WordPefect Version |Printable Version
The End of All Things
A Reed Like Unto A Rod
Previously, we were looking into the mysteries of Moses and Aaron’s rods, and how that figuratively they swallowed and destroyed the powers of sin and of Egypt. Everything that is contrary to life and holds creation in the bondage of death was brought to an end by them. Regardless how far people have gone into darkness, that which holds them will be consumed and utterly destroyed as these symbolic rods unfold in their season.
At first glance, these little rods may seem insignificant when considering the whole of God’s doings, but they are far from it. And as Aaron’s rod begins to bud in our hearts, and the fragrance of its blossoms fill our spiritual senses, we will begin to see the unfolding glory and magnitude of what was contained within the seemingly dead, stick-like reed, and unbeknown, it had been there all along.
In the same way that there are incalculable living oak trees contained in one, small, hard-shelled acorn — we see that the rods of Moses and Aaron (the Word and the Spirit) contain unfathomable manifestations of radiance, transforming power, trees of righteousness, and glory unimaginable. With opened eyes and yielded hearts we see all that Aaron’s rod represents coming into fullness, while that which Egypt represents comes to a final end.
It is understood by most Bible students that Egypt is a type of the moral, religious, economic, and political systems of the world. We should also mention that each of these systems are resident in every person, including the elect of God. In essence, to whatever these symbols speak concerning the world, they refer to us as individuals as well; and for additional understanding of this, we will note the meaning of the word which tells us a little more about Egypt, and exactly what it was that Aaron’s rod swallowed. Egypt means the border, the outer extremities. Spiritually speaking, Egypt is part of the very extremities of humanity’s obscure darkness and death. When Aaron’s rod swallowed the serpents of Egypt’s magicians, it destroyed death. All of it! His rod swallowed the extremities of the old world, the extremities of the old man, the extremities of the old religion, and all the way to the extremities of every sin and evil thing related to the old.
Serpents speak of wisdom, and wise ministers of spiritual realms, such as religion, can fit this mode. Even so, Aaron’s serpent is a beautiful picture of Christ, the wisdom of God, swallowing up and consuming all the wisdom of the world of the carnal mind, the mind that causes death. "To be carnally minded is death." Romans 8:6. It may be difficult to equate the one who is compassion and love, Jesus, with that which is cold blooded and void of compassion, the serpent; however, once we see that Aaron's serpent of wisdom swallowed Pharaoh's serpent of wisdom, there was no room for compassion. Life had to swallow up death as surely as light swallows darkness when a candle is lit. Compassion has nothing to do with it. It's a merely a fact that takes place in the face of wisdom's contrast.
Moreover, the brazen serpent that Moses lifted upon the pole symbolized the destruction of all sin, that poison which is the sting of death. When bitten by the serpents, those who looked upon that type of Jesus’ death and atoning blood were healed. The sting of death was rendered null and void, and so it is now and will continue with all who look upon the cross of Jesus. Their sin will have no power over them whatsoever.
Brother Eby said this about it: "These are powerful concepts. The grand truth of it is portrayed for us in Moses' and Aaron's mighty acts before Pharaoh in the land of Egypt. Did not Moses and Aaron and the magicians of Egypt employ the very same signs and perform the same feats? Aaron threw down his rod and it was turned into a serpent. But then the magicians of Egypt were called in and they all threw down their rods, and their rods became serpents also. But Aaron's rod, in the form of a serpent, ran after them and swallowed them all; and then it became a rod again in Aaron's hand. So -- how do we overcome the serpent-enemy! Did not the Lord Jesus say, ‘And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up and I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw ALL MEN UNTO ME’ (John 3:14; 12:32). Can we not see by this that satan is a serpent and the Christ became a serpent. But, praise God! Christ swallows up all the serpents of the adversary." (The Heavens Declare, Part 28).
Jesus was figuratively lifted upon a pole in the wilderness, then upon the real one in Jerusalem, and as it was with Moses’ serpent, He taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29). Sin’s sting of death is taken away. It is also written that every eye shall see Him (Rev. 1:7). Not only will every eye look upon Him, but every tongue will confess Him (Phil. 2:11), and that confession is of Him being their Lord to the glory of God the Father.
