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The Two Witnesses explained (?)

Reader comment on item: Another Voice Predicting Islamism's Doom
in response to reader comment: Are you talking about the two that will witness in Jerusalem?

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Jul 27, 2016 at 12:33

HI, Lynn

You spoke about a lot of things here -- more than I can respond to. Here is what I see about the "Two Witnesses", or literally, the "Two Martyrs". The word translated as "witness" is the root of our word "martyr". That word has been much maligned today, being used to describe Muslim suicide-murderers and heroes of the Communist Revolution. In the Greek, it simply means "witness". That is what the early saints were called, because they were killed as a result of their testimony of Jesus.

In Revelation, we see that the whole church were noted because of their "witness" (= "testimony" in Greeik):

Rev. 12
[7] And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
[8] And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
[9] And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
[10] And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
[11] And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
[12] Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

Notice that while Michael is defeating the dragon in heaven in deadly combat, at the same time that the Body of Christ is defeating that same dragon on earth. I believe that is because Michael IS the representation, in heaven, of the Body of Christ. Notice:

Dan.12
[1] And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
[2] And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
[3] And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

We turn people to righteousness, by our testimony of Messiah in us (We can only "testify" of things that we know firsthand. Otherwise, we would be speaking hearsay).

That is why I believe the church is ONE of the witnesses; but Revelation speaks of two:

Rev. 11
[2] But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.
[3] And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
[4] These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
[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.
[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.

The "candlesticks" (Heb. "Menorahs") and olive trees are an allusion to Zechariah:

Zech. 4
[9] The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you.
[10] For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.
[11] Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof?
[12] And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves?
[13] And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.
[14] Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the LORD of the whole earth.

The prominent figures who were usually "anointed" were the prophet, the high priest and the king. In Zechariah's time, Zechariah was the heir-apparent to the throne of David, even though he was not allowed to become king because the Persians then controlled Israel. He was a stand-in for Messiah, which in Greek is "Christ"; and I believe, because of the context, that he is here designated as one of the two witnesses. The other witness probably occurs a few verses earlier:

Zech. 3
[8] Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH.
[9] For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.
[10] In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig tree.

Joshua the Priest was certainly the other ANOINTED ONE referred to in Zechariah; but was he a witness? He was, if you consider that the high priest personified the Jewish temple worship. In fact, the priest wore a breastplate of twelve stones, representing the twelve tribes of Israel; that is because he was to represent the people of Israel to God. The high priest "witnessed" God, by entering into the Holy Place and viewing the Sh'china glory; and the Jewish people, by their very existence, "testify" about God to the world. They have been killed in large numbers because of this testimony, particularly during the Holocaust in WWII.

Concerning the "stone" before Joshua, having "seven eyes", compare that with this:

[6] And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
[7] And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.
[8] And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
[9] And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
[10] And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

This seven-eyed "lamb" in Revelation is associated with a scroll, that contains the end-time prophecies. Likewise, the seven-eyed "rock" in Zechariah is associated with a "roll":

Zech.5
[1] Then I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a flying roll.
[2] And he said unto me, What seest thou? And I answered, I see a flying roll; the length thereof is twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof ten cubits.
[3] Then said he unto me, This is the curse that goeth forth over the face of the whole earth: for every one that stealeth shall be cut off as on this side according to it; and every one that sweareth shall be cut off as on that side according to it.
[4] I will bring it forth, saith the LORD of hosts, and it shall enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him that sweareth falsely by my name: and it shall remain in the midst of his house, and shall consume it with the timber thereof and the stones thereof.

You mentioned that the witnesses should testify in Jerusalem; but the scripture specifically says,

Rev. 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.
[8] 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.
[9] 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.

I need lay down for a while, so I must send this off. The use of the word "city" to describe the place Those martyrs were killed, would seem to indicate that [old] Jerusalem is meant; although note that the "New" Jerusalem mentioned a few chapters afterward, was 1500 mile across.

Good night :-)

Submitting....

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