The Four Days of John’s Ministry
The law and the prophets were until John; since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it. (Luke 16:16)
John’s Ministry Represented Moses and Elijah: The ministry of John the Baptist was short but vital in preparing the way for the ministry of Christ. He was the last prophet of the Old Testament era. His ministry was the culmination of all his predecessors, most notably Elijah, by whose spirit and power he ministered. (Luke 1:17) But John also represented Moses and the divine Law, and in this capacity he testified of Jesus (John 5:39) and worked to bring men to Christ. (Galatians 3:24) Consequently, all that is written in the Old Testament, both the law and the prophets, find their culmination and completion in John. When John preached, it was as if Moses, Elijah, and all the prophets were speaking through him. In fact, it is the entire Old Testament administration that spoke through the mouth of this one man, as though John were the summary of all that went before him. This does not mean that either the law of the prophets became irrelevant or were put away by the coming of Jesus and His ministry. God has not put away either. On the contrary, Jesus said: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets; I am not come to destroy but to fulfill.” (Matthew 5:17)
The purpose of the divine law is to set His standard of righteousness by which we may know how to define sin and righteousness in practical terms. (Romans 3:20) For instance, Paul said he would not have known that coveting was a sin, except the law said, “Thou shalt not covet.” (Romans 7:7) So without the law being given, we would not be able to repent of sin, for we would not know what to repent of.
If the law had not been given, there would be no sin, for sin is transgression of law. (1 John 3:4) Our modern term is “crime.” If there were no laws in our nation, there would be no criminals either, because men could do as they pleased without violating any law. In precisely the same way, without the divine law, there would be no sinners. “Where no law is, there is no transgression.” (Romans 4:15)
John’s ministry was indeed glorious. Jesus said he was the greatest of the prophets. (Luke 7:28) In this one man was the ministry of Moses and Elijah, which makes him an Old Testament type and shadow of the two witnesses of Revelation 11, who shall manifest the ministries of Moses and Elijah. (See Revelation 11:5-6, compared with Exodus 7:19 and 2 Kings 1:10)
John’s Ministry Had to Decrease: Great as it was, John’s ministry cannot even be compared with that which was to come. Though this law administration was so glorious that it made Moses’ face radiant with the divine presence, yet it was on a “ministration of death” (2 Corinthians 3:7) leading to “condemnation.” (2 Corinthians 3:8) The law can only convict sinners; it cannot bring Grace, for all have sinned, and the law does not have the authority to forgive the sinner.
John was destined from the beginning to decrease in direct proportion to the increase in Jesus’ ministry. (John 3:30) And so it was not until John was cast into prison (Matthew 4:12) that Jesus began His ministry. (Matthew 4:17) Further, there came a time when Jesus had to increase fully into His calling; and at that point John was killed by Herod. (Matthew 14.)
With the ministry of John, the foundational work of the entire Old Testament era was completed. If Jesus had come earlier, He would have built His house upon the sand, for the foundation would yet have been incomplete. This fact alone should make us appreciate the ministries of Moses and Elijah (law and prophets), for they laid the foundation stones for the coming of Jesus Christ.
Preparing the Way: It was customary in those days for men to prepare the roadway before a visiting dignitary arrived. Men would go out and fill in the low places and ruts. They would remove the rocks and make the way smooth. Where the road was crooked, going around small hills, they would remove the hills and make the road straight. This was how men prepared the way before Him, and this is how John’s ministry is described by Isaiah: “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, ‘Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.’ Every valley shall be exalted (filled in), and every mountain and bill shall be made low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain.” (Isaiah 40:3-4)
This was not only fulfilled in John, (Matthew 3:3) but also by the entire ministry of the law and prophets that had their focus in John. What a glorious and highly important ministry that was! Just think what an honor it was to be the spokesman for the entire Old Testament era, summarizing all things that had been revealed up to that point, and tying all the “lose ends” together. What an honor not only to turn over to Him the reins of history, but also to initiate that new era in baptizing the Messiah.
Some think that once Christ “fulfilled the law and the prophets” by walking that prepared highway, this highway was then removed, or “put away.” On the contrary, the highway is there to stay, for it is the highway of holiness (Isaiah 35:8-10) on which the New Testament saints march to Mount Zion. It was laid as a firm foundation to the next age, whose believers were meant to walk upon it always.
