"The Two Witnesses"
The two witnesses are [men?] whom God will give supernatural abilities to allow them to stand and witness for God's people, those believers that know and trust on the Lord Jesus Christ. The tenth chapter of Revelation reminded us that we do not need the writings of the seven thunders, because the prophets and apostles of old have already told us what would happen in the final days of this earth age. The thunder follows the lightning, and by the time that you hear the thunder, the damage and destruction has already been done.
This eleventh chapter of Revelation is going to reveal to us something that is going to happen just prior to the gathering back to our Lord Jesus Christ, and it will be the revealing of the two witnesses, and what shall happen to them. It is no secret for God is letting His elect know these events in advance.
Revelation 11:1 "And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God,"
This "reed" John was given, was not for making a measurement. The reed was a "scepter"; a rod not for building something, but for destruction. The destruction is for the tearing down of the temple of God, the altar, and all of them that worship within. The reason for this destruction is because at this time the Antichrist will be sitting on the throne of God in the temple, making sacrifice to himself, and the people of the world will believe he is God.
This is the time of the "abomination by the desolator", spoken of in Daniel 9:27, and at that time, Satan, the "son of perdition" will be revealed in the temple at Jerusalem, as recorded in II Thessalonians 2:2-4.
II Thessalonians 2:2 "That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter, as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand."
This warning by Paul the Apostle is to alert those living in our generation, that generation living here on earth in their flesh bodies just prior to Jesus second coming that another event that shall happen first. If you know in your mind and expect it to happen, then the things that are going on around us at this time will not shake our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. It is given so that we will not be taken in by Satan when he moves to take control with the authority that God shall give him for that short period of time.
II Thessalonians 2:3 "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition,"
The day that is the subject here is "the day of the Lord", also called "the day of Christ" or "The Lord's Day". That is the day that Jesus Christ returns to earth and all flesh is changed into their incorruptible bodies, and the Millennium kingdom of Christ begins. Paul is telling us this, because Jesus had revealed this fact to him, and our Heavenly Father expects all of his elect to be aware of this knowledge. The "man of sin" is "the son of perdition" and he is also know as "Lucifer", the "great dragon" and by many other names for the roles that he plays. Of course we are talking about Satan. Satan will be the person that must be revealed in this role, claiming he is Christ, before Jesus Christ returns at the sounding of the seventh trumpet; And on that day, Satan's role of the Antichrist is over.
So Paul is warning us; "Let no man deceive you by any means", not by some revelation of a evil spirit that appears to be from God, not by some church minister or tradition that seems so right or any other means that the men and women of this world age might use to draw you to Satan upon his coming to this earth. Sure Satan is coming to earth, and he is bringing all his spiritual forces with him. We will read of this in the next chapter.
II Thessalonians 2:4 "Who [Satan] opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the Temple of God, shewing himself that he is God."
Satan will come to earth and play the role that most professing Christians expect of Jesus Christ. He will exalt himself from Jerusalem, and build his temple like the people expect Jesus to build His. He will say the words and do miracles and wonders just as people expect Jesus to do them. Satan will also demand worship by all the people just as our Lord Jesus Christ will do. Satan in his role as the Antichrist will be a copy of what people expect Jesus Christ to be, only he will be the false-christ, the instead of christ, a cheap imitation that will last for only five months, and was given in Revelation 9:5, 10. This spiritual destruction will allow it to happen, and even give Satan his authority for this five month period of time. Jesus also spoke of this destruction in Matthew 24:15, when He was telling His disciples what Christians could expect before His coming back to earth.
So it is during this shortened five month period of time that these two witness will be present on earth and doing the things that are spoken of in this eleventh chapter of Revelations. Remember that "months" are in reference to Satan and his times and the children of the night, while "days and years" are in reference to God and the children of light.
Revelation 11:2 "But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gen'-tiles [nations]: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months."
The lamentations of Jeremiah recorded this future destruction about 588 B.C., in Lamentations 2:8. "The line" that was stretched out is the scepter that John has been given. Lamentations 2:8 The LORD hath purposed to destroy the wall of the daughter of Zion: he hath stretched out a line, he hath not withdrawn his hand from destroying: therefore he made the rampart and the wall to lament; they languished together. Lamentations 2:9, "Her gates are sunk into the ground; he hath destroyed and broken her bars; her king and her princes are among the Gen'-tiles [nations]: The law is no more [where the law is not]; her prophets also find no vision from the Lord."
Notice that this future destruction is complete, and the king is spelt with a small "k". The princes of Zion in fact today call themselves Gentiles. For they simply do not know who they are. Even today God's laws are being so altered by religious men that they go against the Word of God.
