THE TWO WITNESSES REVISITED

Some time ago I wrote a post about the two witnesses spoken of in Revelations. I wouldn’t be much of a student if I was not learning and as I learn I must change what I thought before or I would not be an honest student. So though I do not have all of the answers, and will not as long as I am in this body, I think God has let me understand who the two witnesses are and I would like to share it with you.

 

First I would like to point out that God has already revealed their identity to us and yet He hid it right out in the open. He is good at that, but then He is good at everything.

 

Jesus is one of the witnesses and in the same verse he claims that God Himself testifies that he is a witness.  (John 8:18 NIV)  I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me.” Also consider Rev 1:5 (NIV) and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood,

 

And the Holy Spirit is the second witness. (Acts 5:32 NIV) We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”

 The Holy Spirit was sent to Jesus when he was baptized and though Jesus gave up his spirit on the cross Scripture does not say that the Holy Spirit left him. Notice what Jesus said in John 8:29 (NIV)  The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.” If Jesus always does what pleases the Spirit then why would He leave him?

 

Revelations 3:14 (NIV) says, “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation.” Notice that the word Amen is capitalized every time it is used in the Bible. If you search the word Amen you will find that every time part of the law was stated in Deuteronomy the people were to say Amen. As I understand this it means Amen is the One who is saying it. As I understand it Amen is the name of the High Priest of the Law.

 

Another name for the High Priest of the Law is Melchizedek (Gen 14:18 NIV) Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High.

There are two High Priests that are permanent High Priests. The High Priest of the Law and Jesus who became High Priest after Amen, but at the same time with Amen. Jesus is the Lord of David and Psalms 110:4 (NIV) says, “The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”

 

Both High Priests are true and faithful witnesses of God. The Holy Spirit is the witness of God’s law and though Christians are free of the penalty of the law if everyone obeyed the law there would be peace on earth. Jesus is the witness of the grace of God and suffered death on the cross to demonstrate that grace.  

 

Well let’s consider the two witnesses spoken of in Revelations. First they are very important. They are said to be the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. What man other than Jesus could stand before the Lord of the earth? Just as kind of a sidebar, I believe the Lord of the earth spoken of here is the God of everything, but it could mean Satan (Eph 2:2) who is the ruler of the kingdom of the air and that could be said as Lord of the earth. Anyway it should be apparent that Jesus and the Holy Spirit can stand before either God or Satan.

 

Notice that the time of the Gentiles and the time that the two witnesses spoken of in Revelations 11:2&3 are really the same amount of time: 42 months = 1260 days, because months in the Egyptian calendar (Read Gentile calendar) consisted of 30 days.

The time of the Gentiles started when God’s chosen people, the Israelites, rejected and crucified Jesus. The two witnesses, Jesus and the Holy Spirit began to prophesy at that time and will continue until they are taken out of the way by Satan.

 

They are said to be clothed in sackcloth because though they are powerful and could make anyone understand and turn to God they do not exercise that power. Sackcloth is symbolic of humility.

 

(Rev 11:5 NIV)  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.

We read that verse and picture those that would harm the two witnesses as being slain physically and immediately, but it does not say physically or immediately. Those who are enemies of the two witnesses will die the second death at the end of time and it will be because of the words from the mouths of the two witnesses. There must be two or three witnesses in order to convict anyone, and these two also have our Father as a witness. The Holy Spirit will be a witness that they did not keep the law and Jesus will be a witness that they did not turn to him and all three together will be witnesses that the condemned are enemies. They will truly die, because the second death is the real death. Everyone that dies the first death will be raised again to face judgment; either true life or true death.

 

Verse 8 is a bit confusing if you view the two witnesses as Jesus and the Holy Spirit, because the NIV says, “Their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified.” And the KJV says, “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.”

I think the key to understanding this is the city itself is said to be figuratively or spiritually called Sodom and Egypt. The city spoken of is symbolic and I think it is symbolic of the world. There is no actual city that is called by the name of both a city and a country. Or should I say none that I know of. Anyway the word “their” in the NIV and the word “our” in the KJV is not in Strong’s Concordance. The word “kai” which is translated “also” can also mean “indeed”.

