The Two Witnesses of Revelation Eleven:
Who are They?
by Clifford Besson

    First of all why two witnesses?    

    Deuteronomy (Deu)_17:6  At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, he who is to die shall be put to death. At the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death. Deu_19:15  One 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 a matter be established. Mat_18:16  But if he doesn't listen, take one or two more with you, that at the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

    Now let us consider what the Scriptures say about the two witnesses?

    Revelation 11:1 (A translation from the Aramaic original) And a reed was given to me, like a rod; and the angel stood, saying, Arise, 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; because it is given to the Gentiles; and they will tread down the holy city forty and two months. 3 And I will give my two witnesses; and they will prophesy a thousand and two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. 4 These are the two olive-trees, and the two candlesticks which stand before the Lord of the earth. 5  And if any person will harm them, fire cometh out of their mouth, and consumeth their adversary; and if any one will harm them, thus must he be slain. 6  They have power to shut up heaven, so that the rain shall not fall in those days: and they have power over the waters, to turn them into blood; and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they please. 7  And when they shall have completed their testimony, the beast of prey that came up from the abyss, will make war upon them, and will overcome them. 8  And their dead bodies will be in the open street of that great city, which is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. 9  And they of the nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, will look upon their dead bodies, three days and a half; and will not suffer their dead bodies to be laid in the grave. 10  And they who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, and will be merry, and will send presents to one another; because those two prophets tormented them who dwell on the earth. 11  And after these three days and a half, the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet: and great fear fell on those who saw them. 12  And they heard a great voice from heaven, which said to them: Come up hither. And they ascended to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies saw them. 13  And in the same hour there was a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell: and the persons killed in the earthquake, were seven thousand names: and they who remained were afraid, and gave glory to God. 14  The second woe is passed: behold, the third woe cometh quickly. 15  And the seventh angel sounded; and there were voices and thunders, which said: The kingdom of the world hath become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah; and he will reign for ever and ever. 16  And the twenty and four Elders, who are before the throne of God, and who sit upon their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, 17  saying: We praise thee, O Lord God, Omnipotent, who art, and wast; because thou hast assumed thy great power, and hast reigned. 18  And the nations were angry; and thy anger is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged: and that thou shouldst give a reward to thy servants, the prophets, and the saints, and to them that fear thy name, the small and the great; and that thou shouldst destroy them who destroyed the earth. 19  And the temple of God in heaven was opened; and the ark of his covenant was seen in his temple: and there were lightnings, and thunders, and voices, and an earthquake, and great hail. (Dr. James Murdock, a translation from the Aramaic Peshito Syriac, published in 1851).

    Most Bibles indicate that there is also a reference to the two witnesses in the Old Testament, but as two anointed ones in the Book of Zechariah in chapter 4. Please see below:

    Zechariah 4:(1) The angel who talked with me came again, and wakened me, as a man who is wakened out of his sleep.(2) He said to me, “What do you see?” I said, “I have seen, and behold, a lamp stand all of gold, with its bowl on the top of it, and its seven lamps on it; there are seven pipes to each of the lamps, which are on the top of it; (3) and two olive trees by it, one on the right side of the bowl, and the other on the left side of it.” (4) I answered and spoke to the angel who talked with me, saying, “What are these, my lord?” (5) Then the angel who talked with me answered me, “Don’t you know what these are?” I said, “No, my lord.” (6) Then he answered and spoke to me, saying, “This is [Jēhʹ-wah]’s word to Zerubbabel, saying, ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says [Jēhʹ-wah] of Armies. (10) Indeed, who despises the day of small things? For these seven shall rejoice, and shall see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. These are [Jēhʹ-wah]’s eyes, which run back and forth through the whole earth.” (11) Then I asked him, “What are these two olive trees on the right side of the lamp stand and on the left side of it?” (12) I asked him the second time, “What are these two olive branches, which are beside the two golden spouts, that pour the golden oil out of themselves?” (13) He answered me, “Don’t you know what these are?” I said, “No, my lord.” (14) Then he said, “These are the two anointed ones who stand by the Lord of the whole earth.” (World English Bible (WEB))

    Now notice, first of all, does it say whether the two witnesses or two anointed ones will be men, boy, women, or girls or that they will both be men or women? No. So it could be that the witnesses could be one of each, like a married couple.
    Secondly, where does it say that they will be prophesying for a thousand and two hundred and sixty days (3.5 years), clothed in sackcloth? Look and see. It does not. It says they will be prophesying a thousand and two hundred and sixty days. In other words they will prophesy about what this number of days is all about or to what it could be referring.
    Thirdly, what does their dress indicate as to who they could be? It says they are just branches of two olive trees but as people they will be clothed in sackcloth, which could simply mean they will be poor looking people or of the poor in perhaps home made clothing of the poor.
    This suggests of (1) John the Baptist, who was used of God to prepare the way for the first coming of Jesus. Is this not the need of our day? For another person or people like John the Baptist to prepare the world for the second coming of Jesus.

