The Identity of the Two Witnesses

Chris

Administrator
Staff member
The Identity of the Two Witnesses
By Bill Perkins

“And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” – Rev. 11:3

Most people who study Bible prophecy are well aware of the “Two Witnesses” — the two fascinating Jewish men who emerge post-Rapture at the beginning of the 7-years of God’s wrath on earth. Most of what we know about them is in Revelation 11.

Dressed in interesting sackcloth attire, they arrive at the beginning of the Tribulation just after the Rapture. Based in Jerusalem, they’re an impressive presence for 3 1/2 years on the world’s stage. Their first assignment is to show where the Temple is to be rebuilt on Mount Moriah (Rev. 11:1-2).

They have the ability to cause droughts and plagues in specific places around the earth, and even turn fresh water into blood (Rev. 11:6).

They become quite the tormentor to the non-Jews who are still alive on the earth. And if someone tries to hurt them, they can spew fire out of their mouths devouring their enemies. An impressive defense, to say the least (Rev. 11:5).

Ultimately Satan himself, after being thrown down to the earth from heaven (Rev. 12:9), is finally able to kill them and the world explodes in celebration over their death (Rev. 11:10).

Their dead bodies are left uncovered in the street for the world to see. But God takes the opportunity to show they were His chosen instruments by audibly calling them to stand up… and then slowly lifts them into the sky in front of their dumbfounded enemies (Rev. 11:11-12).

Satan then has full control of the earth for 3 1/2 years, although God’s angels make Satan and his followers miserable through the constant release of the Lord’s undiluted wrath (Rev. 16).

Elijah

The identity of the first witness is not in question. One of the last things recorded in the Old Testament says:

“Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD.” – Mal. 4:5

Elijah was the prophet who departed the earth alive in a whirlwind (2Kings 2:11). The Jews have been looking for Elijah to return since this prophecy was recorded around 487 BC, some 2500 years ago.

Even today at the Passover meal, most Jewish families set a place for Elijah at the table. Then just before time to eat, they send the kids to open the front door to see if Elijah has arrived for dinner.

The 2nd Witness is heavily debated, but to me it should be obvious. So let’s look closely at the three best possibilities.

Moses?

Some people believe the 2nd Witness will be Moses. It does seem like a natural fit since one of the Witness’ miracles will be turning water into blood—like Moses did during the Egyptian Exodus. And also Moses was seen standing next to Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt 17:1-3).

But Moses is an unlikely candidate because he has already died. God even said He “buried” him. Seems unlikely that God would make Moses die twice but not Elijah (Deut. 34:5,6).

If in fact Elijah is one of the two, we probably should look at people who have yet to die an earthy death—and there are two in the Bible.

Enoch?

Enoch is mentioned in only 12 verses in the Bible but he was very special having been born in the 7th generation from Adam. He lived 365 years before, like Elijah, he was taken from the earth without dying because he “pleased” God (Gen. 5:23-24, Heb. 11:5).

However, whereas Elijah was bodily removed, Enoch was sort of raptured/translated. Not sure you can go back to being a living/breathing human with blood in the veins after being raptured.

But the main problem with Enoch is that he’s not Jewish, having lived long before Abraham, even before the worldwide flood. I can’t imagine the Jews following anyone who is not Jewish.

John?

John, the author of John, 1John, 2John, 3John and the book of Revelation, is almost certainly the 2nd Witness. He was in Jesus’ inner circle of friends and John was intimate enough with Jesus that he loved to lean back against Jesus’ chest during feasts and important reclining meals (John 21:20).

There is recorded history of the death of every Apostle of Jesus, except John. Each of the other Apostles are known to have died horrible deaths. John was the lone exception.

It is widely recorded in history that in Ephesus in 96 AD, when Roman emperor Domitian commanded that the Apostle John be boiled in oil, John just continued preaching from the pot. People only ASSUME he died and then speculate he died in Ephesus, or Patmos…but it’s only speculation.

