Most have heard of the Two Witnesses of Revelation 11 who prophesy or preach for 3½ years before they are killed by the beast from the bottomless pit. But, how many realize that there are two other witnesses mentioned in scripture?
“Heaven and the earth” were called as witnesses to the Covenant YHWH made with His bride, Israel, at the base of Mount Sinai. In a typical Hebrew wedding ceremony, the bridegroom calls two witnesses, friends of the bridegroom, to the marriage. One witness is for the bridegroom and the other is for the bride. The Covenant made at Sinai was, in effect, a marriage proposal. The two witnesses are the heaven and the earth. The witness of heaven is for the bridegroom whereas the witness of the earth is for the bride.
On the 50th day after the children of Israel left Egypt, they came and encamped at the base of Mount Sinai, at which time YWHW sent Moses to them with His proposal of marriage. The first stage of the marriage ceremony is called the betrothal.
Exo 19:2 For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount.
Exo 19:3 And Moses went up unto Elohim, and YHWH called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel;
Exo 19:4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.
Exo 19:5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
Exo 19:6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
All of the people answered and said “All that YHWH has spoken, we will do”. This was their acceptance of the marriage proposal.
They were then set apart for betrothal, which is called “Kiddushin” or sanctification.
Exo 19:14 And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes.
Exo 19:15 And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives.
Exo 19:16 And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.
Exo 19:17 And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with Elohim; and they stood at the nether part of the mount.
Exo 19:18 And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because YHWH descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.
The people came to the lower most part of the mountain and stood beneath the Chuppah, the marriage canopy, the thick clouds where the bridegroom was waiting. The conditions of the marriage, called the Ketubah, were then read to Israel. In the Ketubah were spelled out the conditions of the marriage proposal. The obligations of both parties were specified. Typically, it is read to the bride before she makes her final decision, and such was the case here.
The Ten Commandments and the judgments (the ketubah) were read to the people. They were promised to become a set apart people unto YHWH. He would bless them and protect them. They would be given the land of Canaan for an eternal possession and He would make them a kingdom of priests unto Him.
However, if they failed to obey, He set before them the consequences of their disobedience. He set before them two courses they could take, they could choose life and go in and possess the land, or they could disobey and be scattered into the world.
The people gave their final consent to the proposal and the covenant was sealed by the sprinkling of blood.
Exo 24:3 And Moses came and told the people all the words of YHWH, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which YHWH hath said will we do.
Exo 24:4 And Moses wrote all the words of YHWH, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel.
Exo 24:5 And he sent young men of the children of Israel, which offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen unto YHWH.
Exo 24:6 And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basons; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar.
Exo 24:7 And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that YHWH hath said will we do, and be obedient.
Exo 24:8 And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which YHWH hath made with you concerning all these words.
Once the terms were set and agreed to, they could not be altered.
Deu 4:1 Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which YHWH Elohim of your fathers giveth you.
Deu 4:2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of YHWH your Elohim which I command you.
Now all Israel had to do was to obey and they would be blessed above all nations on earth. But, did Israel obey? No, they began to disobey as soon as Moses went up into the Mount to receive the written wedding contract, the Ketubah. YHWH was livid with the people and wanted to destroy them, but Moses interceded on their behalf and YHWH relented.
However, none of that generation except for Caleb, Joshua and the children that had no knowledge of good or evil in the day of the golden calf, would be allowed to enter into the Promised Land.
Moses cautioned the ones who were to go into the Promised Land, not to make any graven images, or worship the sun, moon or stars and to not forget the Covenant of YHWH. Then Moses called the Two Witnesses to the Covenant, heaven and earth, to witness against the children of Israel that they would be ejected from the land and be scattered among the nations if they disobeyed.
Deu 4:26 I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that ye shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto ye go over Jordan to possess it; ye shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed.
Deu 4:27 And YHWH shall scatter you among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither YHWH shall lead you.
This was so important that Moses again called the Two Witnesses to record against Israel to keep YHWH’s Commandments, statutes and judgments.
Deu 30:15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;
Deu 30:16 In that I command thee this day to love YHWH thy Elohim, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and YHWH thy Elohim shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.
Deu 30:17 But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them;
Deu 30:18 I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.
Deu 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
However, Moses knew that they would not obey and wanted to make sure they got the message and the gravity of it and let them know what would befall them in the latter days.
Deu 31:28 Gather unto me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears, and call heaven and earth to record against them.
Deu 31:29 For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do evil in the sight of YHWH, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands.
Moses then had one last shot at warning Israel in what is called Shira Ha’azinu, also known as the Song of Moses. Ha’azinu roughly means listen or give ear.
The Song of Moses opens with the following verse:
Deu 32:1 Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.
Shira Ha’azinu is a prophecy of the tribulation and the Day of Yahweh!
In essence, what Moses did was to call heaven and earth to witness against Israel what would happen to them if they disobeyed the terms of the wedding covenant they had made with YHWH. They would be egested from the land and scattered into the world and evil would befall them in the latter days.
Were these two witnesses mentioned anywhere in the Renewed Covenant? Yes, they were:
Mat 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
Mat 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Mat 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Yahshua Himself reaffirmed that as long as the two witnesses to the Covenant remained, that not one yod or one nekudah would pass from the Torah, the Ketubah, until all be fulfilled. There is still much to be fulfilled today. Heaven and earth are still here, so according to Yahshua, the Torah is still in effect today with its Commandments, Statutes and Judgments.
A Renewed Covenant was to be made with the House of Israel and the House of Judah. YHWH had divorced Israel and could not remarry her since she had lain with another and was condemned to death. He had to shed His blood for her sins and she had to die to sin. She had to become a new creation.
The Renewed Covenant still contains most of the elements of the former covenant. The parties to the covenant are the same, so there was no need to make a completely new covenant. The Renewed Covenant reflects some changes to the Priesthood. Yahshua’s blood and his priesthood made the Renewed Covenant a better Covenant. The blood of bulls and goats could not take away the sins of the world. The Torah would be written upon the hearts of those entering into the Covenant instead of carved upon stony tablets.
We are still in the betrothal stage today. We have an earnest of the Spirit as a token of what we will receive when the marriage is consummated at the marriage supper of the lamb. Our wedding ring is the Sabbath. We have been set apart by the Kiddushin, sanctified by the blood of Yahshua. We look forward to our redemption when our bridegroom returns to take us to be with him and the marriage supper begins. We will be changed from this earthly body to a glorified body like our betrothed redeemer and be adorned in clean fine white linen. We will then drink the cup of redemption with him and receive the fullness of the gift of the Ruach HaKodesh. We will then be priests and kings unto YHWH forever.
Then there will be a new set of witnesses, a new heaven and new earth to forever remain as a testament to the eternal covenant between the bridegroom and his bride, Yahshua and His Israel. Halleluyah!
Sept 18, 2007
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