And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. (Revelation 11:3-4 ESV)
I was thinking today about the two witnesses that will be on the earth during the first part of the tribulation. These two men will be the ultimate prophetic voice for God and truth in the end times (outside of the Bible itself). These two men that the verses above are talking about are very significant.
There has been discussion on who these two witnesses are. Most people believe that one of them is Elijah, mostly cause of this verse:
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. (Malachi 4:5 ESV)
That verse from Malachi pretty much says that Elijah will be sent to speak God’s heart during the tribulation. As for the other witness, there has been much talk of it being Moses, usually due to Moses and Elijah meeting with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration (see Matthew 17:1-8). People assume that Jesus was talking to them about His end time plans, especially since Jesus had just finished talking about His second coming.
I think this would be a good time to mention that we ought to be careful about declaring something as fact for something the Bible leaves as a mystery. The Bible makes no mention of who this second witness is and we should make no solid claim or theology saying who it will be. This is a very important principle when dealing with end time theology, so much so that God gives a warning to all who would add or take away from what He has revealed about the end (see Revelation 22:19-20). I believe though that thinking, pondering and mediating on these mysteries is fine, as long as it draws us closer to Jesus and not to arrogance.
That said, I personally believe that the other witness will be Enoch. I believe this in light of this verse:
And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment… (Hebrews 9:27 ESV)
The Bible states that it is appointed that all people are to die once, but there are two people who have not. Elijah and Enoch. The Bible states that the two witnesses will eventually die by the antichrist only to be raised from the dead a few days later and taken to heaven, but forget the logistics of all of this. Think about the spiritually symbolic statement being made if God sent back these two men.
Enoch was a lover of God. He pursued God like no one else. In fact, He was so passionate in his pursuit of God that he was literally “caught up to be with the Lord.” There would not be anyone again who loved the Lord in this way until David, but not even David would be translated to heaven. Elijah was a voice crying out for holiness during a time of great wickedness and idolatry. He called people to be separate from the evil leaders of his day and called people to wholeheartedly return to the Lord.
If the Lord sent Enoch and Elijah back during the tribulation, the symbolic word being declared would be “Love God completely!” and “Rid yourself of idols & evil! Holiness unto the Lord!”. Love and holiness would become the focus points of all evangelistic messages during the tribulation and that’s something I can see being very possible.
Nevertheless, whoever these witnesses are, whether it’s John, Elijah, Moses, Enoch or a couple unknown people, their very presence and message will declare “Jesus, the God of love, is coming…and His jealous love burns.” Regardless of who the witnesses will be, our hearts must align with God’s in the areas of love and holiness. The two greatest evils released during the end times are that “the love of many will wax cold” and “the increase of lawlessness.” Both these evils either both Jesus and Paul warn the church that it will affect Christians in the end.
My heart is stirred to prepare my heart to love and live holy (by His grace) in the end. He’s returning for bright shining lamps. May we prepare now, so that we have enough oil for the end.