The Two Witnesses somehow preach against the Antichrist for the entire 1260 days of the Great Tribulation. But how do they manage to keep this going? Or just how do they even get fed during this stressful ministry? I have four interesting theories drawn upon the OT and NT (and one hater email) to possibly answer this question.
Did I Meet The One Who Will "Bring Food to the Two Witnesses?"
The question addressed in this post's title may seem odd. Stick with me; it gets interesting owing to how it came up.
I never would have thought of the question until I read the latest email from an apparent member of the Idaho chapter of the "Christian religious police." He wanted to make sure I knew that moving to Israel for the end times was "not your idea" but was found already in Jeremiah. (Yeah, that's where I first got the idea, actually as my book explains). Then he drops this on me:
look for me if you ever make it there...i'll be the one bringing food to the 2 witnesses.
Now bear in mind, I've received many delusional-sounding claims over the years. People have informed me that they are a prophet (who I had better respect), Elijah, the Antichrist, or even an angel. And we've all heard of people claiming to be the Two Witnesses. However, this was the first time anyone claimed they would be essentially the caterer to the Two Witnesses!
It was good for a chuckle. I mean, of all the claims to make about yourself when attacking another brother...that?
Why I Cannot Judge His Sanity
But don't get me wrong: my point in writing about this is not to judge if he's right...or deluded.
After all, his claim is possible. Maybe God did tell him this. Maybe the Two Witnesses themselves picked him already for the job. Who am I to say he's not going to "get" to have that honorific role in the end times?
Now, yes, if I had to guess, I would wager against his claim. Why? If only for the unchristlike attitude he shows towards people he disagrees with (on eschatology of all things) based on many emails he's shot at me over the years. Yes, God can use donkeys like Balaam's ass, but when it comes to the humans assigned for God's work, the consistent pattern is people who have learned and obey the law of God and Christ (Gal 6:2; John 13:34-35; Matthew 22:36-40): love (Rev 12:17; 14:12 = 1 John 5: 2-3).
Nevertheless, I take no offense nor hold any grudge (Mt 5:44). I even reached out to him to have a peace-making phone call (Mt 5:9), which he refused. (It's OK, after 50,000+ emails, you get your share of Christians like this to thicken your skin.)
On the contrary, I am thankful to him. His one-of-a-kind claim got me thinking for the first time on this interesting question: How will God provide for the food needs of the Two Witnesses?
The 1260-Day Preaching Ministry
Recall that the Two Witnesses have the job of staying put in Jerusalem (Rev 11:2-3=11:8) for the entire 1260-day Great Tribulation (Rev 11:3)—perhaps minus 3½ days (Rev 11:11). There they are tasked with prophesying and opposing the Antichrist by disrupting his dictatorship. They stop the rain, turn waters to blood and send plagues on the Earth (Rev 11:6). The Antichrist won't be able to do anything about them because God gives them supernatural protection (Rev 11:5).
How does this all work? One thing is obvious: the buddy system. Because there are two of them, they can work in shifts. (Surely they are not speaking at the same time on time of each other, right?) One prophesies while the other rests. This way, God can keep their shared testimony going non-stop even for the absurdly long 1260-day period.
But how will their food needs be taken care of? It's an interesting question. In thinking on it briefly, I came up with four theories:
Theory #1: The Other Witness Gathers and Prepares Food
As I already said, it's obvious that having two witnesses allows for there to be multiple shifts of speaking each day handled by alternating witnesses. They can each get plenty of rest this way while the other one prophesies.
It also means that they can get some other necessities done. The one who is not on the clock can take care of gathering food and preparing it. This seems like the simplest answer.
Of course, where they get the food in a hostile Beast-controlled world, is another question. So perhaps this is not the full answer and one of the others below ties in.
Theory #2: Someone Else Brings Them Food
This is the theory believed (quite personally) by my correspondent above. The problem I see with this is that no ordinary person can just get and bring food to help the Antichrist's #1 enemies. They need supernatural protection just like the Two Witnesses have. Plus they won't find much cooperation from any of the people around them who all have the Mark of the Beast.
Now, there will be the 144,000 evangelists at the same time with the same protection the Two Witnesses have spread throughout every country on the earth. But I don't see their job as catering. The protection they have (Rev 7:3) is probably to do the same job of witnessing the true Gospel against the world while the Antichrist spews his lies.
In the end, I think there is no need for God to set up such a special food person when the Two Witnesses already have protection and should have plenty of time to get their own food.
