The Two Witnesses

3“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)

Two Sides of the Same Coin

For my entire Christian life I have been told that one of the Two Witnesses in Revelation 11 “has” to absolutely be Elijah, and the other “may” be Moses but cannot be verified beyond doubt because he “could also be” Enoch; there are a number of other options offered as to the identity of the second half of this End Times pair. Where do these assertions come from? What is the scriptural basis for these “facts”?

It seems that the first and most common argument made in favor of an “Elijah and Enoch” union is the fact that they were both literally raptured and never experienced physical death. There appears to be a presupposition introduced, yet cannot be overtly found stated as such in Scripture, that somehow the “books are out of balance” and God will not ultimately allow these two to escape physical death, therefore they will be “brought back”. Thus, in the course of the ministry of the Two Witnesses when they are killed and resurrected, (Rev. 11:11) everything will be “reconciled” and the only two figures in Scripture who never physically died will finally do so. The problem with this notion is that it completely contradicts what will take place in the Rapture concerning an entire generation of God’s people. Why do these two individuals “have” to come back to experience physical death when millions who will be raptured will not?

15For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:15–17)

And the most common reason why the identity of the second Witness is presented as a variable and therefore may not be Moses is because it is frequently pointed out that Moses has already died physically, and the Two Witnesses at the end of their ministry will be put to death and resurrected, (Rev. 11:7-13) meaning Moses would experience physical death and resurrection twice. Most of the time, those holding to this idea cite the quotation in Hebrews which, on the surface appears to assert that no one can die physically more than once…

27And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, (Hebrews 9:27)

Such proposals assert that man only dies once, and since Moses already died, he therefore cannot return and experience a second physical death.

Aside from the problem of misunderstanding the greater context of what is being taught in Hebrews, there is the matter that there have already been quite a number of people who have all physically died twice. Every single person in both Testaments who was raised from the dead died a first time and, in the end, a second time as well—even Lazarus. There is no doctrinal support for either side of this coin which, on one face, assumes figures who have been raptured and escaped physical death are automatically designated to return and do so, nor on the flip side that once someone has experienced that death are automatically exempt and disqualified. This attempt to identify the Two Witnesses based on a record of physical death or past rapture exegetically fails on both counts.

A Deeper Theological Reason

However, there is a much more powerful argument for why none of the Two Witnesses can be a literal return of Elijah, Moses, Enoch, or anyone in history who has lived and either died or experienced rapture: Scripture does not support reincarnation.

While there have been many who have died twice, those being the ones who were raised from the dead and yet ultimately died again, they were not brought back by being physically born a second time into a second body. Not having attained an immortal form yet, as we are repeatedly promised in Scripture will take place after death, they were brought back to life in their mortal body.

For anyone such as Moses, whom we know has attained his immortal body because of his appearance in a vision on the Mt. of Transfiguration and, in spite of never meeting him, was recognized by the Apostles who were present, to come back literally as one of the Two Witnesses would require that his spirit be relieved of that immortal form and, for a second time, be born and raised from a baby into an adult. For Elijah or Enoch to return, who have likewise been translated into an immortal form (the Apostles also saw and recognized the literal Elijah at the Mt. of Transfiguration), he, too, would have to forsake the immortal to assume, for a second time, another mortal form. In this case, it would be theologically impossible for them to be born of a woman a second time and once again experience an earthly death and resurrection, which is explicitly going to happen to the Two Witnesses.

The argument as to whether there is a literal return of anyone who has already been resurrected or raptured is a distraction which keeps us from addressing the primary issue which refutes it to begin with, that no one can be literally born twice in what is substantially a variant of reincarnation. Yes, Christ came and assumed fleshly form a first time, but now having died and experienced resurrection, He assumed an immortal form; when He returns a second time, He will not be born yet a second time of a woman, but as with all reappearances documented in Scripture upon His resurrection, may be visibly witnessed, but comes back in His immortal form.

