The two witnesses of Revelation 11
Much confusion exists on the topic of the Two Witnesses of Revelation 11 today. Most of the church teaches that the two witnesses will be two physical human beings, maybe even old men with long and gray beards, that will literally preach in the streets of Jerusalem for a literal 3 1/2 year period at the end of the age during the time of the Great Tribulation.
What we’ve learned so far in the previous articles regarding Bible prophecies, is that the historic interpretation of Bible prophecies, which is also called Historicism, fits the glove perfectly and can be proven by history and documented proof, whereas other interpretations of Bible prophecy fail to meet all the criteria, as discussed in the article Introduction to Bible prophecy.
Firstly, it is necessary to recap what you have learned so far so that the message comes over clear. Without duplicating what has been written in the Introduction to Bible prophecy and other articles, I will just highlight the most relevant information for you as we continue to discuss this very interesting subject.
Note: The act of measuring is to see if the temple of God and the altar and them that worship therein measures up. Previously, we saw a numbering occur, here we have a measuring. In the New Testament, we are the temple of God; “You are the temple of God” 1 Cor 3:16
Note: The message of salvation through Christ is typified in the sanctuary of old, in the temple of God. Likewise, everything found in the sanctuary is pointing to Christ; the door where you came in is pointing to Jesus the door to salvation, the burnt offering is a representation of the cross at Calvary and the lamb is a representation of Jesus’ death of atonement. The same types can be found in the first chamber in the temple, such as Jesus the light of the world, Jesus the bread from heaven, Jesus is the incense that makes us acceptable to God through His merit. In the final chamber, He is the lawgiver and He shields us from the condemnation of the law through His mercy.
To paraphrase the above text if we may; some gentiles will trample underfoot the law and message of salvation through Christ for a period of 42 prophetical months. We have already dealt with the interpretations of prophetical timelines in other articles and we know that 3 1/2 prophetical years is 1260 literal years, that 1260 prophetical days is 1260 literal years and that 42 prophetical months is 1260 literal years, all pointing towards the same period of time from 538 AD until 1798.
We noticed in the article titled Attributes of the Little Horn power of Daniel 7, that the Antichrist is also said to reign for this same period, before it seemingly receives a deadly head wound. This deadly head wound was incurred in 1798 during the French Revolution when Pope Pius IX was dethroned. These two witnesses will therefore be active during this 1260 year period of Papal reign, which automatically excludes any human beings from the equation as no human is capable of fulfilling this prophecy over such a period of time.
Again we come across a prophetical time period, that of a thousand two hundred and threescore days. As mentioned just above, 1260 prophetical days is interpreted as 1260 literal years in Bible prophecy. This principle can be found in Numbers 14 where God commanded to set aside a day for each year that the Israelites spent in the desert, as well as other passages;
“After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.” Numbers 14:34
“For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel.” Ezekiel 4:5
“And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.” Ezekiel 4:6
This principal has been proven correct in the application of Bible prophecies, as can be witnessed in the 70 weeks prophecy of Daniel 9. In this prophecy, God is giving Israel 70 prophetical weeks since the command to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem until probation for the nation of Israel comes to an end. If we apply 490 literal years (70 weeks = 490 prophetical days = 490 literal years) from the date of 457 BC when the decree was given by king Artaxerxes in Ezra 7, then we arrive at a date of 34 AD, the same year when Stephen was stoned and the message of the gospel started to go out to the gentiles, as we can see in the book of Acts.
To summarize, the thousand two hundred and threescore days is therefore a literal 1260 year period which started in 538 AD and ended in 1798, exactly 1260 years. The instances of double reference in these verses towards the same period of time, first called 42 months and then 1260 days, is what we call Hebrew parallelism. This is done to confirm the period of time as it has some significance.
