The Bible teaches that in the last days, during the great tribulation and the rule of the anti-christ; God “will give power unto [his] two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.” Revelation 11:3. As scriptures make us understand, “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.” Isaiah 59:19. The two witnesses, along with the sealed 144,000 will be God’s standard against the ungodly, demonic powers that will be operating on the earth during the great tribulation, also known as the time of Jacob’s trouble.
The Bible does not reveal the names of the two witnesses, however; we can deduce who they might be based on their ministry and the unusual anointing that God has placed on their life. First, the two witnesses will not be Enoch and Elijah of old. Many hold the belief that because Enoch and Elijah of old did not die (Hebrews 11:5), they must return to the earth and die so that the scripture in Hebrews 9:27 (And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:) may be fulfilled. This scripture is a general truth, however; not everyone will taste death, believers who are alive at the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ (YAHUSHUA ha MASHIACH) will not experience death. As it is written:
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17.
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 1 Corinthians 15:50-51.
1 Thessalonians 4:17 makes it clear that those which are alive and remain will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. 1 Corinthians 15:50 plainly states that “we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.” All mankind will experience death, with the exception of Enoch, Elijah, and those who are alive and remain at the coming of the Lord YAHUSHUA ha MASHIACH. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17.
For those that insist that all must die, the Bible states that the Lord YAHUSHUA has tasted death for all.
9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. Hebrews 2:9.
Enoch and Elijah of old will not return to the earth to experience death, they are not the two witnesses.
Others hold that Moses and Elijah of old will be the two witnesses. After all, when the Lord YAHUSHUA was transfigured, it was Moses and Elijah of old “who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.” Luke 9:31. They were witnessing of what the Messiah, YAHUSHUA ha MASHIACH would accomplish on this earth. Moses and Elijah have always born called God’s people to repentance, preached salvation, and witnessed of the coming Messiah, the Lord YAHUSHUA.
The two witnesses will not be Moses and Elijah of old, but they will be a man and woman with the spirit like unto Moses and Elijah of old. The Bible has prophesied before of the coming of Elijah, however; when it was fulfilled, it was fulfilled through John the Baptist.
The Bible says in Malachi 4:4-5:
4 Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.
5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: 6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. Malachi 4.
The scribes and people understood that Elijah would first come and restore all things before the appearance of YAHUSHUA ha MASIACH, they were correct, however; their understanding was not complete. They were expecting Elijah the Tishbite, however; it was John the Baptist who appeared and restored all things.
When the disciples saw Elijah of old at the transfiguration, the disciples remembered that the scribes had always taught that Elijah would first appear and prepare the way for YAHUSHUA ha MASHIACH. The Lord YAHUSHUA had already appeared, why was Elijah only now appearing?
10 And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? 11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.
12 But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. 13 Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist. Matthew 17:10-13.
Matthew 17:10-13, the Lord YAHUSHUA explains that the promised Elijah was fulfilled in John the Baptist. John the Baptist was not Elijah of old, yet he had the spirit and calling like unto Elijah of old – he came to call Israel to repentance and preach faith in the Messiah who would soon be revealed. The Spirit of Elijah bears witness of the coming Messiah and calls mankind to repentance. The Bible says that John the Baptist went “before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,” Luke 1:76-77.
The two witnesses will go before the Lord, they will preach repentance and salvation in YAHUSHUA ha MASHIACH with an anointing like unto Moses and Elijah.
We often assume that both these witnesses will be men, but we should not forget what God has spoken in Joel 2:28-31. I believe that the witnesses will be a woman and a man.
28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come. Joel 2:28-31
As stated before, the Bible does not give the names of the two witnesses, however; we will be able to recognize them on this earth based on their ministry. First, the two witnesses are prophets of power, God will give them power not only to prophecy, but to perform signs and wonders as Moses and Elijah old, Revelation 11:3.
They are humble, as scripture states, they are “clothed in sackcloth”, just as Moses was the meekest man on the earth, Revelation 11:3, Numbers 12:3. They have an anointing of fire. And have power to seal the skies, and release plagues and judgements. These were the very works that defined the ministries of Moses and Elijah.
God granted Moses of old power to release plagues on Pharaoh and Egypt because of their disobedient, unrepentant hearts. Likewise, the two witnesses will have power “over the waters to turn them to blood and to smit the earth will all plagues, as often as they will” Revelation 11:6. Elijah of old had power to seal the heavens so that it rained not for three and a half years, so will the two witnesses “have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy” Revelation 11:6.