Sunday, November 17, 2019

The Revelation of Christ – Part 26: The Two Witnesses

The Revelation of Christ – Part 26:
The Two Witnesses
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |

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The Book of Revelation, or the Revelation of Christ, is the most challenging book in the bible.

Because of this fact, many avoid it or ignore it altogether. Some fear lack of understanding; others afraid to misinterpret, which I guess it is better to avoid than dive in and get it completely wrong.

Many times, when a new believer comes to me for direction, they want to jump right into Revelation and find out what’s to come.

This is equivalent to deciding one day to learn Mandarin and sitting down to author a novel in Chinese that very same day.

Or, a kindergartener learning how to count, and then trying to calculate quantum mechanics calculations.

The words in Revelation have caused much debate on rapture, judgment, even some who claim John was writing about the events in his day in code rather than Jesus Christ revealing to him about the coming events and Judgment.

A special blessing is promised to those who read Revelation.

Although it may be a difficult book, we could all use a special blessing, reading this is good for us all, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, we will take the Revelation of Christ in small portions and gain understanding, little by little.

THE THINGS WHICH ARE – The Church Age (Age of Grace)
Part 3 – Ephesus The Backsliding Church

Part 4 – Smyrna The Steadfast Church
Part 5 – Pergamos The Immoral Church
Part 6 – Thyatira The Careless Pagan Church
Part 7 – Sardis The Spiritless Church
Part 8 – Philadelphia The Favored Church
Part 9 – Laodicea The Church God Hates

Part 10 – The Throne of God
Part 11 – The Scroll and Seven Seals
Part 12 – The Lamb is Worthy
Part 13 – The First Seal

Part 14 – The Second Seal
Part 15 – The Third Seal
Part 16 – The Fourth Seal
Part 17 – The Fifth Seal

Part 18 – The Sixth Seal
Part 19 – The 144,000 Sealed
Part 20 – The Great Multitude
Part 21 – The Seventh Seal
Part 22 – Trumpets 1-4
Part 23 – The 5th Trumpet (1st woe)
Part 24 – The 6th Trumpet (2nd woe)
Part 25 – The Mighty Angel

Part 26 – The Two Witnesses  


Revelation 11:1-14
I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, “Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, with its worshipers. 2 But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months. 3 And I will appoint my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.” 4 They are “the two olive trees” and the two lampstands, and “they stand before the Lord of the earth.”[a] 5 If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die. 6 They have power to shut up the heavens so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want.

7 Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them. 8 Their bodies will lie in the public square of the great city—which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt—where also their Lord was crucified. 9 For three and a half days some from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial. 10 The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and will celebrate by sending each other gifts, because these two prophets had tormented those who live on the earth.

11 But after the three and a half days the breath[b] of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them. 12 Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies looked on.

13 At that very hour there was a severe earthquake and a tenth of the city collapsed. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.

14 The second woe has passed; the third woe is coming soon.

a.   And the Altar and the worshippers
                                     i.   But exclude the outer court for the Gentiles

                                    ii.   This Temple John is measuring is probably the Temple the Jews will rebuild to reinstate the ancient Jewish rite, such as sacrifices

                                   iii.   John is told to measure the inner court, which is symbolic of the faithful remnant of worshippers, but exclude the outer court (gentiles) which symbolizes apostate Israel

                                   iv.   This Temple belongs to God, yet during the Great Tribulation it is desecrated, and an idol of the world ruler is placed there. (2 Thessalonians 2:4; Revelation 13:14-15; Daniel 9:27; 12:11)

b.   They will trample on the Holy City for 42 months
                                     i.   This is the last 3 ½ years of Tribulation, the “trampling” by the gentiles probably refers to the fact that they have influenced the Temple into placing an idol within its walls of the world leader.

                                    ii.   And I will appoint my two witnesses to prophesy for 1,260 days clothed in sackcloth

                                   iii.   These two witnesses will pour out divine judgment upon the earth, and will receive divine protection until the judgment is complete
1.   Just as the prophets of the old covenant, and apostles of the new covenant, these witnesses speak the Truth of God’s Word

2.   And just as the prophets of old, and Jesus, the faithful witness of the new, were killed by the sinful world for their Words, the two witnesses will also be killed because of their words

c.   They are the two olive trees
                                     i.   Who are the two witnesses?
                                    ii.   The two olive trees, the two lampstands
1.   Olive trees representing the Truth of God’s Word
2.   The lampstands (like churches) reflecting the Spirit of God

                                   iii.   Perhaps they are Elijah and Enoch, for they must “die” and be resurrected
                                   iv.   Hebrews 9:27 “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”
                                    v.   Elijah and Enoch were the only two men recorded in scripture who were “taken up” and didn’t die. They were both “men” as in human, so they must die at some point according to scripture.

                                   vi.   If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies
1.   I take this to mean judgment (fire)
2.   Perhaps in the same way Jesus disbursed the crowd wanting to stone the adulteress to death by writing the personal sins of the attackers in the sand, these witnesses speak into light the private sins of their attackers, causing them to want to return to the dark and out of the light
a.   Remember, the world is watching these witnesses, and can hear everything they say
b.   Not many would stand by as their deepest, darkest sins were made public before the world
                                  vii.   They have the power to stop the rain from falling (a sign God approves of them)
1.   It will not rain during the time they are prophesying

                                 viii.   They have the power to turn the waters into blood (which would be especially devastating considering most of the drinkable water has been poisoned already, and it is not raining!)

                                   ix.   And they can strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want (probably why the grass and trees and vegetation was left alone during the first of the seals, so the world could witness the power of God through these witnesses, just as Egypt did through Moses)

a.   The beast that came up from the Abyss will kill them
                                     i.   Always seeking to silence the church’s witnesses
                                    ii.   The beast that came out of the pit is likely Satan (false god)
                                   iii.   The beast that came out of the sea is the world dictator (antichrist)
                                   iv.   The beast that came from the land is the false religious leader (false spirit)
                                    v.   This is the unholy trinity

b.   For 3 ½ days they lay where Jesus was crucified, figuratively called Sodom and Egypt
                                     i.   And the world will see them
                                    ii.   This is easy to understand and believe now, but when this was written, it was impossible for images and sounds to be relayed around the world, especially LIVE
                                   iii.   These two witnesses will die in the same place Jesus was crucified to seal the New Covenant
                                   iv.   This place is figuratively referred to as Sodom and Egypt
1.   Sodom’s wicked inhabitants were brought down by fire from heaven
2.   Egypt, symbolic of sin, defeated by God through sacrifice
                                    v.   After they are killed, they will be on display for 3 ½ days to the world

c.   The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them
                                     i.   The earth will celebrate their death
                                    ii.   Give each other gifts (like Christmas celebrating Jesus’ birth)
                                   iii.   Why were those who live on earth tormented? Because God’s witnesses pointed out their sins, and the coming judgment
                                   iv.   They more than likely prophesy specifics, God’s prophecies are not vague

a.   God’s breath of life will enter them
                                     i.   We see God bring them back to life after 3 ½ days, as He did with Jonah, Lazarus, Jesus, it is a sign to the people, God is in control
                                    ii.   They stand again, and terror struck all those who saw this

b.   A voice from heaven will call to them
                                     i.   They will answer the call from heaven to “come up here” and ascend into the clouds as their enemies looked on

c.   And at that very hour
                                     i.   There was a severe earthquake (as when Jesus died on the cross)
                                    ii.   7,000 people were killed
                                   iii.   And the survivors were terrified and gave glory to God of heaven

The second woe has passed; the third woe is coming soon

Next week… The Seventh Trumpet

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