Other passages that refer to the same 1260 year period is:
“...a time, times and the dividing of time.” Daniel 7:25
“…a time, times and a half.” Daniel 12:7
“…Forty and two months.” Revelation 11:2
“…Twelve hundred and sixty days.” Revelation 11:3
“…Twelve hundred and sixty days.” Revelation 12:6
“...a time, times and a half.” Revelation 12:14
“…Forty and two months.” Revelation 13:5
More background on this period of time can be found in articles such as;
For those that have not yet read the preceding articles that exposes the Biblical Antichrist system; it is proven to be the Papal system, the Vatican, which reigned from 538 AD when, under the Justinian decree, the pope was declared Bishop of Rome and ruler of the church, under the protection of the Eastern Roman Empire. This titled had political as well as ecclesiastical authority and thus, church and state was joined under command of the pope.
For the next 1260 years, the saints of God suffered severe persecution under Roman rule and 150 million Christians lost their lives in brutal slaughterings of the innocent, the ones that refused to accept the papal system or the pope in the place of Christ. In 1798 under command of the French General Berthier Pope Pius VI was dethroned and the Papacy declared at an end and he later died in exile in Rome. With this incident the prophesied 42 months period came to an end.
In Bible prophecy, a beast is translated as a political entity and in Revelation 13 we read about this same political entity, namely the Vatican, that will receive what seems to be a mortal wound to the head, but will live. If this beast is said to die than it means that this system will lose its political powers, which happened in 1798, but this kingdom rose again as the prophecy said will happen. This occurred in 1929 when Vatican II was found and Mussolini granted the Papacy and the Vatican its political authority that it had during the dark ages – an thus this beast’s deadly head wound healed.
Before we continue, lets discuss the events that took place after 1798:
* 21 February 1798: Pope Pius VI is dethroned by Napoleon, his ring torn from his finger (his ring was the sign of his authority) and he died in exile. The beast / papacy received a mortal wound.
* December 1804: Pope Pius VII witnessed Napoleon crown himself emperor.
* May 30 1806: Napoleon reinstates Jewish religion
* 1808: Napoleon confiscated the Vatican states.
* 1848: Rome is attacked by Mazzini, Pope Pius IX is exiled and restored in 1850 but he lost the papal states to Napoleon.
Note: Under Napoleon, France played ruler over the religious world for a period of time.
Note: Did the Roman Catholic Church suppress the Word of God, the Bible and its pure teachings during this period of 1260 years of the dark ages? Yes it did. It was a mortal sin to even read the Bible during theses times and any person that challenged the Church of Rome on any point, was seen as a heretic which was a crime punishable by death.
The definition of heretic, from the Catholic records is: Anyone that decides for himself what he believes…
To identify these two witnesses that is seen standing before God, we first have to page to Zechariah 4;
Remember that the Bible must be its own interpreter and we can see here that Revelation 11 draws the symbolism of the candlestick and olive trees directly from Zechariah 4, which should then give us the interpretation.
According to Biblical definition, what are the two candlesticks and the two olive trees of Revelation 11? Zechariah 4 makes it very clear that it is the Word of God. The Two Witnesses then are the Word of God, the Old Testament and the New Testament, the Law and the Prophets.
The Word of God that preached with sackcloth, was the meaningful and honest preaching out of the Bible that where suppressed during the dark ages under the papal reign.
In this message of Zechariah 4, the angel of the Lord already made it very clear what the meaning is of the candlesticks and the olive trees and that meaning cannot be changed.
Note: The two anointed ones cannot be referring to two human beings, as we said before. The meaning of the two anointed ones must correlate with the message that we already have so it is most probably referring to the anointing of the Holy Spirit that accompanies the message contained within the Word of God. The Bible was inspired of the Holy Spirit, after all, and the Bible also says that one can only be saved or understand the gospel by the working of the Holy Spirit.
With the invention of the printing press Rome faced another challenge, that of eradicating the Word of God. The free distribution of Biblical literature made it difficult to keep control of the masses amidst the circulation of Biblical material so Rome reverted to organized destruction of all such efforts. But still, the fire from the Holy Spirit that fueled the Reformation through the Word of God could not be extinguished.
