Reading through Revelation – Chapter 11, Part 2, The Two Witnesses preach

Bamberg Apocalypse Folio 027v Two Prophets And Beast From Abyss

Bamberg Apocalypse, Folio 027v – The Two Prophets And The Beast From Abyss

Revelation 11:3-6


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. 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.

Related passages

Exodus 7:19

19 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their rivers, over their streams, and over their pools, and over all their reservoirs of water, that they may become blood; and there will be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood and in vessels of stone.’”

1 Kings 17:1

Now Elijah the Tishbite, who was of  the settlers of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, surely there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.”

Revelation 1:20

20 As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.


Careful students of the book of Revelation will probably agree with Alford that chapter 11 “is undoubtedly one of the most difficult in the whole Apocalypse.” A comparison of many commentaries will reveal the widest kind of disagreement as to the meaning of this chapter. 

Dr. John Walvoord

Brethren, I regret having started this project. I see now that it’s  inappropriate for a woman, and someone with limited training. Also, differences in views on eschatology cause pain and dissension. Discussion is good but most of us are so invested in our views that that is nearly impossible, except among those who hold the same ones. Incorrect and imprecise terms or ones that wound – such as “heretical” or “from the pit of hell” – add to the confusion and pain. Today, I offer an exposition by John Gill. His words show that Revelation throws light upon the long history of the Church, not merely its consummation. After this, I will finish my project using works of art and literature.  

John Gill’s Exposition of the Whole Bible

Waldensian motto: “Light Shines In Darkness”

Verse 3

And I will give power unto my two witnesses,…. By whom are meant, not Enoch and Elias, as some of the ancient fathers thought, who, they supposed, would come before the appearance of Christ, and oppose antichrist, and be slain by him, which sense the Papists greedily catch at; nor are the Scriptures, the two Testaments, Old and New, designed, though their name and number agree, and also their office, which is to testify of Christ; but then to be clothed in sackcloth, to be killed, and rise again, and ascend to heaven, are things that cannot so well be accommodated to them: but these witnesses intend the ministers of the Gospel and churches of Christ, who have bore testimony for Christ, and against antichrist, ever since he appeared in the world; and particularly the churches and ministers in Piedmont [Waldensian] bid fair for this character; who were upon the spot when antichrist arose, always bore their protest against him, and were ever independent of the church of Rome, and subsisted in the midst of the darkness of the apostasy; and suffered much, and very great persecutions, from the Papists; and have stood their ground, and continue to this day; and have been like olive trees and candlesticks, imparting oil and light to others. Though they ought not to be considered exclusive of other ministers and churches, who also have bore, and still do bear a witness for Christ, and against the idolatries of the church of Rome: no two individual persons can be meant, since these witnesses were to prophesy 1260 days, that is, so many years, but a succession of ministers and churches; and these are called two, both on account of the fewness of them, and because the testimony of two is sufficient to confirm any matter; and it may be in allusion to the various instances of two eminent persons being raised up at certain periods of time, as Moses and Aaron, at the deliverance of the children of Israel out of Egypt; Caleb and Joshua, at their entrance into Canaan; Elijah and Elisha in the idolatrous times of Ahab; and Joshua and Zerubbabel at the rebuilding and finishing of the second temple. Now the Angel, and who is Christ, here promises that he will give something to these witnesses: some supply the words, ‘I will give it’; that is, the holy city, or the church, to them, to be taken care of and defended; others, ‘I will give’ them a mouth and wisdom, which their adversaries shall not be able to resist, according to the promise in Luke 21:15. We supply the words, ‘I will give power’; that is, authority to preach the Gospel, and strength to profess it, and to continue to bear a testimony to it, signified by prophesying; see 1 Corinthians 14:1.”

