Author: Michele at ScriptureStudy.Guide
Posted: February 20, 2022. Updated March 23, 2022.
We have reached the point in earth’s history where most Christians are looking for two individual witnesses – Moses and Elijah – to stand in front of the wall (or some ridiculous future pagan brick temple) in the physical city of Jerusalem blowing literal fire out of their mouths as a sign that the Great Tribulation is actually here. That is not going to happen, and if you see such nonsense, it’s a sign and wonder from the antichrist kingdom, hence the **Warning!** in this article’s title. Please read on for details.
Old and New Covenant Witnesses
Deuteronomy 19:15 tells us that a matter must be established by the word of two or three witnesses. Jesus explained the same in Matthew 18:17 when he was teaching church discipline. Paul also explained the necessity of the word of two or three witnesses in 2 Corinthians 13:1.
Moses and Elijah are the two prophets who personally witnessed the ministry, death, burial, resurrection, return to earth, and ascension into heaven of Jesus Christ on behalf of the church/Christ’s bride.
Ecclesiastes 1:9 tells us that what has been done before will be done again, but the physical events under the old covenant have become spiritual events under the new covenant.
The old testament witnesses were the foreshadow of the two new testament witnesses yet to come — these are the two olive trees, the two candlesticks, the two prophets which are the church/spiritual Israel.
Moses and Elijah were the two eye-witnesses in the old testament who enabled the future witnesses of the church age to prophecy. They were the literal eyes that established the gospel message.
In Romans 10:9, the two old testament witnesses established the gospel message by testifying of their belief in God raising Jesus from the dead which they saw with their own eyes.
Jude 9 tells us that Michael the Archangel fought Satan for the dead body of Moses. Elijah never had a physical earthly death — his physical living body ascended up into heaven. God obviously had a future purpose for the physical vessels of Moses and Elijah.
Moses and Elijah both appeared on earth again during Jesus’ ministry. They appeared with Jesus while He was praying. All three were in a glorified form (Luke 9:26-27). They were speaking of Jesus’ departure which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem (Luke 9:30-31).
Two men were seen in dazzling clothing witnessing the resurrection of Jesus. This could be Moses and Elijah in a glorified form (Luke 24:2-6).
Acts 1:10 also gives an account of two men in white clothing standing beside the men as they all watched Jesus ascend into the sky.
So we have Moses and Elijah being identified by many, and then 2 more accounts of men with a striking presence witnessing the resurrection and the following ascension of Christ into heaven.
But Enoch Didn’t Die
Like Elijah, Enoch also ascended into heaven having never died a physical death on this earth. For this reason, many want to say it was Enoch and Moses, or Enoch and Elijah who are the two witnesses. We know this is incorrect because Moses and Elijah were identified as the two glorified men who were seen praying with Jesus (Luke 9:26-31). It was Moses and Elijah who witnessed the events that were the foundation of the gospel message of Jesus Christ. So that does leave me wondering what God’s plans are for Enoch. 🙂
The Power of the Witnesses
At God’s command, Moses had Aaron turn water into blood in Exodus 7:19-20. Revelation 11:6 tells us the two witnesses will turn the waters to blood.
Elijah lived in Samaria where it did not rain for 3 years (1 Kings 18:1-2). Revelation 11:6 says the two witnesses will cause it not to rain on the wicked. But the latter rain will be poured out on the church for their spiritual nourishment during the most challenging time of their witness (James 5:7).
In Acts 1:8, Jesus explains to His disciples that they shall be witnesses unto Him unto the farthest parts of the earth. This could not be accomplished literally in their day, so this statement supports the church being the two witnesses throughout the church age.
Because of the eye-witness of Moses and Elijah, the gospel message was established so that the church age saints are able to prophecy. Prophecy means to “speak Truth” which is done by their witness/testimony of Christ. Truth is the Word of God which is Jesus Christ (Revelation 19:13).
Elijah is Coming Back!
Not exactly. Malachi 4:5 reads “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:” This verse is greatly misunderstood and taken out of context.
While verse 4:1 is describing the last day, verse 2 is telling of the coming Messiah. Verse 3 is describing the upcoming protection of the saints during the church age and their final victory over their enemies.
