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Archive for June 27th, 2011

Patricia S (27 June 2011) “Pentacost = Moses and covenant Tammuz 29 = July 31”

This ia a continuation of the same theme as the two preceding posts.


Patricia S (27 June 2011)
Pentacost = Moses and covenant Tammuz 29 = July 31 

Hi John and Doves
I have had a good look at the word of God and this is what I see. seems more than just coincidental to me, looks like God is telling us something here, the Great harvest!!!!!!
Moses coming back down Sinai – Tammuz 28/29
Pentacost – according to what I read in Leviticus is Tammuz 29 – fulfillment of the above
Boaz and Ruth – end of Barley and Wheat Harvest – would be sometime in Tammuz or also the end.
John 4:35 Telling of the Harvest – maybe the beginning of the Church Age? also could be the End of the Church Age.


Dates all seeming to culminate at the end of 4th Jewish Month. This year July 31 which is also a new moon Jerusalem.

First 4 Jewish months – Nissan, Iyar, Sivan, Tammuz


  1. 1.    Moses and the Israelites leave Egypt Passover Nissan 15 – 4 days after Sabbath.

They arrive at Mt Sinai

Exodus 19

 1In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai. – 4 days after Sabbath – Sivan 13 Wednesday (the Jews celebrate Sivan 6 when Moses received the law from God – The Israelites hadn’t arrived at Mount Sinai) or it could have been the 15th of the month, which would also be the same day but I don’t believe this would have been the case because the Israelites were getting ready for worship and they took 3 days to do that.

10 And the LORD said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes 11 and be ready by the third day, because on that day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people

The Third day is the Sabbath Sivan 16.  Moses went up the Mountain for 40 days either Sivan 17 or 18th. Exodus 24:16

Counting 40 days  Moses came back down the Mountain probably on the Sabbath as the Israelites were dancing around the golden calf Aaron had made, this date would be Tammuz 28/29.  Moses came back down with the law on this date.


Moses definitely came down from Mount Sinai on Tammuz 28/29 end of fourth month – 3,000 men were killed because of the Golden Calf.


  1. 2.      Pentacost – 1st day which I believe is Tammuz 29, 3,000 souls saved – a type of fulfillment or maybe a direct line between the two. Maybe for us to understand and see.


Two different 50 day times


Leviticus 23

15And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; – (Shavuot) seven sabbaths shall be complete: As Jesus will wave us before the Lord, I see this as a prophetic time schedule of being linked to the rapture and second coming of Jesus 

 16Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD. This to me is speaking of a Jubilee, Freedom time for us

Two different lots of 50’s 

As far as I can see the Jews do not keep the 50 day Pentacost celebrations at all.  Its quite clear that this day is a Sunday and Shavuot is not, it is suppose to be a rememberance of Moses and the Law but Moses hadnt reached Sinai at that date either.Moses reached Sinai on Sivan 13 and Shavuot is Sivan 6  Shavuot is an omer ceremony.

Shavuot in Temple Times
During the seven weeks between Passover and Shavuot, the Temple was busy with a special ceremony called the omer, an omer is an ancient measurement, that was brought as a wave offering. A special set of publicly harvested barley grains were winnowed, toasted, ground, sifted, mixed with oil, formed into a dough and waved in the courtyard of the Temple before a portion was sprinkled onto the altar as a sacrifice. Definitely seems prophetic re Jesus sacrifice for us

Afterward all new grains were permitted for harvesting and eating. mmmmm and this could mean us – Jesus first, making a way for us, then us

Apparantly Paul the apostle and Christians in that time kept the second Pentacost 50 days, a guy took note of where he was before Pentacost and did the calculation of how long it would have taken him to get to Jerusalem (where he was going to celectrate pentacost) apparently he would have had to travel (mostly by foot) over 50 miles a day on the days that he was travelling and he had an old man with him at the time.  Its an interesting thought.




 Tammuz 29 this year is July 31 a new moon – interesting hey

  1. 3.      Ruth and Boaz came together at the end of the Barley and Wheat Harvest in Summer not spring, Wheat isn’t harvested until summer.  So many of us have heard the message preached that Boaz, the kingsman Redeemer was a picture of Jesus taking a Gentile Bride.



  1. 4.   John 4

34Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

 35Say not ye, (NIV – Don’t you have a saying?) There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. (end of the Barley & Wheat Harvests) (Say not ye NIV dont you have a saying) What this verse is saying is the Harvest is at the 4 Jewish month mark.  End of Harvest Pentacost = End of Church age????


Death of Ezra Tammuz 29 – dont know what significance, if any, this is but he was used by God in rebuilding the 2nd Temple


The 4th month is Tammuz end of harvest – end of the month


This harvest time that Jesus was talking about, it would have been 1.  Pentacost and the great reaping there at that first time.  2.  Also it could be prophectically being the Harvest of Believers in the Rapture. – I think so



Patricia S.


June 27, 2011 The Rapture and the Timing of the Two Witnesses by Paul K.

This article is a continuation of the one I posted before, but written by another person and published in

Rapture Ready, again Eliane B. made the link possible in Fivedoves. Thank you Eliane.



The Rapture and the Timing of the Two Witnesses

by Paul K.

More proof that the Rapture is Pre-Trib is hidden in the timing of the Two Witnesses. The evidence for this becomes clear as we investigate the question of when the Two Witnesses’ ministry begins—during the first half of the Tribulation, or during the second.

Students of Bible prophecy from the dispensational viewpoint understand there is a Tribulation period of 7 years prior to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. During this time, God and Satan vie for the souls of men. Satan introduces his infamous 666 mark that all men must accept to worship him, or die by beheading. God, on the other hand, extends a last-minute opportunity for men to receive forgiveness for their sins through faith in Jesus Christ. One of the things taught in Revelation is that God uses Two Witnesses to preach Jesus Christ. The question before us is: When will the time of the Two Witnesses’ ministry occur within the Trib period’s 7 years? The answer to this question also helps demonstrate why the Rapture is Pre-Trib.

The 7-year Trib period comes from the prophecy of the 70 weeks in Daniel chapter 9, where each “week” is a time period of 7 years. The Tribulation period is the last, or 70th, “Week” of that prophecy. This prophetic week is divided into two halves, each 3½ years long. (Daniel 9:27) It needs further to be said that those years are not our familiar calendar years of 365¼ days each, but are actual Jewish lunar years of 360 days each, where each month is exactly 30 days each. That being said, each half of the Trib period is 1,260 days long, the same number of days as the ministry of the Two Witnesses:

“And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” (Revelation 11:3)

We are further taught just who these Two Witnesses are:

“These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord.” (Revelation 11:4)

This corresponds to an Old Testament prophecy given toIsraelthrough an angel of the Lord in Zechariah chapter 4. First the prophet sees a vision in verses 3-4, and some verses later asks the angel to explain what he was seeing:

“And I answered the second time and said to him, ‘What are the two olive branches which are beside the two golden pipes, which empty the golden oil from themselves?’ So he answered me, saying, ‘Do you not know what these are?’ And I said, ‘No, my lord.’ Then he said, ‘These are the two anointed ones who are standing by the Lord of the whole earth.’” (Zechariah 4:12-14)

The verse in Revelation 11:4 ties the two Scripture passages together, so that when the Tribulation period is underway, the descendants ofIsraelwho see the Two Witnesses will understand from the book of Revelation that the Two Witnesses are the anointed ones Zechariah foretold would be coming.

