1) The 4 Authorities of the Two Witnesses
The 2 witnesses were given 4 authorities. For the sole purpose that the Word could be proclaimed. These same authorities would also be given to those who are proclaiming the Word to the world.
There are 4 different kinds of authorities given to the 2 witnesses:
(i) Authority to prophesy clothed in sackcloth
Sackcloth is the attitude and message of repentance. (Revelation 11:3). During this time, the power of Hades will not stand in the way. To receive salvation we need to first have repentance. However, repentance is possible only when God gives us His Spirit and grace, without it, even if we repent, we will sin again. God needs to protect, keep and help us to repent. Repentance is not momentary but a continuous life that is going away from sin. This is what the church of the end times, the 2 witnesses, need to do.
(ii) Authority to prophesy (proclaim) the Word
There is one commonality when we study the qualifications to enter into the New Jerusalem, another strong angel, the little book, and the 2 witnesses. It all emphasizes the Word of God.
The Word is referring to God’s Spirit in His Word that was delivered to us through the bible, and this Word needs to go out so that people can receive His spirit. If this is the main purpose of our life, then the Word will be responsible for our life.
The authority of the Word is not for dictatorship but to repent, to have the Word in us and to share it. It is a special privilege given to those born again in Christ. The Word is the spiritual sword to fight in the world. May it be a weapon for us to go out, make peace, and gain victory.
(iii) Authority of the Holy Spirit (2 olive trees)
2 anointed ones = 2 witnesses = 2 lampstands = 2 olive trees (Revelation 11:4)
Zechariah 4:11-14 describes the 2 lampstands on both sides are the 2 olive trees connected with golden pipes pouring forth olive oil. The olive oil represents the Holy Spirit. We cannot become the golden lampstands or 2 witnesses without the power of the Holy Spirit. We need to be continuously filled with the Holy Spirit and to be connected to the olive trees so that we can continuously be lit with its oil. (Leviticus 24:2) This is a life that is lit up with the Holy Spirit and the Word.
The Holy Spirit allows us to believe, to know and to sincerely confess who He is. Revelation speaks about the blessing of receiving the new name, the name of Jerusalem written on us. When He writes on us a “name” means that we clearly know who Jesus is. 1 Corinthians 12 tells us only those who receive the Holy Spirit can confess Jesus as their Lord. The power and authority of the Holy Spirit allow us to overcome difficulties and the fear of death and to come closer to God even through sickness and hardship and to still give thanks to God.
(iv) Authority of prayer
Our prayer has the power to defeat darkness and evil. During the time when the Word needs to be proclaimed, God will give His people who are proclaiming the Word, this authority and power of prayer, so that Satan cannot interfere in the way of the Word. (Revelation 11:6-8, Luke 4:25, James 5:17)
The 2 witnesses performed the same miracles as Elijah and Moses. God shows miracles so that people would believe in the Word and in the One performing the miracle through them, which is God. Elijah and Moses represented transfiguration and resurrection. May God’s authority of transfiguration and resurrection, this hope of eternal life, and the authority and power of heaven be given to us when we pray so that we can lead people to Jesus and bring them to repentance. Salvation and giving life is the true power and authority.
These 4 authorities are given to the church of the end times while the Word is being proclaimed. Without it, we cannot overcome the dragon, the beast and the mark of the beast, and the great harlot of Babylon. The 2 witnesses will faithfully fulfil the task given to them; just as Jesus faithfully fulfilled His task by dying on the cross. The 2 witnesses will die and this is God’s way to be glorified. So, we know that the dragon and the beasts will be victorious for a while, but this death only happens after the 2 witnesses have finished prophesizing.
2) Death of the 2 witnesses:
(i) Who will kill them?
The beast that comes out of the abyss will make war and kill them at the end of the 1260 days. The beast is the Anti-Christ, and the bible speaks of them as kingdoms and kings. The Anti-Christ nation that will arise during the last 3.5 years. After the 6th trumpet, they will have 10 kings which this Anti-Christ will rule over. He is the 8th king of the Anti-Christ nation. (Revelation 17:11-12; Daniel 9:26-27; Matthew 24:15) This Beast or Anti-Christ will try his best to destroy God’s people and mislead their faith. (1 Peter 5:7-9; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-5; Revelation 13:7) During this time many saints will be martyred and killed. Nevertheless, God says do not fear this time. (Matthew 10:28-33; Isaiah 8:12-13; Isaiah 51:12-13; 1 Peter 3:14-16)
Satan utilized every resource to give suffering to Job. God said only do not take away his life. However, the 2 witnesses will be killed. Imagine what Satan can do to make us give up. But God says that we are blessed even in that suffering. Sometimes suffering gives us better faith, trains and allows us to grow in faith. (Revelation 3:10)
(ii) Why are the 2 witnesses killed?
Revelation 11:10 says that those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over the fact that the 2 witnesses are dead, that the church is dead, the Word of God is stopped.
Revelation 12:12 says the devil is given a short time, and those whose faith level is at the “sea” or “earth” level will be judged. The Seed of the Word cannot be planted in the sea, it needs land, but the land has also been cursed. So, we need to be born again for our faith to be at the level of heaven.
Those who dwell on the earth were tormented by the testimonies of the 2 witnesses because of the messages of repentance, love, salvation, and redemption. This Word torments people who are not receiving it. Likewise, the world hated Jesus because He testified that their works are evil. (John 7:7) The fact that the Light has come, is a torment to this world. (John 8:12; 9:5; 3:19-21) It is tormenting to those who do not want to repent. (1 Corinthians 1:18; John 3:16, Acts 4:1-4)
The false prophets do superficial healing, saying: peace, peace! They lie, using the Word of God for their purpose. (Jeremiah 6:14; 8:11) But we must preach the true Word in and out of season. We should not change the Word of God according to the times of the world. (2 Timothy 4:2)
With the death of the 2 witnesses, the beast coming up, the last 3.5 years of tribulations begin. But the 2 witnesses have already prophesied, the Word has been proclaimed. However, even death in Christ for the Lord or the Word of God is a blessing. (Revelation 14:13)
(iii) How long will they stay dead?
Revelation 11:9 says three and a half days.
1260 days (3.5 years) = time for prophesying.
3.5 days = length of time they stayed dead.
Comparatively, these 2 lengths of symbolic times are very different in duration. 3.5 days is a shorter duration than 3.5 years. This means God will shorten the tribulation time, otherwise, no one can be saved. (Matthew 24:21-22) The point is that it is a short time until the 2 witnesses rise again on their feet.
(iv) Final victory and ascension
Revelation 11:11-14 shows us that after the resurrection of the 2 witnesses, they were taken up, then the Lord comes back and the saints who have not received the mark of the beast are also taken up at the last trumpet. (Revelation 11:11-14, 1 Corinthians 15:51-56) But the secret to victory is the breath of life and the voice of God. (Genesis 2:7; Ezekiel 37:3-4) That is why we shouldn’t fear life, and death in the Lord is also a blessing.
Receiving the breath of life and hearing the voice of God will allow us to overcome the fear of death. When we are not afraid of even death, then there is much more we can do and God can use us to perform amazing work. The privilege to do the work of the 2 witnesses is not work, but a shortcut to eternal life.