Today: [Revelation 11:] The Two Witnesses who are They? In Rev. 11 John is given a rod to measure the temple. After this two witnesses appear. Some think they are Elijah and Enoch. Others throughout history have convinced themselves that they are the two witnesses? What can we learn of these and to what end?
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[Rev 11:1-19 KJV] 1 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. 2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty [and] two months. 3 And I will give [power] unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred [and] threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. 4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. 5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. 6 These 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 will. 7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. 8 And their dead bodies [shall lie] in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. 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. 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. 11 And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. 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. 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. 14 The second woe is past; [and], behold, the third Woe cometh quickly. 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. 16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, 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. 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. 19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

In v. 1 of our chapter, John is given a “reed like unto a rod” being told to rise and measure the temple of God, the altar and those that worship therein. Now, why does John use the descriptor “a reed like unto a rod” and doesn’t just say “the angel gave me a rod?” This vague language is used 26 times in the book of Revelation and speaks to the overwhelming influence this entire experience has upon the prophet. Nothing seems simple in its description. All that John sees he feels inadequate to describe or to write down as he was commanded to do.

What does the temple represent? We must always bear in mind that prophets speak in symbolism and similitude. If you let scripture interpret scripture we remember the words of Paul:

[1Co 3:16 KJV] 16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and [that] the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

Paul makes this assertion 11 times in his epistles. We understand that it is we ourselves that John is commanded to measure – not just individually but as the corporate body of Christ. Why does John measure the altar and what does the altar represent? The altar is not the brasen altar found in the outer court. It is the golden altar where inscnese was offered up before the ark of the Covenant and in Revelation before the throne of God. What does it represent? It represents our prayers and the intercessory ministry of Jesus.

In the throne room of God, it is your prayer life that is taken into account almost to the exclusion of all else. Do I find you praying? How long would the tape measure in John’s hand have to be extended to take in the dimensions of your prayer life? Or would John only need to measure a few centimeters or millimeters? Of all that is emphasized in the book of Revelation, it is the prayers of the saints that come up again and again, but this fact is very little mentioned in the writings and preaching of the subject of this book.

John is also instructed to measure those that worship in the temple. Measuring the temple speaks of the corporate body of Christ, the church. Those that are measured within represent the individual believer. This speaks to us of accountability. There is corporate accountability before God and personal accountability before God. We can’t say “well I leave such matters up to my church” because God also measures you individually – your quality, your piety (or lack of it), your prayer life, your benevolence to the poor, etc., etc.

In v. 2 we see that everything outside the temple is not measured. This is the arena of unaccountable sons. My question would be if the temple represents the corporate body of Christ otherwise known as the church – are you in or are you out of the church? Only those that are IN the temple are measured. All others are excluded. So what? What does it matter? The writer of Hebrews says the following;

[Heb 12:8 KJV] 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
How did chastizement take place in John’s day? With a rod. Who is measured with the rod? Those that are in the corporate body of Christ. Those without are excluded. They are believers who as the child born out of wedlock – these believers are illegitimate. You may insist that you have a walk with God that doesn’t require you to be a part of the church, but brother and sister it is your place in the body of Christ legitimizes your walk with God.

There is then mention in v. 2 of a time span of 3 1/2 years of God’s toleration of those who tread under foot the Holy City. What is the Holy City? Everything outside the temple. The earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof and all those who are outside of Christ whether they realize it or not are living out their lives of rebellion against God do so on Holy ground.

Is not the holy city Jerusalem? Of course, it is. Remember that the book of Revelation is a transdimensional book. It speaks in macrocosm on the grand scale of time and eternity, and it speaks in microcosm thundering its truths directly into your own intimate and personal relationship with God. It speaks as well to God’s linear purpose through time which threads itself in and out of the history of the Jewish people and the Holy Land and of course the literal city of Jerusalem which is a shadow of the heavenly city (the church) identified in the book of Hebrews chapter 12.

We see that two witnesses shall arise and prophesy 1260 days also 3 1/2 years. Who are the two witnesses? They are the two olive trees and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the whole earth. Now here many go far afield with fanciful ideas about who these witnesses are. I personally know a pair of brothers who believe they are the two witnesses and they have passports in hand ready to go to Jerusalem as the two witnesses to prophesy in the streets and call down fire on anyone who doesn’t agree with them. I’d like to see them get through customs in Tel Aviv.

