Revealing Revelation – Moses and Elijah


The second half of the introduction of the Two Witnesses gives the reader a picture that is once again familiar and reminiscent of Old Testament imagery, specifically as related to two of the Old Testament’s most prevalent characters; Moses and Elijah.

Rev 11:5 And if anyone would harm them, fire pours from their mouth and consumes their foes. If anyone would harm them, this is how he is doomed to be killed. 6They have the power to shut the sky, that no rain may 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 kind of plague, as often as they desire.

The powers demonstrated by these Two Witnesses derive directly from the events of the lives of Elijah and Moses. As Elijah called down fire from heaven to devour the sacrifice and prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel as well as on soldiers who were sent to arrest him, the Two Witnesses breathe fire from their mouths.

This fire most likely represents the wrathful proclamation of the coming destruction and the warning of repentance. This is not said without an understanding of similar Biblical imagery expressed in the Old Testament regarding the words spoken by Prophets or as the Lord speaks.

Jer 23:29 Is not my word like fire, declares the LORD, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?

Psalm 18:8 Smoke went up from his nostrils, and devouring fire from his mouth;glowing coals flamed forth from him.

Psalm 21:9 You will make them as a blazing oven when you appear.The LORD will swallow them up in his wrath,and fire will consume them.

Psalm 29:7 The voice of the LORD flashes forth flames of fire.

Isaiah 30:27 Behold, the name of the LORD comes from afar,burning with his anger, and in thick rising smoke; his lips are full of fury,and his tongue is like a devouring fire;

Even in the New Testament we note the use of fire in judgment against the enemies of God in a consuming and devouring way.

Luke 12:49 “I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled!

2 Thessalonians 1:8 in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

Hebrews 10:27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.

It is important again to note the continuing use of Old Testament judgment language throughout these passages. Even the judgments themselves were seen as fire being sent from the altar in Heaven. This fiery judgment should not be missed in the image presented here. Also, since these Two Witnesses would be ministering during the time of these judgments against apostate Israel, it would not be difficult to see them taking part in calling down those judgments through prophesying and warning. This again was a common practice amongst the Old testament prophets.

Also note the similarity to Elijah in the ability to keep the sky from providing the much needed rain for crops and drinking. The promise of a dry and brittle land is found in both Leviticus and Deuteronomy in regards to Covenantal Unfaithfulness.

From the life of Moses we see the water turning to blood and the plagues of Egypt befall the city. We even discover in verse 8 that the city of Jerusalem is called Egypt. It is also called Sodom, the famed city on which fire from Heaven was sent and consumed.

This is another common Old Testament image in which the Lord refers to Israel using those names.

Isa 1:1 0 Hear the word of the LORD,
you rulers of Sodom!
Give ear to the teaching of our God,
you people of Gomorrah!

Eze 16:48 As I live, declares the Lord GOD, your sister Sodom and her daughters have not done as you and your daughters have done.

So, here in revelation the two hated nations of Israel have now replaced Jerusalem in the eyes of God.

Rev 11:8 and their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city that symbolically is called Sodom and Egypt, where their Lord was crucified.

Again note how these events correspond with the judgments we have previously witnessed in the trumpet judgments. The ministry of these two coincides with these events making the conjecture that these two are actually Peter and James more feasible.

If not those two saints specifically then the totality of faithful witnesses who become martyrs should be in view. For they would receive their promised resurrection. The Beast may try and devour this new Church through persecution and death, but she is resurrected unto new life, eternally. But before doing so they will, like Joshua and Zerubabel before them, build a new Temple. Not of of stones and gold, but rather one this is spiritual and eternal; the Church.

Finally, as representatives of the Church the Two Witnesses are pictured resurrecting from the dead. This promise is the focal point of much of Paul’s writing. This promised inheritance and great hope of every member of Christ’s Church is presented in a glorious image in this passage.

1 Cor 15:20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

With their departure the sixth trumpet and the second woe are passed. This is shown through the intense working of God’s presence in judgment in an earthquake. We now await the seventh trumpet and the final of the three woes.


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