24 thoughts on “Reading through Revelation – Chapter 11, Part 2, The Two Witnesses preach

  1. We may be in disarray as a body of believers, but we do not need to be at odds with the scripture.
    Daniel 12:4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
    Daniel 12:6 And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?
    Daniel 12:7 And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.
    Daniel 12:8 And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?
    Daniel 12:9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
    Daniel 12:10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.
    Daniel 12:11 And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.
    Daniel 12:12 Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.
    Daniel 12:13 But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days. (KJV)
    Interesting that the two witnesses appear during the times spoken of above which would bring about the end of days. The end of days in fact is the subject and concern of Daniel throughout this passage and it has as its culmination a definite tie to these days. This is God’s assurance to us as well as to Daniel.
    Also of interest is the fact Revelation is a book to which we are not allowed to add to or take away from, yet how many of our teachers do just that.
    Jesus Himself made clear the fact that Elijah is still to come even after John the Baptist was dead and buried, and after Elijah and Moses had met with Him on the Mount of Transfiguration. It was then that Peter James and John put to Him the question concerning Elijah’s role in His coming. Here is Jesus answer:
    And He answered and said, “Elijah is coming and will restore all things; 12 but I say to you that Elijah already came, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they wished. So also the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” Matthew 17:11-12 NASB
    If after all that Elijah is then still coming is it not evident that it will likely be as it is stated in Revelation? It appears that Elijah (John the Baptist) set the stage for Jesus first coming and he will also set the stage for His second Coming.

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    • Dear brother Jerry, please take a careful look at the tenses the Lord Jesus used when He explained this to us:

      And He answered and said, “Elijah is coming and will restore all things; 12 but I say to you that Elijah already came, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they wished. So also the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.”

      Elijah already came as the Lord explained: That is, John the Baptist came in the same power as Elijah, as foretold in Malachi, fulfilling Malachi’s prophecy. And John suffered as Jesus was shortly to do. I cannot relate this to Revelation 11. As I explained, my training is limited. One of the things I do know is that we have to look at tenses and be precise with them.

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      • Sorry I didn’t realize that I had not answered you here. But the tenses do support Elijah’s Coming before the Lord’s first and His Second comings Maria, the tenses would lead me to the conclusion that I make. He is to come, even after John who Jesus says was Elijah has died. Elijah then would precede both The Lords first and second coming. What do you think I’m missing in the tenses?

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          • If we read Mal. 4:5 we see that Elijah is to come before the Day of the Lord.
            Malachi 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: (KJV)
            If we read Joel 2:10&11, we see that the Lord returns with His mighty army on the Day of the Lord, and that before that the sun, moon and stars do not shine.
            In fact Elijah (John the Baptist) did come with a mission to restore all things, but he was rejected just as Jesus tells the disciples that He must be rejected. But Elijah is coming a second time with the same mission to restore all things before the Day of the Lord who comes with His armies, again he will be rejected, but not until he restores all things.
            The restoring of all things is speculative. What does it mean? It obviously was not completed by John the Baptist. I believe it to mean that before Elijah as one of the two witnesses is once again rejected by the world that he will be received and understood by the entire remaining body of believers, both Jew and Gentile. When these men are killed, the day of the Lord will be very near, and the bride will have made herself ready.
            I see no conflict with this understanding in the tenses that Jesus provides.


      • Oh, my dear sister, I pray for you daily and will continue to do so. It’s funny, we’ve never met and yet when I pray, my prayers turn to you, your husband, and your life. Sometimes, especially when we’re traveling far from all those loved ones at home, the thought of eternity spent with brothers and sisters in Christ cheers me more profoundly than any amount of company could.

        Thank you for asking about my family, sister! We are all doing well, although my hubby did have another fall which jarred his back and swelled up his ankle. If you would, please remember him in your prayers. He has another MRI coming up, to find out why the nerve pain has progressed so quickly. Kayliegh is doing well, she discovered the beauty of a library card today! Like a kid in a candy shop. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I was thinking of you today Maria and missing you here on WordPress. Then I “just happened to see” your request for prayer. We will pray for you and for the sister’s husband who fell. I also fell recently and fractured a bone in my knee and am praying I don’t have anymore falls myself. Miss you here on WordPress Maria. Praying the Lord leads you back soon! Blessings…

    Liked by 1 person

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