SEE Live Link to->The Famine is started
The prophets of the house of Israel have no vision from God, because they truly will believe Satan to be God. Their preachers and doctrines are leading them to believe so. "Measure the temple", is referring to the religious form, and all Satan's followers are to be measured for destruction. Though the inner part is destroyed, the Gentile part of the temple will be left standing. This part includes much of the Christian world, because they still think they are Gentiles.
We see the time period of this rule of Satan is forty two months. Again, all time dealing with Satan and his children are given in months. Don't get anxious about this three an a half year period, because we read in Revelation 9:5, 10, that this time is shortened to five months, during Satan's rule.
Revelation 11:3 "And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth."
This chapter will focus on the last three and an half days which brings about the last days before our Lord Jesus Christ's return. The church of God is still here on earth during this period of time. However, the witnesses will be witnessing for the entire thousand two hundred and threescore days during this final period. God is placing these two witnesses on earth for the sole purpose of witnessing for Him. They will warn all of mankind, and the "sackcloth" indicates that this warning of their sins is to be their only mission.
Notice also that the time of the two witnesses witnessing are given in days. These witnesses are of the children of light, and their message is of God. When you compare the forty two months of Antichrist from Daniel 9, with the 1,260 days of the two witnesses, they are the same.
Revelation 11:4 "These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of this earth."
In Zechariah 4:3, 11, and 14, these two witnesses are the "olive trees" that are spoken of there. The "candlesticks" represent the churches, and we saw in Revelation 2, and 3, that there are only two churches, or types of churches that God will respect at the close of this earth age. Those were the Churches of Smyrna and Philadelphia. This is because they knew who the "Kenites" are, and would not allow the false doctrine of the Kenites to come into their churches.
So we see, when Satan the Antichrist is upon the earth, the witnesses for God will be the two witnesses [olive trees]. The churches of Smyrna and Philadelphia and churches that give their type of doctrine, are the "candlesticks". The "elect" will come from those types of churches and also all those saints which understand that doctrine.
Revelation 11:5 "And if any man will [desireth to] hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will [shall desire to] hurt them, he must in this manner be killed."
The subject here is, "Who is fit for God to use at this time?" That doesn't mean who is going to heaven or hell; we are talking about who the "servants of God" are. Others will be saved out of all the churches.
When the two witnesses appear on earth and they start their witnessing, there will be no doubt who they are. Many religious leaders today speculate, and name names, but that is not important. You will know them by their words, if you are in tune with God's Word.
Because those Prophets and saints that have gone on and shed their blood, they can not be in their flesh bodies. These two witnesses will shed their blood as martyrs in the streets of Jerusalem, and this then would indicate that it would be two people living and walking on the earth right now. The power they use to defend themselves will be given by God when the Antichrist arrives in person. That power will end exactly three and a half days before the sounding of the seventh trumpet. That will be because God has written it in His book, our Bible. This is an important sign for all of the elect for the end is at hand.
Revelation 11:6 "These [witnesses] have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they [the witnesses] will."
"These", are the two witnesses. The "waters" that these two witnesses have power over are the nations, and peoples of this earth [Revelation 17:15]. There is power granted to these two to smite peoples and nations. They can call down these plagues whenever it is necessary. When the written word comes true before your eyes, you will know what to expect next. Believe it when you see it come to pass.
As long as you are in your Heavenly Fathers care, you will not fall under any of these plagues, or torments. The witnesses use their powers only on Satan the Antichrist, and his followers.
Remember what God said back in Revelation 9:4? "Hurt only those who have not the seal of God in their foreheads." Go back and review it.
Revelation 11:7 "And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit [abyss] shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them."
The two witnesses' purpose for being on the earth at this time, was to be a testimony against Satan, the Antichrist. By doing this, they are also a witness to God's elect, of His Word. When this testimony is over, Satan the Antichrist will rise up and kill both of them.
Satan is the "beast out of the bottomless pit". We read this in Revelation 9:1. When Satan kills the two witnesses, he will have taken all the conflict that he can stand by these two witness, and go against God's order to "touch not those who have the seal of God in their foreheads."
Revelation 11:8 "And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sod'-om and E'-gypt, where also our Lord was crucified."
The two witnesses' bodies will lie in the "street", which in the Greek text reads "plateia", or "broad place", which, more then likely is a stadium or a large hall in Jerusalem. It is then that the entire world will celebrate. This also will set off a chain of events, and many of the prophecies throughout the Bible will occur in the next three and one half days.
In the mind of the Antichrist [Satan], he has put down the only thing that hindered his claim to deity. Satan's throne is in the temple of God in Jerusalem, and from there, he thinks and will rule his world empire. While the witnesses were alive, their powers made not only the Antichrist, Satan's, life but the lives of the whole world just plain miserable. Even many Christians will think that these witnesses were evil, because of what these witnesses said about the Antichrist, whom their traditions have taught them to think and worship as the true Christ. These two witnesses were also the ones who made these Christian's lives physically and mentally pushed to the limit. All, that is, except God's "elect". This three and one half days [84 hours] period is going to be a short lived victory celebration for them.
