The 2 Witnesses of Revelation 11, 1260 days - three and a half years
God often uses two. The principle in the Old Testament law, one could not accuse another without the same testimony coming from two witnesses. The Jewish system of law required two or more individual persons to bear witness. The New Testament speaks of witnesses for Christ who are called to go out, two by two. There are two witnesses in Rev.11, ministers in the true sense of the word, they become martyrs, which is what the word witnesses in Greek actually means.
Are they Moses, Elijah, Enoch, John the baptizer? The Bible would say if they were one of these. They are probably going to be two completely new people for the Tribulation who act in the same type of ministry of Moses and Elijah. They are not dressed in designer clothes of our day but dressed like John the Baptizer was dressed in his day. This alone would be offensive to the people of the world who are fashion minded. It will identify them with the ministry they will minister in. They both do miracles like Moses did in Egypt against Pharaoh (which will take place throughout their ministry). Rev 11:6 b “and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire.” This is all taking place during the time of the Gentiles in the Tribulation period. The two witnesses have a time limit; three and a half years. In this short period they are immune from harm.
Rev 11:3-5 "And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth." 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.”
The ministry of the Two Witnesses takes place during the first half of the Tribulation which is one thousand two hundred and threescore days, (the first 31/2 years of the tribulation period). The identification of the two olive trees and the two candlesticks is found in the Old Testament book of Zechariah.
Zech. 4:11-14 Then I answered and said to him, "What are these two olive trees-- at the right of the lampstand and at its left?" These are the two anointed ones Zechariah sees in a vision in the future. The lampstand is a 7 branch Menorah like the Menorah in the holy place of the Temple, a symbol of Israel (and the church also found in the book of Revelation). Oil throughout the scriptures is a symbol of the Holy Spirit and healing.
Zechariah’s vision sees them put oil into the lampstand (Menorah in Hebrew) before God. These 2 witnesses are light bearers to the nation Israel (Zechariah 4:2). On each side of the Menorah is an olive tree and above the Candelabra is a bowl and there are two pipes running from the 2 olive trees emptying oil into the bowl; there is an inexhaustible supply of oil because it comes from the source, from which the oil is pressed.
The national regeneration of Israel is connected with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. As Paul prophesied, “then all of Israel will be saved” (Rom.11). Israel turns from her unbelief at the end of the last half of the Tribulation period.
Zechariah 12:10, “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplication; and they shall look unto me whom they have pierced; and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his first-born.” This becomes Israel’s time of repentance as they recognize who their Messiah actually is, Yeshua.
Zechariah sees “Two olive trees -- at the right of the lampstand and at its left?” v.12-14 And I further answered and said to him, “What are these two olive branches that drip into the receptacles of the two gold pipes from which the golden oil drains?” Then he answered me and said, “Do you not know what these are?” And I said, “No, my lord.” So he said, “These are the two anointed ones, who stand beside the Lord of the whole earth.”
The Lord is with the two witnesses through their ministry until he sees it is time to be completed.
Rev. 11:7 they are not cut off but they finish their ministry, then God allows them to be his martyrs. The Beast that is allowed to kill them is significant. It is God that empowers them, God protects from any harm until they are done with their ministry. When they finish their testimony v.7, then He allows them to be killed by the Beast who ascends from the bottomless pit. We don’t know how the beast kills them except that God chooses the timing. We know that a Beast (will become the antichrist) and enters the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem in the "midst of the week."
The first mention of Jerusalem as the "Great City" is found in chapter 11. The two prophesy in what is also called the "Holy City" (v.2) where the rebuilt Third Temple will be located (11:1-3, 7-8). It is also the city "where also their Lord was crucified" (v. 8) being Jerusalem (Matt. 23:37).
The apostle John speaks of Jerusalem as 'spiritually' called Sodom and Egypt (Gen.18 and 19; Isa. 1:1, 9-10). In other words it will be overrun with sexual perversion, allowing this type of sin and others to enslave them in the same way they were in bondage in Egypt.
Rev.11 is a turning point for the world as they celebrate over these men’s deaths. V.9 people from every tribe and nation rejoice that they who preached God’s message to Israel and the world are now dead. They celebrate like its Christmas time, except it is about their death.
The people celebrating have confirmed themselves to be enemies of God by rejecting the two witnesses message (saying they were tormented by their preaching of repentance v.9) and celebration includes giving gifts during the 3 and one half days their bodies lie in the street as a witness of the overcoming power of the Beast. (the time in typology of how long they preached also makes it significant).
1260 days are 42 months, three and one half years. The FIRST HALF of the tribulation (Daniel's 70th "week") is completed. Three and one half years is an eschatological reference. We also read that Elijah shut up the sky 3 years and 6 months. Rev. 11:6 “These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy” (both had this authority, not one).
