The Two Witnesses
During what appears to be the first half of the Tribulation, the first 3 ½ years, there are Two Witnesses who will be proclaiming God’s Truth to the inhabitants of the earth. Now there are some who consider Zechariah 4:3, 12 to be talking about the Two Witnesses, but to me that is a mystery and nothing that can be ascertained, though an argument could be made of something to ponder. Where the Word of God is quite clear about these two individuals is in Revelation.
“And I will give to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth. And if anyone tries to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone tries to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. These have authority to shut the heavens, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have authority over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with every plague, as often as they desire.” Revelation 11:3-6
There are many who think that Moses and Elijah are the Two Witnesses because when Jesus was transfigured He spoke to Moses and Elijah (Matt. 17:1-3). My opinion used to be that it made sense for it to be Elijah and Enoch because neither of those men died, but were Raptured straight to Heaven (Gen. 5:24; 2 Kings 2:11). I had never considered the Moses argument, and I know that God buried Moses (Deut. 34:5-6) and didn’t put the thoughts in it regarding Jesus’s transfiguration that others did. Clearly however the Bible is silent on who these two men might be.
If one considers Elijah, both in what I used to think and even being one of the two that others think, then consider this:
“And His disciples asked Him, saying, Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first? And Jesus answered and said to them, Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things. But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished. Likewise the Son of Man is also about to suffer under them. Then the disciples understood that He spoke to them of John the Immerser.” Matthew 17:10-13
Truly, if one looks at the Holy Scriptures, there is a similarity that perhaps goes unnoticed to most?
“And he said to them, What kind of man was it who came up to meet you and spoke to you these words? So they answered him, A hairy man girded with a leather waistband around his loins. And he said, It is Elijah the Tishbite.” 2nd Kings 1:7-8
“In those days John the Immerser came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven has drawn near! For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord; make His paths straight. And John himself was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather waistband around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey.” Matthew 3:1-4
Now I ponder whether or not what is so commonly speculated, where the Bible is completely silent, if there is perhaps a misnomer that such a belief, without biblical validation, could in turn then be used against those on earth who were Left Behind???
“And he performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven onto the earth in the sight of men.” Revelation 13:13
“And Elijah answered and said to them, If I am a man of God, let fire come down from the heavens and consume you and your fifty. And the fire of God came down from the heavens and consumed him and his fifty.” 2nd Kings 1:12
Clearly Elijah called fire down from the heavens and in Revelation 13:13 (more later) we can see that the False Prophet calls fire down from heaven. Could this False Prophet, in the second half of the Tribulation (last 3 ½ years) pretend to be Elijah?
Another thing regarding the Two Witnesses is that they are killed…
“And when they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three and a half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth. And after three and a half days the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood on their feet, and great terror fell on those who saw them. And they heard a loud voice out of Heaven saying to them, Come up here. And they ascended towards Heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them. And in the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of Heaven.” Revelation 11:7-13
Now when one considers that “great terror fell on those who saw them,” after they come back to life, then one must also ponder that it could simply be that the world largely wasn’t listening to their warnings. In my thinking, I then wonder whether or not that would be evidence that they are not Elijah and Enoch or Elijah and Moses, but rather two people who are unknown. Then again the saints rose out of their graves after Christ was killed on the cross and that didn’t seem to convince the religious leaders of that day.
“And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and were manifest to many.” Matthew 27:50-53
So you have these Two Witnesses who “have authority to shut the heavens, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have authority over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with every plague, as often as they desire.”
As my dear friend who ran A Voice in the Wilderness ministry (www.a-voice.org) used to say, what exactly do you think they will be saying…repent! The fact that the world rejoices, makes merry and sends gifts to one another after they are killed in and of itself speaks of their powerful testimony.
Their testimony becomes complete because God makes it complete by confirming that they are indeed His prophets by raising them from the dead. Sometimes people just don’t understand the prophets that God sends, but others will eventually recognize it (1 Ki. 17:24).
So there will be these Two Witnesses who will be in Jerusalem and will be proclaiming God’s truth to the world. Likely there will be dedicated live streaming channels or there will be constant television cameras on these two. The world will be very displeased with the plaques that these two are allowed by God to unleash on the earth.
The fact that there are so many plaques or rain withheld or water turned to blood seems to signify that the world is not at all receptive to their message of repentance and accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior. Consider that when these two are in Jerusalem the Tribulation will already have begun and they will have authority to point out who the Antichrist is, for the unveiling will have happened (2 Thes. 2:8).
Most would think that that would be blatantly obvious, well for those who are Saved it certainly would be, but at the very start of the Tribulation there will be no more on earth that are Saved, it will be earth’s darkest moment in history, a world that is totally lost. At least when God flooded the earth as Judgment prior, there were still Noah and his family (eight souls, 1 Pet. 3:20), the moment after the Rapture there will be none left…none whatsoever. So those who do get Saved will only have the basic rudiments of Salvation, they will likely not know any sort of in-depth doctrine.
This is another misconception of Hollywood, depicting the Antichrist as a man who is essentially shaded red, has horns coming out of his head, rather than the fact that he is a great deceiver. On top of that there will be those who God has allowed to become deluded (2 Thes. 2:11-12), therefore even if the Antichrist stood there with a forked tail, a pitchfork and horns coming out of his head, they would NEVER see it.
So these Two Witnesses are prophets of the Most High God who proclaim His Truth to a world that has been Left Behind. Eventually their testimony is finished, the 3 ½ years is complete, the Great Tribulation, the second 3 ½ years is about to begin and they are killed. Those who heeded their warnings and accepted Christ as their Savior will be martyred (Rev. 7:14) and those who refused will logically be those who are rejoicing at their deaths.