WHAT WILL THE TWO WITNESSES REALLY DO?
First, let us consider what the Lord spoke of them, through both Zechariah and the Apostle John.
Now the angel who talked with me came back and wakened me, as a man who is wakened out of his sleep. And he said to me, "What do you see?" So I said, "I am looking, and there is a lampstand of solid gold with a bowl on top of it, and on the stand seven lamps with seven pipes to the seven lamps. Two olive trees are by it, one at the right of the bowl and the other at its left." So I answered and spoke to the angel who talked with me, saying, "What are these, my lord?"
"Then I answered and said to him, "What are these two olive trees--at the right of the lampstand and at its left?" And I further answered and said to him, "What are these two olive branches that drip into the receptacles of the two gold pipes from which the golden oil drains?" Then he answered me and said, "Do you not know what these are?" And I said, "No, my lord." So he said, "These are the two anointed ones, who stand beside the Lord of the whole earth."
“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.”
These are the two anointed ones, that represent the olive trees whose branches which send the oil that burns in the heavenly menorah and yet are two menorah's of Light themselves.
At the time of Zechariah's prophecy Israel had been released from Babylon but the temple had not been rebuilt yet.
“Therefore thus says the Lord: "I am returning to Jerusalem with mercy; My house shall be built in it," says the Lord of hosts, "And a surveyor's line shall be stretched out over Jerusalem."
“Then I raised my eyes and looked, and behold, a man with a measuring line in his hand. So I said, "Where are you going?" And he said to me, "To measure Jerusalem, to see what is its width and what is its length."
“Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying: "The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands shall also finish it. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you. For who has despised the day of small things? For these seven rejoice to see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel.”
How would this relate to what John saw in Revelation?
“Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, "Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles.”
In both these sections of Scripture, preceding the two lampstands/two olive trees/two witnesses... There was “measuring” going on. Both places were void of a Temple on the Temple Mount. In both cases measuring was being done to prepare for a Temple. Zerubbabel had laid the foundation of a temple in Zechariah's time and the Lord was calling for it to be rebuilt. During John's lifetime, the temple of Jerusalem had been destroyed 70 AD (and as of this writing in September 2015, has never been rebuilt).
What was always in a Temple of God?
In both heaven and earth are menorahs (or lampstands)... Jesus said in the "Messages to the 7 churches" (in Revelation chapters 2 and 3) that He walks amongst the lampstands in heaven. In the Tabernacle of Moses and in the Temples of Jerusalem, there was always a Menorah burning 24-7 in the Holy of Holies. We know from the book of Hebrews, the earthly temple set-up is a reflection of the heavenly one (Hebrews 8:5).
We also know that a Temple is yet to be rebuilt at the time of this writing, but it is coming. In order for the abomination of desolation, to be set up and the sacrifices stopped, it has to have been rebuilt prior to the rapture and for a certain amount of time.
"And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days."
1260 days is 42 months or 3 ½ years. So 1290 days is: the time of the first half of the 7 years plus 30 days.
From this we can see, that the Temple must be rebuilt and the sacrifices started again 30 days prior to the beginning of the 7 years. We do not know how long it will take to get the Temple rebuilt and situated before the sacrifices are started again... but we do know that the sacrifices will be being offered again for 1290 days.
So the Temple will be rebuilt and sacrifices already restarted for 30 days when the Two Witnesses come on the scene and that they will prophesy for 1260 days/the first half of the 7 years (we know it is "the first half" because the 2nd half is only a time of judgment and wrath).
We know that at the beginning of the 7 years, the Antichrist is given authority, a white horse, a bow and told to go conquer. At the same time, these Two Witnesses will be accomplishing their assignment. Herein lies a clash of good vs evil.
What is their assignment?
“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.”
They are God's two witnesses. And they have God-given power. They witness and prophesy.
What is the biblical importance of "two witnesses"?
God established both the Jews and the Law (Torah). The Lord required two honest, witnesses to be brought with any important charges against someone. In a case of death being the punishment, 2 witnesses were required. If a witness was found to be lying, they had to suffer the equivalent punishment of whoever they bore false testimony against.
“At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.”
Could it be that Judgment is about to come on the earth and before it does, these two witnesses are part of that plan? For certain there is no question about it.
