The false and opposing argument goes like this:

“These two preachers at Jerusalem will have special powers similar to those given to Moses and Elijah. They will have power to call for drought, to turn water into blood and to smite the earth with all plagues. Because these same powers were given to Moses and Elijah, many have thought that they are in fact Moses and Elijah … but that is not possible.

As it is not possible for resurrection bodies to die a second time, Moses and Elijah, having died a natural death, and both, having received a resurrection body … these two preaching witnesses are most likely two Jewish witnesses from among the 144,000, encouraging the rebuilding of a Jewish temple at Jerusalem after the rapture.  

Just as Haggai and Zechariah preached to the Jews, and encouraged them to rebuild the temple after they returned from the Babylonian captivity, so these two prophets will minister to the nation. The prophets Haggai and Zechariah are likewise referred to as ‘two olive trees’ providing oil for the seven golden candle sticks in the temple (See Zechariah 4:1-4,5-6) 

Moses died and God buried him. Elijah was caught up into the air by angels in a chariot of fire and God concealed his burial place.

We know that nobody could enter heaven before Jesus rose from the dead, so when Christ rose from the grave and ascended into heaven, he opened heaven for all believers. The old testament saints who had died were raised and paradise was taken to heaven when Jesus ascended on high. Nobody could be given a resurrection body before him.

Thus Moses and Elijah would have risen with Christ. They would have received a resurrection body at that time. A resurrection body cannot perish or be destroyed.”

Quick Response:

The questions are:
1. What is the difference between a resurrected body and a translated body?

A resurrected body is simply someone who had died and been brought back to life on earth eg Lazarus.

A translated body is someone who has been taken bodily into heaven … they may have died before hand or not died at all. The prime example is Jesus who was taken bodily into heaven having first died a physical death.

Elijah had not died before being translated, and Moses had died before being resurrected and then translated into heaven.

2. Can resurrected bodies die twice?

Yes, Lazarus was resurrected from the dead (John 11:43-44) only to die later of old age.

3. Can translated bodies die once?

Yes, as Elijah was brought physically back to earth to be killed by the beast.

The first problem with the assertion that the two witnesses in Revelation chapter 11 are not Moses and Elijah, is based on the decades old lie that resurrected bodies can not die twice.

As we clearly see from the Bible there are dozens of people who, having died once, are resurrected, only to die again. The following six are only a few examples …

Lazarus was resurrected from the dead (John 11:43-44) only to die later of old age;

the son of the widow of Nain was resurrected and died later (Luke 7:14-15);

the Shunamite had a son who was resurrected and died later 2Kings 4:34-35);

the twelve daughter of Jairus died, was resurrected and died later (Luke 8:52-55);

Paul resurrected Eutychus who died after he fell from a window and later he died;

Peter raised Dorcas from the dead and she died later
(Acts 9:39-41).

Now the second problem with the denial of Moses and Elijah as the two witnesses, is the lie that when Moses and Elijah died their bodies stayed in the ground.

Moses died and God buried him (Deuteronomy 34:6), but his grave was never found. Why? God had other plans for Moses. He could have been resurrected or not, but we know he was taken bodily into heaven as the result of Michael contending with the devil over Moses’ body (Jude 1:9).

Why? So the body of Moses in heaven could be sent back bodily as one of the witnesses in Revelation chapter 11 … then to be killed by the beast (Revelation 11:7) … then to be brought back to life … to be then taken bodily back into heaven (Revelation 11:12).  

Elijah never died … and that means he never had a burial place … concealed or otherwise … but was translated (2 Kings 2:11), not resurrected, bodily into heaven, in order for his body to be sent back to die with Moses at the hands of the beast
(Revelation 11:7) … then to be sent back bodily into heaven
(Revelation 11:12)

Hence the assertion that no believer went to heaven before Christ rose is false.

Moses and Elijah were special cases and did not rise with Christ … they were translated before the cross … indeed, as was Enoch who was translated bodily into heaven without seeing death (Hebrews 11:5) … and that means he had no grave … and he did not rise with Christ.

Furthermore, that the two witnesses are from the 144,000 is absurd as the two witnesses are prophets (Revelation 11:6, 10), while none of the 144,000 are mentioned as having this office (Revelation 7:4-7,8; 14:1-3,4-5). The 144,000 simply sing a new song … there are no prophets from this number.

In addition, there is no evidnece of the 144,000 encouraging the re-building of the temple. The Jews right now are practicing sacrificing the Passover lamb and have the materials, indeed the red heifer, ready to go to rebuild the temple … soon after the rapture. They will need no ‘Haggai and Zechariah’ encouragement. It will be built in a ‘flash’.   

Again, the job of the 144,000 is to sing a new song … not tormenting the earth for 3.5 years breathing fire, turning waters into blood and smiting the earth with all plagues.

The ministries of the 144,000, indeed Haggai and Zechariah, are chalk and cheese to the torment delivered for 3.5 years by Moses and Elijah.

For three and a half years, the two witnesses torment the earth with prophecy, fire, plagues and blood. Surely this is not the encouraging and temple re-building ministry given to Haggai and Zechariah.

Moses and Elijah’s ministry was not to help re-build the temple.

Moses had the power of plagues (Exodus 10 – 11:1), indeed, turning the waters to blood (Exodus 7:19-20; Revelation 11:6) and Elijah to stop the rain (1 Kings 17:1; Revelation 11:6), and so the two witnesses are Moses and Elijah. 

Adding further to the denial lie, is that Haggai and Zechariah are never called olive trees.

Moses and Elijah are the two olive trees that stand before the Lord in the earth (Zechariah 4:14)… not Haggai and Zechariah.

And here’s the big picture … Israel was given the law, represented by Moses, and the prophets represented by Elijah, and it is these two that have tormented Israel throughout the old testament.

It was the law and the prophets that tormented Israel (Revelation 11:2), with the former being a curse (Galatians 3:10) and the latter being thorns to be killed (Matthew 23:34-35).

Moses and Elijah appearing in the seven year tribulation, are God’s second attempt to confront Israel, and indeed, the whole earth (Revelation 11:9-11). 

It is appropriate then, that Moses and Elijah are the two that torment both Israel and the whole earth in the seven year tribulation.

Adding to this, as the soul was attached to the body in the old testament and vice versa, it is a lie to say that only the soul went to sheol (the place of departed spirits) upon death.

No, both soul and body burned in the fires of hell. It is only through redemption that the circumcision of soul was separated through the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Colossian 2:11). 

There was only Abraham’s bosom and the fires of hell (Psalm 104:4; Hebrews 1:7) … the former being for the bodies and attached souls of the righteous dead and the latter being for the bodies and attached souls of the unrighteous dead.

The context is this … the two that tormented old testament Israel with the curse of the law (Moses) with the warnings, threats and the prophecies of the coming Messiah (Elijah and the prophets), are indeed the ones who will again turn up bodily, to not only do the same in Revelation chapter 12 … but this time include the whole world.

To deny that the two witnesses are Moses and Elijah is Satan’s last and desperate attempt to degrade the inerrant and inspired King James scriptures … that is to deny the absolute and central scriptural pillars of the Moses and Elijah in God’s scheme of history, and their heralding of the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

In these last days before the rapture, Satan is having a field day in changing the Christian’s mind into questioning and not believing the plain scripture wording, with untrue, indeed spurious, red herrings to titivate a dead audience (Acts 17:21).


1. Resurrected bodies can die twice
2. Translated bodies can die once
3. Moses
died before being resurrected and then translated into heaven.
4. Elijah had not died before being translated
5. Moses and Elijah are the two witnesses. 

Harley Hitchcock
February 2024

This website’s front page is:





Australian Bible Ministries, PO Box 5058 Mt. Gravatt East 4122 Qld, Australia