Their corpses are immediately seen around the globe through Instagram and Twitter. People share photos taken next to their remains. All of the calamity that they’ve apparently brought on the world has finally come to an end.
That’s a vivid picture of what the Bible paints of a scene that lies ahead.
But who are these two individuals? Are they really the source of international troubles that the world will soon see? Stay tuned to Beyond Today as we discuss “Who are the Two Witnesses?”
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[Steve] The book of Revelation tells the story of four very powerful men and the world that lies ahead of us. Bible prophecy tells that the time of the end will be defined by world war, natural disasters, financial crises, and religious confusion. Jesus Himself predicted these future events. He said that everyone around the globe will be affected by these things. Even today, it’s not too hard to imagine the stress and trouble of a world on the edge.
With humanity in turmoil, everyone will seek answers to the seemingly insurmountable problems. But watch out! Christ said you could be fooled by those who come with apparent solutions. According to Jesus, deception will be rampant around the world. It will be a trying time on a global scale. So as this scenario hits home and we feel the effects individually, how can we be sure not to be taken in by deception? That’s what Jesus warned about.
It will be a challenging time when there seems to be nowhere to turn. But then; two men: a political leader and a religious leader, will come onto the world scene, bringing answers to this world crisis.
Stepping up to solve the world’s problems, these two men will help form a unified worldwide government that can enforce peace. They seem to be able to rid the world of those that oppose progress.
People sigh a breath of relief when they revive failing economies, with a controlled system of buying and selling. Even more surprising, they’re actually able to work out differences between the world’s religions. Somehow they’re able to unite mankind under a universal religion that unifies people around the globe.
These men - they will have the love, the respect, the support of the entire world as troubles seem to turn around and countries begin to hope for prosperity. As the world pays homage to these two men, it seems to change the outlook of mankind to one of hope for the future.
Now this isn’t just some fantasy. The Bible promises us that these events will actually happen in the future. In fact, Scripture describes the authority that one of these men will have. He will be a great political leader described in Revelation 13: “…And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him,…” (Revelation 13:7-8 Revelation 13:7-8 7 And it was given to him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
8 And all that dwell on the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
American King James Version×).
Together, these two individuals will not only be a political machine, but combine a double dose of military power with convincing religious authority. That combination of religion and politics will be so overpowering that it will alter the landscape of world government, politics, worship and faith - worldwide. Even atheists will become religious converts by seeing miracles of biblical proportions - not seen since the days of Elijah the prophet.
Now can you imagine the impact of seeing powerful, verifiable miracles? It would be hard not to believe when you see it with your own eyes.
Once this impressive authority is established, these two men - they will have the power to call out and even kill anyone who does not obey and fall in line with their form of religious worship.
This new leadership, it will have impressive dominance and forceful authority. The people and nations of the world will recognize that their own prosperity, their peace, their well-being is tied directly to whether or not they follow and obey these two leaders. Even formerly powerful nations of the world will give up their control and yield to this new emerging world ruling power.
While all this is going on, there will be two others. At this same time, two other men will also appear on the scene. Now in some ways, they seem like the first two. They act with authority and with power, and they too will perform great miracles. But, they’re quite different from the first two. Instead of selling a message of hope in exchange for obedience; they’ll deliver a message of condemnation and claim to be testifying on behalf of the true God. Revelation calls them the two witnesses.
Will people believe their message? These two witnesses will directly oppose the ideas and evidence of the first two. Instead of giving false hope, they will clearly expose the sins of the world and its human leaders. They’ll have a very different force behind them. By divine authority and command, they act with power against those who stand against them. They’ll bring drought on the nations who reject their message. Deadly punishment will be brought down on those who try to harm them. Their warning message will testify to the people of the world of impending doom unless they listen, unless they repent and unless they change their actions.
Two sets of powerful men - both claiming authority. Faced with a choice, who will the world follow? Who would you follow?
Well after condemning the world and denouncing its people for three and a half years, finally, the world’s religious authority and its malicious political leader will kill the two who are opposing their authority and showing the world its sin. The world will rejoice. They’ll celebrate their death. They’ll give each other gifts for making the best choice in refusing to listen to their message.
Now imagine, imagine if you were faced with that choice. Between these two sets of men, who would you choose to follow? Now, don’t be too quick to think you know who stands for God. Remember what Jesus said? Appearances can be deceiving. Is “seeing believing?”
The answers these deceitful world leaders offer will be so enticing. After all, who doesn’t want to bring unity to the world’s people after millennia of religious strife and political chaos? Who doesn’t want to see a resolution to the economic turmoil that the world has suffered through? What these leaders bring to the table seem to be the solution to what people have been hoping for.