In the last chapter of John’s Gospel account, he recorded a conversation between Jesus and His Apostles about how each would die. At one point Peter asked about how John would die, and Jesus answered:

Jesus said to him, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!” John 21:22

Jesus said not to worry about how John would die because he would remain alive until the time of Jesus’ return. The disciples thought Jesus had said John wouldn’t die, but Scripture then corrected that misconception saying:

Therefore this saying went out among the brethren that that disciple would not die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but only, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you?” John 21:23

This may have been part of the reason Jesus assigned John to watch over His mother, knowing John would outlive her (John 19:26,27).

John also records a prophecy that in the future he would stand before kings regarding nations and peoples. This is an unfulfilled prophecy.

And they said to me, “You must prophesy again concerning many peoples and nations and tongues and kings.” Rev. 10:11

To me this is a no-brainer. But what may have caused confusion through the years is the man-made paragraph break between the end of Revelation 10 and the beginning of Revelation 11.

Paragraph breaks were not in the original scriptures but were first inserted by Archbishop Langton of Canterbury in 1227. Verses were added 300 years later by Robert Estienne.

Langton was definitely not under the influence of the Holy Spirit when he divided up the Bible into chapters as some of the chapter breaks have proved to be disastrously misleading.

In this case if he had simply backed up one verse and started Revelation 11 with the last verse of Revelation 10, no one would have missed the obvious connection! You would have John saying he was to preach to the Kings of the earth as one of the Two Witnesses! Reading 10:11 as the beginning of 11 would then be read together like this:

And they said to me, “You [John] must prophesy again concerning many peoples and nations and tongues and kings. Then 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. And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” Rev. 10:11-11:3

Elijah & John!

So there you have it, Elijah and John are the Two Witnesses. One from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament, neatly tying the entire Bible together—the Law in the Old tied to Jesus in the New. This is hugely important because in the Tribulation the Two Witnesses and the 144,000 Jewish Evangelists preach that Jesus is the Lamb of God, the Messiah (Rev. 14:4;15:3).

Shalom!

BP

https://www.raptureforums.com/revelation/the-identity-of-the-two-witnesses/
 

Released

Well-Known Member
So... the author says Moses cannot be one of the witnesses because he died, but John, who died after writing Revelation... is a chosen candidate? But in Jude verse 9, Jude describes the unusual conflict between Michael and Satan contesting the body of Moses:

Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

Then, it was Peter, John and James, along with Jesus who saw Elijah and Moses on the mount during His transfiguration...

Mark 9:4-5

And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus. And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.

Also, Moses is the Lawgiver. This gives him the authority to chastise Jews during the time of the Tribulation, just like Elijah as a prophet, did during the reign of wicked Ahab and his wife. Furthermore, he is recorded performing the very miracles mentioned in Revelation as he did before Pharaoh in Egypt, as well as Elijah's miracles during his ministry. John performed no such miracles. Other biblical commentators mention Enoch as a witness, but he was an antediluvian, and therefore not qualified. It would appear Moses and Elijah, with their backgrounds and attributes, are those also mentioned in the last book of the Old Testament, Malachi 4:4-6:

Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

Jesus always referred to the Law and Prophets, as Moses- the Lawgiver, and Elijah- the Prophet will participate in God's discipline for Israel during the first half of the Tribulation after the church is removed. (This disqualifies John, who is a member of the church, who will be in heaven during the entire Tribulation)

Finally, an Old Testament term for the Tribulation Period is known as Jacob's Trouble, reserved only for the Jews, and not the church, which John is a member of. Moses and Elijah both qualify for this position on all counts.

It looks like the Bible has already selected the witnesses for us! God speed!
 
Last edited:

Kaatje

Listening for that trumpet sound
My understanding is it’s Moses and Elijah.
That was my understanding too (the Law and the Prophets),
or it could be Enoch and Elijah (the 2 that haven’t died yet).

I never heard of the combination Moses and John Evangelist.
Could be, don’t want to reject it perse. It makes sense somehow.

But John the Baptist was called by our Lord Jesus to be Elijah, in. Matth. 11:14.
So it could very well be two contemporary men, in the spirit of Moses and Elijah.
(or Enoch or John)

But we’ll know soon I hope.
Amen!
 

