Prophetic Events – The Two Witnesses

Prophetic Events - The Two Witnesses

Prophetic Events - The Two Witnesses

 

For centuries people have argued as to who these two witnesses
are. The answers to that question have not only been interesting,
but have included groups and spiritual divisions as well as
individuals. An incomplete sample of answers as to the identity
of the 2 witnesses are –

  • The Old & New Testaments
  • Enoch and Elijah
  • The Law and the prophets
  • Moses and Elijah
  • Zerubbabel and Joshua
    (2 lampstands & 2 olive trees)
  • The Man child company
  • The overcomer Churches
    (Smyrna & Philadelphia)

There is only one correct answer, regardless of how good an
argument is. Sound theology tells us that some of these can be
eliminated immediately. How can a system, witness, lie in the
streets, or call down fire from heaven? How can a company of
people be numbered as just two? How can the Old & New
Testaments be killed? We will comment later on this in full. But
one thing is certain - these Scriptures apply to two persons who
have bodies, not a body of people.

Revelation 11:3-13 records - "And I will give power 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 wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their
mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm
them, he must be killed in this manner.

These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the
days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn
them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often
as they desire.

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.

Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will
see their dead bodies 3½ 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.

Now after the 3½ days the breath of life from God
entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell
on those who saw them. And they heard a loud voice from heaven
saying to them, ‘Come up here.’ And they ascended to
heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them.

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 afraid and gave glory to the God of
heaven."

The location of this event is not contested. Verse 8 is clear
- "And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the Great
City, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our
Lord is crucified."
Some may blanch at Jerusalem being
called "spiritually Sodom and Gomorrah" but this refers to the
profanity of the Antichrist’s rule over a City that becomes
corrupt and depraved. Jesus was unmistakably crucified in
Jerusalem.

This is not the City we look for as Christians. Paul teaches
in Galatians 4 that the Jerusalem which now exists is in bondage
and is a picture of the Law, but we look for a heavenly City, the
New Jerusalem, whose builder and maker is God. (Hebrews 11:10-16)

Jerusalem is called spiritually, Sodom and Egypt. Why Sodom?
Sodom and Gomorrah were societies that had been given over to
immorality and corruption. Sodom’s name lives on in a most
infamous way, as the very name of the City gives us our English
word ‘sodomy’, describing the act of homosexuality.
John’s vision shows us that Jerusalem will have 2 witnesses
who will prophesy over the corrupt City and the World system for
3½ years. Sodom also had two angelic witnesses. As Sodom
had 2 witnesses before its destruction, so shall Jerusalem have
two witnesses before its destruction. It will be destroyed by
fire and brimstone because of blasphemy against Christ and His 2
witnesses.

Why Egypt? The Book of Exodus gives us a remarkable preview of
the events of Chapter 11 in the Book of Revelation. That which
happened in Egypt also, will happen in Jerusalem. Egypt was
brought to its knees and destroyed under the ministry of the 2
witnesses of God in their day, these two being Moses and Aaron.
Egypt was consumed in idolatry and held God’s people in
slavery. Here then is God’s consistent pattern –

These witnesses are witnesses of the Lord. A witness must be
qualified to do that to which he is called. A witness must see,
hear and speak. Many times John himself testifies by saying that
he writes of things of which he heard and saw. Therefore the two
witnesses of Revelation must have understanding of the spiritual
realm and have seen and heard the events of Jesus life and
ministry in order to give a faithful and accurate testimony. This
in itself requires personal experience and relationship.

It is vital there are two. The Bible teaches that proof of
anything is only believable when it is corroborated. The
Scripture that applies here is "Out of the mouths of two or
three witnesses are all things established."
These witnesses
represent the Law and the Prophets. They will rebuke and
challenge the Jewish nation to come to repentance.

From the first day of their appearance they will say that
Jesus Christ, who was rejected, is the very Messiah. They will
condemn sin and wrong living, and rebuke those who are ready to
worship the devil in the form of the Antichrist. They will
testify how God judged righteously in the past and will do so
again. They will call men everywhere to repentance. They will
denounce the work of the enemy as a lie from the pit of hell. And
they will announce the imminent judgments to come on the City
which is spiritually Sodom and Egypt.

They will witness of the 1st coming of Christ, and his trial,
crucifixion, burial and resurrection and they will witness of the
2nd coming again of the Lord of Glory. This is the end time hour
when the work and the ministry of the true Church on earth is
about to conclude. But God never leaves Himself without a
witness, and so the two witnesses take the place of the Church,
but minister to the House of Judah. They will speak strongly
against the Mark of the Beast and counsel people to have faith in
God that He will supply all their needs according to His riches
in Christ Jesus.

This prophetic voice against sin and apostasy echoes down the
corridor of time, repeating once again the major means by which
God has dealt with His people when they sin and err – the
correction coming from a prophetic voice. It boggles the mind to
think how the generally anti-Christian media will handle this
time bomb. This event will challenge every news gathering agency
to the core, because the rebuke will have a powerful spiritual
conviction attached to it.

God provides a time of ministry in the front line which will
take 3½ years from start to finish. This is the final
3½ years of God’s dealings with the Jewish nation as
prophesied in Daniel 9 and dealt with previously in the 2006
series in this magazine on the "Rapture Question". The fact that
their Messiah has already come will be the main thrust of their
message. This will no doubt cause as much strife as it did 2000
years ago, when Jesus was crucified on the demand of His own
people.