 

Now you may say that I am trying too hard to fit what I think I understand to Scripture, but you would have to admit that the NIV and the KJV differ in the two words (their and our) and it does change the meaning of the verses. If you read it as ‘where indeed the Lord was crucified’ it would fit my understanding. I am not trying to add or take away anything from Scripture. I am only pointing out a difference and suggesting a different way to translate it. I believe God protects His Word and He allowed the difference between the two versions for a reason, and it is probably too complicated for me to understand. I also am not a Greek scholar: not even an English scholar for that matter so be careful when you consider what I say about such things.

 

(Rev 11:9 NIV)  For three and a half days men from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial.

Jesus was in the tomb for three days and those from every people, tribe, language and nation that will not turn to God are refusing them burial, because they refuse to be buried with them in baptism.

 

In order to be consistent with the second and third verse this period of time is also symbolic, but it seems to me that it symbolizes two things (Death and life). The three days represent the time Jesus and the Holy Spirit spent in the tomb awaiting a proper burial (With anyone that wanted or wants to be baptized) and the half day symbolizes the life of an individual. If a person would live the entire time that God now allots to anyone (120 years) it would be only a little time when compared to all the time given to the Gentiles (A half day compared to three and a half years).

 

(Rev 11:10 NIV)  The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and will celebrate by sending each other gifts, because these two prophets had tormented those who live on the earth.

The two witnesses do torment those who will not turn to God. On Christmas the inhabitants of the earth do gloat over them and make fun of Christ by celebrating Christmas and sending gifts to each other when they do not even believe in Christ; and the whole world does so.

 

(Rev 11:11&12 NIV)  But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them. Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies looked on.

This says to me that after three and a half days or the time the two witnesses were in the tomb and the length of an individual’s life the two witnesses will be taken from them and there will be no chance to turn to God left for them and that will strike terror in their hearts. It also confirms that they are enemies of the two.

 

(Rev 11:13 NIV)  At that very hour there was a severe earthquake and a tenth of the city collapsed. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.

Well, OK, so I do not yet understand everything spoken of here. Though I do not understand this verse I know enough to say the time spoken of is more than likely symbolic. Perhaps the earthquake, the tenth of the city and the seven thousand people are also symbolic, that would be consistent, but I really don’t have a clue.

 

Just as another sidebar, the earthquake when Jesus died on the cross (Mathew 27:51-53) could have been the beginning of the 144,000 that follow Jesus wherever he goes.

 

It’s your turn! You tell me.

12 Responses to THE TWO WITNESSES REVISITED

  1. Richard says:

    I found your study of the two witnesses very good, if you would like some more information about this you may want to give me a call.The first witness is the fourth Adam so to speak or resamblance of Jesus. You may want to give me a call and discuss this before going to far. At this point I have been waiting for the second phrophet score saying to much, however God advised me last week that I can tell people who I am.

  2. astudent says:

    Richard,

    I would be interested in your views. I do not assume that I have the answers as to who the two witnesses are, no matter how many verses seem to me to point to Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Those who studied the Bible in the time of Jesus were sure that he was not the Messiah and they even memorized much of the Bible. I take that as an example that one can only understand what God wants us too.

    I can not bring myself to think that I am one of “The’ witnesses, because I do not believe God would choose someone with as much sin as I have committed to be such an important witness. I am a witness of God and Jesus Christ, but then any Christian, who is genuine, is a witness.

    I am only interested in learning everything that I can about our Father so I do not worry about “going to far”. One who would worry about going to far is a bit too proud. God has blessed me by showing me that I was proud and by showing me, other than having a God, who has a worthy son; I have no right to be proud.

    If you are free to tell your identity then tell us all: not just me. I prefer to remain only a student.

    I removed your phone number, because it was not given to everyone, but I still have it.