Interestingly, the Greek word for “witnesses” here is “marturions” and is where we get the word “martyr” from in English. The Disciples were called “witnesses” by Jesus Christ Himself as recorded by Luke in the Book of Acts.
“And He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."
To “give testimony” or “be a witness”, meant you would put your life on your word. These two “witnesses” of the Lord in the Book of Revelation, will not only “witness” as in “giving testimony of God”, but also “prophesy” and eventually do so “unto death” becoming - “martyrs.” Praise God, that after 3 ½ days, they will rise again!
John records that upon their deaths, the (worldly) people will "celebrate and make merry" all over the earth.
“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.”
So how is it, that they are "witnesses of the Lord" who prophesy but also torment the lost people on 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.”
They have the power burn and devour, killing their enemies.
They have to power to call for drought during the days of their prophecies.
They have the power to turn water into blood and to strike the earth with plagues.
What we have here is the battle of good and evil like never before. The antichrist has been given power for 42 months to have control over the earth. The two witnesses are sent for 42 months to spread the gospel and stand for righteousness.
“Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth--to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people-- saying with a loud voice, "Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water."
I believe this is a direct reference to "their testimony and prophecy.” After these two Anointed Ones are killed and upon their resurrection, those that rejected the Gospel they preached, will “fear God and give Him glory as the hour of His judgment will have come. Every knee will bow in worship to Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”
Darkness does not "just not like" the Light, it "hates" the Light. The people of this world, that will be accepting a false Messiah, a global leader that is being set up to be their “god”... will be choosing darkness. They will fall for this global leader that does "lying signs and wonders"... He will be a global leader who hates the Light and who blasphemes God.
“And all the world marveled and followed the beast. So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?" And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.”
But the dragon, his beast and false prophet, have NO authority over the Two Witnesses of Jesus Christ and cannot touch them, "until" they will have “finished their testimony.”
“When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them.”
Their testimony is Jesus Christ and the Gospel.
“And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations.”
“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”
Just when Satan and his antichrist think they have it all under control... Boom.
Revelation 11: 11-13
“Now after the three-and-a-half 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.”
This is when the rapture happens! This is at the middle of the 7 years. Not only do the Two Witnesses ascend, but the graves open and yield up the remains of those who come with the Lord to get their incorruptible bodies and for those alive in the Lord on earth, who will ascend with them. The Lord will separate/call out His sheep unto Himself and then send judgment and wrath on the most blasphemous and wicked people that ever lived.
Here is a mystery and how it will unfold. "Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together." Please notice this sentence or phrase in the following sections of Scripture.
"Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed. In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back. Remember Lot's wife. Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left. Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left. Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left." And they answered and said to Him, "Where, Lord?" So He said to them, "Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together."
Matthew 24: 27-31
"For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together. "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
“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 three-and-a-half 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 three-and-a-half 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.”
Can you see the mystery becoming clear? Did you ever wonder about this verse?
“For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.”
It is tucked in there almost seeming like a riddle. The Lord reveals His truth in His time. In the days of the writing of the New Testament, vultures were considered eagles. Where the two dead Witnesses' remains will be, the eagles (vultures) will be gathered.
Just when the antichrist has declared himself god and all the wicked ones think that they are free from the Two Witnesses; just when they think they have the Christians crushed. When the false prophet has had the image of the beast set up and he orders all to worship the beast and take his mark... When all the wicked ones are thinking, “peace now” - oh, are they in for a surprise.
1 Thessalonians 5:2-3
“For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.”
Praise the Lord! Just like at the Cross; it looked "the worst" but in reality, it was the opposite. Our Lord was not defeated at all. He was accomplishing what He had come to do! And so it will be on this great day of the Lord! Hallelujah!
Other Articles About The Two Witnesses
WHO ARE THE TWO WITNESSES?
Exploring the possibilities of who the Two Witnesses might be.
TWO WITNESSES BIBLE VERSES
For collective thought & study.
COULD THE TWO WITNESSES BE THE ANGELS, GABRIEL AND MICHAEL?
Could 2 humans really fulfill their role? What if they are two angels in human form?
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Copyright 2014 E. Cockrell May be used for personal study or instruction but shall not be copied and/or distributed in whole or part without permission or for financial profit.