This is the first of a series discussing the two witnesses of Revelation chapter 11, and ultimately the reason why Jesus told His disciples to be on the alert and ready for a day and hour of which they know not.
Who or what is a witness?
There are three broad statements we can make about being a witness and having a testimony:
- All witnesses have participated in some sort of an experience.
- Witnesses form a testimony during an experience regarding the thing observed.
- A false witness has a false testimony (a lie). A false witness tells a lie concerning a matter either by deliberately falsifying information experienced or observed, or by creating a completely false narrative.
An Example of a False Witness
When I was a young Christian, my church leaders would occasionally correct or discipline other church members regarding certain infractions. In doing so, they would gather two or three people who had no first-hand experience in the original offense, or those who might have knowledge of the offense via rumor or gossip. The purpose of these individuals attending the discipline meeting was to observe (to be witnesses) under the guise of a biblically sanctioned correction.
Thus, those so-called witnesses were indeed witnesses to the correction, but they had no first-hand knowledge of the original offense. In effect, they were there to give credence to the admonishing, agreeing with the elder’s words as witnesses to the proper handling of the offense, assuming that the offense actually took place as charged by the elder.
Biblical Examples of a Witness
A Witness provides Testimony, which is Evidence.
A testimony is “a formal written or spoken statement, especially one given in a court of law.” In the Bible, the definition is no different.
The first occurrence of “witness” in the Bible is found in Genesis 21:30. It is Strong’s H5713, and it means to testify, to provide testimony. This instance specifically refers to the transaction between two people as a testimony of an agreement reached.
Deuteronomy 17:6 speaks of witnesses and provides rules of the condemned: those being put to death. This scripture provides rules regarding how such a thing should not happen without two or three witnesses’ testimony. This word for witness is in this passage is Strong’s H5707. This word speaks more towards the legal sense and the recording sense of the act of providing testimony.
John the Baptist and Faith
John the Baptist provides us an example of faith and how faith makes one a witness.
When John was baptizing beyond the Jordan, he was doing so before the public ministry of Jesus had begun, and clearly before the resurrection when His divinity and completion of work was clearly demonstrated.
It is clear to any reader or expositor that John acted in faith while performing his preaching and baptizing ministry. He understood Elijah’s call (Isaiah 40:30) and the role he was fulfilling. In the end, he even wavered a little in his faith (Luke 7:18-23).
Faith Makes One a Witness
Faith is evidence; it is a witness.
faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Faith is the currency of heaven, by which we are approved.
For by it, the men of old gained approval … and without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
Faith establishes a testimony.
By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous
Faith establishes one as a witness.
By faith, Enoch was taken up … for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up, he was pleasing to God.
” … you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
We now have a better understanding that our walk of faith is our witness giving rise to our testimony in Christ Jesus. We must therefore un-learn that limited definition of one’s testimony as being defined solely as a enumeration of a salvation experience. Our testimony is the summation of our entire witness of God’s work in our life.
“Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down, the one who accuses them before our God day and night.
And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.”
Matthew 24:42-44 NASB
Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. For this reason, you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.
Matthew 25:13 NASB
Be on the alert then, because you do not know the day nor the hour.
Luke 12:35-39 NASB
Be prepared, and keep your lamps lit. You are also to be like people who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may immediately open the door for him when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will prepare himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and he will come up and serve them. Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves. “But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have allowed his house to be broken into.
Acts 20:29-32 NASB
Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves, men will arise, speaking perverse things to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore, be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears. And now I entrust you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
1 Corinthians 16:13 NASB
Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
1 Peter 5:6-9 NASB
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time, 7 having cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares about you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. So resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brothers and sisters who are in the world.
It seemed right to document how I got to where I am today and the unfolding of events I expect to occur shortly in the United States of America.
Today is January 17th, 2021. My journey up to this point began in the early to mid-summer of 2020.
For me, it all began with Psalm 83. During my personal prayer and worship time, the Lord directed me to Psalm 83. As I read through the scripture, I began to understand this was my prayer for America, so I changed “Israel” to “America.” Praying through Psalm 83 became routine for me, though not daily.
In this Psalm, there are enumerations of peoples and nations. In the natural, I had no idea which nations or organizations were involved against America, but I knew this Psalm was directed squarely towards them:
God, don’t remain silent! Don’t stay quiet, God, or still; because here are your enemies, causing an uproar; those who hate you are raising their heads, craftily conspiring against your people, consulting together against those you treasure.
