Jesus’ friend, John, describes the two olive branches of Zechariah (4:11) who stand and preach for 1,260 days. They shoot fire out to destroy the Lord’s enemies, they shut off the rain, they turn water into blood, and they strike the earth with plagues. John mentions nothing about their hotel room or where they eat. He just plunks them down in the town square and hangs sackcloth on them for 1,260 days of sermons.
Then on day 1,261, a horrible creature comes up out of the Abyss and kills them. But the natives refuse to let anyone bury these two. In fact, while their bodies rot in the sun, people send messages all over the world — “Hurrah! These two killjoys are dead!” But three and a half days later, the two up and fly off to heaven while an earthquake knocks the city apart (Revelation 11).
Many people name Elijah as one of those olive branches. Some add Moses as the other branch, and some Enoch. But they all name Elijah.
They have their reasons — Elijah is good with fire and drought, Moses with blood and plagues. And they both talked with Jesus on the mountain (Matthew 17).
Furthermore, Hebrew 9:27 says, “… it is appointed unto men once to die.” Instead of normal departures, Elijah took a chariot ride (2 Kings 2:11), Moses climbed a mountain (Deuteronomy 34:5), and God snatched Enoch away (Genesis 5:24, Hebrews 11:5).1Some people try to discredit the whole idea. “‘The Lord took Enoch.’ Isn’t that a euphemism for ‘Enoch died.’?” “If Elijah went to heaven in a chariot, isn’t ‘went to heaven’ another way of saying ‘died’?” “And Moses didn’t just climb that mountain. Deuteronomy says, ‘died, d-i-e-d, died.’”
Rumor has it that regardless of who his partner is, Elijah might not want the job.
“Exciting, maybe, but not if you’re the one rotting in the sun. A bit like the fellow who was being ridden out of town on a rail. ‘If it weren’t for the honor of the occasion, I’d just as soon walk.’ But Dad already told me, “Get a good night’s sleep, Son. You’ll need an early start in the morning.”