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Understanding Revelation and the Two Witnesses

Updated: Feb 4

June 26, 2022- A few weeks ago, I saw a video of a pastor speaking to the two witnesses that are to come as discussed in the Holy Bible (Revelation 11). I felt in my heart that God wanted me to write an article about this.

Revelation is a complicated book, and without the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to guide you, your hope to understand this prophecy and visons in Revelation is diminished. To understand scripture in general, you need to understand who the author and narrators are. During the first century, scribes would write whatever it was that they were directed to write by narrators. In some of the books of the New Testament we are told who narrated some of the books/letters. The same applies to the Old Testament as applicable.

In the case of Revelation, it is narrated by John, a servant of Jesus Christ (Revelation 1), who was on the island of Patmos (in Asia at the time but is now part of Greece) (Revelation 1:9). There are some false prophets that believe that this John was not the disciple that Jesus called. John the disciple had a fiery reputation in his youth, just look at how he and his brother are referred to by Jesus Christ as “Boanerges” (the “Sons of thunder”) in Mark 3:17. How could he have possibly received the visions and narrate Revelation? Well, when people have Jesus Christ, they change. Hallelujah!

Breaking Down Revelation

In Revelation, there are a few key goals. One was to write letters to churches within Asia:

  1. Ephesus

  2. Smyrna

  3. Pergamos

  4. Thyatira

  5. Sardis

  6. Philadelphia

  7. Laodicea

A second goal was of the visions given to John. These visions generally speak to the new heaven and earth reserved for believers in Jesus Christ (Revelation 21). In Revelation 5, John is given a vision of a scroll with seven seals. The seals represent the seven spirits of God (Revelation 4:5, Revelation 5:6, see also Isaiah 11:2). Only Jesus Christ is able to take the scroll and open the seals which represent physical events on earth (see Revelation 6-8) as outlined below:

  1. The Conqueror- the people to go out conquering and to be conquered.

  2. Conflict on Earth- peace is taken from the earth, and people kill one another

  3. Scarcity on Earth- high demand and low supply chains (mainly referring to food) and a lack of affordability

  4. Widespread Death on Earth- people to be killed through hunger and by “the beasts of the earth” (Revelation 6:8)

  5. The Cry of the Martyrs- the souls of persecuted Christians who cry out for the Lord to judge the earth.

  6. Cosmic Disturbances- a great earthquake, the sun becomes black, and the moon becomes red. Mountains and islands are moved. People hide from the coming wrath of God.

Photo Credit: Wix Media

The seventh seal is the most complex because it starts with seven angels who are given trumpets. Each blow into the trumpet from the angel releases a disaster to the earth. However, the final seal, is the kingdom of heaven being proclaimed. The complexity increases as you read this part of the Holy Bible, and after the seventh seal is opened a series of prophetic visions fill Revelation. This article focuses on the sixth seal for that is when the two witnesses are discussed within Revelation. These seals are described in Revelation 8-11 and shown in a flow chart below:

Seven seal from the book of Revelation. Flow Chard

As stated earlier, it is after the sixth trumpet that Revelation 11 and the two witnesses comes into effect.

Why Two Witnesses

Now that you understand where and when Revelation occurs, let us look at what Revelation 11 says about the two witnesses:

Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, “Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. 2 But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months. 3 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.’”

Why does God send two witnesses? John 1:1 says that “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” God’s word is everlasting (Isaiah 40:6-8 and 1 Peter 1:25), and He has upheld His law and He kept His promises to mankind for as long we were created. We are created in the image of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit (Genesis 1:26). In the Old Testament we see the Word of God as law. By sending two witness to provide their testimony, this action fulfills the law in Deuteronomy 17:6, “whoever is deserving of death shall be put to death on the testimony of two or three witnesses; he shall not be put to death on the testimony of one witness.” It also fulfills law in Deuteronomy 19:5, “by the mouth of two witnesses the matter shall be established.”

Where else have you seen two witnesses within the Holy Bible? With Jesus Christ! He sent out 70 of His disciples two at a time into the cities that He was planning to go. Their message was that the kingdom of heaven was at hand (Luke 10). When Jesus was crucified on the cross, two criminals were also crucified near him (Luke 23:32). One of the criminals did not believe in Jesus, and the other had said, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” (Luke 23:42). Jesus told him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43). Beloved, God told me the other day that the two criminals that witnessed Jesus’s crucifixion also fulfilled the law in Deuteronomy 17:6 and Deuteronomy 19:5. Praise God! Hallelujah!

Could these be the witnesses that are spoken about in Revelation 11?

Who Are the Two Witnesses?

The answer is that we do not know who they are. Revelation 11 does not reveal the identity of these witnesses to us. There is speculation out there about the possible candidates, but rather than focusing on what we do not know, let us focus on what we do know. Revelation 11 says that these witnesses are the two olive trees and the two lampstands before God (Revelation 11:4). In addition, it outlines the actions of these witnesses, and that they will:

  • Prophesy for 1,260 days in sackcloth (Revelation 11:3)

  • Blow fire will from their mouths to devour their enemies (Revelation 11:5)

  • Be given power to prevent rainfall, and turn water to blood, and to strike earth with plagues (Revelation 11:6)

  • Be killed after they have given their testimony, and their bodies will lie in the street of Jerusalem (Revelation 11:7 and 8)

  • Not be allowed to have their bodies buried (Revelation 11:9)

  • Be resurrected after 3 ½ days (Revelation 11:11)

  • Ascend to heaven (Revelation 11:12)

We also know the reactions of the people in the city which consist of joy when the witnesses are killed, and fear when the witnesses are resurrected (Revelation 11:10-11). According to the Holy Bible, after these two witnesses are resurrected, they will ascend into heaven, and a great earthquake will strike in Jerusalem causing a tenth of the city to fall and killing 7,000 people (Revelation 11:13).

Why Should We Care?

After the two witnesses ascend into heaven, the seventh seal is opened by Jesus Christ, which ultimately leads to the collection of the elect (some call this the Rapture) and judgment. In life, we are all judged on the life we live, the decisions we made, and the actions that we take. However, when Jesus judges us, the biggest question is this: did you know Jesus Christ? Did you accept Jesus Christ as your savior? John 3:18 says, “He who believes in Him, is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” Beloved, if you were told of Jesus, and did not believe, you will not make it into heaven. God wants to call you into repentance and into acceptance of Jesus Christ. Time is short, and Jesus Christ is coming soon.

Accepting Jesus

Are you ready to accept Jesus Christ into your life as your savior? Then say this prayer aloud:

God, I confess that Jesus came in the flesh and blood, paid the price for my sins, died on the cross, rose on the third day, ascended to the heavens, and sent the Holy Spirit to help me understand Your ways. For that, I accept Jesus Christ as my savior and Lord, and I welcome the Holy Spirit in my life. In Jesus’s name I pray, amen!

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