THE TWO WITNESSES
"Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."-John 5:39
Please read Revelation 11:1-12
first to better understand this prophecy...
"And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But 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. And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them." -Revelation 11:1-12
KEY VERSE / DESCRIBING THESE TWO WITNESSES
Before going further we need to always understand that "...the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." -2 Peter 1:21
The Word of the Almighty is the only tool we have to define prophetic symbolism. One must understand that the book of Revelation is almost entirely written in prophetic symbolism. And the only way to define those symbols is to study the entire Bible. Fact is, there are 404 verses in the book of Revelation, and 278 of those verses can be found almost word for word in all the other books of the Bible. The simple truth here is, if you want to understand prophecy, you must allow the Bible define the symbols first. For those of you that would like a jump start on learning what many of the symbols mean, I have a huge study defining every symbol in Revelation on the site now. The link is in box #3 of the sermon notes.
OK, the two witnesses were just described as "two olive trees" and "two candlesticks" in Revelation 11:4. Before going further I always like to check and see if any aspect of a prophecy is repeated elsewhere in the Word. Doing so makes defining the symbols that much easier. In Zechariah 4:2-4 we read, "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: And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof. So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord?"
This is what I truly find fascinating about prophecy and the Scriptures. There are actually many instances in the Word of God where the symbols are directly defined after a prophet sees them in vision. That is a good thing because it allows us a quick and precise definition. So... what are these symbols defined as?
As we see in this passage, the definition of the two olive trees which hold the oil and the lampstands which bear light are actually defined as something resulting from the work of the Spirit of God and not the power or might of mankind. So almost immediately we discover that the two witnesses cannot possibly be "men." However, it doesn't end there by any means. There are numerous aspects to this prophecy that further confirm this as fact. And please remember that, "...no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." -2Peter 1:20-21. In other words, my opinion of what a prophetic symbol means is useless. It can only be defined by the same Author that penned it. And when it comes to prophecy, that Author is our God. In fact, Christians have always known that the Word of God is most definitely defined as a righteous source of light, for it is written...
If the light of Scripture dwells within the heart of the obedient child, then that child will also see that the olive tree in prophecy is defined as "righteousness" for it is also written...
Both the Old and New Testament bear witness unto the Lord Jesus Christ and His work of salvation for all mankind. The Old Testament ANNOUNCED HIS COMING, and the New Testament CONFIRMED HIS ARRIVAL. Jesus Himself declared that, "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."-John 5:39. His two witnesses have done this all along. Fact is, as I hope to illustrate here, the VISION IN Revelation 11:1-12 was describing the "OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS" as the Two Witnesses.
Today, most false teachers and some
honest but misguided Christians, have been declaring that the two witnesses are
going to be Moses and Elijah because of what is penned in... Revelation 11:6,
"These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their
prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite
the earth with all plagues, as often as they will."
Moses and his connection with the plagues of Pharoah, and Elijah with his connection to stopping the rain as he did in his day, is what they base their assumptions on. Some even claim the two witnesses will be Moses and Elijah because of what happened in Matthew 17 when Jesus was glorified as He will be at the second coming with Moses and Elijah standing there talking with Him. But if you look at all the prophetic facts involved here, you see that Jesus was seen as He will be seen at the second coming; Moses was there to symbolize the dead believers that arise on that day because he died and was resurrected to Heaven, and then Elijah was there to symbolize the 144,000 or Gideon band that never dies, because he never died and was taken to Heaven on a flaming chariot. In short, Moses and Elijah could not be the two witnesses. This is also besides the fact that Moses nor Elijah were ever proclaimed in the Word as being the two witnesses. That assumption is just that, an assumption of mankind without so much as a single Bible verse to back it up.
In order to grasp the prophetic truths of the two witnesses, you have to first realize just how time is calculated in the Word of God. Knowing the prophesied time of their arrival allows for clarity in definition. For example, notice the 1260 years and how often they appear in prophecy...