This time however, the Cross is not the end result, although
death is. However, during the course of their time of appointed
ministry, verse 5 of Revelation 11 tells us that they will be
protected totally from any harm directed their way. Anyone who
tries to harm them will be devoured by fire that comes from their
mouths. This fire may very well be a different fire. Hebrews 12:29 says,
"Our God is a consuming fire." It may be
words spoken under the anointing of the Holy Spirit will cause
life to be taken from their opponents in the same way as Ananias
and Sapphira perished. This has also occurred previously in the
Old Testament with Nadab and Abihu in Leviticus 10:2 .

These 2 witnesses also have power to shut the heaven, so that
no rain falls in the days of their prophecy, and they have the
power to turn waters into blood, and to strike the earth with
every plague as often as they desire. Can you imagine the
emotions of the Antichrist? He would be going through exactly the
same roller coaster of hate and fear that Pharaoh was forced to
endure when the plagues were unleashed one by one on Egypt.

Who are these two witnesses? They cannot be New Testament
people, because the Church does not have the ministry of calling
down fire from heaven on her adversaries. The Church has been
called to the ministry of mercy and grace, not the judgements of
the Law. There is an interesting Scripture in Romans 2:12 which
says –

"For as many as have sinned without law will also perish
without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged
by the law."

Except for the 120, the 3000, the 5000 and the multitudes, the
Jewish nation rejected the Messiah, so God turned to the Gentiles
with the dispensation of mercy and grace. It is very appropriate
therefore that the two witnesses be Jews who lived under the
Law.

There are 3 names that are generally discussed as to the
identity of the two witnesses. They are Enoch, Moses and Elijah.
Almost everyone agrees on Elijah, but there is controversy as to
whether the second witness is Enoch or Moses. These 3 men are the
only 3 in the Bible record to be translated to heaven, which is a
powerful recommendation.

Let’s look at Elijah’s credentials first. 1 Kings
17 tells us he stopped the rain in Israel for 3½ years.
(In Revelation 11:6 the same power is given) Elijah called down
fire from heaven upon another antichrist group, the prophets of
Baal. He is translated to heaven bodily in the whirlwind and
chariots of horsemen. Malachi 4:5-6 prophesies Elijah’s
coming before the Lord. John the Baptist fulfilled this, but this
was an interim fulfilment, as he was not Elijah personally, and
the Lord said after John’s death in Matthew 17:11, that the
real Elijah was still to come.

Now let us look at the credentials of Moses. When he came
before Pharaoh, a forerunner and prophetic picture of the
Antichrist, one of the plagues he commanded was that the waters
be turned to blood. Revelation 11:6 tells us this will be the
ministry of the two witnesses. We find that Moses brought a
series of various plagues upon the earth, and this is also the
mandate given to the two witnesses. Moses is also translated to
heaven.

Enoch does not have any recorded miracle acts which will be
duplicated by the two witnesses of Revelation 11. But it is
important to understand why Enoch is such a popular choice as
being one of the two witnesses. Let’s look at how each of
these 3 left this life –

Many have used the Scripture in Hebrews 9:27 to be the
deciding factor as to who were the two witnesses, where it says

"It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the
judgement."

The argument is that Enoch and Elijah never died, so God will
bring them to earth to fulfill their ministry and their
death-appointment. Yet Enoch in his original ministry never
demonstrated any of the manifestations prophesied in Revelation
11. Is this Scripture, which says it is "appointed once for men
to die, then the judgement" relevant? If Hebrews 9:27 is correct
literally, then the Rapture can’t take place. 1
Thessalonians says, "that those who are alive and
remain"
will follow the dead in Christ in rising to glory.
John 8:51-59 has Jesus saying, "if a man keep my saying, he
shall never see death."
Psalm 102:20 says that the Lord will
"loose those who are appointed to death." Psalm 79:11
says he will, "preserve those that are appointed to
die."

In the light of this, we see that Enoch is not one of the two
witnesses, but is a prophetic type of the Church. Enoch
foreshadows those who are alive and remain because Enoch was the
7th from Adam, so his life points to the Millennial reign, beyond
the 6000 years of man’s dominion on earth. Enoch was
translated by faith to show the sting of death has been removed
from the Triumphant Church.

Even though Moses died and the Lord buried him, he appears in
the Bible as one who in later times, appeared at the
transfiguration along with Elijah. We can read this in Luke 9:28-36 .
I believe that this is the strongest evidence of all
that shows the two witnesses are Elijah and Moses, for they
appear as witnesses at the transfiguration of the Lord. Therefore
they will be able to truthfully tell that they have seen, heard
and testify to the reality of Jesus Christ as the Son of God.
Their appearance on the Mount of Transfiguration was for this
purpose, as it was the only time Jesus was seen as a man and as
God simultaneously for as he ascended into heaven the glory was
upon Him. Finally, we should look at similarities in their lives
which are hard to ignore - (see chart below)

God has chosen out of all Creation, two witnesses who have a
unshakeable testimony of the Divinity of Christ to counter the
lies, deceit and demonic control of the Antichrist – and
won’t he just hate that!