This highway represents the work accomplished in the Old Testament era, which leads us to Christ. But once that work was accomplished, the focus of history turned to a new work, the building of His Temple. Without the highway, it would be impossible to build the Temple. Without the completed ministry of the Old Testament law and prophets, there would be no New Testament ministry. The only difference is that now we as New Testament Christians are able to utilize and build upon a completed foundation; we are able to turn our prime attention away from highway construction to building His Temple. The preparation work has been done; it is now time to do the real work.
The Four Days of John’s Ministry: It is well known that John the Baptist ministered much longer than a mere four days. But the Gospel of John only deals specifically with four of those days. The reason for this was to prophetically summarize in John the Baptist the entire administration of Old Testament which he represented.
1). Day 1: John 1:19-28 (4,000 - 3,000 B.C.)
2). Day 2: John 1:29-34 (3,000 - 2,000 B.C.)
3). Day 3: John 1:35-42 (2,000 - 1,000 B.C.)
4). Day 4: John 1:43-51 (1,000 - B.C. - Christ)
Day 1: Man Created and Defined: The events of this first day of “the record of John” are recorded in John 1:19-28. It is characterized primarily by the question asked him by the priests and Levites: “Who art thou?” John’s answer was to quote Isaiah 40:3. “He said, ‘I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as said the prophet Esaias.” (Isaiah 1:23) Here John speaks by the spirit and power of Adam. It is as though Adam were looking out over a vast created “wilderness.” It is as though Adam were viewing the great expanse of time and history that lay ahead. Adam was the first to begin preparing the way for the promised Messiah, known to him as the seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15) who was to bruise the serpent’s head. This was the true work that Adam was assigned to perform by “the sweat of his face” (Generis 3:19) that would begin to prepare the way for the Messiah. The Psalmist, too, mused over the significance of man in such a vast creation by asking: “When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars which Thou hast ordained, what is man that Thou art mindful of him and the son of man that Thou visitest him?” (Psalm 8:3-4)
It is almost as though John in this first day has suddenly become endowed with the spirit of Adam who is speaking through him: “There standeth One among you, Whom ye know not; He it is, Who coming after me is preferred before me, Whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose!” (Psalm 8:3-4)
Can we not hear him tell us, “No, I am not the Christ; I am only the first Adam. The Second Adam who stands in your midst, one you do not recognize, is much greater than I. From the beginning I have labored to prepare the way for his coming.”
In Genesis, Adam was the head of a newly-created Kingdom of God upon the earth. But in the book of John, Christ is seen as the head of the re-creation of this Kingdom, brought forth out of its state of death into new life. Even as the Genesis Kingdom was prepared for Adam’s Dominion by a Voice crying in the vast recesses of space (for God Spoke all things into being), so also in John do we see another voice crying in the wilderness to prepare a new Kingdom, a New Heaven, and a New Earth; a Kingdom in which the Second Adam would be given full Dominion.
Day 2: The Earth Cleansed: This second day takes us from the death of Adam to the time of Abraham. The midpoint of this second day is the time of Noah’s Flood. 1 Peter 3:20-21 tells us that Noah’s flood prefigured baptism. Hence, the record of John here in Day w speaks of baptism. “And John bare record saying, ‘I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon Him. And I knew Him not; but He that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, ‘Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, the same is He which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.’ And I saw and bare record that this is the Son of God.” (John 1:26-27)
The record of Genesis 8:6-12 states that after the flood, Noah first sent out a raven, and then a dove. There is no record of the raven ever returning to the ark, but it does say that the dove found no rest and so returned. Noah waited another week and then sent the dove again. This time the dove returned with an olive sprout in its mouth. Noah knew then that the waters were abating, but it was not yet time to emerge and re-claim the earth as God’s Kingdom.
Another week went by, and then Noah sent the dove out again. This time it did not return to him, and so the time had come to re-claim the earth as the Kingdom of God upon the earth. The significance of Noah’s actions are both simple and profound. The sending forth of the raven (an unclean bird (Matthew 13:4, 19)) speaks of the sending forth of evil spirits into the world. It portends the downward spiral of history, the degeneration of man, both physically and spiritually, until the day of God’s Kingdom spoken of by Zechariah the prophet: “In that day there shall be a contain opened to the house of David and tot he inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness...and also I will cause...the unclean spirit to pass out of the land.” (Zechariah 13:1-2)
Just as in the days of Noah “the fountains of the great deep” (Genesis 7:11) were broken up to cleanse the earth of the unclean giants (Nephilim), so also in the Kingdom Age there shall be another fountain opened up for cleansing the land. The raven sent out by Noah typified the return of the unclean spirit upon the earth that had just been cleansed by the flood’s baptism. Yet the day shall come when the unclean spirit will be eradicated. The Dove was also sent forth three times. This foretold three distinct historical moments in which the Holy Spirit was to be sent forth.
