The Two Witnesses

Two of the most colorful characters that appear during the Tribulation Period are found in Rev. 11:3-12 and are called the “Two Witnesses.” These are not two ordinary men. They dress differently and they possess supernatural powers. They will leave a powerful impact on the world during the time that they appear.

Who Are The Two Witnesses?

They are not identified by name but there has been a lot of speculation concerning exactly who they are. Rev. 11:4 (NIV): “These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth.” This indicates that they are supernatural beings.

God causes many supernatural events in the world during the Tribulation Period. This would be just another one. God is doing His best to get the attention of the unredeemed who are still on the earth.

They Have Supernatural Powers

Listen to what the Bible says. Rev. 11:5-6 (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. These men have power to shut up the sky so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want.”

Can you imagine what the world is thinking as they witness all that these two witnesses do? They stop all rain from falling during the time that they are prophesying (proclaiming the Word of God). The passage says that they will be prophesying for 1260 days. That is 3 ½ years. That is a long time to not have any rain fall. But that is not all. They will also turn the waters into blood. People will have a very hard time finding drinkable water.

Next, it says that they will be striking the earth with plagues as often as they want. The Greek word used here means “a wound, a calamity.” The Bible does not say exactly what these will but they will be just adding to the torment that is already going on.

Notice that they are supernaturally protected. If anyone tries to harm them, they are destroyed by fire that comes out of the two witnesses’ mouths. This should be a signal to anyone that these two witnesses are not normal human beings. I believe that because of these signs, many will listen to their testimony and turn to God for their salvation.

The Identity Of These Two Witnesses

No, the Bible does not identify them but some people have speculated as to who they are. Most believe that they are two men who have lived on the earth, died and gone to heaven, and have now returned to the earth. When they look at the miracles that the two witnesses do, they usually say that they are Moses and Elijah.

Moses and Elijah are the two most influential men in the history of the Jews. Moses wrote the first 5 books of the Bible and Elijah was the first of the writing prophets and started the school of the prophets. Also, when Peter, James and John went up on the mountain with Jesus, it was Moses and Elijah that met them there (Matt. 17).

Moses caused the plagues to come down onEgypteven causing the water to turn into blood. Elijah is famous for calling down fire from heaven. In I Kings 18, he called down fire from heaven to light the fire on the altar. In II Kings 1, he called down fire on soldiers who came to kill him. In I Kings 17:1 he stopped the rain from coming for about 3 years.

Whether it will be Moses and Elijah or not, I do not know. However, it seems reasonable that God would send them for this very special job because if the Jews recognize them, it would make a very great impression on them. They would listen to Moses and Elijah before they would listen to any one else.

The Two Witnesses Are Killed

However, when the 3 ½ years are completed, Satan is allowed to kill them. Rev. 11:7 (NIV): “Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them.”

We know that this is Satan because he is identified as “the beast that comes up from the Abyss.” God keeps him from stopping the two witnesses until He is ready to implement His next step. And what a miracle this is.

They are killed in the street where they have been prophesying and no one is allowed to remove their bodies. This seems very unusual. However, the Bible tells us why this is allowed to happen. Multitudes of the unredeemed around the world have heard and seen what they have been doing and have wanted them silenced.

Rev. 11:9-10 (NIV): “For three and a half days men from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial. 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.”

Notice that it says that everyone in the world will gaze on their bodies. This is something that could not happen until just recently. However, with the advent of satellite TV, we can now instantly see what is happening anywhere in the world. This is how everyone will gaze on their bodies.

They Are Brought Back To Life

Rev. 11:11 (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.” Can you imagine the shock of the unbelievers who see this? They were dead for 3 ½ days. Their bodies were lying in the hot sun. By that time, they were shriveling up and smelling very bad. This is an impossible event, but God causes it to happen.

But God adds one more amazing miracle to happen. He wants to make sure that everyone recognizes that these two witnesses came from Him. Rev. 11:12 (NIV): “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.”

A Great Earthquake

But God does not stop here. He creates one more great miracle. As soon as the Two Witnesses are brought up to heaven in the sight of everyone, God causes a great earthquake inJerusalem. This earthquake destroys a tenth of theJerusalemand 7000 people are killed.

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.”

This finally gets peoples attention, at least inJerusalem. Those that are saved from the devastation of the earthquake are so terrified that they finally realize that God is in control and give glory to God. .

Why Did God Do This?

God will do this for the same reason that He does everything else during the Tribulation Period. He wants to get the attention of the unredeemed and get them to repent of their evil ways. Remember, God does not want anyone to perish. II Peter 3:9 (NIV): “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

Notice that this time, multitudes did turn to God. But it took a massive destruction to get their attention. Does God have your attention? Or is it going to take a massive destruction for you to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior? If you have not yet made this decision, go to How To Live Forever and make your decision.


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