Now concerning the number of 1,260 days, I do not believe the sameness of half the Trib period and the ministry time span of the Two Witnesses is a coincidence. Some students of Bible prophecy think the Two Witnesses’ 1,260 days of ministry is aligned with the first half of the Trib period, while others believe it aligns with the second half. This latter view is primarily due to Revelation 11:3-13 (which is the entire story of the Two Witnesses) being found between Revelation 9:13-21, which describes the “second woe” (i.e., the sixth angel trumpet judgment), and Revelation 11:14-19, which describes the “third woe” (i.e., the seventh angel trumpet judgment).

However, some careful thought will show that the 1,260 days of the Two Witnesses’ ministry cannot be located, time-wise, in the second half of the Trib period.

First, consider the nature of exactitude with God’s numbers. When He says 1,260 days, He doesn’t mean 1,261 days or 1,259 days. When dealing with these Tribulation time figures, we will find them expressed differently in Scripture, but all are exactly equivalent. There’s “a time, times and half a time” (Daniel 7:25), which is repeated in Revelation 12:14 and also defined for us in Revelation 12:6:

“Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred sixty days.” (Revelation 12:6)

“But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.” (Revelation 12:14)

From this we know “a time, times and half a time” = 1,260 days. Likewise, the time of the reign of the Antichrist is given in Daniel 7:25 as “a time, times and half a time,” and is repeated in Revelation 13:5 as “42 months.”

“He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times and half a time.” (Daniel 7:25)

“There was given him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him.” (Revelation 13:5)

By this we know that the Antichrist’s reign in Revelation 13:5 (i.e., 42 months) is exactly 1,260 days, not a day more nor a day less. In Daniel 9:27, from which (as we have already seen) we derive the 7-year length of the Trib period, we find the Antichrist committing the Abomination of Desolation. The Abomination of Desolation is an act of sacrilege in which he enters thetempleofGodand puts a stop to Jewish worship sacrifices, and demands to be worshipped as God himself:

“Who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in thetempleofGod, displaying himself as being God.” (2 Thessalonians 2:4)

We know from Daniel that this event occurs in the exact center of the Trib period’s 7 years:

“…but in the middle of the week [i.e., 1 prophetic week = 7 Jewish lunar years] he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering, and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate…” (Daniel 9:27b)

The Abomination of Desolation makes thetempleofGod“desolate.” Please carefully note that Antichrist will continue his reign until he is destroyed:

“…even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.” (Daniel 9:27c)

This can only mean that Antichrist, whom we have seen reigns for 42 months, is destroyed according to God’s decree, at the 1,260th day of his reign, not one day more or less. This destruction of the Antichrist is revealed in Revelation chapter 19 at the Second Coming. There, the Antichrist and his associate in evil, the False Prophet, are dealt with in finality:

“…these two were thrown alive in the lake of fire…” (Revelation 19:20b)

Now, you might say, “Okay, so the Antichrist is destroyed after reigning exactly 1,260 days. So what’s that got to do with the time of the ministry of the Two Witnesses?” I’m glad you asked. In Revelation 11, after revealing the effects and nature of the Two Witnesses’ ministry, it records for us:

“When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them.” (Revelation 11:7)

We are further told the Two Witnesses’ bodies will lie in the streets ofJerusalemfor “three and a half days.” (Revelation 11:9b) Revelation goes on to say:

“But after the three and a half days, the breath of life from God came into them, and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who were watching them.” (Revelation 11:11)

For argument’s sake, let’s assume the ministry of the Two Witnesses really is aligned with the second half of the Tribulation. Follow with me the following time sequence based on that assumption:

At the Tribulation period’s midpoint, the Antichrist commits the Abomination of Desolation. (Daniel 9:27) That same day, the ministry of the Two Witnesses begins, and they minister for the ordained 1,260 days, which is also the length of the Antichrist’s reign. Then, on the final day of the Antichrist’s reign, he kills the Two Witnesses. But! Jesus comes back right then also and has the Antichrist and False Prophet thrown into theLakeofFire. Despite this world-shaking event of the Second Coming, the world nonetheless watches the bodies of the Two Witnesses for 3½ more days, even while Jesus is judging the nations (Matthew 25:31-46) and setting up His kingdom. Still following that time sequence, after those 3½ extra days, the bodies rise to life again and there’s a great earthquake. (Revelation 11:13) Then the third woe occurs (Revelation 11:14), meaning the next angel, the one with the seventh trumpet, blows his horn. (Revelation 11:15-19) And that’s not even counting the seven Bowls of Wrath that additionally follow after the Seventh Trumpet.

All this happening 3½ days AFTER the Second Coming?

Does anybody besides me see a problem with this?

It is simply a fact that the seven Seals, seven Trumpets and seven Bowls all are completed BEFORE the Second Coming. The time of the Two Witnesses’ ministry CANNOT be in the second half of the Trib period. Even if we allow that the Revelation passage of the Two Witnesses is isolated, time-wise, from the progression of the sixth and seventh Trumpets (which, in fact, it is), we still can’t have the time of their ministry in the second half. The world rejoices and gloats over the death of these two men of God and gives gifts to one another in a satanic celebration during those 3½ days (Revelation 11:9-10), something that would have to be happening while Jesus has already returned to Earth. Does anyone seriously expect that Jesus, then returned to Earth in His power and glory as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, would ALLOW that? I don’t think so!

May I suggest a simpler explanation that does not cause impossible conflicts like those shown above?

In Revelation 9, John is describing a time point in the progression of the 21 Judgments where those judgments are well past the middle point of the Trib’s 7 years. In the next chapter John is told, “You must prophesy again concerning peoples and nations and tongues and kings.” (Revelation 10:11b) This means that the “clock” of the Trib period is being reset back to the Trib period’s beginning to describe what follows next.

John then describes in Revelation 11:1-2 thetempleofGod. This HAS to be in existence in the first half of the Trib period in order for the Antichrist to enter the temple to commit his Abomination of Desolation at the midpoint of the Trib. This is proof that the time sequence of Revelation 11:1-13 is in the first half, meaning both the temple and the Two Witnesses are present when the Trib starts. To me this also implies that the temple has to be already fully built when the Trib period starts, for the instruction in Revelation 11:1 says, “Then there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, ‘Get up and measure thetempleofGodand the altar, and those who worship in it.’” You can’t hand a measuring rod to someone to measure something that isn’t built yet. The instruction implies he is being ordered to measure a completed item, not something under construction.

As Revelation 11 moves along, John signals that the Revelation 10:11 “reset” (back to the beginning of the Trib period) has ended, and the countdown of the 21 Judgments has resumed. He does this by saying:

“The second woe is past; behold, the third woe is coming quickly.” (Revelation 11:14)

When the first day of the 7-year Trib period (i.e., Daniel’s 70th week, Daniel 9:27) begins, it is then that the Two Witnesses appear; their ministry begins on Day 1 of the Trib period, and ends on Day 1,260, when the Antichrist commits the Abomination of Desolation and goes out to murder them.

