Moses – ‘drawn’ in Hebrew, ‘son’ or ‘child’ in Egyptian — is a towering giant in the ‘holy history’ of God’s people, so great that we cannot find another figure that measures up to him. As the editor of Deuteronomy wrote: “Since then no prophet has risen in Israel whom the Lord knew face to face.” (Deut. 34:10) He is a “son of fresh oil” (Zech. 4:14), and he is standing by the Lord of the whole earth, ‘standing by’ as a true servant would. Scripture describes him as a baby simply as ‘beautiful.’ He was so beautiful that Pharaoh’s daughter, even seeing he was a Hebrew child, could not cast him aside.
We can name no one aside from Christ Jesus who is like him. And if the signs in scripture mean what they appear to mean, then the world shall see him again — in some form. For John’s clues in Revelation point to Moses being one of the two witnesses with Elijah being the other, during the first 1260 days of the final week of the Daniel 70 week prophecy, the period John calls ‘The Affliction.’ In Revelation 15 he is mentioned in conjunction with ‘the Lamb” as one whose song is sung by those coming off victorious from the beast.
If then Moses’ life and work recorded in scripture gives us a left-handed mirror image of the spiritual reality of his presence during the tribulation, then an overview of what scripture tells reveals what scripture portends about the endtime Moses figure and what the world will witness.
If any reader, disciple of Christ or otherwise, would like to criticize Moses and point out his defects, they would be wise to look at what happened to his brother and sister for just speaking against him. For as the redactor of Numbers has written: “Now the man Moses was the meekest, more than every man who was on the face of the earth.” (Nu 12:3) [‘meek’ does not mean mild, but submissive and yielding to one greater] When God heard the complaining by Aaron and Miriam, he called the three of them to the tent of meeting and spoke to them (12:6-8).
“Hear now my words: If there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, shall make myself known to him in a vision, I shall speak with him in a dream. Not so, with my servant Moses, He is faithful in all My household (cf. Heb 3:2,5); With him I speak mouth to mouth, Even openly, and not in dark sayings. And he beholds the manifestation <image, similitude> of YHWH. Why then were you not afraid to speak against My servant, against Moses?”
With that Miriam was stricken with leprosy, and with that we have a little insight into just how this kind of talk against the 2 witnesses will get a response from the Lord (cf. Hosea 4:4-5). In fact, “If anyone desires to harm them, fire proceeds out of their mouth and devours their enemies; and if anyone would desire to harm them, in this manner he must be killed.” (Rev. 11:5) Just the desire, the inner spiritual inclination, is enough to draw down the wrath of God. The 2 witnesses also smite the earth with every plague (Rev. 11:6) which is foreshadowed in Miriam’s being stricken with the plague of leprosy. The fire that came down in the presence of Elijah and devoured the 50 soldiers (twice) who came to harm him displays the physical left-handed enantiomer of this spiritual right-handed image, the reality of this destruction.
The accounts of Moses are larger than life, with over 700 references to him from Exodus through Joshua. What kind of grip can the Christian get on the life of this one who is instrumental in the faith of God’s people all the way until they stand on the glassy sea singing the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God ? (Rev. 15:2-3) How can the faithful grasp the insight given by Jude (v.9) that the dispute between the Devil and archangel Michael is over the body of Moses? (cf. Rev. 12:17)
It is too much to encompass even in a lengthy volume, encompassing dimensions of truth presented in every book of the bible. But the task here is to find a few signs — i.e. correspondences between linguistic signifiers and signified objects — that make sense of what the end-time Moses can mean for disciples today. How especially true when it is a great possibility that disciples of today may come to meet this witness of Jesus Christ, this “son of fresh oil” who stands beside the Lord of the whole earth.
As deliverer, however, we can see him in his salvific function with the Elect during the Affliction, and we can turn to his work during and after the Passover in Egypt, and there perceive the shadows of things to come in our time. The plagues in Egypt demonstrate by shadow and type a number of events in the first 1260 days, which is the time of the 2 witnesses, though because they are a mirror image they occur in roughly reverse order.
To make a brief correspondence for readers, the first 6 plagues are referenced at the end of the Affliction (Rev. 11:6) but in such a way as to say they will occur throughout the period, with waters turned to blood, and with every sort of plague — such as the second through sixth plagues that occurred in Egypt. Life during the time of prophesy of the 2 witnesses will be a life fraught with plagues supernaturally caused. Ignore all of the conspiratorial talk about the FDA and CDC, Homeland Security, and more. It will be small potatoes compared to the plagues the Lord brings through His 2 witnesses who will witness to the church, and yes, will scourge it!
Yes, you heard that right, judgment does begin with the House of God and the scourging of the church, mirrored in the Endurance period, the last 1260 days, by the scourging of the nations, those who take the mark of the beast. And what about those who refuse to take the mark of the beast? What is written of them? Nothing. They have no shadow, for theirs is a life lived in faith; trust in the Lord’s promises.