The first time the Dove was sent forth, it “found no rest” and returned to Noah. In the vast sea of humanity, this Dove could find no man worthy of its anointing. This speaks of the first Pentecost at Mt. Sinai, at the institution of the Old Covenant, where man was not yet ready to house the Divine Presence. This is shown by the reaction of the Israelites at Mt. Sinai in Exodus 20, where they fled in fear and did not want to hear His voice. And so the Dove found no rest and another Ark had to be built to house His presence.
The second time the Dove was sent forth was in the time of the New Covenant. This time it rested upon the olive tree (Israel) and found an Olive Sprout in the person of Jesus. This foretold the coming of Jesus and His ministry, particularly the fact that the Spirit of God rested upon this one man in full measure.
As in the days of Noah, it tells us that the waters had finally begun to abate, and that new life was beginning to spring forth upon the earth, God’s Kingdom that had been in a state of ruin. This little Sprout, however, was only a tiny beginning, a Firstfurit of a greater harvest to follow. One might argue that the Pentecost in Acts 2 was the final outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon all flesh, and that this was the third and final fulfillment of the sending forth of the Dove. It is not. It was a spring feast day, set up in conjunction with Passover, which fulfilled the second time the Dove was sent forth. It was only the “earnest” (Ephesians 1:14) or down payment of the unlimited outpouring yet to come.
This is made plain by the simple fact that Pentecost was to be celebrated with 2 loves of bread cooked withy leaven. (Leviticus 23:17) This tells us that even those who enter into the experience of Pentecost, with the baptism of the Holy Spirit, are yet imperfect. Pentecost was the completed wheat harvest, but not until the fall Feast of the Ingathering were the corn, the wine, and the olive oil gathered into the barns. Pentecost was the fullness of the harvest in relation to the Feast of Firstfruits (Leviticus 23:10) associated with Passover. But Pentecost itself was only a firstfruits harvest to be followed by the fullness - the Feast of the Ingathering, or Tabernacles. (Leviticus 23:34)
And so, Pentecost in Acts 2 was like a promise to send forth the Dove in full measure (the third time), and this promise was made with a small down payment as “earnest money.” The third time the Dove was sent forth by Noah, it did not return to him again. This speaks of an unlimited fulfillment, the full harvest yet to come. It speaks of the day when we see the Holy Spirit fully poured out upon “all flesh,” the day when the full Promise shall begin to be poured out, the day when the Manchild Company shall come forth of the Melchizedek Order. As of this date, this unlimited baptism by the Holy Spirit Dove has not yet been fully sent out (where it never returns to God empty-handed). Yet it was all prefigured in the Dove Noah sent out in Genesis 8.
This second day (3,000 to 2,000 B.C.) Ends with Abraham, the father of Faith, and in whose loins was the promised Messiah and the Sons of the Kingdom. Abraham’s great faith is best portrayed in his willingness to offer up his only son, Isaac, upon the altar. As the story goes, God provided a Lamb as a substitute for Isaac. (Genesis 22:8) This was the final highlight of the era of the second day, and so it is alluded to in Day 2 of John’s ministry. As Jesus approached, John the Baptist proclaimed: “Behold the Lamb of God Which taketh away the sin of the world!”
He was indeed the great Substitute Lamb of God which Abraham received by faith in place of Isaac. And so all of us who are of like faith are Abraham’s seed, in place of whom the Lamb of God has died. Thus, the second day of John’s ministry focused upon two important incidents: (1) Noah’s flood with the raven and dove being sent forth, and (2) Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac, with the Lamb substituted.