In our previous study Moses and Aaron’s rods were very significant as types of greater things. We saw how Moses represented the Law, or the Word, and Aaron the Spirit. At the confrontation of Egypt’s head, Moses, the Word, spoke, and Aaron, the Spirit, cast his rod to the ground. The Word and Spirit came together as one, and the authority of the Spirit was manifested in the power of the Word and swallowed the extremities of sin, and its fruit of death.
That was the work of Aaron’s rod in the extremities of Egypt; but it is very significant at home with every person as well. Aaron wrote his name upon the rod, which signified his life, power, and authority. It was no happenstance that this high priest’s name was Aaron; for the name means Light. Therefore, by having the name of Aaron written upon it, made it by nature a rod of light.
Light denotes knowledge, revelation, and understanding. Light also speaks of life. For instance, the apostle John said that God is Light (1 John 1:5). "And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life." 1 John 5:20. "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. John 8:12.
Aaron’s name written on the rod signified not only his authority over the house (the tribe of Levi) and his own household (the priesthood), but also that he was in type imparting life to the same. This shadow of that which was to come is woven throughout the testimony of time in various forms, and its eternal fulfillment shines with clarity in the book of Revelation, especially concerning his house, the priesthood:
"And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having His Father’s name written in their foreheads. Revelation 14:1. Can we not see that if a many membered body of people have their Father’s name written in their foreheads, it is akin to Aaron’s name being written on the rod for the house of Levi? If we can say yes, we can know it is saying that He is the Head of that house, which we are; and being His house means that we are a rod, even a rod of iron in His hand, that represents His life, nature, power, and authority.
Rod is mentioned four times in the book of Revelation, and three of those instances they speak of rods of iron, and I believe those rods to be one and the same. I also believe the 144,000 standing on mount Zion with their Father’s name written in their foreheads are the many membered body that makes up that one rod, which we hope to cover later in this series.
A Reed Like Unto A Rod
The reed like a rod in Revelation 11:1 has a different function than the rod of iron. It is more of an inworking process of God’s chosen. This rod is used to measure sacred things that reside in the deep recesses of they who are holy. "And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. Revelation 11:1.
This rod applies to the temple, the altar, and they who worship therein, and it is a reed like unto a rod. It is not of iron. It is not of judgment that breaks things to pieces. But rather, this rod is used as a standard for God’s chosen. It is a rod used to measure those who have entered into the holy and the most holy place.
The Greek word for measure is metreo and means "admeasure" (Strong’s), "...the rule or a standard of judgment (Thayer’s). The measurement of the temple consists of only the holy place, the most holy place, and those who worship therein; for the Temple, in the sense of the Greek word, naos, is the central sanctuary. The apostle was specifically instructed not to measure the outer court, for the outer courts is not part of the naos. Naos stands alone, separated unto God.
The apostle Paul wrote to the Roman’s concerning this rule of judgment, but he used the term judgment seat of Christ, and Ray Prinzing had some excellent thoughts about this seat that he called, Measured to His Footprint:
"‘For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.’ – Rom. 14:10-12
"Judgment seat – from the Greek word ‘bema,’ meaning footprint, or tribunal, as it refers to the seat of a judge, or that which decides or judges, as, the tribunal of public opinion as a standard which is measured to.
"While the word is used ten times as ‘judgment seat,’ in Acts 7:5 it says, ‘And He gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as TO SET his foot ON.’ These words ‘to set on’ come from the Greek ‘bema,’ but ‘judgment seat’ doesn’t easily fit in this verse, for Abraham was not given so much as a FOOTPRINT in the land, that is, no lasting mark upon which to look as a token of his inheritance in the land. There was nothing tangible to measure by. It was a FAITH WALK, and he had to rest solely upon the promises of God, that this land would be his, and the inheritance for his seed. This verse also illustrates how the word bema can literally mean footprint, thus a form, a standard to be measured to.
"‘Jesus Christ is ‘made unto us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption.’ (1 Cor. 1:30). HE IS THE STANDARD, we are to measure up to HIS FOOTPRINT, to His walk. Being brought to the ‘judgment seat of Christ’ is literally being measured to His footprint.
"Tradition gives the impression that the ‘judgment seat’ is a fearful place where God, as an austere Judge, metes out the sentence, there is no mercy, no love, only awesome judgment. But the truth of the matter is that day by day, we are now, progressively, facing the judgment seat of Christ. We are experientially being measured to His footprint, as the Holy Spirit leads us into all truth, and purges and purifies that we might be conformed to His image. Christ is our Example, ‘that ye should follow in His steps.’ (1 Pet. 2:21). And measured to His footprint, we truly have peace with God." — End quote.
