The Two Witnesses

Updated 03/08/17

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     There seems to be a lot of speculation these days amongst the Christian ranks as to  "who" or "what" The Two Witnesses in Revelation 11:3 are supposed to represent? Still, if one can remember to follow the golden rule when interpreting the Bible, which is, the Bible must interpret the Bible, there really is no great mystery here. The fact of the matter is, the Bible only mentions the phrase "two witnesses" just three times, and the intended use for each should be abundantly clear to most readers. The first time this phrase is mentioned is in Deuteronomy 17, where it's referred to as a rule of law, where something like guilt needed to be established:

 

"At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death." Deuteronomy 17:6

 

"One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established." Deuteronomy 19:15

 

     The next and last time this phrase is mentioned is in Revelation 11, where it's personified. Although as you are about to see, there are many places in GOD'S Word that indirectly refer to these "two witnesses" as a group of end-time overcomers; a remnant of faithful believers, but only a remnant:

 

"And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth." Revelation 11:3

 

     Now while we're still here in Revelation 11, let's look at the verse that follows Revelation 11:3, because the Bible continues to reveal more names for these same "two witnesses":

 

"These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks [lampstands] standing before the God of the earth." Revelation 11:4

 

     OK, now let's turn to Zechariah 4, where we find the prophet is talking with an angel concerning the vision he was just shown. Zechariah was asking the angel to explain what he was seeing, and the angel did so by describing the whole scene once again.

 

"Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts." Zechariah 4:6


     Contextually God is saying the anointing can only come through the way God Himself has provided: by His Spirit. What we want to see here is that the prophet continued to question the angel, particularly about the "two olive trees" and "what" or "who" they might represent? Keep in mind, we just read in Revelation 11:3-4 that the Two Witnesses are not only likened to the two lampstands, but to the two olive trees that we first saw in Zechariah 4 as well. So the angel responds to this second question: 

 

"And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. Then said he, These are the two anointed ones [if you study this out to its highest meaning, it means the Spirit & the Word bearing witness in the earth through a people], that stand by the Lord of the whole earth." Zechariah 4:13- 14

 

"For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water [the Word], and the blood [which is Yeshua, which is the living Word]: and these three agree in one." 1 John 5:7-8


     Now we are learning some other names for these "two witnesses" in Revelation aren't we? Therefore, the title referred to as "the two witnesses," is actually  more of a designation that should be applied to a group of individuals who will be able to obtain onto the "high calling" in the end-time. As a result, these overcomers will be given the "double portion" of God's power to minister to a corrupt and dying world. You should also be aware that the word "witness," is more accurately translated as "martyr" in the Greek. Once more the original language brings us a greater understanding as to what or who these two witnesses really are. And now I must ask you a very important doctrinal question; "If the two witnesses are truly to be Moses and Elijah (two saints whom are now living in immortality), how then can Moses die again to become a martyr?" Surely some will say, "But brother, 'Elijah' was just taken up and never suffered death." Which is true, but Elijah's appearance on the mount of transfiguration pretty much proves he was then, and is now, walking in a transformed place; a place of immortality. As for Moses, we know God killed him up on the mountain and then later we are told "the Devil contented for his body." Moreover, my Bible says these Two Witness brethren will be "beheaded" (martyred) and rise "three days later." Anyway you want to look at this thing brethren the Bible reveals it's a remnant of saints (overcomers) who go forth as these symbolic Two Witnesses, not two Old Testament glorified saints, or anyone else for that matter that would come out of the heavenly realm, seeing that they are already made immortal and cannot die again to lie in a street for three and one half days (Rev 11:8).

 

G3144: martus  mar' -toos
uncertain affinity; a witness (literally [judicially] or figuratively [generally]); by analogy a "martyr," record, witness.

 

     You know back in the day, if you witnessed for Jesus you were going to die, that was a given! Today we think of it as going door to door or something like that. I think we need to change our understanding of this terminology.

