THE TWO WITNESSES:
WHO ARE THEY?
In the book of Revelation 11 we read in verse 3 these words,
“And I will give power unto my TWO WITNESSES, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.”
I was always taught that the two witnesses were either two of the following three people depending upon who's book I was reading. Some would say that the two witnesses were Moses and Elijah, and others have said the two witnesses were Enoch and Elijah.
Well I was not content in who these two witnesses MIGHT be, so I asked the Lord who these two witnesses were and he told me to read this WHOLE passage of scripture again.
So I read all of chapter 11 again, but I did not see what the Lord wanted to show me, so he told me to read it again. So I read it again.
Finally I told the Lord that I just was not getting or understanding what he was trying to show me, then he spoke to my heart and said “Do not think of my two witnesses as two people, but rather as two groups of people.” So I read this passage again and began to see clues in the other verses as to who these two witnesses are.
The next verse reads,
“These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.”
And I began to think, “WHAT TWO OLIVE TREES”. This is how the Holy Spirit teaches us the word of God. As we ask questions, read the word of God, and meditate and think upon what we read, then we receive insight or revelation as to what these verses truly mean in light of the WHOLE word of God.
Now when these words the TWO OLIVE trees popped out so to speak the Holy Spirit brought to my remembrance of what I had read about Israel being the natural olive tree and how we as Christians were grafted into the olive tree.
I could not remember what book of the Bible that I read this, so I picked up my Strong's Exhaustive Concordance and looked up the word “olive” searching for the phrase “olive tree”.
Here is what I found. The word “olive” is found 38 times in the King James version of the Bible, so I scanned down the list of passages where the word olive was found looking for the word “tree” and I found 20 references with the phase “olive tree”.
I was quite astounded that there was so many references to olive trees, and I had only remembered one such reference, so I began to look up each and every reference to see what these olive trees were.
Now I want YOU, the reader to remember to think or view the two witnesses which are the two olive trees as two GROUPS of people rather than just two individual people as we were previously taught. Sometimes we have to UNLEARN some things that we have come to believe as the truth before we can in fact come to the knowledge of THE TRUTH.
Now open your Bible to Romans 11:17-25 and read,
“And if some of the branches be broken off, and YOU, being a WILD OLIVE TREE, and were grafted in among them, and with them are partakers of the root and fatness of THE OLIVE TREE:
Boast not against the branches. But if you boast, you bear not the root, but the root you.
You will say then, The branches were broken off, that I may be grafted in.
Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Be not high minded, but fear:
For if God spared not the NATURAL BRANCHES, take heed that he spare not you.
Behold therefore the goodness and the severity of God:on which them which fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, IF you CONTINUE in his goodness: otherwise you also shall be cut off.
And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in; for God is able to graft them in again.
For if it were cut out of the OLIVE TREE which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a good LIVE TREE; how much more shall these, which be the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree?
For I would not, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to ISRAEL, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.”
I want you to see from this passage of scripture what the Lord showed to me through the Holy Spirit, and that being that the TWO OLIVE trees, which ARE the TWO WITNESSES are in fact two GROUPS of people rather than just two individual people as we were previously and falsely taught.
Please keep in mind that those who taught us wrongly did not KNOW that they were wrong, but only taught what they themselves came to believe. I am sure that they taught to us what they sincerely believed to be the truth, so do not stop considering them to be our brothers and sisters in Christ.
But please be as the men of Berea, spoken of in the book of Acts chapter 17 and verse 11, that searched the scriptures daily to see if what they were being taught was in fact the TRUTH based upon the WHOLE word of God.
The TWO GROUPS of people who are the ONLY TWO WITNESSES in all the earth who stand for the only true and wise God ARE the true believers in Christ Jesus the Son of God, otherwise know as Christians or formally known as the WILD OLIVE TREE; and the other witness is ISRAEL, which is the NATURAL OLIVE TREE.
So you see we have TWO different GROUPS of people who stand for the God of the earth, and it is these TWO GROUPS who are the TWO WITNESSES spoke of in the book of Revelation.
We can see these TWO GROUPS, the Jews and those who believe in Jesus, the Son of God all through the book of Revelation as well as the rest of the word of God.
Take a look at Revelation 20:4 which says,
“...and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the WITNESS of Jesus AND for the word of God.”
Once you come to the knowledge of the truth that the two witnesses are the Jews and the Christians, then you will begin to see subtle references all through the word of God of these two different groups of people that stand for the God of the earth.
Here in this verse we see the Christians who have the WITNESS of Jesus, and the Jews who do not have the witness for Jesus, but do have the WITNESS for the word of God.
Turn to revelation 15:3 and read,
“And they sang the song of Moses the servant of God AND the song of the Lamb.”
I want you to notice TWO different songs that cannot be sung by any ONE individual group of people, because they are victory songs sung by those who have been brought victory buy the one the song is about.
