The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 84
The Testimony of the two Witnesses
The Testimony of the two Witnesses.
About this time the remarkable testimony of "two witnesses" will be given. They are described as follows : "And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days," during the last three and a-half years of the reign of that wicked king, "clothed in sackcloth"—i.e., mourning dress (Rev. xi. 3, 4).
These are two men inspired by God, and well supplied with power and courage, like the Maccabees who protested against the abomination set up by Antiochus in the Temple at Jerusalem. But whilst the Maccabees took to the sword of steel, these two men will take to the sword of the Spirit—the word of God; even as Elijah the prophet did in King Ahab's time, against the idolatry of the wicked Jezebel, Ahab's wife. They will give their testimony against the worship of the image set up by that king and his prophet : they will warn the people against the receiving of the mark; and they will point out the fatal consequence of receiving the mark, that whosoever takes it will be condemned forever: "And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice. If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with lire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb : And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever : and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name" (Rev. xiv. 9—11).
The witnesses will urge and endeavour to persuade the people to fear God, to worship, obey, and serve Him alone, and to seek comfort and strength from Him by prayer and supplication, and to exercise patience, etc. It will however be shown that those who submit to the King's worship and take the mark for worldly gain and comfort will find themselves greatly mistaken in their sweet dreams and worldly pleasure; for these two men will duly exercise the power given them from God (Rev. xi. 6) "to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy, ' (three and a-half years,) as Elijah the prophet did in his day during King Ahab's reign. They shall "have power over waters to turn them to blood," like Moses page 20 and Aaron before the King of Egypt, "and to smite the earth with all plagues as often as they will." Their preaching and their actions will be known over the whole world by telegram, &c. The plagues they shall cause, and the powers they shall exercise, are of course in perfect concurrence with the will of God. It would appear that the vials poured out by the angels (Rev. xvi. 1-12) refer to the plagues these two men shall inflict; for we read (verse 2) that the vials were poured out after the mark had been given and the image to be worshipped set up-namely, the last three and a-half years. Thus is shown that those who mean to indulge themselves in the pleasures and comforts of this world will not find them very sweet. "And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed" (Rev. xi. 5)-like Elijah calling down fire from heaven, which devoured the proud captains and their respective fifty men (2 Kings i. 9-12). Others, however, who as faithfully and firmly resist the law proclaimed by the King of the worship of the image, and refuse to take the mark, will be killed (Rev. xiii. 15). These two witnesses are well provided with special power for their protection, in order to carry out their mission during the days of their testimony against the wicked King, his false prophet, and his worship.
Having finished their work, and when all the wheat shall have been threshed out of the straws and the chaff separated from the wheat, so that there is not a single soul left who will incline his ears to hear the truth; and when the devil has marked his share, and the Lord has taken his people from amongst them, the one portion fleeing to their place of safety prepared for them by God (Rev. xii. 6), and the other part being slain by the sword of the King; and thus, the fullness of the Gentile Church being gathered in (Rom. xi. 25), then these two witnesses shall also receive their reward for having faithfully carried out their mission-for to die is gain for them "And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast (King) that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit" (Rev. xi. 7; xvii. 8) being the only place from whence such a monster could possibly make his appearance-" shall make w'ar against them, and shall overcome them and kill them (Rev. xi. 7; xvii. 6). What he could not do before, with all his mighty armies, against two individuals, is now permitted. Thus God makes manifest His power to protect His servants as long as He wants them in His service. This clearly shows that these two witnesses are not Enoch and Elijah, for if they were they could not be killed : having been changed whilst ascending to heaven, death has no more power oyer them; but these are men like ourselves, subject to death. They will be killed amid the triumph and the rejoicing of his subjects, who looked upon these two men as their tormentors, little thinking that now their destruction is at hand, (Rev. xi. 10.)