November 26, 2018
Revelation 11:1-14 The Message The Two Witnesses
God promises “spiritual protection” to those in his church (believers) who seek to faithfully abide and obey his Word; God will spiritually protect his own during times of persecution. Evil will come to an end, but until it does God will take care of those who call on the name of the Lord. He has given his Word.
In our passage today from the prophetic Book of Revelation, the Apostle John has a vision of the passion and power of God to save the world. God provides two witnesses to speak truth to the people outside the spiritually protected church; God does not give up on getting the Truth to humanity. God desires that no one would perish, but all would come to the saving knowledge of the Lord. Yet, notice humanity’s reaction to the witnesses who speak only what God tells them to speak; truth of God’s love and the need for repentance or turning from sin. The people are miserable, they cannot enjoy their sin when these two are speaking. The Word pricks their conscience and the unbelievers don’t like it. People actually celebrate the death of these two prophets, so they don’t have to listen anymore to the truth. Could human hearts be so harden against God? The Bible teaches when human hearts are hardened, God allows the stubborn to face the consequences of their sin without his spiritual protection.
1-2 I was given a stick for a measuring rod and told, “Get up and measure God’s Temple and Altar and everyone worshiping in it. Exclude the outside court; don’t measure it. It’s been handed over to non-Jewish outsiders. They’ll desecrate the Holy City for forty-two months.
3-6 “Meanwhile, I’ll provide my two Witnesses. Dressed in sackcloth, they’ll prophesy for 1,260 days. These are the two Olive Trees, the two Lampstands, standing at attention before God on earth. If anyone tries to hurt them, a blast of fire from their mouths will incinerate them—burn them to a crisp just like that. They’ll have power to seal the sky so that it doesn’t rain for the time of their prophesying, power to turn rivers and springs to blood, power to hit earth with any and every disaster as often as they want.
7-10 “When they’ve completed their witness, the Beast from the Abyss will emerge and fight them, conquer and kill them, leaving their corpses exposed on the street of the Great City spiritually called Sodom and Egypt, the same City where their Master was crucified. For three and a half days they’ll be there—exposed, prevented from getting a decent burial, stared at by the curious from all over the world. Those people will cheer at the spectacle, shouting ‘Good riddance!’ and calling for a celebration, for these two prophets pricked the conscience of all the people on earth, made it impossible for them to enjoy their sins.
11 “Then, after three and a half days, the Living Spirit of God will enter them—they’re on their feet!—and all those gloating spectators will be scared to death.”
12-13 I heard a strong voice out of Heaven calling, “Come up here!” and up they went to Heaven, wrapped in a cloud, their enemies watching it all. At that moment there was a gigantic earthquake—a tenth of the city fell to ruin, seven thousand perished in the earthquake, the rest frightened to the core of their being, frightened into giving honor to the God-of-Heaven.
14 The second doom is past, the third doom coming right on its heels.
Prayer: Lord, help me keep my heart pliable to your holy shaping; you are the Potter and I am the clay. Don’t let me forget you shape me out of love. Thank you for bringing me spiritual protection and surrounding me with Truth. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for helping me walk it out with my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.