The Apostle Paul could ascend into “the third heaven” (2 Co. 12:2) spiritually and return to earth physically because he was returning to a mortal form which had not expired and undergone transformation into the immortal; likewise the Apostle John experiences the same in the course of what took place on Patmos. This is not the case for anyone who has permanently crossed over such as Enoch, Moses or Elijah.

Gabriel announced that John the Baptist would come “in the spirit and power of Elijah” and would be the forerunner of the Messiah (Lk. 1:17); his father Zechariah prophesied similarly (Lk. 1:76-79); John himself confirmed the same. (Jn. 1:19-23) But this appearance as the lone harbinger of the Messiah in the First Coming is stated categorically by Jesus, “…that Elijah already came, and they did not recognize him…”, (Mt. 17:12) and is followed up by, “Then the disciples understood that He had spoken to them about John the Baptist”. (Mt. 17:13) John came in the character of Elijah, but Jesus Himself says that he was the fulfillment of Elijah to be expected at His First Coming.

But Jesus also says that even though “Elijah already came”, that “Elijah is coming” yet again. (Mt. 17:9-11) Therefore we know that it is not a literal reappearance of Elijah, just as at the First Coming it was not literal but “in the character of”, but yet a second working still to come through someone “in the spirit and power of Elijah”, or as we will later examine in detail, his protégé Elisha.

This is consistently true in each pattern of biblical prophecy. The last Babylon to come will not be a “reincarnation” of any of the previous iterations, but will be distinctly and uniquely different in its ultimate fulfillment as the last in a series; the final Abomination of Desolation echoes elements of all the ones which preceded it, but is not recast as a clone of any of the previous events; the ultimate Antichrist is not a reincarnation or literal return of any previous antichrist figure, whether from Scripture or history, but a unique compilation of all their traits and characteristics, combining into a new, ultimate appearance. Likewise, the final “Elijah to come” is as unique and distinct in his final form as John the Baptist, identified by Christ as the fulfillment of Elijah in the First Coming, was unique and distinct in his own right. There are no examples of a person, place or event being “reincarnated” or copiously copied end-to-end so as to be an exact duplicate of itself; each stage of the pattern is intended to convey a little more information about the uniquely last one in the series.

But as to this notion of the literal Enoch, Moses or Elijah returning to live a second mortal life, Paul specifically teaches that the immediate effect of anyone being raptured or resurrected is that they are transformed into an immortal form:

51Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. (1 Corinthians 15:51–53)

Therefore, Elijah and Moses, who have already been immortally translated and have already appeared so in a vision on the Mt. of Transfiguration as witnessed by the Apostles present cannot, and will not, literally return; at best, it is someone “in the spirit and power” of their character, but the final pair will at the same time be a uniquely “new” pair of human beings.

Similar in Deeds

5And if anyone wants to harm them, fire flows out of their mouth and devours their enemies; so if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this way. 6These have the power to shut up the sky, so that rain will not fall during the days of their prophesying; and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with every plague, as often as they desire. 7When 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 11:5–7)

While nowhere in Revelation does the Apostle John disclose to us the specific identity of the Two Witnesses, this is still probably the best scriptural argument in favor of their being Elijah and Moses. (Not literally, but in their character, of course.) Fire called to consume the enemy is a hallmark event in Elijah’s conflict with Ahab and the prophets of Baal (1 Ki. 18:38) as well as withholding the rain (1 Ki. 17:1); turning water into blood and evoking plagues is famously connected with Moses in the Exodus account. It is hard to ignore the fact that the actions assigned to the Two Witnesses are the same ones originally carried out by the literal-historical Moses and Elijah, who then subsequently make an appearance with Christ on the Mt. of Transfiguration.

There is another possible textual case for their being identified with both Elijah and Moses in that Malachi’s primary reference to Elijah’s return also contains a reference to Moses. Obviously it is not an overt statement that Moses will also return, but the close proximity of their mention by Malachi in the same passage certainly warrants consideration as to whether there is a connection to their appearance together on the Mt. of Transfiguration.

