O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
THE TWO WITNESSES
Zec 4:12 And a second time I answered and said to him, "What are these two branches of the olive trees, which are beside the two golden pipes from which the golden oil is poured out?" Zec 4:13 He said to me, "Do you not know what these are?" I said, "No, my lord." Zec 4:14 Then he said, "These are the two anointed ones who stand by the Lord of the whole earth." Zec 4:11-14 This gave to the prophet a general explanation of the meaning of the vision; for the angel had told him that the house (or kingdom) of God would be built and finished by the Spirit of Jehovah, and the church of the Lord would accomplish its mission, to shine brightly as a candlestick. But there is one point in the vision that is not yet quite clear to him, and he therefore asks for an explanation in Zec_4:11-14. Zec_4:11. The angel having expressed his astonishment at the prophet's ignorance, as he does in Zec_4:5, gives this answer: These (the two bushes of the olive-tree, for which the olive-trees stood there) are the two benē yitshâr, sons of oil, i.e., endowed or supplied with oil (cf. Isa_5:1), which stand *by the Lord of the whole earth, namely as His servants (on ‛âmad ‛al, denoting the standing posture of a servant, who rises above his master when seated, see 1Ki_22:19, also Isa_6:2). The two children of oil cannot be the Jews and Gentiles (Cyril), or Israel and the Gentile world in their fruitful branches, i.e., their believing members (Kliefoth), because the candlestick is the #symbol of the church of the Lord, consisting of the believers in Israel and also in the Gentile world. This is just as clear as the distinction between the olive-trees and the candlestick, to which they conduct the oil. Others think of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah (J. D. Mich., Hofm., Baumg., etc.); but although there is no force in Koehler's objection, that in that case there would be a double order of prophets in Israel, since two prophets, both influenced by the Spirit of God, would not imply a double order of prophets, this explanation is decidedly precluded by the fact that two mortal men could not convey to the church for all ages the oil of the Spirit of God. The two sons of oil can only be the two media, anointed with oil, through whom the spiritual and gracious gifts of God were conveyed to the church of the Lord, namely, the existing representatives of the priesthood and the regal government, who were at that time Joshua the high priest and the prince Zerubbabel. These stand by the Lord of the whole earth, as the divinely appointed instruments through whom the Lord causes His Spirit to flow into His congregation. *Israel had indeed possessed both these instruments from the time of its first adoption as the people of Jehovah, and both were consecrated to their office by anointing. So far the fact that the olive-trees stand by the side of the candlestick does not appear to indicate anything that the prophet could not have interpreted for himself; and hence the astonishment expressed in the question of the angel in Zec_4:13. Moreover, the vision was not intended to represent an entirely new order of things, but simply to show the completion of that which was already contained and typified in the old covenant. The seven-armed candlestick was nothing new in itself. All that was new in the candlestick seen by Zechariah was the apparatus through which it was supplied with oil that it might give light, namely, the connection between the candlestick and the two olive-trees, whose branches bore olives like bunches of ears, to supply it abundantly with oil, which was conveyed to each of its seven lamps through seven pipes. The candlestick of the tabernacle had to be supplied every day with the necessary oil by the hands of the priests. This oil the congregation had to present; and to this end the Lord had to bestow His blessing, that the fruits of the land might be made to prosper, so that the olive-tree should bear its olives, and yield a supply of oil. But this blessing was withdrawn from the nation when it fell away from its God (cf. Joe_1:10). If, then, the candlestick had two olive-trees by its side, yielding oil in such copious abundance, that every one of the seven lamps received its supply through seven pipes, it could never fail to have sufficient oil for a full and brilliant light. This was what was new in the visionary candlestick; and the meaning was this, that the Lord would in future bestow upon His congregation the organs of His Spirit, and maintain them in such direct connection with it, that it would be able to let its light shine with sevenfold brilliancy.Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament
