In loving memory of my mon and dad and ... to God the judge of all, 'and to the spirits of just men made perfect,' and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant. Hebrews 12:22-24. We've heard the term, "nobody's perfect." If we are truly saved by "grace through faith" in the blood of Christ, sanctified, water baptized, Holy Ghost filled and consider our imperfect terrestrial earthly "body," this statement is biblically reasonable. 1 Corinthians 15:35-37. In the original texts of Hebrew or Greek, the term 'perfect' us usually translated as "complete." KJV.
God's plan of "spiritual perfection" is mentioned with Abraham in Genesis 17:1; with the sufferings of Job 1:1 and 2:3; Paul's hope in Philippians 3:1-16; and his death in 2 Timothy 4:6-8.
Enoch was the seventh generation from Adam. Throughout the scriptures, "seven" is God's number of perfection or "completion." He was the father of the oldest human, Methuselah, who died at age 969. Enoch was "365" years old when God "raptures" him. Genesis 5:18-27. "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." Hebrews 11:5.
James 5:17-18 speaks of "Elijah" as a man of like passions, as are we. He prayed earnestly for rain to cease upon the earth for three years and six months. The Lord answered his prayers. The prophet prayed again "and the heaven gave rain and the earth brought forth her fruit." Elijah, while "Elisha" witnessed, was transported to heaven in a "chariot of fire and horses of fire." 2 Kings 2:8-17.
Enoch and Elijah have never experienced a natural death and a resurrected, "glorified" body of flesh and "bone." Their translated souls left the earth as perfected "spirits" to dwell in heaven. "Flesh and blood bodies cannot inherit the kingdom of God." 1 Corinthians 1:29, 15:50.
They will return to earth "clothed in sackcloth" as prophets with great power for 1,260 days during the seven-year Great Tribulation. Revelation 11:3. These two will declare God's forthcoming, wrath and fulfill these scriptures: "And it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." Hebrews 9:27. "The disciple is not above his master;" "The servant is not greater than his Lord." Matthew 10:24; John 15:20.
Christ himself, "The Ancient of Days" and "Son of the Living God" while upon Earth as the "Son of Man," shed his blood on a cross and "died" a cruel, mortal death for our sins. He "arose" from the grave on the third day. John 11:25-26. Our Lord is the "first born among many brethren." Romans 8:29. He ascended back to his Father and "currently" possesses the "only resurrected," glorified body of flesh and "bone." Luke 24:36-40; see Genesis 2:21-23. Christ is the "first fruits" of "all that slept." 1 Corinthians 15:20-23; 35-57.
After the two prophets finish their testimony and are overcome and killed by the "beast;" their recreated 'natural' bodies will lie dead in the street of "earthly" Jerusalem for three and a half days. The Spirit of God will then revive and resurrect them to receive a "celestial" new "body," and ascend to heaven in a cloud. Revelation 11:7-12.
According to the previous passages of scripture, this writer believes that Revelation's "two olive tress," "candlesticks," or "witnesses" are these two men. Revelation 11:3-12. Some Bible scholars and theologians disagree concerning "Enoch," and debate about "Moses" and Elijah. Moses at age 120 was taken by God unto Mount Nebo, to the "top" of Pisgah and "died" there in the land of Moab. "But no man knoweth of his sepulcher unto this day." Deuteronomy 34:6; and 1-12.
"Moses" and Elijah in 'perfect spirit,' 'appeared' to talk with Christ on the Mount of transfiguration. Matthew 17:1-4; Mark 9:1-4. "These two, represented the "Law and the Prophets." Matthew 7:12; 11:13; 22:40. "The resurrection 'and' the life." John 11:25. Or the "Quick and the Dead." Acts 10:42; 2 Timothy 4:1; Ephesians 2:1 and 5.
Malachi 4:1-6 talks of "Moses" as God's "servant" and Elijah as the 'prophet' of God. He mentions Elijah being sent before the great and dreadful day of the Lord. Many believe that Malachi is speaking of John the Baptist, and of Elijah the Tish bite's return in Revelation chapter 11. John was 'not' Elijah or Christ. John 1:21-25. Jesus makes a spiritual metaphor of John and Elias in Matthew 11:1-14, 17:10-13; Mark 9:11-13; and Luke 16:16.
In his Holy Ghost inspired epistle, Jude writes that the devil disputed with Michael, the archangel, about the body of Moses. Verse 9.
He also speaks of Enoch the seventh from Adam prophesying about the Lord's return with "ten thousands of his saint to execute judgment on the earth. Verses 14-15. Jude, as with many writers of his time, had access to a series of second and first century B.C. writings called "Enoch" or "Book of Enoch" a.k.a. Ethiopic Enoch, which proclaims him a prophet of God's transcending, chronological and biblical judgments.
John Wesley preached and taught the Bible doctrines of 'entire' sanctification and Christian perfection. 1 Thessalonians 5:23. "For by one offering he hath perfected them for ever that are sanctified or set apart. Hebrews 10:14. This is the second work of grace on our hearts, by his blood. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7. We must "perfect" 'holiness' in the fear of God. Isaiah 35:8, 2 Corinthians 7:1, Hebrews 12:14.
Christ prayed, "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." "And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also be sanctified through the truth." "I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made 'perfect' in one." John 17:17, 19 and 23a.
Our Lord is like "a refiner's fire; and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver." Zechariah 13:9, Malachi 3:2-3. He's like a potter with clay. Isaiah 64:8, Jeremiah 18:2-6, Zechariah 11:13, Romans 9:21, Revelation 2:27. Jesus counsels us "to buy him some gold tried in the fire." Revelation 3:18. The Lord desires us to be perfect or 'complete' in him. Colossians 1:28, 4:12; 2 Timothy 3:17; Hebrews 13:21.
"Let our old man be crucified and press on to perfection" in love, peace, patience, faith, mind and judgment. Romans 6:6; Ephesians 4:22; Colossians 3:9; Hebrews 6:1-2; 1 John 4:17-18; Isaiah 26:3; James 1:4; Revelation 13:10, 14:12; 1 Corinthians 1:10; Philippians 3:15. He has given us apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, in part, for the 'perfecting' of the saints. Ephesians 4:11-16, 1 Thessalonians 3:10-13. Joel Hemphill writes, "I'll be 'perfect' according to his plan, fashioned by the master's loving hand." "He's still working on me."
When the last trumpet sounds, the dead in Christ will rise first. Those of us who are alive in Jesus and changed bodily at his appearing, will experience a split-second natural death during this translating, rapturous process.
The prophets' death in Revelation 11, as ours is "swallowed up in victory." 1 Corinthians 15:40,49-55. "And so shall we ever be with the Lord." 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 1 Corinthians 13:10-12.
We, too, will return with our Lord to this earth to rule and reign with him for a thousand years. After this, we'll live in "a new heaven and a new Earth wherein dwelleth righteousness. Revelation 19 and 20, 2 Peter 3:13." Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace. Psalms 37:37, 1 John 3:2.
(The opinions of this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Inter-Mountain, the Randolph County Ministerial Association or the author's church affiliation.)