4“Remember the law of Moses My servant, even the statutes and ordinances which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel. (Malachi 4:4)

Because of the fact that we have clear, unambiguous statements by both the Prophet Malachi and Jesus Himself that Elijah will return, it is not at all difficult to understand why we would conclude that he is one of the Two Witnesses upon seeing the parallels in his life repeated in the actions assigned to this Last Days pair, especially when combined with the wrong notion that since he has not yet tasted physical death, one of these two “must” be him. With Moses, however, it is a little more difficult because although they recapitulate the same signs originally wrought by God through him, there is a nervousness about his having to “die twice” and a bit of doubt creeps into the picture for many examining it this way. But that is what makes the selection of Enoch (or any other proposed candidate for that matter) even more puzzling since there are no signs or miracles attributed to him at all. In fact, unlike Elijah and Moses, who at least had to deal with an antichrist figure in the character of Ahab and Pharaoh respectively, as the ultimate Two Witnesses will likewise encounter the Antichrist himself, there really are no scriptural parallels in the life of Enoch to any of the milestones in the ministries of Elijah and Moses, much less those listed in Revelation 11 pertaining to the Two Witnesses.

It is worth taking note that a preoccupation throughout the ages as to the specific identity of the Antichrist is at least understandable in that we are challenged in Revelation 13:18 to “calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six”. Just as only the Magi at the First Coming understood the meaning of the sign of the Messiah’s arrival while it completely slipped past everyone else, there will come a time in the course of the Second Coming when the faithful remnant in Christ will unambiguously know the precise identity of the Antichrist. However, this is never promised in regards to either the Two Witnesses nor Elijah. What is provided in Scripture are the activities and characteristics associated with them so that we will recognize them not by name, but by word and deed.

In the end, the identity of the Two Witnesses is revealed and verified in that they will act in conformity with what has been revealed about them in God’s Word. In fact, the angel Gabriel, Jesus and John the Baptist himself all proclaim and confirm John’s fulfillment as the coming of Elijah, but he was not even named “Elijah” nor did he come from the same tribe, John being a Levite and Elijah a Benjamite. This is further confirmation that “Elijah to come” is proven not by his literal name or physical reincarnation, but by fulfilling all the things which Scripture and his biblical forerunners ascribe to him, what Scripture means when it describes someone who is  “in the character of” someone.

The Mt. of Transfiguration

The primary source, however, from which most assert that the Two Witnesses “must” be Elijah and Moses is the account of what took place on the Mt. of Transfiguration.

1Six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. 2And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. 3And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. 4Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 5While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!” 6When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground and were terrified. 7And Jesus came to them and touched them and said, “Get up, and do not be afraid.” 8And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one except Jesus Himself alone. (Matthew 17:1–8)

While it is true that Moses and Elijah are specifically named here, the fact is that there are a great many examples of the presence of two witnesses throughout Scripture, some whose names are withheld and some who are not. (We will look at that list a little further on.) In other words, just as previously discussed concerning the phenomena of “many” antichrists, “many” false prophets, “many” Babylons and “many” abominations of desolation, there are “many” pairs of witnesses prolific throughout Scripture. This at least warrants a more careful investigation as to why it is only this pair of two witnesses to which so many commentators insist must be assigned the identity of the ultimate, final Two Witnesses and why they rarely even consider the others illustrated in various places throughout both the Old and New Testaments.

In keeping with a consistent hermeneutic in our handling of Scripture, we need to identify the first and most literal meaning of what originally took place on the Mt. of Transfiguration before exploring possible deeper meanings to which this event may also point. A foundational principle when studying the Gospels is to examine what takes place just prior to or immediately after any particular event or teaching as it often illustrates or illuminates what is currently being said or done. When Jesus performs a miracle, the teaching and/or event taking place on either side of it is often a deeper, parallel explanation of what transpired, and a teaching or discourse on a subject is frequently illustrated by the miracle or event which comes just before or after. One of the reasons the sequential order in each of the Gospels is not identical is that each event or teaching is being explained by what is presented before and after as part of an overall theme and not offered in isolation from everything else because there is a running relationship connecting each individual item in the sequence to a greater combined whole.

