There are certain portions of scripture that fascinate me – or maybe they puzzle me – either way I find myself drawn back to them over and over again, praying to the Father to reveal more insights to me, to make it all come clear. The passage in Revelation about the Two Witnesses is one of those. I read it often studying in depth the clues given as to who these two fellows are. Just when I think I’ve finally settled it then I come across a new possibility. I used to think the standard Moses and Elijah based on the plagues in Exodus and that whole Elijah and the prophets of Baal fire from heaven episode. Then reading Genesis Enoch caught my eye – he like Elijah appears to have been raptured without tasting death and there’s that verse about man only being appointed to die once, except a lot of people died twice like Lazarus, Jarius’ daughter, the widow’s son, etc., so maybe I am looking at that wrong. I pondered Noah, John the Baptist, corporate entities, etc. But today I came across a new possibility for one of this dynamic duo for God. Not John the baptist but John the Revelator, the beloved disciple of Christ.
This actually a pretty compelling option. Jesus did tell him
Thou must prophesy again over many peoples and nations and tongues and kings. Revelation 10:11
John never did that after writing Revelation, he died not many years after finally leaving Patmos and returning to Ephesus – dided naturally I might add, that’s important when considering the next passage seeming to point to him.
Then came to him the mother of the sons of Zebedee with her sons, worshipping him, and asking a certain thing of him. And he said unto her, What wouldest thou? She saith unto him, Command that these my two sons may sit, one on thy right hand, and one on thy left hand, in thy kingdom. But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink the cup that I am about to drink? They say unto him, We are able. He saith unto them, My cup indeed ye shall drink: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left hand, is not mine to give, but it is for them for whom it hath been prepared of my Father. And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation concerning the two brethren. Matthew 20:20-24
Wow, that whole indeed ye shall part had always kinda flew by me. But when I think about it it makes sense. James we know from Acts was martyred so in a sense he did drink of that cup, for he died for the name of Christ. But John didn’t at least not yet. Oh sure they tried to kill him but God said not his time and instead they sent him to the Island of Patmos and left him there for a very long time before freeing him and he was able to return to Ephesus where he continued to minister to folks, but not to prophecy to many nations and tongues and all. So that means he never drank of the cup as his brother did. Could be because he still has work to do and we know from the Revelation given to John that the witnesses are martyred for witnessing to Christ. In fact John was the only disciple that was not martyred!
Then there is the fact that John specifically asked Jesus if he wanted him to call down fire from heaven on those who rejected Him.
And it came to pass, when the days were well-nigh come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he were going to Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we bid fire to come down from heaven, and consume them? But he turned, and rebuked them. Luke 9:51-55
Granted the passage just says Jesus rebuked them not that he said either one would get to do so at a later time, however fire from heaven is one of the powers of the witnesses so it makes one think. As does the fact that the witnesses are referred to as the olive tree and the candlestick. We know that Israel is referred to as the olive tree in the old testament and in chapter one of Revelation we see Jesus among the candlesticks or churches. It would make sense then that one of the witnesses would be from the old testament or law of Israel while the other will be from the new testament.
I also considered the fact that another John witnessed to the first coming of Jesus so maybe that was a type or foreshadow of the beloved John witnessing of his second coming. It’s a possibility for sure. There is a pretty good video on the subject by Steve Ciccolanti on Youtube is you want to watch it, or just dig into the Word after prayerfully seeking God’s guidance and see what you come up with. Who do you think the two witnesses will be?