The Two Witnesses vs. End Time False Prophets

false prophets

Christ warned that false prophets and false Christs will show great signs and wonders with the intent to deceive people in the end times:

“(23) Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. (24) For there shall arise (25) Behold, I have told you before. (26) Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.” (Matthew 24:23-26)

The prevalence of many false christs and false prophets at that time seeking to deceive people into believing them makes it imperative for people who do not want to follow the Antichrist to know how to distinguish between false christs and false prophets who want to lead them astray and the Two Witnesses.

In this article, I will provide you some ways to distinguish between false prophets and the Two Witnesses.

They Are Authentic Prophets

The first item distinguishing the Two Witnesses from the various false prophets of the end times is that the Two Witnesses are authentic prophets. We can conclude that the Two Witnesses are authentic prophets since Revelation 11:3 does not say that the Two Witnesses give false prophecies (in contrast with Revelation 19:20 which uses the term “false prophet” for Antichrist’s right-hand man who deceives people) while Revelation 11:10 directly refers to the Two Witnesses as “prophets”:

“(3) And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth… (10) 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.” (Revelation 11:3, 10)

It is safe to assume that the topic(s) the Two Witnesses will prophesy about shall not contradict the Word of God or God’s Will. Deuteronomy 18:22 implies that a prophet from God predicts things that come to pass while a false prophet says things that do not come to pass:

“When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.” (Deuteronomy 18:22)

In contrast, the false prophets of the end times will tell people things that are untrue like Christ can be found in places where He is not:

“(24) For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. (25) Behold, I have told you before. (26) Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.” (Matthew 24:24-26)

Consequently, the more biblical knowledge a person possesses at that time in the future the easier it will be for them to distinguish between the Two Witnesses’ accurate prophecies and the false prophets’ lies.

The Sackcloth Attire

Revelation 11:3 tells us that the Two Witnesses will be clothed in sackcloth during the time of their ministry:

“And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.” (Revelation 11:3)

The Two Witnesses’ garb could potentially be a significant item that distinguishes them from many false prophets who will seek to deceive people. Sackcloth in biblical times was typically made from coarse animal hair (i.e. goat, camel, etc.).

The Significance of Sackcloth Attire

A reader asked me about the significance of the Two Witnesses’ sackcloth attire. I’ve read various ideas about the significance of the sackcloth attire. Here are a couple of the major ideas I’ve encountered:

Theory 1

The sackcloth could provide some indication of what the Two Witnesses may talk about during their ministry. The Bible suggests that sackcloth is worn at times of mourning (Genesis 37:4, Isaiah 22:12), when one seeks to show humility (Daniel 9:3), or when one is seeking to repent (Jonah 3:6-8):

Genesis 37:34 (Mourning): And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days.
Isaiah 22:12: (Mourning): And in that day did the Lord GOD of hosts call to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth:
Daniel 9:3 (Humility): And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes
Jonah 3:6-8 (Repenting): (6) For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. (7)And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: (8) But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.

The Two Witnesses may urge people to humble themselves before God and to repent their evil ways during their ministry.

Theory 2

The sackcloth attire could be a way for the Two Witnesses to distinguish themselves as prophets. This theory rests on the idea that various prophets and key biblical figures wore sackcloth during the time of their respective ministries. Some cite the following verses as evidence that sackcloth is part of a prophet’s attire:

“And they answered him, He was an hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins. And he said, It is Elijah the Tishbite.” (2Kings 1:8)

“And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.” (Matthew 3:4)

“At the same time spake the LORD by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put off thy shoe from thy foot. And he did so, walking naked and barefoot.” (Isaiah 20:2)

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive” (Zechariah 13:4)

I am unsure whether the Two Witnesses will be the only ones who will dress in sackcloth during the time of their ministry, but people at that time should be able to identify those who are not the Two Witnesses by checking to see whether they are wearing sackcloth. People who are not dressed in sackcloth are not the Two Witnesses.

They Are Very Unpopular

Revelation 11:5 implies that people will at least attempt to injure the Two Witnesses because it notes that people will die by the manner in which they try to harm the Two Witnesses.

“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. (Revelation 11:5)

People’s desire to harm the Two Witnesses suggests that the Two Witnesses will be very unpopular with the wicked:

  • It is safe to assume that one major reason why the Two Witnesses will be very unpopular is that they will torment the wicked during the time of their ministry (Revelation 11:10).
  • Another potential reason for the Two Witnesses unpopularity is that their messages could oppose the messages of the False Prophet and the Antichrist.

Regardless of why people will attempt to injure them, the Two Witnesses should stand out for being a major nuisance to the wicked.

There may be more ways to distinguish between the Two Witnesses and the false prophets of the end times than I have listed in this article. However, I hope the items mentioned in this article are a good start. I have an article about the identity of the Two Witnesses if you would like to learn more.

