Who or what are the 2 Witnesses in Revelation 11 and what do they stand for in God's world?
Updated: Mar 3, 2022
This video covers the Two Witnesses in Revelation 11.
Can we determine who the Two Witnesses are?
What does God mean when He calls them the "Two Olive Trees or the Two Lampstands"?
Are they Enoch and Eli'jah?
Are they Eli'jah and Moses?
Maybe they just stand for the representation of the New and Old Testament.
The answer might surprise you.
Are the 2 Witnesses Peter and Paul or the representation the Churches of the Jews and Gentiles nations?
Can we determine who the 2 Witnesses in Revelation 11?
Does the Bible give us enough information to determine who they are and what they actually represent?
It says right before Jesus’s return and God will give them power and authority and that these 2 beings.
Witnesses are the 2 Olive Trees and the 2 Lampstands.
Let us read these verses 1st.
The Two Witnesses
So, look at the awesome power of these 2 Witnesses!
11 Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told: “Rise and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there,
2 but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations (Gentiles), and they will trample over the holy city for forty-two months.
3 And I will grant my two witnesses power to prophesy for one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.”
4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands which stand before the Lord of the earth.
5 And if any one would harm them, fire pours from their mouth and consumes their foes; if any one would harm them, thus he is doomed to be killed.
6 They have power to shut the sky, that no rain may fall during the days of their prophesying, and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood, and to smite the earth with every plague, as often as they desire.
7 And when they have finished their testimony, the beast that ascends from the bottomless pit will make war upon them and conquer them and kill them,
8 and their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which is allegorically(spiritually) called Sodom and Egypt, where their Lord was crucified.
9 For three days and a half men from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations gaze at their dead bodies and refuse to let them be placed in a tomb,
10 and those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and make merry and exchange presents, because these two prophets had been a torment to those who dwell on the earth.
11 But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood up on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them.
12 Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up hither!” And in the sight of their foes they went up to heaven in a cloud.
13 And at that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell; seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.
14 The second woe has passed; behold, the third woe is soon to come.
This is a 6th Trumpet event and at the sounding of the 6th Trumpet, we see the Antichrist and the False Prophet rise as illustrated in Rev. 13 as the Beast of the Sea and the Beast if the Earth.
So why does no one really talk or teach much about these 2 Witnesses and what and who they are?
There are many opinions on who they might be.
So, let's look at who they could be 1st.
Maybe you think it is Enoch and Eli’jah.
Some think it might be Moses and Eli’jah.
Some say it is symbolic for the Old and New Testament.
So, who are they and is there a way to determine what or who they truly are?
I believe we can determine this if we break the scriptures down.
I have considered many concepts over the years; but I believe I have found a possible clue to who they are.
Let us look at some possibilities and I will start with Enoch and Eli’jah.
The main argument for these 2 are:
27 And just as it is appointed for men to die once, and after that comes judgment,
It states that all men or everyone is going to die at some point in time.
But both Enoch and Eli’jah are 2 individuals that never die, and both are taken from earth by God.
Since they never die, maybe they are appointed as the 2 Witnesses, so they can die and then be taken up or resurrected since the Bible says in Hebrews 9:27, all men are appointed to die.
So, the question is: Does everyone have to die in the literal sense?
When the rapture occurs – these people will not die. They will be taken and transformed, but they do not literally die. They are just taken from the earth and leave their earthly bodies.
They are given new bodies and help Jesus set up the new rule of His new kingdom, but they are never killed or never die.
This would be similar to what happened to both Enoch and Eli’jah.
Some say that when Jesus died on the cross, we too also died with him and so it is not required now to be taken to heaven and be with our Lord Jesus.
So, could it be Moses and Eli’jah?
For years this was my best argument for these two being the 2 witnesses.
When the 2 Witnesses are given power and authority. They do incredible things and create miracles in front of the man to try to bring them back to God and Jesus the Son.
That they will show wonders from heaven, like making fire come down from heaven itself.
And Eli’jah did the same thing.
Eli’jah brought fire down from the sky in front of people to show that God does exist.
So, one of them could possibly be Eli’jah.
The prophet Malachi says in chapter 4 verse 5 this:
5 “Behold, I will send you Eli’jah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes.
But we will come back to Eli’jah in a minute.
So, what about Moses?
So why is Moses considered to be one of the 2 Witnesses?
A lot of people think Moses is a great candidate.
He did bring forth the plagues against the Pharaoh.
Pharaoh did not listen.
Moses sent plagues, by God, against Egypt to punish them.
And similar events and judgments will happen when the 2 Witnesses are here for the 1260 days or 42 months.
So let's move back to Eli’jah for a second.
One of the most convincing arguments is for Eli’jah is:
Eli’jah never dies and he was just taken from the earth.
He was taken to heaven as a chariot of fire. He never saw death and God just took him.
In Moses’s case some question whether Moses died and even though he never saw the promised land, God took him before this. No one ever saw him die and no one is sure what really happened to Moses.
