Revelation 11:3-4 begins to tells us that God has two witnesses that will prophesy in the end time. Scripture says:
3 And I will appoint my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.” 4 They are “the two olive trees” and the two lampstands, and “they stand before the Lord of the earth.”
So this begs the question, who are the two olive trees and the two lampstands? I believe we are given a clue to who the lampstands are in Revelation 1:20
20 The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
So we see here that a lamp stand can represent the church. It should be pointed out that the lamp stand was an integral part of the Tabernacle and later the Temple under the Old Testament. Exodus 25 describes the making of the lamp stand. It is what is called a menorah with three lamps on one side and three on the other and a seventh in the middle. The example shown below is reconstruction by the temple institute.
According to the description in Exodus 27:20 the fuel for the lamps was pure olive oil of pressed olives. Now isn’t it true that the church is meant to show forth the light of Christ to show the way to Salvation in Him?
So what about the olive tree? Is there any reference in scripture that can possibly explain who the olive represents? Jeremiah 11:16 says:
The LORD called your name, Green Olive Tree, Lovely and of Good Fruit.
The Lord is speaking of how the nation of Israel has fallen away from God’s covenant. God calls Israel an Olive Tree in his exhortation to the nation.
Paul makes a comparison to the Gentiles being grafted into Israel’s promise when he wrote in Romans 11:16
16 For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree,
So then I think we have established clearly that the olive trees represent Israel. In fact the olive oil was also important in the making of a special Holy anointing oil as described in Exodus 30:22-33.
There is one more scriptural reference that puts the olive trees and lamp stands together. It is Zechariah’s vistion. In the vision we see a golden lampstand with seven lamps and two olive trees. The olive trees drip oil into a bowl that then sends the oil through pipes to feed the lamps. Zechariah asks what this was and the reply was:
14 So he said, “These are the two anointed ones, who stand beside the Lord of the whole earth.” (Zech. 11:14)
Can we begin to see what the Lord was showing Zechariah through the lamp stand and olive trees? Isn’t this similar to what the Lord showed John? Do we not have Israel and the Church as a witness to the world of God’s plan of Salvation through Christ? Wasn’t the law given to Moses so that men may know their sins against God? And Christ sent to redeem men from their sins? So then the Two Witnesses in Revelation must be Israel and the Church. But even more disctintly, the Law and Grace. God’s witness to the world of their need for Salvation and through Grace, God supplied his Son Jesus Christ as the final sin offering.