In Revelation 19:10 it is recorded that John and his brothers hold to the testimony of Jesus and following on in the same verse,the angel announces, "For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy".

In Revelation 22:8-9, which is a continuation from Rev:19-10, it is recorded that John and his brothers are prophets,and because as previously recorded in Rev:19-10,the reason for John and his brothers being prophets is because they hold to the testimony of Jesus,

For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” 10 Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. (Revelation 19:10) [ESV]

8 I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me, 9 but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.” (Revelation 22 8-9)

My question is,who are the prophets that the angel is referring to? is the angel referring to old and new testament prophets or is the angel referring to the the two witnesses of Revelation 11 who are empowered to prophesy.Revelation 11

And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.”

  • 1
    The Two Witnesses spoken of in Revelation are actually not real men. They refer to Gods Word...ie The Old and The New Testaments. The French Revolution was the fulfillment of the prophecy concerning the death of them...look it up, you will be surprised what happened...the French legislated against the deity of God for a short time and then reversed the policy as predicted, changed the 7 day calender, and gave rise to atheism at the political level.
    – Adam
    Commented Feb 8, 2021 at 19:39
  • @Adam- Some say they refer to the Law (Moses) and Prophecy (Elijah).
    – Bagpipes
    Commented Feb 8, 2021 at 19:46
  • @Bagpipes...Metaphorically they do represent Moses and Elijah that is also true, but ultimately, the witness of God is found in his Word. We know God because of the Bible. Our moral compass comes from the Bible, or at least we can validate the phrase "God has written his laws on our hearts" in reading the scriptures. Witnesses are those who testify to the accuracy of something...our witness over the last 2 thousand years since Jesus ministry on earth is clearly the Bible.
    – Adam
    Commented Feb 10, 2021 at 9:02
  • @Adam- some also say that they refer to Old Testament scripture and New Testament scripture. That is (in my opinion) the word of God.
    – Bagpipes
    Commented Feb 10, 2021 at 15:21
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    @Bagpipes You are, I believe correct. We see this in the Transfiguration, where the O/T appears in the form of Moses and Elijah -- to be superseded by Christ and the New Covenant. This constitutes the totality of the Bible represented by all 3 figures. Interestingly, in Zechariah 4:3 we again see this: "There are also two olive trees beside [the golden lampstand], one on the right side of the bowl and the other on its left.” Here, Christ is the lampstand of gold: "perfection," notably, at the center, while the two olive trees are Moses and Elijah, something less than perfection.
    – Xeno
    Commented Jun 9, 2021 at 6:51

2 Answers 2


The Testimony of Jesus is a technical phrase used only by John in the book of Revelation. Rev 1:2, 9, 12:17, 19:10(x2), 20:4. It is explicitly defined in the first three verses of Revelation as part of the so-called, “Chain of Revelation”, as set out in the table below.

Rev 1:1–3 Technical Phrase Definition
God gave the message to Jesus The Revelation of Jesus The message God gave
Jesus gave the message via His angel to John The Testimony of Jesus That John saw (his prophetic visionary gift)
John gave the message to the church The words of the prophecy of this book What John wrote (ie, the book of Revelation)

Thus, the Testimony of Jesus is the visionary prophetic gift. Further, as if to confirm this, Rev 19:10 also identifies the Testimony of Jesus as the Spirit of Prophecy. A second confirmation is provided by the parallels between Rev 19:10 and 22:8, 9. See table below.

Rev 19:10 Rev 22:8, 9
See that you don’t See that you don’t
Your fellow servant Your fellow servant
Of your brothers Of your brothers
Who have the testimony of Jesus The Prophets And those who keep the words
Worship God Worship God

Therefore, by this analysis, the "Testimony of Jesus" is the visionary gift of prophecy given to the prophets. Thus, any prophet appointed by God has the testimony of Jesus. This includes the OT prophets (who prophesied of Jesus) and NT prophets who testified of Jesus.

In Rev 11, the two witnesses are also (because they prophesy, V3) are prophets of God and so also had the gift of prophecy.