Note: Just the next chapter in Zechariah, he is seeing a flying roll. The scriptures where written on rolls of papyrus in ancient times so Zechariah is seeing the Word of God flying through the air, being distributed through the world.
Note: We read that this flying scroll will convict the sinner as a curse. The Word of God then, becomes a standard of measurement that will convict us of right and wrong.
Note: An ephah is a tool that was used for measuring, like in the picture below. Interesting to see is the same focus on measuring that is paralleled between Revelation 11 and Zechariah 5. In Zechariah, the ephah is used as the standard for measurement – obviously the standard for measuring what is right and wrong throughout the earth.
The talent of lead is the heavy lid that was lifted up to look what was inside the ephah. Inside this ephah was found a woman and the angel’s remark were This is wickedness. In Bible prophecy a woman represents a church, just like a bride represents the bride of Christ; but this woman is wickedness and therefore contradicting to the flying scroll that Zechariah just saw. This is a church then, that goes against the Word of God.
In this prophecy the woman is revealed for just a short time and then the lid was put back on. So this wicked church will be revealed for a period of time and then the revelation of who she is will be hidden again. Did the Reformation point out that there is a church that goes against the Word of God? Yes, the Roman Catholic Church was revealed and also only for a short while and then the lid that revealed her was closed again.
Today, all the Reformed churches have publicly apologized for calling the Papal See the Antichrist and all of them have denounced that idea in totality. All Reformed churches today, with only a few exceptions, teaches futurism instead of historicism, so the revelation of this wicked woman has been sealed once again.
Note: A bird is a type of the Holy Spirit, just like oil is a type of the anointing of the Holy Spirit. In this vision, two women is seen and they had wings like a stork. A stork is an unclean bird, therefore these two church groups (two women) will carry an unclean spirit (stork) with them to bring about another standard (ephah) on this earth that is not of God.
And they will build an house (residence in a spiritual sense) in the land of Shinar, which is Babylon. A Babylonian system of worship will be reborn on this earth with a church system which is in the world today, being the driving force behind it all. Can this possibly be an ecumenical movement lead by Rome? In Revelation, these two church powers is called the Dragon and the False Prophet but more about that in another article.
Back to Revelation 11
Note: Does the Word of God have the power to devour its enemies, to let it not rain, to turn water into blood and to unleash plagues on this earth? Yes it does, and it did also happen likewise.
In the days of Elijah the prophet, he prayed and it did not rain for a prophesied 3 1/2 years.
In the days of Moses God turned water into blood and unleashed plagues on the land of Egypt.
Interesting to note is that Elijah is a representation of the office of prophet and Moses again represents the Law of God.
The reference to Moses and Elijah in the verses of Revelation 11 is yet another representation of the Law and the Prophets, the Word of God, the Two Witnesses of God that withstood persecution in troubled times, hence the sackcloth that they are wearing.
No amount of violence or persecution could stop the Word of God from surviving the troubled times of the middle ages. We have documented and historical proof that the Bible has survived all the onslaughts of Rome through centuries of war and deception and that it is indeed the Two Witnesses.
The verse above is a great one to round off the study of the Biblical Two Witnesses. The Word of God, the Old and New Testament is sufficient to testify of our Lord Jesus Christ for they are The Two Witnesses. Jesus Christ Himself is said to be the Word of God:
Jesus Christ is the Word of God and His Word is the perfect testimony of Himself and witness of His words and deeds. It is a perfect witness of who He is and what He has done for us!
Shortly after the Reformation though, Rome introduced a new version of the Bible when it saw that the continuation of Bible distribution was eminent, which we know today as the Doughy Bible, the first ever Jesuit Bible. Through the Textus Receptus manuscripts, we can confirm though, that the earlier versions of the Bible was infallible, like the Kings James Bible for instance. Later versions of the Bible try to distort the deity of Christ, amongst other things, but more about that in another article.