I’ve just made the most amazing discovery!
In the book of Revelation, the Bible tells us about the Two Witnesses to come in the last days. And in chapter 11, they enter the scene:
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.”
After this, John says something truly amazing:
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.Revelation 11:4-6
I’m sure I’ve read this verse a thousand times and never once has it stood out to me in this way. This time I googled Revelation 11:4 and was amazed to find that it actually has its roots in the book of Zechariah. In chapter 4, Zechariah tells of an encounter he has with an angel, in which he sees two olive trees and two lampstands. Three times he inquires of the angel as to what these represent, before he finally gets an answer to his question:
Then the angel who was speaking with me returned and roused me, as a man who is awakened from his sleep. He said to me, “What do you see?” And I said, “I see, and behold, a lampstand all of gold with its bowl on the top of it, and its seven lamps on it with seven spouts belonging to each of the lamps which are on the top of it; also two olive trees by it, one on the right side of the bowl and the other on its left side.”
Then I said to the angel who was speaking with me saying, “What are these, my lord?” So the angel who was speaking with me answered and said to me, “Do you not know what these are?” And I said, “No, my lord.” Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel saying, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘What are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become a plain; and he will bring forth the top stone with shouts of “Grace, grace to it!”’”
Also the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house, and his hands will finish it. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. For who has despised the day of small things? But these seven will be glad when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel—these are the eyes of the Lord which range to and fro throughout the earth.”
Then I said to him, “What are these two olive trees on the right of the lampstand and on its left?”
And I answered the second time and said to him, “What are the two olive branches which are beside the two golden pipes, which empty the golden oil from themselves?”
So he answered me, saying, “Do you not know what these are?” And I said, “No, my lord.” Then he said, “These are the two anointed ones who are standing by the Lord of the whole earth.”Zechariah 4
Maybe everyone reading this has already come to this knowledge, but this is new and exciting for me! I’ve always found it strange that these two witnesses seemingly come out of nowhere and start prophesying, breathing fire, shutting up the sky, turning water to blood, etc. But I completely missed the fact that they were those mentioned in the Old Testament. Though I suppose that makes sense, considering most everything is first mentioned -or at least alluded to- in the Old Testament.
There’s much speculation about who these two might be; i.e. Enoch, Moses, Elijah. But when I take into account the purpose and role of these anointed ones (a.k.a. witnesses), it makes sense to me that they would be Moses and Elijah because of their appearance with Jesus during His Transfiguration. In my mind and limited knowledge, it stands to reason that they, who stand by the Lord of all the earth, above all others would be given this distinction and honor.
I realize that the Bible doesn’t reveal the identities of these two, and I am certainly not dogmatic in my conclusion. How could anyone be? But for now, this is my hypothesis. And my little nugget of discovery! 🙂
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Copyright by The Lockman Foundation