Revelation 11 - The 2 Witnesses

And I will appoint my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.” They are “the two olive trees” and the two lampstands, and “they stand before the Lord of the earth.” Rev. 11:3-4 (The two witnesses are revealed as the two olive trees and the two lampstands. Who or what do the olive trees and lampstands represent throughout scripture? The two olive trees represent individuals of physical Israel and Gentiles that put their faith in Christ, or in other words, the saints. The two lampstands represent a time frame of the two church eras which endured the 1260 year tribulation period from 538ad to 1798ad in which the Popes of Rome ruled. So the two witnesses tell us who and what time period is being referenced.)

The 2 Olive Trees = Who

Then I asked the angel, “What are these two olive trees on the right and the left of the lampstand?” Again I asked him, “What are these two olive branches beside the two gold pipes that pour out golden oil?” He replied, “Do you not know what these are?" “No, my lord,” I said. So he said, “These are the two who are anointed to serve the Lord of all the earth.” Zech. 4:11-14 (Whatever these olive trees are, they represent anointed people that serve God. So perhaps Christians could fit that description. Let's see what other clues there are.)

And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Rom. 11:17 (The Gentiles are called a "wild olive tree" and physical Israel is also called an olive tree. Are these the 2 olive trees?)

For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree? Rom. 11:24 
(Once again, Gentiles are called an "olive tree which is wild by nature" and physical Israel is called a "good olive tree." So there you have it, those are the 2 olive trees. The Gentiles and physical Israel that put there faith in Christ during the church eras of Thyatira and Sardis are the two witnesses of Revelation 11. The two witnesses are not two individuals that appear during the last few years just before Christ's return. Now the lampstands along with the 1260 year time period help us identify the time period which is being referenced.)

The 2 Lampstands = When

On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, which said: “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.” I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest...
...“Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later. The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches. Rev. 1:10-13; 19-20 
(The 7 lampstands represent the 7 church eras. The 2 church eras of the 1260 year tribulation period is Thyatira and Sardis which covers the Popes of Rome's rule from 538ad to 1798ad.)

Verse By Verse

I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, “Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, with its worshipers. Rev. 11:1 (The reed or measuring rod was the canon of scriptures, the holy Bible, or the little book of Rev. 10. The Bible was to be read and discernment was to be made between what God's word teaches and what the false church of Rome teaches.)

But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months. Rev. 11:2 (The Roman Catholic Church was the excluded outer court, in other words, they were not considered part of the true church. It was given to the spiritual gentiles, and not the true church of Israel. And they will trample, or persecute, on God's church for 42 months, which is 1260 days, or prophetic years. This time period references the dark ages of the Roman Catholic Church's rule between 538ad and 1798ad.)

And I will appoint my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.”They are “the two olive trees” and the two lampstands, and “they stand before the Lord of the earth.” Rev. 11:3-4 (As indicated above this is referencing the church of God, or the 2 olive trees, who witnessed against the Roman Catholic Church during their rule between 538ad and 1798ad, the 2 lampstands. Clothed in sackcloth indicates this was a time of persecution for the saints.)

If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die. Rev. 11:5 (Fire is judgment from the word of God being witnessed from the saints against the Roman Catholic Church. They could not kill the Roman church physically, but by fire, or judgment from the word of God.)

They have power to shut up the heavens so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want. Rev. 11:6 (Rain is spiritual discernment of the word of God. The enemies of the church of God could not discern their testimony. Waters turning to blood is the word of God turning to judgment against the Roman church. Striking the earth with plagues is referencing the soon to come bowl judgments upon the Roman church for their persecutions on God's people.)

Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them. Rev. 11:7 (The Roman Catholic Church persecuted the saints to the point of perceived elimination. In 1514 the Roman church declared all opposition as dead at the 9th session of the 5th Lateran Council.)

Their bodies will lie in the public square of the great city—which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt—where also their Lord was crucified. Rev. 11:8 (The "great city" is Rome in which the saints were martyred. Bodies lying in the public square is referencing the wide spread acknowledgment of the people of the defeat of the Roman church's opposition.)

For three and a half days some from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial. Rev. 11:9 (The 3.5 days is 3.5 prophetic years. The gazing of their bodies and lack of burial refers to the visibilty and public acknowledgment of the Roman church's defeat of the those that oppose them. Nobody dared oppose the Roman Catholic Church during this time.)

The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and will celebrate by sending each other gifts, because these two prophets had tormented those who live on the earth. Rev. 11:10 (Many feasts were had during this time by the Roman church celebrating their dominance and lack of opposition. They no longer had to deal with anyone testifying against them.)

But after the three and a half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them. Rev. 11:11 (Exactly 3.5 years after Rome declared their opposition was dead, Martin Luther sparked the beginning of the Protestant Reformation by posting his 95 thesis testifying against the Roman Catholic Church. The protestant reformers changed the world. The Roman church lost its power and the word of God spread all over the world in every language in the form of a printed Bible. This struck terror in the Roman church as God's word was no longer kept from the people.)

Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies looked on. Rev. 11:12 (The reformers elevated themselves as heroes of the faith. Many became spiritually closer to God by have the word of God at their disposal.)

At that very hour there was a severe earthquake and a tenth of the city collapsed. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven. Rev. 11:13 (An earthquake in prophecy depicts a governmental upheaval as many broke away from the Roman Catholic Church due to the reformers testimony and the spreading of the word of God.)

The second woe has passed; the third woe is coming soon. Rev. 11:14 (The 2nd woe is the 6th trumpet, and the 3rd woe is coming, which is the 7th trumpet. This helps us identify the timeline of the 6th trumpet so that we can know the context and identify the symbols being spoken of.)