"Depart From Me, I Never Knew you!" - Jesus
Jesus predicted that he will tell many sincere believers to basically "get lost" instead of welcoming them into the Kingdom. So...who are they and what did they miss or do wrong? In this study, get those answers and the one requirement for salvation Jesus taught (that Christianity misses) so that you can make sure you don't hear these dreaded words yourself!
Theory #3: Ravens (Again)
Considering that the end time "third Elijah" is probably one of the Two Witnesses, this makes the stories about the first Elijah's ministry as a good source of answers.
Recall the story of Elijah and how God "commanded the ravens" to bring him food (1Ki 17:4) during the 3½ year drought he caused at that time (James 5:17). He got water from the nearby Wadi Cherith until it dried up (1Ki 17:4):
1 Kings 17:3-5 — 3 "Go away from here and turn eastward, and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. 4 It shall be that you will drink of the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to provide for you there." 5 So he went and did according to the word of the LORD, for he went and lived by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he would drink from the brook.
God can do the same thing again for the Two Witnesses. He can have the food brought secretly by raven or other creatures using routes and methods the Antichrist never knows about or is able to stop. God can have a spring of fresh water appear nearby, too. He did this before at Horeb with Moses producing water from the rock by striking it (Ex 17:6).
Theory #4: Angel Food (Again)
Another story from the first Elijah's ministry gives another precedent on how the final, "third Elijah" could be during his Two Witnesses' ministry. This is an amazing story:
1 Kings 19:4-8 (HCSB) — 4 but he went on a day’s journey into the wilderness. He sat down under a broom tree and prayed that he might die. He said, “I have had enough! LORD, take my life, for I’m no better than my fathers.” 5 Then he lay down and slept under the broom tree. Suddenly, an angel touched him. The angel told him, “Get up and eat.” 6 Then he looked, and there at his head was a loaf of bread baked over hot stones, and a jug of water. So he ate and drank and lay down again. 7 Then the angel of the LORD returned for a second time and touched him. He said, “Get up and eat, or the journey will be too much for you.” 8 So he got up, ate, and drank. Then on the strength from that food, he walked 40 days and 40 nights to Horeb, the mountain of God.
This history shows that God can provide food capable of fueling a person for 40 days (of strenuous activity, no less). With food prepared by an angel, anything is possible.
God could do the same thing again for the Two Witnesses. He could provide such food every 40 days or come up with a food that "empowers" (Rev 11:3) them for the full 1,260 days.
This effectively means that they fast for those periods powered by the angel food. Given how they are wearing fasting attire (sackcloth) this has a nice symmetry (Rev 11:3) .
Those are just some speculative theories, off-the-cuff, based on my knowledge of the Bible. I have no doubt readers can think of others they will tell me I "missed" =).
First time readers: please note, that this is a departure from my typical writing here where I explain the end times based on plain literal verses on the topic. I thought you might find it a fresh, fun departure.
So...what do I think is the right answer? I don't know as, again, no literal verse addresses this...but surely time will tell. Whatever the method or mix of methods God uses, I'm sure when we finally hear how God did it and why, most of us will think, "How could it have been any different?" =)
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Tim, Just came aboard, and read this article, among many others with enjoyment.
I’m jokingly afraid you have opened the proverbial Pandora’s box. You see, the consumption of food and drink begets waste. This opens up a whole new category and conundrum for the two witnesses.
I enjoy reading your writings and teachings. I shall donate to your online ministry.
Thank you, keep up the good work, and fight the good fightReply
Israel (Adulterous Wife 0f Jehovah) & the “Church” (Virgin Bride of Christ) are distinct entities in TIME, Position & Blessing.
The Church is removed prior to any renewed dealings with Israel by God. The Rapture MUST take place Pretrib…..the Early chapters of the Book Of The Revelation of Jesus Christ By the apostle John, shows this.
Melvin, actually the church today is not depicted in prophecy as a virtuous virgin but as a materialistic, lukewarm, wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked group (Rev 3:16-17) in need of a spanking (Rev 3:18-19).
This also explains why many Christians ascribe to a pretrib rapture like you describe. But those who have work on their Laodicean lukewarmness and search the scripture objectively can only find a post-trib rapture there for all the faithful, from both Gentiles and Israel. Yes, we go through the tribulation on earth because that’s what Jesus prescribed.Reply
Melvin, re-read a few things in scripture that truly indicate the church, as many call Christians today, will be here through some of tribulation. Even Yeshua warns us to be prepared: Jesus, in speaking of the last times, warned, “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake” (Matthew 24:9). The Scripture says, “because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12).