    Matthew 3:1  And in those days came John the Baptizer. And he proclaimed in the desert of Judaea, 2  and said: Repent; the kingdom of heaven hath approached. 3  For this is he of whom it was said, by Isaiah the prophet: The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make smooth his paths. 4  And as to this John, his raiment was of camel's hair, and a girdle of skin was upon his loins; and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5  Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the country about the Jordan. 6  And they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, while they confessed their sins. 7  But when he saw many of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees, who came to be baptized, he said to them: Generation of vipers, who hath taught you to flee from the wrath that cometh? 8  Bring forth the fruits therefore, that accord with repentance. 9  And do not think, and say within yourselves, that Abraham is our father: for I say to you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children to Abraham. 10  And lo, the ax is put to the root of trees. Every tree, therefore, which beareth not good fruit, is felled, and falleth into the fire. 11  I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance; but he that cometh after me is more powerful than I; whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12  His winnowing shovel is in his hand; and he will make clean his threshing-floor. The wheat he will gather into his storehouse; and the chaff he will burn with fire not extinguished. (Murdock)

    Therefore we should look for someone like a John the Baptist. Another need of our day is that of knowing what is really the truth? Isa_59:14  “Justice is turned away backward, and righteousness stands far away; for truth has fallen in the street, and uprightness can’t enter.” We should therefore look for someone who specializes in searching out the truth on matters of importance and who is concerned about justice and righteousness. (2) Hosea was a man that fits this situation:

    Hosea 4:1  Hear [Jēhʹ-wah]’s word, you children of Israel; for [Jēhʹ-wah] has a charge against the inhabitants of the land: “Indeed there is no truth, nor goodness, nor knowledge of God in the land. 2  There is cursing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery; they break boundaries, and bloodshed causes bloodshed. 6  My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you, that you may be no priest to me. Because you have forgotten your God’s law, I will also forget your children. (WEB)

    Hosea was also one who could understand best the situation between God and Israel and Judah. To God, they were like prostitutes
    The world needs someone who will understand and point out to the Hebrew or Israelite people that God still loves them and wants them to return to him like he showed us in the Book of Hosea and with the life of Hosea.
    Hosea was asked to marry an ungodly woman who later left him. After, perhaps many years, she becomes destitute and realizes life would be much better with Hosea after all. So God reveals through Hosea that that is the way it shall be with Israel and Judah, whereby God reveals He was spiritually married to them. So Hosea or one with the spirit of Hosea or one that God asked or ordered to be like Hosea, would most likely understand God’s feelings and desires to be reconciled to Israel and Judah as Hosea’s need to be reconciled to his wife Gomer.

    Hosea 1:2  When [Jehʹ-wah] spoke at first by Hosea, [Jehʹ-wah] said to Hosea, “Go,take for yourself a wife of prostitution and children of unfaithfulness; for the land commits great adultery, forsaking [Jeh-wah].” Hos 1:3  So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim; and she conceived, and bore him a son. Hos 1:4  [Jehʹ-wah] said to him, “Call his name Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel on the house of Jehu, and will cause the kingdom of the house of Israel to cease. Hos 1:5  It will happen in that day that I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel.” Hos 1:6  She conceived again, and bore a daughter. Then he said to him, “Call her name Lo-Ruhamah; for I will no longer have mercy on the house of Israel, that I should in any way pardon them. Hos 1:7  But I will have mercy on the house of Judah, and will save them by [Jehʹ-wah] their God, and will not save them by bow, sword, battle, horses, or horsemen.” Hos 1:8  Now when she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, she conceived, and bore a son. Hos 1:9  He said, “Call his name Lo-Ammi; for you are not my people, and I will not be yours. Hos 1:10  Yet the number of the children of Israel will be as the sand of the sea, which can’t be measured or counted; and it will come to pass that, in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’ Hos 1:11  The children of Judah and the children of Israel will be gathered together, and they will appoint themselves one head, and will go up from the land; for great will be the day of Jezreel.
    Hos 2:7  She will follow after her lovers, but she won’t overtake them; and she will seek them, but won’t find them. Then she will say, ‘I will go and return to my first husband; for then was it better with me than now.’ Hos 2:13  I will visit on her the days of the Baals, to which she burned incense, when she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and went after her lovers, and forgot me,” says [Jehʹ-wah].
The Lord's Mercy on Israel
    Hos 2:14  “Therefore behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her. Hos 2:15  I will give her vineyards from there, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope; and she will respond there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt. Hos 2:16  It will be in that day,” says [Jehʹ-wah], “that you will call me ‘my husband,’ and no longer call me ‘my master.’ Hos 2:19  I will betroth you to me forever. Yes, I will betroth you to me in righteousness, in justice, in loving kindness, and in compassion. Hos 2:20  I will even betroth you to me in faithfulness; and you shall know [Jehʹ-wah]. Hos 2:23  I will sow her to me in the earth; and I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy; and I will tell those who were not my people, ‘You are my people;’ and they will say, ‘My God!’”
 Hosea Redeems His Wife
    Hos 3:1  [Jehʹ-wah] said to me, “Go again, love a woman loved by another, and an adulteress, even as [Jēhʹ-wah] loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods, and love cakes of raisins.” Hos 3:2  So I bought her for myself for fifteen pieces of silver and a homer and a half of barley. Hos 3:3  I said to her, “You shall stay with me many days. You shall not play the prostitute, and you shall not be with any other man. I will also be so toward you.” Hos 3:4  For the children of Israel shall live many days without king, and without prince, and without sacrifice, and without sacred stone, and without ephod or idols. Hos 3:5  Afterward the children of Israel shall return, and seek [Jēhʹ-wah] their God, and David their king, and shall come with trembling to [Jēhʹ-wah] and to his blessings in the last days. (WEB).

    Another person that would be desirable or needed in these last days is someone like (3) Joseph who was rejected and despised by his own brothers. But with God’s  help he overcame his troubles and loved his enemies.

    Gen_45:3  Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Does my father still live?” His brothers couldn’t answer him; for they were terrified at his presence. Gen_45:4  Joseph said to his brothers, “Come near to me, please.” They came near. “He said, I am Joseph, your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. Gen_45:9  Hurry, and go up to my father, and tell him, ‘This is what your son Joseph says, “God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me. Don’t wait.

    A similar person to Joseph was (4) John Mark, who had a dispute with the apostle Paul. At one point in their travelling together, Mark, apparently, felt he had to go back to his homeland, to Judea. Upon doing this he therefore had time to research and speak to Peter and other disciples about the gospel of Jesus the Messiah from a different point of view than that of Matthew, of Luke, and of John. It would be his perspective as an extra witness of the life and death of Jesus. But Mark was maligned as a quitter, when he was simply following the leadings of the Spirit of God to make his own Gospel of Mark. After, perhaps a dozen years or more, the Apostle Paul realized that Mark was a good faithful man after all, especially after he would have read his gospel account of Jesus.

    Act_15:36  After some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s return now and visit our brothers in every city in which we proclaimed the word of the Lord, to see how they are doing.”_15:37  Barnabas planned to take John, who was called Mark, with them also. 38  But Paul didn’t think that it was a good idea to take with them someone who had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia, and didn’t go with them to do the work. 39  Then the contention grew so sharp that they separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark with him, and sailed away to Cyprus, 40  but Paul chose Silas, and went out, being commended by the brothers to the grace of God. Col_4:10  Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, greets you, and Mark, the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you received commandments, “if he comes to you, receive him”), 2Ti_4:11  Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for service.

    Another temperament or spirit that would be needed by those two witnesses would be that of the patience of (6) Job. When terrible things started to go wrong for Job, even his best friends thought that he must have sinned badly to have so much misfortune happen to him. Later God vindicated Job and had Job pray for his foolish misled friends.

Job's Character and Wealth
    Job 1:1  There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job. That man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God, and turned away from evil.  Job 1:2  There were born to him seven sons and three daughters. Job 1:3  His possessions also were seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred female donkeys, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the children of the east.
The Lord Rebukes Job's Friends
    Job 42:7  It was so, that after [Jēhʹ-wah] had spoken these words to Job, [Jēhʹ-wah] said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is kindled against you, and against your two friends; for you have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job has.  Job 42:8  Now therefore, take to yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you, for I will accept him, that I not deal with you according to your folly. For you have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job has.”  Job 19:26  After my skin is destroyed, then in my flesh shall I see God,
    
    Some scholars believe that this last mentioned verse could mean that Job expects to see God in his flesh at the end of time, that is when Jesus returns again. If this is so, maybe he will be as one of the two witnesses or that his spirit or character will be in one or the other of the two witnesses.

    Another patient and loving man that we could use today was (7) Abraham. After many many years of trying to have a child that he was promised. He may have wondered what could he have been doing wrong to God and others, for he was at one point in his life, ninety-nine years old and his dear wife of ninety years of age, his wife of his youth, was still not bearing him a child.

    Genesis 17:17  Then Abraham fell on his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, “Will a child be born to him who is one hundred years old? Will Sarah, who is ninety years old, give birth?” 19  God said, “No, but Sarah, your wife, will bear you a son. You shall call his name Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him. Gen_21:3  Abraham called his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore to him, Isaac. Gen 20:17  Abraham prayed to God. God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his female servants, and they bore children. (WEB)

    So from a study of our times and of the Bible, we read above that there is a need for at least two people or witnesses to prove a point of necessity:
This could be, in a case like this, two people, preferably a male and female who have the above attributes and desires to know the truth and to point out the sin in Israel and in the Church. They need to know first hand, God’s point of view and man’s point of view of being victims of the sins of God’s Israeli people and of the gentile people. When God has these two people ready that have the traits and passions of the aforementioned Bible people, then we can expect to see them and shortly afterwards have a revival of world wide proportions.
    The above female or woman would be like the Gomer that married Hosea but who has now returned to be faithful to her man as God said He would be faithful to those who love him.
    When this man and woman couple will appear is not exactly known but the world situation appears to be in need for them to show up very shortly, like during the next several months, hopefully before the year of 2019 is over.

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