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Two Witnesses

Posted by: David Carroll

Revelation 11:3-7 (NIV)

And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth." These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die. These men have power to shut up the sky so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want.

Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them.

The two invincible witnesses of Revelation are fascinating and there is a great deal of speculation as to who they were. Actually they were only invincible until they finished their message. There are many things to ponder from this passage. What do we know about these men?

There were indeed men and not angels since God calls them men and they were mortal eventually. This gives rise to the idea that as a Christian, you only live as long as God has something for you to do. Once your mission is complete, God takes you home. This also implies that if you are misbehaving and giving God a bad reputation, he might take you home like a mother takes a bad boy home from the birthday party. The boy is still a member of the family but it was time to take him out of the party before he did some real damage.

These two witnesses had the ability to stop the rain. We learn in James chapter five that Elijah stopped the rain for three years. This is one of the reasons that people think Elijah may be one of the witnesses. It stands to reason too because Elijah never died. He was "taken" up to heaven in a whirlwind. That feels right, otherwise he would have had to die twice. This way he only dies once, in this chapter of Revelation.

But what about the other guy? Most would say it is Moses perhaps because in the book of Jude the angels and demons contended a bit over his body. But that gives me a problem because it does not fit so nicely with the idea only dying once. Moses died on Mount Nebo in the land of Moab in the last chapter of Deuteronomy.

So who could it be then if my contention is to hold true for both witnesses? The only other man I know of in the Bible who never died was Enoch, one of the pre-flood patriarchs. Enoch is an interesting character too. The bible says he walked with God and that he was "taken" when he was 300 years old (a young pup compared to his other patriarchal family members). Genesis chapter five never says he died like the other patriarchs.

Makes sense to me, Elijah and Enoch, the two witnesses who never died their first time on earth so that God could use them again in a mighty way in the last days.

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