The Apostle Paul, referring to the coming evil day, said, “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Ephesians 6:13).
Not sure why we in America think we are an exception to tribulation.
The church will go through the first portion of Revelation. Study
1 Thessalonians paying close attention starting at verse 9 and then read 2 Thessalonians Chapter 2 paying attention to verse 3. Then read Revelation carefully and you will see that we are not raptured until God’s (YHVH’s wrath begins) which begins in chapter 7 explained well beginning at verse 9 where the “Great Affliction” begins. This is YHVH’s wrath which we are saved from. All else before is satan’s attack to Israel. We may be gone from war or something, but not all and not from rapture. Even the Israelites went through the first 3 plaques in Egypt. It is not mentioned until plaque number 4 how they are protected from that point on. Why do we think we will escape satan’s attack described in Rev. Chap. 6. Don’t confuse the first white horse which is a false messiah with Yeshua in Rev. 19:11?
Hi Tim, if the food is being delivered by fairies, then they are eating fairy bread of course 😉 https://www.brisbanekids.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/CookiesandCups.jpg
More seriously, all 4 theories seem soundly reasoned, so my money is on a mix of all 4. Look forward to seeing which theory you choose in your novel – an interesting topic I hadn’t considered before!Reply
Shalom. Hi Tim, always enjoy reading your articles. My question is (and thoughts from others welcomed) if Gog is the A.C. and he will sit in the temple at Jerusalem, then how does Gog finding Jerusalem at peace decides to invade? (Ezek 38:10-13). How is Israel at peace? The description of God attacking Israel with nations sounds like Armageddon. When does he sit in the temple and why does he leave? Been pondering on these. Help needed. Thank you.Reply
Arnold, Gog Magog is in two chapters in a row and is therefore two wars. Ezekiel 38 is the second war, after 1000 years of peace, which explains how Israel is at peace. The Antichrist/Gog is in Ezekiel 39 who does not find Israel at peace but as it is today at war with her neighbors. Review my Gog Magog article for details.Reply
The best Celebrity Chefs from the most expensive 3-star Restuarants in the World, will not get to taste that which those two saints will receive from above. I can imagine, that many of those Chefs will instead be eating dog food in the Kingdom; and I will be happy to join them.Reply
Do you think they would need food? In heaven do they have a glorified body or a human body ? Is there food in heaven ?Reply
John, the Two Witnesses are humans on earth not yet glorified in heaven so yes, they need fuel. Whether or how much God supernaturally provides for that is the question.Reply
Not sure where you find your claim that the 2 witnesses are humans not yet in glorified in heaven. What scripture do you base this on? Revelation 11:4 says: “They are “the two olive trees” and the two lampstands, and “they stand before the Lord of the earth.” Would love to hear your answer even if not posted for all to see.Reply
Regina, I didn’t think that statement needed a Scripture, lol. What is the alternative you see? That the two witnesses are now in heaven and will come down to earth later, something only Yeshua has done and said made him unique (John 3:13)?Reply
Tim, well done and God bless you.
You have still not answered my question about the position of Africa in the scheme of things, aside the African countries that pledged allegiance to the Anti-Christ, mostly North African countries, what role will west Africa and the rest of Africa play? Are we expected to go to Israel too?
I did answer it but here is the answer again, since America’s fall and Wormwood and the Antichrist will affect the whole world, all the righteous of all nations have to flee to safety.Reply
Have you considered the possibility of the “two witnesses” being Jews and Christians? Christians AND Jews have been a witness for a millenia. Why couldn’t they they be a witness in Gods City in the end time week? I too, as a Christian have a calling to go to Jerusalem. I do not know why, but I have heard other Christians having a desire to go to Jerusalem.
Enjoy YOUR witness. God bless.
Abe, Jews and Christians don’t make for a positive witness! Look at the fruit of both religions (hypocrisy, judgmentalism, self-righteousness) and compare it to the unique good fruit Jesus talked about (John 13:35).
Plus it says the 2W are men, who die, and whose bodies lie in the street then they get resurrected to heaven. That does not fit two religions or groups of members of religions.Reply
It has nothing to do with Religions, it’s the body of Christ and their personal relationship with Him…”My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”(John 10:27) We do not belong to anyone religion but, to JESUS!
