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The Two Witnesses
(Revelation 11)

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> Ezekiel 40-48
Revelation is written in the order of the feasts. These are the significant actions of God in our salvation. This section of Revelation introduces God as the Judge on the day of atonement. The symbols used involve the legal evidence that God has been gathering over the last 6000 years.

Background
In our last lesson we learned that God would unseal the prophecies of Daniel and launch a Remnant who would spread the gospel throughout the world at the time when He began the judgment. In this lesson we see the basis of the case for the Judgment and Satan's attempt to stop this knowledge from entering the earth. This chapter is divided into several sections.

The Symbols
After the judgment begins in Revelation 10, God submits His legal case in Revelation 11. This chapter is written in the terms of a legal document because God is revealing his legal case for the judgment.

Two Spies of God. Just as Joshua sent two spies into Jericho before they entered the Promised Land, God sent two witnesses to spy out the land. God also sent two witnesses as spies before He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. Finally, God sent Moses and Elijah before Christ was killed.
Their report leads to the destruction of the great city as the walls of Babylon fall like the walls of Jericho and the walls of Christ. In the disaster God rescues those who were once harlots in the land of immorality.

Law
The Legal Case Against The Wicked
One aspect of Jewish law was the requirement that there would be two witnesses in a trial. Here we see that God is combining the legal and the religious worlds. On the great global day of atonement, God is calling on His two witnesses to testify. He has satisfied the legal requirements.

The Autumn Feasts
Since this prophecy centers on the judgment, let us review the feasts that symbolize this time. A more detailed study is in this lesson on the Feasts of Israel. All the autumn feasts occurred in the seventh month of Tishri.

Day 1 1844 Day 10 Day 11-14 Second
Coming
Feast of Tabernacles (Day 15-21) Hell
Fire
Day 22
Feast of Trumpets Yom Kippur Preparation Day 15-20 Hosana Raba (Day 21) Shemini Atzeret
Persecution Judgment Gospel Millennium Wicked Judged New Earth
Judgment of the Priests in the Temple Judgment of the Outer Court Reward

Notice that Jewish tradition says that the righteous and the wicked are judged at separate times. The wicked are judged after the righteous go to live with God.

In considering the judgment it is important to consider the distinction between the individual people and the authorities or principalities and powers. The principalities and powers were judged at the cross and the earthly powers through whom they transferred authority were also judged. This is why Christ received His throne at the judgment. But the judgment of individuals began with the righteous dead in 1844. It will proceed to the righteous living during a period called the sealing. The wicked people are judged at a later time.
With this sequence of events, let us look at the prophecy.

The Day Of Atonement: Measurement And Judgment
The Judgment Of The Righteous
There was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, "Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it. Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the Holy City for forty two months." (Revelation 11: 1-2)

The word "measure" or the concept of measurement or weighing means to judge against a standard.
Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged: and with what measure you give, it shall be measured to you again." (Matthew 7: 1-2)

Here we see a judgment of those in the temple. However, those in the outer court are not judged. The temple on earth was only a copy of the temple in heaven. In this true temple, Christ serves as our High Priest who represents us.
West North East
Most Holy PlaceHoly Place Outer Court
Heaven Church Earth
The Righteous The Wicked
South

At the time of the judgment, three righteous things are considered.

The Judgment Of The Wicked
The outer court where the wicked are located is not measured. The wicked are not judged at this time. They will be judged at the Second and Third Comings. Before this, they trample down the city of Jerusalem for 42 months.
Parallels Law Leviticus 16 (Yom Kippur) Repeat Revelation 11 Repeat Ezekiel 40-48
1 Sanctuary 16 The Sanctuary is cleansed 1 The Temple is measured 40 Temple measured
2 Altar 18, 33The Altar was cleansed 1 The Altar is measured 41 Altar is measured
3 People 7, 33The People were cleansed 1 The Worshipers are measured 44 Priests
4 Israel Judged 16, 21, 23 The judgment occurs on behalf of the assembly of Israel 1,2The measuring only involves God's people 43 Temple shows them their iniquities

Law The Two Witnesses During The 1260 Years
"And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth." These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. And if anyone wants to harm them, fire flows out of their mouth and devours their enemies; so if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this way. (Revelation 11: 3-5)