To understand the forty and two months that the beast will reign, we must first find the method of time the Bible declares for prophecy. Our God says in Ezekiel 4:6 "I have appointed thee each day for a year" The day for a year time calculation is also mentioned in Numbers 14:34. Then we find the Bible acknowledges a month to be 30 days long, because in, Genesis 7:11 we see the rain started on the 17 day of the 2nd month, and in Genesis 8:3,4 we find the water receded at the end of 150 days, then it says the ark rested on the 17th day of the 7th month. That's exactly 5 months to the day. If we divide the 150 days by the 5 months you get 30 days per month. Plus, ask any Orthodox Jew today and he will tell you that yes, a biblical month as it was understood back when the Word was penned was in fact 30 days. So this means, 42 months multiplied by 30 days for each month equals exactly 1260 days. According to Ezekiel 4:6 and Numbers 14:34, that's actually 1260 years in our reality. Daniel as well as Revelation speaks of a "time, times, and half a time" which is also 3 and a half years, which is also 42 months, which is also 1260 days, which prophetically speaking is 1260 years. That being said, how does any of this have to do with the two witnesses?
Did you notice the two witnesses are not only testifying in sackcloth, they do so for exactly 1260 days as well? First of all, what theme runs throughout Scripture in regards to the wearing of sackcloth? It always represents mourning of some sort, does it not? As Christians do we not mourn when we are persecuted for spreading the love of the Gospel? This is something every Christian today can attest to first hand seeing how we're so very near the end. But in this case, historically speaking that is, the mourning in this passage that warrants the wearing of sackcloth is in direct response to the suppression of the Roman Catholic power that was openly and quite viciously persecuting anyone that would speak of the Word of God in a trusting manner. The prophecy said…
It says here a beast will rise up that will make war and eventually kill the 2 witnesses, right? Fact is, when the Reformation of Martin Luther hit France it was accepted with open arms. However, the Roman Catholic Papacy was very angered by this open acceptance of the Truth by the masses mainly because it exposed them and their prophesied evil agenda. So...the French Revolution was initiated by agents of Rome to further quench the truth. In fact, the revolution was a movement that was totally against any form of religion. Anyone found embracing the Truth in Scripture were destroyed openly and completely. The massacre of Bartholomew is open evidence of that fact. The historic facts and figures can be researched in the book, AGE OF REASON" by Thomas Paine if you have a mind to look into it. This book was sweeping the Nation at that time declaring a belief in self over and above the Lord as being the proper thing to do. So, to understand this prophecy, we need to ask, did France make war on the Bible during this Revolution as the prophecy intimates?
"France declared war on the Bible in 1793. A decree passed on the French assembly declaring the Bible forbidden, and under the decree the Bible was gathered and burned and all the institutions of the Bible abolished. Baptism and commuion abolished. The being of God denied and death declared an eternal sleep. The goddess of "reason" was set up in the person of a vile woman and publically worshipped." -Midnight Cry p.47 by George Storrs
"On the 17th of June, Camille
Jordan, in the `Council of Five Hundred,' brought up the memorable report on
the `Revision of the laws relative to religious worship.'...the
Bible had been slain in France from November, 1793, till June,
1797....[Then] the Bible, so long and so sternly repressed before, was placed
in honor, and was openly the Book of free Protestantism."(George Croly,
The Apocalypse of St. John, p 181-183, (1828); quoted in Source Book, p
On the exact date of November 10, 1793, the French National Assembly decreed in Paris that the Christian religion should be abolished, and the Bible suppressed at all costs. With that declaration the Old and New Testaments of the Bible were prophetically killed just as the prophecy stated. Did you also notice the prophetic admission of the articles I just wrote when it came to killing the Bible? One of the authors actually said "the Bible had been slain in France." The prophecy was fulfilled!
During this “age or reason” all the Bibles were burned in public to demonstrate their complete rejection of the Almighty and His will. It was then the Vatican contrived "goddess of reason" was declared the truth during this time by the leaders of the movement. The people actually rejoiced over the fact they got the Bible out of their lives. They celebrated, they sent gifts to one another, they rejoiced in great multitudes. And yes, prophecy even saw this long before its time. As we saw in Revelation 11:10 it stated plainly that, "And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth." A sobering thought is that this sounds like today doesn't it? Whenever you share the Bible with some people today they get extraordinarily angry with you.