In its primary and original meaning, the Mt. of Transfiguration is a significant event which comes on the heels of Christ’s disciples’ monumental spiritual breakthrough which took place just prior about a week earlier. As recorded in Matthew 16, a milestone was reached for them personally when Peter announced on behalf of all present, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”. (Mt. 16:16) Here we see that the Mt. of Transfiguration illustrates the result of coming to faith in Jesus, the embodiment and literal fulfillment of the whole Word of God represented by those present: Moses as the Law, Elijah as the Prophets, the Apostles as the New Covenant. This is particularly powerful in light of God’s command to all those present and representative of the entire Word of God to, “Listen to Him”. It is an earthly illustration of what the Apostle John who was present at this event would later famously write concerning Christ, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was God”. (Jn. 1:1)

There is also a very literal problem being addressed here which has to do with Elijah and Moses specifically as it relates both to Judaism and God’s Word, and which also has nothing at all to do with the final Two Witnesses of Revelation 11. These two figures are revered within Judaism almost more than any other. Peter’s offer to make everyone their own tabernacle is an attempt to set them all on equal footing with each other; it takes God’s direct intervention to establish Jesus’ superior authority and position by stating the difference and making the distinction, “This is My beloved Son…listen to Him!

This has not only been an issue within classic Judaism even up to and including this very day, that Elijah and Moses are elevated above everyone else (they even set out an empty chair for Elijah at Passover and all kinds of traditions and beliefs are attached to his return), but from the earliest days of the Church up to the present time with the so-called “Messianic Movement” there have been “Judaizers”—ethnic Jews who come to faith in Christ but still maintain that everyone must live under both the Old and New Covenants simultaneously. Many of them are not content with making Christ equal with Moses and Elijah, the embodiment of the Law and the Prophets, but even attempt to subordinate Him to them. Although it would take the founding Apostles until Acts 15 to come to a doctrinal grip with this problem, God the Father establishes the precedent much earlier here on the Mt. of Transfiguration. The appearance of Moses and Elijah in this case as representing the Law and the Prophets in proper relationship to the Messiah is a critical and literal lesson taking place which does not connect exegetically to the Two Witnesses in Revelation. God establishes that Christ is not equal with them, but that they are subordinate to Him.

This might be further understood when we compare the parallel account of this event in Luke’s Gospel, which divulges precisely what Moses and Elijah were discussing with Jesus:

30And behold, two men were talking with Him; and they were Moses and Elijah, 31who, appearing in glory, were speaking of His departure which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. (Luke 9:30–31)

The topic of conversation was centered on “His departure which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem”. It was being specifically revealed to the Apostles who were present and party to this discussion that the work of the cross would conclude the Messiah’s work of His First Coming and that there would have to be a second re-visitation to fulfill the work of what we now call His Second Coming. Moses and Elijah are categorically confirming that the First Coming is, as Jesus previously stated, the complete fulfillment of God’s Word for His First Coming even though a gap would ensue before His Second Coming. The first and literal meaning of Moses’ and Elijah’s appearance here has to do with the First Coming, whereas the Two Witnesses are a feature of the Second Coming.

This “sign” on the Mt. of Transfiguration confirms Jesus’ words in the previous encounter a week previous that, on the one hand, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised up on the third day” (Lk. 9:22)—a reference to the work of His First Coming, and, “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels” (Lk. 9:26)—a reference to the work of His Second Coming. What takes place on the Mt. of Transfiguration confirms the sequence of “one Messiah, two comings” as it had just been taught by Christ prior to this event.

