The Two Witnesses


The significance and identification of the Two Witnesses of Revelation 11 has long been a source of speculation and varied interpretation. Years ago I attended a study on Revelation in which the speaker stated the two witnesses were the Church.1 He provided little explanation for his interpretation or why the two witnesses were not two individual men–the straightforward reading of the text. He only stated that since Revelation was a highly symbolic book it needed to be interpreted symbolically. This is interpretative legerdemain. Such conjuring would as readily accommodate a view that the two witnesses will be the New York Yankees and the Alabama Crimson Tide. The hermeneutic has no rigor. Examination of commentaries by non-futurists, who interpret the book figuratively, have one thing in common: none agree. They are exegetical horrors. God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14.33) and the reason God gave us the book of Revelation–and all prophecy–is to reveal, not obfuscate.

Hermeneutics of Revelation

Everyone recognizes Revelation is a highly symbolic book. Symbolism is found throughout Jewish literature, especially in the prophetic writings, which Revelation is. John’s revelation is an extension of the prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, etc.  If one understands the prophets, one will have little trouble understanding Revelation.

The Jewish prophets addressed Israel and their focus was the future of their nation. The same is true of Revelation. John wrote to Jews. The prophets knew nothing of the Church, the body of Christ. Consequently, the Church is nowhere present in Revelation. Revelation was written to Jews and is complements the writings of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, etc. It could well have followed Malachi in the canon.2 As the prophets used figures, John used them in Revelation. The symbolic language of the prophets pointed to concrete, literal truth. For example, Isaiah wrote, “all flesh is grass” (Isaiah 40.6). He did not mean flesh was fescue, zoysia, or bermuda grass. He employed the metaphor to teach that all men are mortal–a literal truth. Such is the language of Revelation.

Non-futurists–preterists, historicists, and idealists–do not interpret Revelation literally for one simple reason: they do not interpret the prophets literally. They are spellbound, entranced by the medieval church, which interpreted the Bible through an allegorical hermeneutic. For them, the great themes of the Old Testament–the wrath of God and the kingdom of God–are symbolic or typologic. They do not believe God will exercise His wrath or establish His kingdom on earth. They pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done” but do not believe the Lord who said, “on earth, as it is in heaven.” This is more than methodological error. At its heart is a deadly malady: unbelief.

The greatest of the Reformers, William Tyndale, rejected the allegorical hermeneutic begun by Origen, promoted by Augustine, and continued by the medieval church. He wrote, “Scripture speaketh after the most grossest maner: be diligent therefore that thou be not deceaued with curiosnes” (Parable of the Wicked Mammon) and “God is a spirit and all his words are spirituall. His literal sense is spirituall” (The Obedience of a Christian Man). Heed Tyndale and one will have little trouble interpreting prophecy.

Introduction to the Two Witnesses: Revelation 11

The Two Witness end the second of three “woes” in the book. The second woe extends from Revelation 9.13-11.14. Below is a breakdown of Revelation 11 with brief comments.

Revelation 11.1-2John was told to “measure” the Temple, the altar, those worshiping, and exclude the Court of the Gentiles. The focus is Jewish. John was told the city will be trampled 42 months (31/2 years).
Revelation 11.3-4God endows with power two witnesses, described as olive trees and candlesticks, and clothed in sackcloth to prophesy 1260 days (31/2 years).
Revelation 11.5-6The witnesses have perfect defense: if one attacks them fire proceeds from their mouth.3 They can withhold rain, turn water to blood, and inflict plagues upon the earth.
Revelation 11.7-10At the end of their ministry, the Beast (Antichrist) will kill them. Their bodies will lie in a Jerusalem street 31/2 days. The world will celebrate their deaths.
Revelation 11.11-13After 31/2 days those in Jerusalem will hear a voice from heaven telling them to come up: they are resurrected. The world will tremble and watch. A great earthquake occurs,  and 1/10 of the city will fall and 7,000 die. The remnant glorify God.

The Significance of the Ministry of the Two Witnesses

In verses 1-2, we read of the Temple, the altar, and the court of the Gentiles. This accounting should relieve anyone of associating the passage with the Church. The Church has no Temple, Altar, or Court. These belong to Judaism. John was given a measuring rod (κάλαμος) and told to measure (μετρέω) the “temple (ναός), the altar, and those who worship in it.” Excluded from measurement was the “court of the Gentiles” for Gentiles will trample Jerusalem for 31/2 years.4 This measurement most likely does not mean a measure of dimensions but a measure according to a standard (κάλαμος). The command to measure “those who worship in it” provides this clue. “Measurement” of people involves their attitude. The standard is repentance. The gospel of the kingdom, “repent for the kingdom of God is near,” will be proclaimed as Jesus said (Matthew 4.17, 24.13-14). How Jews respond to the ministry of the Two Witnesses is the standard: will they repent and worship God or will they worship the pretender, the Beast, the Antichrist, and lose eternal life (Revelation 2-3).

The world will celebrate the Beast’s killing of the Two Witnesses and will believe he is God (Revelation 13.3-4). Team Satan will be winning at half-time. But who is ahead at half-time is not what matters. God provides doubt of Satan’s victory by raising His witnesses from the dead. A game is not won till the end and the true God, our God, is the God of the beginning and the end (Revelation 1.17). As the final seconds of Daniel’s 70th week tick down, the true King, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, will return to defeat the pretender (Revelation 19.11-21).


