Two Witnesses

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In Christian eschatology, the Two Witnesses are two individuals, concepts or "corporate beings" described in chapter 11 of the Book of Revelation in the events leading up to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

"'And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.' These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth. 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. these have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire. When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into the graves. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth. Now after three-and-a-half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, 'Come up here.' And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them. In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven." (Revelation 11:3-13 - New King James Version)

Contents

Identity

Growing interest in the identity of the two witnesses of Revelation 11 and the timing of their appearance, has inspired Eschatological debate for centuries.[1] Are they two literal individuals or are they symbolic of a concept (e.g., the Old and New Testaments of the Bible[2]) or corporate entities which symbolize peoples? Are they here now[3] if they are personified - or are they yet future, as millenarian Hal Lindsey[4] claims they are - ready to appear on the apocalyptic scene, along with the Antichrist? Perhaps they represent the witnessing Church[5] since Jesus sent out his disciples "two by two".[6] On the other hand, could they be some form of reincarnation[7] of Moses and Elijah[8] because both of them were prophets; Moses[9] struck the waters of the Nile and they turned into blood; and Elijah[10] commanded the heavens that it rained not and did so for three-and-one-half years.[11] Indeed, the other witness may be Enoch[12] (i.e., Elijah and Enoch), because he, like Elijah "was taken"[13] (i.e., did not suffer physical death). They could simply be two Jewish prophets (as the Left Behind Series claims[14]) who in the period of the 70th Week of Daniel (yet future or partial[15] come in the power of Moses and Elijah and are representative of the law (Moses) and the prophets (Elijah)).[16] Indeed, some claim that the notion of a yet future 70th Week of Daniel is a Catholic (Jesuit) conspiracy[17] to take the heat off the papacy as the "seat of the antichrist system"[18] and to place the onus on a yet future and literal person who will be the incarnation of Satan himself[19] - who, as the beast will "make war against them, overcome them, and kill them"[20] -- hence, this prophecy of a future personification of "The Antichrist" is erroneous and has already been fulfilled[21] in history. To be certain - Roman Catholic eschatology affirms the coming of the Antichrist.[22]

Their description as "two olive trees and two lampstands"[23] is taken as symbolism and/or allegorical. This hermeneutical approach to the Bible is adjudged by some as "hyper-allegorical"[24] juxtaposed to a more "literal" interpretation; however, those who adhere to a Christian fundamentalist reading of the Bible (i.e., inerrancy) do not find common ground on the exposition of the identity of these Two Witnesses. Through commentary and exposition[25] the Two Witnesses could be considered as both symbolic and as literal (i.e., representative of peoples). Controversy over the symbolic, as well as literal interpretations of the Two Witnesses, as Israel[26] (the "two olive trees") and the Church (the "two lampstands") creates a great deal of eschatological debate[27] between strict Dispensationalists and Progressive Dispensationalists;[28] whereas such debate may be considered as non sequitur insofar as Preterists and Historicists[29] whose views of the Two Witnesses place them outside the chronological timeline (70 AD for Preterists)[30] or wholly in the realm of the symbolic - relegated to the Church only in any future unfolding of prophecy as seen by many Historicists.[31]

Views among those who adhere to a literal one-thousand years premillennial earthly kingdom (i.e., the millennium is yet future) complicate the Church's participation in the 70th Week of Daniel (i.e., yet future). The three dominant positions among these Premillenarians (be they evangelical,[32] Catholic[33] or Orthodox[34] Christians - and for that matter, among other Christian sects)[35] regarding the final 70th Week of Daniel insofar as the Church's participation concerns are: Pretribulational[36] (the Church will rapture[37] at the commencement of the 70th Week of Daniel),[38] whose commencement is normally announced by the infamous "Treaty of Hell and Death"[39] (i.e., the treaty or "defense pact" of the Antichrist with Israel);[40] Mid-Tribulational[41] or "Pre-Wrath"[42] (the Church will be raptured in the middle of Daniel's 70th Week - i.e., after approximately three-and-one-half years); and Post-Tribulational[28] (the Church will be raptured will take place at the end of the 70th Week of Daniel's prophecy[43] just prior to the "wrath of God"[44] or "wrath of the Lamb").[45] Some theologians believe that the two olive branches represent the peace on Earth that the witnesses try to bring to the sinful Earth, and the two lampstands represent the light for Christ that they shine for Christ.

Post-Tribulational icon Dr. Robert H. Gundry (Westmont College) states in his classic, The Church and the Tribulation,[46] especially in reference to Post-tribulationalism and the identity of the Two Witnesses - having both the Church and Israel throughout the 70th Week of Daniel's prophecy presents formidable eschatological challenges to wit:

“If the Church is to go through the tribulation, God will work simultaneously with two groups of covenant people, Israel and the Church. Millenarians of all varieties, including pretribulationists, should find the possibility of such simultaneous workings hard to deny . . . But it is not merely a matter of dealing with two groups at once. It is a matter of dealing simultaneously with, and through, two groups of redeemed people and witnesses. Will two diverse groups of saints, those who belong to the Church and those who belong to Israel coexist on earth and perhaps live according to different regulations? If so, will the tribulational Church be composed exclusively of Gentile believers? Will two distinct companies of witnesses preach the Gospel, maybe variations of it? Such questions arise quite naturally if we take the tribulation as transitional. But the mere existence of these questions does not preclude the possibility of the presence of the Church in the tribulation.” (The Church and the Tribulation, Robert H. Gundry, Zondervan Publishing House, 1973, p. 23).

What Gundry suggests is anathema to strict Dispensationalists[47] whose pre-tribulationalism demands a complete separation of the Church from Israel[48] and a primary commitment of the Almighty to Israel within the crucible of the 70th Week of Daniel--although Dispensationalists recognize a redemptive witness to the Gentiles through the evangelistic witness of the 144,000[49] Jewish evangelists. Those "saints"[50] evangelized through this preaching of the "gospel of the kingdom"[51] and who perish under the onslaught of the beast, constitute the tribulation saints[52] who "come out of great tribulation."[53]

Religious-political ramifications of Israel and the Church

Obvious collaboration between the "witnesses" is "eschatologically suggested" by those who espouse the two to be Israel and the Church--what form of cooperative witness seems crucial; especially with regards to the religious-political ramifications thereof. Naturally, evangelical support for the nation of Israel is viewed by a growing number of Israeli Jews, as well as diasporic Jews (especially Zionists), as beneficial to the survival of Israel and highly influential upon American foreign policy,[54] whether the imagery of the Two Witnesses is reflected in this Evangelical-Jewish Zionist alliance or not. Furthermore, if the book of Revelation is to be viewed as a cosmic courtroom wherein the "Great City" is on trial, and the "Judge of all the earth" is pending a conviction by calling forth witnesses to "testify" against Babylon the Great (i.e., "the Holy City" vs. the "Great City" or New Jerusalem vs. Babylon the Great)[55] - then "Biblical collaboration" at the mouth of "two witnesses"[56] prior to a conviction and ultimate sentence would be mandatory.

