This Is the Way Walk in It: The Two Witnesses and You

You are here

This Is the Way Walk in It

The Two Witnesses and You

Login or Create an Account

With a UCG.org account you will be able to save items to read and study later!

Sign In | Sign Up

×

Questions like who, what, where, when, why and how flood into our minds regarding these fascinating human instruments who will be used by God in a dynamic ministry to a spiritually darkened world. All the above-listed questions beg answers! Some elements may be fully understood, while others may not be comprehended until a future moment in God’s perfect time of revelation.

What can we know about these two individuals? What do they draw upon to sustain their lonely, but spiritually rewarding mission? Rather than focusing on their personal identities, let’s focus on why God has selected two witnesses and what will be offered to them in their moment of greatest need.

As we do, I think you will be encouraged to see how God is faithful to His unchangeable Word. A consistency of purpose and promises underlies God’s actions, whether He is dealing with the macroworld of end-time prophecies or our microworld of personal needs in 2008.

Stepping into the scriptural spotlight

The entrance of the two witnesses onto the world stage is found in Revelation 11. It is at the beginning of the Great Tribulation (the fifth seal of Revelation 6) that the biblical spotlight shines on these two individuals. They are also referred to as two olive trees and two lampstands (Revelation 11:4 Revelation 11:4These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
American King James Version×
), as well as two prophets (Revelation 11:10 Revelation 11:10And they that dwell on the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelled on the earth.
American King James Version×
). Their tasks are truly multidimensional. Just when you think you know their function, it moves into a different sphere. All elements honor the one true God!

It is a dangerous world they enter. They confront none other than the end-time character known as “the beast.” This final beast is the last in a long line of rulers down through the ages that confront the living God.

Their age-old evil portfolio of rebellion against God and persecution of His people stems from the time of Nebuchadnezzar the Chaldean of the sixth century B.C. Yes, the one who said, “Is not this great Babylon , that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?” (Daniel 4:30 Daniel 4:30The king spoke, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?
American King James Version×
).

The world marveled at this glistening city, but God saw something different, for He sees things as they truly are and “calls them as He sees them.” For after all, “not all that glitters is gold.”

God sees things as they are!

God looked deep down inside this man and saw the heart of a “beast.” Nebuchadnezzar could fool everyone but the Supreme Ruler of the universe. In effect, God said, “I’ll turn him inside out to show what’s really happening!” So God ordered, “Let his heart be changed from that of a man, let him be given the heart of a beast” (Daniel 4:16 Daniel 4:16Let his heart be changed from man’s, and let a beast’s heart be given to him; and let seven times pass over him.
American King James Version×
). The rest is history.

At the end of this age a greater Nebuchadnezzar will come on the world stage, and once again men will be mesmerized by his power and wealth and proclaim, “Who is like the beast?” (Revelation 13:4 Revelation 13:4And they worshipped the dragon which gave power to the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like to the beast? who is able to make war with him?
American King James Version×
).

It is at that time that two individuals will come onto the world stage and unmask this carnal villain and his system. You might say they are going to “rain on his parade.” In fact, they will hold up rain altogether to disrupt Satan’s pawn.

It is noteworthy that God compares the actions of the two witnesses with previous exploits of Moses and Elijah. The vivid description reads, “These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy [as did Elijah]; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire [as did Moses]” (Revelation 11:6 Revelation 11:6These 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.
American King James Version×
).

Just like Elijah, they are going to turn the tables on “the golden boy” of their day and define what is truly happening rather than being defined by evil.

Who is troubling whom?

Remember the sparring between King Ahab and Elijah? Ahab said to Elijah, “Is that you, O troubler of Israel?” But Elijah boldly answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the LORD and have followed the Baals” (1 Kings 18:17-18 1 Kings 18:17-18 17 And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said to him, Are you he that troubles Israel? 18 And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but you, and your father’s house, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and you have followed Baalim.
American King James Version×
).

But what is fascinating about the two witnesses is that not only will they warn this future evil ruler, but they also have power to protect themselves. “And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner” (Revelation 11:5 Revelation 11:5And if any man will hurt them, fire proceeds out of their mouth, and devours their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.
American King James Version×
).

But why two witnesses? Why not one? For a moment, let’s focus on the term “witness” and discover what kind of individual is being called upon. The word for witness in the Greek language is martus . In a judicial sense, it means “one called to give testimony in a court of law.”

These two future individuals are witnesses for the divine prosecution of God’s heavenly court. But what is the charge? The crimes committed by the Beast against the Kingdom of God are “blasphemy against God…His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven” (Revelation 13:6 Revelation 13:6And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
American King James Version×
).

But again, why two witnesses? Today, we live in an accusatory culture. Baseless accusations fly all over the place, and unfortunately, they sometimes stick! All the more reason we should note the startling contrast between how God exercises judgment and how humankind does. Let’s come to understand that these witnesses don’t bring a personal case; they bring God’s case against His earthly opponents.

How does God prosecute a case and come to judgment? Psalms 9:7-8 Psalms 9:7-8 7 But the LORD shall endure for ever: he has prepared his throne for judgment. 8 And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness.
American King James Version×
describes how God “has prepared His throne for judgment. He shall judge the world in righteousness, and He shall administer judgment for the peoples in uprightness.”

