THE TWO WITNESSES (taken from The Tragic Aftermath of Futurism)
see also The Witness of the Church
In Revelation 11:3-12 is described the two witnesses with their work, their death and their resurrection. From the fundamentalist, Futuristic standpoint of Biblical interpretation of prophecy, it is commonly taught that the two witnesses are two men of the Old Testament era that have been resurrected or either the two men of the Old Testament that did not die and therefore are brought back into their physical bodies and placed back on this earth as the two witnesses. Ordinarily, it is believed that the two witnesses are either Moses and Elijah, Elijah and Enoch or Moses and Enoch. There is quite a dispute over the difference of opinion as to which of the two men of these three it will be. These three men have been chosen because their lives, while they were on earth in their physical bodies, are somewhat a type of the work and description of the two witnesses described in Revelation 11. Staying true with the text, we are given the best clue as to their identity in verse four.
First, let us ascertain from the Old Testament who God refers to as His two witnesses. In Isaiah 43:10 it is stated unto Jacob which is inclusive of both houses of Israel, “Ye are my witnesses saith God and my servant whom I have chosen. . .” The prophet is referring to Jacob, yet he says, ye are my witnesses, which denotes more than one or a plurality of witnesses. In Isaiah 44:8 it is stated, “Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? Ye are even my witnesses.”
Here again, God is speaking through the prophet unto Jacob His servant, that the house or family of Jacob are His witnesses. In Revelation 11:3 the possessive personal pronoun “my” is used again as it was in both Scriptures in Isaiah. He says, “I will give power unto my two witnesses.” “My” must have an antecedent which is referring back to the angel in verse one. This angel is Jesus Christ. He is telling us through the prophet Isaiah, who His witnesses are. Does Christ have different witnesses than what is stated in the Old Testament? No, His witnesses would be the same.
In Psalm 114:2 the Psalmist speaks of Judah as being the Lord’s sanctuary while Israel as being His dominion. This denotes a two-fold office of religious and civil authority within the family of Jacob.
In Revelation 11:4 we are given a strong clue as to the identity of these two witnesses by the reference to the two olive trees and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the whole earth. In Haggai 1:1 and 14 is mentioned two men and their respective offices which were instrumental in the restoration of the city of Jerusalem after the Babylonian exile. Joshua the High Priest and Zerubbabel the Governor are the two men which are types of the two witnesses of Revelation 11. It is very significant to remember that the two God-given institutions that were reestablished during this post-exilic era were civil authority under the leadership of Zerubbabel the Governor and religious authority under Joshua the High Priest. The parallel remains the same. Those two institutions are civil authority and religious authority under the dual office of the Messiah originally intended to be exercised through His Church in His Kingdom. Someday Jesus Christ will execute full authority in both of these offices as is reflected in His title, King of kings and Lord of lords.
The three and a half prophetic days or three and a half literal years covers the period of time of May 5th 1545, the date of the fifth Lateran Council to October 31, 1517, when Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five thesis to the Wittenberg Castle Church door in Germany. During this time there were no protestant voices crying out against the corruption of Papal Rome. The bodies of the two witnesses were “dead” (11:18) and the Papal Church of Rome rejoiced (11:10).
Through proper Biblical interpretation, while allowing the Scriptures to speak for themselves, we are given a clean understanding who the two witnesses are. While following the Futuristic scheme ‘Protestants’ remain in darkness and once again bow to the bidding of the Jesuits.