  3. Richard says:

    When you totally I mean totally seek Gods face And humble yourself God is a rewarded of those that seek him, God can use anyone as long as they are obedient. I have had a very sinfull past just like Paul. I have a story to tell, however what I have found is everyone is more concerned with the cares of this world, however it has not stopped me in tellling people my story, so I will send you something in the next day if you like.

  4. astudent says:

    Richard,

    Yes, I would like that. I would not call, because I like to think about what is said and sometimes I am not quick enough on my feet to grasp it. That causes me to say things that after some thought I should not have. I hope you understand that the fault is mine.

  5. ND- says:

    I actually disagree with Jesus being one of the witnesses. How can he be one of the witnesses when the witnesses are alive right now in this time on earth. Jesus is Jesus not be confused with other names. The two witnesses are humans that were given divine powers from God for when the end of time will come for them to fight against the Antichrist. These two witnesses will fight but will eventually be killed and 3 days after they will be resurrected. These two witnesses the real ones will feel somehow connected with God and will feel the purpose of defeating the Antichirst running in their blood.

  6. I believe the two witnesses are the Old Testament and the New Testament. Revelation is full of symbols and none of the symbols should be taken literally. In Rev 11:1 the temple of God is the true Christians(1 Corinthians 3:16). In Rev 11:2 the 42 months represents the papal power of Rome(Roman Catholic Church) from 538AD-1798AD, 1260 years. The 1260 years is taken from the 1260 days, or 42 months, where a day is a year(Ezekiel 4:6). In Rev 11:3 the two witnesses wear sackcloth which represents lamenting(Esther 4:3) which is what the OT and NT prophesy so that the people will repent and put their trust in God(Acts 26:20, 2 Corinthians 1:9). In Rev 11:4 it references the two witnesses as two olive trees and two candlesticks which references back to Zechariah 4 telling us they have two golden pipes emptying oil out of themselves and they stand by the Lord of the whole earth. This can only describe the OT and the NT. In Rev 11:5 it talks about fire coming from their mouth which references Jeremiah 5:14 saying that the Word of God will be like fire and the people like wood. In Rev 11:6 it references 3 miracles one performed by Elijah and the other two by Moses. The rain is referenced in James 5:7, the power over waters to turn them to blood is the killing of people since waters means people(Revelation 17:15), and to smite the earth with plagues is a reference to Revelation 22:18. In Rev 11:7 the beast from the bottomless pit is the Roman Catholic Church which blasphemes God(Revelation 13:5, Luke 5:21, John 10:33) and tries to get rid of the Bible and succeeds for 3.5 years(Revelation 11:9). In Rev 11:8 their bodies will be dead due to wickedness(Sodom) and bondage(Egypt). In Rev 11:10, the gifts and celebration is from the surrounding nations that hate God and his Word. When the Roman Catholic Church was brought down in 1798 by Berthier, nations sent gifts to him for his victory. But God’s Word doesn’t return void(Isaiah 55:11) and is resurrected in Rev 11:12 because in Revelation 13:11 describes the United States of America, born in 1776AD, as a Christian nation which continues the spread of God’s Word.

  7. astudent says:

    Gray,

    You cite many symbols and I can see how they can be assembled into an understanding. I do agree that the Bible is a book of symbolization. It has to be because it is a book about spiritual understanding and we are flesh and have no understanding of spiritual things.

    You can not point to an object and expect a blind man to see it. You must explain the object in a way the blind can at least get some idea of what it looks like. We are not spiritual and even though the Bible explains spiritual things we can only get a vague idea of understanding.

    I have a few problems with accepting the Old and New testaments as the two witnesses. The first and largest is there would not have been two witnesses until the books were completed. Those that lived before the books were completed would not have had the two witnesses to guide them. One who was born before both books were completed might rightly say he didn’t have the same chance as those who were born after the books were completed.

    As you can see, I believe the two witnesses were placed on earth even before man was made. God made trees before He made man, so if the two witnesses are symbolized by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life then all men had God’s witnesses and no man could claim he was lacking the same opportunities as another.

