Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Two Witnesses

The two witnesses are two of God's prophets who are seen in a vision by John of Patmos, who appear during the Second woe in the Book of Revelation 11:1-14.

John is told that the court of God's temple would be trampled on by the nations for 42 months. During that period for 1,260 days (or 42 months, or 3½ years), two witnesses would be granted authority to prophesy.

They are described as two olive trees and two lampstands who stand before the Lord of the earth. They are able to devour their enemies with fire that flows out of their mouths.

They also have power over the sky and waters, and are able to strike the earth with plague. After their testimony, the Beast overcomes the two witnesses and kills them. For three and a half days, the people of the earth celebrate the death of the two witnesses who have tormented them for three and a half years.

Then God resurrects the two witnesses. This strikes fear on everyone witnessing their revival and the two witnesses ascend to heaven. In the next hour, a great earthquake occurs and kills 7000 people, destroying a tenth of the city.[1]

The two witnesses have been identified by various theologians as real individuals, two groups of people, or as two concepts. But we need to go back to the Word of God to know who these two witnesses truly are.

Pay a special attention to verses 3-4 and 6.

We read in, Revelation 11:1-14;

1 I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, “Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, and count the worshipers there. 2 But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months.

 3 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.” 4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth.

5 If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die.

6 These men have power to shut up the sky so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying;(a) and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want.(b)

7 Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them. 8 Their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. 9 For three and a half days men from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial. 10 The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and will celebrate by sending each other gifts, because these two prophets had tormented those who live on the earth.

11 But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them. 12 Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies looked on.

13 At that very hour there was a severe earthquake and a tenth of the city collapsed. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.

14 The second woe has passed; the third woe is coming soon.

First, compare the Word of Jesus in Luke 4:25-26 with Revelation 11:6a

25 I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. 26 Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon.-Miracle of Elijah

Second, compare Exodus 7:17 with Revelation 11:6b

This is what the LORD says: By this you will know that I am the LORD: With the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water of the Nile, and it will be changed into blood.-Miracle of Moses

Based on the matching passages above, we can say the two witnesses in Revelation 11:1-14 are none other than ‘Elijah and Moses, the Law and the Prophet. They who appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration and talked with Jesus about His imminent death on the cross as recorded in Matthew17:1-3;

1After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.

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