The Two Witnesses
Revelation 11: 1-14, Zechariah 4
1. Political Awareness
The peoples of this world are becoming increasingly aware of political,
legal and spiritual issues. Issues involving democracy, freedom of
choice, human rights, legal rights, the power of the media, privacy
etc. are now well discussed, even amongst the hitherto illiterate
masses in the most backward nations. People have also woken up to the
enormous greed, corruption and violence that is sweeping the
globe. Ignorance had been the norm for millennia; but now there is a
great awareness of what's going on: an awareness largely due to the
abundance of evidence provided via the media by eye-witnesses.
Never a day passes but we read, hear and even see pictures of events
taking place all over the world. Eye-witness reports from
remote places are broadcast to audiences in all countries. Yes, eye-
witness reports are invaluable as any news reporter or solicitor
will tell you.
2. Two Witnesses
In the legal profession the presence of one witness to a crime
or transaction is considered good evidence: but the presence of
two witnesses is conclusive. On the evidence of two witnesses,
people have been put to death. Most adults know that important legal
documents need the signatures
of at least two witnesses.
All these transactions call for at least two witnesses to be
present. In spiritual matters it is the same. Witnesses are called
for before truth can be established. In Revelation chapter 11 verses
1-13 we read about Two Witnesses who are scheduled by God to
testify for 42 months to earth's teeming millions about His
Truth. Questions concerning them are numerous:
- Marriage Certificates
- Title Deeds to land and property
- Business Contracts
- Powers of Attorney
- Peace Treaties etc.
Answers to these questions, depending on which Christian group's
literature you read, are varied to say the least; but I will not
list them all. Instead I will begin by quoting the Bible passage
which tells of the Two Witnesses and then, after a brief analysis,
answer the three questions above.
- When do they appear on the world scene?
- Who are the Two Witnesses?
- What do they witness to and what is their message?
||1: “And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.|
2: But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.
3: And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
4: These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
5: And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.
6: These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.”
3. When Do The Two Witnesses Appear?
The answer to this first question is: The Two Witnesses make
their appearance on the world scene during the 6th Trumpet (2nd Woe)
which occurs towards the latter part of the Seventh Seal. In
other words, the Seventh Seal is subdivided into seven stages and
the 6th Trumpet is the 6th stage. See the
The Seal & Trumpet Chart
to get your bearings concerning the Seven Seals and the
Seven Trumpets which all occur during the Seventh Seal.
The record concerning the 6th Trumpet begins at (Revelation 9:13)
and continues all the way through to (Revelation 11: 14). During
this 6th Trumpet (also known as the 2nd Woe) ONE THIRD OF MANKIND
are slain! (Revelation 9:15-18) This great multitude, some
2,000,000,000 people, is about twice the population
of China! Pause awhile and consider that staggering fact.
Very briefly these are the events leading up to the 6th Trumpet,
the 2nd Woe, when this unimaginable slaughter of a third
of mankind will occur.
Sixth Seal (Revelation 6: 12-17)
There is a global earthquake and spectacular signs in the sun,
moon and stars. Blind panic grips earth's inhabitants, who run
to the rocks and mountains seeking shelter from the wrath of
the Almighty and His Son Yeshua the Messiah. (Jesus Christ)
Events under this Seal have obviously not yet occurred. After the
6th Seal occurs, the 144,000
servants of the Most High are sealed in their foreheads with Yahweh's
Name. (Revelation 7) This sealing work is also still future. It
has not occurred. When it does occur, sealed believers will no longer
need spiritual instruction as to how to live: because they will
instinctively know right from wrong. (Hebrews 8: 8-13)
Seventh Seal (Revelation 8 to Revelation 20)
The Seventh Seal begins AFTER the 144,000 are sealed.
The Seventh Seal is subdivided into 7 Trumpets, the last 3
of which are called WOES.
See Understand the Revelation
for a description of the first four trumpets.
