THE TWO WITNESSES HOME
The Temple Mount
This is a very ambiguous subject and most people are foolish when they try to come to some imaginary conclusion. Much of what we think is speculative at best, so what do we really know about the Two Witnesses?
In Revelation 11, two men come on the scene in a literal showdown with the Beast power. These 2 servants of God in sackcloth, do a three and a half year work, including calling down plagues of every sort, and fire on their enemies, and they do it from the temple site. Were they to walk onto the temple complex today, they would not be allowed into the Dome of the Rock, which is where popular convention says that the ancient temple once sat.
But how can anyone know exactly where the temple once stood. 2000 years ago, Christ told his disciples, as they were admiring the glorious temple complex, that "not one stone" would be left upon another, and it came true shortly after that. Because, in 70 A.D., the Romans came in like storm troupers, and wiped clean the whole Temple Mount.
Historically, from top to bottom, the Romans sacked Jerusalem. They completely and utterly obliterated the temple site, so that no Jew would ever be able to come back and find the spot where the temple had been located. An article on the Location of the First and Second temples in Jerusalem says,
"After the Bar Kochba revolt in 132 C.E., the Romans leveled the entire city of Jerusalem and a built a Roman city, Aelia Capitolina, on the ruins. To obliterate any Jewish presence on the Temple Mount, they built a temple to Jupiter on the site. A similar temple (to Jupiter), built by the same builder at about the same time, has been discovered at Baalbek, Lebanon."
This tells us that the "wailing wall" is probably part of that Roman temple complex to Jupiter, and is not part of God's temple. They wouldn't have taken the trouble to flatten the whole city and temple and then leave one wall---that wasn't the Roman way. If we can say anything good about them, they weren't slackers.
The writer continues to say, "When this architecture (at Baalbek) is overlaid on the Temple Mount, it matches the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock exactly." So this tells us that the Dome of the Rock is not the actual site of the Jewish temple. The Dome of the Rock is built over the temple of Jupiter built by the Romans. This tells us that the Two Witnesses would not have to take over the Dome of the Rock...which would be nearly impossible. It belongs to the gentiles for now.
"I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, "Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, and count the worshipers there. 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."
Vs 3 continues, "And I will give power to my Two Witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth." These are the two olive trees and the two lamp stands that stand before the Lord of the earth. 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. These men have power to shut up the sky 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." NIV
OLD TESTAMENT REFERENCE
As we said, there is a seeming reference to them in the Old Testament.
These 2 witnesses are not a completely new concept. We see in Zachariah two olive trees and a lamp stand. Identical phrases to Revelation.
4:1 And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep,
2 And said unto me, What do you see? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof:
3 And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof.
4 So I answered and spoke to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord?"
THE BIBLE EXPLANATION OF WHO THEY ARE....
Continuing in vs. 11, "Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof?
12 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?
13 And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.
14 Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, (Sons of Oil) that stand by the LORD of the whole earth. This matches Revelation 11:3 exactly. "These are the two olive trees and the two lamp stands that stand before the Lord of the earth."
WHO ARE THE "SONS OF OIL?"
The kings and the priests were the only two families anointed into office with oil.
The book of Zechariah is about Joshua (a priest) and Zerubbabel (descended from David). Are they a type of the 2 witnesses? COULD THE TWO WITNESSES OF THE FUTURE, BE DESCENDANTS OF DAVID'S AND AARONS LINE? Very possibly. That would make them "sons of oil" or "anointed ones."
At best, we know that the Two Witnesses will usher in the Kingdom of God. And from what we understand, they won't have to take the Dome of the Rock by force to access the temple. As discussed......the temple was not in that exact spot. Truth is, they may even be working from where the new millennial Temple will be built. When Christ's feet land on the Mount of Olives, it will split into. In any event, that will change the whole topography of the Temple Mount. We were in Israel less than a month ago, and we stood on the Mount of Olives and looked directly across the Kidron Valley to the Temple Mount. So amazing, and such a beautiful sight!
According to Tuvia Sagiv, Herod's temple was most likely located a little south on the Temple Mount, in a place where there is an aqueduct. Access to fresh water was necessary for the priests to perform their duties. They had to wash away the blood of the sacrifices and cleanse themselves and cleanse the sanctuary as directed by God. This more southern area is more logical than the Dome of the Rock placement, which has no access to water for the temple, and they had to have flowing water and not still water to cleanse with.
If Tuvia Sagiv, an Israeli architect, is correct, then Herod's Temple is east of the Western Wall, possibly under the clump of trees shown in the picture below, located between the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque. But, that really doesn't matter, because, the whole thing will be changed when the Mount of Olives splits into.
THE TEMPLE MOUNT TODAY...
Some scholars are even more convinced that the temple site is located just down the hill from the Temple Mount, where the Romans could keep an eye on the temple, and there is a stream there that would fill the need for running water.
It is highly possible that God could send the Two Witnesses to do their work from there or from a new site where the millennial temple will be built. We don't know, but look at Ezekiel 40 to see plans for a massive temple to be built after the return of Christ. One thing in favor of this is that the term "reed" is used to describe the measuring of the temple in Ezekiel AND the one in Revelation, so it's something to think about. As stated earlier, we are in very vague territory. Much of what we think is speculative at best.
THE CHURCHES OF GOD