Now, when you see the impossibility of the time of the Two Witnesses’ ministry being in the second half, thus requiring that it be in the first half, you can see the evidence for the Rapture showing clearly as Pre-Trib. Think about it for a moment. The Church of Jesus Christ is commanded to be Jesus’ witnesses. (Acts 1:8) Why would God put into operation these two spectacular witnesses to bear witness of Jesus Christ, if the Church were still on Earth to do that job as it has for the past 2,000 years?

However, with the Pre-Trib Rapture happening, billions of people will suddenly have no one to tell them about Jesus. The Christians will all be gone. However, with the time of the Two Witnesses’ ministry beginning on Day 1 of the Trib, people will be hearing about Jesus despite the disappearance of Christians in the Rapture. I believe it is the ministry of the Two Witnesses that brings to faith the 144,000 male Jews of Revelation 7:1-8. These Jewish men finally believe in Jesus, and realize that the time is short, and while the Two Witnesses minister toIsrael, the 144,000 spread out over all the Gentile nations to share Jesus Christ. Someone has compared it to 144,000 Billy Grahams let loose on the world at once!

This, too, is an evidence that the Rapture is Pre-Trib. As said earlier, Jesus gave to His Church the job of being witnesses to Him. (Acts 1:8) Why would God now use two Jewish witnesses doing the miracles of Moses and Elijah, and 144,000 Jewish men to share the gospel, unless it were necessary because the Church is no longer on Earth to do the job?

The result of the ministry of the 144,000 is a great number of saved souls “…which no one can count out, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues…” (Revelation 7:9b) They cry out, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne and to the Lamb.” (Revelation 7:10b)

In conclusion, the understanding that makes the best sense is that the ministry of the Two Witnesses begins on Day 1 of the Tribulation period. They win the 144,000 to Christ, who then go out in the world to win uncountable numbers of souls. The Two Witnesses continue their own ministry inIsrael, performing the miracles of Moses and Elijah (i.e., turning water to blood, etc.). (Revelation 11:5-6)

It is important to note that in doing the miracles of Moses and Elijah, the Two Witnesses represent the testimony of the two authorities acknowledged by the sons ofIsrael, the Law and the Prophets. When giving “The Golden Rule,” Jesus referenced that same authority the people knew when He said, “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12) When Jesus had taken Peter, James and John to the Mount of Transfiguration, they met Moses and Elijah, who epitomize the Law (Moses) and the Prophets (Elijah). (Luke 9:20) When Jesus rebuked the scoffing Pharisees, again He spoke of the Law and the Prophets. (Luke 16:14-16) Also, after His resurrection, Jesus appeared to two disciples on the road to Emmaus, and taught them about Himself out of the Law and the Prophets. (Luke 24:25-27)

During the Tribulation, the sons ofIsraelwill be seeing, with their own eyes, the Two Witnesses performing the miracles of Moses and Elijah, and will be hearing, with their own ears, the testimony of those two authorities, representing the Law and the Prophets, preaching Jesus Christ.

At the end of their ministry, on Day 1,260, the Antichrist goes into thetempleofGodand commits the Abomination of Desolation. Then the words of Jesus become terribly clear:

“Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then those who are inJudeamust flee to the mountains.” (Matthew 24:15-16)

The Antichrist slays the Two Witnesses, and the Trib period now begins its second half. The Antichrist then goes after God’s people in a massive persecution that will permit no worship except to him. It says in Scripture of this time (i.e., the second half of the Trib):

“I kept looking, and that horn [i.e., Antichrist] was waging war with the saints and overpowering them.” (Daniel 7:21)

“…and they will be given into his hand for a time, times and half a time.” (Daniel 7:25b)

“There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him.” (Revelation 13:5)

“It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him.” (Revelation 13:7)

His reign is supreme during the second half. With the committing of the Abomination of Desolation, he proceeds forth to force people to submit to him, via the infamous 666 mark, or be beheaded. (Revelation 13:15; Revelation 20:4)

As a last thought, it is also this supreme reign of his during the second half that shows why all of the evangelism must take place in the Trib period’s first half, both that of the Two Witnesses and that of the 144,000 Israelites. Therefore, the time of the Two Witnesses can be none other than during the first half of the Tribulation period, with the Rapture preceding it.

Written by twelvebooks

June 27, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Moses and Elijah appear in July, 2011 and Antichrist signs 7 year covenant. Rapture before or after?

Moses and Elijah appear in July, 2,011 and Antichrist signs 7 year covenant. Rapture before or after?

The following article was posted by Eliane B. in, thank you for the articles.

They are excellent dissertations of the two witnesses that appear in Revelation chapter 11.

The role and who these two persons are as well as the timing of their ministry are vital theological data for the proper interpretation of the Apocalypse.

From the articles I can infer and state that the two witnesses Moses and Elijah will appear in planet earth to begin their testimony next month on July, 2011 on the first day of the Apocalypse.

The next important discussion is to determine the timing of the Rapture based on the appearance of the two witnesses.

Most pre-tribulation believers think that the Rapture must be gone by their appearing and I see this as a strong possibility of happening, but I think that there is a remote possibility that they are the ones who cry out the groom is coming that wakes up the ten sleeping virgins of Matthew 25.

The awakening of the whole world church has to occur from a supernatural phenomenom or caused by these two men of God appearing.  Many in the church are ignorant of the Bible and especially of the eschatology referring to the book of Revelation, but I am sure that all the news organizations of the world will be transmitting through TV, radio, the internet and word of mouth this supernatural event.

Simultaneously the Antichrist would have signed on this day the seven year covenant of Daniel.

Now that the church is awake it has to be taken out so that the Antichrist can be seen by all and proceed without interference from the church to control the whole world until the end of the seven years when he is thrown in the Lake of Fire.

I can see both possible things as having a valid interpretation.


The Two Witnesses: First or Second Half of the Tribulation?

Dr. John Whitcomb

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Scripture taken from the New King James Version�.
Copyright � 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Most dispensational commentators agree that the holy city, Jerusalem, will be “trodden down” by the Gentiles for 42 months during the last half of the 70th Week of Daniel (Rev. 11:2; cf. Luke 21:24)). This time period is identical to the 42 months of Rev. 13:5, which is the time God assigns to the Beast, the Antichrist, to blaspheme His name and to persecute His people.

This will be the fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy in Dan. 7:21, that “the little horn” will make war against the saints and will prevail against them until “the Ancient of Days” finally comes. Daniel is also told that “the saints will be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time” (7:25), and that after these three-and-one-half years, “when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished” (12:7).

What, then, are the “one thousand two hundred and sixty days” during which “My two witnesses” will receive authority to “prophesy…clothed in sackcloth” (Rev. 11:3)? Time indicators, such as “1,260 days” are to be understood literally. John F. Walvoord explains: “Very prominent in the book of Revelation is the use of numbers, namely, 2, 3, 3 1/2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 12, 24, 42, 144, 666, 1,000, 1,260, 1,600, 7,000, 12,000, 144,000, 100,000,000, 200,000,000 . . .The general rule should be followed to interpret numbers literally unless there is clear evidence to the contrary.”[1]

For several reasons, I suggest that this is the first half of the Seventieth Week. First, there seems to be an intentional distinction between the time of the Gentile occupation of theTemple’s outer court and the city, and the time of the two witnesses, by means of the different time-units used: 42 months for the Gentile domination and 1,260 days for the two witnesses. If the same time period is intended for both groups, why is not the 42-month time-block sufficient to cover both?

