(4) These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
The two witnesses, which symbolize all of the Lord’s witnesses throughout time, are symbolized by two candlesticks that are being given fuel from two olive trees. This symbolism is taken from Zechariah chapter 4.
What can we learn from this symbolism?
As witnesses of the Most High God, we act as lights in the midst of a sin-darkened world. We “shine a spotlight” on Christ showing forth His greatness, His work and His salvation. But our ministry does not stop there. As we declare other truths of His Word, we clearly reveal sin, its results and its remedy to the lost around us. Combined, these basic principles clearly display lost man’s great need and the way of salvation.
Basically, the Christians ministry is a lot like turning on a light switch which reveals the contents of a darkened room. Only in our case, through our testimony, we are revealing Christ and mankind’s condition to those who are living in a sin darkened world. This is why the witnesses of God are symbolized as lampstands that shine forth light.
What about the two olive trees? Remember, the basic picture is of two olive trees that are feeding olive oil which fuels the candlesticks. These olive trees remind us that the witnesses of the Lord do not minster of their own ability or strength. They are entirely reliant upon this oil that fuels their flame. This oil is a picture of the Holy Spirit’s enabling in the life of the witness.
The witnesses of God are given boldness, wisdom, knowledge, strength, empowerment of their words etc etc from the Holy Spirit. Without these, no genuine Godly witness can exist. This explains the existence of the olive trees in our symbolism.
So what can we take away from our study this morning?
First of all, we can see the great need to tell others about Christ and His wonderful work on their behalf.
Each Christian is called to be a living witness of Christ and what He has done for us. It is only through a spreading of the gospel of Christ that the lost man will be saved. Then, in addition, His local churches are given an added measure of responsibility in fulfilling the Great Commission which includes proclaiming the gospel message, baptizing new believers, and teaching the new believers doctrinal and practical truths from God’s Word.
Secondly, we can see the need to rely upon the enabling of the indwelling Spirit as we witness to the lost.
This means we need to be in prayer that the Lord would give us the knowledge and words to speak, He would open the doors of opportunity to witness for Him, and He would prepare the hearts of the lost to receive the witness we are about to present to them.
Also, following our witness, we should continue to be in prayer for those witnessed to and attempt to keep in contact and minister to the needs of those to whom we have spoken (when possible).
May we all seek to be Godly witnesses through the gracious intervention of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation