With this study I wish to prove why we can know with all certainty who the two witnesses are! They are Enoch & Elijah!
Heb. 9:27 is a doctrinal statement! This verse clearly says, "that everyone must keep an appointment with death"! ....."Through six thousand years and through numerous dispensations, up until the rapture of the church, this has been a fact. Everyone must die! Everyone! With this in mind, let us consider this verse in reference to our "two witnesses".
The usual response to Heb. 9:27 in this reference, is that many people have died more than once; thus negating this verse altogether as a solution to their identity. So any mention of Heb. 9:27 in reference to the two witnesses is usually rejected immediately. It is my contention that this verse is critical to our study and will be a foundational point.
The key that unlocks our understanding to this verse can be found in the word once "It is appointed unto men once to die!" This word 'once' when interpreted by most people is almost always interpreted to mean 'more than once'. Some people have died more than once, therefore this verse cannot be used to explain or define how many times a human being can die; is usually what we hear! I believe the word 'once' could be better understood to mean 'at least once'. "It is appointed unto men, at least once to die". Instead of the more traditional interperation of 'more than once'.
The fact that some have died more than once is irrelevant to our study. We will discover that only two men have not died at 'least once'; but will when all scripture is fulfilled! This study will prove that this indeed is GOD's plan for man. For everyone to die at least once and then to be judged. (Heb. 9:27) the fact that others have died more than once is irrelevant.
If I could only use one verse to prove that Enoch must be one of the two witnesses, Jude 14 would be it! "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, behold the LORD cometh with ten thousands of his saints." I contend that this is a prophetic statement of what Enoch will say (prophesy,preach) during the tribulation period. Jude 14 says that Enoch prophesied saying, "Behold the LORD cometh with ten thousands of his saints."
Now who is Enoch talking (prophesying) to? Notice carefully that Jude 14 says that Enoch said these things! He did not write these things! Deut. 33:2 is the only place in the Old Testament where anything even close to this declaration takes place. A careful study of that verse reveals that this is in reference to a "blessing"; whereas Jude 14 speaks of "judgment"! Comparing Jude14 with Zech 14:5, Rev. 19:14 and 1 Thes. 3:13; we clearly see that only the second coming of JESUS is with all his saints and with judgment! JESUS could not have come at any time before his own resurrection with any of his saints. All saints were confined to a "lower place", before the resurrection! (Eph. 4:8-10) Therefore there is no scriptural reason why Enoch would prophesy this message before the LORD's first coming. None at all!
Since the setting of Jude 14 is of the end times and (11 Tim 3:2, 11 Peter 3:3. Jude 15-19) since Enoch did not write any scriptures for the tribulation people to read; and since Jude 14 says that Enoch said these things to those people, there could only be one plausible explanation for this verse to make sense. Enoch must be present on the scene; during this period to prophesy these things! How else could Enoch prophesy that the LORD was coming with ten thousands of his saints to the tribulation people? Only tribulation sinners could benefit from this message! Enoch must say these things to people who could hear these things and repent of these things! A tribulation message by a tribulation preacher to tribulation people! Enoch, according to Jude 14 is that tribulation preacher!"
Most Christians are familiar with the story of JESUS raising Lazarus from the dead. We are often reminded that had JESUS not mentioned Lazarus by name when he called him out of the tomb, all of the dead souls" would have also "come forth". In my opinion, 1 Thes. 4:17 is a similar verse. (verses 16 & 17) "For the LORD himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of GOD: and the dead in CHRIST shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the LORD in the air: and so shall be with the LORD. In verse 16 we are told that the "dead in CHRIST shall rise first." Wouldn't it have sufficed if verse 17 simply said, "Then we which are alive (in CHRIST) shall be caught up?" You are either alive or dead (in CHRIST)! That should be enough to include everyone, and it does!
Unfortunately, there are two people who are still alive (in CHRIST) that GOD does not want to participate in the rapture. Guess who? You got it! Enoch & Elijah! The little word remain in verse 17, simply & cleanly takes care of that problem. If not for the word, remain in verse 17 then Enoch & Elijah, who are still alive (in CHRIST) would by command; obey the sound of the trumpet and be changed with the rest of us! But, because they do not remain on earth (Zech. 4:14); they will not be changed! They will stay as they are; only to return and die (in CHRIST) at a later time (Rev.11:9) and fulfill all scripture (Heb. 9:27).
