The ministry of the two witnesses lasts 1,260 days which is the length of one half of the 70th week of Daniel. This could be the first or the second half. One important factor in determining whether their ministry occurs in the first or second half is the starting point.
If we look at the starting point of their ministry, it occurs at the same time as the Gentile takeover of the Third Temple.
“And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.”(Rev.11:1-3).
This is the point in the 70th of Daniel at which the antiChrist takes over the Temple. This event occurs precisely at the midpoint of the 70th week of Daniel when the antiChrist relocates his headquarters to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
“And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.”(Dan.11:45 KJV).
It is at this point also that he surrounds Jerusalem with his armies.
“And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.”(Luk.21:20 KJV).
This event is concurrent, co-incident, and simultaneous with the abomination of desolation.
“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)”(Matt.24:15 KJV).
“But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:”(Mk.13:14 KJV).
And the self-apotheosis of the antiChrist and his demand of worship by all mortals.
“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?”(2 Thess.2:3-5 KJV).
The starting point of the ministry of the two witnesses cannot occur at the commencement of the 70th seven when the antiChrist signs a 7-year peace pact with the many from within Israel.
“He shall confirm the covenant with many for one:(Dan.9:27a).
Why? Because the Temple was not taken over by the Gentiles at this point. The ministry of the two witnesses is in opposition to the antiChrist. The antiChrist is no where in sight in the land of Israel, and the Temple Mount in Jerusalem during the first half of the 70th seven of Daniel. During the first half of the 70th week of Daniel, the antiChrist is embroiled in war in others parts of the world. He went forth conquering and to conquer(Rev.6:2b). He is allied to Israel. He offers the Jewish nation protection. He stations a protection force in the land of Israel to deter the enemies of Israel, the surrounding Arab and Islamic nations from attacking Israel. These nations are also allied to the antiChrist. Hence his power to broker a peace deal between Israel and these Arab and Islamic nations. They are part of the ten nation confederation of the Eighth And Final Beast Empire(Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Turkey and Azerbaijan: Ezek.38:5,6; Rev.13:2). These nations cannot attack Israel until the antiChrist is in disfavor with the Jews. Their invading Israel in both the Jerusalem and the Jehoshaphat campaigns is at the behest of the antiChrist.
The other point we shall look at is the termination of the ministry of the two witnesses. If their ministry begins at the commencement of the 70th week of Daniel, it shall end at the midpoint inasmuch as their misery lasts 1,260, 42 months or three and one half years. This is the starting point of the Great Tribulation. It also means they will be killed on the last day of the 1,260 of the first half of the 70th week of Daniel or early on the first day of the second half of the 70th week of Daniel. In that case, their resurrection will occur on the late afternoon or early evening of the fourth day into the Second Half of the 70th week of Daniel. One of the functions of the ministry of the two witnesses is to provide encouragement to believers and Jews who are persecuted by the antiChrist during the horrors of the Great Tribulation. If they died before the beginning of the Great Tribulation or just after its commencement, this aim is defeated.
At the death of the two witnesses, the Beast marked Earth-dwellers are found rejoicing and sending gifts one to another in merriment to the demise of their tormentors, the two witnesses. But there is no evidence of the inhabitants of the Earth being tormented by the two witnesses in the first half of the 70th week. During the first half of the 70th week, men have not yet been mandatorily branded with the mark of the Beast. That does not, however, mean that the mark of the Beast has not been introduced before this time. This programme of the antiChrist begins at the midpoint of the 70th seven of Daniel when he makes his debut at the rebuilt Third Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. So, the ministry of the two witnesses cannot occur during the first half of the 70th week of Daniel.
The terminus-ad-quem of the ministry of the two witnesses is the second woe.
“And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven. The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.”(Rev.11:7-14).
The second woe corresponds with the end of the sixth trumpet judgement. The last three trumpets, fifth, sixth and seventh are the three woes.
“And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!”(Rev.8:13).
The trumpets judgments begin in the second half of the 70th week after the cosmic disturbances(sixth seal; the sign of the end of the ages), the appearance of The Shekinah in the heavens(the sign of His Coming), the Rapture of the Church, and the sealing of the 144,000(Matt.24:29-31; Rev.7:1-17), after the breaking of the seventh seal(Rev.8:1ff). The seven trumpets are contained in the seventh seal.
During the trumpets judgments God begins to pour out His wrath on all those who are not raptured except the 144,000 who are sealed for protection with the name of God. At this point, the ministry of the two witnesses is at its peak. The wicked earth-dwellers and worshippers of the antiChrist are being punished. They associated their calamities with the ministry of the two witnesses which is the reason adduced for their merriment at their demise at the hands of the antiChrist at the expiry of their ministry which occurs on the last day of the 70th week of Daniel. If the ministry of the two witnesses occurs during the second half of the 70th week of Daniel, it will terminate on the last day of the 70th week which also more or less marks the end of the sixth trumpet judgment. They are killed on the last day of The 70th week of Daniel or early on the first day of the 30-Day Reclamation Period Of The Kimgdom. Their resurrection occurs on the fourth day of the Reclamation Period Of The Kingdom.
Locating the ministry of the two witnesses in the second half of the 70th week makes perfect sense inasmuch as it is in synchrony with the sequence of events of the End Times. During this period of the outpouring of the wrath of God, God is in perfect control. During the Day Of The Lord, the haughtiness of man shall be bowed down and the loftiness men shall brought low. Only the Lord shall be exalted in that Day(Isa.2:18-22; Rev.6:15-17; 2 Thess.2:8). Satan and his minion, the antiChrist shall be paralyzed by the brightness of His coming. Christ shall be there physically to raise them from the dead, having rescued the 144, 000 from Petra in the Edomite wilderness alongside with the remnants of the unbranded Jews who survived the Great Tribulation and are purged, purified, and cleansed by the first six trumpet judgments, from the Judaean wilderness, and the remnants from Assyria and Egypt to Mount Zion where he will reclaim God’s rule over the Earth on the fifth day of the 30-Day Reclamation Period Of The Kingdom at the sounding of the seventh trumpet.
“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.”(Rev.11:15-19).