Chapter Eleven – The Two Witnesses
3And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. 4These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
Here we have the two witness and the candlesticks. There has been much discussion about who these two witnesses are. Before I tell you who I believe they are, let us notice somethings. Verse four starts out saying “these are the two”. The article before the two olive trees means they are specific trees, not just any trees. It appears to me that John is expecting us to know about these trees. Actually, we should know because the Bible has spoken of them before.
1And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep, And said unto me, What seest thou? 2And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof: 3And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof.
Zachariah is speaking of the days of the rebuilding of the Temple after the return from exile. If you have been reading my blog then you understand that Babylon is a picture of Satan’s rule over the earth. The tribulation period is the time Jesus takes back what is His and sets the captives free. So Revelation parallels Zachariah’s prophecy and therefore Zachariah’s prophecy has relevance for interpretation.
The lamp provides light, which is truth. The lamp is supplied with the oil from the olive branches. So these two witnesses are a light to the world about a certain truth. The truth that is being witnessed to is that Jesus Christ is the LORD of creation.
15Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
These two witnesses will witness for one thousand two hundred and sixty days. That is three and one-half years. I believe this is during the first half of the tribulation and God is giving the people of the earth a chance to repent before His wrath is poured out. The reason I believe it is during the first half of the tribulation is because after they are called up to Heaven the second woe is ended and the third will begin. The third woe is the last half of the tribulation.
Zachariah tells that the two witness are the “two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.” To me, there are a couple of things that need consideration; one what have they witnessed? The most powerful testimony would be that Jesus is the Lord of the whole earth. They stand next to the Lord of the whole earth. Who can really be a true witness to Jesus as the creator of the earth? Certainly, no man can because he is part of the creation. There are those who could and God tells us who they are in the book of Job.
6Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; 7When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
The sons of God were watching the LORD create the foundations of the earth and sang as he did it. I believe only an angel could be a true witness to the fact that Jesus Christ is the LORD of creation. These two witnesses will preach what they saw and how Jesus Christ is the LORD of the earth and they will be able to bring judgment on the earth.
The beast that was let loose from the pit will kill the prophets. It might be that the pit is not opened until this mid-point of the tribulation. I say this because the beast does not kill them until their days are finished. Their bodies lay in the streets for three days. Anyone who has seen the news has seen effigies being burnt in the streets while people are celebrating. This should give us a good idea of how this will come down. Worldwide coverage of these to prophets lying dead and much of the earth is celebrating their death. Since they leave these bodies in the street, there might even be a twenty-four-hour webcam setup for people to see them. What a surprise it will be when they all of a sudden rise upon their feet. Then that great voice from heaven calls out “come up hither” and they ascend to heaven. Within an hour a great earthquake takes place and seven thousand men are killed by it.
This ends the second woe and prepares for the third and final woe. Now the seven trumpet sounds and elevates us to the observation deck of heaven were will we see the tribulation from heaven perspective. As we enter this seen the elders are praising God for His righteous judgment. They no longer have to wait for justice to prevail. We do not have to act falsely about our desires to want to have rewards for living in a way that pleases God. God wants us to have great success and success means there is some sort of meaning or reward to what you have done. I don’t mean to take off on a rabbit trail, but we often are told we have no righteousness, but this is not the case. We have to be careful when studying the Bible we keep things within the scope of the teaching. When it comes to being right before God and what allows us to be in His presence our righteousness is as filthy rags. There is no way our righteous can make up for our sin. Only Jesus Christ can make us righteous. Now after we have been saved we do have righteousness when we obey God. Doing right is righteousness. Our obedience will not go unrewarded. Christians who live out their lives obeying God will have greater rewards than those who live a carnal life. See 1 Corinthians 3:11-15.
Now we get a glimpse into the temple that is in Heaven, not an earthly temple and things are stirring as the third woe is about to come.