From the foregoing you will see that the Two Witnesses appear
on the world scene at the 6th Trumpet, (the 2nd Woe) which
occurs towards the latter part of the Seventh Seal, when a
third of the human race is perishing! This means that in
(2012) their coming is still future. The above points
are explained further in our online booklet entitled
Understand the Revelation.
- 1st Trumpet
- 2nd Trumpet
- 3rd Trumpet
- 4th Trumpet
- 5th Trumpet (1st WOE) (Rev.9:1-12)
- During this Woe the following events will occur:
- The Abyss will be opened and the Beast (the Man of Sin) will be released.
Leading an army of evil angels he will torture mankind for 5 months:
that is, all except those who were sealed with Yahweh's Name (His character
as expressed in His law) before the events under the Seventh Seal
- 6th Trumpet (2nd WOE) (Rev.9:13 - Rev.11:14)
- During this Woe, which lasts 3.5 years, these events will occur:
- One third of mankind will be slain.
- The seven thunders sound. (Rev.10:3-6)
- The Two Witnesses begin their 42 month testimony.
- They have the power to cause a 3.5 year drought and to plague mankind at will.
- After testifying for 3.5 years they are killed by the Beast who arose
from the Abyss at the 1st Woe. After 3.5 days the Two Witnesses are
raised to life, much to the astonishment and terror of earth's population.
- Their resurrection marks the end of the 2nd Woe.
- 7th Trumpet (3rd WOE) (Rev:11:14 - Rev.19:21)
- During this Woe, which also lasts 3.5 years, the following events will occur:
- The woman of Revelation 12 will be protected in the wilderness for
this period of 1260 days, which is 3.5 years. (Rev.12:6) See the tract
entitled The Coming Exodus.
- The Beast will cause the world's inhabitants to receive his
Mark; without which no one will be able to buy or sell.
- The seven last plagues devastate the earth. (Rev.16)
- Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots, is overthrown and the
economies of all nations collapse. (Rev.17 & 18)
- Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) returns to earth at the end of this Woe. (Rev.19)
4. Who are the Two Witnesses?
To identify the Two Witnesses we will look closely at several
scriptural clues; the first three of which are the most important
because they specifically tell us who the Two Witnesses are.
Notice that the Two Witnesses are specifically referred to as
‘two olive trees,’ ‘two anointed ones,’
who ‘stand in the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.’
- The first clue describes the Two Witnesses in symbolic terms as ‘Two Olive Trees.’ (Revelation 11: 4, Zechariah 4: 3-11)
- The second clue tells us that ‘They stand in the presence of the God of the whole earth.’ (Revelation 11: 4, Zechariah 4: 14)
- The third clue refers to them as the ‘Two Anointed Ones.’ These three clues are found in this
||11: “Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof?|
12: And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves?
13: And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.
14: Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the LORD of the whole earth.”
- They prophesy for a period of 42 months or 1260 days
during the 2nd Woe. (Revelation 11: 2-3)
- Any attempt by man to hurt them results in immediate death. (Revelation 11:5)
- They are eventually killed by the
Beast, the Antichrist
who is to rise from the
The bodies of the Two Wintnesses are then exhibited in the
city of Jerusalem, where our Lord was crucified.
- After three and a half days they are resurrected and
ascend to heaven in full view of their enemies.
The first three clues identify who and where the Two Witnesses are.
The other four tell us what they do and what happens to them.
From these clues I do believe that the Two Witnesses are not:
This means that these great men of God were not standing in Yahweh's
presence when Zechariah's prophecy was given. They were in their
graves awaiting the resurrection. John the Baptist wasn't even born
at the time. Moreover they will most certainly not be raised to life
only to die a ‘second death.’ Scripture tells us
that the ‘second death’ is the ‘lake of
fire.’ (Revelation 20: 14) and that it is appointed unto
men ‘once to die.’ (Hebrews 9: 27) This means that
Moses who died in the land of Moab (Deuteronomy 34: 5) couldn't
possibly die again as one of the Two Witnesses.
- The Old & New Testaments. The Scriptures have testified about
the Almighty for thousands of years, not just 42 months. Besides, the
Scriptures abide forever (Isa.40:8) and attempting to hurt them, by
whatever means, has never resulted in instant death.
