Monday, August 1, 2016

Revelation 11:3-13 The Two Witnesses

1 August 2016: This is not an update, but a re-post of one of my favorite posts on Eschatology Today.  Nearly five years within the Eschatology Today archive realm, it's about time we looked at the prophecy of the Two Witnesses again. Thanks and a hat tip to Miriam for the reminder!

5 December 2011: I believe that most of Revelation 11 is very literal with just a few, fleeting symbolic references. With that in mind let’s look at the Two Witnesses. The Two Witnesses are God’s personal representatives on Earth who are active in Jerusalem during the first 1260 days of the 70th Week. They are anointed by God with tremendous supernatural power for all of those 1260 days. This is the same kind of anointed power that Moses and Elijah (Eliyahu in Hebrew – my God is YHWH)) both wielded in performing the will of God in ancient times. Their attire of sackcloth is symbolically important to Israel; both Moses and Eliyahu wore sackcloth and it is the attire of Israel’s prophets.

The Two Witnesses are human beings, they are Jewish and they may well be alive right now somewhere in Israel, or at a minimum are soon to be born. If alive now they are young and most likely unaware of their future calling from God or of each other. While many speculate that the Two Witnesses will be Moses and Elijah returned to the Earth, this is not at all likely because those servants of the Lord were long ago transfigured into their eternal bodies. This is known because both were seen to be present at the transfiguration of Jesus (Matthew 17:3-4). Therefore, the Two Witnesses are quite probably going to be two of the 144,000 Jewish male evangelists who will receive an exceptionally special calling from the Lord. This calling will likely be like that which Moses and Elijah received; both were literally called and began their missions for God abruptly.

In self defense of their persons their supernatural power will consume their human enemies with fire, the kind of fire that water cannot extinguish and consumes utterly and completely. Like Elijah’s fire. Their power will cause the cessation of any precipitation for the entire 1,260 days in which they prophecy. In the arid Middle East this is bad enough, but it gets worse. They will then turn other consumable water sources into blood making them non-potable, and strike anywhere on Earth with all manner of plagues whenever they desire, like Moses did to Egypt prior to the Exodus. No wonder the whole world of deceived peoples will hate them with such a passion. The Two Witnesses’ only friends will be each other, the 143,998 Jewish evangelists and the Tribulation Saints.

And then their time is finished. At the end of the 1,260 days the demon king Abaddon/Apollyon is freed from the abyss, indwells and reanimates the Antichrist who has suffered a mortal head wound and he promptly kills the Two Witnesses to the delight of all the deceived around the world. Given the nature of their immense supernatural power manifest over the previous three and one half years the people of Jerusalem will leave their bodies lay where they will fall in the street upon death, refusing them any burial. These events will in all probability be seen live on satellite broadcast around the Earth in real-time. There will be unbridled celebration and gift-giving by the deceived, Antichrist worshipping millions around the world.

And then it happens, three and one-half days after their death these rotting street corpses will suddenly be resurrected and transfigured, confounding and terrorizing those who will see them standing alive once again. Suddenly the celebrating stops as this breaking news flashes around planet earth at the speed of light. The people will hear a voice from Heaven calling them upwards and they will witness a Harpazo ascension just like that which the disciples saw upon Jesus’ ascension. Up into Heaven on a cloud the Two Witness shall go while the world watches in thunderstruck awe. Within that same hour an earthquake strikes Jerusalem, a tenth of the city crumbles to the ground and 7,000 souls are killed. Many of those who survive will repent on the spot and give all praise and glory to the God of Heaven.

It’s going to be a non-stop breaking news cycle from Jerusalem in the middle of this 70th Week, and the worst of it is yet to occur. The Antichrist, the False Prophet and their forces are now about to enter the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies of the Temple that John the Revelator just measured with a reed in the opening verses of Revelation 11. They are there to halt the worship services and stand up the Abomination of Desolation. The return of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God on Earth is now just 42 months away.


Great Grany 5 said...

You nailed mon, and said it so clearly. It is the Anointing that enables the two witnesses to work in the power and authority of God Almighty, the such of which has not been seen since the renting of the temple curtain at the death of Jesus Christ on that cruel cross.

What a blessing to read your post today and I thank you for it. But do you realize that by posting this wakeup call to all Believers in Jesus Christ it removes the scales of a Give Me religion that has taken over most of the world? Most of the people today are following something other than the Gospel Message that Paul warned us of. Dying to self isn't even preached by the main stream DEMONINATIONS anymore and a feel good about yourself theology is setting up the major reason for vomit when Jesus comes.