The children of Israel were brought to victory by Moses being delivered fro Egypt through the Red Sea. And we as Christians are brought to victory through the blood of the Lamb. We each have our own song to sing.
So again we can see two groups or two WITNESSES for the God of all the earth as being the children of Israel, the Jews, and the believers in Jesus, the Christians.
Let's look at one more verse found in Revelation that I find interesting. Open your Bible to Revelation chapter 21 and read verse 12 through 14 that talks about the New Jerusalem, the city of God.
“And had a great wall and high, and had TWELVE gates, and at the twelve gates twelve angels, and the NAMES of the TWELVE TRIBES of the children of ISRAEL...And the wall of the city had TWELVE foundations, and in them the NAMES of the TWELVE APOSTLES of the LAMB.”
The twelve foundations with the names of the twelve apostles obviously represent the church, or true believers in Christ Jesus, the Lamb of God. And the twelve gates with the names of the twelve tribes of Israel in turn signify the children of Israel, the Jews.
The Christians I will refer to as SPIRITUAL Israel and the Jews I will refer to as NATURAL Israel. Both are Israel, but yet there are two groups of people from different backgrounds.
In just casually reading the scriptures there appears on the surface to be only ONE group of people who stand for God, because God is breaking down the walls that divide us. Let me explain what I mean.
Look at Ezekiel 37:16-19 which says,
“Moreover, you son of man, take you ONE stick and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of his companions; then ANOTHER stick, and write upon it for Joseph, the stick of Ephrim, and for all the house of Israel his companion. And join them one to another into ONE stick, and they shall be ONE in your hand. And when the children of your people shall speak unto you saying, will you show us what you mean by these? Say unto them, thus says the Lord God.
Behold I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in your hand of Ephrim and the tribes of his fellows, and will put them with the stick of Judah, and make them ONE stick and they shall be ONE in my hand.”
The stick of Judah represents the church, or spiritual Israel. And the sick of Joseph or Ephrim represents the Jews, or natural Israel.
There are many more references to these two groups throughout the Old Testament but for space we will only look at a few.
Here is one found in Psalm 78:67,68,71 that says,
“...Jacob his people AND Israel his inheritance.”
Then in Psalm 149:2 we read,
“Let ISRAEL rejoice in him that made him; let the children of ZION be joyful to their King.”
Then read Jeremiah 51:35 which says,
“The violence done to me and my flesh be upon Babylon, shall the inhabitants of ZION say: my blood upon the inhabitants of Chaldean, shall JERUSALEM say.”
Hosea 1:11 says,
“Then shall the children of JUDAH AND the children of JERUSALEM be gathered together, and appoint themselves ONE head and they shall come up out of the land (the rapture): for great shall be the day of Jezreel.”
Now this may be getting off the subject a little, but it all ties together. Take notice of the phrase “be gathered together” and compare it with the coming of Jesus, that great and notable day of the Lord where we will all be gathered together to meet the Lord in the air and then taken to the place called Armageddon to execute vengeance upon the ungodly. Please read the “SECOND COMING OF JESUS” for a deeper understanding of this subject.
The phrase “come up out of the land” can be compared to “caught up together” at the time of the rapture of the church. Also the phrase “great shall be the days of Jezreel” can be compared to “the great and notable day of the Lord” which refers to the second coming of Jesus.
Let's continue with the examples of the two groups of people or TWO WITNESSES found in the Bible.
Joel 2:32 says this,
“And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in MOUNT ZION AND in JERUSALEM shall be deliverance.”
Zephaniah 3:10 reads,
“In that day, says the Lord of host, shall you call every man his neighbor under the VINE AND the FIG TREE.”
The Bible refers to the fig tree as Israel, natural Israel , the Jews, and refers to the vine as the church, the body of believers in Jesus.
Now let us return to the book of Revelation chapter 11 now that you have seen the two different groups of people as being the TWO WITNESSES. Read Revelation 11:11,12, which I believe is a type or example of the rapture or being caught up to heaven. Take note of the similarities.
“And after three and a half days the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet: and great fear came upon all them which saw them. And they heard a voice from heaven saying unto them, COME UP HITHER, and they ascended up to heaven in a cloud: and their enemies beheld them.”
The bodies of these TWO WITNESSES laid in the streets for three and a half days and there was none to bury them. Therefore they are dead in Christ, because they believed and stood for God. They are resurrected and come to life by the Spirit of God. They hear a voice from heaven. They ascend up to heaven in a cloud. And their enemies beheld them.
Let's begin by looking at the dead bodies lying in the streets. Look at Psalm 79:2,3 which says,
“The dead bodies of YOUR SERVANTS have been given unto the fowls of heaven, the flesh of YOUR SAINTS unto the beast of the earth. Their blood have they like water shed round about Jerusalem: and there was none to bury them.”
Notice again that there are TWO groups of people just like the Holy Spirit told me and now I am telling you. Here in this verse we see God's SERVANTS as one WITNESS for him and then we see God's SAINTS as the other witness for him. TWO WITNESSES who were slain and shed their blood for believing in God, and are now lying in the streets all around Jerusalem.