- The Holy Spirit. As with the Scriptures, the testimony of the Holy
Spirit has continued for a lot longer than 42 months. Besides, the
Antichrist could hardly kill the Holy Spirit! Nor can the Holy Spirit's
"body" be on mocking display as Rev.11: 9-10 pictures.
- Two Men (i.e. Enoch, Noah, Moses, Elijah, Daniel, John the Baptist etc.)
At death, these men of God did not go directly to heaven to stand in Yahweh's
presence. They were buried. The Saviour confirmed this when he said to Nicodemus:
||13: “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.”
5. Two Archangels
Who, then, are the Two Witnesses?
The answer is: The Two Witnesses are the two anointed archangels
who stand in Yahweh’s presence. They are the highest ranking
angels in the universe and were represented by the two cherubim
standing on either side of the ark of the covenant. Proof of this
amazing fact now follows:
||18: “And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat.|
19: And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof.
20: And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be.
21: And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee.
22: And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.”
Many years later, when king Solomon built his famous Temple, which the
Almighty graced with His sacred presence, these two cherubim were
depicted as follows:
Clue 1 ... Two Olive Trees
|1 Kings 6:
||23: “And within the oracle he made two cherubims of OLIVE TREE, each ten cubits high.|
24: And five cubits was the one wing of the cherub, and five cubits the other wing of the cherub: from the uttermost part of the one wing unto the uttermost part of the other were ten cubits.
25: And the other cherub was ten cubits: both the cherubims were of one measure and one size.
26: The height of the one cherub was ten cubits, and so was it of the other cherub.
27: And he set the cherubims within the inner house: and they stretched forth the wings of the cherubims, so that the wing of the one touched the one wall, and the wing of the other cherub touched the other wall; and their wings touched one another in the midst of the house.
28: And he overlaid the cherubims with gold.”
Did you notice their construction? The two cherubim were carved out of
Two Olive Trees.
This is exactly the figurative term - Olive Trees - used in
(Revelation 11:4) and (Zechariah 4:3) to describe the Two Witnesses.
The inevitable conclusion must be, that the Two Witnesses,
who are also referred to as Two Olive Trees, must be the two
archangels represented by the cherubim made of Olive Trees
on either side of the ark of the covenant. Other texts
concerning them are found in (Exodus 37:6-9, Psalm 80:1, 99:1, Isaiah 37:16,
Clue 2 ... They Stand in Yahweh’s Presence
One has only to consider the construction of the ark of the covenant to
realize how true this is of these two archangels. They ‘stand
in the very presence of God’ on either side of the mercy seat.
The Most High literally communed with the children of Israel from between
the two cherubim.
They stand in the very presence of the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel!
Clue 3 ... Two Anointed Ones
The Two Witnesses are also called the two
‘anointed ones:’ because on
and through them the Holy Spirit (symbolized by the olive oil)
flows. Are archangels (cherubs) anointed? The answer is, yes cherubs
are especially anointed to do their work. See section 6
concerning the anointed cherub Lucifer.
Clues 4 & 5 ... Do Angels Prophesy?
Yes, angels have prophesied on many occasions. Angels are
ministering spirits sent by the Almighty to prophesy, warn,
comfort, rescue, feed and punish mankind. At the Saviour's birth
the angels of heaven visited earth and even sang anthems of praise
to common shepherds. (Luke 3:8-14) The scriptures abound with evidence
of angels visiting mankind with special messages from the Almighty.
Here are a few texts to prove this point.
||TWO angels were sent to SODOM to rescue Lot and his family before that city was destroyed.
||An angel commissioned Gideon to rescue and judge Israel.
||An angel visited Samson's parents and told them they were going to bear a son who would judge Israel.
|Daniel 3: 28:
||An angel preserved Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego in the fiery furnace.
|Daniel 6: 22:
||An angel protected Daniel in the lions' den.
|Acts 5: 19:
||An angel rescued Peter from prison.
|Acts 12: 8:
||An angel rescued Paul from prison.
|Revelation 1: 1:
||An angel delivered the prophecy of the Revelation to the Apostle John.
