Tuesday, February 14, 2012

God Has No Plan B In Salvation

The following question is from GotQuestions.org. Please check out this great internet ministry for questions about Christianity and the Bible.

Explain relevalion 11:4. I don't understand it. I believe there is more to it. You really will have to read the whole chapter.
Profile:Female 31-45 South America


With God's Word of prophecy there is always more to it. You had on your mind what is referred to in the book of Revelation as the second woe. The first woe is in chapter nine where horrible demonic attack has come upon the Earth to provoke humanity for five months. The two witnesses begin the second woe. They prophecy at the wall of the rebuilt temple.

Revelation 11:4 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth.

Verse three earlier describes the two olive trees and two lampstands as the "two witnesses." Many have speculated that the two men are Elijah, the Old Testament prophet who took the chariot to Heaven and never died, and Moses, whose dead body had been hidden by the Lord, also in the Old Testament. Those two were both at the time of Christ's transfiguration and appeared with Christ in Matthew 17, Mark 9 and Luke 9. They are given power to shoot fire from their mouths to destroy attackers in their final earthly ministry. They can shut up the Heavens from rain as Elijah did in the Old Testament. They can call down the plagues that Moses set on the Egyptians. The two witnesses are eventually killed and their bodies are left out to be seen by their enemies. After three and a half days they are resurrected and then called by God to Heaven. This is the second woe.

These two witnesses are preaching the gospel of grace through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ that pays for the sin debt for those who repent and believe the gospel. Those who refuse receive not forgiveness but the wrath of God in judgement. It will be doom for unrepentant sinners.

These two men also can be credibly said to represent the Law (Ten Commandments) and Grace, God's unmerited favor poured out on repentant sinners, or even the Old and New Testaments.

The gospel was in God's plan from the beginning of creation.
Ephesians 1:4-6 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
"4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved."

The plan of salvation was declared from the Old Testament prophets to the New Testament apostles.
Ephesians 2:19-21
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
"19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord,"

Olive trees are long lasting and strong and give olive oil. Olive oil is burned in lampstands. Lampstands, as described in Revelation chapter one, are churches. The two witnesses, whoever they are, are giving the gospel message of the church.

Romans 11:24
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
"24 For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree?"

God's people of faith in the Old Testament who trusted God for salvation had gentiles grafted in who also believed God's promise of salvation now realized through Jesus Christ.

God's message has never been changed. He grants forgiveness of sins by fulfillment of the law (Ten Commandments). We can not hold up the law. Here is the good news-God can and did trough Jesus Christ. He is the perfect Son of God. He died on the cross to pay for the sin of believers who repent Him and trust him for salvation. Christ received the wrath of God intended for sinners on the cross. We forgiven sinners receive forgiveness of sins, peace with god and eternal life in Heaven with the father.

The two witnesses are just giving lost humanity one more opportunity to hear and respond to the eternal life saving gospel of Jesus Christ.

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