17“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. (Matthew 5:17–18)

But Peter’s actions bring an additional meaning to what was taking place in his desire to make tabernacles. By the time of Jesus’ First Coming, Judaism had by and large overly focused on the prophecies concerning the work of the Messiah as a “Conquering King” to establish a Millennial Kingdom ruling the world from Jerusalem, and all but ignoring any references to His work as a “Suffering Servant” to address the issue of sin and repentance. They acknowledged theologically that the Messiah occupied the offices of Prophet, Priest and King, but they came to dwell almost exclusively on the King aspect. We now have the benefit of understanding clearly that there is one Messiah but two comings, and that He had to complete the work of the cross in His First Coming before returning to effect the Millennial Kingdom at His Second Coming—Judaism still does not fully recognize this, insisting to this day, as asserted then, that the Messiah must at the very least accomplish both at the same time in a single visit. Knowing that the Feast of Tabernacles on the Hebrew festal calendar was an illustration of the Messiah establishing the Millennial Kingdom, Peter thought he was witnessing its beginning, thus the suggestion to erect the tabernacles.

Peter was not wrong in his understanding of what the Messiah would accomplish except in failing to understand the overall timing. Jesus had just qualified his revelation that He was indeed the Messiah with the explicit follow-on explanation that He was about to go to Jerusalem, be crucified, and resurrected after being dead for three days, (Mt. 16:21) and Moses and Elijah were specifically discussing this work of the First Coming in front of Peter there on the mount; the work of the “Suffering Servant” would have to come before the work of the “Conquering King”.
But that which Peter witnessed was, indeed, a powerful illustration of the Millennial Kingdom to come in that Moses and Elijah not only represented the Law and the Prophets—the entire Word of God, but also represented all believers who would experience the Millennial Reign. Elijah represented all who will be raptured, Moses all who will be resurrected, and the Apostles those believers who are alive on earth as the final seven years of the eschaton concludes and the kingdom of Antichrist gives way to the thousand year Millennial Kingdom. These multi-level, literal interpretations of what was initially taking place illustrate what is to be expected from faith in Christ in this life and what it will yield for the next. The characteristics of Moses and Elijah on the Mt. of Transfiguration in these instances conform to their literal lives and yet can be leveraged for a greater spiritual meaning.

However, it is important to note that when it comes to our rules for how we handle God’s Word, none of these first-line explanations for Moses’ and Elijah’s presence necessarily and properly establish themselves as revealing the identity of the final Two Witnesses. In our first interpretation, Moses and Elijah as a representation of the Law and the Prophets is the same kind of device Paul uses in Galatians 4:21-31 where he explains that Sarah and Hagar—two literal historical figures from the Old Testament—allegorically illustrate two covenants. The second lesson is an illustration of the New Covenant taking precedence over the Old. The third meaning presented of Moses and Elijah representing all believers who are resurrected, and Elijah all those raptured, is a tool of interpretation called “corporate solidarity” where a single person represents a much larger group for a greater spiritual illustration. None of these things, however, are designated in Scripture as characteristics or activities assigned to the Two Witnesses of Revelation 11.

The hermeneutic of “corporate solidarity” is repeatedly seen throughout the Old Testament when God sometimes calls the nation “Jacob” and at other times “Israel”. “Jacob” is a picture of the conniver and sinner before he wrestled with the Angel of the Lord (an Old Testament appearance of Christ); “Israel” is the man forever changed going forward after his encounter with the Angel of the Lord, renamed and now in a right relationship with God. Whenever God calls them “Jacob” through the Prophets, He is addressing them in the character of Jacob, backsliders who have returned to the old life and are acting like the old creation; when they are referred to as “Israel” it is in the character of the new creation, reconciled and reborn with a new name.

Another example of  a corporate solidarity would be the way that Barabbas—whose name literally means “son of the father”, is set free so that the true “Son of the Father” can pay the price of sin in his place. Barabbas represents all of us in our original spiritual state—100% guilty and under sentence of death, but set free by Christ who takes that guilt upon Himself and dies in our place. But Barabbas and Jesus are also an allegorical fulfillment of what takes place on the Day of Atonement where one goat is set free and the other sacrificed. What happened literally in the exchange of Jesus for Barabbas has multiple, deeper spiritual meanings.

The explanations of what is taking place on the Mt. of Transfiguration makes use of both of the biblical hermeneutics of allegory and corporate solidarity, but do not automatically extend into a prophetic explanation of the final Two Witnesses of Revelation 11. While there are two witnesses present, just as there are many examples of a pair of witnesses at various events throughout both Testaments, the primary interpretations of what this event meant when it originally took place and how it applies to all generations going forward does not clearly link them to THE Two Witnesses at work in Revelation, nor specify that their identity “must” be Moses and Elijah.