Returning to the last four plagues of Egypt, the stark spiritual reality of the locusts (8th plague) materializes in Rev. 9:1-3, the fourth trumpet plague. It is a demonic visitation under the Destroyer, Abbadon in Hebrew, who visits destruction upon those who are not sealed by God in their foreheads. For those who have paid lip service to Christ, living a life of lawlessness, or rebellion, of materialistic preoccupation, and self worship, beware! It will be a time of torment, with men seeking death and unable to find it. Death will flee from them. No rest for the wicked, as they say. Five months of torment may seem like eternity, being more than a tenth of the Affliction. They are the angelic host of the Destroyer, their king, himself the angel of the abyss. This is, indeed, the first of the three great woes.
Continuing our movement backwards through the plagues of Egypt, the seventh plague is a raining of hail and fire, so that we can see this reflected forward in time to the first trumpet plague (Rev. 8:7) The ninth plague in Egypt was the darkness — though Israel had light in their homes — symbolic of the darkness [physicality and death] that characterized the lives of Egyptians. In Revelation, the sun goes dark when the sixth seal is opened (Rev. 6:12). And all of this brings us to the most profound of the ten plagues in Egypt and the one which finally crushed Pharaoh to the point that he was willing to send Israel out of Egypt. It was the miraculous removal of the spirit or breath of life, from all first-born creatures, man and beast, within Egypt, who were not covered by the blood of lambs on doorposts of homes.
So where in Revelation can one find this plague manifest? Where during Affliction, Kingdom, and Endurance, does one see this blood-coded loss of life occur? If Egypt portrays in shadow and type the deliverance of Christ from sin and death, and if as most pastors admit, He is the Passover Lamb, slain from the foundations of the world, how can they be so blind as to miss the Second Passover? Had all of those pastors loved the truth and loved not their own lives, they would have searched until finding it, no matter where it would have led them. And in our case it led to one who was also led to find it, namely Homer Kizer. Thanks be to God that His Christ made this known for the Elect.
So, getting back to the question at hand, the Second Passover does not occur during the 7 years of tribulation. It occurs on the last eve prior to that tempestuous time, actually the dark portion of the first day of the Affliction — in the heavenly time of the day of the Lord, it occurs in the throne room in heaven (Rev. 5:6). It is the Super super-natural event that launches the days of tribulation, the final days of Daniel’s prophecies. And it is a global manifestation of Christ’s presence that is so far-reaching and devastating and so inexplicable by conventional logic, that God is the only explanation that anyone can offer — His glory and majesty and power will be manifest for the whole world to see. It will be the coming of Christ [ though not His appearance – the difference between parousia and phanerosis ] at a time He is not expected, and few will be awake, awaiting His coming. Blow a horn in Zion, for the day of the Lord is coming, a day of darkness and gloom. Joel 2:1-11 depicts this time when the Lord’s host enters into the houses through windows like a thief. Didn’t Christ say He would come as a thief in the night? Truly, He will enter those houses (clay vessels) who are not anointed with the blood of the Lamb, those who do not take the blessed cup on the night He was betrayed. [ Future posts will go into greater depth on the Second Passover. ]
Christ discloses His coming by the functional sign of the Lamb slain opening the 7 seals on the scroll (Rev. 5). But as Passover Lamb, his function cannot be complete without the sacrifice of the first-born. He will, indeed, come as thief in the night.
And here we have come full circle to the unity of Christ and His servant Moses, whose songs combine in Revelation 15 to remind the reader that it is there is a unity in the Covenant, with Moses singing the song ratifying the eternal covenant (Deut. 32) and Jesus being the mediator of that new covenant which begins with the Second Passover. The song of the Lamb gives glory to the Father, God Almighty, even as Moses sang praises to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, who is finally revealed in Revelation to be the Logos, The Word of God (Rev. 19:13), King of the Nations (Rev. 15:3), the Lamb who is Lord of lords and King of kings (Rev. 17:14).
The Savior and His servant, Moses, to whom He gave His Law, which is Holy, “the commandment is holy and righteous and good” (Rom. 7:12), must be one in the work of deliverance from sin and death. Why would anyone expect to see the latter day time of deliverance without the activity of an end time Moses in service to his Lord, witnessing what He has seen, namely the God of Abraham, face to face? As Jesus alone has seen the Father, so Moses has seen the Logos. As all judgment was given to the Son — “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” (2 Cor. 5:10) — so we know as James wrote, there is one Lawgiver and Judge who is able to save and destroy (James 4:12). Thus the Lawgiver is seen with the one through whom He gave the Law. And this one was a witness that the Logos appeared on Mt. Sinai and gave the Law to God’s people for the whole earth, and showed his glory and majesty in the powerful works He did for His people.
