Something’s been nagging at me while I’ve been reading your articles. If essentially the 10 virgins are all asleep, how is the entire body of believers going to miss the ministry of the Two Witnesses? Can you apply a minimalist/maximalist approach to the Two Witnesses?
On a different topic, are you aware of the work of Dr. Russell Humphries in describing the science behind the events of Creation Week? He’s done research and written a book titled “Starlight and Time”.
Also, how is your book on prophecy coming along?
In Messiah Yeshua,
You ask a good, probing question. I think one clarification needs to be made before responding to your question. Although all the ten virgins in Matthew 25 are “asleep” to the fact that the Second Coming is imminent, five of them are “ready” and five are not. The ones who are “ready” are ushered in into the wedding supper even though they are surprised by its timing. This reminds us of Christ’s words (a few verses earlier) in Matt. 24:44: “Be you also ready, for in such an hour as you think not, the son of man comes.” It is far more important to “be ready” in a spiritual sense than to have the dates all figured out.
Now for your question. I do see a way in which the Two Witnesses will finish their ministry even as the community of believers will not realize their ministry is about to end. Revelation 11:3 foretells their ministry will be “1260 days” long, and verses 5-6 add that they will do great miracles and that their enemies will be supernaturally slain. However, the Bible does not specifically prophecy that these great miracles will occur from “day one” of their ministry. Revelation 11:3 states that they will “prophesy” or “preach” for 1260 days; It does not specifically promise that they will “do miracles” for 1260 days. It is entirely possibly that the Two Witnesses will “preach” or “prophesy” for an initial or extended part of their ministry without doing any miracles at all. The miracle-working portion of their ministry may begin only when the Beast power finds them sufficiently irritating that it sends military or police forces to shut their ministry down and/or kill them (see II Kings 1:8-16 for a biblical precedent) The very first miracle mentioned in Revelation 11’s prophecy about them is one in which they will be supernaturally defended when they are attacked by people intending to harm them (Rev. 11:5). The prophecy about the Two Witnesses doing mighty miracles to plague the nations is in verse 6, after they are divinely protected in verse 5. One could come to the conclusion that they will be unleashed to “go on the offense” in verse 6 only after they are physically attacked by the beast power in verse 5.
Given the above, we could have a situation in which the Two Witnesses are not recognized as such by believers until part or much of their ministry has already elapsed. It is even possible that the Two Witnesses may not know when God actually “starts the clock” on their ministry. If they do not perform great miracles until late in their ministry, believers may assume that their ministry is just beginning and that there are still 1260 days left of their ministry on the day they do their first great miracle. However, what if they do not perform great miracles until their ministry is almost concluded, as God reckons their time of preaching? Then they could be killed in Jerusalem (Rev. 11:7-11) long before believers expect their ministry to end. Matthew 25:6’s “cry” that the bridegroom’s coming is imminent may be the death of the Two Witnesses. At that point, every believer will realize there are only three and 1/2 days until the Second Coming and the resurrection of the saints (Rev. 11:9). That will not be enough time for the spiritually unprepared to “get ready'” for their Lord’s return.
I am not aware of the work of Dr. Russell Humphries so I cannot comment on it.