Law Law: Two Witnesses. On the evidence of two witnesses or three witnesses, he who is to die shall be put to death. He shall not be put to death on the evidence of one witness. (Deuteronomy 17: 6 and 19: 15)
The testimony of one witness was not sufficient. God provided for two, He followed His own rules!
Other Trumpets Sixth Trumpet (Second Woe) Seventh Trumpet (Third Woe)
538 Wheel 1260 Years of Testimony 1798 Witnesses
Resurrected
1844 Judgment Second
Coming
2 Witnesses Beast from
the Abyss
Witnesses Killed Righteous Wicked
WheelPersecution 3½ Years French Revolution Wheel Unsealed Daniel Unsealed Sealing Wrath
We now learn that two things happened over a period of 1260 years that are a part of the testimony of God. The wicked are disobedient murderers, and they have been told about the righteous requirements of God by the two witnesses.

Identifying The Two Witnesses
There are many theories about the identity of the two witnesses.

Authority Of The Two Witnesses
Law Sending The Curses. These have the power to shut up the sky, so that rain will not fall during the days of their prophesying; and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with every plague, as often as they desire. (Revelation 11: 6)
These witnesses have great power and authority derived from the law. They are the powers used by Moses and Elijah.

The Authority Of The Two Witnesses
1Jesus Christ > Inspiration Law (Covenant) > Authority Scriptures LampsWord of GodMoses
2Holy SpiritProphets (Testimony) Church Olive TreesVoice of GodElijah

So, the testimony of the church from the scriptures are the two witnesses. But they receive their authority from the law and the prophets who are inspired by God. The covenant gives them the authority to send curses. These witnesses taught the will of God for 1260 years under severe persecution. They prophesied in a state of mourning, death and sorrow.
So we have three sets of witnesses who get their authority from the previous. First is Christ and the Holy Spirit. The second is the law and the prophets. Finally, in our age the witness has been given to the church and the scriptures. The church is the modern prophet of God to the world, and the scriptures are really the same laws and covenants and testimony that have been passed to us. One does not contradict the other.

The Great Commission. This authority has been given to the church in the Great Commission.
This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24: 14)

The Crime Of The Beast From The Abyss
When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. Those from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and will not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and celebrate; and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth. (Revelation 11: 7-10)
In response to the testimony of the martyrs and the efforts of the Reformation, Satan tries to stamp out all Christianity. The church rejected the idea of "Sola Scriptura", or "The Bible and the Bible only." Satan responded with a system that was antagonistic towards all Christians. But their continued disobedience to God and reliance on the state could not save them.
Law Law: Three to Four Periods of Time. When you enter the land and plant all kinds of trees for food, then you shall count their fruit as forbidden. Three years it shall be forbidden to you; it shall not be eaten.
Results. But in the fourth year all its fruit shall be holy, an offering of praise to the Lord.
(Leviticus 19: 23-24)
The 1260 years are based on this law. Results are examined at the end.

The French Revolution
From history, we know that the only kingdom that matches all the following characteristics is the atheistic secular state that arose in the French Revolution around the year 1798 and the Great City is Paris.

  1. A Beast is Symbolic of a Kingdom (Daniel 7: 23). So the Bible warns of a kingdom that would arise near the end of the 1260 years around the year 1798. And this kingdom would attack the two witness of the Old and New Testaments.
  2. This kingdom is called Sodom and Egypt.
  3. The attack against God's Word would start in a Great City. (Revelation 11: 8)
  4. The Bible would suffer an attack for 3½ symbolic days or 3½ literal years. (Revelation 11: 9)
  5. Celebrations would occur in the streets of the great city around the year 1798.

History Of The French Revolution

At the time of the French Revolution, the people of France revolted against the "Roman Church". The French people had been repressed and tortured by the "Church" for so long, that when they revolted, they rejected all "Christianity", and the "Word". At this time, there was a tremendous rise in Secular Humanism. This is a viewpoint that placed Human Reason, and not faith in God or in His Word, as supreme.

The Resurrection Of The Witnesses
But after the three and a half days, the breath of life from God came into them, and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who were watching them. And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up here." Then they went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies watched them. And in that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell; seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven. (Revelation 11: 11-13)

At the end of the 3½ symbolic days or literal years the Bible would be restored. The knowledge of the sanctuary and the covenant would be restored. A prophet or a prophetic movement would be called to point the world back to the covenant and its message. Love God. Receive the blessings of God and avoid the curses.
The French Revolution resulted in the fall of the Catholic Church from her government control. It began the anticipated spread of secularism and atheism. But it also caused Protestantism to flourish. All of these events occurred during the period known as "the time of the end". In that time, God promised to give wisdom and understanding about the Book of Daniel.
One of these movements was the Millerite movement. Through this movement, people began to study their Bibles and to look for the Second Coming of God instead of a millennium of peace ushered in by the sudden growth of new technology in that period.