Second, and more important, in the very next verse (Rev. 11:4), the ministry of the two witnesses is compared to the ministry of the two olive trees of Zech. 4:3, namely, Joshua the high priest and Zerubbabel the governor of the Jewish remnant, who returned from Babylon to re-establish legitimate worship in Jerusalem (Zech. 3:1 and 4:6). These leaders did not have to wait for the Temple to be rebuilt to begin sacrificing on the altar which they erected on the ruins of Solomon’s Temple (cf. Ezra 3:2-3). By the same token, the two witnesses will not have to wait for the third temple to be built in order to begin
sacrificing on a divinely legitimate altar on the present ruins of the second temple
. What they will need is supernatural protection to re-institute the sacrifices (cf. Dan.9:27) in the presence of enormous, even global, opposition (cf. Rev. 11:10).

The reason why this will happen during the first half of the seventieth week is that “in the middle of the week He [the Antichrist] shall bring an end to sacrifice [zevach = bloody sacrifices] and offering [minchah = non-bloody sacrifices]” (Dan. 9:27). As J. Dwight Pentecost explains, “This expression refers to the entire Levitical system, which suggests that Israel will have restored that system in the first half of the 70th ‘seven.'”[2] Antichrist will replace the legitimate, God-honoring Jewish worship system, which only the two witnesses can inaugurate, with his own system, namely, the abomination of desolation (cf. Dan. 9:27b, 12:11; Matt. 24:15; 2 Thess. 2:4; Rev. 13:14-15). But the Antichrist cannot do this until the 1,260 days of ministry allotted by God to the two witnesses has been completed (cf. Rev. 11:7).

Third, the Lord Jesus issued this command to Jews of the tribulation period: “when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place . . . then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains . . . For then there will be great tribulation such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matt. 24:15-21). Here an obvious question arises: Would the two Jewish witnesses remain inJerusalem during the 42 months of Antichrist’s dominion if the Lord Jesus, their Messiah, told them to flee to the mountains?

Fourth, if the 1,260 days occur during the last half of the Week, then the entire world would be celebrating the death of the two witnesses for three-and-a-half days after the Battle of Armageddon and the destruction of the Antichrist! This is very difficult to imagine. As Gary G. Cohen explains, “at the end of the second three-and-a-half year period, the Beast followers are lamenting over Babylon and the vials, [are] gathered for the great battle at Armegeddon, and [are] finally slain by Christ, whose coming is surrounded with the powers of the heavens being shaken (Rev. 16-18; 19:11-21; Matt. 24:29-30). This picture does not harmonize well with the three-and-a-half days of rejoicing and gift-giving in which the earth-dwellers participate following the murder of the witnesses. This discordance between the end of the second three-and-a-half year period and the three-and-a-half days following the end of the three-and-a-half year ministry of the witnesses makes it most unlikely that the prophesying of God’��s two servants takes place during the latter half of the week.”[3]

Fifth, putting the two witnesses into the last half of the Week compromises the totality of Antichrist’��s dominion during that same period. How can he bring fire from heaven upon his enemies (through the False Prophet, Rev. 13:13) if the two witnesses are simultaneously bringing fire from heaven upon their enemies (Rev. 11:5)? We are clearly dealing with two different time periods: the first half of the Week with the overwhelming power of the two witnesses, and the last half of the Week with the overwhelming power of the Beast and the False Prophet. When the world asks the rhetorical question, “Who is able to make war with [the Beast]?” (Rev. 13:4), it seems obvious that no one can answer, “The two witnesses are able to make war with him,” for their 1,260 days of ministry will have ended, and they will be gone.

Sixth, our Lord stated that “Elijah is coming first and will restore all things (italics added)” (Matt. 17:11). Whoever “Elijah” turns out to be (see below, The Identity of the Two Witnesses), his spectacular success (under God) in bringing Israel back to her Messiah must be during the first half of the seventieth week, for Isaiah prophesied that Israel will have given birth “to her children” as soon as her time of tribulation begins (Isa. 66:8).

Furthermore, the basically regenerated nation, called “the woman” in Rev. 12, will flee into the wilderness and be nourished by God for 1,260 days (Rev. 12:6, 14; cf. Isaiah 26:20-21), namely, the last half of the week. “The dragon,” Satan, will then “make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (12:17), presumably the 144,000 witnesses from the 12 tribes ofIsraeland multitudes of their Gentile converts.

The crucial question, then, is this: by whose testimony is the nation ofIsraelbrought into the blessings of the New Covenant of Jeremiah 31:31-34 (cf. Jer. 32:37-41; Ezek. 36:25-28)? And by whose witness are 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes led to the Lord, in order that, as our Savior promised, “this gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world [during the last half of the Week] as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matt. 24:14)?

The prophet Malachi provides the answer: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before (italics added) the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD [i.e., the final 42 months of the 70th week], and he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers” (Mal. 4:5-6). Our Lord, of course, was referring to this final statement of the Old Testament when He assured Peter, James and John that, “indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things” (Matt.17:11).

Some have mistakenly assumed thatIsraelas a nation cannot be converted until “they will look on Me whom they pierced” (Zech.12:10), namely, at Christ’s second coming in glory. But our Lord insisted: “Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have believed” (John20:29). These words were spoken to Thomas who refused to believe until he could “see in His hands the print of the nails” (vs. 25). Was Thomas converted when he did see the marks of his Lord’s crucifixion? No, for he, like the other ten apostles, was already a born-again believer (cf. John13:10-11). Likewise, Israel will be filled with contrition when they finally see the Savior whom they had crucified, and “will mourn for Him, as one mourns for his only son,” with “all the families that remain, every family by itself, and their wives by themselves” (Zech. 12:14). Doubtless, this will also be the occasion when they will cry out, “Surely He has borne our griefs �yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God and afflicted” (Isa. 53:4-5). Thus, there will be at least a 42-month gap betweenIsrael’s conversion and the overwhelming sight of their pierced Savior.

Immediately following the rapture of the church, there will be no believers left on this planet. Assuming that God never leaves Himself without a witness in the world, the two witnesses will suddenly appear in Jerusalemto begin their powerful work. In the words of Alva J. McClain, founder and president of Grace Theological Seminary, “The effect of their testimony is very impressive, appearing very early in the book of Revelation and probably accounting for the martyrs seen under the fifth seal (6:9). In chapter 7 the effect greatly expands, including 144,000 Israelites (vss.3-8), and also a great multitude, which no man can number, of all nations” (vss. 9-14).[4] His colleague and successor, Herman A. Hoyt, agreed that “The importance of their testimony cannot be overestimated (Rev. 11:4)�By their testimony, it is my opinion, they bring about the conversion of the 144,000 who will become the witnesses during the final half of the tribulation period.”[5] In addition to my personal mentors, Alva J. McClain and Herman A. Hoyt, several others have concluded that the two witnesses will proclaim the gospel of the Kingdom (i.e., the true Gospel of the saving work of Christ as a prerequisite for entering the Kingdom) during the first half of the 70th week.[6]

An interesting parallel to the amazing effects of the preaching of the two witnesses may be found in the ministry of the Apostle Paul at the school of Tyrannus in Ephesus: “And this continued for two years, so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks” (Acts 19:10).


