Revelation 1:1 - 20
ESV - 1 The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John. 2 Who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw.
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Eighteen Facts Identifying the Two Witnesses: 1. They are two men, not covenants, dispensations, etc. (Rev. 11: 3, 7- 12). 2. They are Christ's witnesses (Rev. 11: 3). 3. They will be given power in the future when they come to earth (Rev. 11: 3). This does not require them to be men who have already exercised this power. 4. They will be prophets (Rev. 11: 3, 10). 5. They will prophesy the last 42 months, 1260 days, 3 1/2 years of this age (Rev. 11: 2- 3 12: 6, 14; 13: 5; Dan. 7: 25; 12: 7). 6. They will be clothed in sackcloth (Rev. 11: 3). 7. They are symbolized by two olive trees and two candlesticks which stand before God (Rev. 11: 4; Zech. 4: 11- 14). 8. They were already in heaven when Zechariah prophesied, about 500 years before Christ (Zech. 4: 11- 14). 9. John saw them in heaven about 96 A. D., so whoever they are they are two men translated to reside in heaven at least 500 years before Christ (Rev. 11: 4; Zech. 4: 11- 14 Mal. 4: 5- 6). 10. This will exclude John the Baptist, John the Apostle, and every other man living after 500 B. C. They will be invincible for the 3 1/2 years of their ministry (Rev. 11: 5- 7). 11. They will have power to destroy their enemies the same way their enemies seek to destroy them (Rev. 11: 5). 12. They will be able to cause fire to come out of their mouths to devour their enemies (Rev. 11: 5). 13. They will have power to stop rain all the days of their prophecy (Rev. 11: 6). 14. They will have power to turn the water into blood and smite the earth with plagues as often as they will (Rev. 11: 6). 15. When the 1260- day ministry is finished the supernatural angelic spirit out of the abyss will use the human Antichrist to kill them (Rev. 11:7). 16. Since it is appointed unto man once to die (Heb. 9:27), it is certain that they are two men who have never died so that they can die at the hands of the Antichrist in the future. This excludes Moses or any other man who has already died as one of the witnesses. 17, They will remain dead for 3 1/2 days and then be resurrected (Rev. 11:8- 11). This further proves that they are two men who have never died and that they will not be resurrected, immortal men when they come from heaven to begin their ministry. 18. There would seem to be only two men in the Bible who could fulfil these facts about the two witnesses. They are Enoch and Elijah. That Elijah will be one of them is clearly predicted in Mal. 4:5- 6. John the Baptist was never Elijah, fulfilling this prophecy. He said that he was not Elijah (Jn. 1:21). He only came in the same spirit and power of Elijah to prepare the hearts of people for the Messiah's first coming in the way that Elijah will prepare their hearts for the second coming of the Messiah (Lk. 1:17). Enoch is the only other man transported so that he would not experience death in his lifetime on earth (Gen. 5:21- 24 Heb. 11:5; 2Ki. 2). Both were prophets of judgment (Jude 1:14- 15 1Ki. 17- 18). Both must come back and die their own appointed death on earth, as all men must who live before the rapture (Heb. 9:27 1Cor. 15:51- 58). If either Enoch or Elijah had been transported in immortal, glorified bodies, they would have been the firstfruits of the resurrection instead of Christ (1Cor. 15:20- 23). This proves they are in heaven in their natural bodies. They will continue there until their return to fulfil Rev. 11. The lives of Enoch and Elijah are parallel in every sense, so their cases rise or fall together as to being the two witnesses.
The two witnesses are still the subject of debate. Truth is, that has not yet been revealed. The following are some of the interpretations: 1. Elijah and Enoch - because these two have not yet tested physical death. (Hebrews 9:27) Well, it is a fact that some believers who will be alive when Christ is revealed will not test death. So, to insist that Elijah and Enoch must test death may not be very biblical. 2. Elijah and Moses - as a repeat show, because they have appeared together once, at the transfiguration. Matthew 17:3 3. The Old Testament and the New Testament. It is a biblical principle that all matters of doctrine shall be witnessed by two or three witnesses. 2 Corinthians 13:1. Hence the OT and the NT represent the same truth, from two perspectives. As for the death of these two 'witnesses', see Amos 8:11-12. These are still subject to revelation. In His own good time, our God will reveal the truth. Bless.
We aren't explicitly told who the two witnesses are, so it's difficult to say with any amount of certainty. Some people think it could be Moses and Elijah, but I suspect that it will be two believers living at the time. More than likely, it will be Colin and myself, but we'll just have to wait and see.