Slightly off-topic: Malachi 4:4 holds an important message for the future church/Christ’s bride. It reads “Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.” So God is telling us that after the Messiah appears, He still wants us to heed His law of Moses which are the 10 Commandments — following His commandments (not the physical rituals, but the commandments which are written on the fleshy tables of our hearts) is how we obey Him.
And finally, Malachi 4:6 tells us that Elijah will “turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers” which is a church-age-attitude of the people — the command to love and serve thy fellow brethren and be open to the gospel message.
However, in Mark 13:12, we see a very different thing happening in the last 3 1/2 years of the prophecy of the new covenant witnesses: “Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death.”
We see that Elijah did already come back for Jesus and on behalf of the church when he and Moses were seen with Jesus witnessing His ministry, death, burial, resurrection, return to earth, and ascension into heaven.
So Elijah was already here before the great and dreadful day of the Lord which was Jesus’ death on the cross – the defeat of all sin – and the terrible events that occurred during that time (Luke 23:44-49). We will not be seeing Elijah again in the future — this further establishes that the church (and not two individuals) is the two witnesses in Revelation 11.
Description of the Two Witnesses
Revelation 11:4 tells us the two witnesses “…are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.”
The Two Olive Trees
Olive trees and olive branches are used to symbolize the same thing in scripture. There are two trees/branches: The natural tree and the wild tree. The natural tree represents the old testament saints (who were ministered to by Jesus during His ministry in Sheol), and the gentiles are the wild tree.
In Romans 11:17, we see the two trees become one which symbolizes that they are now both brethren in Christ and serve the one true God. Natural branches were broken off due to their unbelief so the wild branches could be grafted in because of their belief.
Zechariah 4:12-14 tells us that the two olive branches/trees empty golden oil out of themselves. They are the two anointed ones that stand upon (trample on) the lord of the whole earth (Satan is the lord of the earth). The two who were anointed under the old covenant were the priest and the king. Under the new covenant, the redeemed church have been serving as priests and kings since the cross and have the Holy Spirit (Revelation 1:6 & 5:10).
The oil is what powers the light of the redeemed that fuels the candlesticks which are the church. God says this oil/fuel is “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit” (Zechariah 4:6).
So we see the two olive trees are…
- Law / King / Commandments / Moses
- Prophets / Priest / God’s Truths / Elijah
…which both represent the Lord’s Holy Spirit.
The Two Candlesticks
The word candlestick and lampstand are the same word in scripture, depending on what bible translation we are reading.
The church is spiritual Israel which is the redeemed of all people on earth, not just one race of people (see my article “God’s Chosen People”).
Revelation 1:12-13 tells us that the church is ONE candlestick with seven lamps with Christ in the midst of them (He is the oil that powers them). So if the church is ONE candlestick, and the two witnesses are the ONE church, then why is the ONE church/two witnesses described as TWO candlesticks?
Romans 8:29 mentions there being a firstborn among brethren. The first were the old testament prophets and Moses and Elijah were two of them. For this reason, I believe the two candlesticks are:
- Moses and Elijah, the eye-witnesses which are the firstborn among brethren.
- The church/spiritual Israel under the new covenant.
So God the vinedresser created the law and the prophets that grow as natural and wild olive trees which produces the olive oil that fuels the church who are then grafted onto the natural vine of Jesus Christ (John 15:1). He is the vine and we are the branches (John 15:5).
Two New Covenant Witnesses
The biblical account of the prophecy of the two witnesses begins in Revelation 11 with the measuring of the temple of God. God’s temple is NOT a building made with hands (Acts 7:48).
To understand prophecy, it must be understood that the ONLY HOLY place is the physical bodies of redeemed Christians. You cannot defile something that is not holy.
The measuring of the temple is the accounting of the saints, both in number and in their spiritual readiness. [For a word study on “the holy place,” see this article: “Abomination of Desolation” and scroll down to the section titled “The Holy Place Word Study.”]
The court outside the temple is left out and not counted because they are not redeemed and are not holy. They will eventually trample on the redeemed Christians for forty two months which is the Great Tribulation (Revelation 11:2).