The key to understand that the location of this happening is in Jerusalem, is in the term, "Where also our Lord was crucified." Jerusalem was referred to as "Sodom and Egypt" in Isaiah 1:9-10, and Ezekiel 16:46, as well as many other passages. The Holy Spirit of God, thus points to Jerusalem as the only place possible, to make that location completely clear.
When these two people are slaughtered in Jerusalem by the one that the world thinks to be God, and the people of the whole earth start their many day celebration because of that murder, know that the time of the murder started the last 84 hours, [three and a half days] before the sounding of the seventh trumpet, and our Lord's return.
John's Note: Most commentators, including, the writer of this commentary, claim these two witnesses are just two individuals. I am not sure of that. I rather think they are the members, maybe more then two, of the TWO churches Smyrna and Philadelphia,
Here is what Jesus told John to write about the Smyrna church
Revelation 2:9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
Here is what Jesus told John to write about the Philadelphia church
and Philadelphia, Revelation 3:9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
I will not pretend that I understand fully, how it happens, but I believe the two witnesses talked about in Revelation 11:3 is referring to what they are witnessing about, that being the two testaments of our Bible (The Old and the New) and for that reason Satan, as the false-christ kills those members of those two churches for reveling that the kenites who claim to be Jews are liars, to shut them up.Revelation 11:9 "And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves."
Through electronic means, and many visiting in person, the entire world will view, and witness the dead bodies of these witnesses laying in this arena over the next three and a half days. Why?
It is obvious that they were witnessing about Jesus the true Christ. Part of their testimony being what Jesus told John to write in Revelation 2:9 and 3:9 and from this witness about Satan's offspring, the kenites who claim to be Jews and are not, but do lie that they are killed, and their bodies will arise in three and a half days to meet the true Christ. Satan and his followers will be thinking that this time, We're not going to let anyone claim that these bodies disapeared in the night. This was the same accusation that was made by the "Kenites [Offspring of Satan]" when Christ arose some two thousand years earlier. So there the witnesses lay, while the world watched on world wide television and celebrated.
These physical bodies will be doing only one thing for three and a half days; "rotting".
Revelation 11:10 "And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth."
The entire earth's population will be celebration over this, except God's elect. God's elect, those sealed in their mind with the truth know the end is only a matter of days and hours away. The elect are in a state of praising God, and anxiously waiting for the end of the three and a half days.
This is going to be a three day Holiday, and at the end of this celebration, the witnesses will come alive. When they come alive, the torment will be as a terror that has never been. The Christians that have worshipped Antichrist will know they have been taken in by the Antichrist, and the grace that they thought they had is simply not extended to them, at this time, of "The first Resurrection", and they will enter Christ's Millennial Kingdom with still mortal souls. Even more tragic to that is the fact that they will face the True Christ as a Harlot, or an unfaithful bride. Think of the shame that will fall on them at this time.
Revelation 11:11 "And after three days and an half the spirit [breath] of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them."
Most Christians will not even know anything about these two witnesses, or the three and a half day period, until the end of it, for they have been taught that they are going to fly away, for that is what their "rapture doctrine" taught them. In fact most think heaven and eternity is on some far away star or planet, and not here on earth.
After the three and a half days, this is what happens in Jerusalem. God will send those spiritual souls back to enter into these two rotting flesh bodies, and these two witness will stand to their feet. When this happens, and the cameras are focused upon them, the people of the entire world are going to come under much fear. The people will not be just afraid, but a life threatening terror. And as the two witnesses stood to their feet, this "paralyzing fear ["epipipto" in the Greek]" will grip the entire world, especially the Christians who have worshipped the Antichrist.
This will be a Shining moment for all of God's "Elect", who stood against the Antichrist, and observed as the events of the seals and trumpets took place. Each of those events marked the proof that God keeps His word, and his plan is right on time.
Revelation 11:12 "And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them."
This is the "rapture" those that followed Satan as the Antichrist are going to miss. The rising of the two saints. At this same instant Christ will be coming here to earth.
Revelation 11:13 "And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven."
Within the hour, the earthquake that is going to split the mount of Olives will take place. A way, or path will be made for Christ's children to make it back to Him.
Why would God kill 7000 men at this moment? Those are the angels of Satan who will die at this time, all of them. They are the men that God will kill. Satan's time for his story telling is over, and all those fallen angels helping him will be destroyed.
