The two witnesses of Revelation Chapter 11:3-13
Extracts and comments from Revelation CHAPTER 11
(c)And I will add power to (a)My two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, (b)clothed in sackcloth". See: Enoch and Elijah
(a) "My two witnesses"; (Zech. 4). Who these two blessed witnesses are is not known. Some say Moses and Elijah, which may have veracity, as it is certain that Elijah will return to Earth prior to the Day of the Lord", (Jehovah), (Malachi 4:5). It is noteworthy that in the same breath as that promise (Mal. 4:4), Israel is exhorted to remember "the Law of Moses My servant"; so the possibility is distinct. In Matt. 11 Jesus discusses John the Baptist, His own Evidential Miracles prophesied in Isa. 35:5-6, 61:1 and in V.10, the promise of Jehovah to send His Messenger (Mal 3:1). In V. 14 Jesus shows that had the Jewish Hierarchy accepted Him as Messiah, John would have been Elijah! In Matt. 11:13, states "For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John"; meaning that John and his Baptism was a terminal point and a change!
Jesus showed that He was that change, but it had to be accepted by the Nation of Israel! The offer of the Jer. 31:31 New Covenant was not withdrawn until Acts 28:28. The two witnesses will represent the same offer, together with the Kingdom, so the possibility is that Moses is one to represent the Law and John the Baptist the second representing the offer of Jer. 31:31. The fact of their rejection of Jesus as Messiah, may be the reason as we know from Ezekiel, that during the Millennial reign the Jews will perform the rituals of the Law, other than the symbols of Messiah (incense alter etc.).
Scripture says they "are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord (Adon) of all the Earth", (Zech. 4:14). Their purpose is to faithfully pronounce "the Kingdom", as did our Lord during His Earthly Ministry (Rev. 1:5). They will also witness to the fact that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah the Jews rejected! They will have special powers of survival and miracle, which will anger and unsettle the followers of Antichrist (Satan's people) on Earth, especially as they cannot be killed until their mission is complete; their witness time period is exactly the same as the Nations control of Jerusalem!
(b) Sackcloth; camel hair cloth, worn by mourners, and a symbol of sorrow and mourning!
(c) Here again the Almighty Jehovah Zebaoth, shows measured empowerment for the Purpose! In this case, so that the "witnesses" may without any hindrance continue to give the Message of Jehovah God to the Jews and the world. It has to be remembered that the "Message" will include the fact of Jesus of Nazareth as Messiah! The Jews will not want to hear this"! So, they with the help of non - Jews will try to kill the witness! They will not be able to do it for 3½ Jewish years, due to God's Protection and Empowering; this fact will make all the world's anti-God people very angry; but also afraid!
(a)These are the two olive trees and the two candlesticks, standing before the (b)God of the Earth.
(a) Zech. 4:1-14. In this reference the "olive trees" are closely related to Zerubbabel, who is the key person in the building of the second Temple, (Ezk. 5:2).
He was a descendent of King David, and in Zech. 4, the olive trees are shown to stand next to "Zerubbabel", and that the next Temple of Jehovah will be completed by him! This is certain to be the Ezk. 40 Temple, as the olive trees are also the two "Witnesses" of V.3 and the time is close to the end of the "Great Tribulation". Zerubbabel will be "Empowered" in the rebuilding of the next Temple of Jehovah Zebaoth (as opposed to the Tribulation Temple) by the Spirit of Jehovah (Zech. 4:6)! Jesus when discussing Elijah, spoke of John the Baptist, as the manifestation of Elijah, V.12 having "come already"! He had already stated that "the Law and the prophets were to John the Baptist" (Matt. 11:13 & Luke 16:16), and that he was the start of a change FOR THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL, in the context of Jeremiah 31:31. The reference in Luke 16:16, showed that "the Kingdom" was that change.
The remarkable events of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit empowered the JEWS for the "Kingdom message", was the start of the fulfilling of Joel 2:28-31, and that empowering did not cease until Israel rejected finally Paul's Jesus Christ Message at Acts 28:28! The empowering by the Holy Spirit to the Jews then ceased; and does not show a continuation until Revelation, when they need help again against Satan and men. In Matt. 17:20, 21:21 and Mark 11:23, Jesus shows what a Jew with faith and empowerment from God can do, move mountains (Matt. 17:20)! In Matt. 8:10, Jesus marvelled at the faith of the Gentile Centurion, comparing it with that of the lack in Israel! This is the empowerment that is alluded to in Zech. 4:7, when Zerubbabel shall be so empowered, in his building of the Millennial Temple for Jehovah Zebaoth! It is depicted in Zerubbabel's case, in Zech. 4, showing the "olive trees" on each side of him feeding empowerment "oil", for his purpose!
