VIIIa.16. Who Are the “Two Witnesses” In Revelation 11?

Question:  Everyone has a guess at who the two witnesses of Revelation 11 are. Who are they, or does anyone know?

Answer:  This chapter about the Two Witnesses is parenthetical from Verses 1-13, which is inserted between the 6th and 7th Trumpets of Judgment.  The following may illustrate.  These judgments begin back in Chapter 8:2,6.

“And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.” (V.2 )

“And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.” (V.6).

First Trumpet – 8:7
Second Trumpet – 8:8-9
Third Trumpet – 8:10,11
Fourth Trumpet – 8:12,13
Fifth Trumpet – 9:1-2 (First Woe of 8:13)
Sixth Trumpet – 9:13-21 (Second Woe of 8:13)
(Parenthetical Insert of Revelation 11:1-3.  (The Two Witnesses).
Seventh Trumpet – 11:14-19 – (Third Woe of 8:1-13).

The Rebuilt Temple (11:1,2)

There are five temples: (1). Solomon’s, (2). Zerubbabel’s, (3). Herod’s, (standing at the time of Christ and destroyed in 70 A.D. by Titus and the Roman Army), (4). Anti-Christ’s Temple, spoken of here in Revelation 11, (5). Christ’s Temple that will stand during the Millennium (Ezekiel, Chapters 40-48).

“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.” (V.1)

“But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.” (V.2)

We know this is the rebuilt Tribulation Temple, as the Anti-Christ makes a covenant with Israel almost immediately after the Rapture (Daniel 9:27).  A dear friend of mine for many years who had visited Jerusalem several times, and was a missionary to the Jewish people, had this to say concerning the Tribulation Temple. The Jewish Rabbis had revealed to him that the Temple structure was already pre-cut and needed only to be assembled, and which could be erected within a couple of months.  The water supply and modern facilities are already there to flush the blood of their sacrifices to the Brook Kidron and on down to the Dead Sea.

Then, after 3 ½ years, the Anti-Christ breaks his covenant with Israel and seats himself in the Temple, declaring himself to be God.  He is described in 2 Thessalonians 2:4.

“Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”

The Anti-Christ seeks to exterminate all Jews, if he can.  (Read Matthew 24:15-22).  According to Zechariah 13:8,9, only one out of three Jews will survive in their land. The Jews will be run out and the Gentiles will occupy their land, Jerusalem, and the area adjacent to the Temple in worshipping the Anti-Christ.

“But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.” --Revelation 11:2

This is the fulfillment as the Gentiles will totally dominate the Holy City (Jerusalem) and the court which is outside the Temple “is given unto the Gentiles.”  They will tread under  foot, i.e. occupy, for forty-two months.  This is the last 3 ½ years of the Tribulation, before Christ comes in judgment and establishes His Kingdom for a 1,000 years.

The Two Witnesses of God: (Verses 3,4).

There are only two places in the Bible where these Two Witnesses are spoken of; here in Revelation 11 and also in Zechariah 4:3, 11-14.

“And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.” (V.3)

“These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.” (V.4)

Here in Verse Three, God tells us that He will give supernatural power to His Two Witnesses, as we shall discover in Verses Five and Six.  They will also prophesy.  “Prophesy” in the Greek can be applied in two ways, depending on the context in which it is used.  It can mean “giving forth the word of God,” or, “foretelling future events before they happen.”  Here, both elements of prophesy would be included.

In other words, they would be witnessing to the lost concerning the Gospel, which is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the payment of their sins.  They would be explaining how the Rapture had been prophesied and fulfilled with all the Christians that had just disappeared.  They would prophesy to Israel that the Book of Revelation has foretold that the Anti-Christ will break his promise of protection that he had made.  Therefore, they would be giving forth the word of God for salvation and prophesying what is yet to come; thus fulfilling the word “prophesy” to its fullest.