Biblical Insights about the End Times that You Won't Hear in Church

If you liked the insights found in this article, I encourage you to check out my book: Prophecy Proof Insights of the End Times. It’s truly a comprehensive book about the end times that contains biblical insights that you’re unlikely to find anywhere else.

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Shannon Johnson
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Shannon Johnson

They are already here. And no nobody’s gonna like what they say they’re going to call them blasphemers and they’re not going to think that they had the spirit of prophecy because they’re going to be women he tells you he’s coming for his Bride that’s female. You can believe me if you want or you can seek him out like he said to do I know who I am I know the truth and I have the right of prophecy but it says your to test them you will know them by their fruit and what is fruit knowledge.… Read more »

Connie
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Connie

It is precisely because I study the Scriptures that I know the two witnesses are not here. The Bible is clear as to when they show up and prophesy. It is the last half of Daniel’s 70th week. Anyone who claims to be them, until antichrist sits in the temple declaring himself to be God, is a false prophet.

Michael
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Michael

Biblical sackcloth is black and made of animal hair, usually from a goat. It is not the burlap, which is brown and made of plant fibers. If the two witnesses are wearing brown burlap, that would be a sign they are false prophets. Revelation 11:3 “And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.” Revelation 6:12 “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became… Read more »

David
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David

correction to jnorthey Moses did die. it will be Enoch and Elijah as the 2 witnesess

Connie
Guest
Connie

Actually the Bible tells us that Elijah sent a letter to the King of Judah from about 6-10 years (that’s as definite as the Scriptures get) after his being taken up in a whirlwind. Considering that, I would not want to say conclusively that Elijah did not die. He appears to have merely been transported someplace else, as Philip was in the New Testament, to another place, from which he obviously wrote the letter years later. I don’t know why so many pastors who supposedly are studying the Bible miss that.

Jim
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Jim

The reason the two prophets are wearing sack cloth is because they have no money, they do not accept the mark of the beast so can not buy, sell or trade. Lawlessness as we understand it will be gone in those days, it will be the strong against the weak with no compassion. Early in their prophecy they will be aproached about the fact they are killing people by burning them. They will respond that they are only defending themselves. They are asked it they would hirt people who weren’t trying to kill them, they respond no. So the questioner… Read more »

jnorthey
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jnorthey

Jim, Jan. 10th. The reason the two prophets are wearing sack cloth is not because there is no money, it is because this is the traditional gowns that were worn by them as prophets of old. They don’t need money because, they will not be eating, sleeping, or in need of shelter. They are on a supernatural fast, and will remain on them, until their days are accomplished. They will not speak, unless God allows them to. They are to represent the coming of the Lord, and His great wrath, upon the world. They are to testify to his coming,… Read more »

Connie
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Connie

As with the previous writer, I am curious as to where you got some of your information. Supernatural fast? Where exactly did you read that? Remember the warning about adding to this book. Both of you should.

Connie
Guest
Connie

May I ask where you got this dialogue that you are presenting as factual information between the witnesses and someone? It’s not in my Bible.

Charles Mwangi Gachichio
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Charles Mwangi Gachichio

Hi everyone.

If a truth I am one of the 2 witnesses. My names are Charles Mwangi Gachichio, from Kenya

Charles Mwangi Gachichio
Guest
Charles Mwangi Gachichio

Mean that of a truth I am one of the 2 witnesses, actually the lead one.

Jon
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Jon

My understanding is that Zerubbabel in Zechariah 4 and Haggai 2 is symbolic of 1 of the 2 witnesses. It won’t be Zerubbabel re-incarnated or anything.

Kirk Schrank
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Kirk Schrank

7 Seals must first be opened before the trumpet judgments can begin 6 trumpets must sound before 6 bowl plagues can begin 5th 6th and 7th trumpet judgments are simultaneous with the three woes 7th trumpet 7th bowl plague and 3rd Woe are all simultaneous and run congruently. In them the wrath of God is complete upon the earth. Revelation 8:1. When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. Revelation 8:12. Then the fourth… Read more »

Priscilla Ortiz
Guest

In order to understand the prophecies in the book of the Revelation, we need to understand that the events do not occur in a completely linear fashion, i.e. 7 seals, 7 trumpets, then 7 bowls. When you read the prophecies, certain verses make it impossible for them to occur in that order. First and foremost, the 7 seals are sealed on the scroll to keep it from opening. Once the Lamb has opened all 7 seals, the scroll is completely unraveled and the prophecies are ultimately fulfilled, the mystery of God is complete. That’s why when the 7th seal opens,… Read more »

Connie
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Connie

Sister Priscilla, exactly what verses do you see as making it impossible for the seals, trumpets, and vials to be laid out in that order? I see no discrepancy or problems with that chronology.