For 2,400 years Jews have anticipated the literal return of Elijah as the forerunner of Messiah. At the Passover meal (the Seder), “there is an extra place setting and a special cup on the Seder table designated just for Elijah�The meal is followed by a prayer, and a member of the family is then asked to go to the door, open it, and see if Elijah the prophet is coming.”[8]This expectation, of course, is based on the final words of the prophet Malachi at the very end of our Old Testament: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse” (Mal. 4:5-6).

When Peter, James and John beheld Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration, they were astounded. Could it really be true that Elijah would personally, physically, and visibly appear as the forerunner of Christ at the inauguration of His Kingdom? A week before they climbed this mountain, the Lord Jesus had told them: “Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom” (Matt. 16:28). So this was a foretaste, a powerful visual aid, of the manner in which the Son of Man would return to the earth: personally, physically and visibly, in glory (cf. Acts1:11).

But why did this foreview also include the visible presence of Elijah? Peter, James and John were very concerned about this. Coming down from the mountain, they asked the Lord: “‘��Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?’�� And He answered and said, ‘��Indeed Elijah is coming first and will restore all things’��” (Matt. 17:10-11). Thus, the Lord Jesus was agreeing with the scribes that the prophecy of Malachi should be interpreted literally, just as the chief priests and scribes had interpreted Micah 5:2 literally when they were asked concerning the birthplace of the Messiah (Matt. 2:3-6).[9]

The Greatness of John the Baptist

Now this created a great dilemma for the disciples. If Elijah was to prepareIsraelfor the Kingdom (which they expected to happen at any moment), when and how would he appear, and how did John the Baptist, their former (and now dead) mentor (John1:35-40) fit into this scenario? Was not the Baptizer “the burning and shining lamp,” in whose “light” the disciples “were willing to rejoice” because “he has borne witness to the truth” (John 5:33-35)? Was he not “more than a prophet” (Matt. 11:9)? Was he not the fulfillment of Isaiah 40:3 (“The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘��Prepare the way of the LORD’��” cf. Matt. 3:3)? Was he not “My messenger” whom God would send “to prepare the way before Me” (Mal. 3:1; cf. Matt.11:10)? In fact the Lord Jesus asserted that “among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist” (Matt.11:11). Thus, in the mind of our Lord, John was personally and prophetically at least as great as Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, David, Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, — and even Elijah!

Israel��s Responsibility

It is perfectly clear, then, that it was not because of some lack of dedication or wisdom that John the Baptizer failed to bringIsraelto the place of spiritual readiness to acknowledge Jesus of Nazareth as the long-awaited Messiah. The national rejection of Jesus was entirely the fault of the people and their leaders! With respect to John, therefore, our Lord explained: “If you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah, who is to come” (Matt.11:14). Then, amazingly, He added: “‘��Elijah has come already, and they did not know him, but did to him whatever they wished’���Then the disciples understood that He spoke to them of John the Baptist” (Matt.17:12-13).

Thus, John could have been Elijah if Israel had accepted his message. This is a theme that dominates the entire Bible -�� men are responsible moral agents before God, and can never reject this accountability by arguing that since God is the sovereign LORD of history they cannot make genuine choices (cf. Rom. 9:18-24). Judas Iscariot could have reasoned: “Since my betrayal of the Messiah has been predestined [e.g., Luke 22:22a -�� “truly, the Son of Man goes as it has been determined�”], I have been deprived of my freedom of choice, and am therefore innocent!” But our Lord, anticipating such depraved thinking, added: “but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!” (Luke 22:22b; cf. Acts2:23 concerning the entire nation). Thus, Joseph could say to his murderous brothers: “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, in order to�save many people alive” (Gen. 50:20).

There are at least three reasons for concluding that John was not Elijah. First, the angel Gabriel announced to Zacharias the priest concerning his son John: “He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah” (Luke1:17). Therefore, he was not literally Elijah. Second, our Lord stated, soon after the death of John, “Elijah is coming first and will restore all things” (Matt.17:11). Thus, the Lord Jesus interpreted Malachi’��s prophecy literally: “Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet�” (Mal. 4:5). Third, the leaders ofIsrael confronted John with a direct question: “Are you Elijah?” His answer was unequivocal: “I am not” (John1:21).

However, in spite of the fact that John was not Elijah, his offer of the Kingdom to Israel was absolutely genuine: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 3:2). This identical appeal was made by our Lord, and by the Twelve and the Seventy. Therefore, no Jew could say, “We never heard a clear and genuine offer of the Kingdom!”

The Theological Antinomy

But here we must face a great theological antinomy, namely, an apparent contradiction of logic that mere human intelligence cannot resolve: first, the offer of the Kingdom was absolutely genuine. The contingency was this: the coming of the Kingdom was dependent upon the believing response of the nation of Israel. Without national repentance on the part of God’��s chosen people, there can be no Messianic kingdom on this earth (see Romans11:12, 15, 25-29, and many Old Testament prophecies). Also for individuals, whether Jew or Gentile, there can be no salvation without genuine faith in God and His Word. This is a fundamental reality in all human history under God.

Second, at the same time, God had planned from all eternity that the Kingdom offer would be rejected at Christ’��s first coming, and would be accepted at His second coming. [10] Yes, we always need to be reminded of Deut. 29:29, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever,” and Isaiah 55:8-9, “‘��For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’�� says the LORD. ‘��For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.’��”

No Jew could escape the ultimate urgency of the Baptizer’��s message by reasoning: “John himself admits that he is not Elijah. Therefore, since the Kingdom cannot come until Elijah appears, we have no need to humble ourselves before this non-Elijah!” To excuse themselves, the Jewish leaders finally concluded that John had a demon! (cf. Matt. 11:18).

A similar urgent responsibility rests upon people today. No one, however exalted (in political, social, economic, educational, or scientific realms), may dismiss the urgency of the Gospel message because of the personality traits of the messenger. Like the Corinthians long ago, people in our day sometimes make a great issue of who won them to the Lord and/or baptized them. Paul’��s response to the Corinthians was pointed: “Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one” (1 Cor. 3:5; cf.1:12-17;3:21-23; 4:6).

John’��s appearance and life-style (like Elijah’��s -�� 2 Kings 1:8; cf. Zech. 13:4) were not impressive to sophisticated Jews: a garment of camel’��s hair and a diet of locusts and wild honey (Matt. 3:4). Who among the leaders would want to be identified with such a strange-looking character? But God intended for his appearance to be a rebuke to the luxurious materialism of the royal family and the Pharisees and the priests (Matt. 11:8). Many of the common people, however, did respond to his powerful preaching (Matt. 3:5-6;11:12;21:26).

Thus, to summarize the antinomy: God assures us, on the basis of His unchangeable foreknowledge, that Elijah -�� not John -�� will bring the nation to repentance. But human responsibility required that John’��s message be received with genuine repentance and faith, just as fervently as if Elijah himself had been God’��s messenger.

Has Elijah Been Glorified?

Elijah is coming back as a messenger toIsrael. But how can he come back to the earth in a physical, mortal body? Was he not last seen being swept “to heaven” by a whirlwind (2 Kings2:11)? This is a major reason why many evangelical theologians deny that Elijah can literally return to the earth and be killed (Rev. 11:7). If Elijah was glorified without dying, how can he return to the earth and die?