Day 3: The Kingdom Called: The third day of John’s ministry takes us from Abraham to Moses and on to David, roughly 2,000 to 1,000 B.C. The events of this day are recorded in John 1:35-42. It is characterized primarily by the fact that it is here that Jesus begins calling his twelve disciples. This begins with John’s witness, where he again says: “Behold, the Lamb of God.” (John 1:36) The calling forth of the Kingdom and its people began with Abraham in the Old Testament. Abraham was called forth out of Ur of the Chaldees. (Genesis 12) The next important calling forth came in the days of Moses, when Israel as a new nation was called out of Egypt. And so, Jesus too began calling His disciples: “And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, ‘What seek ye?’ They said unto Him, ‘Rabbi...where dwellest Thou?’ He saith unto them, ‘Come and see.’ They came and saw where He dwelt, and abode with Him that day.” (John 1:37-39)
These two disciples fulfilled a role much like ancient Israel in the days of Moses. If you will recall, Israel went first to Mount Sinai to see the place where God dwelt. God had appeared to Moses in the burning bush on Mount Sinai. (Exodus 3) The name “Saini” means “the bush of God.” In Moses’ blessing to Israel in Deuteronomy 33, God is again referred as “Him that dwelt in the bush.” (Deuteronomy 33:16)
Mount Sinai is to the Old Testament what Mount Zion is to the New. Both mountains typify the dwelling place of God. This third day introduces us to both of these mountains. In the “morning” of this third day, Abraham offered up Isaac on Mount Zion; in mid-day, Moses found God on Mount Sinai; and in the evening David found Him again on Mount Zion, where he made all the preparations for the building of the Temple. All of this was graphically depicted in the third day of John’s ministry, for it was then that men began to recognize Jesus through John’s witness and to follow Him, even as Israel in ancient times. But there is another incident recorded in “the record of John.” It deals with Peter and his ministry. “One of the two which heard John speak, and followed Him (Jesus), was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, we have found the Messias (which is, being interpreted, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, He said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona; thou shalt be called Cephas (which is by interpretation, a stone). (John 1:40-42)
We may ask how this “stone” fulfilled the Old Testament type in Day 3. There are a number of things that can be brought up here. The first deals with Jacob, the grandson of Abraham. As he fled from his brother, Esau, he stopped for the night at Bethel, where he had a dream about a ladder leading into heaven. When he awoke, he said: “This is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven. And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. And he called the name of that place Bethel...And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God; and this stone, which I have set for a Pillar, shall be God’s house.” (Genesis 28:17-22)
This pillar, or memorial, which Jacob anointed with oil, later became one of the major themes throughout the Scriptures. For example, Genesis 49:24 refers to “the stone of Israel Jacob).” Later, in many places such as in Psalm 62:2, God is called “the Rock of my salvation.” The term “Christ” simply means “anointed one,” Thus, by strictest definition, when Jacob/Israel prophetically anointed (or, encristed) the stone, he made it a symbol of Christ, Who is truly “the Rock of our salvation.”
Jacob also proclaimed this stone to be “God’s House” in Genesis 28:22. In the same way, Jesus Christ and His Body of Christians (little Christs) make up the whole of the Church, which is God’s House. In the record of John, Day 3, Simon was given a new name, Cephas in Aramaic, and Petros in Greek. Both names mean “a stone.” when Peter made his confession that “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God,” Jesus said in reply: “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18)
We learn from Genesis that the stone Jacob anointed was located at “the gate of heaven.” Now Jesus tells us that “the gates of hell” would not be able to over come His Church; Bethel, the House of God, the body of people in whom Christ dwells. And this anointed “stone,” the confession of Faith that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God, is that which is set up as a pillar, or memorial, in the hearts of every true believer, every Bethel where He dwells. The Stone theme appears again at the end of this third day during the time of David. When it comes time to build the temple, it is said: “The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes.” (Psalm 118:22-23)
Once again, this stone became a prophetic symbol of the Messiah who was rejected by Levitical priests, the ones called to build the Church of their day. Yet that same “stone” (Messiah) became the Chief foundation stone of the New Temple on Mount Zion in the New Jerusalem. (Hebrews 12:22) Taking this one step further, it is written about the Church: “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone; in Whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy Temple in the Lord.” (Ephesians 2:20-21)
Being one of the apostles,” Peter would thus become an appropriate subject for Jesus’ “stone” prophecy. And this entire theme being brought out in the third day of John’s ministry is most remarkable, seeing that it was in Day 3 of the Old Testament that the “stone” first emerges as a symbol of Christ.
Day 4; A New Kingdom Mandate: In the fourth day of the Old Testament 1,000 B.C. to the time of Christ, the old kingdoms of Israel and Judah went from Solomon’s Golden Age to the depths of captivity. While one may correctly view this as a failure due to the inadequacy of man, their partial success was at the same time an early pattern toward the real and full manifestation of the Kingdom. In the mind of God, His plan has always been to tell man to do something, giving Him a divine law or standard to go by, as well as the authority and some empowerment with which to fulfill the play. Man then partially succeeds, but at the same time he sows the seeds of destruction in the plan. No man can fully succeed on a partial endowment of Holy Spirit power.