This is the reed like unto a rod, the judgment seat of Christ, the standard of Christ, the footprint of Christ, the admeasure that prepares the house of the Lord for manifestation. They who are measured are not like Korah and his men of renown who were swallowed by the earth when it opened beneath them, or the two hundred and fifty men who unlawfully burned incense to God, and He swallowed them by His all-consuming fire. Those measured in Revelation 11:1 are not weighed in the balance and found to be wanting. This holy place and those who worship therein are holy, but have not been made ready. However, when the standard of holiness comes to them, with eagerness and great joy they judge themselves until they do measure up to the standard. They yearn for that rod to appear; for they know they are to be witnesses in the earth, and until they are made ready in Christ, they cannot be the witnesses of His or their prophetic mission.
This rod is the life, authority, and power of Jesus Christ the high priest. He is the standard for every son of God, and it is by Him that they are measured. When He appears in His temple, in the midst of their being, inventory is taken; and where there is a shortage of His life, it is filled up, where there is an over abundance of self, it is taken away; and it will continue until they are set in the world as the two witnesses with the power to shut heaven that it rains not in the days of their prophecy. Those witnesses have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.
The Two Witnesses
These two witnesses who have been measured are the priests of God, but there is more. The word and spirit of each priest must be measured as well, bringing transformation, transfiguration, and perfect union between their word and spirit. Only then will this royal priesthood flow as one, even as a rod like unto Moses (the word), and Aaron (the spirit) united as one.
Neither of these two witnesses are manifested apart from the other, and it has been said, and I believe it to be true: if the word of the Law is ministered without the Spirit, it can lead to legalism, and if you have the Spirit without the Word, it can lead to fanaticism. If not fanaticism, I know such people can certainly be carried away by anything or any spirit that makes them feel good, and this is not good. The outer court is filled with legalism and free-roaming spirits, but the twain shall never meet and become one in the priests of God. Neither of the two — legalism nor free-roaming, feel-good religion — will be a part of the two witnesses; for they have been measured by the reed like unto a rod, the standard of all holiness.
Notwithstanding, their God-given power and authority is not the end. It is not the goal in their journey to perfection. It is only one phase of many. This manifestation is a preparation for greater things to come. For instance, like our friend, Preston Eby said, "The two witnesses are like John the Baptist who prepared the way for Jesus. They prepare the way for the Manchild."
The two witnesses are not called to rule the nations within nor without during this tenure of their testimony. It is for another time. Although they do not rule, there is torment to those who dwell on the earth, inwardly as well as outwardly, and perhaps more so inwardly. This new walk is to prepare them to be caught up to a higher walk, and it is from there they are qualified to rule in a measure. They are first to be witnesses of their power and authority in the midst of man’s kingdom, but not rulers. They are to prophesy on behalf of He who sends them, and as glorious as this is for the Sons of God, it is not the final goal of their calling. There is a destined end to it. After they are finished with their testimony, after they have finished their course, they are overcome by the beast rising from the bottomless pit.
Some would think that being a witness of this sort would be the ultimate end to perfection. But if that were the case, they would continue on to complete seven symbolic years of testimony. You see, seven speaks of completion, fullness, nothing lacking. It speaks of perfection, while three and a half speaks of a lack, that which in not complete, indicating that the end is not yet.
The two witnesses have not come to perfection, for they are killed; but in their death, they proceed on to a higher goal as they are raised from the dead and ascend to heaven. When their testimony has completed its purpose, their lives come to an end. Think not that they are cut off prematurely from the fulfilling of their testimony by a cunning beast that outwitted them. Until then, neither the beast, nor man, nor anything can touch them. They are invincible! But when they come to the end of their mission, the beast is released to do God’s bidding so they can rise and heed the call, "Come up hither."
We may not understand it, nor like it; but when God finishes something, He ends it. He doesn’t keep it crippling along on life-support systems, and once it is dead, He doesn’t dig it up and breathe another breath of life of the same kind into it. For instance, when John the Baptist finished his course, he was beheaded when it was time for the greater to appear, Jesus Christ, the Son of God. And when Jesus finished His course, He was crucified to make way for the greater — His resurrection, ascension, and bringing forth His corporate body. When God brings forth a great thing, even though painful to us at first, He always ends the former.