1260 years Papacy falls Resurrection of the two witnesses 1844 Judgment
Dark Ages French Revolution (3 ½ years)
Witnesses prophesy Beast from the Abyss Two witnesses killed Earthquake Measurement

Resurrection Of The Word (Verses 10-12). At the end of the 3½ days (years), the Word would be restored. And we would see the "Word" being drawn to Heaven, "and their enemies saw them". So men's attention would be drawn toward Heaven and toward God by the Word. Their resurrection in this year is so that they can testify as witnesses in the judgment which is to begin in 1844. The events of the Millerite movement fulfill the actions of the remnant who gave glory to God.

The Book of Daniel is Unsealed. Satan wanted people everywhere to ignore the book of Daniel so they would be deceived. So, at the same time the book of Daniel was unsealed around 1798, the Bible predicted the rise of atheistic secularism and its attack on God's word.
The Remnant who understand the Book of Daniel appear after 1798.

The Earthquake (Verse 13). The great Lisbon earthquake of the sixth seal occurred in 1755. But this prophecy mentions an earthquake that occurs after the persecution of religion in the French Revolution. The Lisbon earthquake was a sign or signal of the great political changes that God would soon make within the next 100 years. The papacy would fall, France falls, the judgment would begin and Christ would take possession of the kingdom.

JudgmentSatan Trumpets Papacy France Righteous Second Coming
City FallsJerusalem (70) Persecutors Rome (1798) Paris Earth Babylon the Great falls
Curse Crucifixion Fifth Seal Lisbon 6th Trumpet Blessing 7th Trumpet 7th Plague
Date31 AD Martyrs (1755)1798-1815 1844 Both earthquakes are the same

Each earthquake is accompanied by the fall of a major city within that generation. Jerusalem fell in 70 AD, forty years after the crucifixion. The papacy fell in 1798, 43 years after the Lisbon earthquake. The real earthquake was a sign to the generation of the coming political change in their life time. Therefore the prophecy of the earthquake is best fulfilled when the political change also occurs.
Earthquake Prophecies
TextEvent Event Reason
Revelation 8: 5Seven Trumpets Prayers are answered Political
Revelation 11: 13 Sixth Trumpet French Revolution Political
Revelation 11: 19 Seventh Trumpet God judges the world Both
Revelation 16: 18 Seventh Plague The Second Coming Both
Matthew 27: 51 Death of Christ Christ suffers the wrath of God Both
Matthew 28: 2 Resurrection Christ conquers death Political
Revelation 6: 12 Sixth seal Signs of the end Curse
Matthew 24: 7
Mark 13: 8
Luke 21: 11
Earthquake in many places Signs of the end Curse


There are several references to earthquake in prophecy and they are all associated with an action by God to take back what is His possession. They occur when God finishes an action and a great change occurs. It is usually a judgment. It represents a religious and political upheaval, not necessarily a geological upheaval. Let us look at all the earthquake prophecies and what they indicated.

In this prophecy, both the papacy and the French revolutionary governments are judged. After 1260 years the papacy falls. After 1260 days the reign of terror ends and Napoleon will eventually lose.

One Tenth Of The City. France was one of the ten horns of the beast. It fell. The little horn (papacy) was an additional horn that came up among the ten horns. It also fell. So there was a collapse of the religious system and the political system that brought it to power in 538. All this was followed by the judgment. These major political events are the political earthquakes that followed the Lisbon earthquake.

7000 Killed. Some translate this as the end of the French nobility. But this may be symbolic of the generations of the unrighteous nations at the end of time when God judges.

The Remnant Feared God And Gave Glory. This corresponds to the beginning of the first angel's message. Verses 13 to 19 cover the period in which the three angels' messages are sent.
And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. (Revelation 14: 6-7)
We see the Gospel Message being preached globally to every nation by people who "Fear God" (the Remnant people). By a people who recognize that the "hour" or time "of judgment is come" and who recognize the Creator God "who made heaven, and earth."

