Insights

Two Witnesses

Revelation 11:3-4 – “And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees and the two lamp stands standing before the God of the earth.”

Scripture tells us that there are two witnesses who will testify and prophesy for three and one-half years (1260 days) during the first half of the tribulation period. Their primary purpose is to testify to Yeshua and denounce the Anti-Christ or Beast. Many believe that these two witnesses are Moses and Elijah. Others believe they are Enoch and Elijah. But what if they are none of the above?

Human Death
Hebrews 9:27 – “It is appointed for humans to die once and after this comes judgment.”

Scripture tells us that there are only two types of death. The first type is the death of the body when the soul is either assigned to Sheol [Hell] or ascends to be with Yeshua (Philippians 1:23). Most human’s bodies only die a physical death once, but there are some who have physically died more than once. Lazarus is one example scripture gives us (John 11:43), and many have experienced what is called “Near Death”. This first type of death is only temporary, as all will be resurrected.

Each human, once resurrected, will then be assigned to live eternally with Yahweh and Yeshua on the New Earth or in the New Jerusalem, or will be consigned to eternal death in the Lake of Fire. The second type of death is permanent.

Human Witnesses
Let’s examine the possibilities of who those two witnesses may be, if they indeed be human beings:

  • Elijah is considered to be the premier candidate for one of the two witnesses, as he would clearly represent the Prophets and/or the Jews for those who contend that the two witnesses portray either the Law and the Prophets, or the Gentiles and the Jews. As far as we are aware, he has never physically died, having been taken alive into heaven. Yeshua states that Elijah must come before the terrible and great day of the Lord, as prophesied in Malachi 4:5. He stood before Yahweh and stopped the rain from falling (1 Kings 17:1) and also was able to call fire down from heaven (2 Kings 1:10). Both witnesses are also able to cause the rain to stop and defend themselves with fire.
  • Moses has only physically died once, as far as we are aware. Scripture clearly tells us that he died and was buried by Yahweh (Deuteronomy 34:4-7). His candidacy for being one of the two witnesses is based on the assumption that the two witnesses portray the Law and the Prophets. Moses, therefore, would represent the Law. He also had the ability to turn water into blood and the power to plague the earth (Exodus 7:14-21), which the two witnesses will also be able to do.

Matthew 17:3, Mark 9:4 and Luke 9:30 tell us that both Moses and Elijah appeared before Yeshua just prior to his crucifixion and resurrection. Adding these three passages to the many scriptures above cause many to contend that Moses and Elijah are the two witnesses of Revelation.

  • Enoch’s primary qualification for being one of the two witnesses stems from his having been taken alive into heaven (Genesis 5:24 and Hebrews 11:5). He would portray Grace, for those who contend that the two witnesses portray Law and Grace. The first, second, and third century Church Fathers believed that Enoch would be the second witness to accompany Elijah.

Many contend that the two most likely candidates are Enoch and Elijah. Both were men of righteousness who were raptured to Heaven alive, never having to experience the first death. Both were prophets. Enoch was a Gentile and Elijah was a Jew.

However
Amos 3:7 – “Surely Yahweh does nothing unless he reveals his secret counsel to his servants the prophets.”
Scripture does not give us any indication that either Enoch or Moses are prophesied to return before the Day of the Lord. It either or both are one of the two witnesses, surely scripture would tell us clearly that they are. Scripture does, however, indicate that Elijah is to return before the Day of the Lord. His mission: He will turn the heart of fathers to their sons, and the heart of sons to their fathers (Malachi 3:23-24). This sounds to me more like imploring people to return to their Hebrew roots than warning people that Yeshua’s second coming is about to take place. Perhaps Elijah only comes to help set up the next Temple and to insure that the worship practices are in accordance with Yahweh’s teachings.

Non-Human Witnesses
Let’s examine the possibilities of who those two witnesses may be, if they indeed be someone other than humans:

Revelation 11:4 – “These are the two olive trees and the two lamp stands standing before the God of the earth.”

  • The two witnesses stand before Yahweh.
  • They will be clothed in sackcloth, a symbol of humbleness, which today might easily be similar to denim!, a tough, durable fabric that could stand up for three years of service.
  • The two witnesses have the power to destroy their enemies with fire from their mouths, control the weather, turn water into blood, and cause plagues.
  • They will be killed in Jerusalem, and their bodies will lie in the street for three and one-half days.
  • They will be resurrected and ascend into heaven while all the world watches.