They say, “Come, let’s wipe them out as a nation; let the name of Isra’el be remembered no more!” With one mind they plot their schemes; the covenant they have made is against you … who said, “Let’s take possession of God’s meadows for ourselves.” …
My God, make them like whirling dust, like chaff driven by the wind. Like fire burning up the forest, like a flame that sets the mountains ablaze, drive them away with your storm, terrify them with your tempest. Fill their faces with shame, so that they will seek your name, Adonai. Let them be ashamed and fearful forever; yes, let them perish in disgrace. Let them know that you alone, whose name is Adonai, are the Most High over all the earth.
(Psalm 83, CJB)
In 2019, I became aware of a book by Jonathan Cahn, The Harbinger. Like many people who collect books of all kinds, I grabbed a copy but never finished reading it. In 2020, I saw a program online where Jonathan Cahn described the book and I learned enough to understand that 2020 was a pivotal year for America.
I came to understand that a leftist administration would usher in the conditions for the perfect curse upon America. God was allowing things to be put into place that would allow Him to righteously remove His hand of protection from America.
2 Chronicles 2 7:13-14
If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
Many other people began to believe the same thing: that if we repent and seek His face, God will forgive us of our sins and heal our land. As a result, on September 27th, 2020, there was a national day of repentance formally held at the capital. You can read about that here. I also believe that COVID was a curse, which fits neatly into this scripture. I believe it will be eradicated in 2021, but not by any vaccine.
The Prophets: Amos 3:7
Surely the Lord GOD does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel To His servants the prophets.
Beginning in the early fall of 2020, I stumbled upon a number of different Christians who were speaking similar words, relating around topics of bracing ourselves, repentance of the Church, and preparing for an eventual virtual tsunami (not a literal tsunami). Later in the fall, my wife had a dream that coalesced precisely into words we would soon hear from these other people. The Holy Spirit was bearing witness to us that these things being spoken were coming to pass.
“Things are Going to Get Messy”
During the winter of 2020, God spoke a clear word to me: “things are going to get messy.” I understood that something in America was going to be hard, and very bitter to observe and endure. In late December, we received the word that judgment was coming, but with mercy and grace; but there would be times of hardship, and bitterness.
We braced ourselves in God, we prepared ourselves for hardship, and we continued to pray for our nation and our President. As I’m posting this Sunday evening on January 17, 2021, I’m expecting things will change in America drastically in the next week.
I did not believe at the time I wrote this that a leftist administration would be installed – I got that one wrong. But what I don’t have wrong is this: it will not stand. God is FOR America; He is cleansing His church, and He is cleansing this nation.
I believe that God has prepared America with two possible paths. One path leads to a curse, the other path leads to a blessing. This blessing will not come without sorrow, bitterness, and hardship. But we will recover our Republic. As a result, the world will enter a time of “peace and safety,” until the final days are thrust upon us.
For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape.
(1 Thes. 5:2-3)
If you’re like me, you grew up in circles where we learned that poor Eve, because of some inherent weakness, was deceived by the Serpent, but Adam, on the other hand, deserved the greater condemnation because he made a choice to rebel against God. In this theology, Eve was judged because she did not fall back to, or rely upon, the truth she knew: that which God had previously spoken. Hence, the words of the Serpent, “hath God said…”
In reality, deception – or the act of being deceived – is no better than choosing to be rebellious. And relying upon what you know is just as dangerous. In rebellion, we know and understand both sides of the picture: we can see the lie masquerading as truth, but we choose to align ourselves with the lie.
We might argue in favor of the deceived, that the problem is that they don’t know they’re being deceived. How, then, can that be as bad as knowing the truth but choosing the lie?
This is what the Lord says: Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find a resting place for your souls.
But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
And I set watchmen over you, saying ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’
But they said, ‘We will not listen.’
The problem of deception is that we choose to be deceived through our failure of action, and consequently, through our action of self-exaltation.
When deceived, we act out of a place where we have chosen not to test the spirits; instead, we rely upon our intellect and wisdom. But perhaps we might argue, “I’ve read the word of God, I know what to do!” So, then, oh knower of the Bible, what shall you do with the fool?
Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.
Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.
So then, the question becomes, “do we answer the fool according to his folly, or not?” Without spiritual discernment, it is impossible:
To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues …
(2 Cor. 12:10)
The Solution: Test the Spirits
To avoid deception, we must test the spirit of everything; it’s really that simple:
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God
(1 John 4:1)
Therefore, deception is as wrong as rebellion because, like rebellion, deception uses self’s power over God’s mercies and grace. In deception, we elevate our intellect and abilities to know good from bad, right from wrong, above and beyond God’s fresh revelation and wisdom. This does not mean we ignore the word of God; it simply means we understand His ideas, but we take the time to double-check our actions. We live and walk through life using His word, in conjunction with His spiritual discernment to judge and course-correct:
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. For you are just a vapor that appears for a little while, and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. So for one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, for him it is sin.
That is why we will not be excused, just as Eve was not excused, from the sin of deception.