The Two Witnesses

How anyone who values the Scriptures can interpret the Two Witnesses as the Church or the Old Testament and New Testament is difficult to comprehend. The text is symbolic but straightforward. The witnesses are described as “olive trees” and “candlesticks.” Such language is never used of the Church. It is the language of the prophets concerning the nation of Israel. In Zechariah 4, two olive trees associated with a candlestick are called the two בְנֵֽי־הַיִּצְהָר “anointed ones,” literally, “sons of oil” (Zechariah 4.14). Thus, Zechariah prophesied about two men identified as “olive trees”–prophets of Israel. Men–not trees, candles, lamps–and certainly not the Church–are clothed in sackcloth. Sackcloth is the attire of repentance. The Church is never described wearing such clothing. The two witnesses are individuals who will appear in Jerusalem to prophesy and call the nation to repent a.k.a. “the gospel of the kingdom” (Revelation 11.3; Matthew 24.14). Paul described the olive tree as the place of blessing. He wrote that God had broken off the natural branches (the nation of Israel) God but that they would be regrafted into the tree, the place of blessing. As a result, all Israel will be saved (Romans 11.26).5 The witnesses stand as lamps of enlightenment for Israel and present the way to regain God’s blessing through repentance.

Jewish Prophetic Theology

Jewish theology is simple in its basic construct. The Jewish prophets revealed two great theological themes. One was the wrath of God. God revealed to David that He would judge the earth and execute His wrath upon Israel and the nations (Psalm 2.4-5, 9, 12). The second theme was the kingdom of God on earth (Psalm 2.6-8).6 God stated He would establish His kingdom on earth and the Lord instructed the Twelve to pray for it (Matthew 6.10). The prophets wrote hundreds of verses expounding on these themes. At the heart of each was the Messiah. The prophets revealed His suffering (Isaiah 53), His wrath (Psalm 2.4-5, 9, 12, Zephaniah 1), and His rule (Jeremiah 23.5; Zechariah 14.9).

God caused prophecy to cease for 400 years–from the time of Malachi until the announcement of the birth of John the Baptist. Malachi ended his prophecy with the words that before the Messiah came, Elijah would appear. Thus:

Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD. “He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse (Malachi 4.5-6).

As the Gospels begin, we read that John the Baptist came in the “spirit and power of Elijah” (Luke 1.17). Jesus stated John the Baptist was Elijah if the nation of Israel had responded to his message of repentance (Matthew 11.14). Thus, the Scriptures snap in place (Malachi and Gospels) as neatly as two legos. Since Malachi’s prophecy was not fulfilled, He declared Elijah would come again (Matthew 17.10-12; Mark 9.11-13). On this basis, John declared he was not Elijah (John 1.21). 7

Timing of the Two Witnesses or When Will The Two Witnesses Appear?

According to Daniel 9.27, the Tribulation will extend one “week,” i.e., 7 years. This period is divided in halves and each half is described as 42 months (Revelation 11.2, 13.5), 1260 days (Revelation 11.3, 12.6), or as “time, times, and half a time” (Revelation 12.14; Daniel 7.25, 12.7). The logical time for the Two Witnesses to appear is at the beginning of the Tribulation when the Antichrist assumes power. It makes no sense for their ministry to begin at the midpoint since their bodies lie in the street 3 1/2 days after the 1260 days. That would mean their bodies would lie in the street and be resurrected 3 1/2 days after the Lord returns.

Thus, they appear at the beginning of the Beast’s power and minister 1260 days. During this time they will be invulnerable. The Antichrist will be incapable of killing them. At the midpoint of the Tribulation, the Beast will make a supernatural recovery from a deadly wound. It will be miraculous for he will have been declared dead (Revelation 13.3). The Beast’s resurrection will imitate the Lord’s own resurrection and convince the world he is God (Revelation 13.4). This will occur because Satan, having been cast from heaven to the earth (Revelation 12.7-9), will enter and empower the Antichrist. This is the explanation for the 7th king being the 8th king in Revelation 17.8, 10-11. The 8th king is the 7th king (the same man).  In this new “incarnation” he will be indwelt by Satan. After his resurrection, he will go to the Temple, break his treaty, stop the daily animal sacrifice, seat himself in the Temple (most likely the upon the mercy seat of the ark in the Holy of Holies), and announce to the world that he is God (Daniel 9.27, 11.31, 12.11; 2 Thessalonians 2.4; Isaiah 14.14). After the Beast is resurrected, being indwelt and empowered by Satan, he will be able to kill the Two Witnesses.

Midpoint Events in the 7 Year Tribulation
Satan cast from heavenRevelation 12.7-9, 12
The Beast (Antichrist) will recover from his mortal wound through Satan’s indwelling power (Satanic resurrection)Revelation 13.3, 17.10-11
The Beast will break his treaty, enter the Temple, and declare he is God (The Abomination of Desolation)Daniel 9.27; 2 Thessalonians 2.4; Matthew 24.15
The Beast, empowered by Satan, will kill the Two WitnessesRevelation 11.7
The False Prophet will imitate the miracles of the Two Witnesses and will give life to the image of the BeastRevelation 13.13, 14-15
 Jews will flee to the mountains for protectionRevelation 12.6, 13-17; Matthew 24.15-21

Identification of the Two Witnesses

The attributes associated with the Two Witnesses–judgment by fire, shutting the heavens from rain, turning water to blood, and afflicting the earth with plagues are powers two key men exercised in the Old Testament: Moses and Elijah.

ElijahBrought fire from heaven to consume his enemies2 Kings 1.1-14
Shut the sky for 3 1/2 years so it did not rain1 Kings 17.1; Luke 4.25
MosesTurned all the rivers and streams of Egypt to bloodExodus 7.14-21
Stuck Egypt with plaguesExodus 7.14-12.36
Elijah Taken to Heaven

Taken by God, Elijah Left Elisha His Mantle

The Lord took Elijah in a chariot of fire to heaven (2 Kings 2.11-12). According to Malachi, Elijah must return before the Day of the Lord (Malachi 4.4-5).8 His ministry will be a ministry of repentance. The Lord declared John the Baptist could have been “Elijah” and fulfilled his ministry if Israel had repented. But the nation refused. Therefore, Elijah must return to present the Lord to the nation and fulfill Malachi’s prophecy. It is noteworthy that Malachi finished his book by mentioning not only Elijah but Moses (Malachi 4.4). Moses was Israel’s lawgiver. When the Two Witnesses minister, Israel will be again under the Mosaic Law and will have their Temple to offer animal sacrifices. The Lord revealed this to his disciples and told them to pray the abomination of desolation not occur on the Sabbath since the Jews will have to flee and travel is restricted severely on the Sabbath (Matthew 24.15-20; cf. Exodus 16.29; Joshua 3.4-5).