Let us pause for a moment and note the place wherein the two witnesses are killed, namely, in the holy city (vrs. 2), Jerusalem, where their Lord was crucified, the great city and spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt. (vrs. 8). How can this be? How can the city be called holy and still be over-wrought with sin, much less to be called Sodom and Egypt? Aren’t all things that are holy without sin? Evidently not if Jerusalem is called Sodom and Egypt!
Actually, this is no great mystery; for there is a lot of mixture from the outer court of the Temple and outwardly in the city, which represents both the church in some fashion and that which is a part of the witnesses. You see, everyone has three realms that make one temple. They have a spirit, soul, and a body. The outer court, of course, represents those who have been born from above, who know God in a measure, and who love Him; but there still remains a lot of worldliness, carnality, and sin. Although those born of Him know Him, and love Him, they are not His priests, they are not His elect, they are not the two witnesses. They are outside of the sanctuary, and they very often miss the mark. Although holy, there is an abundance of sin in that realm called the holy city. And so it is with those who are called to testify, prophesy, and bring plagues on the earth. There is that outer court, the holy city in them.
Regardless of the depth of sin to which the natural city of Jerusalem often descended, it has always been called the holy city. On one hand, the entire world of the church system can be said to be holy, while on the other, it is called Sodom and Egypt. Notwithstanding, it is still called the holy city even though it has gone to the extreme, outer limits of Egypt and Sodom’s spiritual decadence. And it is in this city, the spirit of the church system, that man’s carnal religion rises in power to put to death the true witness and testimony of the Lord. And please be put on notice, this city is more than that religious system we see in the world — it is in the midst of the body of Christ. It is just as real inwardly as it is outwardly, and the beast of carnality will rise in the elect and kill the spirit and word of their testimony. Moreover, we have seen this scenario time and again. None of the great spiritual moves and awakenings was IT, and neither is the testimony of the two witnesses. Figuratively speaking, we could say that the works of Martin Luther (1517), the Reformation, George Fox and the Quakers (1652), Azusa Street Revival (1906) and Latter Rain (1947) were three and a half years each; for they were all cut off in mid term. Neither of them established peace on earth. They were cut off when the beast that was held in the bottomless pit by the testimony of truth of each movement rose up. And what is the key that unlocks the gates of that pit? It’s very basic — Godliness is replaced with form. Like the two witnesses, they had the testimony (Grk. martuia, evidence) of Jesus, and the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Revelation 19:10. And it is by that spirit, the evidence of Jesus, that they prophecy three and a half years.
Even though the testimony of the two witnesses is, no doubt, much greater and more enhanced than those of all the movements of the past, it suffers the same fate. As with all the great evidences of Jesus in the past, this greater work is reduced to a religious form, an lays dead for three and a half days in the city where their Lord was crucified; that is, Jerusalem, called Sodom and Egypt, which is the whole of the church system. Everyone who had the life and testimony of Jesus were still right where they were when life flowed like a river, but now they were dead and merely going through the motions of yesteryear’s glory. But you see, three and a half years tell us that the death was never meant to be permanent. It was making a way for the greater, and then greater yet until they as the two witnesses rise to the throne of God and begin to take the kingdom of the world for the Kingdom of the Lord and His anointed. It is the spirit of this city, the great city of religion, where the beast of carnality and human reasoning gains its power to kill the Word and the Spirit, the Testimony of Jesus.
But let us keep in mind that until their testimony is finished, this beastly thing has no power over them whatsoever; for he is imprisoned in the bottomless pit by their very presence as the word of truth. But as soon as it is time for the next phase of their journey — death, resurrection, power, and authority in heaven — their power and authority in earth ceases. This is what releases the beast from the pit that is void of a foundation. It seems that these two who are united as one, are very much like the angel in Revelation 20 that bound Satan and cast him into the bottomless pit. When spiritual truth is known, neither the beast of man nor the religion of man have grounds to stand on. Everything they once stood upon is exposed for what it is, and they are left with no foundation in the presence of truth.
After the two witnesses’ testimony is finished and they are called up hither, what do we suppose is the next great event to take place that has to do with them? First, in the same hour of their transition, in that realm wherein they ascend, there is a great earthquake in the heavens, and a tenth of the holy city "falls," and then, "15...the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. Revelation 11:15.