Their ministry is limited to 3 ½ years, described as 1,260 days.  Jewish time is reckoned as 30 days to a month.  Divide 30 into 1,260, and you will arrive at exactly 3 ½ years.  They will then die a martyr’s death for their wonderful Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. They will then leave their earthly visit...

“to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.”  (1 Peter 1:4).

Notice that Revelation 11:4 is referring back to the prophecy first given in Zechariah 4:3, 11-14.

The power that God will give these Two Witnesses, spoken of in Verse Three, is described in detail in Verses 5,6.

“And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.” (V.5)

“These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.”  (V.6).

In Verse Five, “fire procedeth out of their mouth” is not as one may think of, as fire coming out of a dragon’s mouth as we have all seen pictures of.  It is a figure of speech; but, clarified in Jeremiah 5:14.

“Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.”

Should anyone attempt to hurt, or kill, these Two Witnesses, The Lord has given them the power to speak in the name of God, and the sentence of death will occur immediately.

There most always is a practical application to a spiritual truth.  If you are a Christian who witnesses for the Lord, I am sure you have experienced as I have the anger, resentment, and hatred displayed by some of those who want nothing to do with our Savior.

I recall some time back that I was witnessing to a pharmacist, and stated that no amount of good works would merit eternal life; only faith in Jesus Christ who paid for our sins.  Those words that I spoke ignited a fire of resentment and his response was, that he had been raised in his church, had been baptized, served as an altar boy, and was highly respected in the community.  My message of grace through faith, not of good works, lit a fire of hate as he made it clear that I was never to bring up “religion” to him again!

Another example where the Lord uses an object as a figure of speech may be found in Revelation 1:16, where John is describing the Lord Jesus Christ and states that...

“...out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword...”

Do we see Christ, literally, with a sword sticking out his mouth?  Of course not.  It is a figure of speech that illustrates how deep the word of God can cut and penetrate, even to the soul and spirit.  Hebrews 4:12 explains this figure of speech.

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

In the first part of Verse Six we are told of another power the Two Witnesses are given.

“These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy...”

Their prophecy covers the first 3 ½ years after the Rapture.  Can one imagine this world without rain for 3 ½ years.  The lakes, rivers, streams and ponds would become stagnant and polluted.  Many of these will be dried up and there will be dead fish everywhere, with no fresh water from heaven.  Crops cannot grow without water. Can one imagine the shortage of vegetables, beef, pork, chicken, etc., as all need water to survive.  It is amazing how this fits in with Revelation 6:8, as a fourth of the population will die in the first 3 ½ years after the Rapture.

“And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.”

Two things stand out here, which contribute to a fourth of the population dying because of the famine caused by no rain falling for 3 ½ years.  It is HUNGER and BEASTS.  The Greek here is “therion” and is defined as, “a dangerous animal.”  We have all heard from time to time about what happens when bears come into towns and villages in search of food.  With no rain, the berries, chokecherries, acorns, and other natural foods will not be available.  They will be forced to attack and eat anything alive, including humans, in lieu of starvation.  Foxes, wolves, mountain lions, hyenas, etc., will kill and eat any dogs or cats that are available.  Small children and even adults would be easy prey for a lion who is approaching starvation.

God’s Two Witnesses, by the power of God, have shut off Heaven’s “sprinkling system.”  The Psalmist describes His power and purpose in a situation such as this in Psalms 107:33,34.

“He turneth rivers into a wilderness, and the watersprings into dry ground;” (V.33)

“A fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein.” (V.34)

Continuing in Verse Six, God has given His Two Witnesses “power over waters to turn them to blood.”.   This is literal, real blood!  The Greek for “blood” is “haima” and is translated as such in reference to the atoning blood of Christ, as it is in reference to human or animal blood.  In other words, one day an enemy of God’s Witnesses may be drinking fresh well water and the next day his cup is filled with literal blood!  Thank the Lord we Christians will be watching all of this being fulfilled from Heaven, as we will be “absent from the body and present with the Lord at the Rapture.