David Brog, former chief counsel and later chief of staff to Senator Arlen Specter, recently highlighted the current support for Israel, among evangelical Christians in his book Stand with Israel: Why Christians Support the Jewish State.[57] Brog's central thesis, both as a Jewish American and as the current Executive Director of the newly-formed Christians United for Israel, is unabashedly pro-Israel,[58] and affirms that evangelical support for Israel should be encouraged by American Jews, as well as provide a forum for evangelical Christians to express their views on Capitol Hill. He is at the helm in galvanizing support for this newly-founded Evangelical-Jewish lobbying organization[59] on behalf of Israel. Brog, who is Jewish-not a Christian, has an executive board for Christians United for Israel consisting of prominent evangelicals: Michael Little,[60] John Hagee,[61] Gary Bauer,[60] and George Morrison[60][62] — all evangelicals, and all actively engaged in pro-Israel activities — activities which include "A Night to Honor Israel"[63] held throughout North America, as well as recent involvement[64] in the annual AIPAC gathering in Washington, D.C.[65] (Jerry Falwell was also a member of the executive board of Christians United for Israel until his death.[66]) Such support for Israel is vehemently opposed by many on the left and right.

Christian Zionism – a phenomenon commenced in Great Britain[67] in support of the Jewish State and championed by many American evangelical leaders[68] throughout the past century, sees in Israel's rebirth the fulfillment of Bible prophecy[69] and the countdown to the Second Coming of Christ.[70] The proliferation of evangelical Christian organizations or Jewish organizations reaching out to one another with the common goal of supporting the survival of the nation of Israel in the U.S. and elsewhere includes: Bridges for Peace[71]; the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews[72]; the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem[73]; Operation Exodus[74]; Israel Awareness Day[75] (and their writings[76] attest as well). Likewise, but with less verbosity are those mainline Christian organizations[77] and some evangelical leaders[78] (along with their writings)[79] who oppose the current alliance between Jews and evangelicals in support of Israel and her policies.

Most evangelical churches and organizations in the USA in support of Israel are Premillenarian[80] in their Weltanschauung – with the majority being pretribulational;[81] hence, criticism on the part of many Jews that the main purpose of such support for Israel among evangelicals is self-interest and spurious at best,[82] and conversionary[83] at worst. Furthermore, some evangelicals propose that the current Evangelical-Jewish alliance in support of Israel will not last and is contrary to Bible prophecy.[84]

In addition to these suspicions from both Jews and evangelical Christians, there is religious-political angst expressed amongst co-religionists[85] (Jewish and Christian) who view this Jewish-Christian solidarity on behalf of Israel as a mixture of Church and State and ipso facto contrary to the American experiment;[86] especially, as it pertains to neocons both within[87] and without[88] the immediate US political administration, who some say are egging the alliance forward to suffice their own socio-political agenda and have little or no spiritual interest in the dynamic. They point out that theocons (in particular American Catholics),[89] who are allied with neocons (notwithstanding Jewish suspicions from time to time among the neocons)[90] are drawing American evangelicals, who affirm they are under "Biblical mandate" to "bless Israel",[76] into a religio-politico maelstrom[91] which, in the end, will politicize the American Church[92] and compromise her "spiritual mission" and put America into a "crusader" mindset[93] in defeating radical Islamists and hedonist secularism in America, rather than fulfilling the Great Commission of Jesus in the saving of souls for the coming premillenarian kingdom, not the Kingdom Now[94] Instead, Theocons are now about galvanizing Evangelicals and Catholics[95] in a great crusade against American hedonistic secularization and, interestingly enough, Israel is inadvertently caught up within that dynamic.

Exegetical considerations

In attempting to exegete Revelation 11 commentators who hold to a Premillenarian eschatology generally fall into three areas of interpretation in the identification of the Two Witnesses: (1) The Two Witnesses are individuals either manifested in some form of reincarnation; or “in the spirit” of Biblical prophets who once appeared in Bible history; or simply as two individuals newly arrived on the earth; (2) the Two Witnesses are corporate in nature (human) standing for the Church only or for Israel only; or both Israel and the Church; or for both Jewish and Gentiles believers in Jesus; and (3) the Two Witnesses express Biblical concepts (i.e., the Old and New Testaments; the Law and the Prophets; Mercy and Grace).

Their chronological order aside, the purpose and destiny of the Two Witnesses is to decry the reign of the Antichrist-Beast,[96] and to attest against that “Great City”— (or Whore of Babylon, Babylon the Great. Likewise, in that they are called to “prophesy” and wear “sackcloth”[97] (a Biblical designation of a “call to repentance”) they assuredly are at the nexus of announcing the “gospel of the kingdom.”[98]

John's Apocalypse (i.e., The Revelation of Jesus Christ) is considered by most Christian theologians to be the apostolic writings which incorporate more Hebrew (i.e., Old Testament) Scriptures into the text than any other book of the New Testament.[99] The images, symbolism, and allegorical language used throughout the Revelation are impossible to fathom or interpret without a fairly comprehensive knowledge of the original "Testament".

Israel and the Church as the “corporate witness"

Interconnected with Revelation 11, as some commentators have acknowledged[100], is the imagery found in the latter part of Revelation 10:8-10:

Then the voice which I heard from heaven spoke to me again and said, ‘Go, take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the earth.’ So I went to the angel and said to him, ‘Give me the little book.’ And he said to me, ‘Take and eat it; and it will make your stomach bitter, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth.’ Then I took the little book out of the angel's hand and ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth. But when I had eaten it, my stomach became bitter. And he said to me, ‘You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings.’

John becomes a symbol of prophetic witness to the world—becoming wholly identified with the prophetic message; and, subsequently, that prophetic witness must be declared: “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings.” Then John is given a “reed like a measuring rod” and told to “Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles . . . and they (the Gentiles) will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months.”[101]

The “court” referenced here appears to be an allusion to the “Court of the Gentiles”[102] which during the sacerdotal rites in ancient Jerusalem provided “uncircumcised gentiles” who were interested in the Jewish religion to venture into the temple complex but not into the area of the sacrificial altar; hence, they were not full participants and remained on the peripheral of full commitment; unless, of course, they were willing to be circumcised. Numerous Christian commentaries perceive the issue of circumcision as a matter of the heart and the cutting away of the “flesh” an experiential expression of Christian commitment to holiness and sanctification--Paul, the Apostle, repeatedly enunciates deeper understanding of "spiritual circumcision"[103]

Those willing to “pay the price” – having their flesh cut off (i.e., their “hearts dealt with”) – are those “measured at the altar of sacrifice.”[104] Hence, immediately following this imagery, the “holy city”[105] is mentioned for the first time in the Revelation. Some commentators have recognized this connection and affirm that the “holy city” and those measured at the altar are one in the same.[106] Ultimately, it is that “holy city” which is juxtaposed to the “great city” in other portions of the Revelation.[107] Likewise, the first mentioning of the “great city” occurs in Revelation 11, verse 8. The ultimate expression of the "divine masterpiece" (i.e., the work of God, "the Woman, the Lamb's Bride" is viewed as the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21:10-21, along with two proper names describing her gates and foundations: "twelve gates . . . with names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel . . . twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb" (again, Israel and the Church). Once the holy city is announced as the receptacle of gentile antagonism (tread the holy city underfoot), there is the immediate prophetic declaration:

And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. [108]

Thus, John's representation of the prophet is now “transferred” to the prophetic ministry of the Two Witnesses. The disclosure that these Two Witnesses (the Greek word for witness is martus (μαρτυς), which is also translated as "martyr"[109]) foretells their ultimate destiny. Furthermore, they are immediately identified as: "These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth" (Revelation 11:4).

