The two witnesses live during a time when people oppose God fiercely (9:20-21). For that reason, God gives them special protection against their enemies. Otherwise, their enemies would kill them at once.
John writes that fire pours from their mouths to kill their enemies. This seems to be a word-picture. Fire is a frequent word-picture in the Bible for severe punishment. The mouth is a frequent word-picture to mean a personís words. So the meaning is that their words bring punishment and death to their enemies. We may compare this to Acts 5:1-10, where Peterís words of judgement brought about the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira. It is a terrible thing when people oppose on purpose the work of Godís Holy Spirit.
God wants people to understand clearly that he is speaking by means of his two witnesses. He wants people to have clear evidence that the Holy Spirit is working through the two witnesses. So, he gives them special powers to carry out judgements against the world.
These special powers are like the power that Moses and Elijah had. Elijah prayed, and for three years and six months, it did not rain (James 5:17; 1 Kings 17:1). For the same period of time, the two witnesses will speak Godís message and they too will stop the rain.
Moses turned the water into blood in Exodus 7:14-21. That was the first of 10 plagues (terrible troubles) that happened in Egypt at Mosesí command. The two witnesses will do similar things.
These things must happen in order to prove that all Godís judgements are right and proper. By means of the two witnesses, God will show the evil people in this world that their wicked behaviour offends him. However, even these powerful events will not change their wicked attitudes and behaviour. Instead, those people will want to kill the two witnesses.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.