The Deeper Meaning

As such, subsequent to the primary and literal meanings of what took place, the Mt. of Transfiguration is a deeper illustration of the ultimate event where believers of all ages are concerned, what in Greek is called the “Parousia”—that is the Return of Christ.

In his book Harpazo, Jacob Prasch of Moriel Ministries provides a detailed examination of this event, concluding that what is provided here is the clearest example provided of the “Parousia”—that event Paul describes in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 when all believers, resurrected and raptured alike, meet Christ in the air.

We have at least three direct and unambiguous reasons to understand the Transfiguration as a picture of the Resurrection and Harpazo and a preview of our future with the coming of the Lord at the Parousia.

First, we have two clear Scripture references connecting the eschatological passage of 1 Corinthians 15 dealing with the Resurrection and Harpazo—that is, the Parousia or revelation of Christ, with the Transfiguration of Christ. The same word employed by Paul for what will take place as “will be changed” (“metamorphoo”) is the same term used by Matthew to describe how Jesus was changed in the Transfiguration.

Secondly, Peter’s mistaken desire to build three booths can only be understood as his misunderstanding that the eschatological fulfillment of the Feast of Booths (known as Hag Sukkot) was taking place. As Jews, Peter, James and John knew that with the establishment of the Messianic Kingdom (the Millennial Reign of Christ), the Feast of Booths would be celebrated based on the prophecies of Zechariah 14, which follows the return of Christ described in Zechariah 12 and 13.

Thirdly, the Transfiguration narrative is preceded in Mark 9:1, Matthew 16:28 and Luke 9:27 by the words of Jesus that some of His disciples would not taste biological death, which is exactly reiterated in the resurrection chapter of 1 Corinthians 15 by St. Paul, “We will not all sleep”. (1 Co. 15:51)

The direct links of these three factors indicate unmistakably that the Transfiguration of Jesus is a typological foreshadowing of the Resurrection and Harpazo events predicted by St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 and alluded to in 1 Thessalonians 4:15.

Here we see the result of coming to faith in Jesus, the embodiment and fulfillment of the whole Word of God, and how the resurrected, the raptured and the believers living at the time of Christ’s Return are all ultimately gathered together with Him and jointly assume the Millennial Kingdom together. It is both a deep and elegant illustration of what is to be reaped for the next life by faith in Christ in this life.

What Does This Mean?

As far as extracting Moses’ and Elijah’s presence from this situation and attaching it to the work and identity of the Two Witnesses, this last illustration actually militates even further against their being Moses and Elijah.

If Moses and Elijah are more than just a corporate solidarity representing the resurrected and the raptured at the Parousia, this would mean that the literal, final Two Witnesses would also be present at this event. The problem with this conclusion is that this would require the death and resurrection of the Two Witnesses predicted to take place to precisely coincide with the removal of the Church. (Rev. 11:7-13) Not only is this synchronicity not specified in Scripture (and, arguably, even seems opposed to it), but it would open the door to being able to set the precise date for Christ’s Return, when Christ Himself plainly established the rule that this is not possible.

36“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. (Matthew 24:36)

The death and resurrection of the Two Witnesses is something which most likely takes place after the resurrected and raptured are gathered to Christ as it is specified to not take place until a time between the 6th and 7th Trumpet judgments. (Rev. 11:7-14) This skews toward an explanation that although Moses’ and Elijah’s presence are illustrations of the fulfillment of the whole Word of God in Christ, and additionally provide a corporate solidarity for all those resurrected and raptured, as an illustration of the Parousia their presence and participation in that event preclude them from being the actual Two Witnesses whose ministries extend beyond it. In other words, it is far more likely that Moses and Elijah appear on the Mt. of Transfiguration for reasons not directly connected to the identity and role of the final Two Witnesses of Revelation 11.

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