Posted by Elfriede Copple from the Bible Study Guide “DIGGING DEEP INTO THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST” (pgs 96+97)
Last week’s Bible Study of Revelation 11:3-6 gives us some insight into who the TWO WITNESSES are. It is quite interesting, and I thought I would share that with you today.
And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.”
**God gives power to two witnesses for 1,260 days** (also three-and-a-half years based on prophetical years of 360 days each). **The sackcloth symbolizes mourning, confession, and repentance**—due to Israel’s rejection of Jesus Christ during the entire present church age. **The witnesses** (possibly Moses and Elijah) **will proclaim a message of judgment and the need for repentance. They bear similarities to John the Baptist, and will be the ultimate fulfillment of the promised return of Elijah (Malachi 4:4-6).**
The LORD is quoted in Malachi 4:4-6 giving us the strong possibility that He will send Moses and Elijah as His two witnesses to proclaim a message of judgment and the need for repentance:
“Remember the Law of Moses, My servant, which I commanded him in Hōreb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.”
These [the two witnesses] are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth. 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.
**They (the two witnesses) are also identified as the two olive trees and the two lampstands (relating to Zechariah 4:2-3, 9, 12-14) where Zerubbabel and Joshua the priest are pictured as two olive trees for a lampstand (Israel). They will perform miracles similar to those performed by Moses and Elijah. They are protected from harm for three-and-a-half years. Their miraculous powers are apparently for the purpose of authenticating their divine message as in the case of Jesus and His apostles.**
And he [the angel who talked with Zechariah] said to me, “What do you see?” So I said, “I am looking, and there is a lampstand of solid gold with a bowl on top of it, and on the stand seven lamps with seven pipes to the seven lamps. Two olive trees are by it, one at the right of the bowl and the other at its left.”
“The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands shall also finish it. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent Me to you.”
Zechariah 4:12-14 And I further answered and said to him, “What are these two olive branches that drip into the receptacles of the two gold pipes from which the golden oil drains?” Then he answered me and said, “Do you not know what these are?” And I said, “No, my lord. So he said, “These are the two anointed ones, who stand beside the Lord of the whole earth.”
In Zechariah 4:2-3, 9, 12-14 Zerubbabel and Joshua (Joshua in Zechariah 3:7) the priest are pictured as the two olive trees for a lampstand (Israel). The 144,000 of Israel will witness to the world during the Tribulation period. They can only fulfill their function as a light to the world by the oil, i.e., by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will remove difficulties and Zerubbabel will finish rebuilding the temple. (Ezra 3:2, 8-10)
Revelation 7 talks about who the 144,000 are and why they were sealed before the Tribulation judgments of God begin.
Who do you think the two witnesses might be?
We would like to hear your understanding of this passage.
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Quotations and paraphrased quotations marked **.. quoted text ** taken from The King James Study Bible. Copyright © 1988 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson. www.thomasnelson.com
Scripture quoted from the New King James Version by Thomas Nelson