Verse 16 in the same chapter declares, “The LORD is known by the judgment He executes,” thus revealing God as just, fair and beyond challenge. Being “known by the judgment He executes” leads us back to the Old Testament to understand why there are two witnesses and not just one!

We discover a powerful reason back in Deuteronomy 17:6 Deuteronomy 17:6At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.
American King James Version×
. Here we discover how meticulous God’s laws are in passing judgment on others. Great care is given! These verses clearly state, “Whoever is deserving of death shall be put to death on the testimony of two or three witnesses; he shall not be put to death on the testimony of one witness.”

Again in Deuteronomy 19:15 Deuteronomy 19:15One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sins: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.
American King James Version×
, God decrees “by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established.”

Here in Revelation we are speaking of a complaint registered not simply against an individual, but an entire bestial system and, for that matter, the majority of humanity who delight in the demise of God’s servants (Revelation 11:10 Revelation 11:10And they that dwell on the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelled on the earth.
American King James Version×
).

Can we fully appreciate how their ministry to inform, warn and indict is a solemn occasion before divine judgment is executed in what Scripture calls “the Day of the Lord”? It is here we discover amazing consistency between the words of the Old Testament and those of the New Testament.

What is the source of their power?

But now let’s ask the big question: What empowers this godly “dream team” to function against incredible odds? Here before us are the last in a line of servants of Jesus Christ who, from the days of His ministry in Galilee, have been sent out “two by two” (Mark 6:7 Mark 6:7And he called to him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;
American King James Version×
).

What is the source of their abilities? It is perhaps understood by their other titles—two olive trees and two lampstands (Revelation 11:4 Revelation 11:4These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
American King James Version×
). These titles are spoken of in Zechariah 4, where an angel of God describes the interplay between a continuing supply of oil to fuel the lamps and the power of God. Zechariah is bewildered and asks, “What does this symbolize?” The angel responds, “Do you not know what these are?…These are the two anointed ones, who stand beside the Lord of the whole earth” (Zechariah 4:13-14 Zechariah 4:13-14 13 And he answered me and said, Know you 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.
American King James Version×
).

In ancient times, olive oil was used for anointing or ordaining God’s holy servants. It is symbolic of the presence and power of God—the Holy Spirit.

The two witnesses’ source of strength in incredible times does not lie within themselves! Embedded in this chapter is the key to their ability: “ ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6 Zechariah 4:6Then he answered and spoke to me, saying, This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, said the LORD of hosts.
American King James Version×
).

Anchored in this platform of humility, the two witnesses will personify Christ’s encouragement in John 12:35-36 John 12:35-36 35 Then Jesus said to them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness come on you: for he that walks in darkness knows not where he goes. 36 While you have light, believe in the light, that you may be the children of light. These things spoke Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.
American King James Version×
: “Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” Yes, they will be two lampstands, two sons of light, shining brightly in a gloomy future world.

Yet not even these witnesses can operate by their own devices. In such tumultuous times, they will need to remember the source of their abilities. They will face times that will ultimately lead to their martyrdom in the streets of Jerusalem before a global audience (Revelation 11:8-10 Revelation 11:8-10 8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. 9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. 10 And they that dwell on the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelled on the earth.
American King James Version×
), as the Beast marshals his earthly forces to “make war” on just two individuals (Revelation 11:7 Revelation 11:7And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
American King James Version×
).

Standing on the promises of God

Staying connected to the divine source of their power, they can be assured of the comforting reality of Christ’s words regarding that same Spirit. It will “bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John 14:26 John 14:26But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you.
American King James Version×
). For example: “Do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say. For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say” (Luke 12:11-12 Luke 12:11-12 11 And when they bring you to the synagogues, and to magistrates, and powers, take you no thought how or what thing you shall answer, or what you shall say: 12 For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what you ought to say.
American King James Version×
). And, “ ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say, ‘The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:5-6 Hebrews 13:5-6 5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have: for he has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you. 6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do to me.
American King James Version×
). Also, “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20 Matthew 28:20Teaching them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you: and, see, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. Amen.
American King James Version×
).

Remembering such promises and standing on such reality will allow the two witnesses to stand before the Beast and speak God’s words. Oh yes, their knees may be shaking, but their hearts will be firm. They will be at peace, because it’s not about them. It’s all about God!

The same peace will be flowing in them that Jesus promised in John 14:27 John 14:27Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you: not as the world gives, give I to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
American King James Version×
: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

God has a future work for these two servants just as much as He has personally called you to honor Him in this current troubled age of man. His desire—that His light will shine forth from His chosen vessels—never changes. It is not easy, but one constant does remain.

God’s prescription for justice, judgments and promises remains the same. He is no respecter of persons or times. The God who declared to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3:14 Exodus 3:14And God said to Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shall you say to the children of Israel, I AM has sent me to you.
American King James Version×
) and refreshes our memory in Hebrews 13:8 Hebrews 13:8Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
American King James Version×
that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” stands by His Word and His promises. He will stand by you in your times of personal challenge.

It is the words of Zechariah the prophet that grant us guidance in the godly admonition of “this is the way, walk in it” (Isaiah 30:21 Isaiah 30:21And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way, walk you in it, when you turn to the right hand, and when you turn to the left.
American King James Version×
). God’s words, whether they be for the two witnesses or you, remain the same: “ ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts.”

You might also be interested in...