Chris

Administrator
Staff member
Agree. We wont find out until we are up with Him.

i have also thought its possible it could be 2 men who are not mentioned anywhere in the bible. God certainly can use whoever He wants,
I believe that dr. Fruchtenbaum believes they will be two ordinary men raised up at the time for that purpose. I don’t know who they will be but most everyone agrees with Elijah. I guess we will have to wait and see from heaven. :idunno
 

Released

Well-Known Member
I believe that dr. Fruchtenbaum believes they will be two ordinary men raised up at the time for that purpose. I don’t know who they will be but most everyone agrees with Elijah. I guess we will have to wait and see from heaven. :idunno
Dr. Fruchtenbaum writes some of the best end-times Bible study material available. I could see just two ordinary men among the 144,000 doing this at that time, since they will be responsible for part of the Tribulation revival.
 

athenasius

Well-Known Member
The fact that the book of Revelation doesn’t name them is significant. If we were supposed to know- it would tell us. There’s hints. Moses’s body, Elijah coming before the Lord.

Where the Bible is silent- we can guess but the final answer is for God to reveal.

I have never ever heard of John the Baptist or John the beloved as a contender for the role.
 

God's Servant

Well-Known Member
The fact that the book of Revelation doesn’t name them is significant. If we were supposed to know- it would tell us. There’s hints. Moses’s body, Elijah coming before the Lord.

Where the Bible is silent- we can guess but the final answer is for God to reveal.

I have never ever heard of John the Baptist or John the beloved as a contender for the role.

Amen.
 

Tall Timbers

Imperfect but forgiven
I enjoyed the article until the line "The identity of the first witness is not in question." From Scripture it appears that Elijah has an end time job to do that is not being one of the 2 witnesses. That doesn't mean he couldn't also be one of the 2 witnesses. While it's fun to play the guessing game, we'll know when the time comes... at least I hope we will.
 

DanLMP

Well-Known Member
i have also thought its possible it could be 2 men who are not mentioned anywhere in the bible. God certainly can use whoever He wants,
Maybe, Hope and Crosby or Martin and Lewis?
Those are probably low probability.

I'll be content to watch from the bleachers.

As mentioned up thread, what isn't clearly defined is just a guess. It might be a good guess, but it's still a guess.
 

Andy C

Reborn to fly
The fact that the book of Revelation doesn’t name them is significant. If we were supposed to know- it would tell us. There’s hints. Moses’s body, Elijah coming before the Lord.

Where the Bible is silent- we can guess but the final answer is for God to reveal.

I have never ever heard of John the Baptist or John the beloved as a contender for the role.
The author made a good case for John, but like you and others, I have never read anyone who thought John was a possibility.
I will stick with Moses and Elijah, but that just a guess.
 

Spartan Sprinter 1

Well-Known Member
I believe that dr. Fruchtenbaum believes they will be two ordinary men raised up at the time for that purpose. I don’t know who they will be but most everyone agrees with Elijah. I guess we will have to wait and see from heaven. :idunno
Yeah i think Ellijah is definitely confirmed as one, as the Jews are commanded to leave a spare chare or something at their houses in anticipation of Elijah which he hasn't fufilled yet ( excuse the laziness, the rain got me in a lazy mood, p.s i haven't seen rain here in my country in ages LOL so it's a literal Godsend seeing it now)
 

Tall Timbers

Imperfect but forgiven
Yeah i think Ellijah is definitely confirmed as one, as the Jews are commanded to leave a spare chare or something at their houses in anticipation of Elijah which he hasn't fufilled yet ( excuse the laziness, the rain got me in a lazy mood, p.s i haven't seen rain here in my country in ages LOL so it's a literal Godsend seeing it now)
If they were setting a place for a witness, you'd think the custom would be to set two places. I actually think that Scripture regarding this custom is a strong indicator that Elijah will be going about a separate task during the time of the two witnesses, which would exclude him from being one.
 
Top