Final observations for the Two Witnesses Bible study, including a few additional notes, and some closing thoughts on the implications of the material.
Over the previous nine parts, we have covered a lot of material related to the Two Witnesses of Revelation. There are a few additional things to learn, now that we have a framework in which to fit these additions. Let’s begin this Part 10 with a summary of the previous parts, adding the remaining information as we go, and bringing all that we have learned together.
“Two Witnesses” Summary
Heaven, there are Two Olive Trees (“Moses” and “Elijah”), “standing by
the Lord of the whole Earth,” according to Zechariah 4:14); and in Revelation 11:4, we read:
“They are the Two Olive Trees, and the Two Candlesticks, standing before the God of the Earth.”
They stand in the places where the Disciples James and John--the “sons of thunder” (the “Boanerges”)--once had hopes of standing.
The pure, golden oil of anointing flows out from the Two Olive Trees, through hands (Zechariah 4:12), into the Seven-Lamp Menorah (Zechariah 4:2-3) before the Throne of Jesus (Revelation 1:4-5). When we anoint someone’s head with oil, and “lay hands” (put our hands) on the person, and pray for them, we are following the pattern of these Two Olive Trees. The Seven-Branch (Seven-Lamp) Menorah of the Tabernacle, and of the past Temples in Jerusalem, was made according to the pattern of the Menorah shown to Moses in Mount Horeb (Exodus 25:9,40; Numbers 8:4; Hebrews 8:5).
These Seven Lamps, also called “the Seven Eyes (eyewitnesses) of God” (Zechariah 4:10), are the seven men chosen by God to serve in the “spirit and power” (Luke 1:17) of Elijah, or of Moses. Of course, Moses and Elijah are two of these men. Here is the whole list:
Two Olive Trees
The First Coming,
The Second Coming,
The Third Coming,
The first coming of Elijah and Moses, the coming of early times, was by water. Moses, Elijah, and Elisha were all baptized in deep waters: Moses in the Red Sea; and Elijah and Elisha in the Jordan River. And in the time of the Great Flood, God the Father gives His Water to baptize the saints, and take away the sins of the world (Genesis 5:28-9:17).
The second coming of “Elijah” and “Moses”, the coming at the time of the birth of Jesus, was by blood. The “Elijah” of that day, John the Baptist, was baptized in blood: he died by having his head cut off. The “Moses” of that day, Stephen the Martyr (“Witness”), was also baptized in blood: he was stoned to death. Of course, Jesus was also baptized in blood, at His crucifixion. Jesus, who is God the Son, gives His Blood to baptize the saints (Revelation 1:5), and take away the sins of the world (John 1:29).
The third coming of “Elijah” and “Moses”, which will be the coming at the time of the return of Jesus, will be by fire. The Two Witnesses of Revelation will be the “Elijah” and “Moses” of that day. They will come in the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and of fire (Matthew 3:11; Luke 3:16), just as Jesus will. God the Holy Spirit, a “consuming fire” (Deuteronomy 4:24; John 4:24), gives His Fire to baptize the saints, and take away the sins of the world, and the heavens (2 Peter, chapter 3).
1 John 5:6-9
“6 This is the One coming through Water and Blood, Jesus the Christ; not in the Water only, but in the Water and the Blood. And the Spirit is the one testifying; that Spirit is the Truth.
7 Seeing that there are three witnesses in Heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one;
8 and there are three witnesses in the Earth: the Spirit, and the Water, and the Blood, which are in the One;
9 if we accept the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater (that is, the testimony of God which He has testified about His Son).”
Other Interesting Observations
"God Saves": Yeshua, Joshua, and Elisha
Jesus came near the time of the second coming of “Elijah” and “Moses”; and Jesus will come again near the time of the third coming of “Elijah” and “Moses”. What about the first coming of Elijah and Moses?
The actual, Hebrew name of Jesus is “Yeshua”. This name is composed of two parts: “Ye(h)”, an abbreviation for “Yehovah (God)”; and “shua”, which means “salvation” or “saves”. So “Yeshua” means “Yehovah (God) saves”.
At the first coming of Elijah and Moses, there was a third man, named “Elisha”. This name is also composed of two parts: “El”, an abbreviation for “Elohim (God)”; and “sha”, which is another form of “shua”. So “Elisha” also means “Elohim (God) saves”.
Thus, “(God) saves” will have come for
all three comings of “Elijah” and “Moses”.