I believe it would be interesting to take a look back to the time when Moses was instructed by God to instruct Pharaoh to release His people, the Israelites,  free from captivity.  The first meeting with Pharaoh resulted in his demon-possessed men duplicating the miracles of Aaron.  Here is the record.

“And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the LORD had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent.”

“Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments.” -- Exodus 7:10-11

The magicians also duplicated the second miracle by also turning water into blood.  This is found in Exodus 7:20, 22.

“And Moses and Aaron did so, as the LORD commanded; and he lifted up the rod, and smote the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants; and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood.” (V.20)

“And the magicians of Egypt did so with their enchantments: and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, neither did he hearken unto them; as the LORD had said.” (V.22)

The third miracle of Aaron was also duplicated as recorded in Exodus 8:6,7.

“And Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt; and the frogs came up, and covered the land of Egypt.” (V.6)

“And the magicians did so with their enchantments, and brought up frogs upon the land of Egypt. (V.7)

One must realize that demons and demon-possessed men can only do supernatural things as God permits.  When God restricts, their power is rendered useless and they are helpless, as seen in the last seven plagues.  Notice, in the fourth plagues as an example of the rest.

“And they did so; for Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod, and smote the dust of the earth, and it became lice in man, and in beast; all the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt.” (V.17)

“And the magicians did so with their enchantments to bring forth lice, but they could not: so there were lice upon man, and upon beast.) (V.18)

It is interesting that the Lord has revealed to us the names of these demon-possessed men who opposed Moses and Aaron.  2 Timothy 3:8 reveals their names.

“Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.”

Satan and his demons are as much alive today as they were in Moses’ time.  2 Corinthians 4:3,4 explains this very well.

“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:” (V.3)

 “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” (V.4)

 Every Christian should be working as hard to present the Gospel as Satan is to pervert the Gospel.

Now, last of all in Verse Six, the Two Witnesses are given additional power “to smite the earth with all plagues as often as they will.

The words “plague” and “plagues" combined, appear 12 times in the book of Revelation.  They are all from the same Greek word “plēgē.”  It is defined as “a wound, a stripe, figuratively, a calamity.”  In other words, this calamity could come to a person via an earthquake, a tornado, or anything from nature.  Revelation, Chapters 15 and 16 speak of the Seven Last Plagues.  The Two Witnesses could inflict grievous sores like those in Revelation 16:1; or hail stones inflicting bodily wounds like those in Verse 21.  They could bring about the plague of a volcanic eruption; or any other plagues that would inflict their enemies “AS OFTEN AS THEY WILL.”

All of this demonstrates to mankind that God is in complete control over Satan and his followers.  Satan can do nothing without God’s permission.  Notice in Job, Chapter One, where we have God and Satan’s conversation recorded.

“And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job...” (V.8a)

“Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.”  (V.10)

Satan’s Proposal:

“But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.”(V.11)

God’s Permission, Power, and Protection:

“And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.” (V.12)

As a Christian we need to realize that Satan and his followers can only go as far as God permits.  God permitted Satan to test Job, who remained faithful to the Lord.  God had confidence in His servant and Job had confidence in the Lord, even though he did not understand how it would all come out.  He knew that he was going to live through it, as God had put a limit on Satan in his attack on Job.

“And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.” Job 2:6

God has given us His Word, the Bible.  When we read His Word, study His Word, and are determined to yield our will to His will, it renders Satan helpless.  One thing Satan cannot stand and hates the most is when a Christian “slaps him in the face” with the Word of God!  As we look back on Job, we see that God rewarded his servant greatly for his faithfulness.

“So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses.” Job 42:12

How wonderful for a faithful Christian, upon entering their Heavenly home to be welcomed by the Lord with these words...

“His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” Matthew 25:21

Revelation 11:7:

“And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.”

God permits the Beast (Antichrist) to kill them only after they have finished their testimony. Nothing can harm them until God has completed His message and warning. This demonstrates God’s power over Satan. Satan’s children will try to kill them; but, will not be successful until God’s work is finished. God’s children have more power than their enemies. God permits their death only for His glory.