The significance of the candlestick in the holy place centred, as I have shown in my biblische Archäologie (i. p. 107), in its seven lamps, which were lighted every evening, and burned through the night. The burning lamps were a symbol of the church or of the nation of God, which causes the light of its spirit, or of its knowledge of God, to shine before the Lord, and lets it stream out into the night of a world estranged from God. As the disciples of Christ were called, as lights of the world (Mat_5:14), to let their lamps burn and shine, or, as candlesticks in the world (Luk_12:35; Phi_2:15), to shine with their light before men (Mat_5:16), so as the church of the Old Testament also. The correctness of this explanation of the meaning of the candlestick is placed beyond all doubt by Rev_1:20, where the seven λυχνίαι, which John saw before the throne of God, are explained as being the seven ἐκκλησίαι, which represent the new people of God, viz., the Christian church. The candlestick itself merely comes into consideration here as the stand which carried the lamps, in order that they might shine, and as such was the divinely appointed form for the realization of the purpose of the shining lamps. In this respect it might be taken as a symbol of the kingdom of God on its formal side, i.e., of the divinely appointed organism for the perpetuation and life of the church. But the lamps received their power to burn from the oil, with which they had to be filled before they could possibly burn. Oil, regarded according to its capacity to invigorate the body and increase the energy of the vital spirits, is used in the Scriptures as a symbol of the Spirit of God, not in its transcendent essence, but so far as it works in the world, and is indwelling in the church; and not merely the anointing oil, as Kliefoth supposes, but also the lamp oil, since the Israelites had no other oil than olive oil even for burning, and this was used for anointing also.Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament
THE CHURCH Verses REV.11:1-6 The entire period of the Church are past present and future (Beale 572)
Rev 11:3 And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth." Rev 11:4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth.
VERSES SHOWING THE TWO WITNESSES IS THE CHURCH
Rev 1:11 saying, "Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea." Rev 1:12 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I SAW SEVEN GOLDEN LAMPSTANDS
Rev 1:13 and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest.
Rev 1:20The mystery of the seven stars which you saw on My right, and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are angels of the seven assemblies, and the seven lampstands you saw are seven assemblies.
Rev 13:10 If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.
Revelation 11:3 kai dwsw tois dusin martusin mou kai
AND I SHALL GIVE TO THE (TWO WITNESSES OF ME) TWO WITNESSES=
prophets not as two but one corporate entity (The church)
Moses and Elijah metaphorically were to return at the coming of the Lord
Mar 9:2 And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, Mar 9:3 and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them. Mar 9:4 And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. Mal 4:5 (3:23) Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD.(John the baptist) The powers of the two- Moses and Elijah are presented equally in power as one entity.(Identical prophetic twins) Johannan Ben Zakkai declared that God said to Moses “ if i send Elijah you both must come together The vision refers to the missionary activity of the whole church
THE CHURCH HAVING POWERS OF ELIJAH AND MOSES
Rev 11:5 And if anyone would harm them, fire pours from their mouth and consumes their foes. If anyone would harm them, this is how he is doomed to be killed. Rev 11:6 They have the power to shut the sky, that no rain may fall during the days of their prophesying, and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague, as often as they desire.
ELIJAH>Elijah;2Ki 1:10 And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty: 'If I be a man of God, let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty.' And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty. 2Ki 1:11 And again he sent unto him another captain of fifty with his fifty. And he answered and said unto him: 'O man of God, thus hath the king said: Come down quickly.' 2Ki 1:12 And Elijah answered and said unto them: 'If I be a man of God, let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty.' And the fire of God came down from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty. 2Ki 1:13 And again he sent the captain of a third fifty with his fifty. And the third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Elijah, and besought him, and said unto him: 'O man of God, I pray thee, let my life, and the life of these fifty thy servants, be precious in thy sight. 2Ki 1:14 Behold, there came fire down from heaven, and consumed the two former captains of fifty with their fifties; but now let my life be precious in thy sight' 2Ki 1:15 And the angel of the LORD said unto Elijah: 'Go down with him; be not afraid of him.' And he arose, and went down with him unto the king. 2Ki 1:16 And he said unto him: 'Thus saith the LORD: Forasmuch as thou hast sent messengers to inquire of Baal-zebub the god of Ekron, is it because there is no God in Israel to inquire of His word? therefore thou shalt not come down from the bed whether thou art gone up, but shalt surely die.'
