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What the Bible says about Two Witnesses as Anointed Ones
(From Forerunner Commentary)

1 Kings 18:40

What Elijah does in I Kings 18:40 is reminscent of the Two Witnesses—with the power of life and death over any who would go against the true God and against them. Evidently, it was probably on the false prophets' minds all along to kill Elijah. They had killed all the other prophets of God, so that only Elijah was left. And, considering how human beings normally think, they probably thought they would allow Elijah to perform his little act, and after he failed, they would show the people of Israel that he was a "false prophet" and kill him.

This may be very similar to what will happen in the end time. The powers that be will give the Two Witnesses audience to "perform" before the world, they will give them leave to do their "little tricks," and as in Elijah's day, it will come back to bite them because our God is the true God.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
The Two Witnesses (Part 6)

Zechariah 4:7

"Grace, grace" - In the Hebrew, this is literally "favor, favor." Perhaps more literally, it should be rendered "beauty, beauty." In the Psalms, there is a concept called "the beauty of holiness" (see Psalm 29:2; 96:9; 110:3), which is connected to this "grace, grace." However, this instance is a reiteration of what is said in verse 6, that it is only by God's gifts and favor that the work will be accomplished.

The Hebrew language repeats itself a great deal—putting ideas in a slightly different way, in parallel, so that we can understand just how things are to be understood. What this means is that it is by God's grace—by His Spirit, by His favor, by His gifts, that the Temple will be completed and ready for God to inhabit. Zerubbabel should not fear anything. It will be done through God's help.

However, we have to link this with the lamps around the central pillar, which is the passage's main theme. The prophecy goes beyond Zerubbabel to the New Testament church—specifically, down to the end-time church. The passage progresses toward the Two Witnesses—the two anointed ones—at the end of this chapter. And much like Revelation 10 and 11, it starts out with an early work and ends with their worldwide work. The early work has to do with completing the Temple, and the later work has to do with a witness for God before the whole world.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
The Two Witnesses (Part 4)

Revelation 11:4

This verse gives the biblical identification of the Two Witnesses, and it is quite interesting. It is inserted here as if we should know who these Two Witnesses are already. They are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before God. It is as if Jesus is saying, "Don't you read your Bible? Haven't you read Zechariah 4?" Obviously, that is what He is referring to—specifically Zechariah 4:14, where almost the exact same thing is written. In answer to Zechariah's question, the angel says:

These are the two anointed ones, who stand beside the Lord of the whole earth. (Zechariah 4:14)

One could say, "Well, I'll just go to Zechariah 4 and find out who these two characters are." However, that is where it becomes tricky because Zechariah 4 is in no way easy to figure out.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
The Two Witnesses (Part 3)

Revelation 11:4

If one has any knowledge of the Old Testament, it is plain that this verse points directly to Zechariah 4:14. It is not quite a paraphrase of it, not quite a quotation of it, but it makes a clear reference to it. This is where matters begin to get tricky because Zechariah 4 is not an easy chapter to interpret.

Some commentators say that the Two Witnesses are not men, that they are types of Zerubbabel and Joshua. That is, Zerubbabel represents the state (as he was governor) and Joshua represents religion, the church (as he was high priest). So they say that this means that one representative of the church and one of the state will somehow make a witness for God.

However, for several reasons, it just does not make any sense to think that the Two Witnesses could be anything other than people. For instance, Revelation 11:10 calls them "these two prophets." We think of prophets or prophetesses as men or women—human beings. So the Two Witnesses must be men. Zechariah calls them "anointed ones." We consider "anointed ones" to be consecrated human servants of God, which would mean men.

Revelation 11:7 says that the Two Witnesses will be killed, and verse 8 describes their dead bodies lying in the street—meaning that they have bodies. Although Paul speaks of the church of God as the Body of Christ, the Bible is silent concerning the state being or having a body. Verse 11 prophesies that the Two Witnesses will be resurrected. Will God resurrect a corrupt human state? Hardly.

It is clear that Revelation 11 is describing the work of real people here. The most natural reading and interpretation of this passage is that the Two Witnesses are exactly as the Bible describes them—as two human beings (prophets) with physical bodies, given the power to perform miracles and make this witness for God.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
The Two Witnesses (Part 4)


 




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