The Two Witnesses

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.

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5 Responses to The Two Witnesses

  1. ian vincent says:

    Bro, Would you continue this by elaborating on the rest of the chapter : how they curse the earth, and then are killed, and then raised up again, and then caught up?

    There’s so much detail given there:

    Rev 11:9 And they of the people and tribes and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and a half, and ***shall not allow their dead bodies to be put in graves.***

    It’s good they don’t bury them, cos 3 1/2 days later they come back to life.

  2. Al says:

    Hey Ian, how are you brother? There certainly is a lot more to the story. First of all I wanted to define a few things like the two witnesses. I’ll be defining a couple more things, and then fill in some more details of what I’ve learned about the last seven years. There are some things that are still a mystery to me, and I’ll point them out if the Lord hasn’t taught me what those things mean.

  3. fleebabylon says:

    Brothers, I am wondering how your views of revelation were formed. Any particular teachers? I have been looking at the Geneva Bible commentary on revelation lately. This is an area I don’t have a lot of light on.

    In Christ -Jim

  4. Al says:

    Hey Jim! How were my views formed? It’s tough to remember every internet site or radio program. But mostly through studying the Bible, comparing scripture to scripture and asking the Lord. I remember back in the late ’90’s I used to listen to Irvin Baxter from End Time Ministries (Politics & Religion). It’s a daily radio show that always talks about what would happen in the end times and try to fit current events into his belief system. I ended up rejecting alot of what he taught because of his sensationalism and the fact that he was always pushing his books. One thing I did pick up from him was how Revelation can’t be understood by reading chronologically. That some of the events line up with each other. The book of Daniel is formatted in a similar way. His visions are each a retelling of the end times with western civilization in view. I’ll try to elaborate more as I go. Also here’s a site the I used to read heavily as well: http://the-tribulation-network.com/new_tribnet/tribnet_books4.html Basically I haven’t touched eschatology for about 3 or 4 years. But I think it’s time to take another look with fresh eyes, put what I’ve learned to the test and write about it for discussion. In short, I think the Lord brought me and the guys I studied with to various sources so we could talk about it, keep the good stuff and throw out the baloney.

  5. Al Nelson says:

    I was reading in Revelation 11 again today to make comments on another blog. But it struck me when I read verse 12. The witnesses of Christ, the whole host of those saved to everlasting life from beginning to end are being called up to the living Savour, Christ. It says “they ascended to heaven in a cloud”. I had frequently thought of people rising up into a cloud. But what I thought of this morning was not people rising into a cloud, but there being so many people from millenia gone by that it was a cloud of people all over the world rising to everlasting Glory.

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