The book of Revelation is symbolic, if you don’t understand that you will misinterpret many things in the book. Jesus sent and signified the book of Revelation by his angel to the apostle John. The key to understanding Revelation is found in Revelation 1:19 which says “Write the things which thou hast seen (past), and the things which are (present), and the things which shall be hereafter (future);”
Revelation 11: 3-5, says “And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days (1260) clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. 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.”
We have heard all types of arguments telling us who the Two Witnesses are: some have said Moses and Elijah, Enoch and Elijah, Enoch and Moses. We have even heard of Eldad and Medad of Numbers chapter 11. There are those who also hold the belief that Enoch and Elijah have to be the Two Witnesses because they didn’t die, and the Bible says it is appointed unto men once to die but after this the judgment (Heb. 9: 27). But if you’re basing your belief off of the fact they didn’t die, you’ve failed to realize that the last remnant of the church will also be alive at the second coming of Christ to meet the Lord in the air. So there is some searching still yet to be uncovered.
Zechariah gives us a clear picture of who the Two Witnesses were and are: Zech. 4: 1-6, says “And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of sleep, and said unto me, what seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the lamps, which are upon the top thereof: and two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof. So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me saying, what are these my lord? Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, knowest thou not what these be? And I said, no, my lord. Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, THIS IS THE WORD OF THE LORD UNTO ZERUBBABEL, SAYING, not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit saith the Lord of Hosts.” He explains that the two olive trees was the word of the Lord saying…, but from whose mouth? Ezra tells us who they were historically: Ezra 5: 1,2, says “Then the prophets, Haggai the prophet, and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied unto the Jews that were in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, even unto them. Then rose up Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jazadak, and began to build the house of God which is at Jerusalem: and with them were the prophets of God helping them.”
In Revelation 11: 6, it gives the description of the power of the two witnesses: “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.”
Now immediately some would jump to the conclusion that the Two Witnesses are Moses and Elijah, because the heaven was shut up, and the waters were turned to blood. But really all prophets have the power to shut up heaven and turn waters to blood. In the book of Haggai, the prophet calls for a drought because the children of Israel didn’t feel it was time to build the temple: chapter 1: 10, 11, says “Therefore the heavens over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit. And I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon that which the ground bringeth forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon all the labor of the hands.” So what is the Apostle telling us in Revelation 11: 6? He’s giving us a picture of the condition of Egypt when Israel was leaving, and of corrupt spiritual leadership in the days of Ahab. Anytime God gives people blood to drink, it’s showing they are under his judgment. And when the heaven is shut up you can’t hear God and deception is prevalent in the land.
Later in Zechariah chapter four, the angel lets Zechariah know the two olive trees are the two anointed ones that stand by the Lord. It is clear to see historically that these two, Haggai and Zechariah, were these two olive branches: Ezra 6: 14, says “And the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo…” These two prophets point to two last day witnesses as well. Haggai’s name means to be festive, a feast day, or a sacrifice, and Zechariah’s name is interpreted as “Jah has remembered”. The true church has remembered the Lord’s sacrifice. Jesus was that sacrifice for us, and Communion is a great reminder of that fact. 1 Cor. 11: 25,26, says “After the same manner he took the cup, when he supped, saying, this cup is the New Testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till he come.” While there is a remnant church that carries the Gospel of the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord remembers their sacrifice: 1 Cor. 15: 58, says “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” And in Hebrews 6: 10, it says “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. The prophet Zechariah tells of the high priest Joshua the son of Josedech, and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel: the name Josedech means “Jehovah righted” or Jehovah’s righteousness. This Joshua is of course a picture of Jesus the Christ, our great high priest; for he is also our righteousness (1Cor. 1: 30). Zerubbabel’s name means “Scattered in Babylon” and Shealtiel means “I asked God”, which tells us the Lord through the prayers of the remnant church is building their walls (Is. 26: 1c). There is a fiery word in the mouth of his people to bring down the judgment of God on a rebellious and oppressive apostate church (Jer. 5: 11-14).