The "remnant" that is of God's election will give glory to God because it is over. The tribulation, the testing, these flesh bodies, and this earth age of the flesh will be over. This is not something that is centuries into the future, but in a matter of a few years or months. We are living in this final generation.
Revelation 11:14 "The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly."
Remember that the first woe was the coming to earth of Satan, also called "Abaddon" in the Hebrew, and "Apollyon" in the Greek, with all his locust army to seduce the entire earth. This is what was taught in chapter nine. The first woe ended with their massive appearance on the earth that would cause the peoples of the earth to worship Satan as the Christ.
Revelation 11:15 "And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of Our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever."
This is the seventh and final trumpet, from the time that the two witnesses stand to their feet, we are dealing in seconds, and minutes for it all to occur. The third woe comes with the seventh trumpet. All prophecy in the entire Bible dealing with the seventh, and last trumpet happens instantly at this time.
The voices that boom around the world will announce; "The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ: and He shall reign for ever and ever."
When Satan is released again, for a short time, at the end of the Millennium period, this will not interfere with God's kingdom on earth. It continues through then, and into eternity, world without end. Remember that when Satan returns after the Millennium kingdom, he will not have his hoards of fallen angels with him.
At the seventh trumpet Jesus Christ is returning to be King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.
Revelation 11:16 "And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and woshipped God,"
Revelation 11:17 "Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned."
The seventh trumpet brings it all to pass, and it will be a time of praise and worship of Jesus Christ, and the worshipping God our Heavenly Father. God will have been true to His entire word, for Satan will be back into the pit. We will now see what takes place, following the seventh trumpet.
From this point on in Revelation, we will see a close up, focusing on events, not necessarily in sequential order. Thanks is given to God here for His faithfulness in the "world that was", the first age; "Which art", in our present flesh age; "and wast" the Millennium, continuing on into eternity ["yet to come"].
Revelation 11:18 "And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth."
Judgment has two sides to it. Those who followed the Antichrist will see a time of sorrow and discipline during the Millennium, while God's saints and the elect will see their payday, i.e.The First Resurrection to Eternal Life. This is God's time of giving rewards.
"Those that fear", is better translated "those that revere" God's name. They are those that love Him, and kept His Word.
The word "destroy" should be translated "corrupted" the earth; They corrupted the earth with their false religion. They called on the spirits, yet they did not know the spirits leading them. They followed false spirits in ignorance, just as the followed the false Christ. They did not test the spirits, and they failed God's test of them.
Things called, "of the spirit", can get wrapped up in emotions, as the spirits work over the congregation. The spirits can corrupt and blind indeed. Are you in with the "True Spirit", the Holy Spirit? Then this reward is yours.
Revelation 11:19 "And the temple of God was
open in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament
[covenant]: and there were lightning's, and voices, and thunderings, and an
earthquake, and great hail.
This is the "Great hail" that we read about in Ezekiel 38:22 also. These hail stones will bring about the end of this earth age, and weigh "a talent", which is about 180 pounds each. They will fall upon Satan's forces in Israel, and on the army of Gog, or Russia while they attack this great nation; "from Rosh onto the House of Israel". The battle of "Hamon-gog" is a battle in the very end of this earth age, whereby Russia and her Allied forces will come against the "House of Israel", who in the latter days is the United States, and Britain. While the battle of "Armageddon" is in the land of Palestine, and it is against the Antichrist and all of his religious system. It is God who will have the victory.
The "Ark of His Testament" is the "Ark of the Covenant". Any time you read of some joker finding the "Ark of the Covenant" on earth, just smile at him, for he has found fool's gold. The Ark is in heaven with God. God chose not to trust it with man, for it was too much for man to absorb.
God said in Joshua, "I will not cleanse this earth again until I return."
There is about 1000 years passing, in this verse 19, and heaven will be closed. However when it reopens we will be at the judgment day (The Great White Throne of Judgment) at this time those truly saved Christians who fell for Satan's deception and missed out on The First Resurrection because of it, after having now gone through 1000 years of discipline and training during this Millennium, will still surely be awarded eternal life based on their works during the 1000 years, i.e. The Second Resurrection to Eternal Life. During that time Christ will have His kingdom on earth and be in charge of that discipline and training; this is discussed in Revelation 15.This last "woe" takes place only a few seconds or minutes before the completion of this earth age, following the second "woe", which is the death of the two witnesses. The eleventh chapter is a record of what will happen in the last three and one half days before Christ's return. You will hear it, and see it, for it will take place in this generation. The point we must keep in mind, is that when we do see the two witnesses, and hear them, are you going to think of them as trouble-makers? Or are you going to be sealed in your mind, to understand and know that they are men from God; sent to speak out against the Antichrist [Satan]?
To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits; to understand it, the highest of all goals.We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.