Moses and the Plagues

Moses: God’s Agent of Judgment by Plagues

Moses’ death is shrouded in mystery. Because he disobeyed God and struck the rock twice instead of speaking to it as the Lord commanded (Numbers 20.8-12), God did not allow him to enter it. Instead, he could only view it (Deuteronomy 34.4). Even though Moses was 120, he died prematurely (Deuteronomy 34.7). Other than that he was buried in Moab, no one knew the location of his grave. The obvious question is, “Why not?” How could the burial site of the greatest man in Israel not be known? What about those who buried him? Would they not know? The text reveals the answer: the Lord Himself buried Moses (Deuteronomy 34.5-6). The reason no one knew the location of Moses’ gravesite was because the Lord hid it. But that is not all. Something is up with Moses’ body. Jude wrote that Michael the archangel argued with Satan over Moses’ body (Jude 1.9). Why would Satan be interested in Moses’ body unless he somehow knew it was going to play a strategic role in the future? This evidence leads unmistakably to the conclusion that the Two Witnesses will be Moses and Elijah. But there’s more.

Jesus’ Transfiguration

Jesus’ transfiguration is recorded in each of the synoptic gospels (Matthew 17:1–9; Mark 9:2-8; Luke 9:28–36; cf. 2 Peter 1:16–18). Mark’s account is the shortest and Luke’s the longest. Jesus told his disciples that some of them would not die until they had witnessed the kingdom of God (Matthew 16.28; Mark 9.1; Luke 9.27). The essence of the kingdom of God is the glorified Lord reigning as King in Jerusalem (Psalm 2.6; Isaiah 6.3, 60.2; Habakkuk 2.14). Shortly afterward, Peter, James, and John accompanied Him to the mountain where He was transfigured and His glory revealed. Thus, Jesus’ words were fulfilled. Moses and Elijah were present in each account. But in Luke alone, we find a stunning sentence–one I doubt few know is in their Bible. Luke recorded,

And behold, two men were talking with Him; and they were Moses and Elijah, who, appearing in glory, were speaking of His departure which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem (Luke 9.30-31).

What was this conversation between the Lord, Moses, and Elijah? The text reveals the topic was “His departure (ἔξοδος–“exodus”) which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.” Earlier, Jesus had revealed to His disciples that He was going to suffer, be killed by the Jewish authorities, and raised the third day (Luke 9.22).8 That was the substance of their conversation.

The Lord discussed with Moses and Elijah how He would be rejected and killed by the nation. As a result, John the Baptist could not fulfill the prophecy of Malachi of Elijah’s coming before the Day of the Lord. Therefore, Elijah himself would have to come. He most likely told Moses that this was why He had buried him and discussed the nature of the controversy over his body between Michael and Satan. Moses and Elijah would again appear before Israel preaching repentance and faithfulness to the Lord.

The great salvific theme of the book of Revelation is who is God. Satan, through the Beast, will assert he is God and demand worship. He will have his worship. Billions will acknowledge him as God. But Satan’s victory is short-lived. All who take his mark and worship him are condemned and lose eternal life (Revelation 13.8, 14.9-11). Satan’s fate, along with his cohorts, the Beast and the False Prophet, is the Lake of Fire (Revelation 19.20, 20.10). On the other side, God will have his witnesses, e.g., the Two Witnesses, the 144,000, etc., who will proclaim the gospel of the kingdom (Matthew 24.14). The focus of this gospel during Jesus’ earthly ministry was who He was (Matthew 16.15-16; John 11.25-27).10 This gospel will recur. Those who will believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and do not take the Beast’s mark or worship him will be saved. Many will lose their lives but will gain eternal life. This is the message of the Lord to the 7 Jewish assemblies in Revelation 2-3. At the end of it all, Israel will repent (Matthew 23.37-39), the Lord will return, and as Paul wrote, “all Israel will be saved” (Romans 11.26).


The Two Witnesses of Revelation 11 will be Moses and Elijah. The evidence is substantial. Moses and Elijah will recapitulate their ministries as God’s witnesses to bring Israel to repentance and to reveal to the world that the true God, the God of the nations, is Israel’s God. Their ministry will be to Jews but the Gentile world will see God’s witness just as Nebuchadnezzar saw it long ago (Daniel 3.28-29, 4.1-3, 34-37).