Revelation 11: 7-8, says “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. 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.” Who is Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord Jesus Christ was crucified? Well it is obvious that it is Jerusalem, but which one? Considering that Israel have not been collectively brought back as God’s people; but will be when Christ returns, who could this scripture be speaking of ? Paul calls the body of Christ the Israel of God, and in Romans chapter 2, he gives an argument that a Jew is not one outwardly, but a Jew is one inwardly from the circumcision of the heart. So then, could the church be this Sodom and Egypt, where our Lord was crucified? Let’s look at the latter first: Heb. 6: 4-6, says “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” This is not the same as being overtaken in a fault as Galatians 6: 1, speak of. Nor is it the occasional sin whereby you can confess and be cleansed according to 1 John 1: 9, 2: 1. But this is out right apostasy. The word “fall away” in this passage is some what different than 2 Thess. 2: 3. The falling away of 2 Thess. 2: 3, deals with those who never gave Christ a chance at all and rejected that way. That’s more of a Societal falling away from morality and good values, a belief in a higher power, because of the presence of the church on the earth. But the word in Heb. 6: 6, is the Greek word ‘parapipto’, para means walking along side, and pipto means to fall from. So these people fell from what they knew about God. They outwardly had a relationship with God. And by their Apostasy they crucified the Son of God afresh, or again. The Bible says when Israel fell into apostasy they were to him as Sodom and Egypt: Is. 1: 1,4,10, says “The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, Kings of Judah… Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward… Hear the word of the Lord, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah.” And Amos 1: 1, 9: 7, says “The words of Amos, who was among the herdmen of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the earthquake… Are ye not as children of the Ethiopians unto me, O children of Israel? Saith the Lord. Have not I brought up Israel out of the land of Egypt? And the Philistines from Caphtor, and the Syrians from Kir?” So when Judah was in apostasy God likened them to Sodom and Israel was likened unto Egypt. Paul called the church ‘the Israel of God’, and just like Old Testament Israel were divided into the North and South kingdoms; so did the church divide into the east and west divisions of Christendom. Judah represents the Catholic Church, and Israel represents the Protestant Church.
The church in Germany was indicative of apostate Israel and Judah. When Hitler came to power, the Catholic Church was at his door step with a covenant they wanted him to sign, but in return they had to give the Hitler salute signifying that they approved of his government. On the other hand many from the Protestant Church compromised their beliefs, their teachings and their Christ, to receive a new ideology of race, blood, and soil, called ‘Positive Christianity’. They changed their name to the German Christians or the National Church. In place of the Cross they received Hitler’s Swastika on and in their assemblies. Mein Kampf was the book they had to preach from now. This book was the Abomination that caused Desolation in the Christian churches and schools in that era of time and history. But out of the midst of all this chaos stood two men, Martin Niemoller and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. They became the voices of the church, in that region and in Europe. They made a band of men, called the ‘Pastor’s Emergency League’ or the ‘Confessing Christian’s’. What were they confessing? That Jesus was still Christ and that He was the true leader. They resisted the Nazi regime until WWII, broke out. They saw irreconcilable differences between this new “Positive Christianity” and Christianity. Fritz Stern in his book “Dreams and Delusions” says by these two men that “Gradually parts of the Protestant (Israel) and Catholic clergies (Judah) began to struggle with National Socialism. But by the time the churches acted the Nazis fought back, eventually sending thousands of priest to prison and concentration camps. In any case the more the churches caused trouble, the stronger became Hitler’s resolve to end Christianity after the war. These men were the voices in that time and in the church, but in the face of Hitler’s attack on Poland in September 1939, the churches stood dumb and confused, unable to raise a voice of protest, spiritless and without initiative. The Nazis war of attrition had at last triumphantly achieved its miserable objective. 1
Rev. 11, says that the two witnesses would lie dead in the street for 3 ½ days, and after 3 ½ days they would ascend to heaven. While the church was out of the picture, the Nazi’s Nazified Christmas with the hanging of swastikas on trees, the burning of the Yule log, and sending presents one to another. The church in Germany laid dead spiritually for 3 ½ years, until the symbolic end of the Tribulation period which was the end of February 1943. J. S. Conway says “the confessing church was silent until 1943”.
Daniel’s 70th week (symbolically) begins with Hitler confirming a covenant (the Concordat) with the Catholic Church in 1933. From August of 1939, to the end of February 1943, is 1290, days, the symbolic end of the Tribulation period. (Because the actual tribulation happened in the first century, but that’s for another topic).
America enters the Tribulation with Japan and Europe, from December 1941, to May 1945, which was 3 ½ years. The Tribulation ended in May of 1945, in Europe.
Dan.12:12, says “Blessed is he that waiteh, and cometh to the 1,335, days.” This happened when America dropped the bomb on Japan on August 6, 1945.
The 2300, days that Daniel spoke of began in January 1942, to May 1948, when Israel declared statehood. The sanctuary would be cleansed, even though the Tribulation was over in May 1945, there was a cleansing process still being done in the church in Europe. During 1948, the same year Israel became a state, the church began to experience new outpourings of the Spirit of God throughout the world; showing that the cleansing process was complete. The church arose back to their heavenly seat in Christ Jesus” The church are the two witnesses!! Understand who you are!
– Anthony D. Booker