“But after three and a half days, God breathed life into them, and they stood up! Terror struck all who were staring at them. Then a loud voice from heaven called to the two prophets, “Come up here!” And they rose to heaven in a cloud as their enemies watched.” Revelation 11:11-12
The merrymaking of those who rejoice in the death of the two witnesses is cut short after three and one-half days by the witnesses’ restoration to life. As they stand on their feet before the startled gaze of those who watched, it is recorded that great fear fell upon those who saw them. Their amazement increased as they heard a voice from heaven saying to the witnesses, “Come up here.” As they watch, the two witnesses ascend up into heaven.
Though there are similarities between this event and the rapture of the church, the contrast is also evident. The rapture will take place in a moment, and apparently will not be gradual enough for people to observe. The parallel here is to the ascension of Christ on the Mount of Olives, when the disciples beheld Him ascending into heaven, and, like the two witnesses, He was received by a cloud. This is a special act of God addressed to those who reject His grace and designed as a final warning of the supreme power of God over man whether in life or in death. This act of resurrection and catching up into heaven is distinct from any other mentioned in the Bible in that it occurs after the rapture and before the resurrection in chapter 20.