 

     So far we have learned that the phrase "the two witnesses" is really just one of the many symbolic terms used to describe a group of end-time overcomers. We know this because we just learned of at least three other substitutionary symbolic names given for this same group. Names like the two anointed ones; the two olive trees; the two lampstands, the man child, and so on. Therefore, to go and build a dogma out of just one of these symbolic names would be very foolish indeed, when in fact the Bible gives us many symbolic renderings for this group of saints. As previously stated, most in the Church will tell you these two witnesses are going to be Moses and Elijah, but I am telling you not to believe it! Part of the reason why they assume this errant belief is because Moses and Elijah once appeared on the mount of transfiguration with Yeshua. Howbeit these two symbolically represented at that time, "the great cloud of witnesses" that will return with Yeshua Christ to fight at Armageddon. Still, Moses brought God's Word to the people and Elijah brought God's Spirit in powerful manifestations (both brought judgment), so it's still a lesson in types.

 

     Brethren, the real key to understanding who this two witness company will consist of, is found all throughout the Bible. Another principle of God that is found in His Word is how He will always leave "a remnant" group of believers in the Earth for a "witnesses" and for a "testimony" to His Word. These people are those who have and or will overcome their own soulish natures. These are they who are totally sold-out to the Father, and will be the only Christians whom God can trust with the "double portion" of His "former and latter rain" power. These are the ones who will walk the earth as Jesus did and do the "greater works" ministry. So as we are learning there are many names in the Bible given to this group of end-time believers "who loved not their lives unto the death," first spiritually, and ultimately as martyrs. Now you need to get out your own Bibles to confirm this, but here is another list of names that have been symbolically applied to this same group of saints throughout the Bible:

 

The Remnant..............................Zech 8:12; Rev 12:17

Gideon's 300..............................Jud 7:7

Two olive trees...........................Rev 11:4

Two lamp stands........................Rev 11:4

Two anointed ones.....................Zech 4:13-14

Two witnesses............................Rev 11:3

The man-child.............................Rev 12:5

Stone cut out of the mountain.....Dan 2:34

The wise virgins..........................Mat 25:7-13

The overcomer............................Rev 12:11

The Shulamite of chapter 3.........Song 3

David's first three mighty men....2-Sam 23:16

Elisha..........................................2-Ki 2:9

     

     One sure sign of deception can be if you find that you're not really sure of what you believe. This is usually because that which you have accepted as truth, you yourself have never went to the Bible in prayer and diligent study "to see if these things be so." Father help us all to be much more diligent in your Word and prayer. For not only is there a "roaring lion" walking among us, but there is a "deceiver" as well. Being obliviously decided is the very condition of the last day Laodicean (clergy~laity structured) church that Jesus said would exist during the last days. Remember, lazy Christians who follow one man or ministry without question make excellent serpent food! The clergy~laity structured church system is discussed in greater depth in the "Plurality in the Church" page.

 

     Unfortunately, many Christians still believe they're going to be zapped out of here some day, and yet the Bible tells us the outer-court of God's temple (God's property) is to be trampled under by the Gentiles during "the great tribulation." God's Two Witnesses will be the worlds and the Churches last chance to get right with God.  The believers who were told they would be "raptured" out of their situations before any real trouble starts, may fall away when what they have been taught and believed in for so long does not come to pass. The false teachers ("the tail": Isa 9:15; Rev 12:4) have told them "God has not appointed them (Christians) to wrath," but then they must have forgot God also said that "Hell was prepared for the devil and his angels," and yet we know many people will end up there too (Mat 25:41).

 

"The ancient and honourable, he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail." Isaiah 9:15

 

"And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail [the False Prophet/the Pope] drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born." Revelation 12:3-4

 

     God said He will not be mocked, and that includes by His own children; "the sinners in Zion," and those who "played in the market place" will have a hard time learning the Truth in the midst's of death, desolation, and annihilation. Nevertheless, it will be the last chance for many of the lukewarm Christians to turn again to the LORD:

 

"Now will I rise, saith the LORD; now will I be exalted; now will I lift up myself. Ye shall conceive chaff, ye shall bring forth stubble: your breath, as fire, shall devour you. And the people shall be as the burnings of lime: as thorns cut up shall they be burned in the fire. Hear, ye that are far off, what I have done; and, ye that are near, acknowledge my might. The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire?" Isaiah 33:10-14

 

"We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have as it were brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen. Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust [earthyness]: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, [this is when] the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth [with the first six vials] for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain." Isaiah 26:18-21

 

Their Ministry

     The ministry of the Two Witness brethren will be to preach the true unadulterated Kingdom message. We are told in Revelation 11 that they will be given "power," but that power will actually be more applied to preaching than to killing. Think about it brethren; we are told these witnesses will have the power to do what is necessary to keep them moving and preaching throughout a world that is being taken over by evil men and powerful spirits of darkness, but it (the Bible) never does say that they actually use that power; it never says, "And they came to such and such city and called down fire and that city became ashes...," it only says what they could do if provoked to. You see we must understand that GOD will still be trying to reach the lost, the Jews, and those in the outer court and Holy place church who have been deceived by the multitude of false doctrines that have crippled and anesthetized the end-time Church. He will be trying to minister to those who were deceived with rapture doctrine; those who were "playing in the market place," thinking one day they'll just "fly away..." Now I'd like to show you what causes even Zion to travail in Jeremiah 6.

 

"Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken. Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them. Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it. To what purpose cometh there to me incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet unto me. Therefore thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will lay stumblingblocks before this people, and the fathers and the sons together shall fall upon them; the neighbour and his friend shall perish. Thus saith the LORD, Behold, a people cometh from the north country, and a great nation shall be raised from the sides of the earth. They shall lay hold on bow and spear; they are cruel, and have no mercy; their voice roareth like the sea; and they ride upon horses, set in array as men for war against thee, O daughter of Zion [Joel 2:4-7]. We have heard the fame thereof: our hands wax feeble: anguish hath taken hold of us, and pain, as of a woman in travail [Rev 12:2]." Jeremiah 6:16-24


     So even (pre Rev 11:12) the brethren considered to be in that place called "Zion" are going to be tried before GOD can release His double portion of power into them. Now imagine if you will just how long "three and one half years" really is brethren. Can you think back to what you were doing three and one half years ago? I'm sure you can't remember most of what you did or experienced because it was 1,260-days ago. So what happens during the great tribulation; we're going to have three and one half years of little to no food; no law enforcement; little to no municipal water supplies; limited or no medical care, pills, etc. There will be invading armies [Gog & the ten horns/the flood of waters in Rev 12:15] that GOD said He would send against hypocritical nations, of which America has become one of the worst (Eze 38:16). "Oh I know brethren"; you've never really had to think these things through because you were more than likely told a lie "and believed it." You were probably told you wouldn't be here, am I right? You were probably told Christians weren't "appointed to wrath," but that's a misappropriation of the truth; technically, the great tribulation is not GOD'S wrath, it's mans wrath against his fellow man. GOD'S wrath (the vials & Armageddon) comes much later. Remember, Hell was never created for the Devil, but man goes there because of their free will choices. The truth of the matter is, GOD will let the darkness have it's "hour" for the most part during this time period, so that the fullness of mans ways (666) can come forth:

 

"For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked [the False Prophet/ the presiding Pope at that time] be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming [Rev 19:20]: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved." 2- Thessalonians 2:7-10


     These are they who Luke 19:14 writes about: "But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us." And that is why the Two Witnesses will not stop all the evil, they will not save all the Church from death and destruction. On the contrary, it says in Daniel 11 speaking of the end times:

 

"And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days [Dan 12:11: 1290-days]. Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. And some of them of understanding shall fall [Rev 7:14], to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed." Daniel 11:32-35

 

     In closing, I would just ask my brethren to pray and search the Word as to GOD's purpose for not only the ministry of the Two Witness saints, but for the great tribulation as well. Our GOD is not a respecter of persons and judgment surely starts with the household of GOD!