Here is someone else’s take on The Two Witnesses of Revelation from an old but insightful/intellectual/authoritative article:
Two Witnesses of Revelation
The Final Exodus
by A. Dietrich
Apostasy and the Anti-Church in the Near Future
“For the first millennium of Christendom, until the schism between the western (Roman Catholic) and the eastern (East Orthodox) Churches, there was but one Christian church. It was the teaching of this Church that in the last days, “the time would arrive when vast segments of the (Christian) Church would apostacize, when a counter church, formed under Satan’s leadership, would arise and when evil will reign so strongly in the life of mankind that life on earth will become virtually impossible” (Apostasy and Antichrist, Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville, NY translated from Russian, 1992, pg 4). Most Christians today would associate this with the time of the “tribulation,” which is spoken of in the biblical books of Daniel, Revelation, and elsewhere.
It is the continuing tradition of numerous Christian denominations that this apostasy will involve the acceptance of a false messianic figure, commonly known as the Antichrist. According to the East Orthodox saint, Zosima, “‘When you hear that the Christ has come to the earth or has appeared on earth, then know that it is Antichrist.’” The coming of the true Christ will be different. “‘It will be neither necessary nor even possible for men to give report to each other of the coming of the Son of God. He will appear suddenly; he will appear in his omnipotence to all men and the whole world at one time’” (Apostasy and Antichrist, pg 29, quoting Bishop Ignaty Brianchaninov, in his Works, vol. 4, p. 275).
Those days will be characterized by a climactic struggle for the allegiance of mankind between the seducing lies of the Antichrist and a prophetic witness to God’s truth and love. The discussion below describes some of the events of the tribulation in order to define the nature of God’s true witness to man during those final days and contrast it with the false spirituality offered by the Antichrist. As these days unfold, what is written here will become clearer and clearer.
Depravity Blinds against Warnings
The Bible and Orthodox Christian tradition teach that the Antichrist will be permitted to seduce mankind at large, and this in order to condemn those that refused the truth and “chose wickedness instead.” (2 Thes. 2:10-12) The book of Matthew (Ch. 24:37-40) testifies that as it was in Noah’s day so it will be in the days of the coming of the Son of Man. “They were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and (they) knew not until the flood came, and took them all away.”
Apostasy and Antichrist, comments that this parallel to Noah’s time also indicates that, “unrestrained sensuality, lechery, gluttony and drunkenness will become the norm, deadening man’s mind so that even … the troubles which God will send as a warning (famine, earthquakes, plagues and finally the great agony of Antichrist) will create no feeling of fear or remorse in people drunken with their own corruption. … All the Holy Fathers consider the main cause of the rapid captivation of mankind by Antichrist to be . . . submersion in worldly matters. Since spiritual understanding (is) preserved by the true-Orthodox Christians (in contrast to Christians in name only), only the very small proportion of them who will remain true-Orthodox Christians to the last, living a spiritual life in accordance with the rules of the Holy Church, will at that time be in full weaponry and be able to discern all the snares and cunning of Antichrist” (pp.23,34) What these writers are saying in their way is that to have the spiritual discernment needed in these last days we must be applying ourselves in the Christian faith and life under the guidance and empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
Antichrist Seduces Israel
Antichrist will arise seven years before the return of the true Christ, offering a seven-year covenant of peace. This will be a framework establishing peace for Israel primarily, but its impact will be more far-reaching due to the many alliances and geopolitical interests involved. The Old Testament book of Daniel says that Antichrist will “make a covenant with many” for seven years of peace (Dan. 9:27). The peace of Antichrist does not actually last seven years. Daniel continues that in the midst of that seven years Antichrist will “cause the sacrifice and the oblation (in the temple) to cease” and bring “desolations” (Dan. 9:27; 11:31). This will initiate the greatest time of tribulation the world has ever known; a time that will last approximately three and a half years. So, to be specific, the biblical “great tribulation” lasts only three and a half years and occurs during the second half of the antichrist’s seven-year peace covenant.
But how can the prophecies say that Antichrist initiates a…”
It wouldn’t be right to copy and paste Dietrich’s whole article in its entirety. If you want to read more of his article, click here.
And of course I have my own take in my books: