The Two Witnesses
11 Then I was given a measuring stick, and I was told, “Go and measure the Temple of God and the altar, and count the number of worshipers. 2 But do not measure the outer courtyard, for it has been turned over to the nations. They will trample the holy city for 42 months. 3 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will be clothed in burlap and will prophesy during those 1,260 days.”
4 These two prophets are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of all the earth. 5 If anyone tries to harm them, fire flashes from their mouths and consumes their enemies. This is how anyone who tries to harm them must die. 6 They have power to shut the sky so that no rain will fall for as long as they prophesy. And they have the power to turn the rivers and oceans into blood, and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they wish.
7 When they complete their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the bottomless pit[a] will declare war against them, and he will conquer them and kill them. 8 And their bodies will lie in the main street of Jerusalem,[b] the city that is figuratively called “Sodom” and “Egypt,” the city where their Lord was crucified. 9 And for three and a half days, all peoples, tribes, languages, and nations will stare at their bodies. No one will be allowed to bury them. 10 All the people who belong to this world will gloat over them and give presents to each other to celebrate the death of the two prophets who had tormented them.
11 But after three and a half days, God breathed life into them, and they stood up! Terror struck all who were staring at them. 12 Then a loud voice from heaven called to the two prophets, “Come up here!” And they rose to heaven in a cloud as their enemies watched.
13 At the same time there was a terrible earthquake that destroyed a tenth of the city. Seven thousand people died in that earthquake, and everyone else was terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.
14 The second terror is past, but look, the third terror is coming quickly.
Here is some food for thought and study today.
No one now knows for certain who the Two Witnesses are, however it is widely believed this would be Elijah and Moses, possibly assumed because of the appearance of Moses and Elijah at Jesus’s tranfiguration (Math. 17, Mark 9, Luke 9) But when they do appear, we will know that the return of Christ is not far away.
The Two Witnesses are two human beings who will be given extraordinary power for 3 1/2 years just before Christ’s return (Revelation 11:3). If anyone attempts to harm them before they complete their ministry, “fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies” (verse 5). Note the similarity between this and the power given to Elijah (II Kings 1:9-15). They will also have power to produce drought and famine, as did Elijah (Luke 4:25; I Kings 17:1-7), and to smite the earth with plagues, as Moses did in Egypt (Revelation 11:6). However, there is no biblical justification to believe that the Two Witnesses are indeed Moses and Elijah; God has never resurrected a prophet or apostle to do a work centuries or millennia later. God always uses people of the time to carry out His work.
The most notable work of the Two Witnesses will be to give one final warning to this world. This message of rebuke and repentance will bring them into conflict with the people and the governments in power, and they will be martyred. The whole world will rejoice and give each other gifts as they view their dead bodies, lying unburied in the streets of Jerusalem (verses 9-10). However, those same people will be struck with great fear when they see the Two Witnesses come to life again and ascend into the sky in a cloud (verses 11-12).
Verse 4 calls them “the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth,” a reference to Zechariah 4:14. Combining this Old Testament prophecy with the interpretation of the lampstands in Revelation 1:20, it appears that the Two Witnesses will also have a profound ministry to the church of God: They will supply the church with “oil,” that is, they will spiritually feed the church during the “famine of the Word” (Amos 8:11). Thus, the Two Witnesses will be affiliated with and teaching the members of God’s church before and possibly during their greater worldwide ministry.
What I also find interesting about this piece of scripture is vs. 9. There are many theories and beliefs that the tribulation and events of Revelation have taken place already centuries ago, and there is some great arguments and historical events that could be made to sound true, but it doesn’t explain this verse to me. When in history could the entire world look upon something that has happened in one specific place other that now. With the age of technology, this is made possible but not ever before.
The Seventh Trumpet Brings the Third Terror
15 Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices shouting in heaven:
“The world has now become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ,
and he will reign forever and ever.”
16 The twenty-four elders sitting on their thrones before God fell with their faces to the ground and worshiped him. 17 And they said,
“We give thanks to you, Lord God, the Almighty,
the one who is and who always was,
for now you have assumed your great power
and have begun to reign.
18 The nations were filled with wrath,
but now the time of your wrath has come.
It is time to judge the dead
and reward your servants the prophets,
as well as your holy people,
and all who fear your name,
from the least to the greatest.
It is time to destroy
all who have caused destruction on the earth.”
19 Then, in heaven, the Temple of God was opened and the Ark of his covenant could be seen inside the Temple. Lightning flashed, thunder crashed and roared, and there was an earthquake and a terrible hailstorm.
This chapter ends like a good TV series, with a huge cliffhanger. We know that the end is very near.
Reading this can and has caused many much fear. But know this everyone, even thought there will be a lot of scary, crazy things going to happen, we can have confidence in Christ. He is the anchor we can secure ourselves to with absolute assurance. Even when times are tough, He is always there to give us that peace and erasing that need to be worried about what is coming. He is our Rock. Place your worries and troubles on Him today, give them over completely.
Pray about anything that is stressing you today. Have confidence knowing God will walk you through these things, “never will He leave you, never will He forsake you”