Those embracing Israel and the Church as the Two Witnesses identify the number "two"[110] connoting the “witness of Israel”[111] to the gentile nations during the Prophecy of Seventy WeeksDaniel 9:24-27; as well as the fact that the "olive tree"[112] in the Scripture signifies Israel. The "witness of the Church" is signified by the "two lampstands"[113] whose identity was disclosed by the “seven golden lampstands” (i.e., candlesticks) revealed in Revelation 2-3 as the “churches.”

Furthermore, this imagery clearly harkens back to Zechariah 4 and the “two sons of oil” or “two olive trees” who astride the “golden lamp stand” seen by Zechariah the prophet.[114] Zerubbabel, the governor, and Joshua the High Priest (the kingship and the priesthood) are seen by the Almighty wholly empowered for the rebuilding of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem or Third Temple after its destruction under King Nebuchadnezzar II: “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord.”[115]

Extending Zechariah's vision to the Revelation, John sees in the midst of the seven golden lamp stands, “one like unto the Son of Man.” Therefore, as Zechariah's vision saw the “kingship and the priesthood” on either side of the “universal lamp stand” – even so, that prophetic illumination is seen in the Revelation as the Son of Man, the “spirit of prophecy” disseminating light and life to the churches as the present “work of God” – as the work of the Almighty was expressed in Zechariah 4 – the work of God is expressed in Revelation 1 and confirmed by the bringing together in testimony and witness the ministry of the prophet; thus, is Christ's work as “prophet, priest, and king”[116] fully declared through the Two Witnesses.

Again, those who hold to the “corporate nature” of these Two Witnesses point out that the further disclosures of what they “do” over against who they “are” does not negate their identities but affirms that their witness is to the earth (i.e., Israel – turning the waters into blood and striking “the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire”) and to the heavens (i.e., the Church – “have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy”). Here, the Apostle Paul's writings of the Church's “heavenly stature” confirms such a witness; whereas Israel's call to be a “light to the gentiles” confirms their original commission.[117]

Those[118] adhering to a corporate expression of the Two Witnesses point out that “Reformational Christianity”[119] has distorted our perception (especially in America) of one's identity. By this is meant that the Enlightenment and Reformation laid stress upon one's “individualism” (i.e., salvation is a “personal encounter with Christ” and not a salvivic experience through one's identity with the Church—“saved in the Church”). It is this identification with the individual juxtaposed to one's personhood reflected in the collective group that misses the spiritual dimension of Revelation 11 (i.e., “in Christ” or “in Adam” connotes corporate identification).[120]

Once they “finish their testimony” the unveiling, and first mention in the Revelation of the The Beast who ascends out of the bottomless pit, is made. They pay the uttermost price for their testimony: “the beast . . . will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them” (Rev. 11:7). The word used for war in the Greek connotes a major conflagration, not a skirmish or interpersonal struggle; thereby drawing attention to the corporate nature of the conflict between the beast and the Two Witnesses; for the beast would not make war against two individuals (Greek: polemos - see Strong's Greek 4171).[121]

Then their “body” (the Greek singular is used: ptoma[122] -meaning corpes) lies exposed in the “street of the great city” which is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.” (vs. 8). To illustrate that this city is the “great city” juxtaposed to the “holy city” – and not Jerusalem – the Spirit Filled Life Bible footnote affirms these witnesses face off with the worldly system, the great city, headed up by the beast:

The great city is not literally the physical city of Jerusalem, but spiritually the world in rebellion against God. Sodom symbolizes immorality, and Egypt symbolizes the political oppression of the people of God in this world where our Lord was crucified. (The Spirit Filled Life Bible, Thomas Nelson Bibles,[123] P. 1831)

This argument is reinforced by Rev. 11:8 pointedly stating that the great city is “spiritually” or “allegorically” called Sodom and Egypt—and Jerusalem is never mentioned in the text; however, many commentators do not see a problem in this—because the phrase “where also our Lord was crucified” must mean Jerusalem; for Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem. Others counter—Jesus was crucified “outside the camp”[124]– “outside the gate”[125] (not in Jerusalem proper) by the Romans (gentiles) and this Revelation passage appears to back this notion of the “great city” doing the work of crucifixion.

Posttribulationists,[126] who see this dual witness of Israel and the Church (in counterdistinction to premillenarian-pretribulationists who accuse these posttribulationists of “blurring” the traditional dispensational distinctions of Israel and the Church),[127] likewise adhere to the 3 ½ days of “their body” exposed to the “open persecution” ("their body lies in the street of the great city"; i.e., the 42 months aforementioned in Revelation 11:2) as the final three-and-one-half years of Prophecy of Seventy Weeks of Daniel's Prophecy and that the days mentioned here are years (i.e., the 70th Week represents seven years and 3 ½ days represents 1,260 days, 42 months, 3 ½ years, or time, times, and half a time)(See: 2300 Days or Day-year principle).

Therefore, it is at the very close of the 70th Week of Daniel's prophecy that the Two Witnesses are resurrected—there is no secret rapture (i.e., they are seen by all the inhabitants of the earth; Rev. 11:11)—a loud voice is heard from heaven calling all the “righteous dead” in the resurrection and those that are “alive and survive” the great tribulation are, as Paul proclaims: “The dead in Christ shall rise first, then we which are alive and remain (Grk. perileipo meaning survive - Strong's Greek: 4035).[128] shall be caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air” (I Thessalonians 4:16-17).

Once again, it must be pointed out that Historicists see this 1,260-day period as 1,260 years and believe it is the time of the Papacy's[129] “rule and reign” as the antichrist system between A.D. 538 and 1798 (i.e., from the time the Roman Church was recognized as the “civil authority” until the time of Napoleon's imprisoning of Pope Pius VI and his death in 1798).[130]

The subsequent passages in Revelation 11:13-19 are interpreted by Post-tribulationists as confirmation that the pouring out of the “wrath of God” (i.e., after the resurrection and rapture) is seen "in the same hour" (Revelation 11:13). Immediately, Messiah's descending from the heavens to establish His earthly kingdom and the famous sounds of Handel's Messiah, and of John's prophetic testimony, are heard:

The kingdoms of this world have now become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Messiah (Christ), and he shall reign forever and ever! (Rev. 11:15)

The Revelation declares: “The Testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy”[131] – therefore, as their deliverer testified on earth for 3 ½ years,[132] was crucified, arose from the dead, ascended to heaven – even so, this is the destiny of all those who will follow the Messiah--this is the "testimony of Jesus".[133] Furthermore, the extremity of believers who profess to have the "Testimony of Jesus" may be called to give the ultimate sacrifice in bearing witness to the One Who gave His all: "Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God" (Rev. 20:4).

