MP3: The Mighty Angels of Revelation 11
Hosts: Nathan Jones & Vic Batista
The Two Witnesses
Vic Batista: Just like Revelation 10, the beginning of chapter 11 continues the pause in the rolling out of God’s Trumpet Judgments. It’s like when you watch a Hollywood movie and it stops the time flow in order to show a different scene from the past or the future, but later returns to the present. That’s what we are seeing here in Revelation 11, but this time we’re looking back into the past.
Nathan Jones: Yes, the start of Revelation 11 is also meant to provide the reader with encouragement and hope. Revelation 11:1-3 reads:
“Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, ‘Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months. And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.'”
Concerning timing, the narrative looks back into the prophetic timeline 3.5 years and introduces two new characters — the Two Witnesses. So far in our reading of Revelation we have reached the middle of the Tribulation because as we are given the exact time of 42 months, so we are exactly half-way into the Tribulation.
Concerning who the messenger is in this chapter, just who is the angel who provides the message of the Two Witnesses? Since the angel stands, and the Mighty Angel was already standing in last chapter, some can be confused as to the identity of this angel. It could be that another angel has shown up to do the job that God told him to do, and that is to bring this new message to the people. Or, more likely, the narrative continues with the Mighty Angel of Revelation 10 since no new introduction is made.
Vic Batista: There are a lot of angels in the book of Revelation, these messengers carrying out the work of the Lord and revealing His will, but there are times when the text makes it a little difficult to know which angel is which.
Nathan Jones: Since the chapter breaks were added to the Bible centuries later, I believe the Mighty Angel from Revelation 10 is continuing the narrative in chapter 11. Jesus, who is the Mighty Angel as God’s primary messenger to mankind, will now describe God’s evangelistic efforts during the Tribulation.
Despite the horrors that are going on as God’s wrath is poured out on the world, God still wants people to come to know Jesus Christ as Savior. And so, God sends the Two Witnesses. They are super-evangelists who preach from the newly built Third Temple during the first half of the Tribulation.Nathan Jones: #God still wants people to know Jesus as Savior so sends the Two Witnesses. Click To Tweet
Revelation 11:4-6 explains how powerful God has made these two men:
“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.”
So Satan isn’t the only one displaying supernatural powers during the Tribulation. God since the beginning of the seven years has sent these two men as representatives of His power over the earth, and they readily use that power.
As for the Two Witnesses identities, we aren’t told in the text exactly who they are. Some suppose they are Moses and Elijah, or Enoch and Elijah, or Moses and Enoch. They could be from the book of Zechariah referencing Joshua and Zerubbabel. Or, they could just be two men who haven’t yet been recognized, but whom God saved after the Rapture. I tend to think that is the case, and that these are not resurrected beings. Regardless of who they are or were, God gives these two men supernatural power and they prophesy from Jerusalem and share God’s message to the world.
Vic Batista: Where the Bible is silent, so we also should want to remain silent. We do know who these men are going to be other than they are these two incredible witnesses who will come on the scene. We can only really speculate about who they might be. Some people can be so gun-ho about their identities, saying like they’ve got to be Moses and Elijah because of the miracles, but the text really doesn’t say who they really are or were.
Nathan Jones: It doesn’t. By calling them the two lampstands, though, that’s definitely a reference to Zechariah 4:14 — “These are the two anointed ones, who stand beside the Lord of the whole earth.”
These Two Witnesses, these two representatives of God, are given supernatural powers. But, these powers don’t prevent them from being killed. Revelation 11:7-10 reveals that point:
“When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.”
Because these men can be killed, I have a hard time believing they are angels or anybody who is already dead like Moses, Enoch, and Elijah. Revelation 11 reveals that these men will be killed by the Antichrist himself, possessed by Abbadon who came out of the Bottomless Pit in Revelation 9:11. Daniel 9 tells us that halfway through the Tribulation the Antichrist desecrates the Temple. Likely he will do so after he’s walked through the Two Witnesses, killing them as he ascends the Temple Mount. So, these men will die, and not that they were already dead.
The bodies of the Two Witnesses will lie in the streets for 3.5 days, signifying the time in years that they proclaimed God’s word. The world will celebrate and laugh saying something like, “Yeah! We are so excited these guys are dead because they were sharing God’s message. We don’t want to hear them anymore.”
While everybody is partying down thinking they’ve gotten a victory over God, amazingly enough God resurrects the Two Witnesses. They stand up and are taken to Heaven. The whole world sees it, likely through modern day communications technology. Revelation 11:11-14 describes the scene:
“Now after the three-and-a-half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, ‘Come up here.’ And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them. In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven. The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe is coming quickly.”
The resurrection of the Two Witnesses in conjunction with the Antichrist desecrating the Temple marks the beginning point for the remaining 3.5 years of the Tribulation, and leads to the Third Woe, which is the Seventh Trumpet Judgment.
Vic Batista: What an incredible scene unfolding as God’s angels reveal future events!
In the twenty-third segment of our series “The Mighty Angels of Revelation,” the Seventh Trumpet Judgment Angel will sound his trumpet.