The Two Witnesses

16 Oct

Revelation 11


11:1-2 Two groups of people are mentioned here, “them that worship” and “the Gentiles.” The first group represents God’s true church, spiritual Israel, while the second represents a false and corrupt church that professes to worship God but is not true to him. God’s true people are “measured,” or judged, while the others are not. The Pre-advent Judgment which began in 1844 is just like the ancient Jewish Day of Atonement in that the only ones being judged are those who have confessed their sins and had them transferred to the temple. Accordingly, this judgment is to determine whether those who profess to be Christians are really Christ’s faithful people.

“The Holy City” represents God’s true church, also called Jerusalem (Isaiah 52:9), and we see in verse 7 its opposite, “the Great City,” called in Revelation 18 “Babylon, which is any system of false religion. Revelation 18:2, 10, 16, 18, 19, 21. The false church is seen to “tread” the true church “underfoot” for “forty and two months.” This refers to the same 1,260 year period of Papal domination seen in Daniel 7:25 and in Daniel 8:10, 23-25.


11:3-4 “The two witnesses,” which are said to be “two olive trees” and “two candlesticks,” represent the Old and New Testaments. The olive trees represent the power of the Holy Spirit. The candlesticks symbolize the spiritual light of the scriptures. Psalm 119:105; Zechariah 4:1-14. The two witnesses were to “prophesy…in sackcloth.” Symbolizing mourning and became dominant and eclipsed Bible truth; also the Bible was not readily available to the common people. There are several reasons for this:

1. It was only available in Hebrew, Greek and Latin;
2. It had to be copied by hand so there were few copies;
3. During religious services both scripture reading and sermons were in Latin;
4. The church’s stance was that since the common people could not understand the Bible, the clergy must interpret it for them;
5. Even after the Bible was translated into the common language of the people, the church forbade them to read it.


11:5-6 There is a penalty for misrepresenting Bible truths and teaching error, Revelation 22:18. Here the “two witnesses” are represented as bringing Some Old Testament style punishment on those who “hurt” the scriptures by their false teachings. Medieval Europe suffered terribly from wars, famines and disease that killing millions of people because of the church’s rejection of the scriptures

11:7-10 At the end of the 1,260 years when the “two witnesses” “have finished” prophesying “clothed in sackcloth” the beast comes out of the “bottomless pit” to “make war against them,” “and kill them.” The excesses and corruption of the Papal Church System and the church-supported aristocracy got so bad that their firmest supporter, France, because their worst enemy. This nation not only rejected Catholicism but God Himself; they cast out all morals and everything Christian and set up a new religion glorifying man, reason, and intellect of gods.

During “The Reign of Terror” in France, the Bible was not only openly rejected but was also forbidden and publicly burned. For “three days and a half” (symbolizing 3.5 literal years) the Bible would appear to be “dead.” For three and a half years the Revolutionaries of France did all in their power to oppose and destroy the Bible.

France embraced an atheistic philosophy/religion and became part of the “great city” of false religions. Its characteristics are symbolized by “Sodom and Egypt where also our lord was crucified.” “Sodom” is a notorious Biblical symbol for sexual perversion. Genesis 19:4-11; Jude 7. “Egypt” symbolizes atheism: “Who is the Lord that I should obey His voice to let Israel go?” Exodus 5:2. “Where also our Lord was crucified” represents Christ, crucified in the person of His faithful followers when they are persecuted. John 13:20; Matthew 25:40, 45. In Hebrews 6:4-6 those who once loved Christ and are guilty of willful apostasy are said to “crucify… the Son of God afresh.” France during the French Revolution embraced sexual licentiousness and atheism, rejected the Bible, and persecuted all Christians, both the true and the false together.


11:11-12 The scene here is of the “two witnesses” as they are given new “life” and exalted in the sight of their enemies. After the French Revolution, protestant Europe looked back on its extremes with disgust, and sought with fervent effort to elevate the Bible to greater prominence than ever. The British Bible society, established in 1804, and the American Bible Society, established in 1816, began distributing large numbers of Bibles. In 1804 the total number of Bibles in circulation was about four million in over fifty languages. Today there are billions of Bibles in hundreds of languages making it the world’s most widely circulated book

11:13 The French Revolution and the Empire which followed it under Napoleon Bonaparte left Europe in shambles

11:15-18 The seventh trumpet is the final judgement to come upon the earth. Christ sets up His kingdom, and rewards his faithful people. They receive a home in Heaven, a crown of life and live with Jesus forever. Satan and his angels and all who have chosen to reject the kingdom of Christ, and those who have persecuted the saints, will receive their final reward as well. God will “destroy” them in the lake of fire intended for Satan and his angels

11:19 Once again we are presented with a view of the Heavenly Sanctuary. In prior scenes we saw only the first compartment, the Holy Place. Now we move into the second section- the Most Holy Place containing the Ark of the Covenant, in which the Ten Commandments of God’s law are enshrined. The Most Holy Place in Heaven “was opened” to begin the Judgment in 1833. At the time Christ began His ministry in the Most Holy Place of heavenly Sanctuary. Daniel 9:22-25.




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