Sorry about 3/05, just not enough time, so here it is on the 6th.
Revelation 11:1–14 (ESV)
The Two Witnesses
11 Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told, “Rise and measure the temple of God and the altar and
those who worship there, 2 but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months. 3 And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy
for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.”
4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. 5 And if anyone would harm them, fire pours from their mouth and
consumes their foes. If anyone would harm them, this is how he is doomed to be killed. 6 They have the power to shut the sky, that no rain may fall during the days of their prophesying, and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood and to strike
the earth with every kind of plague, as often as they desire. 7 And when they have finished their testimony, the beast that rises from the bottomless pit will make war on them and conquer them and kill them, 8 and their dead bodies will lie in the street of
the great city that symbolically is called Sodom and Egypt, where their Lord was crucified. 9 For three and a half days some from the peoples and tribes and languages and nations will gaze at their dead bodies and refuse to let them be placed in a tomb, 10
and those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and make merry and exchange presents, because these two prophets had been a torment to those who dwell on the earth. 11 But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and
they stood up on their feet, and great fear fell on 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, and their enemies watched them. 13 And at that hour there
was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.
14 The second woe has passed; behold,
the third woe is soon to come.
We had the first woe, and today we complete the second woe. The second woe is divided into three parts and we complete the third part of the second woe.
Wow! No, woe! (Or WoWo Radio, Ft Wayne, Indiana! Sorry,) Let’s breat down the second woe. The first part, the demons plagued the people with false doctrine. The second part is that John is told to take the message of the open scroll to all
the world. In the third part, we see what happens to the witnesses of the church, that is... the believers. We see the two witnesses are killed while they are witnessing and sharing the Gospel. As Christians, we should expect persecution.
The Great Commission is getting this message out to the world. It is every Christian’s commission to share the Gospel. Before the Last Day, the Gospel message must be spread throughout the world. The Church here is the both the Temple and
the body of believers. It is the Temple, but only the inner court and not the outer court. This means it is only those who are believers. The Church is viewed by the world as all those who go to church, or the body of the Church. Martin
Luther points out that the Church is made up of believers and hypocrites. The True Church is only the believers and not the hypocrites. The hypocrites are those in the outer court, and the true believers are in the inner court. To tell the
difference, well... only God can see and know man’s heart.
Then, there are two witnesses that are proclaiming the Gospel. For a while, no one can touch them, but when the message has been delivered...
Satan rises and kills the two witnesses. There is no respect for their deaths. They are not buried, but left out on the ground to rot. But God raises them back to life and calls them up to Heaven. The unbelievers watch dead come to
life and arise to heaven. At that hour, a great earthquake wrecks havoc and the people are terrified and give glory to God. The praise comes from fear and not from faith. The Second Woe passes. The question
is "Who are these two Witnesses?" I don't see them limited to two, but it is the body of Christians sharing the Gospel, or at least the Church leaders, pastors and prophets. I pray, Lord help me to remain steadfast in my faith and
to do a better job of sharing the Gospel. Help me to not fear death, but to share the Gospel through love. Help me to expect persecution, yet keeping my eyes on you. Thank you for your forgiveness and eternal life. Help me to share
this gift with others. Amen.