There are, of course, many other examples of when angels visited
mankind; but the above will prove the point.
Why are the Two Witnesses sent?
The Two Witnesses are sent to earth to accomplish the following:
- To witness first hand the full extent of mankind’s sin.
Yahweh, the just and righteous judge, could hardly permit the
destruction of a third of the human race without first
giving His highest ranking angels a chance to see for themselves
the full extent of man's unbelief and sin.
- To expose
world-wide deception as he poses as Jesus Christ: and to do so with
the awesome miracles listed in (Revelation 11:5-6). After all, if evil
archangels like Lucifer and Abaddon are allowed to reveal
themselves and deceive mankind, would it not be fair to allow holy
archangels to be seen?
- To warn the human race of the coming Judgment.
- To rescue believers from this corrupt system, just as they
rescued Lot and his family from Sodom.
The City of Sodom
In the last days of Sodom, the Almighty visited earth with two angels,
who were then commissioned to enter Sodom and verify the reports which
were reaching the throne of God. On entering Sodom these two angels
witnessed first hand the shameful
homosexual behaviour of
the men of that city. They also entered Sodom to rescue Lot and his
family. (Genesis 18 & 19) They were probably the same two archangels,
the anointed ones who travel the universe with the Almighty God;
the two cherubim who ‘stand in His presence.’
Long before Moses built the ark of the covenant, long before Solomon made two replicas of the cherubim out of two olive
trees, these two anointed archangels were with Yahweh, standing in His holy presence. Yes, the two
anointed cherubim are the only beings who fit the scriptural clues about the Two Witnesses.
Will we see the Two Witnesses?
Yes, the whole world will see the Two Witnesses. I also believe that they
will visit every continent on earth and warn both saint and sinner just as
they did in the last days of Sodom; before that sinful city was destroyed
by fire. They will preach to all mankind at a time when a third of the
human race is perishing. That is why they are clothed in sackcloth,
the ancient symbol of mourning. They present Yahweh's last offer of mercy to
mankind. He is holding out the Olive Branch! The olive branch,
as we all know, is the universally recognized symbol of mercy and
peace. In sending the Two Witnesses to earth the Almighty is offering
terms of peace to all humanity. It is His final offer. Failure to
accept mercy will result in death on an unimaginable scale. It is absolutely
impossible for me to exaggerate the importance of these facts. Let the reader
beware of ignoring them. For near to six thousand years the human race has
been allowed to go its way, to do its own thing, and the Most High has patiently
waited for His Day. That Day is about to begin. Are you preparing for it?
6. Lucifer, a Fallen Archangel
Long ago Lucifer (Satan) was also a covering cherub.
He ‘stood in Yahweh’s presence.’
He was an ‘anointed one,’ full of
beauty and radiant in splendour. He travelled the universe with
the Most High, relaying instructions to thousands of angels under
him. But Lucifer sinned. He grew proud and coveted the throne of
the Almighty. He began a rebellion which continues to this day.
So he was removed from office and his place was filled by another.
In the book of (Ezekiel) we read about Satan, (Lucifer) the anointed
cherub who once stood in the very presence of the Eternal God.
||11: “Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,|
12: Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.
13: Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.
14: Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
15: Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
16: By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
17: Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.
18: Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.
19: All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.”
The chapter portrays Lucifer in days gone by when, as an
anointed archangel, he stood in the very presence of the LORD; when
he walked amidst the stones of fire; when he was perfect in all
his ways. Yes, Lucifer was initially a spiritual ‘olive
branch’ through whom the holy oil flowed to lighten others.
Indeed he was called the ‘son of the morning!’
(Isaiah 14: 12) Perhaps Abaddon, the Antichrist was
another archangel who joined Satan in his rebellion, before he too
was cast out of God's presence. I say this because the Antichrist
who rises from the Bottomless Pit has the power to kill the
Two Witnesses: an act of which ordinary men are incapable.
