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Revelation's Two Witnesses

March 28, 2017

 

Revelation’s Two Witnesses

An End Time Bible Secret

 

As we've all been taught throughout the years, the Two Witnesses in Revelation 11:1-14 mark the era of Christ’s return and flag a futuristic phenomenon of apocalyptic proportions that unfolds upon the End Times. Calling down fire, destruction, and plagues from heaven, these Two Prophets retaliate against a world which has grown cold and which has broken out in opposition to God’s Commands. Setting the stage for a theatrical event unparalleled in history, it denotes a time of healing for those who find Christ, as well as a time of terror for those who don’t.

 

Traveling forward through the ages, there have been many suggestions as to the identity of these men of God who have become notoriously known as the "Two Witnesses". Elijah and Moses, however, take top spot as being the two most likely candidates, as both these men were seen with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration (Mat. 17:1-8) and also share an unusual fate of which their bodies have never been found, suggesting a possible providence of having walked into God's arms upon death. Yet as we search through Scripture, the identity of the Two Witnesses can hardly be proven as the Bible doesn’t specifically mention who these Two Prophets of God are. Or, does it?

 

As with all scriptural content, it takes many years of study and dedication to reveal the mysteries concealed within God's Word. In the same manner, the biblical theology we currently hold did not occur overnight or come into light within a single day. Yet unless we were willing to learn, we could never have unraveled this wisdom. Thus, to receive further information concerning the Two Witnesses, the only choice is to buckle down and dig in.

 

The problem is, sometimes our own opinions get in the way of what God is trying to teach us, and if we start interjecting our own thoughts without looking to God for answers, we can unknowingly cast aside the need for learning. But with God, being eternal, He possesses a great deal more knowledge than we could ever comprehend, so if we're willing to learn, He will continue to teach us. And fortunately, we don't have to make suppositions or interject our own theories, as He has already given a tremendous source of knowledge and wisdom originating within the Bible, His Book of Life.

 

In order to learn more about these Two Witnesses, we must retrieve a bit more information, expand our quest, and find out how else God refers to them. Thankfully, we don’t have to go far. Looking to this same chapter, we find they are not only called “Two Witnesses” (Rev. 11:3), but they are also referred to as the “Two Olive Trees” (Rev. 11:4).

 

Rev_11:4 TheseG3778 areG1526 theG3588 TwoG1417 Olive TreesG1636 andG2532

 theG3588 TwoG1417 CandlesticksG3087 standingG2476 beforeG1799 theG3588 GodG2316 of theG3588 earthG1093 

 

Implementing the Strong's Concordance allows us to bypass modern translation inconsistencies by tying these New Testament words to their Old Testament Hebrew counterparts. And as God stays consistent throughout, these same words, used elsewhere, should give us an indication of what is being implied and who these Two Witnesses (Olive Trees) really are. The Strong's Greek word for "Olive Tree" (G1636) converts to the Old Testament word "Olive", or in Hebrew, "shemen" (H8081).

 

Armed with this knowledge, we begin to explore, and are instantly greeted by many passages referring "Olive Trees". The problem is, however, that most of these verses seem to have little relevance to our search because we are unfamiliar with the terminology used by God's prophets and what is being implied. Although this is a barrier we can overcome, we are limited by space in this writing, so we will focus our attention only on the easy verses. 1Kings 6:23 is one such verse.

 

1Ki_6:23 And within the oracleH1687 he madeH6213 TwoH8147 CherubimsH3742 of OliveH8081 TreeH6086 each tenH6235 cubitsH520 highH6967 

 

As we quickly notice by this reference, these same "Olive Trees" (Two Witnesses) are referred to as cherubim, or angels of God. Yet within Revelation we've always believed these Two Prophets to be men. And although Moses and Elijah could fit this scenario, having passed through the portals of death to become cherubim, let's look elsewhere to verify, as this thought is only conjecture and their names are nowhere mentioned.