  • This answer is is very informative and helpful to me, However, i am struggling to understand the old testament prophets in relation to the Testimony of Jesus. My reason for my confusion is that the old testament prophets did not appear to know about the coming Jesus,until so would have been unable to hold to the Testimony of Jesus before the spirit of prophecy was given.The new testament prophets knew about Jesus,thus they held to the testimony of Jesus and like John ,were empowered with the spirit of prophecy.You say in your answer....Contiued
    – Bagpipes
    Commented Feb 8, 2021 at 10:14
  • Thus, any prophet appointed by God has the testimony of Jesus. This includes the OT prophets (who prophesied of Jesus) and NT prophets who testified of Jesus. This is where i get a bit confused because the verse "The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy", does not appear to me to apply to old testament prophets in the same way as it does to New testament prophets. It seems to me like the spirit of prophecy was given to the old testament prophets before they held to the testimony of Jesus....hope you can see what i mean,and any feed back is appreciated.
    – Bagpipes
    Commented Feb 8, 2021 at 10:28
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    @Bagpipes - I think (not sure) I Understand your question. To me the entire Bible is about Jesus - in the OT is Jesus predicted and anticipated. In the NT it is Jesus realized. Jesus Himself said this in His talk to the men on the road to Emmaus - He expained everything in the Scriptures concerning Himself.
    – Dottard
    Commented Feb 8, 2021 at 21:08

According to the authors of the NT, the OT presented Christ in an outline, like Plato's allegory of the shadows that are cast by a firepit of people outside the cave. The people can't be seen directly but only known partially by the shadows on the cave wall. So too, the law and the prophets are conceived as shadows of Christ. But the NT reveals Christ plainly, and interpreting and explaining the shadows and what they really referred to:

[Heb 10:1 NLT] (1) The old system under the law of Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come, not the good things themselves. The sacrifices under that system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship.

[Col 2:16-17 NLT] (16) So don't let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths. (17) For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality.

So the OT, thru John, pointed forward to Christ, but since then the Kingdom gates have been thrown open and even the least witness for Christ has the benefit of a clear view of the reality, in the face of Jesus Christ:

[Mat 11:11-13 NASB] (11) "Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen [anyone] greater than John the Baptist! Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. (12) "From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force. (13) "For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John.

  • @Ruminator...it sounds like you are saying we are no longer required to keep the law. Might I remind you of what Paul said about this in Romans 6..."15What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law, but under grace? Certainly not!" - What this means is the law doesn't save us, by faith in the grace received from Jesus are we saved BUT, we are still required to "attempt to live" lawfully (ie keep the law). This is very clear in Romans 6 and in Revelation 14:12 the patience of the saints are those who 1. KEEP the commandments of God (10 commandments) AND, 2. Have the Testimony of Jesus.
    – Adam
    Commented Feb 9, 2021 at 19:57
  • For Jews, the Sinai covenant did not completely disappear until c. 70 AD/CE when the temple was dismantled so no stone remained one upon the other and they were evicted from their land, to which the Torah applied. Now, not even the Jews keep Torah because it is impossible. But the gentiles are not and never were beholden to Torah: [Heb 8:13 NET] (13) When he speaks of a new covenant, he makes the first obsolete. Now what is growing obsolete and aging is about to disappear.
    – Ruminator
    Commented Feb 9, 2021 at 21:02
  • @Ruminator...so you are saying Paul is lying in Romans? I hardly think so, because John wrote in Revelation (as i also quoted) "the patience of the saints are those who keep the commandments of God and the Testimony of Jesus"! Revelation was not written specifically for the Jews, it was written for all Chistians and is future orientated...ie for the time of the end (thousands of years after Johns time). Clearly the expectation in the book of Revelation is that we must still uphold the commandments (plural) of God! It is very obvious that both were talking of the moral law...10 commandments!
    – Adam
    Commented Feb 10, 2021 at 8:38
  • They were living in the time of the end, not us.
    – Ruminator
    Commented Feb 10, 2021 at 11:29

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