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”(V.7)

“Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;” -- 2 Timothy 1:7-8

Revelation 11:8:

“And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.”

Jerusalem is the capital of the world in God’s sight; and yet, is so spiritually decayed it is compared to Sodom. Yet, God allowed His two witnesses to lie in the street and to be made a spectacle for a short time by these corrupt people.

The earth could be said to be the capital of the universe, as it was by God’s power and for His glory that He created the earth and gave it unto men. (Psalms 115:16) The world today is rapidly approaching the condition of Sodom with it’s spiritual decay. Christians are, seemingly, killed and made a spectacle of by the world.

Jerusalem thought it could do away with God’s Word by killing His witnesses. The world is trying to forget God in killing a Christian’s witness by slander, mocking and deceit. God showed His power to and over the world in a resurrection of righteousness. The capital of the world and the capital of the universe are truly the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, as He will sit upon the throne of David in Jerusalem as King of Kings and rule the world for a 1,000 years. Then it can be said that all things have been put under His feet, for the world and all in it belong to Him.

Revelation 11:9: Television - “...see their dead bodies.”

“And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.”

A Spiritual Application:

Christians should not give up when the lost seem to make a spectacle out of them and apparently try to “kill” their testimony. God has them in derision and laughs at them. (Psalms 2:4) Live so that when they speak evil of you, no one will believe them.

“He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.”-- - Psalms 2:4

  1. Trials will strengthen your faith (Romans 5:3-5)

“And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;” (V.3) “And patience, experience; and experience, hope:” (V.4) “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” -- Romans 5:3-5

God will confound them through you for His glory.

“For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” 1 Corinthians 1:21
“And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:” 1 Corinthians 1:28

We need, and pray for, God’s strength in our lives daily. King David’s prayer in Psalms 39:13 was..

“O spare me, that I may recover strength, before I go hence, and be no more.” Psalms 39:13

In other words, enable me to live that my life will cause men and women to think on eternity, so as to draw them to Christ, before I die.

Revelation 11:10:

“And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.”

Great is the laughter and joy over an apparent victory of the Antichrist. It is only temporary, as shown in Psalm 50:15-23.

“And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.” (15) But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?  (16) Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee. (17) When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers. (18) Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. (19) Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother's son.” (20) These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes. (21) Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver. (22) Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.” (23)

Sin is only enjoyed for a season...

“Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;” ( Hebrews 11:25)

And then comes it’s rewards! Psalm 10:l-16 and Psalm 9:17

“Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?” (V.1) The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined. (2) For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth. (3) The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts. (4) His ways are always grievous; thy judgments are far above out of his sight: as for all his enemies, he puffeth at them. (5) He hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity. (6)His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity.”(V.7) He sitteth in the lurking places of the villages: in the secret places doth he murder the innocent: his eyes are privily set against the poor.(8) He lieth in wait secretly as a lion in his den: he lieth in wait to catch the poor: he doth catch the poor, when he draweth him into his net. (9) He croucheth, and humbleth himself, that the poor may fall by his strong ones. (10) He hath said in his heart, God hath forgotten: he hideth his face; he will never see it. (11) Arise, O LORD; O God, lift up thine hand: forget not the humble. (12) Wherefore doth the wicked contemn God? he hath said in his heart, Thou wilt not require it. (13) Thou hast seen it; for thou beholdest mischief and spite, to requite it with thy hand: the poor committeth himself unto thee; thou art the helper of the fatherless. (14)
Break thou the arm of the wicked and the evil man: seek out his wickedness till thou find none.” (15) The LORD is King for ever and ever: the heathen are perished out of his land." - Psalm 10:1-16
“The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” Psalms 9:17
These could not see past the ends of their noses. This is the Antichrist’s Christmas, as they are so happy that they are sending gifts to each other. Their gifts are a fool’s folly, their Christmas is for the death of God’s voice through the Two Witnesses. Our Christmas is for rejoicing in the birth of His voice through Christ. We rejoice in the Resurrection, for Christ ever liveth. To them only judgment, as they crucified Him; but, death could not hold Him, He arose and will return in judgment.
Revelation 11:11: A Christian’s testimony.