Who are the two witnesses? We are told plainly in v. 4. These are two olive trees and two candlesticks. Where do we see two olive trees? In Romans 11 Paul speaks of the natural olive tree of the nation of Israel and ethnic Jewry. There is also reference to a wild olive tree grafted in – this is the company of the redeemed grafted into the purposes of God by the redemptive provisions of the Cross. Letting scripture interpret scripture then we see that the two witnesses would be the church and the nation of Israel. Both of these have stood witness to the presence of God in history and in world affairs for 1000s of years. If it were not for Israel and the Jews and for the Church, Yahweh would have been merely an archeological curiosity poured over in some desert climate where an intern student would discover artifacts relating to an ancient Semitic culture long dead.

In v. 5 we see that any who hurt these witnesses will be destroyed and devoured. There is a curse upon all who molest Israel and those who persecute the church. Herod persecuted the church and was eaten of worms. Diocletian committed unprecedented atrocities against the church and was cut off in his years by disease, dying in disgrace. Hitler persecuted the Jews and died in dishonor, his body doused in gasoline laid in a drainage ditch and disposed of.

What is the power of these witnesses representing Judaism and the Church? They have the power to shut the heavens that it rain not. Are they exercising this power? Very little as yet. Will they ever? The verse only says that they have the ability not that they ever actually used it. The rest is up to us. Where is the boldness of those who are willing to step out of the voting booth and into the prayer closet where all true authority and power is wielded among the nations? What if a prophet stands on the steps of the Supreme Court (where Justice Niel Gorsuch obscenely claimed that the nine justices on the bench were infallible) – what if a prophet defies these self-appointed demi-gods and says there will be no rain or no internet in our nation until abortion is repealed? This is a people rising up in God that cannot be marginalized or ignored.

There does come a time when whoever these figures are their testimony will be finished, and they are killed. Many believe that these witnesses are Enoch and Elijah because they ascended without dying. This is nothing more than speculation although it is held to be theological fact by many.

When is the testimony of these witnesses at an end? When something called the beast arises from the bottomless pit to make war against the church and Judaism and for a time will seem to prevail. Remember that Martin Luther and Sir Isaac Newton believed that the bottomless pit was the trackless wastes of the Arabian Peninsula. Where might the demise of these witnesses register? In the streets of modern-day Jerusalem that Jesus Himself calls Sodom and Egypt where he was rejected and crucified. I don’t think that moniker will be found on any Holy Land brochures … “come to spiritual Sodom – the city that crucified the Lord of Glory…”

The bodies of the witnesses lie in the streets without burial. Again are these corporate entities representing the church and Judaism or are they individuals? The answer might be “yes.” These prophecies are revealed and come to pass on several levels as we have emphasized time and again. When the witnesses are put down, the earth rejoices and sends gifts to one another celebrating their demise, but it isn’t over yet. In the midst of these events, these witnesses come back to life. We can see this relating to Christianity and Israel as well. Nietzsche declared that God is dead and that Christianity is nothing more (said Lenin) that an opiate of the masses. At every step where Christianity is constrained and thrown back the elites and their sycophants in modern culture rejoice in the name of what they call “tolerance…” The church to them is a pariah and Israel a nuisance they would sooner be rid of. But then a voice from heaven speaks and declares “come up higher…” and they are received into a cloud. Does that mean that on a clear day these events will never happen? Clouds in the bible represent witnesses, and they represent companies of believers. In the very next chapter, we will see in greater detail what this v. speaks to.

When the witnesses are caught up there is a great earthquake. Interestingly enough when the catching up in Rev. 12 takes place, it is also followed by an earthquake described in great detail. These things are the second of the three Woe Trumpets, and the third and final woe is about to unfold.

In v. 15 the seventh angel sounds and the announcement is made that the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ. This is what some call the saints taking the kingdom. When you overlay this with Rev. 12, it gives much deeper insight into the ascension of the church to a place of power from whence Satan is cast down and the stage set for the age of men to come to its end and the kingdom age to be ushered in. At this point, the 24 elders fall on their face realizing that this is the climactic fulfillment of vision that they worked for in their lifetime as the 12 founding apostles of the first century and the 12 finishing apostles yet to be revealed in our day. The saints rejoice, and those on the world are angry? Likewise in ch. 12 when the sun-clothed woman appears in heavens (the fire-baptized church) Satan comes down to earth in great wrath provoking the nations of the earth to wrath as well.

What happens next? The temple of God is opened, and the ark of God’s full glory is revealed with lightenings, thunders, and voices. Are you one of those voices? They will originate somewhere and not from those in the world and not angels – but saints of God participating in their prayers and their testimonies to these events.

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