Cyberspace Ministry’s Logo

If I Were Told the Future - Lesson 57

The Two Witnesses

Screen 1

Welcome to this lesson! Let’s pray together:


We wish to continue to identify the characters which play a part in the last moments of history, and today, we will study the two witnesses.

Who are these two witnesses? We humbly ask You to answer this question, through Your inspired Word.

In Jesus Christ we pray.


Screen 2

Revelation 11:1-3

And there was given me a reed like to a rod.

And the angel stood, saying, «Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.

But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given to the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

And I will give power to My two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and three score days, clothed in sackcloth.»


The two witnesses appear only once in the Bible, in the book of Revelation chapter 11, in the context of the period of 42 months, or 1260 days.

Screen 3

Revelation 11:2

And the holy city shall [the Gentiles] tread under foot forty and two months.


Revelation 13:5,7

Power was given to [the beast] to continue forty and two months. (...)

And it was given to him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them.


The period of 42 months, or 1260 days (42 x 30), during which the two witnesses work, corresponds with the period of 1260 years, from A.D. 538 to 1798, which we studied several times in our previous lessons.

These 1260 years were a time of persecution for the believers faithful to God.

Screen 4

Revelation 11:3

And I will give power to My two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and three score days, clothed in sackcloth.


Genesis 37:33,34

And [Jacob] knew it, and said, «It is my son’s coat; an evil beast has devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces.»

And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth on his loins, and mourned for his son many days.


The darkness of this period of 1260 years is emphasized by the fact that the two witnesses are clothed in sackcloth, a sign of sadness and mourning.

Screen 5

Revelation 11:3,4

And I will give power to My two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and three score days, clothed in sackcloth.

These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.


Many clues help us to discover the identity of these two witnesses.

First, we are told that the two witnesses are the two olive trees and the two candlesticks standing before God.

What does that mean?

Screen 6

Zechariah 4:2-4

[The angel] said to me, «What see you?»

And I said, «I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl on the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are on the top thereof: and two olive trees by it, one on the right side of the bowl, and the other on the left side thereof.»

So I answered and spoke to the angel that talked with me, saying, «What are these, my lord?»


The two olive trees and the two candlesticks refer to this prophecy given to Zechariah.

So the answer given to Zechariah is of great interest for us...

Screen 7

Zechariah 4:5,6

Then the angel that talked with me answered and said to me, «Know you not what these be?»

And I said, «No, my lord.»

Then he answered and spoke to me, saying, «This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel, saying, “Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit,” said the Lord of hosts.»


God’s answer indicates that the two olive trees, which bear oil, and the candlesticks, which bear light, symbolize something resulting from the work of the Spirit of God, and not from the power of men.

Screen 8

2 Peter 1:20,21

No prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation.

For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.


There is, indeed, something which bears light (as candlesticks do), and which results not from the power of men, but rather from the work of the Holy Spirit (the oil taken from the two olive trees): it is the Word of God.

The two witnesses thus symbolize the two parts of the Word of God: the Old Testament and the New Testament.

Screen 9

Similar to a candlestick, the Word of God is a source of light:

«Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.» (Psalm 119:105)

«We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto you do well that you take heed, as to a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.» (2 Peter 1:19)

«For the commandment is a lamp, and the law is light.» (Proverbs 6:23)

«For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.» (2 Corinthians 4:6)

Screen 10

John 5:39

[Jesus said,] «Search the Scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me.»


Deuteronomy 19:15

At the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.


Both the Old and the New Testament bear witness to Jesus and His work, one announcing His coming, and the other confirming that He truly came.

These two witnesses agree to establish this fact: Jesus is the Messiah promised by God, and His sacrifice gives us access to eternal life.

Screen 11

Revelation 11:5

If any man will hurt [the two witnesses], fire proceeds out of their mouth, and devours their enemies.

And if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.


Jeremiah 5:14

Because you speak this word, behold, I will make My words in your mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.


Symbolized by the two witnesses, the Word of God is a fire devouring its enemies.

But this action also calls to mind two famous Bible characters.

Screen 12

Numbers 16:28,35

And Moses said, «Hereby you shall know that the Lord has sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of my own mind.» (...)

And there came out a fire from the Lord, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men.


2 Kings 1:12

And Elijah answered and said to them, «If I be a man of God, let fire come down from heaven, and consume you and your fifty.»

And the fire of God came down from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.


The deeds of the two witnesses remind us of Moses’ and Elijah’s.

Screen 13

Revelation 11:6

[The two witnesses] have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy.


Luke 4:25

But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months.


Similar to Elijah, the two witnesses have power to shut heaven for a prophetic period of «three years and six months», that is, for 1260 years (3½ years x 360 days = 1260 prophetic days = 1260 years).