Church or concepts

Evangelical postmillennialism,[134] as well as St. Augustine's amillennialism,[135] accord future roles for the Two Witnesses in their commentaries; however, those roles are wholly symbolic of the Church's singular witness to the world. As Amillenarian Tony Warren declares:

These two witnesses of Revelation eleven are a ‘symbol’ of God's faithful servants, the true eternal indivisible Church.[136]

Hence, the Church is the “Israel of God”[137] – and the concluding witness of the Church, as originally propounded by Augustine,[138] will endure to the end of the age as a demonstration of “the age-long struggle of evil against Christ's rule.” Israel and the Church constitute one people of God—there is no literal seven-year tribulation on earth. Evangelical postmillennialism also sees Israel and the Church as the one people of God; however, the Millennium will be a literal 1,000-year reign of Christ, realized through the church's ministry of the kingdom of God.

They who adhere to the singular witness of the Church until the Second Coming of Christ, affirm the Church's unique testimony until the eschaton.

The 1599 Geneva Study Bible[139] asserts the two witnesses as the exclusive purvue of the church:

1) The authority of the intended revelation being declared, together with the necessity of that calling which was particularly imposed on John after which follows the history of the estate of Christ his Church, both conflicting or warring, and overcoming in Christ. For the true Church of Christ is said to fight against that which is falsely so called, over which Antichrist rules, Christ Jesus overthrowing Antichrist by the spirit of his mouth: and Christ is said to overcome most gloriously until he shall slay Antichrist by the appearance of his coming, as the apostle teaches in (2 Thessalonians 2:8). So this history has two parts: One of the state of the Church conflicting with temptations until Chapter 16. The other of the state of the same church obtaining victory, thence to Chapter 20. The first part has two sections most conveniently distributed into their times, of which the first contains a history of the Christian Church for 1260 years, what time the gospel of Christ was as it were taken up from among men into heaven: the second contains a history of the same Church to the victory perfected. These two sections are briefly, though distinctly propounded in this chapter, but both of them are discoursed after in due order.

This comment from the Geneva Study Bible is made on Revelation 11:4:

These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth . . .That is, the ordinary and perpetual instruments of spiritual grace, peace and light in my Church, which God by his only power preserved in this Temple. See (Zechariah 4:3).

A somewhat collective expression of the Church as the singular witness is given in Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible;[140] Revelation 11:

It is a sufficient number; for in the mouth of two witnesses every cause shall be established. Christ sent out his disciples two by two, to preach the gospel. Some think these two witnesses are Enoch and Elias, who are to return to the earth for a time: others, the church of the believing Jews and that of the Gentiles: it should rather seem that they are God's eminent faithful ministers, who shall not only continue to profess the Christian religion, but to preach it, in the worst of times. II. The time of their prophesying, or bearing their testimony for Christ. A thousand two hundred and threescore days; that is (as many think), to the period of the reign of antichrist; and, if the beginning of that interval could be ascertained, this number of prophetic days, taking a day for a year, would give us a prospect when the end shall be. III.

John Wesley in his commentary on Revelation 11[141] suggests a more "spiritual" application of their identity - almost ambiguous in nature:

11:3 And I - Christ - will give to my two witnesses - These seem to be two prophets; two select, eminent instruments. Some have supposed (though without foundation) that they are Moses and Elijah, whom they resemble in several respects. To prophesy twelve hundred and sixty days - Common days, that is, an hundred and eighty weeks. So long will they prophesy, (even while that last and sharp treading of the holy city continues,) both by word and deed, witnessing that Jesus is the Son of God, the heir of all things, and exhorting all men to repent, and fear, and glorify God. Clothed in sackcloth - The habit of the deepest mourners, out of sorrow and concern for the people. 11:4 These are the two olive trees - That is, as Zerubbabel and Joshua, the two olive trees spoken of by Zechariah, Zechariah 3:9, 4:10, were then the two chosen instruments in God's hand, even so shall these. be in their season. Being themselves full of the unction of the Holy One, they shall continually transmit the same to others also. And the two candlesticks - Burning and shining lights. Standing before the Lord of the earth - Always waiting on God, without the help of man, and asserting his right over the earth and all things therein.

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible[142] presents a classical Protestant Historicist interpretation of the two witnesses as the true Church in counter distinction to the antichrist system of Roman Catholicism:

Though they ought not to be considered exclusive of other ministers and churches, who also have bore, and still do bear a witness for Christ, and against the idolatries of the church of Rome: no two individual persons can be meant, since these witnesses were to prophesy 1260 days, that is, so many years, but a succession of ministers and churches.

Ross Taylor's "Verse by Verse Commentary on Revelation"[143] clearly defines the Church as the "two olive trees and the two lampstands" . . .

The two witnesses represent the witnessing church rather than two individuals: 1. The church received power to witness at Pentecost, see verse 3 'I will give power to my two witnesses and they will prophecy...' cf. Acts 1:8 and 2:18. 2. Two is the number to establish a witness, testimony (Deu 17:6, John 8:17, 2 Cor 13:1), for example our Lord sent his disciple out in twos, Mark 6:7. 3. They are described as 'the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth' 11:4. We have already seen that the church is symbolised by lampstands in 1:20. The olive trees represent the power of the Holy Spirit with which the witnesses had received (Acts 1:5, 1:8, 2:17). 4. They prophecy for the same period (1,260 days) as the worshippers, temple of God and holy city is trampled on by the Gentiles (42 months). These three designations are all indicative of the church. 5. They rise from the dead and are raptured as is the church (11:11-12). 6. 11:7 indicates that '...the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them' i.e. the two witnesses this parallels the warning in 13:7 that the beast 'was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them' see also the warning in 13:10. If the two events are indeed parallel then the two witnesses are the saints.

Furthermore, the elimination of all or part of the 70th Week of Daniel (yet future) is the hallmark of Historicist eschatology—there is no personal Antichrist, peace treaty to be signed with Israel, a future rebuilt Jewish temple, or future 70th week.[Citation Needed]

An Amillennial Exposition of Revelation 11:1-13

An Amillennial exposition of Revelation 11:1-13 is available at this link.[144] You can also read an exegesis of the passage in "Will Moses and Elijah Come Back? The Two Witnesses of Revelation 11:1-13"

Individuals

The identity and worldwide notoriety of the Two Witnesses as singular individuals is held by numerous Biblical literalists – a few of their quotations will confirm their commentary . . .