A very important factor in solving this problem may be found in our Lord’��s statement: “No one has ascended to heaven, but�the Son of Man” (John3:13). In the immediate context, our Lord was explaining to Nicodemus that He alone could testify concerning things in heaven, because He alone had been there. While this statement sheds significant light on our Lord’��s unique authority to speak of “heavenly things,” His statement also seems to exclude the possibility that anyone, including Enoch and Elijah, could ever have ascended to the third heaven.

Furthermore, the Lord Jesus was “the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep,” in the sense of receiving a glorified body; and no one else will receive such a body until “those who are Christ’��s” have that inconceivably marvelous experience “at His coming” (1 Cor.15:20-23). Technically, of course, it could be argued that our Lord was referring only to a resurrection from the dead, and that neither Enoch nor Elijah had died. But, in the light of the “first fruits” statement of 1 Corinthians 15:20, 23, it is very difficult to believe that two men could have been physically glorified before the Savior was glorified.

Renald E. Showers agrees that “Enoch and Elijah did not receive glorified bodies when God took them from the earth.” But he also finds strong evidence in Hebrews 11:5 that Enoch did not “see” (=experience; cf. Luke 2:26) death. The text states that the very purpose for God’��s taking Enoch was so that he should not experience death.[11] So we are left with the question of Enoch’��s condition after he was “taken up.” A similar question may be asked concerning Korah, Dathan and Abiram who “went down alive into the pit [Sheol]” (Num. 16:33). My understanding would be that they did die after disappearing from the sight of men.

After the glorification of Christ, the apostle Paul “was caught up to the third heaven�into Paradise” (2 Cor. 12:2, 4). But he was not glorified, for the experience was temporary, and he returned to the earth with a mortal body (complete with a sin nature) and finally died. The truly amazing statement, however, is that he didn’��t know whether his brief visit in heaven was “in the body or apart from the body” (12:2-3). Renald Showers sees 2 Corinthians 12:2-4, therefore, as indicating that Paul “believed in the possibility of a human being in a mortal body being caught up to and existing in God’��s heaven for some period of time.”[12]

This brings us again to the fascinating statement of Hebrews 11:5 -�� “By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death.” The termination of his life on earth was totally different from that of any before him -�� he simply disappeared! Now it should be noted that two other God-honored men in the Old Testament shared the distinction of leaving this world with no one seeing them dying or dead -�� Moses (Deut. 32:48-52; 34:1-6) and Elijah (2 Kings 2:11-14). The author of Hebrews stated: “�it is appointed for men to die once” (9:27). However, the “mystery” (divine truth once hidden but now revealed) of the rapture of the Body and Bride of Christ without dying (1 Cor. 15:51-52; 1 Thess. 4:15-17) is the glorious exception to this “die-once” rule. But is it really legitimate to stretch this exception to include Enoch or Elijah? Old Testament saints were not members of the Body and Bride of Christ to whom this “blessed hope” was exclusively given (cf. Eph. 3:4-10). That Enoch entered the realm of the righteous dead[13] without dying seems to be the teaching of Hebrews 11:5. That he was physically glorified is highly unlikely.

Enoch did not “see death.” But the Scriptures do not say this of Elijah. In fact, there seems to be some support for the concept that Elijah finally did die after he was caught up by a whirlwind. Nearly 900 years after that event, three of our Lord’��s disciples saw Moses (who had died 1,400 years earlier) and Elijah together (Matt. 17:1-8). Since Moses could not have had a glorified body (cf. 1 Cor.15:20, 23), the implication is quite strong that Elijah did not either. Like Samuel 1,000 years earlier (1 Sam. 28:15), they were temporarily “brought up” from their place of rest in the “Paradise” of pre-resurrection-of-Christ history (cf. Luke 23:43 with 2 Cor. 12:2-4 and Eph. 4:8-10), which our Lord also described as “Abraham’��s bosom” (Luke 16:22), and which was located at that time in “the heart of the earth” (Matt. 12:40 cf. 1 Pet. 3:19).

Moses and Elijah appeared briefly to Peter, James and John, but had nothing to say to them. Instead, they were conversing with their Lord. As they “talked with Him” (Luke 9:30), they “spoke of His decease [Gk. exodus = a euphemism for His death] which He was about to accomplish atJerusalem” (Luke9:31). They were presumably concerned about the fact that not until their great King/Priest/Messiah shed His blood upon the Cross could they be fully redeemed. However, in the meantime, they had been redeemed, like Abraham (Gen. 15:6), as it were “on credit,” because the blood payment of the Lamb of God for pre-Calvary believers was already accomplished in the mind of God (cf. Rom. 3:25-26; Eph. 1:3-11). If Elijah was concerned about the “decease” which his Lord was soon to accomplish inJerusalem, the implication is that he (like Moses) had not yet been physically glorified. Thus, the fact that they appeared “in glory” on the mount was merely a temporary foretaste of their ultimate glorification at the time of Christ’��s Second Coming. A significant analogy to this experience may be seen in the face of Moses which glowed brightly after he communed with God onMount Sinai (Exodus 34:29-35).

On the basis of these theological inferences, then, we understand that Elijah will be brought back from the dead (like Lazarus and several others) to mortal life, and to die again three-and-one-half years later (Rev. 11:3-13). In Bible times God raised some people from the dead after only a few hours, and Lazarus after four days (when it was evident to everyone that his body was decomposing [John11:39]). The main point at issue here, however, is that God is not limited by time or by the availability of any part of a person’��s physical body in order to perform the miracle of glorious resurrection, or even the miracle of resuscitation/restoration to mortal life.

We read in 1 Corinthians15:38that God gives “to each seed its own body,” and “that which you sow [in death and burial], you do not sow that body that shall be.” This is the basic reality of all resurrections. On the human level, we might describe it this way: God knows the unique “blueprint” or “DNAinformation code” of every human being, and is perfectly capable of giving a person a glorified body, and even another mortal body (complete with the original sin nature) after thousands of years.

Elijah and Moses

Yes, Elijah is coming back to this earth again, and he will not come alone as he did at the beginning of his first ministry. Rarely does God send a servant into a significant ministry without a coworker. Robert L. Thomas has observed: “The OT required two witnesses as competent legal testimony to secure a conviction (Deut. 17:6; 19:15; Num. 35:30; cf. Heb. 10:28). Jesus also made the number two a minimum to confirm a point of discipline (Matt. 18:16) or verify truth (John 8:17). Paul too alluded to the need of a plurality of witnesses to validate a judgment (2 Cor. 13:1; 1 Tim. 5:19).”[14]

But who will be Elijah’��s companion witness? Many have suggested Enoch; but this great antediluvian saint and prophet would not be an appropriate fellow-witness with Elijah in a prophetic ministry directed exclusively to Israel. Far more appropriate for such a unique function would be Moses. For future apostate Israel, after the rapture of the Church, no man in her entire history would have greater respect and appreciation than Moses. In fact, Moses is named 80 times in the New Testament (compared to Abraham, 73 times, David 59 times and Elijah 29 times)! God raised up these men to confront Israel in times of deep apostasy. Moses was God’��s great deliverer and lawgiver for Israel, of whom He said: “There has not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, in all the signs and wonders which the LORD sent him to do in the land of Egypt�and by all that mighty power and all the great terror which Moses performed in the sight of all Israel” (Deut. 34:10-12). By the time our Lord appeared in Israel, the Jews actually thought that Moses had given them the bread in the wilderness (John6:32).

