Who are the 2 Witnesses of Revelation Chapter 11 KJV and what is their timeline, meaning when do they appear during the 7 year Tribulation (first 3.5 years or the ending 3.5 years)?
The more I dig deeper into this study the more I realize how complicated this question is. The answer is not perfectly clear in scripture. First God never tells us who they are. Some scholars believe because God doesn’t give us their names – not intended for us to know – it is therefore not important for us to know.
NOTE: Sadly there is a group of believers who for some reason are pushing a theory that the Tribulation is only 3.5 years and that the 3rd Woe is the end of the Tribulation. The vast majority of all solid Bible Scholars agree that the 3 WOES of revelation correspond to the 5th, 6th, and 7th Trumpet Judgement. The Tribulation does not end until the final Vile Judgement. Please read your Bibles and study this for yourself. Some very disturbing teachers are teaching that we’ve already gone through several of the SEAL Judgements. I implore my readers to not follow after such foolish and misguided teaching. There are also some who say God has given them divine guidance and that all 3 Judgements – SEAL – TRUMPETS & VIALS are ongoing simultaneously as 3 separate events. Here’s a very disturbing video from this misguided soul which I refute with the following comment.
“Sir, I’d feel more comfortable if you left out the verbiage, “this isn’t me, but from God… 🙁 Speaking like a Prophet without the Anointing of a Prophet is not good and frankly I feel sorry for you telling me you feel sorry for me… This is the most alarming part of your video. Also, you fail to comprehend that the Day of the Lord is the beginning of the Tribulation which my Bible tells me clearly is the opening of the 1st SEAL…NOT the 6th SEAL..If you’d like I can explain why you see similarity in SEAL 6 and Vile Judgement 7. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help you.. Revelation is a chronological timeline with a few major parenthetical pauses (literary interludes) as we see in between the 6th and 7th SEAL, 6th and 7th TRUMPET and the 6th and 7th VILE. Please note the literary interludes in Revelation 7, Revelation 10 – 14, especially in Revelation 12:5 referring to the Rapture and Revelation 11:3 the 2 witnesses, and again we see the literary interlude in Revelation 16. Revelation is full of 7’s and sequences of 7’s which is known as heptadic structure. Chuck Missler
Moses and Elijah. Moses represents the LAW and Elijah represents the Prophets. (Acts 15:21 KJV) Also both of these men truly represent the 2 Fig Trees and the 2 Lampstands in Revelation 11:4 KJV that stand before the God of the earth. Research for yourself several well documented links on why Moses and Elijah are the 2 most qualified candidates. To me personally the most compelling evidence is the Transfiguration of Jesus in Matthew 17:1-8 KJV, Mark 9:2-8 KJV and Luke 9:28-36 KJV when both Moses and Elijah appeared and began talking to Jesus before the crucifixion.Believers who contend the witnesses to include John the Baptist or Enoch as many of the early scholars believed do not hold substantial substance as compared to Moses and Elijah.
When do the 2 Witnesses appear?
I have gone full circle on this. I have gone from initially believing they appear in the beginning of the Tribulation to believing they appear in the Mid Tribulation and now after fully researching this subject, I now firmly believe and can support that they do in fact arrive in the beginning of the Tribulation and are raptured up in the Mid Tribulation. Revelation 11:3-11 KJV refers.
Here are the following reasons I “originally shifted my opinion from the beginning of the Tribulation to a later part of the Tribulation for the 2 Witnesses timeline:
First we know that mention of the 2 witnesses first appears in the middle of the Tribulation precisely after the 6th Trumpet Judgement and perfectly placed in the literary interlude between the 6th and 7th Trumpet. Keeping to the traditional practice of following the logical chronological timeline sequence of Revelation. I thought this was exactly where they would first appear.
42 months Gentiles Trample Jews happens in the last half of Tribulation known as the Great Tribulation. Therefore the freedom in the first part of the Tribulation to express the Jewish Witnesses would be gone by the mid trib and thus the greater persecution. This is the logical place the 2 fig trees and 2 lampstands (The testimony of the Church for both Jews and Gentiles).
2 witnesses wear sackcloth which represents mourning over Judgement which comes most severe in the Great Tribulation (second half).
2 witnesses are dispensing divine wrath and in need of divine protection. This would be a requirement during the second half of the Tribulation and not the first. See Walvoord.com comments regarding: The Two Witnesses And The Seventh Trumpet | Walvoord.com
The 2 Witnesses are used exactly during the time of the Great Tribulation in which the most horrific supernatural events take place for example: Satan and his angels being cast down to earth (Revelation 12:9; Daniel 2:43 KJV). The AC recovering from a great wound and beginning supernatural miracles and multitudes begin worshipping the AC (Revelation 13:3,4 KJV); the contending with the False Prophet who performs miracles that mimic the miracles performed by the prophets of the old testament like calling down fire from heaven; countering the worship of the supernatural image of the AC promoted by the false prophet (Revelation 13:15- 16 KJV); countering the calling for the Mark of the Beast (666) Revelation (Revelation 13:16-18 KJV).
No matter how hard I tried to justify the logic of the 2 Witnesses in the second half of the Tribulation I could not come to terms with them serving for 3.5 years to the day and then being killed and then lying in the street for 3.5 days. This would push the timeline past the final 3.5 years. And the most compelling reason the 2 witnesses have to be in the first part of the Tribulation rests in my opinion that we must keep in mind that Chapters 10 through 14 of Revelation do not develop the chronological sequence of events but rather are perfect parenthetical pauses or literary interludes that explain and qualify events. Perfect examples are the Rapture of the Church mentioned in Revelation 12:5 KJV when we know clearly the Rapture takes place in Revelation 4 and 5 KJV. This is the exact situation in Revelation 11. Also most compelling and sealing it for me is Revelation 11:7 KJV: “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.”
Exegesis of this scripture entails the grammar which is clearly a future perfect tense that is completed by an action set up in the past tense and completed in the future. In other words, The 2 Witnesses were operational in the past (beginning of the Tribulation) and then after the Beast (A powerful demon) comes out of the Bottomless Pit during the interlude period between the 6th and 7th Trumpet Judgement, it will overcome and kill the 2 witnesses. This same Demon Beast from the Bottomless Pit along with Satan who has been cast down to earth in Revelation 12:9 KJV possess completely the AntiChrist after he recovers from a deadly head wound and becomes known as The First Beast, having great power and promoted to be worshipped by the 2nd Beast, the false prophet, read Revelation Chapter 13.
Following the literary interlude of this large swath of scripture Revelation 10 through 14 KJV we see no more mention of the 2 Witnesses but the beginning of the most horrific Vile Judgements. Just as the Church is in the Rapture (A Revelation 4 event mentioned in a literary interlude of Revelation 12:5 KJV) The 2 Witnesses who come at the beginning of the 7 year Tribulation are brought up in a literary interlude of Revelation 11:3 KJV which is written in the chronological events of the Middle of the 7 year Tribulation which would perfectly correspond to the 2 witnesses serving for precisely 3.5 years. Amen!
Revelation is a chronological timeline with a few major parenthetical pauses (literary interludes) as we see in between the 6th and 7th SEAL, 6th and 7th TRUMPET and the 6th and 7th VILE. Please note the literary interludes in 7, Revelation 10 – 14, especially in Revelation 12:5 referring to the Rapture and Revelation 11:3 the 2 witnesses, and again we see the literary interlude in Revelation 16. Revelation is full of 7’s and sequences of 7’s which is known as heptadic structure. Chuck Missler has great study on this and the book of revelation.