And again, the Two Witnesses are believers, like you and me a born again in the Spirit, no longer dead but alive!
PRAISE THE LORD!!!
Milionea, If the body of Christ were given a simple test on what Jesus taught is required for eternal life, what is his Good News, what is the Kingdom of God, they would fail exactly because they follow religion, not him or his words.Reply
It’s referring to believers in Jesus Christ as One.
Disciple Peter a Jew = Witness to Jesus…Ohmm??
Disciple Cornelius a Gentile = Witness to Jesus… Ohmm??
Who’s the original two witnesses??Is it Jesus Christ and John the Baptist??
Who’s the two witnesses in this present time???(believers)
Is it possible??(individuals, like that of Jesus and John) would they recognize the two witnesses??(I think not, they will not see his coming in the spirit). ?Bless are those that see it and believed it, in this present time.??✝️?
Milionea, sure, anything is possible, but the better question is what is more likely: the plain literal reading about two men who are killed and left in the streets, or some allegory about “people groups” doing all these things?Reply
Thank you Tim for your contribution in regards to the two witnesses. I really enjoy reading your articles, be it on end times or the above subject you just covered. May the Lord our God continue to minister to you in the work you are doing. And may we as believers continue to acknowledge the Lord our God to the fullest and always refer to Gods holy words for directions.Reply
Hadn’t thought about this before you mentioned it. Guess the 144,000 spread around the world will need a similar “food truck”. 🙂Reply
I also questioned how the two witnesses will eat during their mission.
Not having paid attention to the Bible verse which also questioned who will feed the two witnesses (in a logical manner that food will be provided as you explain), I prayed one day and continue at times, that if it is in God’s will, that he will supply to the 2 witnesses via us Christians, the earthly food they will need. Even Jesus needed ‘real’ food whilst on earth, which was provided by the apostles friends and families. It is not related that Jesus was fed by a supernatural channel, and who knows, so it will be as well for the two witnesses.
There is no ABSOLUTE ANSWER to this in the Bible and we can continue to ask ourselves the question “Who will feed the witnesses?”. God can talk to his people to feed them or can use ravens once more, or angels.
There is no answer in the Bible to the question, but the answer is in the question. “I will feed the 2 witnesses (God)” either directly or indirectly using us instead of the ravens to cater, whenever he calls us, IF he calls us.
The main point here is to be attentive to the call, if he calls us.
I agree with the plausible divine protection of the two witnesses and their personal necessities of life, in order to survive for over 1000 days! This approach [divine protection all around] will be the more PLAUSIBLE approach than any other non-precedent explanation. Since there is abundant plausible precedent, we cannot venture in an uncharted territory that borders on speculation.
GOOD JOB, TIM, holding tight to the biblical doctrine and its precedent! A miraculous arrangement is in the precedent, so then we expect God Almighty to reveal His arrangement in His “modus operandi” as the course of the two witnesses unfolds publicly–to the astonishment of the Two Witnesses’ adversaries!
Thanks for the article Tim. Hadn’t even considered the ‘feeding’ of the two Witnesses. Don’t suppose the 144,000 will be having a ‘caterer’?
There is so much to discover, and such depth of meaning in many places in Scripture. I’ve never really concerned myself with the ‘catering and wardrobe’ issues.