And the dragon was angry with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 12: 17)
What is Satan's response? He was angry with the "woman" (the true Church), and went to make war with the remnant.

The Seventh Trumpet
A Kingdom Restored. And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,
Saying, We give you thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which are, and was, and are to come; because you have taken to yourself your great power, and have reigned.
A Kingdom Lost. And the nations were angry, and your wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that you should give reward to your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear your name, small and great; and should destroy them which destroy the earth.
Temple Opened. And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.
(Revelation 11: 15-19)
This is the same judgment scene in Daniel 7 and the time when the temple will be cleansed in Daniel 8: 14 at the end of the 2300 day prophecy. So the days of the seventh trumpet began around this time.

The Mystery Of God Is Finished.
But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, then the mystery of God is finished, as He preached to His servants the prophets. (Revelation 10: 7)
What occurs at this time? The mystery of God should be finished. So, as a result of the preaching of the "Little Book", the gospel will be finished. We have come full circle to the opening of the little book and the calling of the Remnant in Revelation 10. The "mystery of God" or the gospel is finished during this period as a result of the opening of the book of Daniel. In this book we can demonstrate clearly that Jesus Christ is the Messiah.

A Kingdom Restored (Verses 15-17). Daniel 7: 9-14 describes this same time when Christ was rewarded with the kingdom as a result of a judgment just before the Second Coming.
And to Him was given dominion, glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations and men of every language might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away. And His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed. (Daniel 7: 14)

A Kingdom Lost (Verse 18). The wicked lose the earth.

The Open Temple (Verse 19). This describes the Second Coming. It brings a great hail and an earthquake that splits the earth in two. At the end of the judgment we see the Ark of the covenant which contains the ten commandments.
Unsealed Daniel Unsealed Mystery of God (Gospel) Wrath of God
1844 Resurrection of the two witnesses Righteous DeadDeadJudgment (Sealing)LivingRighteous Living Papacy
Falls Again
Second
Coming
(Reward)
Angel 1 First Angel Angel 2 Second Angel Angel 3 Third Angel
Millerite Movement Fear God, Give Glory Babylon is fallen Mark of the Beast Plagues Earthquake Hail

Layers Prophesy Again
And they said to me, "you must prophesy again concerning many peoples and nations and tongues and kings". (Revelation 10: 11)

Other Trumpets Sixth Trumpet (Second Woe) Seventh Trumpet (Third Woe)
1260 Days Sodom
Egypt
Temple of Idolatry
Witnesses
Resurrected
Earthquake Wicked Judged Second
Coming
Earthquake
Latter Rain
Rain
2 Witnesses Beast from
the Abyss
Witnesses Killed Seven Last Plagues
Moses, Elijah War: Mark of the Beast Proof of God Wrath of God

This verse precedes this chapter and is most likely connected to it. We have been proposing that the command refers to the fact that the events of the first fall of the papacy at the French Revolution will be repeated at the second fall.

Repeat The principle of repetition and enlargement is seen in this period as several different prophecies testify about what will occur during this time. The law shows us why we must prophesy again.

Captured 1844 Covenant Robbed (Diversion) Prophesy Again
Gad Ephraim Manasseh Benjamin Dan Asher Naphtali Raised Earthquake Sanctuary Restored Kohath: Holy Objects
Kohath
Joseph
Ephraim
Dan
Raiders Dragon Blessings Robbed Death Resurrection Wrath
1260 Years Bitter Disappointment Sanctuary Restored Three Angel's Message

The doctrine of the cleansing and restoration of the sanctuary was discovered at the appropriate time in the history of the exodus of the church. Those who discovered it were bitterly disappointed, but out of the ashes of this experience, they began a ministry that restored knowledge of the sanctuary. Later, others would restore the furnishings and other holy objects before the period of blessing came with the arrival of the western tribes.