Zechariah 4:14 gives us further insight into who the two lamp stands may be. They are the “two anointed ones who are standing by the Lord of the whole earth.” Isaiah 6:1-7 gives us another picture of who these beings are who stand beside Yahweh: “In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw Yahweh sitting on a high, lofty throne! The hem of his robe filled the temple. Seraphim stood over him, each with six wings – two for covering his face, two for covering his feet and two for flying.” They are the two Seraphim or Cherubim!

In both the Revelation and the Zechariah accounts we see the same thing. The two olive trees were “two witnesses” or “two anointed ones” standing before Yahweh, and Isaiah tells us who they are. So does the Ark of the Covenant. The two who sat at either end of the Ark were Cherubim, another name for the Seraphim! These may very well be the same two “angels” who accompanied Yahweh when He came down to investigate Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis chapters 18 and 19).

The two witnesses are never called sons of Adam, nor are they called human beings, scripture simply calls them lampstands and olive trees! We also noted that they have power to kill with fire from their mouths, and ascend into heaven while all the world watches. Not typically behavior demonstrated by humans, eh?

Those Who Called Fire Down From Heaven
Many humans have called down fire from heaven, but scripture never states that they breath fire from their mouths. There are those who have called down fire are, and two who wanted to call down fire, but Yeshua did not allow them to do so. They are:

  • Exodus 9:23Moses: Yahweh sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground
  • 2 Kings 1:10, 12, 14Elijah: prayed and fire came down from heaven and consumed the captain and his fifty
  • 1 Chronicles 21:26David: called upon Yahweh and fire from heaven came down upon the altar of burnt offering
  • 2 Chronicles 7:1Solomon: finished praying, then fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering
  • Revelation 13:13The Second Beast: makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men
  • Luke 9:54James and John: wanted to because the people of the village did not welcome Yeshua, but did not!

True Fire Breathing Beings
Revelation 11:5 – “If anyone desires to harm them, fire proceeds out of their mouth and devours their enemies.”
Job 41:18-21 – “From Leviathan’s mouth go flaming torches; sparks of fire leap out. Out of its nostrils comes smoke, as from a boiling pot and burning rushes. Its breath kindles coals, and a flame comes out of its mouth.”
Isaiah 27:1 – “In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.”

Scripture only gives the ability to breath fire from their mouth to Leviathan. And Leviathan is synonymous with the serpent, the snake, the sea monster, and the dragon. All apt descriptions of Lucifer, or Satan. And guess to what genus, phylum, and order Satan belongs: the order of Seraphim, or Cherubim! Is Revelation giving us yet one more hint that the two witnesses are not human, but also of the genus, phylum, and order of Seraphim, or Cherubim? I say it is. What do you say?

The Hebrew Words
The Hebrew word translated dragon is tannı̂yn [תַּנִּין H8577]. It means: Dragon, serpent, sea monster, river monster, or venomous snake.
The Hebrew word translated Serpent is nâchâsh [נָחָשׁ H5175]. It means: Serpent, or snake
The Hebrew word translated Leviathan is livyâthân [לִוְיָתָן H3882]. It means: Sea monster, or dragon.

The Ability to Kill the Witnesses
Revelation 11:7 – “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.
Scripture indicates that neither of the two witnesses can be killed by a human being. Only the beast can do so. The timing of their murder is at about the mid-point of the tribulation period; at about the same time that Satan, former chief of the Seraphim, is allowed to indwell the Antichrist. And the Antichrist, also referred to as the beast, is able to kill the two witnesses.

There is an old saying: “It takes a thief to catch a thief.” Perhaps it takes a Seraph to kill a Seraph, eh? Is Revelation giving us yet one more hint that the two witnesses are not human, but also of the genus, phylum, and order of Seraphim, or Cherubim? I say it is. What do you say?

Death Of The Witnesses
Hebrews 13:2 – “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.”
Scripture indicates that neither of the two witnesses can be killed by a human being. Only the beast can do so at about the mid-point of the tribulation period; at about the same time that Satan, former chief of the Seraphim, is allowed to indwell the Antichrist. Can angels, Seraphim, or Cherubim become human and thus be subject to death and resurrection? Yeshua, who is God, came in human form, died a physical death, and was resurrected! Have we forgotten this? Scripture gives us many examples of angels who have taken on human form and interacted with human beings. Could the two witnesses be Seraphim / Cherubim who may come in human form, are killed, and are then resurrected? Perhaps so!