If according to 1 Thes. 4:17, "all who are alive (in CHRIST) at his coming" are changed, then Enoch & Elijah along with Moses, will all put on incorruption! If Moses and Elijah are the two witnesses, we then have another interesting situation! Moses would first have an earthly body (corruption); then later put on incorruption after his death and participation in the rapture, only to put on corruption again to return to earth during the tribulation period and then put back on incorruption after his death again in Rev.11. Of course, if only those who "remain" are changed and Enoch & Elijah are the two witnesses; then they will simply come back to earth as they always were (corruption); die; and put on incorruption for the first time. No different than anyone else.
If O.T. saints are not part of the rapture, then Eph. 4:8 still places these saints in Heaven.
As we have discussed earlier, "It is appointed unto man once to die"! (Heb. 9:27) More than once is irrelevant to our study. At least once is doctrine! From our study, we see that there are two souls who haven't yet died! Enoch & Elijah! It is my opinion; that Rev. 11:8 & 9 is the conclusion of this matter. So much so that the words, "Dead bodies", are mentioned three times in these two verses. The Holy Spirit clearly and conclusively pointing out that these two saints are now dead! Of course, if Moses is one of the two witnesses, then we find ourselves with an interesting problem. One saint, Enoch, will have never died! Of course, except for the raptured and millennium saints, this is impossible!
Rev. 11:6, Jude 9 and the three gospel accounts of the transfiguration are primarily used for support of Moses as one of the two witnesses. In any courtroom in America, these verses at best would be labeled as circumstantial evidence. Just because something happened before involving someone, doesn't mean that the same person will be involved if the same type of circumstance happens again! Frankly, it is against the law to reason that way! Can we place Moses in the tribulation period during these events, based only on the evidence that he participated in similar events in past history? Because he appeared together with Elijah according to the gospel accounts? This is at best circumstantial! There are absolutely no scriptures to support Moses as one of the two witnesses, based on evidence alone!
There were only two individual isolated raptures recorded in the scriptures. Two saints who were chosen to escape death in their lifetime. One was Enoch and the other was Elijah! We know from Mal. 4:5 why Elijah was one of these two saints. He will return as one of the two witnesses! But why was Enoch raptured or "taken"? We know from Gen. 5:24 that, "he walked with GOD" and according to Heb. 11.5, Enoch "pleased GOD". Considering the testimony of GOD himself, regarding John the 'Baptist' (Matt. 11:11), David (Act. 13:22), Noah (Gen.6.9), Adam (Gen. 1:31) and many others: does pleasing GOD qualify Enoch for a personal rapture?
It could also be said that Enoch was a, "type" of the N. T. Church. This is probably true. But, all examples or types in the old testament have also an immediate, contextual purpose or significance! There were reasons why certain O.T. events happened. In the first place, Noah's Ark helped to save the life of himself and of his family; Moses struck the rock and supplied water to his people; Abraham displayed his faith by his willingness to sacrifice Isaac; all O T. 'types' or 'figures'; but yet, all had a reason for the event to happen in the first place. What was the purpose or the reason of Enoch's rapture? It is my opinion, that it was for the same exact reason that Elijah was 'taken up'! Only two saints, 'taken up', only two saints who never died, two saints to return at a later time during the tribulation period. There is no other reasonable explanation.
Matt. 17:2 & 3 gives to us an eye witness account by Peter, James and John, of what is commonly called, "the transfiguration". Specifically, the transfiguration of JESUS. With JESUS, is Moses and Elijah. We know that it is Moses and Elijah because verse three plainly tells us who they are. Verse two of chapter 17 gives to us a very brief description of the appearance of JESUS. His raiment and body are of a glorified nature. The white raiment mentioned throughout scripture (Is. 1:18, Dan. 7:9, Dan. 12:10, Matt. 28:3, and Rev. 1:14) etc. Since, what we have in chapter 17 is the appearance of one saint who has already died (Moses), together with another saint who has not yet died (Elijah); I was curious as to the description of their bodies and their raiment! Interestingly enough there is nothing said or written about either one! Not one word in three separate chapters of three different books (Matt. 17, Mark 9, Luke 9). I personally believe that their was an obvious and distinct difference in the appearance of the raiment of Moses and Elijah. It is also my contention and personal opinion that had there been a description of their bodies or raiment , certain confusion would have resulted. Therefore, I believe the Holy Spirit intentionally left out any description, in order to avoid this situation. Through shear deduction; the description of Moses and Elijah together; would have easily revealed the identity of two witness.