By the way, I intended to spell the above upper case word like it is. To me, it is what is preaching from most pulpits and Jez would be very proud of the work in progress.

What a terrible waste of God's love offering when you consider what these Worldly people are going to go through after the church is taken up.


hartdawg said...

Have you heard the erroneously teaching that the two witnesses are the church and Israel and the resurrection is a spiritual revival? i wonder if people who take such a spiritual approach to prophecy are void of the holy spirit.
i do have a question as to the witnesses involvement with the rebuilding of the temple, its believed by some that they'll be encouraging it,yet others say they will stand in opposition claiming the temple is an abomination. do you have any thoughts or should we be content with the scriptures silence? and finally in two places that i can think of the tribulation temple is called the temple of God so how can the temple be an abomination? what am i not understanding?

SeanOsborne said...


I wote this piece without knowing the full scope of the Lord's purposes for it. His will be done!

SeanOsborne said...


The spiritual and symbolic language in Revelation 11 are obvious. So is the literalness of its passages regarding the details of the Two Witnesses and their 1,260 day mission.

I do not care one iota what anyone else believes in this regard - I have my own conviction by the Holy Spirit and that is all that I need.

John was an active participant in the prophecy of Revelation 11. He was directed to measure the Holy of Holies and The Holy Place by the mighty angel who stands on the sea and on the earth in Revelation 10.

We do not know what the seven thunders said in Revelation 10 because John was forbidden to write those things down. Likewise, we are told nothing about the Two Witnesses role in the rebuilding of the 3rd Temple.

What we do know is that the 3rd Temple measurement by John immediately precedes the introduction of the Two Witness.

Therefore, it can be seen in these verses that both the 3rd Temple is standing and the Two Witnesses are present on day one of the first 1,260 days of the 70th Week described by Gabriel in Daniel 9.

The 3rd Temple is not the abomination of desolation, it is the standing up of an image of the beast in The Holy Place within the Temple which is the abomination of desolation.

SeanOsborne said...

Additional teaching related to Revelation 11.

Revelation 11 must be taken in the same context as Revelation 10. This is abundantly clear in that the same 'great angel' who stands on the sea and on the earth is the one who instructed John to measure the Holy of Holies and the Holy Place immediately prior to the introduction of the Two Witnesses.

Revelation 10 makes clear that there was something prophetic in the words uttered by the seven thunders, which caused this great angel two swear by whom all things were made. But John was instructed not to record those words.

The words uttered by the seven thunders must have been prophetic, and had something to do with the 70th Week and its Divine purposes as described by the angel Gabriel in Daniel 9.

This is made clear because of what this angel declares at the sounding of the 7th Trumpet (Trumpets 1 thru 6 are discussed in Revelation 8 and 9) which occurs in Revelation 11:15-19 and is detailed in Revelation 10:7 as being this:

"...but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets."

So in I dove for some more very deep study of Revelation 10.

I am convinced that the 'great angel' is actually Jesus Christ.

The descriptions John gives of this 'great angel' can be found throughout the Bible as descriptions of of God and of Jesus Christ. He's clothed in a cloud (from Genesis to Jesus' ascension the same cloud is present where He is), the rainbow over His head signifies the same mercy symbolized in the rainbow after Noah's Flood, He's holding an opened scroll, His face shone as the sun and His feet as pillars of fire, and a roar like the Lion of Judah. He stands on the sea and the land - He is Christ taking dominion over the whole earth.

A very similar description of Him is given in Revelation 1:12-16. In Revelation 1:17-19 Jesus confirms this point blank:

"And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death."

Therefore, it is Jesus Christ, God Incarnate, the Alpha and the Omega who created everything there is and whose roar as the Lion of Judah causes the seven thunders to utter their voices.

Since thunder are often the mark of judgment (Psalm 18:13, 1 Samuel 2:10 and 2 Samuel 2:14 as well as Revelation 8:5, Revelation 11:19 and Revelation 16:18) then these seven thunders are the voice of God announcing seven prophetic coming judgments.

Perhaps these seven coming judgments are too terrifying and too incomprehensible for the human mind to conceive of for John to have recorded them, so he was specifically directed by the voice from Heaven not to do so. And so those words remain sealed to this very moment.

hartdawg said...

Sean, if you're saying the 7 thunders are likely 7 undisclosed judgements then I'm inclined to agree. I'm also convinced the angel is christ.