Found this interesting gem: http://www.fivedoves.com/letters/june2011/michelek614-1.htm
The actual Hebrew meaning of many words/passages of scripture is insightful and revealing in the extreme of late, in my ‘walk’. Shalom
thanks tim. that is an interesting thought to ponder. i usually remember the hebrews in the desert when i think how are people gong to survive during times of tribulation like that of GT, and how the manna was provided every day. anything miraculous is possible.Reply
A house is being built for them by Mike Evans of the Christian Museum 2 blocks from the Temple Mount.Reply
? God bless you, Tim! I enjoy reading your thoughts on what is to come and all the possibilities. Don’t be discouraged – keep studying, writing and praying! One thing is certain, God has a plan and it will unfold exactly according to plan! You’re in my prayers, brother.Reply
Well, if they did it in shifts, one sleeps 8 hours, does 4 hours of chores while the other preaches, then he takes over while the other sleeps for 8 and does four hours chores and press interviews etc. There is nothing stopping them from going to McDonalds or the nearest supermarket for their food and water. Except – you will remind me – they don’t have the mark which is necessary for buying and selling. Well, neither do the Idaho Religious Police – despite their antagonistic ways. So big deal. Maybe they have vouchers for Maccas. Maybe they just go in to the supermarket and help themseves… and woe betide anyone who stops them (they get zapped with fire from heaven if they do). Not a biggie. How did Isaiah and Jeremiah get their food when they were preaching? How did Jesus and The Twelve get their food? (Women came and provided Jesus’ team with food!) Really, it’s not a biggie. XZReply
Hey Xavier sounds like it could be possible, like you said who would stop them if they went to the market and got what they wanted? But I think that would be considered stealing so maybe it won’t be like that I think the women or men will on occasion provide with God’s help of course!Reply
I agree that one of the two witnesses is certainly Elijah. I know there is disagreement among Biblical scholars over the identity of the second witness. But I think all the evidence points to Moses. Like Elijah, Moses is highly revered among the Jews and I believe one of their missions is the conversion of the Jews. Also, both Elijah and Moses were at the transfiguration of Christ. One of the powers granted to the two witnesses by God described in Chapter 11 of the Book of Revelation is the power to “turn water to blood” and power over “all manner of plagues”, which of course is related to the 10 curses that Moses caused against Egypt. And both Elijah and Moses had strange things happen when they left this earth. Elijah of course didn’t die since he went up to heaven in a chariot of fire and his return is specifically promised by God at the end of the last book in the old testament, Malachi . Moses died, but he was buried by God himself! And you find Satan and the Arch Angel Michael “….disputing about the body of Moses..” in verse 9 of the Book of Jude!!! This makes more sense if God’s mission for Moses isn’t over. I still think that their death and resurrection (Revelation 11: 7-12) is the mid-point of the seventieth week of Daniel, the last seven years before the physical landing of Christ on Earth, versus the rapture which occurs in the air. The next Chapter of Revelation in Chapter 12 describes the 1260 days that the “woman fled into the wilderness.” (The last 3 1/2 years of the tribulation period) Since that follows the story of the two witnesses, it makes sense that it occurs after the death of the two witnesses. The word “And” at the beginning of Chapter 12 follows in a string of “ands” which would only make sense if they are sequential. Anyway, I respectfully disagree with this portion of your timeline. Maybe Christ will explain it to us on the way up!!
Kindest regards, God Bless, Yours because His!!!, Bill Walls
Manna…things will go back to LIKE the time of Moses when he was appointed to lead the Israelites out of Egypt into the wilderness. God fed them Manna and He will supply their food from heaven again. Since Antichrist will not allow those who belong to the Lord to sell or buy anything, God will nourish them in the wilderness. Divine protection, divine provision. ?Reply
Tim: Given their “supernatural” powers, why would they need to eat at all?Reply
Yep you are right, Tim. Jesus ate, and I believe the two witnesses will too.. All the theories seem probable. Will be cool to see which it is.
I thought the two witnesses stay in Jerusalem not wander all over the globe like that one guy said in this thread, that’s the 144,000 job to wander the globe NOT the two witnesses I re-read it and I still don’t get that they go everywhere they stay in Jerusalem right? Please clarify, thanksReply
Teri, yes they stay in Jerusalem because that’s where the Temple and Antichrist are, where they start and where they die. The whole passage (Rev 11:1-13) is about Jerusalem: the temple, the armies trampling it, the witnesses dying there, the earthquake killing 7000 in “the city” that follows their resurrection. People who claim they roam are ignoring that context and don’t know that the 144,000 already are covering all nations and the two special ones that cover Jerusalem at the Two Witnesses.Reply
Ha ha, Tim. A light-hearted tangent indeed. I love the literal approach.
Thought provoking though.
#4 angel bread sounds most likely to me. Everything else about their ministry will be supernatural.
Why would their sustenance differ?
I agree Sue! YHVH is our provider and the 2 witnesses will be provided for by YHVH! Who would think otherwise? They, the witnesses, are supernatural, coming from YAH, so as Wayne points out why wouldn’t all their fleshly needs, as we understand them being just human, also be of the supernatural realm as well. I am not sure why we all have such a need to guess as to how Our GREAT ELOHIM plans on handeling things that He ordains> He is YAH and all things come from Him and are in His Hands! So for an earthly expression Don’t worry, just be amazed! I think we, all humans, just want to make conversation.Reply
I was even thinking something along the lines of an Obadiah or better yet, a company of Obadiah’s, like the prophet Obadiah during Elijah’s ministry, who hid 100 prophets of the Lord and fed them with bread and water.
For it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah took an hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water. 1 Ki. 18:4Reply