Dr. Thomas L. Constable of Dallas Theological Seminary on his studies of Revelation (Notes on Revelation, 2007 Edition) provides a dispensationalist interpretation of the two witnesses as two "new individuals" to arrive on the prophetic scene yet future:

Even though believing Jews will suffer persecution at this time, God will still get His message out. Two witnesses will be especially significant at this time. Valid testimony required two witnesses under the Old Covenant (Deut. 19:15), and both Jesus and the early church sent out emissaries in pairs (Mark 6:7; Luke 10:2; Acts 13:2; 15:39-40). Revelation 11:3 Who is speaking in this verse? The speaker seems to be the angel who spoke in verses 1-2, who here speaks for God (cf. v. 8). God did not reveal the identity of the two witnesses. Many commentators believe they will be Moses and Elijah since these men were prophets and performed the kinds of miracles these witnesses will perform (v. 6). Others believe they will be Enoch and Elijah since God took these men to heaven without dying. Another reason some believe one of these witnesses will be Elijah is Malachi 4:5, which predicts that Elijah will return before Messiah. Other less literal interpreters think the two witnesses may represent not two individuals but the faithful witness of the church throughout its persecutions. I agree with those who believe that they will be individuals living at this time rather than former prophets brought back to earth for this ministry (cf. Matt. 11:14).[145]

J. Dwight Pentecost's Things to Come (also of dispensationalist - Dallas Theological Seminary) concludes:

It would seem best to conclude that the identity of these men is uncertain. They, in all probability, are not men who lived before and have been restored, but are two men raised up as a special witness, to whom sign-working power is given. their ministry is one of judgment, as their sackcloth clothing indicates.[146]

Paul D. Feinberg[147] in Three Views on the Rapture - Pre-, Mid-,or Post Tribulation[148] defends the Pre-Tribulational Rapture position and interprets the two witnesses as follows:

"The two witnesses appear to be individuals rather than representatives of all living and dead saints. The witnesses perform miracles; they testify. These actions are usually done by individuals, not groups. Moreover, both witnesses are killed by the Beast. If they are symbolic of all saints, then it seems as if all saints will be martyred before the Rapture. Further, it also appears that all saints will have men gaze at their dead bodies and desecrate them." (Three Views on the Rapture - Pre-, Mid-,or Post Tribulation, Stanley N. Gundry, Gleason L. Archer Jr., Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 1996, p. 148)

Those adhering to the "individual theory" of the two witnesses point out that these are truly awesome figures. They are similar to Moses and Aaron or Elijah and Elisha - both sets wrought indisputable havoc upon their audiences (Egypt and Apostate Israel) and "nothing could harm them." Therefore, could not individuals be raised up in the "end of days" and do such world-wide miracles? Could they not prevail as Moses and Elijah did before the masses? Furthermore, "their dead body" (singular) does not signify any "corporate nature" of their identity--to the contrary, it simply means the visibility of a dead body in the street of Jerusalem for 3 1/2 days (not years). Their resurrection is peculiar to them only--and does not connote the Resurrection of the just nor the rapture, for the rapture of the Church (according to pretribulationists) takes place at the commencement of Daniel's 70th Week.

The "great city" mentioned in Revelation 11 is not the great city found elsewhere in the Revelation[149]; and the "holy city" trampled under foot is physical Jerusalem,[150] not the two witnesses. Likewise, the "temple" which is measured is the physical rebuilt temple[151] in Jerusalem, not the two witnesses.

The late Dr. John Walvoord, president of Dallas Theological Seminary, in his Every Prophecy of the Bible[152] repeats the classical dispensational, pre-tribulational, literalist interpretation of the two witnesses . . . excerpts from his text:

In the Great Tribulation the temple has already been desecrated, sacrifices stopped, and the worship of the world ruler installed instead (Dan. 9:27; 12:11-12; Matt. 24:15; 2 Thes. 2:4; Rev. 13:14-15). Measuring the temple will indicate the apostasy of the nation of Israel and their need for revival and restoration. The Holy City, Jerusalem, according to the Scripture, will be trampled underfoot of Gentiles for the final forty-two months preceding the Second Coming. This has actually been true ever since 600 B.C. because from then to the time of the Great Tribulation, Israel never was in full possession of their holy places except by Gentile tolerance and permission. This is still true today as Israel could not retain its independence without the help of the United States. The forty-two months, however, refer to the Great Tribulation as a time when the holy place in the temple will be desecrated especially, and the Great Tribulation will run its course, climaxing in the second coming of Christ (13:5). Though there have been brief periods in the history of Israel when Israel temporarily retained control of the holy place, it will never be permanently theirs until the second coming of Christ. John was then introduced to those who were called 'two witnesses' who will be prophets in the end time. Their prophecy will cover 1,260 days, or forty-two months, the same length of time that the world ruler will possess the temple and turn it into a religious center for the worship of himself . . . the reference to the two witnesses as being symbolized by the two olive trees and the two lampstands probably has reference to Zechariah 4 where the lampstand and two trees are discussed. The meaning of this to Zerubbabel, who was one of the important leaders in Israel in Zechariah's time, was that their witness was empowered by the oil from the olive tree, symbolic of being empowered by the Holy Spirit (Zech. 4:1-14). In view of the fact that the Bible does not indicate who they are, it is probably safe to recognize them as two witnesses who will appear in the end time who are not related to any previous historical character.

Some claim that the two are "Jewish evangelists" who "evangelize Israel" while the 144000 of Revelation 7 "evangelize the rest of the world" during the 70th Week of Daniel.

Who are they? We're not told, so we can't be certain, yet we know that . . . - Witness in Greek is martus (martyr). In Rev. 12:11 OT Israeli allusions are used, not NT Church figures like Peter or Paul. These two evangelize Israel; while the 144,000 evangelize the rest of the world! They possibly represent the OT Law and Prophets (Matt 22:36-40). Possibly Elijah (Representing the Prophets). Possibly Moses (Representing the Law).[153]

The Eastern Orthodox Church teaches that the Two Witnesses will be Enoch and Elias (the two individuals who entered bodily into heaven), who will be sent back to earth to preach during the Great Tribulation, and they will be the last martyrs before the Second Coming.

Biblical literalists have incorporated the developments in electronic communications systems with the interpretations of the scripture: "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" (Revelation 11:9). During the close of the nineteenth century, Ethelbert William Bullinger indicated electronics inventiveness would facilitate the literal fulfillment of this prophecy through the following statement and its footnote:[154]

The older commentators might have felt a difficulty in understanding how the whole earth could rejoice at an event happening at Jerusalem. But in these days of electric inventions, telephones, and wireless telegraphy, we all know how the next day the whole world sympathises and rejoices together.
Witness the death of Queen Victoria; the murder of President M’Kinley; or the American Yacht Race – all the stages of the latter were known the world over within a few minutes of the passing events.

During the 1930s, when television became commercially available, Knoch stated that invention merely needed to be developed further for the literal fulfillment of the above scripture.[155] Two years after the launch of Sputnik, Bloomfield said the events of Revelation 11:9 would be covered by “some kind of television.”[156] In 1962, the first satellite to relay a television signal from Europe to North America was Telstar. Hal Lindsey referred to that specific communication system in his explanation.[157] By 1999, John F. Walvoord,[158] Tim LaHaye,[159] and Grant Jeffrey,[160] leading proponents of the literalist view and authors of best sellers, had explained Revelation 11:9 in terms of literal fulfillments through some form of worldwide satellite television system.