Now just two individuals bodies cannot be lying in the street ALL AROUND Jerusalem, nor will the spilling of blood be likened to “their blood shed like water”. This is a lot of blood and certainly not the description of just two individuals as we have previously been taught by those that teach the PRE-tribulation point of view.
Now compare this verse we just read in Psalm chapter 79 with Revelation 11:9 where we are told about the TWO WITNESSES.
“And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three and a half days, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.”
Both passages of scripture speak of TWO WITNESSES of God and both verses speak of their bodies being left on the ground and NOT buried. However from the verse in Revelation ALONE apart from the WHOLE word of God their has come the INTERPRETATION that these TWO WITNESSES are either Moses and Elijah or Enoch and Elijah, which is just SPECULATION at best.
But in light of the WHOLE word of God we can clearly see that the TWO WITNESSES are in fact two GROUPS of people, namely the church, spiritual Israel, and the Jews, natural Israel.
Let's look at Revelation 11:3 that says,
“I will give power unto my two witnesses...”
Notice that the word says, “I will GIVE power unto my two witnesses”, and not “I will SEND two witnesses who will have power.”
You see the TWO WITNESSES are already here in the earth. The church and the Jews are already witnessing for God. Some believers have the the fullness of the Holy Spirit dwelling in them and they are doing the works that Jesus did when he was in the earth as the Son of man, born of a women. Please read the study entitled “JESUS THE SON OF MAN”.
But the church as a whole is not walking in the POWER of the Spirit of God which God has intended us to walk.
Let's begin with Luke 24:49,49,
“And you are WITNESSES of these things. And behold, I send the PROMISE of my Father upon you: tarry you in the city of Jerusalem, until you be endued with (or given) POWER from on high.”
Then we see in Acts 1:8, which says,
“But you shall receive (be given) POWER after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and you shall be WITNESSES unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria and to the uttermost part of the earth (standing before or for God in all the earth).”
Some may say that the Holy Spirit has already been given to us, so how is the power that is given to the two witnesses going to be the Holy Spirit? Is God going to give us the Holy Spirit again?
Well not exactly, but in a matter of speaking, yes, in that God is going to bring revival to the church and once again empower them with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Read it for yourself in Acts 2:1-21. But for now I am only going to quote verses 16-20 where the early church first receives the Holy Spirit,
“But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel: and it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. And on my servants and my handmaids I will pour out in those days of my Spirit and they shall prophesy. And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon into blood, BEFORE, that great and notable day of the Lord come.”
Yes it is true that the Holy Spirit is already given to all believers who receive God's promise to us by FAITH, but the these signs that are spoken of by Joel have NOT yet occurred. So there is going to be a wider spread pouring out of the Spirit of God.
The LAST DAYS in truth began with the birth of Jesus and continue till now and yet will continue until Jesus comes again to receive his bride, the church, without spot our blemish.
Hosea 6:3 sheds more light on the subject.
“And he shall come (the Holy Spirit) us as the rain, as the LATTER and the FORMER rain unto the earth.”
Just as the rain comes early to prepare the soil and nourish the crops to help them grow, so has the Holy Spirit came to the early church to begin a dynamic growth. And so will the church be revived in these last days to bring in the harvest with the Holy Spirit just as the LATTER rain comes in the days right before the harvest.
But the Holy Spirit will not come upon you automatically without you wanting or desiring a closer walk with the Lord.
Zechariah 10:1 says it his way,
“Ask you of the Lord rain in the time of the LATTER rain: so the Lord shall make bright clouds and give them showers of rain, to everyone grass in the field.”
Most every Christian at one time or another has commented on the good old days of revival or how wonderful it was in the early church when miracles were done at the hands of the apostles. Well the Bible says that the last days will be GREATER than the former days. In other words, we are living in the threshold of the greatest glory of God ever.
Look at Haggai 2:7-9,
“...and I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord of host. The silver is mine, and the Gold is mine says the Lord of hosts. The glory of this LATTER house (the church in the last days) shall be GREATER than the former (the early church), says the Lord of hosts: and in this place I will give PEACE, says the Lord of hosts.”
Remember that the vessel of gold and silver are true believers. There are many that SAY they are Christians, but do not bear the fruit of being Christlike, which is what the word Christian means.
Here is what Job has to say about the last days. Please read Job 5:19-24 which speaks of the great tribulation period. Here is verse 24,
“And you shall know that your tabernacle shall be in PEACE and you shall visit your habitation, and you shall NOT SIN.”
For a deeper understanding of walking in greater power and living your life free from sin please read the studies entitled “HOW TO LIVE YOUR LIFE FREE FROM SIN” and “THE POWER AND AUTHORITY OF THE BELIEVER” and “HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE GREAT TRIBULATION”.
May the Lord bless you as you grow in the knowledge of the truth.
Yours in Christ Jesus forever,