In Matthew 17, Jesus was walking with Peter, James, and John. They came to a place on the mountain and 2 figures appear. They were standing on both of our Lord Jesus.
And in an instance, Jesus’s clothes changed to pure white or pure light and His face shown like the sun and he spoke to them. And we learn in Verse 3 who they are, Moses and Eli’jah.
3 And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Eli′jah, talking with him.
Then a loud voice from the sky says – “This is my Son – listen to Him” in Matthew 17:5.
So, is this a possible preview of what will happen when the 2 witnesses return right before the 2nd coming of our Lord Jesus?
I have been in this camp for years, but I want to address a new concept I have been looking at.
In all the cases so far, we just do not really know or are just guessing or speculating.
And when people respond, as I have in the past, they indicate who they thin it is or who they might be.
But in Matthew 17 after the encounter of the 2 standing with Jesus.
The disciples ask him in Matthew 17:10 – “Why do the teachers of the Law say that Eli’jah must come 1st?
This question was mentioned for the disciples knew Malachi said Eli’jah would come before the return of Christ or Jesus.
Jesus replies in Matthew 17:11-13.
11 He replied, “Eli′jah does come, and he is to restore all things; 12 but I tell you that Eli′jah has already come, and they did not know him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of man will suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.
Before Jesus was here “John the Baptist” was preaching about the kingdom of God.
And John was killed for his faith.
John the Baptist had come prior to Jesus to proclaim the ministry of God.
Also, when John was born into this world an angel said to his parents.
Let look at Luke 1:13.
13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechari′ah, for your prayer is heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.
That John will go forth before the Lord, in Spirit and in the power of Eli’jah, to turn hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous – to make ready a people prepared for the Lord Jesus.
Compare this to Malachi 4:5.
4 “Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and ordinances that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel.
5 “Behold, I will send you Eli′jah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. 6 And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the land with a curse.”
So now we can see why John the Baptist was fulfilled through the prophecy of Eli’jah.
So, has Eli’jah’s prophesy been fulfilled through John?
So, what does the book of Revelation say about the 2 Witnesses?
Let us go back and look at Rev. 11:3-4
3 And I will grant my two witnesses power to prophesy for one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.”
4 These are the (two olive trees and the two lampstands) which stand before the Lord of the earth.
Why would the angel say “the two olive trees or the two lampstands”?
In Rev. 11:5-6 it states this:
5 And if any one would harm them, fire pours from their mouth and consumes their foes; if any one would harm them, thus he is doomed to be killed. 6 They have power to shut the sky, that no rain may fall during the days of their prophesying, and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood, and to smite the earth with every plague, as often as they desire. 7 And when they have finished their testimony, the beast that ascends from the bottomless pit will make war upon them and conquer them and kill them, 8 and their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which is allegorically[a] called Sodom and Egypt, where their Lord was crucified. 9 For three days and a half men from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations gaze at their dead bodies and refuse to let them be placed in a tomb, 10 and those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and make merry and exchange presents, because these two prophets had been a torment to those who dwell on the earth. 11 But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood up on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. 12 Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up hither!” And in the sight of their foes, they went up to heaven in a cloud.
This is about all we know about the 2 Witnesses.
So, what are the two olive trees or these 2 lampstands and what do they represent?
If we can understand who the two olive trees or the two lampstands are then maybe we can discern who these two witnesses really are.
In Zech. 4:2 it says this:
2 And he said to me, “What do you see?” I said, “I see, and behold, a lampstand all of gold, with a bowl on the top of it, and seven lamps on it, with seven lips on each of the lamps which are on the top of it. 3 And there are two olive trees by it, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left.” 4 And I said to the angel who talked with me, “What are these, my lord?”
11 Then I said to him, “What are these two olive trees on the right and the left of the lampstand?” 12 And a second time I said to him, “What are these two branches of the olive trees, which are beside the two golden pipes from which the oil is poured out?” 13 He said to me, “Do you not know what these are?” I said, “No, my lord.” 14 Then he said, “These are the two anointed who stand by the Lord of the whole earth.”
But that is all the information the angel gives us.
So, the two olive trees are two who are anointed to serve the Lord of the whole earth.”
But that is all the angel says.
So, what does Jeremiah have to say about these two olive trees or these 2 lampstands?
Has an olive tree in the Bible ever referred to a person or a group of people?
Jeremiah explains how important these two Witnesses are in God’s eyes. That they are his special people.
17 The Lord of hosts, who planted you, has pronounced evil against you, because of the evil which the house of Israel and the house of Judah have done, provoking me to anger by burning incense to Ba′al.”
Who did Jeremiah call the thriving olive tree – The Jewish people.
So, this indicates this is a group of people and if they don’t repent He will come at them with a roar of a mighty storm, he will set it on fire, and its branches will be broken.
So, in this case, the olive tree represents the Jewish people or the Jewish nation.
In the New Testament of Romans, Paul was writing a letter to the Romans and he is talking to the gentiles or a non-Jewish people.
In the letter Paul tells them that now they have come to faith in Jesus, they have been included or grafted into God’s people or the Jewish peoples.
