are the two witnesses of Revelation 11?
11:3-12 we are introduced to two witnesses, who are described as
"the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before
the Lord of the earth." We are told that, "they will prophesy
for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth." The
phrase "twelve hundred and sixty days" refers to the second
half of the future 7-year period we call The 70th Week of Daniel.
of sackcloth would indicate that the content of their message is
one of judgment. One wore sackcloth for one of four reasons: (1)
a sign of individual mourning or national calamity; (2) a sign of
submission to God; (3) an act in concert with repentance; or (4)
the garb of prophets announcing judgment (Is. 50:3).
are located in Jerusalem, and their prophesying will continue beyond
the rapture of the church, it can be assumed that their main ministry
is to oppose and limit Antichrist's actions against the one-third
part of the Jews who are to survive the time of distress (Dan. 12:1,
will be given supernatural powers to defend themselves from attack
and to smite the earth with plagues. They will "torment those
who dwell on the earth" with these plagues - not the normal
tactics of evangelists.
prophesy and testify for 1,260 days, "the beast that comes
up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and
kill them". This is a reference to the Antichrist who will
kill the two witnesses on the first day after the close of the 70th
Week of Daniel.
will lie in the streets of Jerusalem for 3-1/2 days while the world
watches and rejoices over their deaths. However, after the 3-1/2
days, they will be resurrected and then ascend up into heaven while
their enemies look on.
of these two witnesses has been debated for centuries. Some have
said that they represent Elijah and Enoch because these are the
only two men recorded in the Bible who did not die, having been
taken up to heaven. And since Hebrews 9:27 says that "it is
appointed for men to die once," they must return to earth to
identified them as Elijah and Moses. God promised to send Elijah
the prophet "before the coming of the great and terrible day
of the LORD" (Mal. 4:5), which we know begins after the midpoint
of Daniel's 70th Week. And it is interesting to note that Elijah
and Moses appeared together with Jesus on the mount of transfiguration.
In this interpretation, Moses is seen as representing the Law and
Elijah, the prophets.
that these two witnesses are not Old Testament individuals, but
will be two contemporary men that God supernaturally calls and empowers
to minister for Him during this critical time in the history of
be dogmatic about their identity, but we can state with confidence
that the two witnesses are individuals, specially empowered by God
for a specific ministry for a specific length of time during the
close of the 70th Week of Daniel.