Then God steps in with what looks like an alternate plan, but which actually was His original plan, because He was well aware that the first would not succeed. For instance, the Old Covenant was established first, and Israel was given a mandate to establish the Kingdom. They made an attempt to fulfill this, even coming to a high degree of success in the days of David and Solomon. But ultimately, they failed because they only had the Holy Spirt’s power in an Ark in the Temple. It was external, for man was not ready to house the Holy Spirit.
In the New Testament era, we find the same thing happening all over again. At Pentecost in Acts 2, the Holy Spirit was given as a down payment to establish the Kingdom, but the Church of the New Testament has not fared much better than Israel of old. It remains now for us to appeal to God for a new mandate with the full empowerment to get the job done. All of this is graphically pictured in the fourth day of John’s ministry. (John 1:43-51) In this passage is found the account of how Jesus met Nathanael. Jesus said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile.” (John 1:47)
Nathanael was surprised and wondered how Jesus knew him, “Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.” (John 1:48) Nathanael is a type of Kingdom that Jesus was calling out. His name means “Gift of God.” God’s “gift” is Grace as a means of establishing the Kingdom, in contrast to the Law method of man’s efforts. Nathanael was “under the fig tree” in that he was under the authority of the fig tree Nation and an part of that law dispensation. The fig tree was the national symbol of Judah. (Jeremiah 24; Matthew 21:19; 24:32) Hosea prophesied during John’s fourth day, and he wrote about this as well: “I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the first-ripe in the fig tree at her first time; but they went to Baal-peor and separated themselves unto that shame.” (Hosea 9:10)
Jesus probably had this verse in mind when he told Nathanael He had seen him under the fig tree. The old Kingdom had followed after Baal-peor and failed to fulfill their mandate; but now Nathanael was seen as a true Israelite without guile. As such, Nathanael represents “your fathers,” all those who were called out of the old order into a new mandate. These were those who, like Nathanael, would confess: “Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God; Thou art the King of Israel.” (John 1:49)
And so, this fourth day of John’s ministry focuses upon the closing moments of the day, with the change in authority. Jesus saw the Kingdom under the authority of the fig tree during that “day” (1,000 B.C. to the time of Christ); but now Jesus was proclaiming a new day, calling forth the Kingdom out from the old authority and the Old Covenant mandate, into a new day and with a greater empowerment. But Jesus then takes it one step further in a prophecy to Nathanael of the fulness that would characterize the Kingdom and its people: “And He saith unto him, verily, verily, I say unto you, hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.” (John 1:51)
This takes us back once again to Jacob’s dream at Bethel, which we mentioned earlier. Jacob saw this very thing in his dream during the third day of the Old Testament when the Kingdom was first being called out. It was this dream which caused him to anoint the stone and call it the House of God (Church). Only when we see the fullness of the Divine Presence upon us, with the heavens fully open above us (as with Jesus), will we know the Kingdom of God is complete. This is no longer a partial endowment of the Holy Spirit in a Pentecost that yet contains leaven. This is a full inheritance, where Christ is fully formed within us. This is the Feast of Tabernacles.
Days 5 and 6; The Present Age: The record of John the Baptist tends with Day 4 at the end of the first chapter of the book of John. There is then a 2-day interval, after which the apostle picks up the story on “the third day” after the last event, which is actually the seventh day from the beginning of the record of John. “And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there.”
The two days in between here are not really skipped. John deals with these days in the major portion of his gospel, where he records the eight prophetic “miracles” (Gr. Semeion, or signs). These signs deal with what we call the Church Age. A study of the rest of the book of John would be necessary in order to obtain a good understanding of the mandate we received at Pentecost at the beginning of this present age. However, this is outside the scope of our present study.
Day 7; The Kingdom Fully Comes: The seventh day, which is the third day after John, brings us roughly to the year 2,000 A.D. it begins with the marriage feast at Cana and speaks of the final marriage feast of the Lamb that shall yet take place at the beginning of the Kingdom Age to come. (Revelation 19) In the wedding feast of John 2, Jesus tells the servants to fill the six stone jars with water up to the brim. When they serve the water to the guests, they found the water had been turned into wine. Six is the number of man. These jars represent men filled with the water of Life, the Word, the Holy Spirit. It was good, but it was not the best until the water was changed into wine. In this present age, we who are endowed with the blessings of Pentecost and the baptism of the Holy Spirit are like the water-filled jars. But not until we are presented to the true “Ruler of the Feast” (our heavenly Father) will our in filling be altered form water to wine. This is the new mandate that we seek in order to be able to fully establish His Kingdom upon the earth.