Finally, perhaps they are archangels.[161]

See also

Definitions

  • Historicism(Christian eschatology) - Historicism is an eschatological system of prophetic interpretation derived from the Protestant Reformation and holds that the prophecies of the Bible have taken place throughout history (many have been fulfilled) - some still will be fulfilled.
  • Futurism (Christian eschatology) - Biblical Futurism asserts that most of the relevant prophetic themes of Christian and Hebrew Scripture are yet future - the "end times" prophecies are mainly found outside the immediate time frame but could unravel any time - most hold to a literal, physical, apocalyptic and global view of Bible prophecies.
  • Preterism - A variant of Christian eschatology which holds that some or all of the biblical prophecies concerning the Last Days (or End Times) refer to events which actually happened in the first century after Christ's birth.
  • Partial Preterism - A form of Christian eschatology that holds much in common with but is distinct from Full preterism (or 'consistent' or 'hyper' preterism) in that it places the events of most of the Book of Revelation as occurring during the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD (and/or the Fall of Rome several centuries later) yet still affirms an orthodox future bodily return of Christ to earth at an unknown day and hour.
  • Idealism (Christian eschatology) - Idealism (also called the 'Spiritual view') in Christian eschatology is an interpretation of the Book of Revelation that sees all of the imagery of the book as non-literal symbols which are perpetually and cyclically fulfilled in a spiritual sense during the conflict between the Kingdom of God and the forces of Satan throughout the time from the first advent to the Second Coming of Christ.
  • Millennialism - Millennialism (or chiliasm), from millennium, which literally means "thousand years", is primarily a belief expressed in some Christian denominations, and literature, that there will be a Golden Age or Paradise on Earth where "Christ will reign" prior to the final judgment and future eternal state, primarily derived from the book of Revelation 20:1-6. Millennialism as such is a specific form of Millenarianism.
  • Postmillennialism - In Christian eschatology, postmillennialism is an interpretation of chapter 20 of the Book of Revelation which sees Christ's second coming as occurring after or post- the thousand year "millennium".
  • Premillennialism - Christian eschatology which holds the belief that Christ will literally reign on the earth for 1,000 years at his second coming. The doctrine is called premillennialism because it views the current age as prior to Christ's kingdom. It is distinct from other forms of eschatology such as amillennialism, postmillennialism, and preterism which view the kingdom as figurative and non-temporal, or as currently occurring in history before Christ's coming. Premillennialism is largely based upon a literal interpretation of Revelation 20:1-6 in the New Testament which describes Christ's coming to the earth and subsequent reign at the end of an apocalyptic period of tribulation. It views this future age as a time of fulfillment for the prophetic hope of God's people as given in the Old Testament.
  • Amillennialism -Amillennialism (from the Latin prefix meaning "no", mille, meaning "thousand", and annum meaning "year") is a view in Christian eschatology named for its denial of a future, thousand-year, physical reign of Jesus Christ on the earth, as espoused in the premillennial and some postmillennial views of the Book of Revelation, chapter 20.
  • The Tribulation - The Tribulation (or "Great Tribulation") is an event referred to in the New Testament of the Bible at Matthew 24:21 ("For then shall be great tribulation..." - King James Version) and other passages. In the futurist view of Christian eschatology, the Tribulation is a relatively short period of time where believers will experience worldwide persecution and be purified and strengthened by it.
  • Rapture - The rapture (harpazo in Greek in 1 Thessalonians 4:17) is the common description of the event in Christian eschatology in which Christians will be "taken" or "caught up" from Earth to Heaven to be with Jesus Christ.
  • Post Tribulation Rapture - This doctrine holds that there is a Resurrection-Rapture of living believers in Jesus Christ at the end of the age (or the "End times"). Posttribulationists believe that Christians will not be taken up into Heaven at the rapture, but will gathered by the angels to meet Christ in the air, then return with him to enter the millennium on earth.
  • Prewrath Rapture - The Prewrath View (also known as Mid Tribulation Raptureplaces the rapture of the Church after the mid-point of a yet future 70th Week of Daniel--i.e., after the "abomination of desolation" - also holds that a side-by-side comparison of the wording of the sixth seal (Revelation 6:12-13) and the signs in Matthew 24:29 that announce the Second Coming of Jesus and the rapture of the Church indicate that they are the same event. Therefore, the rapture described in Matthew 24:29-31 can be placed after the sixth seal of Revelation.
  • Thomas Ice and the Pre Tribulation Rapture - A Dispensational-Premillennarian eschatology which affirms that the believing Church will be raptured prior to the 70th Week of Daniel (i.e., before the "tribulation" or the final seven-years of this age); likewise, this eschatology sees the coming Antichrist as a real person energized by Satan who will implement a "defense pact" or "peace treaty" with Israel at the commencement of Daniel's 70th Week. Thomas Ice of the Pre-trib Research Center is an avowed proponent of this eschatology.
  • Dispensationalism - In Christian theology, Dispensationalism teaches biblical history as a number of successive economies or administrations, called dispensations, each of which emphasizes the continuity of the Old Testament covenants God made with His chosen people through Abraham, Moses and King David.
  • Hyperdispensationalism - Hyperdispensationalism (or sometimes ultra-dispensationalism), as opposed to traditional (or mainstream) Dispensationalism, views the start of the Christian church as beginning with the ministry of the Apostle Paul after the early part of the book of Acts. Hyperdispensationalists regard the failure of the post-Apostolic church to preserve the Pauline Distinctive as a cause of the Great Apostasy and as a mistake of the 19th Century Restoration Movement. Hyperdispensationalists regard what they understand to be the recovery of true Pauline Christianity as the crowning achievement of events that began with the Protestant Reformation.
  • Progressive Dispensationalism - Progressive Dispensationalism is one of two views in mainstream dispensationalism, the other being the traditional view. The major difference between the traditional and progressive dispensationalist views concerns the relationship between the dispensations. Traditional dispensationalists perceive the present age of grace as an "intercalation" or parenthesis in God's plan, and therefore is unrelated to the past and future dispensations. However, progressive dispensationalists reject this idea of a parenthesis, and perceive the present age of grace as a key link or progression in relation with the past and future dispensations.
  • Eschatology - Eschatology (from the Greek ἔσχατος, eschatos meaning "last" + ology) is a part of theology and philosophy concerned with the final events in the history of the world or the ultimate destiny of mankind, commonly phrased as the end of the world. In many religions, the end of the world is a future event prophesied in sacred texts or folklore. More broadly, eschatology may encompass related concepts such as the Messiah or Messianic Age, the afterlife, and the soul.
  • Roman Catholic Eschatology - The Roman Catholic Church affirms the Amillennialism or Amillennarian worldview. Amillennialism was taught by St. Augustine in the fourth century and was a widely held view among Christians throughout Church history. Origen's idealizing tendency to consider only the spiritual as real (which was fundamental to his entire system) led him to combat the "rude" or "crude" aspects of a literal 1,000-year Messianic Kingdom yet future. Amillennialism has been widely held in the Eastern Orthodox Church as well, which generally follows Augustine on this point and which has deemed that Premillennialism cannot be safety taught. Amillennialism is also often associated with Protestants such as those in the Lutheran, Reformed and Anglican churches. (Please see Amillennialism).
  • Seventh-Day Adventist Eschatology - The Seventh-day Adventist church holds a unique system of eschatological (or end-times) beliefs. Adventist eschatology is characterized principally by the premillennial second coming of Jesus Christ. Seventh-day Adventism derives its eschatological teachings in large part from its interpretation of the books of Daniel and Revelation, as well as the teachings of Jesus Christ found in Matthew chapter 24. Adventists have traditionally interpreted biblical prophecies using the historicist method, although some of the prophecies of Revelation are thought have a future application. It is this futurist aspect of the church's interpretation of the book of Revelation that has played a major part in shaping Adventist eschatology.
  • Mormon Eschatology - In Mormonism, all Latter Day Saints are viewed as covenant, or chosen, people; they have accepted the name of Jesus Christ. Latter Day Saints do not dispute the "chosen" status of the Jewish people. In LDS doctrine all people who have ever lived will have the ability to enter into this covenant during the Millennium (yet future). Mormon eschatology holds that Jews, as a chosen people, will ultimately accept Christianity (See Jeremiah 31:31-34). Mormon doctrine teaches that Mormons are "The kin blood of the Jews." Every practicing LDS member receives a patriarchal blessing that reveals their linage in the House of Israel. This lineage may be blood related or through "adoption;" therefore, a child may not necessarily share the lineage of her parents (but will still be a member of the tribes of Israel). It is a widely held belief that most members of the faith are in the tribe of Ephraim or the tribe of Manasseh.
  • Jehovah's Witnesses Eschatology - The eschatology of Jehovah's Witnesses is central to their religious beliefs. They believe that Jesus Christ has been ruling as king since 1914, and that after that time a short period of cleansing has begun taking place. They further believe that from 1919, Jehovah's Witnesses were selected by God to be his people. Jehovah's Witnesses believe 1918 to be the time when Christ Jesus judged all world religions. They teach that after a period of 18 months, among all groups and religions, there was found only one that was humbly doing the will of Christ. Jehovah's Witnesses claim the "Bible Students" who later became known as "Jehovah's Witnesses" in 1931 (See History of Jehovah's Witnesses) are that one unique group.
  • British Israelism Eschatology - Teaches that the Anglo-Saxon race are the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel; therefore, many of the prophecies pointing toward "Jewish fulfillment" are really fulfilled in the Lost Tribes. It holds, however, many of the eschatological affirmations of the Seventh-Day Adventists.
  • Supersessionism - Supersessionism (sometimes referred to as replacement theology by its critics) is a belief that Christianity is the fulfillment and continuation of the Old Testament, and that Jews who deny that Jesus is the Messiah are not being faithful to the revelation that God has given them, and they therefore fall short of their calling as his chosen people. This view holds that racial and ethnic divisions and boundaries are ended in Jesus Christ, and faith in Jesus unites all peoples into one new body, which is God's chosen people.
  • Messianic Judaism - Messianic Judaism is a religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, who is referred to as Yeshua by its adherents.
  • Apologetics - The field of study concerned with the systematic defense of a position.
  • Exegesis - The extensive and critical interpretation of a text, especially of a holy scripture