So what is the work of Moses in his joint ministry with Elijah, in the days of ‘The Affliction,’ the first 1260 days of the end time seven years?
Daniel elegantly summarizes the work of this 70th week, indeed of all 70 weeks decreed for God’s people and the holy city, and it encompasses six elements (Dan. 9:24). They are: 1) to restrain transgression, 2) to seal up sins, 3) to make atonement for iniquity [lawlessness], 4) to bring in everlasting righteousness (cf. Prov. 25:5), 5) to seal up vision and prophet, and 6) to anoint the Most Holy. Wow! Is there any wonder 490 years would be set aside for Messiah to usher in an age of righteousness? And a marvel to contemplate that we will soon enter the final week, or 7 years of that Messianic program, and realize just how critical the work of Moses and Elijah are in this time.
So what did Moses do, will Moses do, that fits into this grand menu for God’s plan? If Elijah comes to restore all things, does not Moses also come to restrain transgression and restore righteousness? As the consummate prophet, his words suffice for what is to come, and indeed his song is much about sweeping aside transgression, vindicating His Lord’s and our Lord’s pronouncements.
The Moses figure of Revelation 11 will do everything that can be comprehended in verses 5-7. He and Elijah will wage war with the man of lawlessness and shake loose some under his sway. They will finish the false prophets of Baal, exposing the deception of the teachings of ‘the fallen ones.’ All of Egypt and Babylon and Persia, woven into the religious zeitgeist of the New Age will be condemned and brought down, so that by the time of their death, executed by the beast from the abyss, the world system of Babylon will be in spiritual ruins, even if it has the support to limp on and receive its king, the Beast himself, the old Devil, that dragon Satan.
In this way the ministry of the 2 witnesses, the end time Moses and the end time Elijah arrives at its completion. And as the world and the church of the apostasy celebrate the death of these two, they lie ‘in state’ in the street of the great city where their Lord was crucified (Rev. 11:8). Those who dwell on earth may see this on television, keeping vigil to make sure no one steals the bodies. It is possible that television will still be operational into the time of the arrival of the anti-Christ, the day when Satan and his angels are cast down to earth. Note verse 9: “And those from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and will not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb.” So it might just turn out to be that people will look on from around the world. After all, wouldn’t Satan still have a use for television to continue programming his slaves, and for bringing in more lambs for the slaughter? Forgive the mixed metaphor.
And as their Lord was raised out of death, so these two are raised from death when the breath of life enters into them, and they stood up on their feet. A voice from heaven says, “Come on up here.” (Rev. 11:12) And their enemies watched them being taken into heaven in a cloud. And just as Matthew reports (Matt. 28:2) an earthquake at the rolling away of the stone with Jesus’ resurrection, so the earth shakes for the two witnesses, killing the enemies of God and His servants, and leaving the remainder to give glory to the God of heaven.
And the second woe is past.
Just as Elijah was taken into heaven, witnessed by his servant Elisha, so the 2 witnesses are lifted up, witnessed by those who were present to see it, including their very enemies. The historical Moses, however, died in the wilderness of Moab. And the Lord buried him (Deut. 34:6) in the valley of Moab.
Does the work of the two witnesses continue until the end of the age, and if so how? Perhaps their mantle is handed over to the Elect, the chosen, even as Elisha was chosen to receive the mantle of Elijah. And as Elisha accomplished twice the miracles which Elijah did, might we expect to see an expansion of the work of the 2 witnesses through their apprentices, the faithful Elect? We shall see. As the Elect live without sin, we see almost no shadow of them in the Endurance, the last 1260 days. All we know is they go into the wilderness and do battle with the dragon. Also, Revelation 17 discloses that with the Lamb, their King, they conquer the ten kings of the earth.
Further, as Joshua [Greek: Iesou] then received the mantle of authority from Moses, [not unlike Elisha] and was anointed by God for the work of leading the sons of Israel into the promised land, so will the Elect, like Joshua and Elijah be so anointed to carry on the work of making sure the little sheep are fed and tended, and led through the sheep gate into the rest of the Lord.
Here with the resurrection of the 2 witnesses ends the Affliction, day 1260 of the tribulation, with the crossover into the kingdom (Rev. 11:15), announced by the seventh trumpet and an angel declaring the kingdom of the world becoming the Kingdom of the Lord and His Christ, a kingdom that will know no end. So is the adversary, Satan, as Prince of the Air removed from his dominion over the world.
In this manner, the trumpets herald a tremendous triumph, and one that holds a secret concerning the feast of Trumpets, Yom Teruah , and reveals the greater meaning of the appearance of the ark of the covenant in the temple in Heaven. But for that we will have to turn to the next post. And what a timely post it will be since the Feast of Trumpets for this year, 2016, begins at sunset on October 2nd, which is the dark portion of the first day of the seventh month in the Hebrew calendar. It may be surprising to see that what we are told to commemorate in this feast, still lies in our future.