The Two Witnesses
R evelation 11:1-13
And there was given me a reed like unto 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 unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut the heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. 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. 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. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and a half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that swell on 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. And after three days and a half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. 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. And the same hour there was 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.
Zechariah 4:1-14 And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep, And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof: And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof. So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord? And the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit saith the Lord of hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it. Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto you. For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro through the whole earth. Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof? And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.
Definition of Witness
The Greek word, martus or martur, means a witness, a martyr. A person who confirms something.
The English word denotes the connotation, one who bares witness by his death; one who can and does aver to what he has seen, or heard or knows. It is derived from the Anglo Saxon, gewita, a witness, from witan, to perceive to know. Old High German, gewiznesse, experience. Icelandic, vitneskja, intelligence, notice. Testimony; knowledge or matter adduced in proof; a person who sees or knows anything; one present; one who gives evidence; one who sees the execution of a will or deed, or suchlike, and adhibits his name to it to confirm its authenticity. To see or know by personal presence; to attest; to give testimony to; to give evidence.
Martyr: Derived from the Greek, martur, a witness. Italian, martire; Spanish, martir; French and Anglo Saxon, martyr, a martyr. One who bares witness to his belief by suffering persecution or death for it, especially applied to religious belief. One who suffers persecution or death in defence of any cause: one suffering from some severe bodily disease beyond ordinary.
A witness therefore, by definition, is a person who knows by personal presence.
These men, must of necessity, have witnessed the birth, growth, baptism, ministry, death, burial, resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ.
There are a minimum of two.
Deuteronomy 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.
Matthew 18:16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
1 Timothy 5:19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.
1 John 5:7,8 For there are three that bare record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.
The confirmation of the earthly covenant (Abrahamic) was attended by three heavenly witnesses, (men, angels, the Lord).
The confirmation of the heavenly, spiritual (everlasting, new) covenant was also attended by three earthly witnesses, (men).
Two is the number of witness: Three, the number of perfect testimony.