SeanOsborne said...

From the New Testament:

John 12:28-31

"Father, glorify Your name.

Then a voice came from heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.

Therefore the people who stood by and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to Him.”

Jesus answered and said, “This voice did not come because of Me, but for your sake. Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out

mark3210 said...

There seems to be increasing rumors about an Iran strike lately.
I see it mentioned on Debka's home page today.
Do you think it will happen before the end of the year?
Do you have a feel for how much longer Israel can afford to wait and still be able to take effective action?

SeanOsborne said...


I have no idea with respect to an Israeli execute order...

However I think when it does occur, it will defy description by current terminology.

Gramma from Canada said...

I personally believe that the two witnesses will be Enoch and Elijah..These are the ONLY two that were Raptured...neither one died physically.
If, as some say, that one of the witnesses will be Moses, well, even though God can do ANYTHING, I just do not see this being so because when they are 'both physically killed' during the Tribulation.
I truly believe that Moses and Elijah will be the two witnesses because of this 'one' fact...I don't believe people die 'twice physically'.
Just my take on this, always has been...and makes total sense to me.
God Bless you Sean and other posters.
Come Quickly Lord Jesus
Gramma from Canada

SeanOsborne said...

I used to think the Two Witnesses would be Elijah (Eliyahu) and Enoch because they were Harpazoed, and then for a time I thought they would be Elijah (Eliyahu) and Moses because they were present at Jesus ascension.

However, now I think they are two Jewish men, possibly alive right now, and possibly taken from among the 144,000 Jewish evangelists. Perhaps some of the other Jews will have known these men personally as they were growing up.

The sticking point for me is Elijah, Enoch and Moses would have to have their glorified bodies taken away and be returned to their former bodies so that they can be killed by Antichrist and lie on some Jerusalem street decomposing for three and a half days.

This part in particular is going to be the unmistakeable proof to the whole world that these two men were most certainly dead and were resurrected and will ascend into Heaven as the whole world watches.
Conversions to Christ will ensue immediately thereafter among the earthquake survivors who "were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven.

Gramma from Canada said...

Perhaps Enoch and Elijah were 'raptured' up and not 'changed' at this time. It doesn't say that they were 'changed first' and then raptured as it says we will be in 1Corinthians 15.

I don't believe that Enoch or Elijah were changed into their 'resurrectied' bodies. I think that God, however He did it, has them there until the time for them to 'witness' for the 3 1/2 years and then be 'physically killed.

Even when Jesus was seen assending to Heaven it was in his 'changed body'..but nowhere does it say that Enoch and Elijah were ever 'changed' when they were 'raptured'.

Also it says that

In Revelation 11 verse 4 it says,
'These are the two olive trees, and the two candelsticks standing before the God of the earth.

In Zechariah 4; 11-14 it says,
'Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof?
12; And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two 'olive branches' which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves?
13; And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.
14; Then said he, These are the 'two anointed ones', that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.

I believe that these two are Enoch and Elijah...

Moses had died physically so he no longer has an earthly body.

It is a very good study, this one...

Any thoughts on this Sean?

God Bless
Gramma from Canada

Gramma from Canada said...

Just one more thought on this.

If Moses is one of the Two Witnesses (as some say) then that would mean he would have to be 'brought' back from the dead and the Word of God teaches that when this happens it is the 'work' of 'demons' not God. It would go against everything that the Word of God teaches.

Just another thought..

God Bless,
Gramma from Canada

SeanOsborne said...

I haven't let this subject go since posting it, and was studying the various passages more intently in recent days. Given what Genesis 5:24 says about the Lord's taking of Enoch:

"And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.:

It occurred to me that the literalness of the text in the taking of Enoch, he may very well have not been translated into a Spiritual body.

All the inspired text says is that God "took him," (laqach) in the original Hebrew. God took (laqach)Enoch in the same manner as he took (laqach) Adam and bodily placed him in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:15), and in the same manner as God took (laqach) one of Adam's ribs from his flesh and blood body to make Eve (Genesis 2:21).

My sovereign and omnipotent God surely may have had Enoch with him in Heaven all these thousands of years alive and in his original flesh and blood human body, as there is nothing in the text about Enoch's body being translated or transfigured.

The prophet Elijah was taken (laqach)in the exact same manner (2 Kings 2:9-10).