Do you recall that video I put up a few weeks ago about the Christian student that was ridiculed by their classmates and teachers for being a Christian? That same demonic spirit is running rampant today.
Ok, getting back, did you notice in verse 8 of Revelation 11 that the 2 witnesses bodies were in the street that, "spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt?" The key word here is they were SPIRITUALLY called Sodom and Egypt. But why? Many false preachers like to twist that prophetic fact out of context to gain support for their prophetic heresy. Using simple Biblical jurisprudence one can see what's really being said here...
Revelation also declares that this "great city" is also the place "where our Lord was crucified." How does that match up in prophecy?
The depiction of Sodom is defined and confirmed in the rampant immorality that resulted in France after the Bible was removed from society. The depiction of Egypt in prophecy fits this time in history as well. With the declaration that "GOD IS DEAD" in France, the self-exultant claims of Pharaoh echoed over time with uncanny accuracy. Take note of the following quote that confirms this defiance...
With blasphemous boldness almost beyond belief, one of the priests of the new order said: "God, if You exist, avenge Your injured name. I bid You defiance! You remain silent; You dare not launch Your thunders. Who after this will believe in Your existence?"--Lacretelle, History, vol. 11, p. 309; in Sir Archibald Alison, History of Europe, vol. 1, ch. 10.
What a clear and precise echo is this of the Pharaoh when he said in Exodus 5:2, "...Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD..."
This “age of reason” is what History
also calls the "Age of terror in France." But what of the statement
made in this prophecy in regards to, "...here also our Lord was
crucified" in verse 8? Simple reality here is, Jerusalem was under the
control of Rome when it crucified our Lord, just as France was under
Roman Rule in this day. Anyone found preaching the Truth in France was guillotined
immediately! The blood actually ran through the gutters of the streets of men,
woman, and even little children that did "certain crimes" that
offended the prelates who drove the hatred of the general public. Jesus DID SAY
in Matthew 25:40, "Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto
one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me" Did
He not? So, as they killed our Lord in the same decadence driven society under
Roman Rule in 31AD, they did the same thing to His followers in France. In so
doing they performed an uncanny duplication in perfect clarity that you could
actually picture their dead bodies lying, "...in the street of the great
city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was
OK.. The KEY POINT, or "clincher" as some like to call it is the THREE AND A HALF DAYS that this all occurred. This is also why I made sure to point out the calculation of time prophecy earlier. As we read earlier in Revelation 11:11 it stated that "after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them."
Historic fact is, in November of 1793 the French government voted religion out and the Bible was abolished in France. After a short period of time the people started to realize the nation of France was about to crumble to nothing because of the sheer stupidity of the laws put in place. Their decadent behavior was literally wreaking havoc on all they held dear. They needed a way to prevent anarchy from spreading as the norm; so they decided to vote religion back in when all they held dear was about to disappear like the skin on a rusted heap in a junkyard. So, that begs the question. How many years passed between the time they outlawed the Bible to when they brought it back in?
Remember that according to Ezekiel 4:6, "...I have appointed thee each day for a year." And when speaking of the two witnesses after they had been killed, Revelation 11:11 said that, "after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them."
Within 3 AND A HALF YEARS from when they removed the Bible, we see the Bible came back into society in a very graphic manner. How graphic you ask? Revelation 11:12 says, "And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them."
As we see here, the Word of God was to ascend to Heaven in front of the Lord's enemies. This symbolic language of Revelation 11:12, is declaring that the two witnesses will become great and well known by all on earth, including those that hated it. In fact, Daniel 4:22 confirms it when it says, "It is thou, O king, that art grown and become strong: for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth." Common sense tells us that if all the earth witnesses this ascension, that means the wicked were aware as well.
So, how did the Bible ascend? Historic fact confirms that directly after the Bible "came back to life" that day, we see it becoming VERY GREAT all over the world. Or as Daniel just put it, "to the end of the earth." What I mean is...
Since that day the Bible continues to be the number one best seller the world over! And all during this time of the Bible’s prophesied popularity we see the wicked of the world have been mystified as they watched how this mere book has been able to glorify the God of Heaven ever since they voted it back into society! This is a fact that anyone with an ounce of sense can realize no matter what side of the fence they stand on.