Revelation 11:3 And I will appoint my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.” 4 They are “the two olive trees” and the two lampstands, and “they stand before the Lord of the earth.” 5 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. 6 They have POWER to shut up the heavens 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.
Some have observed that the ministry of these two witnesses resembles the ministries of Elijah and Moses in the Old Testament. In 1 Kings 17:1 the Lord used Elijah to shut up the heavens so that it did not rain for three and a half days. In Exodus God used Moses to turn water into blood and to strike Egypt with plagues.
Notice that these two witnesses are given POWER to shut up the heavens and POWER to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with plagues “as often as they want”—meaning it would be totally “up to them” to perform the miracles using the supernatural authority entrusted to them. From this we may conclude that they were given blanket AUTHORITY to perform such miracles. Let us now focus on exactly how Elijah shut up the heavens as recorded in 1 Kings.
1 Kings 17:1 Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.”
The Hebrew for “word” here is “dabar” which occurs 13 times in the Old Testament in connection with some word, thing or action which is commanded. According to Strong’s “dabar” or “word” can also be translated “commandment”.
The Holman Christian Standard Bible renders 1 Kings 17:1 as: “Now Elijah the Tishbite, from the Gilead settlers, said to Ahab, “As the Lord God of Israel lives, I stand before Him, and there will be no dew or rain during these years except by my COMMAND!”
Therefore Elijah shut up the heavens by issuing a COMMAND. He exercised the POWER and AUTHORITY given to him by issuing a COMMAND to the heavens. He did not simply pray to the Lord in our traditional way, but rather exercised the AUTHORITY the Lord entrusted to him by issuing a COMMAND to the heavens.
During these very Last Days the Lord is restoring understanding of the POWER and AUTHORITY over demons and diseases which Jesus gave to His disciples in Luke 9:1-2.
Luke 9:1 When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them POWER and AUTHORITY to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
Many servants of God who have been trained in the use of this supernatural POWER and AUTHORITY are now being used to bring multitudes of gospel-resistant peoples like Hindus and Muslims to our Messiah Jesus by healing the sick and casting out demons in the wondrous name of Jesus in a miraculous way never before witnessed by them.
Could it be that during these very Last Days the Lord is in the process of preparing the two witnesses of Revelation 11—who will be given supernatural POWER and AUTHORITY “to shut up the heavens, to turn the waters into blood, and to strike the earth with plagues AS OFTEN AS THEY WANT”?
Revelation 11:7 Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them. 8 Their bodies will lie in the public square of the great city—which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt—where also their Lord was crucified. 9 For three and a half days some from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial. 10 The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and will celebrate by sending each other gifts, because these two prophets had tormented those who live on the earth. 11 But after the three and a half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them. 12 Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies looked on.