Treading Down the Holy City
Dec 19, 2009
In looking at the big picture, it is plain to see that the Two Witnesses of Revelation 11 are not the first in Kingdom history to have such a ministry. God has based His entire program on the concept of two or three witnesses establishing all things. And in every generation, He has had His witnesses, His "Elijahs" and His "Moseses."
Moses and Elijah first represent the law and the prophets, which spanned 1000 years in the Old Testament alone from Moses to Malachi. And each generation seems to have had its own witnesses, with some being more prominent than others. Moses and Aaron were prominent at the giving of the Law; Joshua and Zerubbabel were prominent at the end of the OT.
In the New Testament Church, we see John the Baptist as sort of a "loner" in the role of Elijah, having no "Moses" to support him. But then there are TWO comings of Christ, and the first was not meant to establish the Kingdom in its fullest sense. It was part of the divine plan that John would fail to turn the hearts of the children to the fathers, for if he had succeeded, they would have accepted Jesus as the Messiah, and He would never have been crucified.
So we should view John as the first Witness forerunner to Christ in His first appearance. The second coming is a greater manifestation of this and provides us with the full ministry of the Two Witnesses. Yet during the Age of Pentecost, it appears that there were Elijahs that periodically appeared on the scene, but I have read of no one who did the work of Moses as a second witness to back up the Elijah of the day.
This is understandable, since we know that the Age of Pentecost was fulfilling the type of the reign of King Saul, rather than of David. Saul was crowned on the day of wheat harvest (i.e., Pentecost) in 2 Sam. 12:17, and his 40-year reign was a type of the 40 Jubilees of the Pentecostal Age, from 33 to 1993 A.D.
Hence, I would not expect to see anyone talking about Moses to any great extent until recently. As I look back on this, I can see now why God has led me to study Moses since the 1970's, and then led me in the 1980's to engage in spiritual warfare to learn how to apply the law of Moses by a New Covenant understanding. This is, at least in part, to raise up a Moses company, or at least to give Elijah a foundation of the law by which he can do his prophetic work lawfully.
Elijah must prophesy lawfully; Moses' law must be understood as a prophecy and must be expressed prophetically to know the will of God. This is how the two work together. It is really a merger, or a "marriage" of two different areas of ministry.
With this context in mind, let us look more closely at the revelation of timing found in Revelation 11. In verse 3 we are told that the Two Witnesses minister for 1,260 days. Just before this, the temple of God is measured, but not the outer court, because "they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months."
Forty-two months in prophetic time is 42 x 30 = 1,260 days.
It is no coincidence that the holy city is trodden down for the same amount of time that the Two Witnesses are said to minister. Both are 1,260 days. But WHY? What is the connection?
First of all, the "holy city" is the New Jerusalem, because we are told in Rev. 21:2,
"And I saw the HOLY CITY, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband."
This term, "holy city," referred to the old Jerusalem in the Old Testament. But the city became as corrupt as Shiloh had been in earlier times (Jer. 7:12-14), so God forsook that city as He did Shiloh. Paul says in Gal. 4:25 that old Jerusalem was "Hagar," incapable of bringing forth Isaac, the inheritors of the promise, and that only the heavenly Jerusalem, "Sarah," could fulfill the promises of God.
Once we understand what John means by the "holy city," we can figure out how the gentiles could tread it under foot in Rev. 11:2. If John had been talking about the old physical city of Jerusalem, we could relate this to non-Israelites occupying the city. While this has certainly happened in history, John was not speaking of that--except to say that the natural is a type of the spiritual.
To "tread under foot" is a Hebrew expression showing occupation with an attitude of disdain. We see this expressed in Heb. 10:29 about those who "tread under foot the Son of Man" by disregarding the New Covenant established by His blood. And so to tread the New Jerusalem under foot indicates disdain for the New Jerusalem. Such people reject the New Jerusalem as well as all of its features--the New Covenant, the Melchizedek Priesthood, and all of the "better" things that the Book of Hebrews sets forth.
Seeing it this way makes it easy to see that many people in the world have trodden down the holy city over the centuries. They despise the New Jerusalem, not by words, but by their deeds and doctrines. The Book of Hebrews was written to combat this, because many in his day still clung to the old temple in old Jerusalem as if the presence of God still resided there. It took the destruction by Rome in 70 A.D. to force the Jewish Christian community to admit that their allegiance ought to be to the New Jerusalem.
The time frame of 42 months, then, or 1,260 "days," must be viewed in the general context of the rest of the book of Revelation. Chapter 13 devotes more attention to this time frame, showing that it is the time of the beast that comes from the sea. Verse 5 says,
"And there was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies; and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him."
This "beast" is the same as the "little horn" mentioned in Daniel 7:6, 20, and 21. John even quotes Daniel directly. I have shown elsewhere that this "little horn" came out of the Roman Empire and is, in fact, the Roman Church. Its 1,260-YEAR time frame began with the Law of Justinian in 529 A.D., which replaced the entire legal system of the Roman Empire with Church Law. It ended in 1789 with the French Revolution, when Rome's power began to be eclipsed by the financial "beast from the earth," that is, the modern banking system.
Daniel saw only the "little horn," while John received further revelation that this was actually two beasts arising in succession. The first was religious, and the second financial.
The point is that the holy city was trodden down during the 1,260-year time frame of the religious beast. In what way? Simply by the fact that the Roman Church patterned its priesthood after the Old Covenant levitical order, and its evangelistic method often resorted to the physical sword (Convert or Die!). The Crusades are a well known example of this, as well as the conquests of Central and South America.
This Old Covenant mindset did not cease in 1789, of course, any more than the Church ceased to exist at that time. The Roman Pope was taken prisoner by Napoleon in 1798, and he died in captivity. The Roman Church system was given a wound unto death, but yet it lived (Rev. 13:3). So also, the religious system has continued to trample down the true "holy city" to the present time, and many Protestant, Evangelical, and Pentecostal denominations have done the same by becoming Christian Zionists.
By insisting that the old Jerusalem "Hagar" is the mother of the Kingdom, and by the belief that the "children" of Hagar (Jews) are the chosen people, and by funding a physical temple for Levitical priests to reinstitute animal sacrifices, Christian Zionists have trampled on the holy city as well as the blood of Jesus Christ, just as Paul said in Heb. 10:29.
Dr. Stephen Jones