July 31, 2018


October 20, 2009

I have frequently had the question put to me – who are the two witnesses? This is one question in which you will find a wide diversity of opinion in the answers received. But, for whatever it is worth, I will present my opinion in this series.

We know the two are to prophesy primarily for some 1260 days near the end of the tribulation period. I do believe this 1260 day period will begin some 75 days before Israel is attacked from the north and end about 45 days before the Second Advent of Christ.

I will begin the exposition with this verse, but it will be a while before I return to it and the rest of Chapter 11 in Revelation.

Revelation 11:3
And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

John the Baptist was a unique biblical personality. He was a transitional prophet between the Old and the New Testaments. He came speaking with the style and spirit of the great Old Testament prophet Elijah (Elias). Luke, in referring to John going before Jesus to prepare His way, said of John in Luke 1:17 – “And he shall go before him, in the spirit and power of Elias.” And yet, this man, who certainly fits the characteristics of Old Testament prophets much more so than those of the early church age, is the one who baptized the 12 disciples called out by Jesus to be the first New Testament church. The Book of Acts attests to their having all been baptized by John.

Acts 1:21,22
Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, [22] Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.

So God sent John as an instrument to prepare the men that Jesus called out for the first New Testament church, and to baptize its head, Jesus Christ.

John 1:6-8,33-34
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. [7] The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. [8] He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. [33] And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. [34] And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.

John was not Elijah reincarnated, but he did preach in the spirit of Elijah, who preached by the Spirit of God, and he did preach the same sort of message preached by Elijah, a message of repentance. He was asked in John 1:21 by priests and Levites if he was Elijah – “Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not?” And yet Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 17:11 that John was Elijah. John was the Elijah of believers. He was not the Elijah of unbelieving priests and Levites.

Matthew 17:11-13
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. [12] But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. [13] Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.

The Pharisees did not know him as the forerunner of the Messiah because they were spiritually desolate, having no spiritual ears to hear. The disciples did have spiritual ears, and they knew him as the Elijah who was to come.

Matthew 11:13-15
For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. [14] And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. [15] He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

John is the spiritual Elijah for all believers of the New Testament. Jesus is their promised Messiah. Israel is still waiting for its Messiah and its Elijah.

Malachi 4:5
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:

I warned you, it will be awhile before I get back to the two witnesses, but I must lay the groundwork to identify who and what they represent – More in Part 2.

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