Repeat The Temple Of Ezekiel: The Two Witnesses Experience Wrath
Ezekiel's Vision of Israel
Judgment Of The King Of The North
DragonBabylon Judged Dragon
Go North
History of the Seven Churches
(The Falling Away)
DanChurch Comes out of Babylon
Go South
Asher
Naphtali
Manasseh
Ephraim
Reuben
Judah
The Man of Sin Restrained Temple Corrupted
Antichrist Sanctuary Antichrist
The Man of Sin Revealed
Levites
City Trampled
City
Go North
Christ
BenjaminChurch United
Go South
Simeon
Issachar
Zebulun
Gad
DonkeyChrist Comes Horse
The experience of the two witnesses follows the pattern of wrath in the north in our lesson on the twelve tribes. It specifically mirrors the journey from north to south by the twelve tribes in the vision of Ezekiel. The suffering comes from the king of the north. This temple is measured just like the temple of Ezekiel.
So He brought me there; and behold there was a man whose appearance was like the appearance of bronze, with a line of flax and a measuring rod; and he was standing in the gateway. (Ezekiel 40: 3)

Zechariah also describes this judgment of Israel and flight from Babylon.
Then I lifted up my eyes and looked, and behold, there was a man with a measuring line in his hand. So I said, where are you going? And he said to me, "to measure Jerusalem to see how wide it is and how long it is". (Zechariah 2: 1-2)

We are instructed to escape from Babylon. At that time many nations will turn to Christ.
Ho there! Flee from the land of the north, for I have dispersed you as the four winds of the heavens, declares the Lord. Ho Zion! Escape, you who are living with the daughter of Babylon.
Many nations will join themselves to the Lord in that day and will become My people. Then I will dwell in your midst and you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you.
(Zechariah 2: 6-7,11)

The rest of their experience completes the north to south journey of the tribes. After the public resurrection, a great earthquake occurs. The event shakes up the world and places all nations in the valley of decision. Two branches of the church emerge from this experience when they repent. The city falls and repentance occurs at the same time that Jerusalem almost falls and the Jews recognize their Messiah (Zechariah 12). The fall of Jerusalem also causes the spiritual fall of Babylon, because this is when the majority of the exodus begins.

As we come to the temple and the city, we find that the righteous are besieged in the temple and the city is being trampled by the wicked.

From Revelation 13 we find that the Antichrist has taken up residence in the temple. The Second Coming will not occur until the church sees the corrupting influence of the Antichrist in the church and he is exposed.

The Man of Sin. "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day (the second coming of Jesus) shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God."
Restrained. And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.
Exposed. Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming.
(2 Thessalonians 2: 3-4, 6-8)

So the righteous are forced to flee the temple and the city and continue south. By faith the children of Abraham, leave this earthly temple and city because they are looking for a temple made without hands and a city whose builder and maker is God.

By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out not knowing where he was going. By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; He was looking for a city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. (Hebrews 11: 8-10)

The Blame Game
Somehow, they are plotting to blame the fndamentalist Christians for the global disasters.

Spiritual Sodom And Egypt
As the church flees Babylon in the north and waits symbolically in the south, they are symbolically in the same place as Abraham living in the south near Hebron, waiting for the promises of God.

Repeat Repetition and Enlargement
This is an enlargement about the time of the end. From this lesson and the previous we see that several events would occur at the time of the end (1798 to the future). The previous lesson talked about the people of God at the time of the end who would understand the prophecies of Daniel. This chapter talks about the efforts of the forces of evil to stop the gospel at the time of the end.

1260 yearsThe Time Of The End
EventForces of Good Forces of Evil
1260 years Two Witnesses prophecy in sack cloth No rain
Around 1798 Book unsealed and prophecy understood Word of God banned by the beast from the abyss
A new power attacks God The new king of the South (Daniel 11: 40-43)
Knowledge increases A remnant prophesies again when they understand the book of Daniel and spread the gospel worldwide Beast from the abyss attacks the word and spreads the philosophies of communism and secular humanism
1844 Judgment Seventh Trumpet. The righteous are saved They will be destroyed
It is entirely possible that God will send two heavenly messengers for such an important event because He did so with Christ and with the destruction of Sodom. The wicked will probably not recognize them as messengers from God.
Wheel Wheel in a Wheel. I reject the futurist gap theory that rips 7 years from the 2300 day prophecy and places it at the end of time. However, we can make a case for a significant 3.5 year period at the end based on the law. This pattern shows how the beginning and end of the 1260 years were clearly marked with 1260 days of turmoil.
No long, continuous time prophecies go up to the end of the world, but based on the law of harvesting fruit and the pattern of the fall of the papacy, Jerusalem and Babylon, we can probably expect one or more sets of 3.5 years of significant signs before the end of time.

Study to show yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2: 15 Time: 70 minutes
Print: 14 pages
Copyright     Updated : August 2008, 2010
Credits:
Author: Laverna Patterson. Editor: Patterson (January 2008)