The Two Witnesses really captivate my deep thoughts. I believe it’s because they are two men standing boldly amid a world filled with evil, delivering the final messages of truth to people who have not totally hardened their hearts and souls.
These men will proclaim the Gospel Truth to the world in a final struggle to affirm Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior – and declare His offer of glorious salvation to anyone who will accept their message.
Here are some of the unique attributes of the two witnesses as described in Revelation 11:3-6.
* Christ Jesus personally appoints them for this task.
* They will prophesy for 1,260 days (3 ½ years).
* They will wear sackcloth.
* They are “the two olive trees” and the “two lampstands.”
* If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies.
* They have power to stop it from raining during the time they are prophesying.
* They have power to turn the waters into blood.
* They can strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want.
These men will speak pure truth as bestowed on them by Christ Jesus. They will preach in Jerusalem, and their message will be aimed at the Jews. They will be broadcast internationally, no doubt, and people all over the world will be amazed at them and their message. Their presence and message will declare Almighty God’s impending judgment on this world.
Almighty God will continue to provide the opportunity for repentance to both Jew and Gentile. Remember what is written in 2 Peter 3:9; “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
Additionally, John wrote in Revelation 7:9-10 that he saw a great multitude beyond human computation coming from “all nations,” “kindreds,” “people,” and “tongues” standing before the throne, clothed with white robes, with palms in their hands, ascribing salvation to Almighty God and to the Lamb. This passage affirms that Gentiles and Jews will be saved during the Tribulation.
Have you ever been curious as to why there will be two witnesses instead of just one? The answer to that is found in scripture. For the Jews, two witnesses were mandatory to fulfill the legal requirement for judgment. The three verses below provide clarity.
- On the testimony of two or three witnesses, a person is to be put to death, but no one is to be put to death on the testimony of only one witness (Deuteronomy 17:6).
- One witness is not enough to convict anyone accused of any crime or offense they may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses (Deuteronomy 19:15).
- Anyone who kills a person is to be put to death as a murderer only on the testimony of witnesses. But no one is to be put to death on the testimony of only one witness (Numbers 35:30).
One of the great conversations that Christians have about the two witnesses is “who are they,” and is there anything in scripture that gives us that answer? I personally believe that Moses and Elijah will be the two witnesses as spoken of in the Holy Bible. Please let me explain in greater detail how and why I came to this conclusion.
Each of the scriptural references below points toward these two men as being ideal for the task ahead in the Tribulation.
- “There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus” (Matthew 17:2-3). If you read Mark 9:4 and Luke 9:30, you will find that both confirm what you just read.
- “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” (Revelation 11:5). You may recall reading about how Elijah (two different times) called down ﬁre from heaven when soldiers came to arrest him (you can read about that in 2 Kings 1). Additionally, idolaters and the enemies of Moses were destroyed by ﬁre in Numbers 16:35.
- “They have power to shut up the heavens so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; 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” (Revelation 11:6). Now consider the very same miracles performed by Moses long ago. “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.” Moses also brought forth plagues upon the Egyptians (you can read about that in Exodus 7:14-11:10).
- Also, in Revelation 11:6 (as above), Elijah performed the very same miracles – preventing the heavens from raining as told to us in 1 Kings 17:1; Luke 4:25; and James 5:17. One very noteworthy fact is that the length of the drought in Elijah’s time is “exactly” the same amount of time of drought in Tribulation.
Revelation 11:3 tells us that the two witnesses will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth. The three key words from that verse are the basis for why Almighty God is sending these two men.
- Prophecy is to reveal by divine inspiration and to speak about imminent events without error.
- For 1,260 days (3-½ years), they will speak the gospel truth – that’s half of the 7-year Tribulation.
- They will be clothed in sackcloth. Wearing of sackcloth expresses mourning, submission, grief, and shame. A few examples of this are in 2 Kings 19:1; Psalm 69:11; Isaiah 37:1-2; Daniel 9:3; Joel 1:13; Jonah 3:5-8).
The ministry of the two witnesses will include preaching, prophesying, and performing miracles that demonstrate the glory and power of Almighty God. The messages they preach are to call people to repentance and to announce that the Holy Kingdom is at hand.
When they have finished their testimony, Satan will come up from the Abyss. He will kill them and leave their bodies lying in the open in Jerusalem – not giving them a burial. People (unsaved and depraved) will celebrate by sending each other gifts because the two prophets pierced the spirits of those who reject Christ Jesus and those who detest Almighty God.
For three and a half days, some from every people, tribe, language, and nation will look at their bodies and believe that they were simply false prophets and had no real power.
All the evil and ignorant people who hated the two witnesses will see the truth and power of Almighty God.
To learn what happens next, read Revelation 11:11-13!