But on the other hand, the message of the two witnesses will be a message of destruction and condemnation. Could that be the right words? They’ll tell people they need to reject the message of hope brought by the world’s leaders. What could be wrong with hope? Yet, they seem to blame not only the leaders, but the people - telling them they need to change. And tragedy follows in their wake. Certainly, these two men can’t represent what’s good, can they? Well, don’t be so sure.
Jesus said in Matthew 24:24 Matthew 24:24For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
American King James Version×, that in the end time, these events will appear to be so confusing and messages so conflicting, that if possible, even the elect - that’s true Christians, even them, even you - could be deceived. What can you do? What should you do?
Well Jesus warned that something should be done now. We need to make sure we know the true story of what will happen straight from the Bible, so we can be prepared and not caught off guard.
The book of Revelation has much to say about what these four men - pairs of two powerful people - and what they’ll do to impact the world in the end time. The two who end up murdered in the street, those are known in the Bible as the two witnesses. They’re God’s two witnesses. They will stand up and testify for God and His Word and His Way at the time of the end. They’re the ones who will oppose this world’s political and religious leadership and convict the world of its sins. You can find their story in Revelation 11.
Now the other two. Those two leaders that convince the entire world that they have the answers to their problems - they’re pictured in Revelation 13 as wild animals - beasts. One beast - the political leader - comes as a beast from the sea. The other wild animal - the religious leader - is said to come from the earth. Now, what can that mean? How can we make sense of this strange picture from the Bible’s final book? How will you keep from being deceived?
You need to find the answers. You need to know where to find them, because many people will tell you they have the key. But how can you be certain? Where can you begin to look for the true answers - the real solutions?
Well the only place you can find the real answers and real hope for the future is in the Word of God - His Holy Bible. The answer isn’t some great secret that’s hidden away. It’s in plain text, black and white - right there in your Bible.
It reveals how to identify the true witnesses of God and how you can be prepared for what lies Beyond Today . With so much misunderstanding and deception out there, we all could use a little bit of help.
That’s why I’d like to offer you our free Bible study aid: The Book of Revelation Unveiled . You can order your personal, free copy by calling toll free: 1-888-886-8632, or online at BeyondToday.tv .
This vital study aid will help you comprehend the biblical book of Revelation. You’ll learn more about the two witnesses, as well as the meaning of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. It will also will help you grasp what is the Day of the Lord, the signs of Christ’s second coming.
We’ve included charts and tables as well, so you’ll be able to comprehend the seven trumpets and the seven seals and learn how Satan will wage an all-out war against Christians at the end of this age.
So don’t wait! Order your free copy by calling: 1-888-886-8632. If you live outside North America, you can also receive it by writing to us at the address shown on your screen throughout the program - or read it online at BeyondToday.tv [Beyond Today, PO Box 541027, Cincinnati, OH 45254].
Two men will represent the Almighty. God calls them “My witnesses.” They’ll bring His message and do His will. As they begin God’s case against this world, they’ll also fulfill the role of prophet.
Yet on the other hand, two other men will lead the world in the opposite direction of God. Most people will mistakenly fall for this great corrupt leader, his evil political system and a counterfeit religious power. Now imagine the level of deceit! Revelation says: “All who dwell on the earth will worship him,…” (Revelation 13:8 Revelation 13:8And all that dwell on the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
American King James Version×).
Put yourself in that situation for a moment. There’s mass confusion as the world is in chaos. Two sets of men are delivering powerful but rival messages. Both sides are performing impressive miracles. Both have loyal followings. Both claim to represent God. Who will you follow? How will you know who really represents God?
Now God doesn’t want you to be blindsided. He wants you to be equipped now, to make the right choice when that time comes. Well how can you evaluate whether someone truly represents God, or not? How can you be absolutely sure? Did you know God has laid out some straight forward guidelines so you can identify who is a true representative of God and who is the counterfeit.
Now remember, these two world leaders will be able to perform legitimate miracles. It will look good. It will look spiritual. It will appear to be right. So it’s not hard to believe that they might be able to make some correct predictions as well.
What do you do? What will you do, if a man arises and claims to be of God and what he says actually happens? Should we believe him? Well that’s the scenario that lies ahead. These two sets of men, the world leaders and the two witnesses, will both claim to speak on behalf of God. Both will do amazing wonders. Predictions come to pass. But, how do you determine who truly represents God?
Well here it is - straight from the Word of God, straight from His Bible: “One of your people, claiming to be a prophet or to have prophetic dreams, may predict a miraculous sign or an amazing thing. What he predicts may even take place. But don’t listen to that prophet or dreamer if he says, ‘Let’s worship and serve other gods.’ (Those gods may be gods you’ve never heard of.) The Lord your God is testing you to find out if you really love him with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 13:1-3 Deuteronomy 13:1-3 1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and gives you a sign or a wonder,
2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spoke to you, saying, Let us go after other gods, which you have not known, and let us serve them;
3 You shall not listen to the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proves you, to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
American King James Version×, GW).