MOSES>:Exo 7:14 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Pharaoh's heart is stubborn, he refuseth to let the people go. Exo 7:15 Get thee unto Pharaoh in the morning; lo, he goeth out unto the water; and thou shalt stand by the river's brink to meet him; and the rod which was turned to a serpent shalt thou take in thy hand. Exo 7:16 And thou shalt say unto him: The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, hath sent me unto thee, saying: Let My people go, that they may serve Me in the wilderness; and, behold, hitherto thou hast not hearkened; *Exo 7:17 thus saith the LORD: In this thou shalt know that I am the LORD - behold, I will smite with the rod that is in my hand upon the waters which are in the river, and they shall be turned to blood. Exo 7:18 And the fish that are in the river shall die, and the river shall become foul; and the Egyptians shall loathe to drink water from the river.' *Exo 7:19 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Say unto Aaron: Take thy rod, and stretch out thy hand over the waters of Egypt, over their rivers, over their streams, and over their pools, and over all their ponds of water, that they may become blood; and there shall be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood and in vessels of stone.' *Exo 7:20 And Moses and Aaron did so, as the LORD commanded; and he lifted up the rod, and smote the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants; and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood.
Rev 11:3 And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will *prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in *sackcloth." *Sackclothe= Lamenting Judgment and sin over the unrighteous and calling for repentance as an outcome of their prophetic message.
The fact that the two witnesses act on behalf of the community of faith is not intended to represent acts of individuals.It derives from the O.C. requirement for at least two witnesses to be involved in judging an offence against the law, so that the valid verdict is guaranteed.
*Prophecy=testimony Rev 11:7 And when they have finished their *testimony, the beast that rises from the bottomless pit will make war on them and conquer them and kill them, Also reflected in Johns commision: Rev 10:11 And I was told, "You must again prophesy about many peoples and nations and languages and kings." The fact that the two witnesses act on behalf of the community of faith is not intended to represent acts of individuals.It derives from the O.C. requirement for at least two witnesses to be involved in judging an offence against the law, so that the valid verdict is guaranteed. Num 35:30 Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be slain at the mouth of witnesses; but one witness shall not testify against any person that he die. Deu 17:6 At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is to die be put to death; at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death. Deu 19:15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth; at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall a matter be establishment Beale (575) notes that this legal atmosphere is enhanced by the use μαρτυσια (martyr)witness, testimony. Rev 11:3 and I will give to My two witnesses, and they shall *prophesy days, a thousand, two hundred, sixty, arrayed with sackcloth; Rev 11:7 And when they have finished their *testimony, the beast that rises from the bottomless pit will make war on them and conquer them and kill them, Rev 1:1 The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, Rev 1:2 who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Rev 1:3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near. Rev 1:4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, Rev 1:5 and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood Rev 1:6 and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Rev 1:9 I, John, who also am your brother, and fellow-partner in the tribulation, and in the reign and endurance, of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, because of the word of God, and because of the *testimony(μαρτυριαν G3141) of Jesus Christ; Rev 6:9 And when he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those slain because of the word of God, and because of the*testimony that they held, Rev 12:11 and they did overcome him because of the blood of the Lamb, and because of the word of their *testimony, and they did not love their life--unto death; Rev 12:17 and the dragon was angry against the woman, and went away to make war with the rest of her seed, those keeping the commands of God, and having the *testimony of Jesus Christ. Rev 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and **judgment was given to them, and the souls of those who have been beheaded because of the *testimony of Jesus, and because of the word of God, and who did not bow before the beast, nor his image, and did not receive the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand, and they did live and reign with Christ the thousand years;