1 The interpretation that the two witnesses are the Church is impossible. The Church is nowhere present in Revelation. The 7 “churches” of Revelation 2-3 the Lord addressed are not body of Christ, Christian churches, but Jewish “assemblies” (ἐκκλησία). The language He used towards them is wholly different from Paul’s language of grace, peace, faith, hope, love, etc. The Lord’s message is one of repentance and faithfulness.
2 Peter expected all Joel’s prophecies to come to pass shortly based on his sermon on at Pentecost. His quotation of Joel (Acts 2.16-21) revealed he expected the signs of the Day of the Lord which John related in Revelation to follow the pouring out of the Holy Spirit.
3 Literal fire proceeding from the mouths of the Two Witnesses as if they were human flamethrowers is unlikely. The sense here is that their speech initiates judgment. Throughout the Bible fire is a symbol of judgment and these men have power to execute judgment, which could be literal fire (cf. 2 Kings 1.10; Jeremiah 5.14, 23.29). They are effectively invulnerable. Any who attempt to harm them are destroyed.
4 The Temple building itself is not indicated. The word ναός referred to the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies. If the Temple building were meant, John would have used the word ἱερόν.
5 See the article, The Olive Tree (Romans 11).
6 Psalm 2 sums God’s prophetic program. Everything else is detail.
7 Elijah is noted 29x in the New Testament: Matthew 11.14, 16.14, 17.3-4, 10-12, 27.47, 49; Mark 6.15, 8.28, 9.4-5, 11-13, 15.35-36; Luke 1.17, 4.25-26, 9.8, 19, 30, 33; John 1.21, 25; Romans 11.2; James 5.17.
8 The Day of the Lord extends from God’s wrath upon the earth, His kingdom, and His creation of the New Heavens and New Earth. The specific part of the Day of the Lord must be determined by context. In this case, the return of the Lord is meant.
9 The disciples heard Jesus’ words but did not comprehend them (Luke 9.22, 44-45, 18.31-34). In John’s Gospel, we read they did not understand or believe in His resurrection until after it occurred (John 20.8-9).
10 The “gospel of the kingdom” is different from Paul’s “gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20.24. The “gospel of the kingdom” focuses on the identity of Christ. Paul’s gospel focuses upon the work of Christ–that He died for our sins and rose from the dead (1 Corinthians 15.1-4). These are two different gospels but equally valid depending on the timeframe. The kingdom gospel was valid from the time of John the Baptist until the Council of Jerusalem in 51 A.D. Paul’s gospel was valid from the time of Paul’s salvation (after he received it from the Lord in Arabia) until the Rapture. After the Rapture, the kingdom gospel will return and be in effect during the 7 years of the Tribulation. Both gospels were valid from Paul’s salvation to the Council in Jerusalem. See the author’s The Great Hinge for more information on this topic.

©2014 Don Samdahl. Anyone is free to reproduce this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold.

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51 thoughts on “The Two Witnesses

  1. Paul Miller

    You’ve done it again: another great study! I appreciate your scholarly approach to biblical topics as seen through the lenses of plain interpretation and the revelation of the gospel according to the mystery. God bless.

  2. Jack S.

    Hello Don,

    Another great article. Because Revelation is so full of symbolism, I have struggled in the past to feel like I have a handle on the meaning. However, since reading your articles and getting a better understanding of “right division” while studying every section of the Bible, I am getting a better understanding of Revelation.

    One question regarding the last paragraph before the “Conclusion” of the Two Witnesses article where you state that, “All who take his mark and worship him are condemned and lose eternal life.” It is my understanding that ALL souls will have everlasting life; believers in the presence of God and unbelievers in the Lake of Fire. Is this true, or are those who take the mark of the beast during the 70th week treated differently?

    Keep up the good work; you are helping more Saints than you know get closer to Jesus as we attempt to glorify God in our daily lives.

    Meridian, ID

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Thanks. Every creature God has given a spirit is eternal, i.e., humans and angels. What I meant was eternal life as opposed to eternal death, i.e. to live in the presence of God or to live away from His presence in the Lake of Fire. All humans will receive a resurrection body according to John 5 and Revelation 20. Thank for your encouragement. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! (2 Corinthians 9.15).

  3. Steven Jay Caldwell

    Greetings My Brother,
    Thank you for you insite that certainly keeps me focused on God’s Word more than ever. I test what you say and wonder, what was I listening to in the churches I used to attend. My question is about Elijah’s ascent.
    (2 Kings 2: 11-12)
    11 As they were going along and talking, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire and horses of fire which separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind to heaven.
    Was it a whirlwind or the chariot? Are they one and the same?
    Thank you again for your faithfulness in presenting God’s word in Grace.
    In Him,

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Thank you. The text is not precisely clear as to what occurred. It appears Elijah went up in the whirlwind and that the chariot of fire and horses of fire escorted him to heaven. Such whirlwinds attend the Lord (cf. Ezekiel 1.4). Such storminess surrounded Mt. Sinai when Moses received the Law.

  4. Ron G

    G’Day Don
    Simply wonderful article.
    Every new thing you add to your blog adds to my understanding.
    Thank you for ALL your efforts.
    As the feedback on this site attest, they are a blessing to many.
    God Bless you Bro.
    Ron G

  5. John Duryea

    Thank you for this article and your insight. It makes sense to me.
    It is almost foreign to me to think that God will, once again, use Moses (and Elijah) as he did long ago. I mean, these are modern times after all. :-)
    I have a question about Michael and Satan disputing/arguing over Moses’ dead body.
    I still don’t get what the actual argument was about. Did Satan want his dead body? If so, why? Could Satan somehow annihilate his body with the intention of preventing God from using Moses on the earth in future times? Still a little foggy on this. Any insight is appreciated, as always.
    May God continue to bless and use you.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      The world described in Revelation will be very different from our current world. Miraculous events are commonplace. The supernatural and the natural are closely connected and intertwined. The matter of Moses’ body is foggy. God has given only a hint of the nature of the conflict. The specifics remain secret; God will reveal them in His own time. Think of it! Moses and Elijah in Jerusalem. And they’re invulnerable. Better than x-men.

        1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

          No, this one you want to sit out and watch from afar. Life on earth during this time will be horrible. But Moses and Elijah will be terrific.

  6. Joe

    On the one hand it’s interesting to study the 7 years of horrors. On the other hand Church Age believers won’t be here. I understand that all scripture is for our learning but what difference does it make to us in the here and now? You could say that maybe the study and explanation to a non believer will make a difference to some unbelievers who will miss the Rapture but can a non believer conceptualize the tribulation? My experience is that the unbeliever will look at me like a calf looking at a new gate. To me it’s like the Apostles in Luke 18 where Jesus is explaining his approaching death…….won’t it just fly over their heads? Are they even capable of understanding?….my point is…we emphasize this endtime subject too much.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Some probably do emphasize endtimes too much. I would rather have that than neglect. All the Scriptures are for us and we should be knowledgeable of the past as well as the future. We can’t say how God will use His word with unbelievers. There are many paths to Christ.