The remarkable fact is that the "two witnesses" are also the "golden pipes", through which "oil" the Spirit is channelled. There is clearly an interrelationship between the "seven Churches" (Ekklesia), the "Witnesses", and all the spiritual needs of the travailing people of God, the Jews, and the supply of "oil" (Spirit) that they need to "overcome" the whiles and assaults of Satan!
(b) Jehovah Zebaoth. This title used by the Holy Spirit when God deals with all the Earth's peoples.
(a)And if anyone will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devours their enemies; and if anyone will hurt them, they must in that manner be killed.
(a) This power to destroy by Divine fire (Jer. 5:14), etc., should not be just taken as a metaphor for powerful words, but just literally as Scripture gives it; as their enemies and opposers will be many and powerful, and do not want to hear the Truth of Jehovah God, His Christ and His Kingdom about to begin. Their enemies will be killed in the way they planned for the witnesses!
(a)These have power to shut Heaven, that it rain not the days of their prophecy: and have power over the waters to turn them into blood, and to smite the Earth with all plagues, as often as they will.
(a) These powers over rain, water, plagues will not be used sadistically, but in an attempt to turn the proud, stubborn and defiant people away from the wiles, charm and persuasion of Antichrist and his powers. This will entail contest after contest of evil against righteousness, in similar vein to Elijah's contests with the priests of Baal (1Kings 18), and Moses and Aaron with Pharaoh. The major difference on this occasion is that Jehovah Zebaoth is no longer forbearing (Rev. 10:6), the Jews are under terrible persecution, and the forces of Satan are rampant on Earth to a greater degree than at any time previous, and the Jewish remnant must be saved to secure the unbreakable promises of Jehovah.
And when they shall have (a)finished their testimony, (b)the wild beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and (c)shall overcome them, and kill them.
(a) Finished their testimony; not until the 1,260 days are completed, and their testimony has been heard, and contests with evil won, will they be defenceless against him who can kill the flesh (Matt. 10:28).
(b) See notes Rev. 4:6(b).
(c) They then are allowed to be killed, by "the wild beast", against whom they had been working.
(a)And their dead bodies shall lie in the broad place of the great city, which (b)spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their (c)Lord was crucified.
(a) The corpses will lie in an open and prominent place of Jerusalem.
(b) Spiritually Jerusalem is as Sodom and Egypt, which are repeatedly used in Scripture to illustrate the worst case of degradation and Satanic servitude, (Psm. 9:9, 10:1, and 79), (Isa. 1:9-10), (Ezk. 16:46-53) & (Ezk. 23:3,8,19 & 27).
(c) Leaves no room for speculation, this is Jerusalem.
And they of the people and kindred and tongues and Nations shall (a)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 (a)rejoice over them, and (a)make merry, and shall (a)send gifts to one another; because these two prophets (b)tormented them that dwelt on the Earth.
(a) "See", "rejoice", "make merry", "send gifts"; the relief of the people is very unusual. The witnesses had clearly affected the peoples of Earth greatly, but they still would not turn to God and His Christ, but are happy to associate fully with the Beast!
(b) They had found the message of God's Kingdom and His Christ, "tormenting"!
And after the three days and a half (a)the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood on their feet; and (b)great fear fell on them which saw them.
(a) "The spirit of life"; only God Almighty gives life, and in this case is proving the point, as did Our Lord with Lazarus!
(b) "Great fear"; in the people who see it. This further demonstration of God's power should at least draw awe from the onlookers, but because they back Antichrist, they know only fear.
And they heard a great (a)voice from Heaven saying to them, (a)"Come up hither". And they (a)ascended up to Heaven in a cloud; and their enemies (a)beheld them.
(a)"Voice from Heaven", "Come up", "they ascended", "they saw it". Such wonders still do not impress those people dead to God and Christ.
And in (a)that hour came a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell, and the quake killed (b)7000 named people: the remainder were terrified, and gave glory to the God of Heaven.
(a) I.e. the same hour that the witnesses are resurrected and ascend to Heaven! No longer any delay! A tenth of Jerusalem fell.
(b) "7000 named people"; the implications that "known" people here are beyond any redemption, and their deaths are demonstration to the remainder, which has the correct effect, who for the first time, acknowledge the true God Jehovah! The number exactly 7000, marked out by God to be seen to die, and their protector, (Antichrist) cannot help them!