Prior to being caught up, their testimony and prophecy causes quite a stir; but in the same hour that they hear the call, "come up hither," there is a great earthquake (vrs. 13). The very foundation of that spiritual city, Jerusalem/Sodom/Egypt, which is also known as Babylon, is shaken and is at great peril, and the tenth of that city fell; that is, the tithe of the city took flight. A tenth in scripture speaks of the tithe (Heb. mahasayr, tenth), and the tithe has always belonged to the Lord. The word fell is from the Greek words, piptÇ petÇ and does mean to fall, but also, to alight, which is akin to petomai petaomai ptaomai, to fly. (Strong’s Exh. Conc.). For instance, piptÇ petÇ is translated fly in the following verses: "And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven..." Revelation 14:6. "...The fowls that fly in the midst of heaven..." Revelation 19:17. "14And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent." Revelation 12:14.
Confined within this great city of legalism and ritualism is the tithe of the Lord. And when that system in our own being is shaken after we ascend, the firstfruits, the pure essence, fly from the excess baggage of man’s dead religion.
And then from that greater realm, the ascended witnesses declare with great voices the conquering of the age-old kingdom of man. Prior to being caught up, like John the Baptist, they troubled man’s hierarchy; but now they are conquering it, they are continuing to conquer it, and they will ultimately conquer it, totally, within and without.
We had thought that once the elect of God ascend to such heights that the entire world and all of its kingdoms would suddenly fall into their hands. But this is not the case, not yet. If this victory was not a progressive process, the, are come, or in the Greek, is come, would have been written in the indicative, present, active voice, which would mean that it is a done deal, finalized, transaction completed. The kingdom of man would have been signed, sealed, and delivered into the hands of the Kingdom of God. If that were the case, there would be no need for Revelation 12:5 to have been recorded, which speaks of the man child who was to be ruling all the nations. And this is after the kingdom of this world is becoming the Kingdom of their Lord and His anointed of Revelation 11:15.
Also, although the Lord and His anointed are taking possession of man’s kingdom, Revelation 12 makes it clear that it is not a finished work; for not only do we see the man child being caught up and was to rule (future tense) all nations with a rod of iron, shortly following this great declaration that the kingdom of the world is become the Kingdom of the Lord’s and his anointed, there is war in heaven. If that kingdom had been conquered in its totality, which is ruled from the heavens of the dragon’s realm of dominion and power, there would be no war in heaven. It would have ended in the 15th verse of chapter 11. Not only could chapter 12 have been omitted, but also all the others between chapter 11 and 22. Chapter 22 could then unfold and all the nations would be healed. But absolute victory is not yet, and so it is with the witnesses of the body of Christ.
This war is not fought on the lower levels of the earth, not in our everyday affairs of good versus evil, but in the upper echelons of the heavens. It is fought in the realm where the great city of "Sodom and Egypt" receives its deceitful authority and power; that is, the authority of the spirit of religion, the dragon, and the power of the carnal, adamic, beast of man’s reason.
It is at this time that the two witnesses are given power and authority to rule the nations; but they, the manifestation of the Word and the Spirit, have to first come forth as one testimony of the anointed word. They have to keep the Lord’s word and testimony to the end. After they have finished their course and are then killed, they are raised from the dead and ascend in a cloud (not literal) into that higher realm of the heavens. After all these things they are given power over the nations of the world to rule them with a rod of iron. And we must look within and know that they must be ruled before those without can be addressed.
This begins with the two witnesses being measured by the reed like unto a rod, who is Christ Jesus, the Standard of all holiness, authority, and power. These witnesses, the Spirit and the Word and those in the express image of the two, are sent into the holy city while bringing various judgments against her apostasy. When their testimony is finished, they are killed in order for the essence of who they are to ascend to the next phase of their calling. After three and a half figurative days they are raised up and called up. And from there, greater power and dominion are given to them.
What else do we suppose happens to these two witnesses, the Spirit and the Word, the holy ones of God who are full of grace? Immediately after this, a woman is seen in heaven, another phase of the elect of God. And she, as the Spirit and Word coming together as one, brings forth her offspring. "And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. Revelation 12:5.
Elwin R. Roach
To receive our monthly studies in booklet format