      1. David Dean

        Hello Don,
        More than 2 years have past since these comments were written and I hope you’re still receiving notice of any new comments. I came across your website today and would like to pass on my gratitude. FANTASTIC JOB! I’m only relatively new to the dispensation belief but can only praise God for leading me to the truth. I personally cannot gain enough knowledge about the tribulation because God gave me a very vivid dream about me not going through but needed here during this trouble filled time. So for those that feel they spend too much time on the tribulation there are people out there that can’t get enough.

    2. Bobbi

      One awesome reason to study it is it’s the only book that promises a blessing for reading and hearing and keeping it! Revelation 1:3 Very fun ! Blessings to all!

      1. Vanessa

        Hello Bobbi, Don and David.
        David I am also new to Rightly dividing (2 years) and I too love prophecy and end times. Bobbi and I often exchange notes and teachings and sometimes even debate issues via mail on end times. Bobbi, I just recently leant that the blessings in Revelation is not for us. Revelation was written to the future kingdom people who have to keep those things written in the book. There is a condition in hearing and reading the book and that is to keep those things written in it. We cannot do that as we wont be here, thankfully. I had to have a paradim shift in my thinking when I read that. What are your thoughts??? of course there is always a blessing in Gods word. David, I am battling through Daniel and am surprised how many teachers have different view points on Daniel 2 and 7. I am so glad you have discovered the truth and may your journey of truth be as exciting as ours. We have had so many “Wow” moments. After les Feldick we stubled across Don’s site and have been blessed out of our socks.Take care.

        1. David Dean

          Hello Vanessa and Don.
          Thank you both for your lovely replies and supportive words. I would like to raise a subject that Don doesn’t seem to cover on this site (or I haven’t found it yet) and that is the Revelation 12 sign appearing this coming September on the Feast of Trumpets. I have been following this sign and most of the other converging facts surrounding the star alignment and it is most definitely not a coincidence. I’m convinced it is the return of our Messiah for His people (body) this coming September.
          I would be happy if you both could share your thoughts please.
          Thanks David

          1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

            None of these signs occur while the Church is still here. Paul wrote that the Beast cannot emerge until after the Church is gone–the Rapture. The events of Revelation 12 take place at the mid-point of the Tribulation. My articles, Understanding the Book of Revelation and When Will the Lord Return might be helpful for the big picture. Bullinger’s commentary on Revelation is grand–the best written.

            1. David Dean

              Hello Don and Vanessa,
              Before I say we will have to agree to disagree I would love to share the following facts with regards to the “Revelation 12, September 23rd heavenly sign” with you both please.
              Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
              Don’t you think that God would reveal His plan to His servants that await the most anticipated event over the last 2000 years? Just like God has revealed his plans to His servants in the past, this event is no different and without a shadow of doubt He has revealed His rapture plan also. I agree there have been hundreds if not thousands of date setters over the years with many disappointments to follow but this is on a completely different level as I will show. I would like to stress that we (those who believe in the September sign) are not setting a rapture date but God has set a date for when the sign will occur. This is a big difference.
              Genesis 1:14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
              I have personally checked the program Stellarium myself and this star alignment has never occurred before and will not occur again during this millennium. Not only is this star alignment a rarity but having Jupiter inside the womb of Virgo for the same gestation period of a woman is miraculous in itself. I certainly don’t believe in coincidences and I hope you guys would be the same so when you add this star alignment with the many other miraculous intertwining events one has to start putting two and two together. The sign is for both those that are watching for the Messiah’s return and for those that didn’t believe in Him at all and left wondering what just happened.
              We already agree that when the church is taken up the “son of perdition” will be revealed which in turn will be the ushering in of the 7 year tribulation. During the first half of tribulation the “two witnesses” will be on earth as well as the 144000 (first fruits of Israel) preaching and converting the world. The September sign occurs on the very first Hebrew year of 5778 (Feast of Trumpets). Do you think this was an accident? Everything has been planned precisely and perfectly. There are many fascinating symbolic meanings surrounding this event proving that this isn’t coincidental. Here are a few.
              It is a Jewish custom that two witnesses are required to witnesses the New Moon on the Feast of Trumpets (and then they sound the trumpets). 1 Corinthians 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
              The last of the four blood moons on 28th September 2015 until the 23rd September 2017 heavenly sign equals 726 days. The 726th word in the Strong’s Greek concordance is “Harpazo” meaning rapture. From the total 5624 numbers allotted to each Greek word 726 lands on Harpazo. Coincidence?
              Surface temperature of the sun in Kelvin 5778, In Jewish Gematria (numerical value of a letter, word or phrase) see the following values:
              Fest of Trumpets = 923 (Sept 23), East West North South = 2017, And I will give power to my two witnesses = 5778.
              Over the last 6 months God has revealed so many fantastic truths that even I can’t recall each of them but I am confident that He does not want us to be ignorant therefore I urge any honest truth seeker that longs for the return of our Saviour to search this out. The latest solar eclipse occurs 33 days (792 hrs) before the September sign and the number 33 is connected with “promise”. It just so happens that the number 792 in the Greek concordance is astér (star). I could show you these things all day…
              God bless you.

              1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

                The problem with all this is that Paul never taught the Church about “signs.” The only prophecy Paul taught concerning the Church was the Rapture. We can see generally that the stage is being set for Christ’s return but we have no instructions regarding particular signs. Much of this is a distraction for we cannot change any of it. Our main focus is the proclamation of the gospel. I do a bit of speculation in my article, When Will the Lord Return? and think this is about as close as we can get to determine the timing of future events.

              2. Vanessa

                David, Without sounding arrogant may we have this discussion on the 24th September. I would love to be gone tonight. If those truths that you mention are not in the bible then I have to ignore them. God speaks to me through is word and circumstances. I love your enthusiasm and I hope you wont be disappointed but……..lets see. And if you are right then what do I lose. We shall all be in heavily places on the 23rd September 2017. So either way……It wont matter to me. Revelation 12 as Don says is Mid Trib. And whats more I see a huge gap between the rapture and the start of the Tribulation. The A/C may to be on the scene a few years before the start of the tribulation in order to gain the trust of the Jews. No where does it say he will confirm a peace agreement. It says he will confirm a covenant which could be many things. If you study Daniel you will see he is on the scene with 2 other kings before the start of the Tribulation. I wonder if we are in the end times as the Body is never prophecied as being part of the end times. I may be wrong. Take care.