But what do the words «to shut heaven» mean?

Screen 14

Leviticus 26:18,19

And if you will not yet for all this listen to Me, (...) I will make your heaven as iron.


Deuteronomy 28:15,23

If you will not listen to the voice of the Lord your God, to observe to do all His commandments, (...) your heaven that is over your head shall be brass.


Proverbs 28:9

He that turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.


During the 1260 years, from 538 to 1798, the two witnesses «shut heaven» to men’s prayers, because of their great apostasy.

Screen 15

Revelation 11:6

And [the two witnesses] have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.


Psalm 105:26,29-32,34,36

He sent Moses His servant. (...)

He turned their waters into blood, and slew their fish. Their land brought forth frogs in abundance. (...) He spoke, and there came divers sorts of flies, and lice in all their coasts.

He gave them hail for rain, and flaming fire in their land. (...) He spoke, and the locusts came. (...) He smote also all the firstborn in their land.


Furthermore, the two witnesses, like Moses, have power to strike the earth with all kinds of plagues.

What does that mean?

Screen 16

Revelation 2:22,23

Behold, I will cast [that woman Jezebel] into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

And I will kill her children with death.


The lesson «Letter to the Church of Thyatira» showed us that, during these 1260 years, Europe, plunged into apostasy, went through a dreadful famine followed by an epidemic of bubonic plague, killing 40% of its population.

The Hundred Years War added to these scourges.

Interestingly, Jezebel, a symbol of the apostate Church, was the sworn enemy of Elijah, a symbol of the two witnesses.

Screen 17

Deuteronomy 33:4

Moses commanded us a law, even the inheritance of the congregation of Jacob.


1 Kings 18:22

Then said Elijah to the people,

«I, even I only, remain a prophet of the Lord; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men.»


The choice of Moses and Elijah to symbolize the Bible is not only due to the nature of their deeds.

Moses is closely associated with the law, and Elijah with the prophets. So, by combining «Moses and Elijah», we get «the Law and the Prophets», an expression which designates the Word of God.

Screen 18

«The Law and the Prophets» is an expression designating the Word of God:

«Think not that I am come to destroy the Law or the Prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.» (Matthew 5:17)

«I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets.» (Acts 24:14)

«We have found Him, of whom Moses in the Law, and the Prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth.» (John 1:45)

«[Paul] testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the Law of Moses, and out of the Prophets.» (Acts 28:23)

«And [Jesus] said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the Law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning Me.” Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures.» (Luke 24:44,45)

«And after the reading of the Law and the Prophets (...).» (Acts 13:15)

Screen 19

2 Corinthians 3:14,15

For until this day remains the same veil not taken away in the reading of the Old Testament. (...)

But even to this day, when Moses is read, the veil is on their heart.


Finally, the Word of God associates the name of Moses with the Old Testament.

In fact, Moses symbolizes the people of God under the Old Covenant, that is, the people of Israel.

Elijah, for his part, symbolizes the people of God under the New Covenant, that is, the Church.

Let’s look at the following verses...

Screen 20

Malachi 4:4,5

Remember you the Law of Moses My servant, which I commanded to him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.

Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful Day of the Lord.


The very last chapter of the Old Testament speaks of Moses and Elijah.

God uses this strategic place to invite us to remember Moses (the Law), that is, to look at our spiritual roots in the Old Testament.

Then He announces the coming of Elijah (the prophet), inviting us to look at the hope of salvation in the New Testament.

Screen 21

Revelation 11:7

And when [the two witnesses] shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.


Daniel 7:23

The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom on earth.


Shortly before the end of the 1260 years, the Word of God suffered the attack of a beast, symbolizing a kingdom, a political power.

This beast «ascends out of the bottomless pit».

Now, in our lesson about the fifth trumpet, «The Locusts from the Bottomless Pit», we also saw a power which came out of the bottomless pit...

Screen 22

Revelation 9:2,3,11

[The star] opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.

And there came out of the smoke locusts on the earth. (...)

And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue has his name Apollyon.


Led by the angel of the bottomless pit, that is, Satan, the locusts of the fifth trumpet also came out of the bottomless pit.

So the beast coming out of the bottomless pit is a political power led by Satan.

In fact, the locusts of the fifth trumpet and the beast of Revelation chapter 11, which kills the two witnesses, both symbolize the same power: France in the 1790s.

Screen 23

Revelation 11:7

And when [the two witnesses] shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.


Just as we have seen in the fifth trumpet, the French people, deeply disgusted by centuries of abuse and corruption from the Church of Rome, rebelled in the 1790s.