They Shall Prophecy
Verse 11:3 tells us that the church will be given power to prophecy (give their testimony of Jesus Christ) during the Church Age which is the thousand two hundred three score days. The word “thousand” is a noun if it does not have a derivative in front of it (i.e. one thousand, two thousand, etc.). Thousand here is an age of time. Numbers hold symbolism in the scriptures and are not necessarily an exact period of time that can be measured.
Satan holds no power over the redeemed during the Church Age. He is bound/in darkness in the bottomless pit/abyss (see my articles “Millennial Reign – The Thousand Years” and “Revelation 20 Millennial Reign Explained”). If any citizen of Mystery Babylon hurts them, they themselves must be killed in the same manner.
The fire that proceeds out of their mouth (mouth is singular, not plural) is the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Word of God which torments their wicked enemies.
The rain is nourishment and refreshment that will not fall on the wicked. They torture/”dehydrate” Mystery Babylon with the name of Jesus Christ. Their waters are poisoned (“turned to blood” which symbolizes their damnation) by the righteousness of Christ in the witnesses and the power of the Holy Spirit.
The witnesses will smite the earth with plagues as often as they will — this is the righteous judgment that befalls the wicked. The true remnant of God realize the power they hold over evil in Jesus Christ’s name during this gospel era where we preach as kings and priests with Christ (see my article “The Kingdom of God is Here”). The false Christianity antichrist kingdom of Mystery Babylon recognizes us and knows who we are.
The Abomination that Desolates
We covered Revelation 11:1-6 in the previous sections. This section will cover 11:7-10.
When their testimony is finished, Satan (who has been coming up out of the bottomless pit since Apollyon/Abaddon was released at the 5th trumpet) will be 100% free to carry out his agenda and will indwell a man who is Antichrist.
The Antichrist will set up the abomination that desolates — this is some kind of forced spiritual numbing as well as physical killing of the two witnesses who are the church/Christ’s bride (see my article “Abomination of Desolation” for the word study).
The two witnesses/the martyred Christians will lie dead in the streets for 3 1/2 days — a day is sometimes a year in prophecy so this is 3 1/2 years (Numbers 14:33-34a, Ezekiel 4:4-6). These 3 1/2 years are earth’s last 42 months which is the Great Tribulation (see the timeline of events at the beginning of this article: “Abomination of Desolation”).
The wicked inhabitants of Mystery Babylon will not bother burying the dead martyrs in the streets. The Antichrist will stand in the holy place and declare himself to be God — this is the abomination of desolation. The holy place is our bodies, so the Antichrist will stand in the blood of the dead and/or have some kind of physical presence that affects the physical bodies of the redeemed that “stuns” or “grows numb” (imprisonment? mental faculty failure by chemicals? injections? implants?).
The Dead’s Ascension into Heaven
This section will cover Revelation 11:11-14.
After 3 1/2 years, God will bring all of the righteous dead in the streets back to life. They will stand up on their feet, and those who see this will be petrified.
Those raised from the dead will hear a voice from heaven telling them to “come up here.” They will ascend up to heaven in a cloud while their enemies watch them.
In the same hour that the dead in the streets ascend into heaven, there will be a great earthquake. This earthquake is the raising of the buried righteous dead because the bible does not record two different resurrections of the righteous dead.
We are told in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 that the righteous dead will be raised before the righteous living at the last day, so this “hour” marks only the beginning of the last day.
The living righteous/remnant remained behind and gave glory to God for the miracle they had just witnessed. This group is sealed and protected by God for what is about to come.
We are told that God always leaves a remnant (Ezekiel 6:8, Isaiah 1:9, Zephaniah 3:12), so the righteous living will remain on the earth during the third woe/the last day and to witness Christ’s descent from heaven.
This ends the second woe. The third woe comes quickly, in “the same hour” (right after) the ending of the second woe (the timeline of events is recorded in the book of Daniel and can be found in the beginning of this article: “Abomination of Desolation”).
To continue on with the sequence of events that follows the ending of the second woe, see my article “Events of Earth’s Last Age.”
May God fill you with His peace and strengthen your faith as we live through these challenging but exciting times of earth’s final days.
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