The Two Witnesses
Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, “Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months. And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth. And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire. - Revelation 11:1-6
This is one part of Revelation widely talked about with many guesses as to who the two witnesses are. From the Bible, I believe the two witnesses will be Elijah and Enoch. The reason for this is because 1) Elijah did not die, he was taken to heaven by God (2 Kings 2:1, 12); 2) Enoch did not die, he walked with God and God took him. (Genesis 5:24).
Notice that the angel tells John to measure the temple of God including the altar and those who worship there, but not to measure the court outside the temple where the Gentiles are.
God gives power to the two witnesses, the power to prophesy 1,260 days clothed in sackcloth (an action of repentance/grief). These two witnesses will preach and proclaim God's name to give those left another chance to repent and accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Revelation says these two witnesses are the two olive trees and the two lampstand standing before the God of the earth. This means they come with peace from God and are lighting up the way to Christ. God also gives them the power of protection, no harm can come to them during the 1,260 days. The people who try to harm the two witnesses will be killed by fire, this is an act of protection not violence. They also have the power to shut heaven, causing a draught, over the waters to turn them to blood, and are able to strike the earth with all of the plagues as often as they want.
The two witnesses come to prophesy and proclaim God, giving people another opportunity to repent and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. They also are showing they are sent from God, hence God giving them the power of protection over their lives, and the power to cause plagues upon the earth again hoping the people will repent of their sins. God is patient, long-suffering, loving, and mercifully gives us the free-will to choose Him. He doesn't torture us or destroy us to get us to choose Him, that is what the devil does. The devil does not have love, mercy, grace, or patience. He only knows destruction, death, and darkness. God is a God of love, however, He is a God of wrath. When He has given opportunity after opportunity and those left continue to reject Him, their choice is made and God's wrath and judgment will be unleashed. It is not wrath to get them to choose Him, that is not the character of God. It is wrath for their sin. (add Bible verse about the punishment of sin is death). Sin cannot and will not go unpunished.
The Witnesses Killed
When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth. - Revelation 11:7-10
After the 1,260 days, they witness and prophesy, the beast from the bottomless pit will start a war against them, overcome them, and kill them. Their dead bodies lie in a street spiritually called Sodom and Egypt, where Jesus was crucified. Notice how vile the people are, people from different cultures, languages, and nations see the two witnesses dead bodies for 3 1/2 days and do not allow them to be buried. Instead, they rejoice over their deaths, celebrate, and send gifts to one another. How wicked!
The Witnesses Resurrected
Now after the three-and-a-half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them. In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven. The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe is coming quickly. - Revelation 11:14
After the 3 1/2 days, the breath of life from God enters them and they stand up. What a sight to see! In a world with technology, this will be shown across the whole earth! The people on earth are filled with tremendous fear when they see this. They then hear a loud voice from heaven say "come up here." I get so excited when reading that! God is calling His own home in front of a worldwide audience. They ascend to heaven in a cloud in front of their enemies. During that same hour, there will be a great earthquake and 1/10 of the city falls, killing 7,000 people, and leaving the rest afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven. Notice that this is the finale of the second woe, but a third woe is coming.
Are you ready? If Jesus Christ came back today, would you go to Heaven with the Church or would you be left on the earth to go through the Great Tribulation? If Jesus Christ came back today, would your loved ones, family, friends go with you to Heaven or would they be left on this earth? This is the time to make sure you are ready for eternity and to witness to those you love and to those you meet so they will not have to go through eternal torment, but will live in eternal glory where God wipes away all tears and we live in perfect, sinless, holy beauty face to face with Jesus Christ forever.