 

Returning once again to Rev. 11:4, we quickly see that the "Two Witnesses" are also spoken of as "Two Candlesticks". Giving us another source of reference, it seems that the good Lord has been gracious in helping us to learn their identity.

 

Rev_11:4 TheseG3778 areG1526 theG3588 TwoG1417 Olive Trees,G1636 andG2532 

theG3588 TwoG1417 CandlesticksG3087 standingG2476 beforeG1799 theG3588 GodG2316 of theG3588 earthG1093 

 

When researching the word "Candlestick", we are able to find several references of this same word used elsewhere in Scripture. But, in order to help us understand, we will focus our attention on the New Testament. Mat. 5:15 is one such verse that implements the word "Candlestick" as used by Jesus within one of His parables.

 

Mat_5:15 NeitherG3761 do men lightG2545 a candle,G3088 andG2532 putG5087 itG846 

underG5259 a bushel,G3426 butG235 onG1909 a Candlestick;G3087 andG2532 it giveth LightG2989 unto allG3956 thatG3588 are inG1722 theG3588 houseG3614 

 

Within this verse, once again, rather than relating to a physical characteristic of men as we'd expect of the Two Prophets of God, we are staring face-to-face with an aspect of the spiritual as it relates to the Light of God. It mentions nothing of men. And even though we might consider the Light of God to be a godly quality that would be expected of Two Prophets of of God, could we also consider Elijah and Moses to be the only men who ever perceived the Light of God?

 

Suddenly, we are faced with a simple Truth. It is not the men we should be looking for as God's Two Prophets… it is those Two Witnesses already given to all mankind (1John 5:9) by God, Himself. God's Word and His Holy Spirit (1John 5:7) are the Pillars of salvation that stand right before us. And with being Christians, shouldn't we already recognize them as they testify to us and help us understand who God truly is?

 

But, considering all the mysteries surrounding the Two Witnesses and their unusual abilities, could God's Word and His Holy Spirit truly be those same Two Witnesses spoken of in Revelation?

 

To be honest, there is much yet to be revealed within Scripture, as God has much to disclose. Not to mention that Revelation, itself, holds many secrets and has been a mystery ever since the time John wrote it, nearly 2,000 years ago. But let me offer a word of caution. For if Rev. 11:7 speaks of future time when these Two Witnesses will become cast aside and no longer known due to an evil which ascends out of the abyss, then mankind needs to open his eyes fast, as it seems we are already steadfast on this course. And if we consider, for a moment, that the Book of Revelation actually defines a meaning of a "Revealing (showing) of Jesus" (Rev. 1:1, Gal. 1:12, Eph. 1:17, 1Pet. 5:1)… then, as Christ and God's Spirit lives within us, shouldn't we also see something similar to what John saw as we become that Third Witness (Mat. 18:16, 2Cor. 13:1)?

 

Some may agree, and some won't even consider it. Nonetheless, if we still need some convincing as to the identity of the Two Witnesses, and whether or not it's true that these Two Olive Trees could be God's Word and His Holy Spirit, then we may want to turn to the Book of Zechariah and have another look. There, in Zech. 4:1-5, Zechariah has the same question as us, and asks God point blank about their identity. Continuing on to verse 6, we see how God quite plainly gives Him an answer.

 

Zech. 4:6  Then He answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the Word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.

 

Kind of clever how God sneaks them both in there, don’t you think?

 

Blessings to all…

G.W. Timm

 

 

 

Other Scriptural References:

  • The Holy Spirit as a Witness - John 15:26; Acts 15:8; Rom. 1:9; Rom. 8:16; Rom. 9:1; Heb. 2:4; Heb. 10:15; 1John 5:7;

  • Christ Jesus (the Word of God) as a Witness - 1Tim. 6:13; Rom. 9:1; Rev. 1:5;

 

NOTE: For all of those interested in obtaining a copy of this post for reference or further Bible Study, it can be downloaded as an e-Sword Topic Notes Module via this Link.

 

 

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