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Read Introduction to Revelation
 

“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 lampstands standing before the God of the earth. And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire“
 

11:3
“And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.”
 
Two witnesses will come on the scene and prophesy for 1260 days (42-months) dressed in sackcloth. Sackcloth is a sign of mourning and grief. They grieved the whole period of the reign of the Antichrist. It grieved them to preach a message of doom.
 
Some think that these witnesses are Elijah and Moses but the Book of Revelation does not specify who they are. There is some evidence for one of these witnesses being Elijah because Malachi prophesied that he would come back before the day of the Lord comes (4:5). Both Moses and Elijah were in the Transfiguration scene of Christ (Matthew 17:3). Others think that these two witnesses are Enoch and Elijah. Probably the best way to interpret these men is that they come with the powers of Moses and Elijah. Their main role is to prepare for the coming of the Messiah like John the Baptist prepared for the coming of Christ in the first advent.
11:4
These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth.
John depicts these two witnesses as “two olive trees and the two lampstands.” This is an allusion to Zechariah (Zechariah 4:2-14). People used olive oil for lamps. The combination of Olive trees and lampstands may allude to the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
“So he answered and said to me: ‘This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6).
The two witnesses needed to depend on the ministry of the Holy Spirit. They needed supernatural help. This is what makes any ministry great – the power of the Holy Spirit.
11:5
And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner.
No one will fool with these two prophets. They will have the power to deal harshly with anyone who threatens them. No one can kill them for they are invincible until God finishes His testimony through them. God removes that protection later when both of them are killed. Christians cannot die until God is finished with them.
11:6
These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire”
The two witnesses have authority to execute miracles. They have the power to stop rain like Elijah (1 Kings 17:1f). They have the ability to propel plagues on the world similar to those of Moses’ day. They will be newsmakers. They will have a sensational ministry albeit a devastating ministry.
Principle:
The power of any ministry is dependent upon the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit.
Application:
The same Holy Spirit who will empower the two witnesses will empower us if we allow Him to do His work through us. These witnesses understand the importance of grace in their lives. Effective ministry does not come by force of personality but by the power of the Holy Spirit. True ministry does not come from human success.
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