Relevant Biblical texts

Suggested book list

  • Alnor, William M., Soothsayers of the Second Advent. Fleming H. Revell, 1989. ISBN 0-8007-5324-0
  • Barnhouse, Donald Grey, Revelation - An Expositional Commentary. Zondervan, 1971. ISBN 0-310-20491-7
  • Boston, Robert, Close Encounters with the Religious Right. Prometheus Books, 2000. ISBN 1-57392-797-X
  • Brog, David, Standing With Israel. Front Line, A Strang Company, 2006. ISBN 1-59185-906-9
  • Clarkson, Frederick, Eternal Hostility. Common Courage Press, 1997. ISBN 1-56751-088-4
  • Coombes, R. A., America, The Babylon - America's Destiny Foretold in Biblical Prophecy A Real Book, 1998. ISBN 1-890622-33-8
  • Culver, Robert Duncan, Daniel and the Latter Days. Fleming H. Revell Company, 1954. Template:LCCN
  • Dyer, Charles H., The Rise of Babylon. Moody Publishers, 2003. ISBN 0-8024-0905-9
  • Feinberg, Charles L., Millennialism - Two Major Views. Moody Press, 1980. ISBN 0-8024-6815-2
  • Gundry, Robert, The Church and the Tribulation. Zondervan, 1973. ISBN 0-310-25401-9
  • Gundry, Robert, First the Antichrist. Baker Books, May 1997. ISBN 0-8010-5764-7
  • Gundry, Stanley N.; Archer, Gleason L., Jr., Three Views on The Rapture - Pre-, Mid-, or Post-Tribulation. Zondervan, 1996. ISBN 0-310-21298-7
  • Hitchcock, Mark, Is America in Bible Prophecy?. Multnomah Publishers, 2002. ISBN 1-57673496-X
  • Hunt, Dave, A Cup of Trembling - Jerusalem and Bible Prophecy. Harvest House Publishers, 1995. ISBN 1-56507-334-7
  • Ironside, Harry A., Revelation. Loizeaux Brothers, 1982. ISBN 0-87213-384-2
  • Jeffrey, Grant R., Armageddon - Appointment with Destiny. Bantam Books, 1990. ISBN 0-553-28537-8
  • Juster, Dan; Intrater, Keith, Israel, the Church and the Last Days. Destiny Image Publishers, 1991. ISBN 1-56043-061-3
  • Krieger, Doug, Unsealing the End of Days: The Visions and Prophecy of Zechariah.[162] (date, 2004-08-30)
  • Ladd, George Eldon, "A Commentary on the Revelation of John". William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1972. ISBN 0-8028-1684-3
  • Ladd, George Eldon, "The Blessed Hope: A Biblical Study of The Second Advent and the Rapture." Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1956. ISBN 0-8028-1111-6
  • Lalonde, Peter & Patti, "Left Behind". Harvest House Publishers, 1995. ISBN 0-9636407-3-9
  • LaSor, William Sanford, "The Truth About Armageddon". Harper & Row, 1982. ISBN 0-06-064919-4
  • Lindsey, Hal, "Planet Earth - 2000 A.D." Western Front, Ltd., 1994. ISBN 0-9641058-0-2
  • Linker, Damon, "The Theocons". Doubleday, 2006. ISBN 978-0-385-51647-1
  • Paterson, Stella, "Calling Forth The Remnant By Way of the Cross". Preparing The Way Publishers, 2006. ISBN 1-929451-21-0
  • Pentecost, J. Dwight, "Things To Come". Dunham Publishing Company, 1962.
  • Perry, Richard H., "Of the Last Days: Listen, I Tell You a Mystery". Essence Publishing (Canada), July 2003. ISBN 1-55306-595-6
  • Pink, Arthur W., "The Antichrist". Kregel Publications, 1988. ISBN0-8254-3539-0
  • Rausch, David A., "Zionism Within Early American Fundamentalism 1878-1918 - A Convergence of Two Traditions". The Edwin Mellen Press, 1979. ISBN 0-88946-875-3
  • Ryrie, Charles Caldwell, "Dispensationalism Today". Moody Press, 1965. ISBN 0-8024-2256-X
  • Shearer, S. R. (Steve), "The Beginning of the End". End of the Age Ministries, 1985. Template:LCCN
  • Spargimino, Larry, "The Anti-Prophets - The Challenge of Preterism". Hearthstone Publishing, 2000. ISBN 1-57558-080-2
  • Sutton, William Josiah, "Ancient Prophecies About the Dragon, The Beast, and the False Prophet". The Institute of Religious Knowledge, 1999. ISBN 0-917013-02-6
  • Sutton, William Josiah, "The Antichrist 666". Teach Services, Inc., 1995. ISBN 1-57258-015-1
  • Walvoord, John F., "Every Prophecy of the Bible". Chariot Victory Publishing, 1999. ISBN 0-7394-0215-3
  • Walvoord, John F., "The Prophecy Knowledge Handbook". Victor Books, 1977. ISBN 0-89693-509-4
  • Gundry, Robert, "The Church and the Tribulation". Zondervan, 1973. ISBN 0-310-25401-9
  • Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania - "Revelation - Its Grand Climax At Hand!". Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc., 1988.
  • White, E. G., "America in Prophecy". Inspiration Books East, Inc., 1888. ISBN 0-916547-04-3
  • Woodrow, Ralph, "His Truth is Marching On -Advanced Studies on Prophecy in the Light of History". Ralph Woodrow Evangelistic Assn., Inc., 1996 Edition. ISBN 0-916938-03-04

