Who are the
Q. Who are the two witnesses in Revelation, chapter 11 and Zechariah, chapter 4? Could they be angels, maybe even those who led Lot out of Sodom before God destroyed it?
(Submitted by: Darryl)
A. First, let's take a look at the relevant Bible verses regarding the two angels you mentioned in Genesis:
"Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground. And he said, 'Here now, my lords, please turn in to your servant’s house and spend the night . . . '
"Now before they (Lot, his family and the angels) lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot and said to him, 'Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally.'
"So they (the mob) pressed hard against the man Lot, and came near to break down the door. And they (the angels) struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they became weary trying to find the door.
"Then the men (two angels) said to Lot, 'Have you anyone else here? Son-in-law, your sons, your daughters, and whomever you have in the city — take them out of this place! For we will destroy this place, because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.' " (Genesis 19:1-2, 4-5, 9, 11, NKJV throughout)
Now, let's briefly cover the Two Witnesses discussed in Zechariah 4 and Revelation 11:
"Now the angel who talked with me came back and wakened me, as a man who is wakened out of his sleep. And he said to me, "What do you see?" So I said, "I am looking, and there is a lampstand of solid gold with a bowl on top of it, and on the stand seven lamps with seven pipes to the seven lamps. Two olive trees are by it, one at the right of the bowl and the other at its left."
"Then I answered and said to him, "What are these two olive trees — at the right of the lampstand and at its left?" . . . So he said, "These are the TWO ANOINTED ONES, who stand beside the Lord of the whole earth." " (Zechariah 4:1-3, 11, 14)
"'And I will give power to my TWO WITNESSES, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.' These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth. And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters TO TURN THEM TO BLOOD, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire.
"When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, AND KILL THEM." (Revelation 11:3-7)
The two angels in Genesis 18 and 19 cannot be hurt by human means. There is not a single account in the Bible of human beings hurting angels, who are spirits. There are, on the other hand, events with angels striking humans, as in Exodus 12, in 2Chronicles 32:21 and more.
The Two Witnesses are going to be killed and resurrected, so they will have to be human. There is a parallel between them and the original Elijah in performing miracles (for further study see 1Kings 17:1 and 2Kings 1:9-14). Another parallel to the Two Witnesses and their power is what God did through Moses in turning water into blood, as recorded in Exodus 7:19-24.
God uses human beings to do His work on this earth, as humans are destined to become His Sons. Angels are merely messengers:
"But to which of the angels has He ever said . . . Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those (human beings) who will inherit salvation?" (Hebrews 1:13-14)
Some people speculate that one of the Two Witnesses will be the resurrected Elijah (who would be the other witness?). If that is the case God will still use humans, not angels, for that end-time task. Nobody knows, yet, the true identity of the Two Witnesses. They will soon be revealed, however, when God determines it is the right time to do so.
Written by: Adriano Borean