After the Rapture God will send two people to act as His special representatives to the world. Their identities are a mystery, but it isn’t who they are that’s important, it’s what they say.
They’re described in Revelation 11. Here is what the Bible has to say about the Two Witnesses.
1) THEY WILL PREACH FOR 3 1/2 YEARS
“And I [God] will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth” (Revelation 11:3).
God doesn’t want “anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
And so even in the mist of His wrath He offers the world a chance to repent and be forgiven. He will send Two Witnesses to represent a living God to a dying world. Their witness will last 1,260 days: three-and-a-half years.
The Bible says that they will be clothed in sackcloth. Sackcloth represents mourning (Genesis 37:34) and repentance (Matthew 11:21). Explaining the importance of mourning (feeling guilty of sin) and repentance (turning from sin, to Christ) will be the mission of the witnesses.
2) THEY WILL PREACH THE WORD OF GOD
“These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth” (Revelation 11:4).
The Witnesses are described as lampstands filled with oil from the olive tree. Oil represents grace and the light from the lampstand represents a life lived in the light of Christ. So they are filled with grace and the light of Christ shines through them.
Their message will also be one of grace and the light of Christ and will stress three main points:
1) “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
2) “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
3) “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:16-17).
3) THEY WILL PERFORM MIRACLES
“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 (Revelation 11:5-6).
God will supernaturally protect the Two Witnesses until their work is complete. He gives them the ability to kill their enemies through fire and cause droughts, turn water to blood and bring plagues upon the earth.
The Witnesses’ message of salvation through Jesus Christ is so important that God will not let anyone stand in their way until the three-and-a-half years are completed.
4) THE ANTICHRIST WILL KILL THEM
”When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit [The Antichrist] 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” (Revelation 11:7-8).
For reasons known only to Him, God will allow the Antichrist to kill the Two Witnesses. This will greatly increase the influence and popularity of the Antichrist because many will reject the message. of the Two Witnesses.
5) THE WORLD WILL CELEBRATE THEIR DEATHS
“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” (Revelation 11:9- 10).
Why does the world reject the message of the Two Witnesses? The Bible gives us the answer:
”Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed” (John 3:19-20).
People don’t want to be told they are sinful and so reject the light of God because their sins are exposed. But there is hope because the Bible adds:
“Whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” (John 3:21)
All people have a choice to either accept or reject Jesus Christ.
6) GOD WILL RESURRECT THEM
”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. 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” (Revelation 11:11-13).
After the three-and-a-half days the world will hear the voice of God commanding, “Come up here!” and the Two Witnesses will be resurrected and brought up into heaven. This will be a terrifying event and will be followed by a horrible earthquake which will cause massive damage and seven thousand deaths.
The resurrection of the Two Witnesses serves at least two purposes:
1) It shows the world that these truly were God’s representatives.
2) It shows the world that for those who put their trust in Christ nothing will be able to separate them from God — not even death because to be “absent from the body is to be present with the Lord forever” (2 Corinthians 5:8).