Neither of these men have died, and they will be coming back to fulfill the Lord's prophetic purposes in the 70th Week, be martyred and rise again to life in incorruptible bodies and then ascend into Heaven while he whole world watches.

The Two Witness - Enoch and Elijah!

Gramma from Canada said...

I agree Sean, Enoch and Elijah

God Bless
Gramma from Canada

Anonymous said...

Gramma from Canada and Sean, In the Ethoptic Bible, which has both the Book of Enoch 1 and Book of Enoch 2 (The Book of The Secrets of Enoch)in it. In The Secrets of Enoch, there is an account of Enoch receiving his glorified body - Chapter 20: 8-9 Of course it neither books of Enoch were canonized into our Bible, but they do make for some very interesting reading.

Nothing is beyond the Father's ability, but no living man may see the fact of YHWH and live. I think both Elijah and Enoch have received their glorified, immortal bodies, and thus will not be the "Two Witnesses". It is just my theory, and I could be wrong.

Blessings and Shalom,

Maranatha! Mark

SeanOsborne said...


2 Enoch, Chapter 1, verse 10:

"Have courage, Enoch, do not fear; the eternal God sent us to you, and lo! You shalt to-day ascend with us into heaven, and you shall tell your sons and all your household all that they shall do without you on earth in your house, and let no one seek you till the Lord return you to them."

89rscam said...


This is kind of a snap thought so I will think about it more but in reading this post from 5 years ago I had an "AHAA" at least for Elijah... The amazing thing about Elijah that we all learn in sunday school as kids is that he never died and rode the chariot of fire into the sky!

So why in the world would God send him back down here to die in the street... That doesn't make sense to me (human being sense) =) so that reasoning may not stand...

I like your thoughts on who the two witnesses may be rather than the general inference.

Maranatha Adonai Yeshua!
Ken B

Sean Osborne said...

Oh there is so much more to this than meets the eye!!!

Malachi 4:5-6 is the best Scripture there is to believe by faith alone (because God has said it) that Elijah (Eli-yahu) will be one of the Two Witnesses.

Verse 5 of this prophetic passage promises the Lord's returning of Elijah to the earth prior to the "great and terrible day of the Lord."

The "great and terrible day of the Lord" - specifically - is the second 42-month period of the 70th Week.

And verse 6 links the coming of Elijah very powerfully to the prophecy of all Israel having the Spirit of the Lord poured out upon them during the Two Witnesses ministry which specifically occurs during the beginning 42 months of the 70th Week.

This is where the 144,000 Jewish evangelists come from! They are the result of the Two Witnesses ministry, empowered by God, and the pouring out of His Spirit.

Miriam said...

Thank you for this Sean, I read the main body of the article, and before I read the last 2 posts above, the scripture from Malachi that you mentioned came to my mind. Malachi is the last chapter of the Old Testament in the bible that Jews read, and the verses in question are the last verses. This is not verbatim, but I've read them many times: behold I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I should come and smite the land with a curse."

During Passover every year, observant Jews place a cup of wine on the table for Elijah, in case that day is the day of his return. I am sorry if this is dense, but how does that fit with the concept that the witnesses will not be Moses/Enoch and Elijah themselves? And how will the returning Elijah turn the hearts of the parents to their children etc?

hartdawg said...

....and don't forget, when john the Baptist was asked if he was Elijah, he said he was not.
I'm sure Elijah is one of the witnesses, I go back and forth between the second one being moses or Enoch. I heard and read very convincing cases on both sides. When they do arrive, however, I'm planning on being gone. What about you?

89rscam said...

I plan on being with hartdawg in the mezzanine!

Ken B

Randall B said...

Completely Agree that the two witnesses will be two humans that are especially chosen and empowered to perform their assigned mission.

The Lord Himself described how to interpret Malachi 4:5-6. In Matt 17:10-13, Jesus states that Elijah had already come once i.e. Baptizer John - that could have fulfilled that prophecy. However Israel's leaders rejected the offering of the Kingdom (in Matt 12:24) and then crucified the Lord. The Father therefore withdrew His offer of the Kingdom to Israel, for a time.

However, Jesus also stated that Elijah would come again and given His "John could have been Elijah" declaration, this next coming would be again a human "In the Spirit and Power" of Elijah.

I believe that there will be two more human witnesses that will stand against the AC and declare the Lord's Word. One of them will again be in the Spirit and Power of Elijah.

Two humans in the power and spirit of Elijah and Moses would give the example of the testimony of the Law and the Prophets. Which Jewish people just might finally accept as all pointing to the Gospel of Jesus.