A true prophet of God will speak according to Scripture - according to His Holy Bible.
A true prophet will call the world to live godly lives - just as Jesus our ultimate example did.
A true prophet, he’ll tell it like it is and not hedge as he speaks the truth in love.
A true prophet won’t only say the things that people want to hear.
Isaiah was a true prophet of God. He spoke to a world that was very similar to what’s ahead. Those that heard his message, they didn’t want to hear the truth. They preferred easy thoughts. “They tell the seers, ‘Stop seeing visions!’ They tell the prophets, ‘Don’t tell us what is right. Tell us nice things. Tell us lies.’”(Isaiah 30:10 Isaiah 30:10Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not to us right things, speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits:
American King James Version×, NLT).
The people listening to Isaiah didn’t want to hear from God. They would rather hear lies, even knowing that they are lies! Isn’t it fair to say that the same attitude is here - right now?
You see instead of a counterfeit, a true witness, a godly prophet, will tell people the truth about what God expects. It will be a message brought in the love of God. One that helps people change and come to a right relationship with their Creator. A true prophet, that’s one who will convict people of their sin and direct them to overcome by the power of God.
But that’s not all there is. Here’s a few specific items: It also means that a true prophet will teach the right worship of God - that we should worship Him on the seventh-day Sabbath, just like Jesus commanded. True ministers will teach the world to obey the commandments and to truly love their neighbor.
A true prophet, he will tell the world that it needs to repent of it sins and turn to their Creator. A true follower will change, and obey the Great God who loves us and is ready to forgive all those who come to Him.
Now that’s the kind of message the future prophets of God will bring - the message of Jesus Christ. And like the leaders in Jesus’ day, those two witnesses will not have a message that’s easy on the ears. Their message will cut to the heart of the people. They’ll directly confront a lifestyle of self-gratification and disobedience. They’ll declare that the world must repent of its defiance to God. Yet people, they’ll refuse to listen. They’ll ignore the evidence and choose to do just what they want.
The world’s reaction will be just like their response to another one of God’s prophets. They said: “We will not listen to your messages from the Lord! We will do whatever we want. (Jeremiah 44:16 Jeremiah 44:16As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of the LORD, we will not listen to you.
American King James Version×, NLT).
At this same time, the other two ungodly men will counter with their own version of religion. And it will seem good and right, yet it will point people away from the true God of the Bible. Incredibly, their message will be embraced and accepted and impact the entire world. Now how could these false leaders succeed in doing that? It’s by deceptive power. They have the evil force of Satan backing them up.
“They worshiped the dragon who had given its authority to the beast. They also worshiped the beast and said, ‘No one is like this beast! No one can fight against it.’ The beast was allowed to brag and claim to be God, and for forty-two months it was allowed to rule. The beast cursed God, and it cursed the name of God. It even cursed the place where God lives…” (Revelation 13:4-6 Revelation 13:4-6 4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power to the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like to the beast? who is able to make war with him?
5 And there was given to him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given to him to continue forty and two months.
6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
American King James Version×, CEV).
Though these end-time leaders promote peace and what seems like a wonderful, unified religious system - it’s not the religion of God. It’s not true worship. The system they institute is a counterfeit. A counterfeit that’s inspired by Satan the devil. They curse God by counterfeiting His Word and His way that’s found in the Bible. They speak against true religion. They speak blasphemies and persecute and actually kill true worshipers of God. Revelation calls these leaders the Beast and the False Prophet.
As the prophet Jeremiah predicted: “The prophets speak lies, and the priests take power into their own hands, and my people love it this way. But what will you do when the end comes?” (Jeremiah 5:31 Jeremiah 5:31The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will you do in the end thereof?
American King James Version×, NCV).
That is the question. What will you do?
The fact is - the end of this age will be littered with spiritual and religious deception. Only a few will understand what’s really going on. The only way to be prepared and avoid deception is to strengthen your relationship with God your Father right now.
Is it possible that you could already be set up for deception? Do you think that counterfeit religion will only appear at the end?
That’s why we have to ask ourselves today: Does my faith follow the true teachings of Jesus Christ? Do I really “know that I know” what the Bible teaches? Do I go to church just to feel good or does my entire life reflect the mind of Christ? Jesus said He is Lord of the Sabbath day, and He and His followers will continue to observe the annual biblical festivals - not the religious holidays of this world and what most people keep.