    If you really think this a Christian nation, how do you reconcile Romans 13:1&2? Didn’t this land have a king and didn’t the founding fathers rebel against that king? Didn’t God say that He would appoint the authorities and don’t we take it upon ourselves to do so?

    I would agree that Christians spread the word but the beast in Revelations 13:11 spreads the lies of the first beast (13:12-17), not the word of Christ.

    Having said all of that I can see some of the symbolization that you have presented.

    ND,

    Sorry for not answering you. I meant to but obviously I forgot.

    Anyway, the answer is short. Jesus is alive today and those who have been baptized into his name have the mind of Christ.

    Actually the two witnesses are named (John 8:18).

  8. Roger Watkins says:

    Jesus and the church is correct. One important fact is that the scriptures never contradict, but always harmonize. During Jesus’ ministry, He established His church. When he rose from the grave, He commissioned them to be witnesses unto Him, Acts 1:8 The church is a reflecter of the light of the world, Jesus. John 8:12; Matthew 5:14-16. (let your light so shine before men… the light is Jesus that the world sees in our witness by our life.) Who empowers the church? It is the Holy Spirit doing the work outlined by Jesus in John 14,15, and 16 as the work of the comforter. Who does the Holy Spirit speak of? Jesus, John 15:13,14, and He speaks through His church, the individual members of each church. We know the candlestick is representative of Jesus in the church by the first chapter of Revelation, and that the olive tree is the source of olive oil, which was used to annoint the priests of the tabernacle and the temple, which is figurative of the annointing of the Holy Spirit in their office. The church was empowered, or annointed by the Spirit on the day of Pentecost. Soooo in conclusion, the two witnesses are the witness of Jesus through the body he commissioned, the church, and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Why two candlesticks and two olive trees? Two is more than one, as there are more than one scriptural church in the world today, as it was in the day of the apostles; Ephesus, Corinth, Galatia, etc. Those are out of existence, but there are many today with roots from those churches that believe and practice the same as those did. What of the passage in Zechariah 4? Israel was one nation, hence one candlestick. Two olive trees, A divided nation of Israel and Judah. And, by the way, chapter 4 verses 6-10 of Zechariah is a prophesy of the church. This is brief, and there is much rich study in this prophesy. tks, Roger

  9. One says:

    First of all ask yourself what is the basis of your opinion? speculation or revelation? If a person really loved the truth they would have it. Because they would not be satisfied with their own speculation which may or may not be true. They would be broken by falling on the rock of truth. Every seeker of truth comes to the end of themselves and falls on this rock and is likewise broken and then they are led to all truth through the spirit of God. Again I ask what is your basis of your opinion? How smart your are? How studied? What you have done and who you are? Me? Myself And I? Is there any room in this trinity for the true God and his Son and the Holy Spirit? Hardly. Our opinions just skims the surface. Are we not all in need of a teacher. And Jesus said we have only one teacher who is God. But this people are having such a good time in speculation because this is a game to them and hence they will not know the truth because this is just play. If you thirsted for truth you would ask and living water would be given. But because you thirst not you ask not thinking that you already have that which you are in need of still. Will Jesus find faith on the earth? Why would he ask this? Because the great falling away have already happened in plain sight. The gospel and the knowledge of the Holy One has been lost and replaced by the ideas of man. The Lord is no longer lord and in the sanctuary of the his temple not made by human hands but made by God there the stands a beast saying that he is God and that beast is us. You are the creation saying to the creator “I am God.” And saying you have no need of the creator by being satisfied with your own thoughts is a form of self worship. And you know it not that you have missed the mark. Behold the abomination that makes desolate! It is in your very dialog. Yet seeing you do not see and hearing you do not hear. How can God speak to such a generation? Only by sending not the symbol of a dead church but by sending representatives of what the church should be. Men filled with the knowledge of God and not academic ideas and imagination. Those who have the garment of sackcloth and have turned again to the living God and repented and are broken. In the day of troubles all the self reliance of man will be challenged. There will be no time for playing and men will not be thirsty for mere speculation but for an Oasis of truth. These men will point to living water and the Giver of such who is the the Lord. The two they must be men of like passions as you. For how can they be witnesses to such a great salvation if they are not saved and partakers of it? They will be mere Christians and not Martha but Mary. Having the one thing that they need. They will point to the church and say, “Why have you not fallen on the rock and are broken? Now the rock will fall on you and you will be crushed!” When will we stop playing games with that which is holy. “And what is holy?” you ask. The name of it is called the Word of God.