“But,” you may ask, “Can an angel die?”
Aren't angels immortal beings?' See A Voice In The Wilderness - Canada
article entitled Immortality
for the answer to this question.
Nadab & Abihu
The story of Nadab and Abihu, the two eldest sons of
Aaron was a reflection of what took place in the Temple above.
(Leviticus 10: 1-7) These two anointed sons of Aaron abused
the great privilege granted them of ministering in the tabernacle.
In a way somewhat similar to Satan, they had been especially anointed
of God to stand in His presence and minister with their father Aaron
the High Priest. (Exodus 28: 41, 30: 30) But Nadab and Abihu
sinned and were slain. They were replaced by their two younger brothers
Eleazar and Ithamar. It is the same with Satan
and Abaddon. Both sinned grievously; and like Nadab and
Abihu are scheduled to be burned to death.
7. Holy Archangels
Only two holy archangels are mentioned in the Scriptures. They are
Gabriel & Michael.
They now stand in the presence of the Most High. Carefully note
Gabriel's words to Zacharias the father of John the Baptist.
||19: “And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.”
The archangel Gabriel has visited earth on several occasions.
He was sent to Daniel to explain the meaning of certain visions.
||16: “And I heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.”
The remainder of the chapter contains Gabriel's explanation of the
prophecy. Gabriel re-visited Daniel some 15 years later to give him
skill and understanding concerning the prophecy of the 70 weeks of
years. (Daniel 9: 20-27) Gabriel is seen again in New Testament times
when he visited Zacharias. (Luke 1:19) Later he visited Mary to tell
her of the birth of Jesus. (Luke 1: 26-37)
We can see from these visits that the archangel Gabriel is only
sent to earth to deliver the most important messages: those which concern
the coming of the Messiah. I assume from this fact that in earth's final
hour, when a third of mankind will die, the archangel Gabriel, the
‘olive tree,’ the one who ‘stands
in Yahweh’s presence,’ will again be sent to deliver
Yahweh's final offer of mercy and peace.
Who is the other Witness? Probably the archangel Michael
who when contending with the Devil over the body of Moses left
it for the Lord to rebuke Satan. (Jude 9) Gabriel
and Michael are the only holy angels named in Scripture.
Michael is NOT the Lord.
To summarize I believe the Two Witnesses of Revelation are not
the Word of the LORD, the Old and New Testaments, which have been with
mankind for centuries and ‘abide forever.’ Nor
are they the Holy Spirit, Who is not subject to death. Nor are they two
righteous men, past or
The Two Witnesses are two mighty archangels who stand in the
One is Gabriel and the other is Michael. They are the
‘Two Olive Trees’ pictured by Moses and
Solomon standing on either side of the ark of the testament,
which represents the very throne of God. The Two Witnesses will
appear on earth at the 6th Trumpet (2nd Woe) when a third of the
human race is scheduled to perish. As in the last days of Sodom,
they will visit this evil generation with Yahweh's final warning
and offer of salvation. They will proclaim the
Everlasting Gospel for
a period of 42 months after which, like their Master, they will be
murdered but will rise again after three and a half days. No other
conclusion fits all the scriptural clues concerning these holy beings.
The Two Witnesses preach the same message the prophets of old preached.
In a sentence it is:
“...Fear God, and keep his commandments:
for this is the whole duty of man.”
(Ecclesiastes 12: 13)
Indeed, this is the Everlasting Gospel; the call to have
faith in God, to accept His offer of salvation through His Son
Yeshua and to keep His commandments. The Two Witnesses will
preach the Everlasting Gospel with the added warning of the
coming Day of Judgment.
The plagues they bring down on mankind will vindicate the veracity
and authority of the truths they proclaim. Our reaction to their
message should be to have faith in Yeshua, the Lord Jesus Christ
and then demonstrate that faith by keeping the commandments of
the LORD God of Israel; especially His Sabbath command which commemorates
His creation. Anything short of faith and obedience
is courting disaster!
In the Son’s Name - For the Father’s glory.
Elder: Max W. Mader