eaglet
Guest
eaglet

Connie and Wayne, Priscilla is right, here are some of the discrepancies: 1. Mountains and Islands removed/fled from its place twice, given if the event in Seal 6 and Bowl 6 happened at the exact same part of the earth. 2. In Seal 6, The kings of the earth and the mighty men (armageddon?) gets to see first the Face and the wrath of the Lamb instead of the Dead in Christ and Raptured Alive in Christ if we say the resurrection and rapture happens at the trumpet judgement, and in my case, in the bowls judgement. 3. The Darkening… Read more »

Derek Williams II
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Derek Williams II

2 Peter 3:8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. Psalms 90:4 A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night. The 1260 days prophesied in the bible are represented as such to help us understand they refer to human YEARS, not days. This helps us to understand that the 1260 days = 1260 years in time. This time, not coincidentally, is the exact time-frame that the… Read more »

Tony Engen
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Tony Engen

Acts 20:7-“On the first day of the week, we gathered with the local believers to share in the Lord’s Supper. Paul was preaching to them, and since he was leaving the next day, he kept talking until midnight.” Constantine did not institute Sunday worship, the apostles (you know, those guys who personally knew and hung out with Jesus) did. They worshiped on this day because it is the day that the LORD Jesus Christ rose from the dead. You need to recheck your Bible. What you are preaching is legalism and works righteousness, the two main reasons Jesus continuously rebuked… Read more »

Connie
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Connie

You are right that Constantine didn’t institute the worship of God on Sunday. Other men did, but he made it a legal issue, and also made it illegal to worship on the Sabbath. That said, men do not have the right to change God’s commandments. The commandments were given to show us our SIN. When you break a commandment, you are SINNING. The commandments are in an ark in heaven, and the Sabbath is a perpetual covenant with God’s people, not a ceremonial issue, so it is not a dropped commandment. There aren’t Nine Commandments. There are TEN. The commandments… Read more »

Brian L Morrison
Guest
Brian L Morrison

Clap, clap,clap!!! I’ve just recently gained some of that pagan history after asking GOD to enlighten me. So I no longer say the pledge of Allegiance, salute the flag, place my hand over my heart, celebrate Christmas, easter (eshtar), ect. I am a patriotic vetran, and had gotten pushback/harsh looks & comments from pastor & congregation alike. My point is this… with so much false teaching, (from prominent “pastors”)lies, deceit ect. My “allegiance is with the most high GOD! Not a flag (idol), not their red (fiery cross) Christian flag, but with GOD alone!

Brian L Morrison
Guest
Brian L Morrison

Very well researched & well written. Glory to GOD in the highest

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

The sackcloth they are clothed in is a spiritual reference to the mourning they will be in, mourning that the world is fallen into Babylon, that the church is fattened while people in need of the gospel are left behind, and the destruction and punishment that is necessary (and only partial) to rid the world of sin. It is not an easy task nor is it the most joyful position to fulfill, but the church benefits from a revival and every person will have seen the power and glory of God, and therefor will be forced into making a decision… Read more »

Wayne Croley
Guest

According to Discovery Channel’s website, the program will re-air on August 21 at 9AM (EST most likely).

Connie45
Guest
Connie45

I had heard about the show, but didn’t find out when it was on until too late.  I am hoping they will repeat it.  I have seen some of the clips and one thing that struck me was the idea that an electromagnetic pulse would be used to knock out our technology.  There is speculation that terrorists might also use this to bring down our country.  In thinking about that it brings to mind a problem with the mark of the beast being a chip that is electronically monitored.  If the technology is brought crashing down, a chip would no… Read more »

Wayne Croley
Guest

Speaking of alien invasion shows, I found a preview for a new one that aired on the Discovery Channel this past weekend.  The Discovery Channel managed to interview some top scientists for this one:

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/08/discoverys-curiosity-explores-an-alien-invasion/

Connie45
Guest
Connie45

Krugman’s comment is just one in a long line of “off the cuff” comments (think Reagan) or “leaking of information” type of things that have been going on for some time. The astronauts are all coming forward now with stories too. Even the number of alien invasion shows and movies have been multiplying.  They have been conditioning the people to accept this for quite some time.  I believe there is a two-fold thing going on. I know the government long ago developed holographic technology (with sound accompaniment) to simulate something like this.  Also, I believe there is a group who… Read more »

Wayne Croley
Guest

I read about Krugman’s comments. Those comments were quite strange.

Guyuy
Guest
Guyuy

I agree with the alien deception possibly being used to mischaracterize the two witnesses. I found this site from a google search to see if anyone else had come to this conclusion. Now Paul Krugman is talking about fake alien invasions on CNN. Look for it and Thanks.

Wayne Croley
Guest

I agree that the two witnesses will be on Earth for much of the trumpet judgments. However, the idea that the two witnesses would predict events associated with the trumpet judgments did not register in my mind until now for some reason. Thanks for mentioning that.