The Two Witnesses

The Two Witnesses

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.

Revelation 11:3-4

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 4:1-3

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.

Colossians 1:15-17

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?

Job 38:6-7

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.

The Wedding Supper of the Lamb

The Wedding Supper of the Lamb

Wedding Supper of the Lamb

Chapter eleven has become very exciting to me recently with God revealing truth that I have never seen. You know when something is revealed it is prophecy. That is the main idea of the Greek word prophéteia that is translated prophecy is a combination of two words; pro and phémi which mean before and make clear. So anytime someone makes something clear before it happens they are prophesying. We often confuse this with the giving of special revelation as the scripture itself. We understand that the canonized scriptures are complete and will not be added too, but that does not eliminate men from understanding what is going to take place beforehand. Here I believe I am going to make something clear before it happens so it is prophecy. I am not getting special revelation from God, just making clear what has already been given.

With that, I want to make this clear, just about everything I have written on the blog I have found in books or sermons. I am not generally smart enough, and lack resources to study things in fine detail, but what I believe I can do is put the information given together in a sensible way. That being said let me try to do this here. This is like the difference between a scientist and a science teacher. The scientist discovers new things and the science teacher makes sense of it to the general population.

Measure The Temple

1And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, the altar, and them that worship therein. 2But 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 11:1-2

John is told to measure a temple, altar, and worshipers. The same word measure is also found in 2 Corinthians 12-13. Here it is used of saying he would not compare himself to others. The idea is marking off or making distinctions between things and that is exactly what John was commanded to do. John was to note the temple and what was in it as compared to the court outside the temple.

It is commonly held that this is either a temple built during the tribulation or during the millennium. Neither of these is in my mind possible. I will mention this again and it has been the problem with most expositors is their inability to blend the spiritual world with the physical world. To them, everything has to have an earthly entity and nothing can be seen in the spiritual world. The bible makes it clear there is a temple in Heaven playing an active part during the tribulation; “And the temple of God was opened in heaven…” (Revelation 11:19,14:17,16:17). There are much more references to this temple in Heaven, but in these verses, it clearly says it is in Heaven.

Why do we know the temple John is to measure is in Heaven? The reason is the fact that there are worshippers that are in this temple for forty-two months or three and a half years while right outside evil is going on. This seems rather impossible. How could people survive that long of a besieged in the temple? The other suggestion is that the Jews are allowed to freely enter the temple during the tribulation. Neither of these seems realistic.

The rapture of the church is paralleled to a Jewish wedding, but that full discussion is outside the scope of my discussion here. What I want you to note is during a wedding the bridegroom takes the bride into his wedding chamber and shuts the door. If you go back to the beginning of my study I talked about the principle of double reference which means a prophecy can refer to more than one happening. I want to show you one of these verses.

19Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. 20Come, 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. 21For, behold, the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.

Isaiah 26:19-21

Notice here how it talks about the dead rising, and that happens at the rapture. Then it says that the Lord is going to punish the earth, and that is the tribulation. What does it say that the people are to do during this time? To shut thy doors or conceal themselves from the judgment. Jesus speaks about the door being shut in the parable of the ten virgins.

And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.

Matthew 25:10

This is most telling about what is taking place with the Temple during the tribulation. This is the temple of God in Heaven and John said in chapter four;

After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

Revelation 4:1

This is the rapture of the church. John is told the door to the wedding chamber, which is God’s temple, is opened for him and he is to come up. We see this in Jesus’ parable of the wedding in Matthew 22:1-14. Once the church is safely in the temple the door is shut and the celebration begins.

And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

Revelation 19:9

Not all agree, but most commentators place this event during the second half of the seven-year tribulation. We know that is only one-half of the tribulation by the mention of forty-two months. If the people are meeting in an earthly temple it seems hard for me to envision this is the last part of the tribulation. The last three and a half years of the tribulation is the most violent time on earth, and there are believers worshiping God in His temple?

I think this get placed at the beginning of the tribulation and this is easy to understand if we believe this is the temple in Heaven. During the first half of the tribulation, the stage is being set for the wrath of God during the second half, which is referred to as the time of Jacob’s trouble.

In order to understand this, I want you to picture this in your mind. See, all of God’s creation from His throne to the earth and everything in between. Now Satan and the principalities dwell somewhere between the earth and God’s temple. During the tribulation, Satan and all of his believers are given forty and two months to basically have free reign from the court without the temple to the earth. Later we will see that at the end of this period Michael is commanded to cast Satan out of the Spiritual realm and to the earth (Revelation 12:7-9).

God's World View

We will continue with chapter eleven, but for now get excited about being safe in the temple with Jesus Christ the LORD and Savior. If you are not saved you better think long and hard about this. Salvation, bloodshed, rape, violence, anarchy all awaits those who are not safe in the Temple. Being with Jesus is His temple is what is called SALVATION!