Of course it is true that the identity of these two witnesses are not revealed. But the internal evidences point to two individuals. 1. John, the seer of this book of Revelation. Let us closely look to the chs. 10 and 11. - John receives the Little Book. This event is clearly a part of the future events. - In Rev. 10:11 John is freshly commissioned to prophesy. This commissioning is again an event that is part of the future. If we say that this commissioning to prophesy about the peoples, nations, tongues and kings has already happened, then it is difficult to reconcile with the age of John who was very old at the time of this revelation towards the closing years of first century. - In Rev. 11:1 John is asked to measure the temple of God; and this temple is not in heaven but on earth. When John received this command there was no temple standing in Jerusalem. So this is really in the future. - John and his brother's character in Lk. 9:54 matches the power of the two witnesses in Rev. 11:5. - John is the only disciple who did not die a martyr's death, as it is believed he died because of old age. In Jn. 21:20-23 John himself reports that there was some confusion among the disciples about his death because of a certain statement of the Lord. Is it any indication that he would be one of the two witnesses? - There is a tacit prophecy of our Lord that John, the author of the book of Revelation, and his brother James would die martyr's death "You will indeed drink My cup, and be baptized with baptism that I am baptized with" (Mt.20:23). James had died a martyr's death (Acts 12:2), but, as is believed, John had died a natural death because of old age. Will that tacit prophecy for John to die a marty's death be fulfilled at the end time? 2. Enoch. I am suggesting Enoch's name for two reasons: - Enoch is the only personality who had not died. Elijah has already faced death in the personality of John the baptist. Our Lord has clearly told that Elijah has come and suffered the violent death under king Herod. Elijah's mission has already been fulfilled in the ministry of John the baptist (Mt. 11:14; 17:10-12). Elijah's mission as spelled out in Malachi 4:5-6 is completely different than the ministry of two witnesses in Rev. 11:5-6. - In Jude 1:14-15 the prophecy which has been credited to Enoch matches the ministry of the two witnesses in Rev. 11:5-6. We can also safely say that as the coming of Elijah was in the spirit in the personality of John the baptist, so also the coming of John and Enoch could be in spirit in the personality of two faithful witnesses in the future end time. After all has been said, it is true that the identity of these two witnesses is not revealed. So let wait for the Lord's timing.
Revelation 11 vs 4 says the two witnesses are the two olive trees and the lampstands that stand before the lord of the earth. Zachariah 4 vs 14 says that the two olive trees are the two anointed ones who stand by the Lord of the whole earth. John 8 vs 17 Jesus says His testimony was valid because He himself(word made flesh) and the Father (spirit) gave witness to the truth. My humble opinion is that the two witnesses are the Word of God and the Spirit.These are the two witnesses that stand by the lord of the whole earth. According to Revelation 11,the two witnesses died and rose again on their feet after three days. Take note: 1) Their ministry lasted for 1260 days (Rev 11 vs 3) which is three and a half years same as Jesus. 2) They were killed in a the great city same as Jesus. 3) They rose after Three days and so did Jesus. 4) They went up and were taken or received in a cloud and so did Jesus. If some of the opinions we have heard so far are worth considering,I would like to think that these points are worth considering as well.
I believe these two witnesses come in the spirit and power of Enoch and Elijah, but are not precisely the same individuals. However, Enoch and Elijah may be highly active in the spiritual realms at that time. Why does Revelation not directly name the two witnesses if they actually are Enoch and Elijah, but only describes them as the two olive trees and two candlesticks? These are appellations nowhere previously given to either Enoch or Elijah. If they were physically returning, then Satan might be also given the same opportunity to bring one or two individuals back to life with full memory and intelligence to resist Enoch and Elijah. The beast and the false prophet come from the bottomless pit and hell, but have no individual names describing them. The beast is only known as the eighth of a series of seven kings (Rev 17:11). The closest we come to is the number of the beast (Rev 13:18 "... 666") which has been interpreted in many odd ways. Any reincarnation explanations are erroneous since reincarnation doesn't exist for Christianity or Judaism. So we are left with a lack of identifying names on both sides, implying it is not a question of particular names. Elijah must truly come before the "...great and dreadful day of the LORD" (Mal 4:5). Although there are several days leading up to it, the last and greatest day of the LORD is at the time of Rev. 20:7-10. I believe the words "great and dreadful" are used to indicate it will be the final day of the LORD when Elijah comes.
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