The Bible foretells God will send two incredible witnesses into ministry during the first half of the Tribulation Period who will astound the world with their power and be a thorn in the side of the Antichrist.
God's Two Witnesses will arrive in the first half of the seven-year Tribulation Period which will take place after the Rapture of the Church and the implementation of the Antichrist's peace plan between Israel and her enemies.
Revelation 11:3: And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
The Two Witnesses' ministry will be 1,260 days in length or 3.5 years. As such, we can see these two powerful men will be on the world scene for the first half of the Tribulation Period.
Identifying The Two Witnesses
Revelation 11:4: These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
In Zechariah 4:14, the two olive trees are referred to as "the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth." Who are these two olive trees? There are many theories as to their identity.
Some think The Two Witnesses will be Elijah and Enoch, each of whom were called away from the earth without tasting death. Each was, in essence, raptured away, much like the Church will be prior to the start of the Tribulation Period.
2nd Kings 2:11: And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
Genesis 5:23-24: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.
Some think The Two Witnesses will be Elijah and Moses based on their appearance before Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration to discuss with Him His impending death.
Matthew 17:1-5: And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.
Setting aside speculation, the identity of The Two Witnesses is unknown as neither of them are called by name in the Bible, perhaps because God wants their identities to remain secret until the appointed time of their ministry.
Miracles and plagues of the Two Witnesses
The Two Witnesses will preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ during the time of their ministry with great authority. As the time of their ministry will take place during the time of the Antichrist, their message will not be well-received. Some will, in fact, try to kill them for their testimony and will, as a result, discover it unwise to meddle in the affairs of God's Witnesses! For the 1,260 days of their ministry to mankind, the Two Witnesses will be absolutely indestructible!
Revelation 11:5: And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.
As a sign unto those they attempt to lead to repentance, The Two Witnesses will additionally be empowered by God to send terrible plagues upon those who stand against them. As such, they will be a thorn in the side of the Antichrist as he attempts to demonstrate himself to be the savior of the world.
As I read the story of The Two Witnesses and their ministry, I can't help but visualize what the world's reaction to their ministry is going to be. Although many tribulation saints will be strengthened through the ministry of The Witnesses, the unsaved world will have a totally different perception of them.
Have you ever heard someone say Christians are guilty of forcing the Gospel down people's throats? Have you ever heard people say Christians need to practice religious tolerance so as to not offend others? If you have, you can imagine how The Two Witnesses will be perceived by a lot of the world's population when they start commanding them to repent or else face plague after plague as a sign of their need to do so!
Revelation 11:6: These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.
Because The Two Witnesses will be God's witnesses to the world concerning the Gospel, it goes without saying they will oppose the Antichrist at every turn, making a mockery of him in spite of all his successes. Can you imagine the hatred the Antichrist will feel toward these two men during the time of their ministry?
Death of The Two Witnesses
At the end of their ministry, the Antichrist, who will have been slain in some manner will somehow be resurrected from the dead. Indwelt by Satan himself, the Antichrist will turn his satanic wrath on The Two Witnesses and kill them!
Revelation 11:7: And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
The world will not mourn the deaths of The Witnesses. In fact, their dead bodies will be left lying in the streets on public display for the entire world to see for three and a half days. Every news station in the world will likely be airing footage of their corpses, building the legend of the Antichrist who not only rose from the dead, but was able to slay these great men of God!
Revelation 11:8-9: And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. 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.
An atmosphere reminiscent of Christmas will exist in the aftermath of the deaths of The Witnesses as those they tormented with plagues rejoice in the triumph of the risen Antichrist.
Revelation 11:10: And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.
God ends the Antichrist's victory party
Here's where the story gets good! As the world rejoices the deaths of The Witnesses and the triumph of the Antichrist, many news cameras are going to record an amazing event, demonstrating no one wins a victory over God unless it serves His divine purpose and plan!
As cameras record the bodies of The Witnesses lying in the street three and a half days after their deaths, they are going to be resurrected from the dead, causing the world to tremble with fear!
Revelation 11:11: And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.
As The Witnesses stand up and dust themselves off, the jaws of the world's population are going to hit the prophetic floor! In contrast, can you imagine the triumphant shout that will rise in Heaven as those around the throne celebrate the resurrection of The Witnesses?
As The Witnesses adjust their clothing, the cameras will record a voice calling from Heaven, beckoning the risen Witnesses to come home! Before the eyes of the world, The Two Witnesses will take flight!
Revelation 11:12: And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.
Within an hour of The Two Witnesses' flight to Heaven, a terrible earthquake will hit Jerusalem, leveling one-tenth of the city, and killing 7,000 people. These dramatic events will cause many to praise the God of Heaven.
Revelation 11:13: And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.
The ministry of The Two Witnesses is without a doubt one of the greatest demonstrations of God's grace imaginable! In spite of the fact those present in the Tribulation Period at the time of the Two Witnesses' ministry will be there as a direct result of their failure to accept Jesus Christ, God promises us He will send these two men of unimaginable supernatural power to compel mankind to accept Him. He certainly doesn't have to do so, but He will out of love, unwilling that any should perish, but that all should be reconciled to Him through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ!
As if the ministry of The Witnesses wasn't enough grace shown, God will further demonstrate to those in the Tribulation Period, through the resurrection of The Witnesses, His power to raise those who believe in Him from the dead! He will do so, in my opinion, to show the world they don't have to be afraid to be martyred for Him, if necessary, to resist the acceptance of the Antichrist and his mark - the mark of the beast - which will eventually be required in order for mankind to buy or sell!
By resurrecting The Two Witnesses and calling them to Heaven before the eyes of the entire world, God will reveal the truth behind what happened when the Church was raptured away earlier! He will do so, in my opinion, to counter the lie the world will have been told concerning the supernatural disappearance of many Christians that occurred at or near the beginning of the Tribulation Period.
Many choose to view the final prophecies of the Bible as a time when God ruthlessly punishes those on the earth without any compassion whatsoever, but I don't see it that way at all! I hope you don't either.
If you are reading this prior to the Rapture of the Church and have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, God is extending an invitation to you to accept Him right now that you may avoid the Tribulation Period to come - a time the Bible tells us will be a time of trial on the earth the likes of which mankind has never seen nor will ever see beyond those days in the future!
Do you want to know how you can accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior right now, securing for yourself a ride to Heaven with the Lord when He comes to rapture His Church prior to the onset of the Tribulation Period? If so, click HERE.