So, Paul is saying the Jewish people an olive tree. But some of these branches have been broken off from non-faith in the Lord Jesus.
So, God has now built-up another olive tree that is going to serve him.
17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, a wild olive shoot, were grafted in their place to share the richness of the olive tree, 18 do not boast over the branches. If you do boast, remember it is not you that support the root, but the root that supports you.
Jesus indicates here that as long as you believe in the Son, Jesus, “You will bear fruit.”
So, we should not become arrogant and have the ego to think we are better than the Jewish people, and that since God’s people have fallen away the message is given to the Gentiles.
That in no way does this diminish the Jewish Olive Tree in any way.
The tree Gentiles now have their own Olive Tree to tend to.
In Romans 11:19-20 it says this:
19 You will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20 That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast only through faith. So do not become proud, but stand in awe.
23 And even the others, if they do not persist in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again.
So once the Jewish people realize that Jesus is the True Son of God they will be grafted back into the Jewish Tree.
Once they become a Messianic Jew, they are now part of that tree again.
24 For if you have been cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these natural branches be grafted back into their own olive tree.
So, Romans 11:24 states that they have been grafted into their own olive tree or part of the Gentle Tree,
That now we have two olive trees connected and joined by the roots, through faith and belief in the Lord Jesus.
In Zech. 4:14 it says this:
14 Then he said, “These are the two anointed who stand by the Lord of the whole earth.”
That the Gentiles have their own olive tree and once the Jewish people come back to the Lord Jesus and regain their faith they can also be grafted into the Jewish olive tree.
So the Jews and Gentiles are Two Olive Trees which represent Two Lampstands.
In Zech. 4:14 it says “These are the two who are anointed to serve the Lord Jesus of all the earth.
The Jews and the Gentiles.
2 trees grafted together by the roots.
In Romans 11:25-26 Paul says this:
All Israel Will Be Saved
25 Lest you be wise in your own conceits, I want you to understand this mystery, brethren: a hardening has come upon part of Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles come in, 26 and so all Israel will be saved; as it is written,
“The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”;
Paul is saying that once the FULL NUMBER OF GENTILES is reached, this will cause the Jewish people to be saved somehow or come back to faith in our Lord Jesus.
Once that happens Romans 11:23 states – and if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, and that is able to graft them back into the olive trees again.
Roman 11:24 states they have their own olive tree.
So, who are the two witnesses in Rev. 11:3 that will prophesy for 1260 days or 42 months?
Rev. 11:4 says they are the 2 olive trees or nations of the Jews and Gentiles.
The two Lampstands.
So, we need two things to happen.
1). The Jews must come back to the belief Jesus is truly the Son of God.
2). The Gentiles also need to have faith and belief in the Lord Jesus and avoid the great falling away that is to come during the 1260 days or 42 months while the two Witnesses are prophesying.
So, the two Lampstands represent the Jews and Gentiles as stated in Rev. 11:4.
But the two Witnesses are not nations themselves. They are two individuals that represent these two nations.
These two Witnesses come out just after the signing of the 7-year treaty or the covenant of death with the nations and Antichrist once he is on the ground.
These two individuals will prophesy for 1260 days or 42 months. That if you try to harm them, they will devour those people with fire from their mouths. They have the ability to shut the heavens so no rain falls, and they can produce plagues at their will.
That in Rev. 11:9 these two Witnesses will lie in the street for 3 ½ days and then be taken or resurrected to heaven by God.
John is seeing two nations, represented by two individuals on the ground during the 1260 days or 42 months to Abomination of Desolation.
And if the two nations are two individuals – Who are they?
Acts 1:8 says this:
8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samar′ia and to the end of the earth.”
So, who are the “Two Olive Trees or the Two Lampstands”?
Are they Enoch and Eli’jah?
Are they Moses and Eli’jah?
They can’t be actual nations of peoples, for they are two individuals.
So, who represents these two Churches of these Olive Trees or Lampstands?
Could the Two Olive Trees or the Two Lampstands be Peter and Paul?
The two people that brought the word of the Lord to both the Jewish people and the Gentiles.
Peter was the Rock or Church of the Jewish people and Paul was selected to bring to Gospel to the Gentiles or their church.
And John tells us in Revelation what the lampstands are what they represent. Churches as stated in Rev. 1:12.
12 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands,
And in Rev. 1:20 he tells us what the 7 Lampstands are.
20 As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
So, God is telling us that there are 7 major churches. That from these 7 churches all other or groups of churches fall under these 7 main churches.
So, are the two Witnesses possibly Peter and Paul?
Since they represent the two churches of the Jews and Gentiles.
That Peter and Paul are the “Two Olive Trees and the Two Lampstands” that come forth to prophesy for 1260 days or 42 months.
Both representing the Jewish and Gentile nations of believers.
It seems to make sense of what God is telling us.
I hope this concept brings new depth to this conversation and hope addresses a number of questions we are all struggling with within this topic.
God bless and find the only open door, our Lord Jesus.
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