          2. Vanessa

            Hello David, As much as we would love for it to be real sadly its another one of those money making scams and Revelation 12 is not for us in this dispensation as Don says. The 7 churches are all Jewish congregations and have nothign to do with the Body of Christ. You can imagine how disappointed my Husband and I were when we began to study and found out how wrong we had been for all those 30 odd years. Do I think the rapture will be in September???? My answer. It could be tonight or tomorrow or in another 5 years (lets hope not) but to set a date is wrong. Can you imagine how they will feel the next day. And if it does happen then thats a bonus for us. Yes, I did look at the ailment and the word says “A great Sign”. The alignment is not a great sign by any measure. The alimant has happened before and we are still here. Take care and keep looking up.

  7. Joe

    Will there be a gap of time between the rapture and the beginning of the 7 year tribulation? The newest thought is that the Rapture needs to take place at least 3 1/2 years before the beginning of the trib because it takes 7 years to clean up the mess and Israel needs to leave town in the middle of the Trib.

    After all the years and all the books it’s finally dawned on me that I’ve spent too much time on those 7 years and I won’t even be here….but I guess it’s good to know the times and the seasons……seems like it may be close to that season….’closer’ for sure!

    Thanks again for the time, Joe

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      The Scriptures provide no specific information about a time gap. Personally, I believe a time gap is likely–about 30 years. The good news is that the Lord has not appointed believers of Paul’s gospel to wrath (the Tribulation–1 Thessalonians 1.10, 5.9). It will be a period of unprecedented death and destruction.

    2. Vanessa

      Hello Joe, I read your comment as well as Dons to my husband and we both had a giggle as we too had spent so much time and also many many books on the 7 years. Take care. Always refreshing to come to this site and read the many questions and comments.

  8. cig

    Your study makes sense regarding Moses being one if the witnesses (I have always believed the other to be Elijah).

    I have always believed the second would be Enoch.

    Their deaths fulfilling “to all men will be appointed one death.”

  9. Ed Carter

    I am new to your site, but I am enjoying the articles I am reading.For the past couple of years I have been reading the Apostle Paul along with John. For some reason, I reread Peter’s epistles the other day. My prayer was Lord, how does this fit? Your article on the framework of the Bible was quite enlightening.I have been quite steeped in religion for the majority of my life, but it has pleased God , like the apostle Paul, to reveal His Son In me.My search for the meaning of In Christ has led me to question pretty much everything I had been taught throughout my life. God’s transforming us by the renewing of our minds, by giving us His mind to accomplish this has resulted in pretty much turning everything completely upside down and inside out, quite an experience to say the least. I have a couple of questions if I may. You refer to Anti-Christ as a singular person, rather than a spirit of anti-christ, inhabiting those who claim that Jesus did and does not come in the flesh. We are told that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit, that we, indeed contain the fullness of the triune God in ourselves. Even if this is a “Jewish” scripture, how do we get to a singular, personified person called The Anti-Christ. The other question I have is, if Jesus received the wrath of God, if sins have been removed as far as the East is from the West, that Jesus is indeed the Savior of the World, What is this wrath that is to come after the removal of the Body of Christ from the earth, this time of desolation? It has always seemed to me that saying that Jesus’ “work” His finished work, is presented as a legal fiction of sorts: He really did it, it really happened, but now it is up to us as individuals,to make it “real” in our lives, and if we do not make make it real, by declaring that it is real, that Jesus is just potentially the Savior, not in fact savior at all, but we, individually make Him so by our belief that it is indeed so, that Jesus really did what He said He did. I hope that makes some sort of sense…. Ed Carter

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      There is the spirit of antichrist, which is opposed to everything that exalts Christ but there is also an individual Antichrist who will come. John referred to him in 1 John 2.18.22. John called him the Beast in Revelation (Revelation 13.1-10, 19.19-20). He has many names: the king of fierce countenance (Daniel 8.23), the prince who is to come (Daniel 9.26), the son of perdition (2 Thessalonians 2.3), the man of sin (2 Thessalonians 2:3), the lawless one (2 Thessalonians 2.8), the foolish shepherd (Zechariah 11.17). The wrath of God is part of the Day of the Lord. It refers to God’s judgment upon the earth which is one of the two great themes of the Old Testament (see my article, Theology of the Old Testament). This is Joel 2, which Peter quoted on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2). God has delayed this judgment but it will come. Jesus spoke of it as the Tribulation (Matthew 24.21). Today we live in an age of unprecedented grace and mercy as the ascended Lord revealed to the apostle Paul. May the Lord continue to bless your study and increase your understanding.

  10. Phillip

    I really enjoy this site! My friend recently turned me on to it. Like you, I believe that Elijah and Moses will be the two witnesses. However, I disagree that Elijah and Enoch “never died”. Elijah was taken up into “heaven”, true. However, the Hebrew word translated as “heaven” indicated three different places. Only one of these being the throne room of God. Elijah, it would appear was taken up into the first heaven (the sky where the birds fly) and then deposited somewhere else. I would point you to 2 Chronicles 21 which indicates that Elijah wrote a letter to King Jehoram. This would be highly problematic IF Elijah were in the throne room of God. Secondly, Jesus said that “no one has ascended up into heaven, except He Who came down from Heaven, the Son of Man…” (John 3:13).

    As to Enoch, there seems to be a similar situation. Enoch WAS translated. However, it seems that he was translated and removed from a particular and specific danger. But later died. The Bible tells us the number of years Enoch lived. In addition, Enoch appears in the “heroes of the faith” section of Hebrews 11 which declares, “these ALL DIED in faith…” (v. 13).