As for Elijah, surely one of the greatest of the prophets, God answered his humble prayer (cf. 1 Kings 18:36-37) by sending fire from heaven to consume his sacrifice on Mount Carmel and thus to defeat the 450 prophets of Baal; and finally to vindicate him by means of “a chariot of fire and horses of fire” to escort him out of Satan’��s world (2 Kings 2:11).[15] When he was almost overwhelmed by the spiritual darkness of Israel under the demonic Jezebel, Elijah identified himself with Moses by fleeing to “the cave” (Heb: ha-m e �� ār) where Moses 600 years earlier was hidden by God as His glory passed by (1 Kings 19:9; Exod. 33:21-23). So highly did the Jews of Jesus’�� day think of Elijah, that when they saw His miracles, some concluded that Elijah had returned (Matt. 16:14). Also when our Savior cried out from the cross, “Eli, Eli�,” they believed He was “calling for Elijah” to save Him! (Matt. 27:47-49; Mark 15:35-36).[16]

When the two witnesses appear in Jerusalemat the beginning of the Seventieth Week, “they immediately begin their prophetic ministry. Just prior to this (hours, days, weeks?) the rapture will have removed all believers from the earth. Therefore, there will be no one to train these two witnesses, and no time to train them. They must be men already possessing full knowledge of the Scriptures and well seasoned for such a demanding ministry. Moses was the lawgiver; Elijah was the law-enforcer. Both will be men of experience. They will be perfectly equipped for a ministry to Israelbefore a world-wide audience.”[17]

Neither Moses nor Elijah ever enteredJerusalem, though Moses might have seen it from a distance (Deut. 34:2), and Elijah wrote a letter of judgment to one of the worst kingsJerusalemever knew (2 Chron.21:12-15). And, as we have seen, both Moses and Elijah, emerging temporarily from “Paradise” to appear on the Mount of Transfiguration, were very concerned about something soon to happen inJerusalem. (cf. Luke 9:31)

The Lord Jesus said that “it cannot be that a prophet should perish outside ofJerusalem” (Luke13:33)! In the light of this statement, it is noteworthy that these two great Israelite prophets will not only enter Jerusalem, but will experience their second and final physical death in its streets at the hands of “the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit” at the mid-point of the Seventieth Week (Rev. 11:7-10; cf. Dan.9:27).

One of the most convincing evidences that Elijah and Moses will be the two witnesses in Revelation 11 is the nature of the judgment-miracles these men will perform. “If anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies�These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire” (Rev. 11:5-6). The first two types of judgments listed were those which Elijah inflicted upon Israel (three-and-one-half years of drought -�� 1 Kings 17:1; cf. Luke 4:25; James 5:17; and fire from heaven upon two military detachments sent by King Ahaziah to capture Elijah -�� 2 Kings 1:10, 12); and the second two types of judgments (blood from water and a variety of plagues) were those which Moses inflicted upon Egypt (Ex. 7-12).

Why are Elijah and Moses not named as the two witnesses in Revelation 11? Perhaps the Old Testament and the Gospels are so clear on this point that the Holy Spirit deemed it unnecessary to identify them by name. Would not the final words God addressed to Israelin the Old Testament have been sufficient?[18] “Remember the Law of Moses, My servant, which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel with the statutes and judgments [cf. Matt. 24:20]. Behold, I will send you Elijah (italics added) the prophet�” (Mal. 4:4-5).[19]


The true Church is not destined to see the Antichrist or the two witnesses in Jerusalem. Our “blessed hope” is to see Christ our Bridegroom and our Head (Titus 2:13; 2 Cor. 11:2). Nevertheless, our covenant-keeping God also has a special appointment for His Chosen People Israel (Rom. 11:25-32); and that appointment includes national repentance through the prophetic ministry of Elijah (and Moses). Even before “the great and terrible day of the LORD” (the second half of the Seventieth Week) begins, Zionwill “give birth to her children” (Isa. 66:8), and through them (presumably disciples of the two witnesses), “this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations” (Matt. 24:14). When contemplating the destiny of ethnic Israelin the light of the unconditional and thus unbreakable Abrahamic Covenant promises[20], we can only say with Paul, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!” (Rom. 11:33).[21]

[1] John F. Walvoord, The Revelation Of Jesus Christ (Chicago: Moody Press, 1966),
28; cf. p. 175; and Robert L. Thomas, Evangelical Hermenutics (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2002),

[2] “Daniel,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary, (Wheaton: Victor Books, 1985), 1365.

[3] Gary G. Cohen, The Chronology of the Book of Revelation (TH.D. Diss., Grace Theological Seminary, May 1966), 251.

[4] Alva J. McClain, The Greatness of the Kingdom (Winona Lake: BMH Books, 1959), 458.

[5] Herman A. Hoyt, Studies in Revelation (Winona Lake, IN: BMH Books, 1977), 74.

[6] James L. Boyer, “Notes on the Book of Revelation” (Syllabi, Christian Workman Schools of Theology), 22. See for more details; Gary G. Cohen, The Chronology of the Book of Revelation, (TH.D. Diss., Grace Theological Seminary, May 1966), 251-254 and Understanding Revelation (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1978), 46, 133-135; Tom Davis, The Revelation of Jesus Christ (Schroon Lake, NY: Word of Life Bible Institute, 2005), 30; Theodore Epp, Practical Studies in Revelation (Back to the Bible, 1970), p. 144; Arno Froese, 119 Most Frequently Asked Questions About Prophecy (Columbia, SC: The Olive Press, 2003), 152-153; Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, The Footsteps of the Messiah, rev. ed. (Tustin, CA: Ariel Ministries, 2003), 240, 250; Robert Gromacki, Revelation (Schaumburg, IL: Regular Baptist Press, 2000), 65-66; I.M. Haldeman, Synopsis of the Book of Revelation, 13 (a pamphlet series, n.d., listed in Walvoord, p. 178); Hippolytus, in The Ante-Nicene Fathers 5:248, col. B, nd fragment 39, 184 (documented by J.B. Smith, A Revelation of Jesus Christ, pp. 170-171); Thomas Ice and Timothy Demy, Prophecy Watch (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Pub., 1998), 160, 164; Thomas Ice, “Why Futurism?” in Tim LaHaye and Thomas Ice, The End Times Controversy (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 2003), 414; Harry A. Ironside, Revelation (Loizeaux Bros., 1930), 191; Alan Johnson, “Revelation” in K.L. Barker and J. Kohlenburger III, eds. The NIV Bible Commentary (Winona Lake, IN: BMH Books, 1994), 1178; Tim LaHaye, “Twelve Reasons Why This Could Be The Terminal Generation,” in When the Trumpet Sounds, eds. Thomas Ice and Timothy Demy, (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1995), 441; David Larsen, Jews, Gentiles and the Church (Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House, 1995), 274, 293; David M. Levy, Revelation: Hearing the Last Word (Bellmawr, NJ: Friends of Israel, 1995), chart following p. 287; Robert Lightner, Last Days Handbook (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Pub., 1997), 16; William R Newell, The Book of Revelation (Chicago: Moody Press, 1935), 158-160; Charles C. Ryrie, Revelation (Chicago: Moody Press, 1996), 84; J.B. Smith, A Revelation of Jesus Christ (Scottsdale, PA: Herald Press, 1961), 170-171; Wilbur M. Smith, “Revelation” in Wycliffe Bible Commentary, edited by C. Pfeiffer and E. Harrison, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1962), 1510; Gerald Stanton, Kept From the Hour (Miami Springs, FL: Schoettle Pub. Co., 1992), 187-188; Lehman Strauss, The Book of Revelation (Loizeaux Bros., 1964), 218; H.L. Wilmington, The King Is Coming (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Pub., 1981), 166.