Matthew 12:25, Luke 11:17 – “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand.”
Satan, too, was a Cherubim / Seraphim. Have we forgotten this? How appropriate and fitting that Yahweh might use two members over whom Satan once had authority to divide his house and lay it waste! Are these witnesses in truth dragons who do not lose their ability to breathe fire from their mouths, even in human form? Perhaps so!

The Ascension Into Heaven
Revelation 11:7 – “I heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here!” They went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies saw them.”
Once again, we see a “rapture” or a going up into heaven witnessed by many, just as Enoch, Elijah, and Yeshua were witnessed going up. But notice one great difference. Enoch, Elijah, and Yeshua were all carried up by horses! Revelation states that the two witnesses merely went up!

If they are indeed tanniyn, or dragons, then they have wings upon which they can fly up into heaven. No need to be carried into heaven on the backs of horses, as is the case for every human who has been bodily taken or raptured into heaven. Is Revelation giving us yet one more hint that the two witnesses are not human, but also of the genus, phylum, and order of Seraphim, or Cherubim? I say it is. What do you say?

Objections
Pastors, especially sharp pastors who know their Greek and Hebrew, and who know scripture from beginning to end, or should I say from aleph to tav, are a blessing to all. One major objection has been raised by just such a pastor. His objection is to the comment: “Could the two witnesses be Seraphim / Cherubim who may come in human form, are killed, and are then resurrected? Perhaps so!”

The comment was given to generate thinking and conversation. Pastor and I had a very lively conversation regarding this comment! He had no objection to a heavenly being taking on human form when appearing or interacting with humans, but he wondered, “Can an angel, seraph, or cherub really be killed.”

Rebuttal: Can Heavenly Beings Die?
My thinking on this stems from several scriptures, but primarily from: Isaiah 28, Psalm 82, and Matthew 10.

Isaiah 28:10 – “Precept by precept, precept by precept, line by line, line by line, a little here, a little there.”
One must combine several concepts throughout scripture to make the above comment that a heavenly being can be killed while on earth, whether in human form or not.

Matthew 10: 28 – “Do not fear those who kill the body but are powerless to kill the soul. Rather, fear him who can destroy both soul and body in Gei-Hinnom.”
Matthew tells us that Yahweh can destroy not only bodies, but souls as well. The real question is: Does this apply to heavenly beings that may or may not take on human form? I say perhaps so, because of the statement Yahweh makes in Psalm 82!

Psalm 82:1 – “Elohim has taken His place in the divine assembly; He judges among the gods.”
Psalm 82:6-7 – Yahweh says to the gods: “My decree is: ‘You are gods, sons of the Most High all of you. Nevertheless, you will die like mortals; like any prince, you will fall’.”
This psalm makes it very clear that the heavenly beings, here called gods and sons of the Most High, can indeed die like a mortal human being, if Yahweh makes that decision.

Conclusions
The Two Witnesses will one day be revealed. The Two Witnesses may (or may not) be in human form during their three year stint here on earth. I am not sure it makes any difference, and I am not dogmatically stating that the two witnesses are Seraphim, but Revelation gives us some very strong hints that they may indeed be the two Seraphim that stand before Yahweh.

If so, then they are of the genus, phylum, and order of Seraphim, or Cherubim – the same genus as Satan. If so, they may take on human form when they come to testify of Yeshua and denounce the Anti-Christ or Beast. In their earthly form, do they, too, face death and resurrection just as did Yeshua? Perhaps so! With Yahweh, all things are possible.

When the Two Witnesses are killed, however, it is my contention that it is only their bodies that die just as it is only a human’s body that dies; their spirit lives on. Three days after the Two Witnesses’ bodies are killed, their spirits re-enter their bodies, the bodies resurrect, and they rise into heaven using their own wings to do so. Revelation hints that the two witnesses are not human, but are of the genus, phylum, and order of Seraphim, or Cherubim. What do you say?

Final Thought
Prophecy continues to unfold as foretold by the Hebrew prophets. The stage is being set. History is moving extremely quickly towards the prophesied one world government, the one world financial system, and the rise of both the Antichrist and the False Prophet. The birth pangs are just over the horizon.

The day is coming when Yahweh will show his strength on the mountains of Israel. What is prophesied will come to pass, what is foretold will be made known. Time is short – Yeshua Ha’Mashiach is coming soon – get busy reaching the lost.