Revelation – The Two Witnesses

Today David took us to Revelation chapter 11:1-14, often titled ‘The Two Witnesses’. He highlighted that this section of Revelation can often be quite puzzling and difficult to interpret, but focused on three main points:

  • Who we are
  • What we do
  • What we wear

Before delving into this, David provided some context. This chapter is in the pause before the seventh trumpet is sounded, which lasts through chapter 10 to chapter 11:14.


Firstly, John is asked to measure the temple. David explained the temple referred to is not a physical building, but a reference to the people of God. This is how Christians are referred to in the New Testament, and also a reference to Christians today. In the Old Testament book of Zechariah, God says:

“FOR I WILL BE A WALL OF FIRE AROUND HER AND I WILL BE GLORY IN HER MIDST”.

The connection to this chapter is that God will be in their (people of God’s) midst, protecting them against trials and tribulations. They are secure but not removed from difficulties/hardship, as explained in verse 2. This is something that many Christians today face.


Verse 2 also mentions the Gentiles will trample on the holy city for 42 months. This is a symbolic number in the Bible; for example, 42 stages in the Israelites’ journey through the desert and 42 generations listed between Abraham and Jesus. One could argue, in this context, it is the length of time between Jesus’ death on the Cross and resurrection and the time he returns.


John is then told about the two witnesses, who will prophesy for 1260 days (42 months) during which they will share, declare and proclaim God’s Word. David stated that this may be symbolic of the church, rather than specific individuals, witnessing for Jesus as the light of the world into the darkness and against a backdrop of pressure. In this time of pressure and opportunity, judgement and mercy, the church is called to witness, communicating God’s Word, speaking truth, calling people to repentance and back to God. This is who we are and what we are called to do.


The witnesses are wearing sackcloth, which again is symbolic. It is a sign of a prophet (someone sharing God’s Word) and is also a profound sign of repentance. We need to keep pointing people to Jesus and the Cross, the place of forgiveness and repentance. Additionally, we wear sackcloth because we must live in continual repentance. We must keep coming back to the Cross, hearing the gospel and gathering around the Lord’s table. It is an ongoing process.


David explained that some think the two witnesses are Elijah and Moses, coming back to earth; however, he understands it as John telling the church that, in the tradition of Moses and Elijah, we are empowered and anointed by the same God to be His witnesses in this time. We also need to be prepared for opposition and an often-negative reaction.


The beast is referenced in verse 7, killing the witnesses. However, they do not stay dead, as in verse 9 the Spirit of God breathes them back to life. David highlights that the point is the church of Jesus will not be destroyed. Despite opposition, the people of God will not be killed off forever. God will revive the church and the beast will be defeated.

Reflection/Challenge:

  • Who are we? – Witnesses
  • What do we do? – Witness – we are to proclaim God’s Word, speak up for Jesus, being empowered by his Spirit, even in the face of opposition
  • What do we wear? – Sackcloth – we must continually repent while calling others to repentance.
Naomi Adams

Naomi Adams

Hi, I'm Naomi and I have been coming to Windsor for the last couple of years. I work in clinical research, but enjoy spending my spare time keeping active and can often be found in a coffee shop!
Naomi Adams
Hi, I'm Naomi and I have been coming to Windsor for the last couple of years. I work in clinical research, but enjoy spending my spare time keeping active and can often be found in a coffee shop!