The Weekend Word

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7 Responses

  1. Michael says:

    This is a classic case of multiple interpretations having truth.

    The original hearers of this letter would have immediately identified the witnesses as Moses and Elijah.

    I think it a very real possibility that two real people are involved in this witness at the end of the age.

    It also has the symbolic meaning that MLD has pointed out for the rest of the church age.

    “Both/and”, not “either/or”…

  2. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I was traveling all day yesterday – a 13 hour round trip to SoCal to return grandkids after they visited for a week. I saw Michael’s assessment and was chomping at the bit to reply. What follows is a piece I had in my class notes but left out of the Weekend Word version – for brevity. I adapted it here a little to be a reply – I wrote out the verse references so it would not get hung up in moderation.

    I think there is a very good reason why the 2 witnesses cannot be Moses & Elijah or for that matter any of the OT prophets. The transfiguration in Matt Seventeen!! What was the purpose of the transfiguration? The short answer? to end the ministry of the prophets – to end their witness. It would seem strange then to bring it back.

    We must regard the ministry of Jesus before the cross as old covenant happenings. The people were still waiting for the voices of the prophets to appear after 400 years of silence. Even here in the transfiguration account they were asking about the return of the prophet Elijah and Jesus sets them straight – the fulfillment of Elijah’s return was realized in the coming of John the Baptist. Elijah is not making a repeat appearance.

    Back to the transfiguration and the ending of this witness ministry – the voice in the cloud declares that Jesus was the one to be listened to from that point on – NOT the prophets, who were promptly dismissed from the transfiguration scene.

    The prophets are no more, the prophets are not returning. Jesus says look to me. So what does Jesus do when he was ready to leave the earth – John Twenty he breathes on the disciples to give them the holy spirit so they could be his witnesses on the earth. Next, he gave the great commission Matt Twenty Eight – he told the church to be his witness in the world, making disciples by baptizing and teaching. This is followed by Peter’s sermon in Acts Two at Pentecost where it goes on to expand this church being the witness by demonstration.

    If we allow scripture to interpret scripture we see that a future ministry of the prophets is not possible and only comes about in trying to fulfill a void if your scheme is that the church is no longer around to be that witness.

    I would go on now to challenge the assertion that the original first century readers / hearers would have readily seen Moses and Elijah as these witnesses. If they were NT/gospel stories about Jesus savvy at all they would have known about the transfiguration and its purpose. If not, John would have corrected them as he was one of the participating eyewitnesses.

    Or at least that is the way I see it. 🙂

  3. Michael says:

    MLD,

    I think there’s merit in your view as I said.

    The bigger picture is that what we are seeing is God’s people speaking prophetic truth to the power…to the beast.

    That is and always has been part of the Gospel calling…

  4. Em says:

    “This is the reason that the idea of the church being raptured out before physical harm does not make sense. The church is not protected against physical harm but that their faith will remain intact.”

    MLD does quite well presenting the traditional view and these posts will give an understanding of it. As Michael noted there is merit in that view, but sometimes it is necessary to speak up as MLD distorts the “rapture” view to make his points

    no one that i know thinks that the Church has escaped “physical harm” down thru time ….?….
    the “idea” is that the Church is raptured off this planet before the wrath of God is poured out upon the planet – a serious and cataclysmic and brief time period…

    with that i’m out of here – we’re doing fire watch level 1 alert up here today and i’m the only one minding the store… focus, Em, focus 🙂
    God keep

  5. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Em, you are the first rapture / dispensationalist person I have heard state that the church removal is not for the purpose to avoid physical harm / destruction from God’s poured out wrath on an unbelieving world.

    For clarification, I have not said anything about the present day church being physically protected from hard. The Christian’s soul is protected from harm.

  6. Em says:

    #5-“Em, you are the first rapture / dispensationalist person I have heard state that the church removal is not for the purpose to avoid physical harm / destruction from God’s poured out wrath on an unbelieving world.”
    ahem…
    you said:
    “….. the IDEA of the church being raptured out before physical harm does not make sense. The church is not protected against physical harm but that their faith will remain intact.”
    i replied,
    #4-the “idea” is that the Church is raptured off this planet before the wrath of God is poured out upon the planet – a serious and cataclysmic and brief time period…”

    i repeat myself, but sometimes it IS necessary to speak up as MLD distorts the “rapture” view to make his points… it would be very nice to read MLD’s chosen traditional view without the distraction of his slightly off kilter asides regarding dispensation and rapture … or so it seems to me 🙂

  7. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Em, I allow that my points may “distort” your particular take on rapture theology – but I assure you I do not distort the view held by the classic or modern revised dispensationalists.

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