Unfortunately, out of their blind rage, they also attacked the Word of God. So, on November 10, 1793, the French National Assembly decreed in Paris that Christian religion should be abolished, and the Bible suppressed.

Thus were killed the two witnesses.

Screen 24

Revelation 11:8

And [the two witnesses’] dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt.


Revelation 18:10

Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is your judgment come.


In the years following this decree which killed the two witnesses, blasphemous acts took place.

This sad spectacle is illustrated by the recalling, «spiritually», of the names of Babylon (the «great city»), Sodom, and Egypt.

Let’s see the meaning of these names.

Screen 25

The years 1793 to 1797 are symbolized by Babylon, Sodom, and Egypt

Screen 26

Revelation 11:8

And [the two witnesses’] dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.


Matthew 25:40

Inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least of these My brothers, you have done it to Me.


Jesus identifies with His people and their mission.

By indicating that the two witnesses were killed «where also our Lord was crucified», this prophecy testifies to the abominations committed against His name and His cause.

Screen 27

Revelation 11:9

And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see [the two witnesses’] dead bodies three days and a half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.


Psalm 79:1,2

O God, the heathen are come into Your inheritance; Your holy temple have they defiled; they have laid Jerusalem on heaps.

The dead bodies of Your servants have they given to be meat to the fowls of the heaven, the flesh of Your saints to the beasts of the earth.


From 1793 to 1797, all the Bibles found were burned in public, to demonstrate the complete rejection of God and His will.

Screen 28

Revelation 11:10

And they that dwell on the earth shall rejoice over [the two witnesses], and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelled on the earth.


John 7:7

The world cannot hate you; but Me it hates, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.


Since the Word of God testified that their behavior was disgusting, men rejoiced at having destroyed it between 1793 and 1797.

Screen 29

Revelation 11:11

And after three days and a half the spirit of life from God entered into [the two witnesses], and they stood on their feet.

And great fear fell on them which saw them.


Just as foretold, three and a half years after the decree of November 10, 1793, which had abolished Christianity and the Bible, the French government realized its error.

On June 17, 1797, it removed all restrictions regarding religion and the Word of God.

This is how the two witnesses came back to life, after the three and a half prophetic days.

Screen 30

Revelation 11:12

And they heard a great voice from heaven saying to [the two witnesses], «Come up here.»

And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.


Daniel 4:22

It is you, O king, that are grown and become strong: for your greatness is grown, and reaches to heaven, and your dominion to the end of the earth.


After that, God raised the two witnesses to heaven, thus indicating that His Word would now be respected and honored, as the second verse shows us.

Screen 31

Revelation 11:12

And they heard a great voice from heaven saying to [the two witnesses], «Come up here.»

And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.


As foretold, shortly after the return of religious liberty in 1797, Bible societies appeared, spreading the Word of God in many languages throughout the world.

In 1804, the British and Foreign Bible Society initiated the trend, followed by the American Bible Society in 1816, and many others afterwards.

Thanks to all these efforts, the Bible has become, and still is, the greatest bestseller of all times.

Screen 32

Revelation 11:13

And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell.


Revelation 17:12,16

The ten horns which you saw are ten kings. (...)

And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate.


In «the same hour», that is, at the end of the 1260 years, «the tenth part» of Babylon fell.

In fact, France, one of the «ten kings» supporting the apostate Church, decided in 1798 to put an end to the political reign of the pope.

Screen 33

Revelation 11:13

In the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand.


1 Kings 19:18

[God said to Elijah,] «I have left Me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed to Baal.»


With the number 7000, the prophecy once again refers to Elijah’s life.

The 7000 faithful having not bowed to Baal counterbalance the 7000 unfaithful, which personify the political institution of the apostate Church.

The fall of this Church, in 1798, is symbolized by the death of these 7000 men.

Screen 34

Revelation 11:13

In the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand.

And the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.


Revelation 9:20

And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands.


The prophecy of the two witnesses ends with the repentance of men, after the fall of the apostate Church in 1798.

This attitude contrasts with the stubborn unrepentance of sinners, shortly before the return of Jesus.

Screen 35

Let’s end this lesson with a prayer to God:

Heavenly Father,

It is written, «Give glory to the Lord your God, before He cause darkness, and before your feet stumble on the dark mountains.» (Jeremiah 13:16).

The two witnesses, which symbolize Your Word, call men to repent, and urge them to respond to Your invitation to salvation.

May we all hear the message of Your two witnesses, and put it into practice, while it’s still time to do so.

In Jesus Christ we pray.


The test of Lesson 57 is waiting for you!

List of the Lessons | Online Bible Courses | Main Menu

Click here to send us your questions or comments about our Web site and products.
Copyright © Cyberspace Ministry