Two of the most mysterious characters in the Bible are the Two Witnesses found in the Revelation, chapter eleven. They are mysterious because we do not who they will be. Personally, I think that they will be Moses and Elijah. The Two Witnesses will use the same powers as were given to Moses and Elijah (e.g. - turning water to blood, calling plagues upon the earth and causing it not to rain). Also, the last two persons mentioned in the Old Testament are Moses and Elijah (Malachi 4:4-6). This passage promises Elijah will come before the “great and dreadful Day of the Lord.” It was Moses and Elijah who appeared with Jesus on the “Mount of Transfiguration.” (Mark 9:2-4)
Moses was in many ways a type or foreshadow of Jesus. My favorite example is when Moses offers his eternal life for the Children of Israel. While Moses was on the mountain, the Israelites were worshiping the Golden Calf. Upon his arrival at the camp, after his initial anger, Moses told the people that he would go to the Lord and seek atonement for them. Moses asked the Lord to forgive their sin or to blot his name out of the Book of Life. (Exodus 32:32) Moses was offering himself in place of the Children of Israel, just as Jesus offered Himself for our sins.
John the Baptist had many of the attributes of Elijah. His diet and dress were similar. In fact, I am told that the historian Josephus says that the leather girdle or belt of Elijah was placed in the Temple on the right side of the Altar of Incense. When the angel foretold Zechariah of the birth of John, he was standing on the right side of the Altar of Incense (Luke 1:11).
This is the first reverse foreshadow that I have noticed, where Moses and Elijah are types of Jesus and John, who in turn are types of (possibly) Moses and Elijah. When we consider Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great, and his actions toward Jesus and John the picture becomes even more complete. Herod is a type of the Anti-Christ. It was Herod who had John the Baptist beheaded (Matthew 14:9). Later, it was Herod who ridiculed and mocked Jesus when He was falsely accused by the Jews. As a result of his actions that day, Herod and Pilate became good friends. (Luke 23:6-12) Herod, as a type of the Anti-Christ, represents the worldly leader who will hate and cause the death of the Two Witnesses, just as Herod took part in the deaths of Jesus and John.
Several times Jesus foretold His resurrection “on the third day.” The Two Witnesses, at the end of their ministry are killed by the Beast from the Abyss. More correctly, the Beast is allowed to kill the Two Witnesses. The Anti-Christ receives his power from the Beast just as Herod received his power from Rome. The bodies of the Two Witnesses lay in the streets of Jerusalem for three days. All the people of the world gaze upon their bodies and gloat. This has never been possible before, but in our time all the world can watch happenings in Jerusalem through satellite television. Read about these incredible events in the Revelation 11:3-12.
After three and a half days, the Two Witnesses are resurrected and ascend to Heaven in a cloud. Jesus, of course, was resurrected after three days and the last time He was seen on earth He ascended to Heaven in a cloud. (Acts 1:9)
There are so many types and foreshadows in the Word. God’s Word is amazing. Praise His name!