When Elisha came, he increased, even as the original Elijah decreased (left the world by ascending to Heaven). So also, when Jesus (Yeshua) came, he increased, even as John the Baptist (the “Elijah” of that time) decreased (left the world by being executed) (John 3:30). Each situation involved the passing of leadership. When the Two Witnesses come, they will also decrease (die at the hands of the Beast, Revelation 11:7), and Jesus will again increase, as He returns in Glory (Revelation 19:11-20:6).
Interestingly, “Joshua” also means “Yehovah (God) saves” (it is another form of “Yeshua” / “Jesus”). Joshua also took over leadership from Moses after Moses “decreased” by dieing on Mount Nebo; however, Joshua was not a replacement for Moses in the same way that Elisha was a replacement for the original Elijah.
In the Book of Zechariah, there is another Joshua; he was the high priest of that time. In Zechariah 3:8-9, we read that there are “men of miracles” sitting before Joshua; and there is a stone with “seven eyes” that is given by God, also before Joshua. The “seven eyes” ARE the “men of miracles”. We know this Joshua was literally the high priest in Israel in Zechariah’s time (Haggai 1:1); however, these verses are also prophetic, referring to Yeshua (Jesus), the high priest of Zechariah’s future (also called “the Branch” in Zechariah 3:8).
Only Jesus is Lord
The seven witnesses, who come in the “spirit and power” of Elijah and Moses, are men; and their testimony is the testimony of men. However, Jesus has a greater testimony (1 John 5:9; John 5:31-47), and is therefore a greater witness (Revelation 1:4b-5a). This is why Jesus must increase, even as the witnesses around Him decrease. As Jesus said of one of them:
Luke 7:28 (similar to Matthew 11:11)
“I’m telling you, among those born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist; yet the least one in the Kingdom of God is greater than him [John].”
This Bible study is certainly NOT intended to make any of the seven witnesses seem greater than Jesus: they are lower than Jesus. However, according to 2 Timothy 3:16-17, learning about them is clearly important, since God has included so much about them in the Bible.
Why Is It Sometimes Three?
In "Part 2: Why TWO Witnesses?" (this will open in a new window), we discovered why two witnesses were necessary; but we left open the question of why there are sometimes three witnesses. We are now ready to answer this question.
In the first coming of the “Elijah and Moses” witnesses, there was only the one original Moses, but there were TWO “Elijahs”: the original Elijah, AND his replacement, Elisha. This gives a total of three witnesses for the first coming of “Elijah and Moses” witnesses.
In the other comings of “Elijah and Moses”, only two of these men come; however, they are joined by Jesus. Thus, there is a total of three witnesses at these comings, too: there is an “Elijah” witness; a “Moses” witness; AND the Great Witness, Jesus Christ.
Of course, the number of required witnesses is also of importance in the law courts of this world, too. Requiring no more than three witnesses in these situations is of pragmatic importance, since there could be hundreds of witnesses (or more); but there is rarely any need to bother with more than three witnesses. If there is any difference of testimony between the witnesses, having a third witness will allow a “majority consensus” of testimony to form.
Finally, we consider some of the implications of what we have studied.
One thing that is worth noting is how much these “comings” of “Elijah” and “Moses” resemble the so-called “reincarnations” that are believed to occur in some religions, such as Hinduism and Buddhism. Let me first state clearly, that there is NO such thing as “reincarnation”.
In the time to
come, beyond Judgment Day, everyone who has ever lived will continue to
exist, each in his or her own single, physical body. No person will
exist in multiple bodies; nor will anyone be asked to choose the body in
which he or she prefers to spend eternity. Each person will exist in that
single body which is the one and only body he or she ever had, and ever
Nevertheless, consider how a so-called “reincarnation” is supposedly identified. In such a case, there is some individual who lives his or her life with a few peculiar characteristics, and these traits are noted by other people. After that individual dies, another person is born that has many of the same peculiar characteristics. The person that is born may seem to know things that only the previous person should know. From what is seen, some people believe that the person who is born is a “reincarnation” of the previous person: that the two people are actually the same person, but in two different bodies.
Elisha was obviously not Elijah, since they lived at the same time, and talked with each other; yet Elijah and Elisha shared very similar, yet highly peculiar events ("miracles") in their lives. Similarly, if we were told the events of the life of Moses, and of Elijah’s life, we again might think the person who passed through the Red Sea, and the person who passed through the Jordan River, were the same person; but this is not the truth.
Instead, there are similar “anointings” (“official positions”) into which people enter. For any of these positions, each of the different people who fill the position over time are invested with special knowledge and skills related to the position.