    I would be interested in your comments however.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Thank you. These are interesting comments that I had not heard before. At this point, all I can say is it requires further study.

    2. Bobbi

      Hebrews 11:5. By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

  11. Phillip Garrison

    I will be interested to hear of your findings. Beginning about 3 years ago, I really started to dig into the scriptures for the first time and was astounded to see just how much I believed was actually tradition and myth rather than scriptural truth.

    Grace and peace,

  12. williams

    good day sir

    i respect you in understanding that the lord grant you through his grace.God bless you and enlmighting you the more sir.

    pls did you hav an article concerning the prostitude woman seated on the dragon with 7 head and 10 horn

  13. Brian David Mattson

    I am appalled that people are still deceived by the fairy tells of Jews. Jesus was at war with the Jews who are of their father the devil and not of God, see John Chapter 8. Even the Jewish Encyclopedia tells you that the word Jew is not an Israelite or an Israelite a Jew. JerUSAlem or the daughter of Jerusalem is America that went all the way to Babylon or the United States Corporation, see USC Title 28 for the definition of the United States. It is time to put away Jewish fables.

    The Jews are antichrist, the spirit of antichrist has been around for thousands of years even John wrote about, see 2John 1:7. The beast is the Jewish Communist Corporate legal merchant system that has enslaved mankind through contracts, agency, currency, commerce, financial systems, trade, constitutions, compacts and a whole lot more. Even the word Mystery has to do with the craft of witchcraft and sorcery as it relate to master and apprentice.

    Black’s Law Dictionary

    Mystery: A trade, art, or occupation. 2 Inst 008. Masters frequently bind them- selves in the indentures with their apprentices to teach them their art, trade, and mystery. State v. Bishop, 15 Me. 122; Bar- ger v. Caldwell, 2 Dana (Ky.) 131.

    As far as the temple goes the physical temple will not be built until the Millennium. The temple in Revelation and 2 Thessalonians has to do with dwelling in a sacred place thus, JerUSAlem the Holy city (America).


    From a primary word ναίω naiō (to dwell); a fane, shrine, temple: – shrine, temple. Compare G2411.

    Neuter of G2413; a sacred place, that is, the entire precincts (whereas G3485 denotes the central sanctuary itself) of the Temple (at Jerusalem or elsewhere): – temple.

    The temple has to do with government, law, service, instruction, etc. as a body of people. The physical temple in the Millennium will be the government seat a lot like a huge restaurant with six kitchens a many dining rooms, it is a place where we sacrifice food to eat together, sing and fellowship, etc.

    As far as the two witnesses go, David a son of David will be one of the two witness like Moses and will have a portion of the spirit of Elijah and most likely the other witness will be his wife. There are literally dozens of scriptures about the coming King David that will build the temple of the Lord.

    Isaiah 55:1-5 1Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 2Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. 3Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. 4Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people. 5Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the LORD thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee.

    Here we see that there will be a prophet like Moses, this is not Jesus, but the prince to come, King David. Look at the markers like prophet and fire. Jesus has the key to David and sits on his throne as King of Kings, there will be kings under Jesus running the government out of Zion in JerUSAlem.

    Deuteronomy 18:15-18 15The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; 16According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. 17And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. 18I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.

    Hosea 3:4-5 4For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: 5Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.

    You have several analogies of the two witness in Jeremiah 23 and 33 as well as Zechariah 3 and 4 as Zerubbabel and Joshua. They are described as governor and priest, branches, olive trees, lampstands, etc. So, they are foreshadows of the two witnesses to come. One from the tribe of Judah and one a Levite.

    Psalms 132:13-18 13For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation. 14This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it. 15I will abundantly bless her provision: I will satisfy her poor with bread. 16I will also clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints shall shout aloud for joy. 17There will I make the horn of David to bud: I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed. 18His enemies will I clothe with shame: but upon himself shall his crown flourish.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Your statements about Jews have no support from the Bible. The Jews were God’s creation and He will fulfill His promises to them that He began with Abraham (Genesis 12.1-3). Jesus came to fulfill those promises (Romans 15.8). He loved the Jews and died for them. Paul loved the Jews also and went to them first with the gospel. Jesus declared He would not return until they repented (Matthew 23.37-57) and Paul stated all Israel (all believing Jews) will be saved (Romans 11.26). Antisemitism is Satanic. The surest way to determine if one is an agent of Satan is by his attitude toward Jews.

  14. Nathaniel

    The Lord has brought stability and great illumination to my heart in the midst of myriads of conflicting teachings in the body of Christ through some of your teachings. Praise the Lord.
    But one teaching which I find very misleading is the immortality of man. This is directly in conflict with the declaration in Genesis that in the Dat you eat of this fruit you will surely die. And right now only God has immortality. 1 Tim 6:16.
    And for man it is written, …….for dust thou art and unto dust thou shall return. Gen. 3 :19. Man was driven out of the garden of eden so he does not take of the tree of life , and eat and live for ever. Gen. 3 : 22. Man today is perishable like the beast and even vegetable. Man is like vapor.
    The dead knows nothing. Eccles. 9: 5, 10.1Pt.1:24,25. and many such sciptures. The hope of the believer is immortality, and this is at the resurrection of the just.1cor.15:42-58. The most popular verse in the Bible announces this truth very simply; that whosoever believe that in him will not perish but have the opposite which is eternal life. A soul as is believed generally that is thrown into the lake of fire gets consumed out of existence permanently. This is the wages of sin. Immortality of the soul in completely unsciptural and it is clearly a doctrine of devils, and this is the foundation of idolatry and all forms do devilish religions in the world. My brethren in Christ, please let us not wave this aside at as this teaching of immortality was smuggled into the body of Christ after the departure of the apostles. It is not found anywhere in our sciptures.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Thank you. Please see my article, Hell and Judgment. The Bible teaches not only immortality of the soul but immortality of the body. Jesus taught that unbelievers will experience eternal punishment.

