THE TWO WITNESSES
May 24, 2009
There are two primary viewpoints as to the identity of these two individuals who will act as God’s final witnesses at the conclusion of the Tribulation Period.
(1) Moses and Elijah are seen as the most probable people that God has chosen for this purpose due to power to turn water into blood (Moses, Exodus 7), and their power to destroy people with fire ( Elijah, II Kings 1). Another fact to give strength to this argument is that Moses and Elijah
appeared with Jesus at the Transfiguration ( Matthew 17). One more item that gives credence to this theory is that the Jewish nation expects both Moses and Elijah to come back some day ( Moses Deuteronomy 18), and (Elijah Malachi 4).
(2) Some say Enoch and Elijah will be the two witnesses for the following reasons. Both Enoch and Elijah did not see natural deaths while on earth ( Elijah II Kings 2), and ( Enoch Genesis 5). Those who hold this view use Hebrews 9:27 where God indicates all men must die once. However, this is somewhat of a weak argument considering the fact that we have recorded in the Bible people like Lazarus, Dorcas, and the daughter of the synagogue ruler and others that were raised from the dead and obviously died later again.
I would like to purpose another viewpoint that could be a possibility. There are several Bible verses that when tied together make a pretty good argument for a different set of witnesses. This argument or point of view is not dogmatic nor is it presented as doctrine, only a personal interpretation of scripture.
QUESTION? Why are there two witnesses and not just one?
Revelation 11:4; Zechariah 4:11-14 The two olive trees are representative of two Jewish prophets or preachers. The candlestick in Zechariah 4:2 represents the nation of Israel while the candlestick in Revelation 1:12-13, 20 represent the church of Jesus Christ. Both John and Zechariah receive the same answer regarding their question as to “what are the two olive trees”. The answer was that “these are the two anointed ones that strand by the Lord of the whole earth.”
I believe that God has these two witnesses preaching with one representing Israel and the other represents the Bride of Christ. These two groups of people define God’s purpose for all time.
As for the identity of the two witnesses, I believe Elijah will represent Israel because of the miracles that he performed fit perfectly into Revelation 11 and the Bible promising his return in (Malachi 4) before the “great and terrible day of the Lord.” As for the witness that will represent the Church of Christ I believe it will be the Apostle John and here is why.
While on earth, the bible makes it very clear that Jesus had an inner circle of friends, (Peter,James, and John), and within that circle there is little doubt that John was Jesus best friend on earth. Consider the following truths, (no scripture reference): John was the youngest Apostle. John witnessed Jairus’ daughter being raised from the dead. He witnessed the transfiguration of Christ and saw Elijah and Moses. He witnessed the agony of Jesus in the garden. Only he and Peter made preparation for the last supper. He had the prominent position at the table when eating with Jesus. He was so close to Jesus that he rested his head on Jesus chest. He was known as the “disciple that Jesus loved”. He followed Jesus to His trial. He was the only Apostle that stayed at the cross with Jesus. He was the one that Jesus intrusted His mother with. John was the first to believe in Jesus resurrection. He was a pillar in the church after the ascension of Christ. History tells us that he was the only Apostle not martyred.
Now look at these scriptures and compare them together with what we know to be true:
Mark 10:35-40; John 18:10-11; Acts 12:1-2 The promise of “the cup” that James and John.
Revelation 11:3-5; Luke 9:54 The ability to use “fire from heaven.”
Revelation 10:1-2, 8-11; 11:7-9 John is the person being addressed in this portion of scripture and is very old. History tells us that he later ended up in Ephesus as pastor until his death.