The Lord has made a special point to make sure that the work of witnessing to the Gospel was accomplished by humans. Yes, angels have been used to give prophecies and declare certain truths such as "He has risen". But the ministry of witnessing to the Gospel has been given to humans. Until that last angel flies - that is.

As an aside, I feel that Enoch is a model of the Rapture of the Church. (Taken out Pre-Flood) The model really gets messed up to have Enoch "sort of resurrected" back into his corruptible body. (Same thing goes for Elijah, really can't see that incorruptible will be exchanged back to corruptible in his case either.)

Also Completely Agree that it is the Mezzanine FTW!!!!

Sean Osborne said...

As I responded to Great Grany 5 above nearly 5 years ago, "I wrote this piece without knowing the full scope of the Lord's purposes for it. His will be done!"

I also did not not know back then the full scope meaning of what I wrote in that sentence, but I'm now beginning to find out what it is.

No discussion about the Two Witnesses can be complete without studying the other parts of the Lord's Word which directly relate to it. Here's what I've learned since coming back to study this subject again.

Elijah did not die. He was taken into heaven in a chariot of fire powered by horses of fire which caused a whirlwind (a powerful localized storm). The words of 2 Kings 2:11 convey far more meaning in the original Hebrew than we can possibly understand by merely reading them in the King's English (KJV).

The Hebrew word for horses is SOOS and it conveys the meaning of leaping horses whose movement through the air is very swift and appears to be joyful, like that of a skipping swallow. This movement created a whirlwind SA'AR, a very powerful but localized storm like a tornado. On top of this they emit flames of 'ESH, or flames of fire. Hence, flaming horses.

These flaming horses are what power the vehicle of coneyance, which is transliterated by a Hebrew word pronounced REH-KEV. The only vehicle of conveyance in that ancient day was a chariot, and that is how this word is transliterated in to English. However, a rekev is more than that even. It has the shape of an upper millstone, as can be seen in THIS IMAGE.

Also, a full reading (you know what I mean by a 'full reading') of Matthew 11 and 17 is also necessary; pay particular attention to what Jesus says. Also: Luke 1:17. Here we must pay particular attention to what is done in the turning of the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just. The Greek word for just here is dikaios meaning the "righteous." The related directly to Malachi 4:6 which says "turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers" is a metaphor for redemption, salvation in Christ Jesus.

This is the promised outpouring of the Lord's Spirit upon all Israel Ezekiel prophesied in Ezekiel 39:29 and Paul spoke of in Romans 11:25-27. Again, all of Romans 11 in a 'full reading.'

Sean Osborne said...

I'm holding all further comments until the comment I made above at 7:05 AM this morning has had a chance to be read by all. it is that important IMHO when it comes to the Two Witnesses and the claimed links to Elijah, John the Baptitst, et al.

We can't let this very important subject go off on a wild tangent or be the target of pure speculation.

Bottom line... the Word of God is very clear about who and what the Two Witnesses are, as well as what they are not.

Within that bottom line is the fact that they will be men born of a human mother who are Divinely empowered by God to perform the ministry assigned to them.

They are also alive today, somewhere in the wilderness of Israel, wearing a type of burlap (sackcloth) as their clothing.

Sean Osborne said...

One more thing to help guide studies on this subject.

Look at Revelation 11:3 in-depth.

These two men are: (Greek: Mou dyo martys -- pronounced "moo doo-oh mar'-toos")

These two men are both witnesses (in the legal, historical and ethical senses) as well as martyrs.

Sean Osborne said...

Getting back now to something RandallB said above...about Enoch (Original Hebrew pronounced Khan-oak) who was the fifth-born generation after Adam) being a pre-Flood 'past is prologue' for the Harpazo of the bride of Christ... I agree completely!

Khan-oak/Enoch lived a very full and righteous life of 365 years and did everything God required of him, and then God just took him up.

I find it kind of interesting how those 365 years of the life of Knan-oak/Enoch pretty closely corresponds with how long the Protestant branch of Christianity has been kicking around on this earth doing the Lord's work.

89rscam said...


Slowly read Zechariah 4 and slowly read Revelation 11...

Coupled with the questions of Elijah returning... Mathew and Luke...

No they witnesses are NOT really Elijah or Moses! In the spirit!

Ken B =)

Sean Osborne said...

Yes, Ken's got it! Good studying Ken! In the Spirit!

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