  15. B. Leon Joseph

    From the first time I read the book of Revelation (some 30 years ago), I realized that John was addressing his letters to 7 synagogues of Jewish (and perhaps some Gentile) believers, and the angel of each assembly is synonymous with a Shaliach Tzibbur. The Parousia, will have taken place, and those remaining will realize The Temple must be rebuilt, having heard our message. The Two Olive Trees, will have the same commission, as Zerubbabel and Joshua, to end the Galut, reestablish the people in the Land, and rebuild the Temple.

    It was a breath of fresh air, and a long time coming for me, to finally come across another in Messiah, who takes this unique and lonely understanding of Revelation.

    Thank you

  16. vic

    coming in the spirit and power of Elijah is different then it being Elijah.
    Men at end time Working similar miracle’s not Elijah or Moses or Enoch

    Two believers in Christ possible from the Jews (id’s not known yet!)

    Elijah died and will not be coming back except to reign with Christ at the end of the tribulation. Heb 9:27 it is appoint to man to die. These all died in faith not having received the promises, but having seen them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.Heb11:13

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      God always reserves the right for exceptions. Malachi’s prophecy stated Elijah will come again before the Lord returns.

  17. Susie Q

    Great study, thank you. I agree that The Two Witnesses are Moses and Elijah, at least. Elijah representing those who never experience death, and Moses, those who do. The best studies seem to be the ones that do not simply reiterate their denomination’s dogma, but explore biblically based possibilities. Some even believe they may be in the form of a man and a woman. The Greek does not rule this out, I understand?

  18. Alan Finch

    Many people believe that the “two end-time witnesses” will be Elijah and Enoch, or Elijah and Moses.

    We need to step back and clearly think this through thoroughly. Can you imagine Enoch, Elijah or Moses, suddenly being thrust onto the scene today, where the world is completely different from the world that they grew up in several thousand years ago. In fact, it is so different today that it would be difficult to find words to describe just how different it is today.

    With today’s technology, planes, incredible highly sophisticated different weapons of warfare, different modes of transportation, different currency, even a change in the form of speech, and so many other changes, how in the world would Enoch, Elijah or Moses being suddenly cast upon the scene today as adults be expected to function? They would be completely “overwhelmed” and in a “state of shock.”

    Enoch, Elijah and Moses in their day fulfilled God’s purposes for them. God will raise up the “two end-time witnesses” which will have been born and raised up in today’s environment, which will prepare them to fulfill God’s purposes. They are almost certainly to be alive at the present time. It is quite possible and likely that at this present time that they do not even know that the Lord has chosen them to be the “two end-time witnesses”.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      This presumes these OT prophets still only know their world and culture. But what if they have witnessed all that has transpired since their day? In addition, their ministry will be supernatural. They will not need to know how to book transportation online or use an iphone. In any case, God has the ability to prepare such men for this ministry.

    2. Alan Finch

      I will add another comment to my previous comment, which is:

      Elijah was taken up by a whirlwind from the Lord during the reign of king Jehoshaphat of Judah. After Jehoshaphat’s death, his son, Jehoram became king. During king Jehoram’s reign, he receives a letter from Elijah.

      So, now we know, that several years (exactly how many years, is unclear) after Elijah is translated by the Lord in a whirlwind, that he writes a letter to king Jehoram. It now becomes quite clear that when Elijah had been taken up by a whirlwind, that the Lord had just simply translated him to a secret location where he could not be found by his enemies.

      1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

        The Scriptures reveal Elijah went to heaven and the context of the account makes it clear he would not return during Elisha’s lifetime. The letter he wrote to King Jehoram of Judah was before he was translated. 1 Kings 22.50 and 2 Kings 1.17 indicate Jehoram became King of Judah two years before King Jehoram became king of Israel. These were different kings and it was in the reign of King Jehoram of Israel that Elijah ascended into heaven (2 Kings 2.11). Jehoram of Judah experienced the effects of Elijah’s letter two years before he died in the eighth year of his reign (2 Chronicles 21.19). Elijah’s letter and later translation probably occurred between Jehoram of Judah’s 2nd to 6th year of reign.

        1. Alan Finch

          It was only in the past few days that I became interested in this subject. I have discovered that there are arguments going back and forth on the timing of Elijah.s letter written to King Jehoram of Judah. So, if I am wrong on the timing of Elijah’s letter to King Jehoram of Judah, I stand to be corrected.

          I became a Christian 41 years ago. There is nothing more important to me than God’s truth. So, when I post Christians articles that I have written and posted on my website, I do so only if I am convinced that the material in my articles are truly Biblical truth.Over the years, I have discovered that many of my earlier spiritual beliefs were not Biblical. So, I have written a number of Christian articles to hopefully bring a greater degree of clarity to a number of things being taught by the Church today, that is not Biblical truth.

          On the subject of the two end-time witnesses, I am convinced that Enoch, Elijah and Moses in their day fulfilled God’s purposes for them. Throughout history there have been certain generations in which God has “raised up” certain individuals to carry out a special task for Him. We are now living in the generation that will see the Lord “raise up” the “two end-time witnesses” to fulfill His purposes for them “in this generation”

          Please take special note that the emphasis is on being “raised up” for this generation!

          There is zero doubt in my mind that they are alive at the present time. It is quite possible and likely that at this present time, they do not even know that the Lord has chosen them to be the “two end-time witnesses”.

          1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

            It is good that you have recognized and corrected previous unbiblical views. We have no Scriptural evidence Enoch, Elijah, and Moses have fulfilled God’s purposes for them. The Scriptures reveal two witnesses will minister for the first 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation and exercise the powers of Moses and Elijah. There is also no Scriptural evidence they are alive today. It is highly unlikely they are. Everything in the Tribulation concerns Israel and the nations, not the Church. The Church has to be removed before the Beast comes and the Scriptures do not indicate how long a time will pass between the Church’s removal and the Beast’s advent. It may be immediate; it may take a generation. We’re not told. See my article, When Will the Lord Return?

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