Two Witnesses of Revelation of Chapter 11

Revelation 11:3 "And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth."  God uses two witnesses in several places in the Bible and by the law, two witnesses are required as described in the scriptures:

Deut 17:6 At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.
Deut 19:15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established
2 Cor 13:1 This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.

Examples where two witnesses were used:

Joshua 2:1 Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. "Go, look over the land," he said, "especially Jericho." So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.  Did they really do much spying?  They ended up witnessing to Rahab, the harlot, who later became part of the family tree of Jesus Christ because she married one of the two spies Salmon where their offspring was Boaz who married Ruth from whose son, Obed, begot Jesse the father of King David.  
Mark 6:7 Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits.

Identity

There has always been a great deal of speculation on who these two witnesses are.  Theories are:

  Identity Theory Reason
1 Enoch and Elijah Both were taken up before death to Heaven and the theory is they will need to come back to earth to face death at least once
2 Elijah and Moses (Elijah) had the power to call down fire from heaven and also stop rain from the earth
    (Moses) had the power to turn water into blood and also send plagues on the earth.
    Both Elijah and Moses appeared at the Mount of Transfiguration.
3 John the Baptist and another Because he announced the coming of the Messiah and the theory is he will be called upon to once again come into this role at the second coming of Jesus Christ.
3 The Apostle John and another Revelation 10:11 "And they said to me, 'You must prophesy again concerning many peoples and nations and tongues and kings.'"  There is no other references to him prophesy again so it may be a clue to a future mission.
4 Peter and Paul Martyred in Rome.
5 Modern day Theologians There have been several Televangelists have publicly announced that they are one of the two Witnesses.  Not to much credence to this theory but mentioned because of news stories possibly heard by the reader.

While there is much debate but some points to consider regarding any theories which show that we cannot know the identity beyond a shadow of doubt:

Elijah and Moses

It should be noted that the identities of the two witnesses have merit for pointing to Elijah and Moses because of the following scriptural references.  Both Elijah and Moses have missions that were not completed.

Num 20:6-12 Moses was commanded to speak to the rock to get water.  The first time he was commanded to hit the Rock but not this time.  It was a model of Jesus Christ and His mission which Moses failed to do correctly. But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.  Jesus Christ first mission was the servant who was hit, beaten, belittled by humanity, killed for our sins willingly.  The second mission, He comes as the Lord of Lords where Moses should have only spoke respectfully for the Rock to give its water.  Revelation 22:1 "Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb"
Deut 3:23-26 Moses pleaded to go into the Promise Land with the Lord but was denied because of the Rock incident. 
Malachi 4:5-6 5 See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. 6 He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.
Matthew 17:3 At the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ on top of the high mountain, "there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus."
Luke 24:4 The two men are most likely Moses and Elijah based on Matthew 17:3.  "While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them."  

Note in Mathew 17:11-13: Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. 12 But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.

Powers and Mission

  Mission Items
1 Prophesy for the last 3 1/2 years of the 7 year Tribulation Period.  Revelation 11:3 (Tribulation Period is also Jacobs Trouble)
2 They are part of the 70th week of the Book of Daniel's prophecy. 
3 To witness to Israel as the 144,000 Jews from the tribes of Israel are for the world
4 Will be in Sackcloth as a sign of the importance to Israel, just like John the Baptist who wore Sackcloth.  Sackcloth also means separation from the world as a sign of repentance. Jonah 3:5-6; Dan.9:3; Esther 4:1; Amos 8:10; Mt.11:21
5 Turn water into blood and strike the earth with plagues at any time.
6 Prevent rain from falling.
7 Smite the Earth with all plagues as often as the will.
8 Killed 3.5 days before the end of the Tribulation Period.  Revelation 11:7 "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."
9 Revelation 11:8-11 "8 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. 9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. 10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. 11 And after three days and an half the breath of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. 12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. 13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven."

 

Parallels between the Book of Joshua and Revelation - Two Sent

In both Revelation and Joshua, there are two sent by the Lord.  In the Book of Joshua they are described as spies / messengers but all they do is witness to Rahab the prostitute and she is not killed, plus she ends up in the family tree of Jesus Christ. 

Hebrews 11:31 By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.
James 2:25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?
Mathew 1:5 Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse,

In Zechariah 14 we read that a day is coming when Jerusalem will be plundered and divided within its walls, God will gather nations to fight against Israel where horrible atrocities will happen and the Lord will come to fight against them where when His feet hit the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, the Mount will split and the Lord's Holy Ones will come with Him.  On that day there is no sunlight, cold, darkness with no distinction between  day and night...  This obviously has not happened yet.  The Lord does the fighting with no assistance from Israel or His holy ones.

Some quick comparisons:

  Book Of Joshua Notes Book of Revelation Notes
1   God's leader of Israel, Joshua, comes to disposes the land of the Usurpers   The Lord comes to disposes the land of the Usurpers
2   Joshua means Salvation Jesus -> Yeshua Jesus means salvation
3 7 year campaign 1st - Joshua 6-8; 2nd Joshua 9-10; 3rd Joshua 11-12 7 year period Daniel 70th week
4 2 Spies Joshua 2:1 - really witnesses to Rahab 2 Witnesses Revelation 11:3 - Witnesses

All Information, unless indicated otherwise, is copyright © 2015-2016