These are hard questions, but you’ve got to ask yourself. Do I truly follow His example? After all, aren’t Christians supposed to walk just like He walked?
Now is the time to make sure you’re living by what you read in His Word. Read about the life and teaching of Jesus and ask yourself, does my life mirror His? Am I changing my way of life to follow Him? Remember, Christ said, “If you love me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15 John 14:15If you love me, keep my commandments.
American King James Version×).
Your eternal life is at stake. We’re warned that a time is coming when the people of the world will be overcome and devote themselves to evil. Revelation says that, “All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8 Revelation 13:8And all that dwell on the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
American King James Version×).
There are serious times of tribulation and deception ahead, but you don’t have to be swept away. The answers - they’re in the Word of God. Don’t trust any man. Don’t take my word for it. Look to your Bible and see it for yourself. Stay close to God, obey Him and you’ll find security in the truth.
There certainly are many difficulties that lie ahead, many aspects to biblical prophecy - and I’d like to help you understand it. Request your free copy of our helpful study aid, The Book of Revelation Unveiled. This guide will help answer many of your questions about prophecy and the book of Revelation in particular.
And when you order The Book of Revelation Unveiled, we’ll also send you a subscription to our magazine Beyond Today . This magazine will help you sort through the confusion of world events. You’ll find it gives you insight into the practical teachings of the Bible and help you prepare for the troubled future that lies ahead.
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Our topic today has been end-time prophecy and the two witnesses. To discuss it further, we have fellow hosts of Beyond Today , Darris McNeely and Gary Petty.
Now, it may seem confusing to many that in the end time there’ll be this great counterfeit. How could they fall for that?
[Gary] You know Steve, when you look at the Bible, every prophet said, my God - whether it was Jeremiah, Isaiah, Hosea, Amos… The people they were sent to actually rejected them and would not hear the Word from God. I mean look at Jesus Christ - the Son of God came to a group of people who were waiting for Him. They expected Him to show up. They were looking for the Messiah. He showed up and most of them rejected Him, so this is the way of the world. This is the way humanity has always been.
[Darris] And, the world is still that way. We live in an age that is a mixture of spiritual deception. While people profess belief, they also profess disbelief. In the information age that we have, the information again, it proliferates and leads people into deceptions that they don’t even understand and are not aware of. And when Christ said even the elect could be deceived, it’s putting forth a warning there that even those who can read words of this chapter in Revelation and understand in principle what’s being discussed, still need to be very much aware, alert and on guard against the deceptions of an age like we have today, which has always been with us.
[Steve] I don’t think we want to be fooled that this isn’t somewhat going on already.
[Steve] But I think it brings up the question then, how do I make sure that I don’t fall for it? How do I make sure that I’m not one of those that are deceived?
[Gary] Well two things. Stay close to God, pray. And stay close to God and stay in your Bible. But secondly, you know these, the Beast and False Prophet are going to create a worldwide movement. It’s not going to be done in secret. So when you see this worldwide movement taking place, be very careful.
[Darris] Yes, on top of just praying, I would think also be very, very, specific in that prayer. To ask God to give you a spirit of discernment and understanding that deception would not overtake you.
[Steve] That reminds me of Isaiah 8, where he mentions, if they don’t speak according to the law and the prophets, there’s no light in them. If they are not speaking according to this Word, that should be an indication of, watch out! Don’t be deceived.
Well we hope you remember our free offers today including our free Bible study aid: The Book of Revelation Unveiled and our free magazine Beyond Today . Both are yours free of charge. The Bible forecasts that difficult are times ahead. But you can be prepared! God has a purpose and a plan for those who deeply trust Him. So get our literature absolutely free of charge. Just call right now: 1-888-886-8632, or go online to BeyondToday.tv .
Now besides this, the United Church of God has hundreds of Sabbath-keeping congregations meeting each Saturday across the United States and around the world. Go to BeyondToday.tv - click on the “Find a Church Congregation” link to find one near you.
There will come a time when two hated men of God will lie dead in the street. The world will cheer and celebrate their death. But that’s not the end of the story.
Just about the time everyone believes that they have been the evil ones - the breath of life from God enters into them and they stand on their feet! These two righteous witnesses are resurrected to life proving the testimony of God.
There is no doubt - God will bring judgment. He will bring truth and justice. The prophecy of the two witnesses reminds us that God always stands by His Word and His promise.
So as you seek His will in your life, He’ll stand by you, too. So always look for and respond to His guidance in your life.
Well thanks for joining us today. Don’t forget our free offers and be sure to tell your family and friends about us. Tune in again next week, at this same time, for another edition of Beyond Today and join us in praying, “Thy Kingdom come.” For Beyond Today I’m Steve Myers - Thanks for watching.
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