Notes and references

  1. Kroll, Paul (1999). The Two Witnesses. Worldwide Church of God. Retrieved on 2007-06-26.
  2. If I Were Told the Future -- Lesson 57: The Two Witnesses. Cyberspace Ministry (2002). Retrieved on 2007-06-26.
  3. Blank, Wayne. Are The Two Witnesses Here Now?. Daily Bible Study. The Church of God. Retrieved on 2007-06-26.
  4. Hal Lindsey.
  5. Taylor, R A (2000-03-17). Revelation: A Reference Commentary (PDF) 111-112. Retrieved on 2007-06-26.
  6. Mark 6:7.
  7. Millett, Michael G. Reincarnation and Christianity. Elevated Therapy International. Retrieved on 2007-06-26.
  8. WELS Topical Q&A: Endtime/Prophecies Two Witnesses. Communication Services. Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (2007). Retrieved on 2007-06-26.
  9. Exodus 7:16-18.
  10. 1 Kings 17:1-7.
  11. James 5:17.
  12. Wunderlich, Bob. Eight Good Reasons Why Enoch Must Be One of the Two Witnesses!. Apocalypse Soon: The Xcellent Files. Retrieved on 2007-06-26.
  13. Hebrews 11:5.
  14. LaHaye, Tim, et al. (2004). Who Are the Two Witnesses?. The Authorized Left Behind Handbook. Retrieved on 2007-06-26.
  15. Amy, Stephen. Daniel 9:24-27. Worship at the Altar. Retrieved on 2007-06-26.
  16. Dominguez, J. The Temple... and the Two Witnesses. Retrieved on 2007-06-26.
  17. The Great Catholic Diversion Revealed. Sabbath & Antichrist Truth Revealed. GodsSabbathTruth.com (2006). Retrieved on 2007-06-27.
  18. Statement on the Antichrist. CICR: WELS Doctrinal Statements. Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (2007). Retrieved on 2007-06-27.
  19. Koenig, Don (2004). Revelation chapter 17 commentary. The Revelation of Jesus Christ Through the Ages. Retrieved on 2007-06-27.
  20. Revelation 11:7.
  21. Daniel's 70th Week--Future or Fulfilled?. Used by permission from Ralph Woodrow. Retrieved on 2007-06-27.
  22. Antichrist. The Catholic Encyclopedia (1907). Retrieved on 2007-06-27.
  23. Revelation 11:4.
  24. Hesychius of Jerusalem. The Catholic Encyclopedia (1907). Retrieved on 2007-06-27.
  25. Bible Commentaries. Precept Austin (2007-06-07). Retrieved on 2007-06-27.
  26. Israel and the Church as the Two Witnesses of Revelation 11 and Daniel 12. The Tribulation Network. Retrieved on 2007-06-29.
  27. Warner, Tim (2002-08-07). Dichotomy or Continuity Between the Present and Past Dispensations: Opening Argument. Progressive Dispensationalism: Debate Between Dr. Mal Couch & Tim Warner. Conservative Theological Society. Retrieved on 2007-06-29.
  28. 28.0 28.1 Warner, Tim (November 2002). Introduction & Methodology. The Last Trumpet. Post-Trib Research Center. Retrieved on 2007-06-29.
  29. Historicism Research Foundation. Retrieved on 2006-06-30.
  30. What is the Preterist View of Bible Prophecy?. International Preterist Association (2007). Retrieved on 2007-06-30.
  31. Haynes, J. L. The Meaning of the "Two Witnesses". Historicism.com. Retrieved on 2007-06-30.
  32. Defining Evangelicalism. Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals (April 2005). Retrieved on 2007-06-30.
  33. Millennium and Millenarianism. The Catholic Encyclopedia (1911). Retrieved on 2007-06-30.
  34. Crutchfield, Larry V. The Early Church Fathers and the Foundations of Dispensationalism. Retrieved on 2007-06-30.
  35. Christian Millenarianism/Indiana University Press. Retrieved on 2007-06-30.
  36. Strandberg, Todd. The Pretribulation Rapture. Rapture Ready. Retrieved on 2007-08-19.
  37. Ice, Thomas (2003). Other articles by Dr. Thomas Ice. Pre-Trib Research Center. Retrieved on 2007-08-19.
  38. Outline and Chronology of Endtimes in the Book of Revelation. Jesus-is-the-way.com (2007-05-27). Retrieved on 2007-08-19.
  39. Krieger, Doug (2005-12-25). Your Covenant with Death...Your Agreement With Hell...The U.S.-Israel Strategic Alliance. Retrieved on 2007-08-19.
  40. Ice, Thomas. The Israeli Elections (PDF). Pre-trib.org. Retrieved on 2007-08-23.
  41. Lemke, Steve W. The Biblical Case for Mid-Tribulationalism. Retrieved on 2007-08-23.
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  116. king".
  117. Ephesians 6:10-13.
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  122. ptoma.
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  125. Hebrews 13:12.
  126. Yes, I'm trying to post my research (original) from wikipedia to Conservapedia - is that all right? It is my original work - you can check on that. kriege4rdwm@yahoo.com
    use this template on the talk page --Jpatt 13:07, 23 March 2009 (EDT)
    ! This article was copied from Wikipedia but the copied text was originally written by me, kriegerdwm and does not include alterations made by others on that site. Conservlogo.png
    [[Category:{{{category}}}|Two Witnesses]]
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  147. Paul D. Feinberg).
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