“And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.”

Verse 7 - attacked, apparently killed.
Verses 8 and 9 - made an open spectacle.
Verse 10 - the lost rejoice.

Illustration: Two boxers in a tournament. One fighting his way to what looks like an easy victory; but, as the fight progresses, his strength fails. He is “out of shape.” A Christian can remain in the battle because he is” in shape”... spiritually sharp. He is trained and exercised in the Gospel. When the blows of tribulation come he slips the punches, blocking them with the shield of faith, even though the enemy has apparently won and is rejoicing. Our strength is renewed and we go on to victory. How? Through Christ.

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me,” (Philippians 4:13).

Truly the lost stand in amazement when they see a Christian go through the trials rejoicing and come out with a victory in the name of Jesus Christ.

“If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.” 1 Peter 4:14

Revelation 11:12:

“And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.”

Up is the only way for a child of God. He looks up to be saved; up in tribulation; up for the Rapture; up at death.

“Absent from the body, present with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians  5:8.

Revelation 11:13:

Judgment is pronounced, but the Christian already has been delivered from this day of wrath

  1. Noah ,delivered from God’s wrath on the ungodly world. Genesis 4:17,18
  2. Lot, delivered from God’s wrath on Sodom and Gomorrah. Genesis 19:29
  3. Hell, Christians delivered from Hell. – John 5:24
  4. Rapture, Christians delivered from 7 years tribulation in the world. 1 Thessalonians 1:10

“And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.”

The words “which delivered us,” in the Greek text, is future tense; NOT past tense. This phrase should have been translated “who delivers us” from the wrath to come, which is the Tribulation wrath as described in Revelation 6:17,18. Also Revelation 3:10.

Enemies. During the Tribulation, Christians will be delivered from their enemies, as God wills and come out alive. Others will be permitted a Martyr’s Crown for their faithfulness unto death (Revelation 20:4).

Note: Judgment came, many were killed.

"And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven. - Revelation 11:13

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” (Proverbs 9:10)

Judgment is always for God’s glory. Why? It displays His justice. He is a just God.

“The wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23)

 Sometimes it takes a death in the family to turn others to Christ.

Revelation 11:14:

“The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.”

“Cometh quickly.” Why? (10:6) “No more delay.” The judgments of God will continue.

Revelation 11:15:

“And 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.”

The world has laughed for years about Christ’s coming back (2 Peter 3:3,4) and now it is a reality, at the end of the Tribulation.

“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,” (V.3) “And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” 2 Peter 3:3-4

Revelation 11:16,17:

“And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,” (V.16)

“Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.” (V.17)

Four and twenty elders represent all the redeemed in giving God the glory. God’s Word, which the lost mocked, is now being fulfilled as they see the power of God displayed.

Revelation 11:18:

“And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.”

“Nations were angry.” Why? Their sins are now being made manifest. That is why the lost rebel when they look to Christ. His light of righteousness illuminates their sinfulness. Any criminal is angry when caught, but this anger can turn to love when they are shown that Christ hates their sin; but gave them a full pardon at Calvary. He loved them enough to die for them. “No greater love hath mortal man than for a friend to die.” Therefore, by His death and resurrection, you can live, “For he that believeth on Him hath everlasting life.” (John 6:47)

Judgment is coming! Rewards to the saints...damnation to the lost. (Hebrews 9:27)“...and then the judgment.” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9) This judgment takes place at the end of the Tribulation.

Revelation 11:19:

“And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.”

There is activity in heaven as judgment is immediate.