During the first half of the tribulation the preaching of these two prophets, along with the 144,000 are also witnessing throughout the world but in the last half the Antichrist rules. The act of killing the Two Witnesses will give us a glimpse of why mankind will worship the Beast. Yet at the same time the resurrection event of the Two Witnesses will lead to the salvation of many of the Jews.
The seals and the judgments of the God poured out during the first half of the Tribulation did not change their minds (Revelation 6, 8-9). A third series of judgments toward the latter part of the second half of the Tribulation-the Bowl Judgments of Revelation 16 are increasingly worse.
Rev.11:12 God speaks of being ready to receive them, “And I heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them COME UP here and they ASCENDED UP to heaven in a cloud and their enemies beheld them.” Their enemies see them come alive and go to heaven which disturbs them to no end. They witness a resurrection just as there were witnesses of Jesus being raised from the dead (1 Cor. 15:3-8). This is the last sign of Jonah given to the people of Israel and the world.
Daniel speaks of 70 7’s, that is equal to 490 years. We know this because of the time of the decree issuing forth to restore Jerusalem and rebuild the temple was by Artexerxes in 457 BC. Which coincides very close to the date Jesus ministry would begin. 62 weeks = 434 years
The Tribulation begins by the first seal being opened (no we are not there yet). The Antichrist signs a peace treaty with the many in Israel (Dan.9 but it does not mean he personally formulates it). In the middle of the week (1260 days) he breaks the covenant, which coincides closely with the same time of murdering the last two witnesses.
It is after this point that evrything changes.
Daniel's 70th "week" in the "midst of the week," he shall " cause the sacrifice [of the temple] and the oblation [of the Jews in the rebuilt temple] to cease." This would coincide with the temple sacrifice ceasing in the middle of the week as the Jewish people are trying to keep the covenant (of Moses) that is no longer valid or acceptable to God.
Mark 13:14 "So when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not" (let the reader understand), "then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains “(see 2 Thess. 2:4 for more details).
The Temple sacrifice being halted in the middle of 42 months (3 ½ years) the persecution of the Jews commences full scale for the last 42 months to end Daniel's 70th "week." The 70 “7’s” of Daniel, that is 490 years is moving to completion.
The LAST HALF of Daniel's 70th "week " that was reserved for the Tribulation period (not the age of the church) has the "woman" (Israel) fleeing from the antichrist for the next 1260 days. "And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred [and] threescore days. Just as God had supplied Israel in their escape from Egypt it is similarly repeated (Exod.19:4).
Rev.12:14 "And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent." The "woman" [Israel] escapes the persecution of the antichrist himself which will keep her safe the LAST HALF of Daniel's 70th week 3 and one half years until they repent (Isa.26:20-21). Undoubtedly the Jewish leadership will lead them to believe instead of disbelieve in Yeshua as their Messiah as the Spirit is poured out on them.
In the meantime the Gentiles will continue to tread under foot the holy city Jerusalem.
Rev 11:2 “And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months.” Until the Messiah comes again, the last shmichah, 7 years is divided into two parts, very bad and worse.
The Gentiles keep control over the city Jerusalem, as the Last Gentile king rules over the nations.
Christ does not return until the end of the 70th "week", Mt. 24:22 "And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened.” The tribulation does not extend any further than the 7 shmichah, the 70th week that God has reserved for Israel and the world.
There is an ecclesiastical beast and the beast for the world system of governing Dan. 7:23 “The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, trample it and break it in pieces.” Dan. 8:4 “I saw the ram pushing westward, northward, and southward, so that no beast could withstand him; nor was there any that could deliver from his hand, but he did according to his will and became great.”
Rev.12:14 While the antichrist is persecuting the Jews and Christians throughout the world during this last half of Daniel's 70th week he is also speaking blasphemously for 42 months from the Temple. "And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty [and] two months."
Rev 13:5 we see the Book of Revelation coincides with Daniel's 70th week, Daniel 9:27.
The changes that affect all.
Rev. 13:7 “It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.”
The mark comes to all the world, the Beast is allowed to overcome the saints, as he has overcame the two witnesses. However, as the two witnesses rise in victory the saints also have victory in death, Rev 12:11 "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.”
The location that this all takes place is Jerusalem, the time is the Tribulation period. No one will mistake what this will be like, as Jesus said "For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matt 24:21)
If someone tells you they are one of the two witnesses today; are they dressed accordingly, do they preach and are not harmed? Are they in Jerusalem upsetting the people and doing miracles? If they claim to be one of the two witnesses obviously they are not a witness for Christ, avoid them like the plague, for “many will come in his name.”