When Jesus’ mother first came to Him about the problem of running out of wine, Jesus told her, “Mine hour is not yet come.” It was early, and this gives us hope that we will see this sign fulfilled in our day Before this present age has been completed. We know Jesus did this sign before John had been cast into prison, for in John 3:24 we read: “For John was not yet cast into prison.” This set the pattern for our own time as well, and so we (like Mary) may ask Jesus to give us the fullness of the inheritance before the end of the age. In fact, may we not see in this connection to Jesus’ prophecy in Matthew 24:22: “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.”
It is not possible, even probable, that we will need this new Kingdom mandate early with its full authority and Holy Spirit empowerment in order to prevent the utter destruction of all flesh? Yet this also may tell us that some will receive this full empowerment even before our own John the Baptists are “decreased” or killed. This includes the two witnesses of Revelation 11 and an entire company of people who are called to prepare the way for the coming of Christ in our own age. Just as Jesus’ first disciples came from John’s ranks, (John 1:37) so also will we see Christians switch from the ministry of Preparation to the ministry of Restoration. Their jobs will change from highway construction to that of Temple construction. John the Baptist himself did not have the calling to move into the Restoration ministry. The same applies to the Two Witnesses of Revelation 11. These must decrease and eventually be killed, for this is in the plan of God in order to fulfill all righteousness. Although we today consider ourselves to be New Testament Christians, most recognize that the prophecy in Malachi was not only applicable in John’s day, but deals with the Two Witnesses and the Preparation ministry of our own day as well: “Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” (Malachi 4:4-5)
John the Baptist was the greatest of all the prophets before him, yet he could not enter into Jesus’ ministry. In our own day as well, if any individuals are truly the Two Witnesses of Revelation 11, they will have to die without entering into the Restoration ministry that Jesus had. However, most who are a part of this Preparation ministry of John, and who are faithful disciples, teaching the prophets, will have the opportunity to cross over, even as John’s disciples did. Those who are too attached to John and cannot leave his ministry will decrease with his ministry, for once the highway of holiness has been built, there will be little for them to do under that old mandate.
In fact, there may be many who will not be able to make the transition. Consider the fact that to most people, the ministry of John and particularly that of the Two Witnesses is held in such reverence that many cannot conceive of any higher calling to do. They do not realize that we are members of Christs’ Body, who shall do “greater works” than He did. (John 14:12) So far, these greater works have not been done, because we, yet, have leaven in our Pentecost experience. We need a fuller endowment of power. When we do, we - His Body - will do the works that He did, only applied to the modern situation. And the sign by which we do these things will be the same as the one Jesus gave when asked in: “Then answered the Jews and said unto him, what sign showest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? Jesus answered and said unto them, destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up!” (John 2:18-19)
It says further that He spoke of the Temple that was His body. (John 2:21) Jesus Himself did die, but He rose again on the third day as He said; and ultimately it also spoke of Herod’s Temple, which was destroyed 40 years later by the Romans. That Temple was a suitable portrait of the Pharisaical (Jewish) Church System of that day, and it had to be destroyed to make way for a New Temple, a new body known as Christians. Today’s Church system is little better than that of old Jerusalem. Once again, we have our own “Temple of Herod.” It too shall be pulled down in order to make way for a better one. Our Restoration mandate will be to rebuild it in the image of God. Let us pray to God for the new Mandate of the Kingdom. Let us seek the full inheritance of the Holy Spirit, that we might see the Kingdom come in its fullness. Let us work to gather in the full harvest of the Feast of Tabernacles, in which the grapes are harvested, that the water we now contain might be changed into wine. ( Note: We believe that this last section (Day 7) is of utmost importance to those who have considered that they, as individual Christian Israel Identity believers, witnesses and teachers, are a part of the latter-day Elijah-John the Baptist Preparation Ministry. We encourage all have “ears to hear” to re-read this last section and to ponder where and how the Lord has called you to work in His vineyard. We have been consciously in a state of transition as we seek to be part of those who will not taste of death at His appearing; Christ in us, the hope (we believe is soon to be realized) of glory (glorification of the body))