[7] John C. Whitcomb, Adapted from “Elijah is Coming” in Conservative Grace Brethren Publications (Warsaw, IN: Lakeland Conservative Grace Brethren Church, June, 1999), 24-34. Used by permission. Cf.Timothy Demy and John C. Whitcomb, “Witnesses, Two,” in Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson, eds., The Popular Encyclopedia of Bible Prophecy (Eugene,OR: Harvest House, 2004), 401-403.

[8] Scott Bruce, The Feasts of Israel (Bellmawr, NJ: Friends of Israel, 1997), 44, 47, 54. cf. Alfred Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah (New York: Longman, Green, and Co., 1896), Vol. I, pp. 142, 43; Vol. II, pp. 706-09.

[9] The ultimate tragedy, of course, was the refusal of the Jews to worship Jesus when they understood perfectly His claim to be God’��s Son and saw His undeniable Messianic sign-miracles (John 5:18-47). Many orthodox Jews today are still waiting for a personal Messiah; but they do not believe He will have a divine nature. Peter himself, while on the Mount, was confused as to the absolute uniqueness of the Lord Jesus in contrast to Elijah and Moses (Matt. 17:4), even though God the Father had illumined him on this matter a week earlier (Matt. 16:17; cf. 2 Pet. 1: 16-18)! God’��s explanation for human suppression of biblical Christology is that “no one can say, ‘��Jesus is Lord,’�� except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:3). For a helpful study of the deity of Messiah, see Ron Rhodes, Christ Before the Manger: The Life and Times of the Preincarnate Christ (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1992). Cf. John N. Oswalt, The Book of Isaiah: Chapters 40-66 (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub.Co., 1988), 328, 336.

[10] Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum has pointed out, in light of Mark 9:9-13, that “if Elijah had come before the first coming of Christ and restored all things, then the prophecies of the sufferings of the first coming would remain unfulfilled” (The Footsteps of the Messiah [Tustin, CA: Ariel Press, 1982], p. 90.)

[11] Personal correspondence,Nov. 4, 1998.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Our Lord described this place as “Abraham’��s bosom” (Lk.16:22), “Paradise” (Lk23:43) and a special realm within Sheol/Hades before His resurrection (Lk.16:23).

[14] Robert L. Thomas, Revelation 8-22: An Exegetical Commentary (Chicago: Moody Press, 1995), 87.

[15] “The mystery surrounding Moses’�� death (Jude 9) and the translation of Elijah offer some corroborations of these as the two witnesses” -�� Robert L. Thomas, op. cit., p. 88.

[16] See the high praise of Elijah, who will “restore the tribes of Jacob,” in Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) 48:10. Cf. H. Bietenhard, “Elijah,” in Colin Brown, ed., Dictionary of New Testament Theology (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1975) I, pp. 543-45.

[17] Personal communication from Scott M. Libby, Pastor of the Grace Brethren Church,Coventry,VT,September 20, 1998.

[18] It must be emphasized that the book of Revelation stands solidly upon the Old Testament, like the capstone of a pyramid upon all the levels of stone beneath it. “Of the 404 verses of the Apocalypse, there are 278 which contain references to the Jewish scriptures” (cited by Walvoord, op. cit., p. 31).

[19] Among those who identify one of the two witnesses as Elijah are: William Barclay, The Revelation of John, Vol 2, rev. ed. (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1976): “much more likely the witnesses are Elijah and Moses,” 70; James L. Boyer, op. cit.: “one would be Elijah�the other would probably be Moses,” 21; M.R. DeHaan, Revelation (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1946): “Elijah and Moses,” 159; H.W. Frost, Matthew 24 and the Revelation (New York & Oxford, 1924): “Moses and Elijah,” 144. (cited by C. Keener, p. 290); Herman A. Hoyt, Studies in Revelation (Winona Lake, IN: BMH Books, 1977): “Without a doubt, one of these witnesses is Elijah�Moses may be the other,” 75; Robert Govett, The Apocalypse (London: C. J. Thynne, 1920): “Elijah and Enoch”, 225-250. Cited by Walvoord, op. cit., 179; Craig S. Keener, The NIV Application Commentary (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000): “Hippolytus, Tertullian, and Jerome believed Enoch and Elijah remained alive and would return as witnesses�such a view is not impossible. See SIR 48:10; SIFRE DEUT 41:4:3; 342; 5:2; 4 Ezra 6:26,” 290-91; David Larsen, Jews, Gentiles and the Church (Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House, 1995): “Probably Moses and Elijah,” 293; Hal Lindsey, New World Coming: “Elijah and Moses” 162-63 (cited by C. Keener, p. 290); John MacArthur, Revelation 1-11 (Chicago: Moody Press, 1999): “They may be Moses and Elijah,” 300; Alva J McClain, The Greatness of the Kingdom (Winona Lake: BMH Books, 1959): “As to their identity, one is most certainly Elijah,” 457; Henry M. Morris, The Revelation Record (Wheaton: Tyndale House, 1983): “it does seem quite probable that [Enoch and Elijah] will be Christ’��s two witnesses,” 194-95; Walter K. Price, The Coming Antichrist (Chicago: Moody Press, 1974): “Moses and Elijah,” 194; Walter Scott, Exposition of the Revelation of Jesus Christ (London: Pickering & Inglis Ltd., n.d.): “Probably Elijah and Moses,” 230; J.A. Seiss, The Apocalypse (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, n.d.): “Elijah and Enoch” (a very detailed discussion), 244-54; J.B. Smith, A Revelation of Jesus Christ (Scottsdale, PA: Herald Press, 1961): “Moses and Elijah,” 169; The Targums (Aramaic Translation/Interpretation of the Hebrew Bible, cited by H. Dietenhard, op. cit., p. 544): God will “gather the diaspora through Elijah and Moses;” Merrill Tenney, Earth’��s Coming King: Revelation (Wheaton: Scripture Press, 1977): “Elijah and Moses,” 55; Robert Thomas, op. cit.: “the balance of the evidence is for an expectation of the actual return of [Moses and Elijah],” 89.

[20] For a masterful refutation of “replacement theology,” namely, that the Church has permanently replaced Israel, see Ronald E. Diprose, Israel and the Church: the Origin and Effects of Replacement Theology (Johnson City,TN:STL Distribution, 2004). 1.800.289.2772

[21] For more information on this subject, listen to Dr. Whitcomb’��s recording, “Background to ‘��The Two Witnesses of Revelation 11,’��” at