        1. Temple of God - Israel’s temple was patterned after the one in heaven. (Acts 7:44 and Hebrews 8:5)
        2. Ark of the Testament (Covenant). Israel’s patterned after this.
        3. Lightning and thundering, earthquake and hail, warning and judgment immediate.
        4. us the grave is not the end as Jehovah’s Witnesses claim.

SUMMARY: The Two Witnesses...who are they? Since they have power over their enemies with fire, death, control of the rain, turn water to blood, and all plagues (verses 5 and 6).  It is conjectured by many that these two witnesses are either Moses and Elijah, or Enoch and Elijah.

MOSES AND ELIJAH: Moses, because of his plagues on Egypt and turning water to blood. (Exodus 7:19, 20). Elijah, because his prayer to God shut the windows of heaven for three and a half years. (James 5:17,18) This figure also corresponds with the life of the two witnesses being shut out for three and a half days. (Revelation 11:9).

This is disproved by the fact Moses died and already had his heavenly body, for he was seen at the Mount of Transfiguration. Matthew 17:3,4). A heavenly body cannot die and these two witnesses do, in their earthly bodies.

ENOCH AND ELIJAH: Some hold these are the two witnesses, because they have supposedly never died, (Enoch, Genesis 5:24) (Elijah, 2 Kings 2:11).  This conjecture is based upon Hebrews 9:27,

“As it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”

Their physical bodies died before they reached Heaven, and the reason is, in 1 Corinthians 15:50,

“Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.”;

Therefore, their physical bodies have already died, once, after leaving the earth; but, prior to entering Heaven, the Kingdom of God.

Another theory used to confirm Elijah as one of the Two Witnesses, is that he was prophesied to come before the Lord’s return.

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: “Malachi 4:5

“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.” Isaiah 40:3

          • JOHN THE BAPTIST came to prepare the way of the Lord and “preached in the Spirit and power of Elijah.” This would have fulfilled these two prophecies.

“For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.”  - Matthew 11:10

“And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” (12)For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.” (13) And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.” Matthew 11:12-14 ( Also see: Matthew 17:10-13)

John the Baptist did preach to Israel that Christ was their Messiah; but they rejected Him.  In John 1:11 it is recorded that...

“He came unto his own, and his own received him not.”

The religious leaders of Israel hated Christ. Matthew 27:1 tells us that...

“When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death:”

Pilate addressed the mob when Christ was before him, stated that...

...I am innocent of the blood of this just person, see ye to it.”  (Matthew 27:24).

“Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.” Matthew 27:25

Their request was granted, and has been for over the last 2,000 years.

God sent one witness, John the Baptist, to prepare the way for Christ’s first coming.  After the Rapture, there are only seven years before Christ returns to set up His Kingdom on earth.  This time God uses Two Witnesses that speak of Christ’s second coming, in the Spirit and power of Elijah, just like John the Baptist.  Their death is only permitted by God for His glory, as they will be resurrected to life for the whole world to see.

There is a reason why their bodies lay dead for 3 ½ days.  This is three full days and 12 hours into the fourth day; therefore, their bodies will be smelling, or stinking, as decomposition will have set in. In John 11:39, Martha’s brother, Lazarus, had died and she told the Lord that, “by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.”

The proof of the death of the Two Witnesses was not only by sight; but, also by smell.  This would dispel any skeptics who will later claim (as some did when Christ was crucified) that they have not really died; but, resuscitated after 3 ½ days.

Who are these Two Witnesses?  God has not told us who they are.  We will have to wait until we reach Heaven to be introduced.

Revelation 11 is History pre-written before it occurs, and so is the destiny of all humanity: Heaven or Hell.  But the choice is the responsibility of each individual.  Here is your choice, given from the Bible, God’s Word.

 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” John 3:36

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” John 5:24

“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” 1 John 5:13

For  more information on the subject of Bible Prophecy, you will find Pastor Younce’s book, “I Know Who Holds Tomorrow, A Book on Bible Prophecy” helpful. It has many charts and diagrams to make things clear. You can read it free here:  Click Here to Read Online

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