Bible Notes: Two Witnesses
The                                              
Christian Pilgrim

 

117. Two Witnesses



The "Two Witnesses" which God has given men to reveal His testimony to them, are the Scriptures (i.e. the testimony of "the apostles and prophets") and the Holy Spirit:

Acts 5:32 - "And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him."

Psalm 147:18 - "He sendeth out his word, and melteth them: he causeth his wind to blow, and the waters flow."

Isaiah 59:21 - "As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever."

Matthew 22:29 - "Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God."


Luke 24:48,49 - "And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high."

John 15:26,27 - "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning."

Acts 15:28 - "For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things."

Ephesians 1:13 - "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise"

Hebrews 2:3,4 - "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?"

Hebrews 10:15 - "Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before..." [followed by a quote from Scripture].



The two witnesses to truth:

1 John 5:6 - "the Spirit is truth."

John 17:17 - "thy Word is truth."


The apostles (who wrote Scripture) were witnesses:

Acts 1:8 - "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth"

Acts 1:22 - "Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection."

Acts 2:32 - "This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses."

Acts 3:15 - "And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses."

Acts 4:33 - "And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all."

Acts 10:39-42 - "And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead. And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead."

Acts 13:31 - "And he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the people."

Acts 22:15 - "For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard."



The apostles and prophets (who wrote Scripture) were witnesses:

Acts 3:21 - "Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began."

Acts 10:43 - "To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins."

2 Peter 3:2 - "That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour."



The Spirit is a witness:

Acts 15:8 - "And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us"

Romans 8:16 - "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God"

Romans 9:1 - "I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost"


1 John 5:6-10 - "And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son."



But we also see that other verses speak of persons in the Trinity as being witnesses:

John 8:18 - "I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me."

1 John 5:6-10 - "And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son."


True believers are also called the Lord's witnesses:

Isaiah 43:10-12 - "Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour. I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God."

Isaiah 44:8 - "Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any."


It is in the light of all this that we should read the following:

Zechariah 4:12-14 - "And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth."

Revelation 11:1-13 - "And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven."