I have wondered who these two witnesses are. I think I may have pondered the wrong question. Perhaps the question should be, What are these two witnesses?
These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. Revelation 11:4
The first chapter of the Revelation associates the Menorah (lampstands) with churches (assembly of believers is a better way to understand the Menorah) Good enough, but what about the olive trees?
Then I said to him, “What are these two olive trees on the right of the lampstand and on its left?” … Then he said, “These are the two anointed ones who are standing by the Lord of the whole earth.” Zechariah 4:11-14
This is simply amazing! The symbolism of light and oil, of the King of kings, of assembled believers and the darkness of the days of the antichrist overwhelm me.
These two witnesses are anointed. I take that to mean that they have the Holy Spirit during days when the church teaches that no one will have the indwelling spirit at this “dispensation.” The church is supposed to be gone (rapture) but here are two assemblies standing against the darkness, and no one can stop or destroy them until their time is complete. There are rumors that this model of Menorah (lampstands) standing before the LORD of the earth stand today in dark places like China, Saudis Arabia and Iran. Soon, I fear, this will be the model in the United States. Fear not!
They are two olive trees. Zechariah 4:2-3 proclaims that the two olive trees provide the constant supply of oil for the Menorah. How does this work? I have to confess that I just do not know. What I do know is that John scatters a testimony of The Word of God (sometimes communicated as the commandments) and the Testimony of Jesus throughout the Revelation. These are the twin reasons that he is on the island of Patmos. (Revelation 1:2, 9). They are the reason for the martyrs of the 5th seal (6:9 and 20:4) We who keep the word of God and the testimony of Jesus are the very souls the dragon goes after. These souls are called to endurance, it isn’t easy and (most of the time) it will not be fun, but what follows the time of tribulation will be a time of Glory that cannot be compared to standing against the dark lord of death and destruction. Scripture testifies that this horrid tribulation which frightens so many readers and which gives its own testimony that the men of earth long for death but cannot achieve death, is nothing when compared to the glory that follows. That very fact is given as the means of endurance (Revelation 14:12)
Perhaps the two witness are not two people. I am still open to the idea that they might be. There are plenty of very intelligent people who give names like Enoch, Moses, Elijah and John the Baptist as candidates for the position. But I lean toward the first witness being “The Word (or commandments) of God and the second being The Testimony of Jesus. I have my doubts that those who are not Jewish will qualify for this high position. There will be 144,000 who stand before the LORD of the earth, whom the Serpent cannot harm. Few who study this passage believe that a flesh and blood person can kill his enemies with the fire of his mouth, so chances are good that I am way off base BUT there is also a chance that we do not understand what someone who completely embraces the promises of God will be able to do at the end of days.
There is a moment when the beast is permitted to kill them. A macabre celebration follows over their dead bodies. It is said to go on for three and a half days, then comes the resurrection and ascension of the witnesses. The world thought their beastly humanism had defeated The Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus. They thought their champion had killed them, but they arose and were taken to the next dimension by the cloud. The earth trembles, it cracks apart and kills 7,000 residents of Jerusalem. Every survivor is immersed in terror. as they forsake their arrogant exaltation of the beast.
The Third Woe is about to commence with the sound of the seventh trumpet.
Is that all there is for people who just don’t buy what the church or synagogue is selling? God does not wish this era for anyone (2 Peter 3:9) His desire is that all would come to repentance. God’s kindness is what leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4) but how will the world know this love unless the beloved tell them? (Romans 10:15) Beloved, we are the voice of the Son of God who gave his blood to save sinners. We have the power of prayer in faith, It is God who saves, but we have the privilege of the Holy Spirit empowered voice. Maybe we should risk sharing what we have?
Debs in Everett, Washington
source: Bible Insight.com
source: Kenneth A Strand, Andrews University
source: three and a half days