I first posted this as a comment but as njb4725 has posted further on the two witnesses of Revelation 11 I have posted it as a topic giving an alternate view.
In – Revelation 5:10 we read what God will make the saints / overcoming believers to be:
“And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth”.
Peter tells us that we believers are already a nation of ‘kings and priest’ and I believe this kingly priestly ministry, available to all believers but exercised by ‘overcoming believers’ is precisely what is figuratively represented by the two witnesses of Revelation 11.
The speculation on who these two are (as if they will be the actual return of former Old Testament saints) has varied. Along this literal line of interpretation has been suggested Enoch and Elijah as neither died so could return to earth or Moses and Elijah as the signs performed by these two recall the signs of these Old Testament prophets.
However the specific identification of the two witnesses given to us in Revelation 11:4
“These are the two olive trees and the two lamp-stands that stand before the Lord of all the earth.”
“The ‘two lamp-stands’ seem to have an obvious interpretation. In Revelation chapters 1-3 we are introduced to seven lamp-stands representing seven churches and just two of these churches receive no rebuke from the Lord. Surly the ‘two lamp-stands’ represents a significant remnant minority of believers/churches that ‘overcome’ (as all are exhorted to do in these early chapters).
While ‘the two olive trees’ are identified in Zechariah 4:3, 11-14 as: “These are the ‘two sons of oil’ (or ‘anointed ones) that serve the Lord of all the earth”.
In the context of the book we find that they are Zerubbabel (the one in kingly succession to the throne of Judah) and Joshua the High Priest. So they again represent the kingly / priestly ministry of the ‘overcoming’ believers represented in several images in Revelation.
I believe these two represent a corporate people of God rising to complete the ministry of the church as ‘Kings and Priest to God’. They are those who know how to pray with authority and convey heaven’s answers to earth bound men.
These images provide us with a fundamental understanding of the believer’s authority.
In New Testament times who had more authority than a king? Here this verse declares ‘kings’ is what the Lord will make ‘overcoming believers’ to be. The verse goes on to explain the purpose of this imparted ‘kingship’. That we might reign on earth. However this emphasis MUST be balanced by the fact that we are made to be kings and ‘PRIESTS’. If we do not understand our kingly authority in terms of its priestly function we go astray.
The priest is an intercessor, speaking to God on behalf of others and representing God to others; coming from God’s presence with His word and His Spirit for others. So the kingdom authority expressed and demonstrated is a mediated authority, it is not latent in the kingly office but mediated through the priestly office; these roles are the privilege of all believers to explore and exercise through intercessory prayer, prophetic words, deeds and actions.
All this we are told is: “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord Almighty. Zech 4:6
Would that the total church throughout this age had understood and ministered in the Spirit’s power rather than the means it often turned to. But we have the promise that the mission of the church will be completed in the Holy Spirit’s power. I believe this will largely have been accomplished by the remnant that overcomes throughout history and will be completed by a future remnant of anointed believers.
As njb4725 says time will tell!