  10. astudent says:

    Roger,

    Sorry about the long delay, but I went out of town and didn’t have the internet.

    I must say that I like your answer as to who the two witnesses are! That has lead to even more of a delay for my comment. I like to consider all of the angles and since this is a different view there are many.

    I am going to have to spend a lot more time thinking about this. Your answer fits many places and it has opened my mind to the possibility that the two witnesses might be many more than two: just as the antichrist is more than one.

    I like it when I am wrong, because no one learns anything by being right. You may be more right than me on this one. However I would not be a good student if I accepted what you said without examining it deeply.

    Both you and Grey (Yes, I see I spelled Grey’s name wrong and I apologize) have presented good answers.

    I really appreciate the comments and I hope you will both be patient with me.

  11. astudent says:

    One,

    The basis of my opinion is the Bible. What is yours?

    I have the Holy Spirit to teach me all things. (1 John 2:27 NIV) As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit–just as it has taught you, remain in him.

    Are you trying to teach me and lead me astray? (1 John 2:26 NIV) I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray.

    I write about what I think the Holy Spirit is teaching me. I am only a student and sometimes I do not understand correctly and by posting my thoughts perhaps others will explain how they understand the teachings of the Spirit.

    Understanding is a large part of wisdom. (Prov 4:5 NIV) Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them. (Prov 4:7 NIV) Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.

    If I have the perfect teacher then all I need are the questions and that is why I play this game. Yes it is a game! I am already saved by the grace of God, so this is a game: and I love it! Perhaps someone will consider my answers as questions and gain some more understanding, but I am not God and my answers might not be correct, so everyone should not take what I say as the Word of God: He has already written that and my comments are only about His Word and are not to be taken as written in stone. I might add that a truly wise man would take the same position and not claim to know more than his brother.

    You say “Are we not all in need of a teacher?” and I say none of those who have called on the name of the Lord need a teacher (John 14:26, 1 Cor 2:10, &1 John 2:27). We only need to study what the Spirit is teaching. Those who have not turned to the Lord do need a teacher because they do not have the Spirit to teach them all things.

    Forgive me if I am wrong, but you seem to have a rather low opinion of us! That brings to my mind 1 Corinthians 2:15 (NIV) “The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment:” so I am not going to pay a lot of attention to your judgment of me.

    If you really want to comment about something I have said please limit your line of thought to one or two things. It is a trick of those who want to present themselves as one who knows everything to load up their shotgun and blast away at everything at one time, knowing all things can not be answered at once. This only serves to confuse everyone and you wouldn’t want to do that: would you?

  12. astudent says:

    Roger (and everyone),

    I believe you are right! Well, maybe. And I see my mistake! I was thinking the two witnesses were witnesses of God our Father, but both Revelations and Zechariah clearly state they are witnesses of the Lord of the earth and that is Jesus!

    Of course that leads to more questions such as what does Revelations 11:6 mean? I can see the symbolism of turning the waters into blood, but as for the other two powers I do not know.

    I am leaning toward the Counselor as one of the witnesses. The Counselor will be with us forever, will teach us all things, remind us of everything Jesus said, He will testify about Jesus , and He will bring glory to Jesus. We the Church, must also testify about him (John 15:26&27). The duty of a witness is to testify. I realize that Jesus is speaking to the disciples in John 14 thru 16, but I think he would say the same thing to me.

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