Obviously, God anoints people to work for Him. However, since the devil always wants to replace God, the devil tries to imitate God in any way that he can. Among these attempts at imitation, there are demonic “anointings” that look very similar to a true anointing by God; however, the knowledge and skills are not from God, but from the devil. These demonic imitations of a true anointing by God are what have become mistaken for “reincarnation”.
In general, if something seems miraculous, but non-Biblical, it is likely a demonic imitation of something that is Biblical.
Unchanging God, Unchanging Expectations
When the Two Witnesses come, they will wear clothing made from sacks (or some cheap, sackcloth-type material); and they will have spectacular miracles in their ministries. The Witnesses will be like the prophets of long ago.
Consider the reaction of people to these Witnesses, who may be financially poor, but certainly will be rich in God‘s miraculous power. This world (including most Christians) seem to believe such men of God are something lost in the past, if they ever existed at all. However, these Witnesses will demonstrate that the power of God is not gone forever.
Moses, Elijah, and Elisha set very high standards for the people of their times. John the Baptist and Stephen the Martyr (as well as Jesus, the Apostles, and many others) reaffirmed those standards at the first coming of Jesus. And when the Two Witnesses come, they will also reaffirm the standards of Moses and Elijah.
As it is written:
know that, whatever God does, it will exist forever. Nothing can be
added to it, and nothing can be taken away from it. And God does this so
that people will revere Him.
15 That which has been, is now; that which is to be, has been already; and God requires that which is past.”
God still “requires that which is past”; and the coming of the Two Witnesses “which is to be” will make this obvious.
Bible Stories of the Future
Considering how much the Two Witnesses will be like Moses and Elijah, will an accurate record of their lives be worthy of inclusion in the Bible? Apparently the prophecies concerning these witnesses are worthy of inclusion in the Bible: after all, what the Bible says about the Two Witnesses is the primary focus of this whole Bible study. I am persuaded that the record of their actual lives will also be very worthy of inclusion in the Bible.
That conclusion leads to a fundamental observation: the “Canon of Scripture” is not “closed”. In other words, the Bible is not yet finished. We are regularly taught by most churches and denominations that the Bible is finished: that when the writing of the Book of Revelation (or “Book of the Apocalypse”) was complete, God stopped inspiring Bible writers. However, the events of Revelation will deserve to be “chronicled” every bit as much as the events in the Books of Chronicles.
Now, I do recognize the need for books to be included in the Bible only with great care. Simply put, to include something in the Bible that doesn’t belong is blasphemy, since it defames God’s Holy Word by equating it with an inferior writing. Since everything in the Bible is intended for the instruction of those who serve God (2 Timothy 3:16-17), if something is included in the Bible that shouldn’t be included, those who include it will be called “least” in Heaven (Matthew 5:19).
Nevertheless, if a writing is inspired by God, and has those traits shared by all of Scripture, then the writing should be likewise accepted as Scripture, and added to the Bible. Just as it is blasphemy to include in the Bible some writing that is not inspired, it is also blasphemy to reject a writing which God has indeed inspired. There are surely things coming to the world which deserve to be recorded in the Bible.
More than any other reason, we all should study the Bible so that each of us can recognize God’s Voice, and can discern Biblical truth in a world filled with liars.
What Others Have Perceived
Regarding this Bible study, the things that are disclosed here were not previously apparent in the Bible. The things in this study are in the Bible (everything in this writing is drawn from the Bible); but the things were not apparent: instead, they were hidden. The things in this Bible study have not previously been uncovered outside of the Bible, either.
As a result, the number of beliefs that people have held concerning the Two Witnesses is rather small. Some people have even doubted that the Two Witnesses will actually exist, believing they are only
metaphors for some sort of movement in Christianity and the
For those people who have believed the Two Witnesses are actual people, most of them have accepted that one of them is “Elijah” (both because of Malachi 4:5-6; and because of the description of the miracles in Revelation 11:5-6). However, there has been a lot of dispute over the identity of the other Witness, whether it is Enoch, or Moses, or someone else.
Beyond the identity of the Two Witnesses, a few
people have been convinced that there is some connection between
Revelation 11:3-13 and Zechariah chapter 4. Also, there have been a few
other opinions presented which may be true, though the Biblical evidence
for those opinions is quite small; for example, the idea that the
execution of the Two Witnesses will be televised worldwide, based on
Revelation 11:9-12 (television may have been totally replaced by that
time: it is already largely replaced by the internet).
We have now reached the end of this Bible study. Thank you for taking the time to read through it--I hope it is a blessing for you! God bless you!
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