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Friday, June 29 2012

Preamble

This chapter cuts right though the middle of the book of Revelations and poses a few significant though abstract conjunctions, personifications of symbolisms hitherto not critically analysed in past encounters, (Zechariah 4: 11-14).  We are confronted with the realism and relevance of every single feature that scripture alludes to, especially if strategically positioned in their metaphysical realm.  (Zechariah 3: 1-3), (Acts 10: 10-15)

The happenings within this period are still contained within the space and time of the sixth trumpet (Rev 9: 13), which perhaps shows the congruity between the last few actions of the tenth chapter and the eleventh thereby creating a veritable platform for the eleventh chapter to kick off.  The command of taking the book and eating it is in perfect synch with the charge by the angel to take the reed and measure the temple, altar and the worshipers.  

 

Verse: 1:

"And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein."

A reed in this sense will be a measuring instrument intended to give specificity and accuracy.

Why did the angel give the reed to John?

  1. God delights in details. Exodus: 25: 40, 1 Chronicles: 28: 11-14
  2. God requires us to know our true capacity and ability. 1 Cor. 8: 2-3, 4: 7
  3. We determine whether our glass is half empty or half full
  4. Allows us to evaluate ourselves to know our true spiritual temperature. Judges: 16: 17-21, 1 Corinthians: 11: 31-32
  5. God blesses in measure and that helps to trigger a fresh perspective on determining strategic drift or fit. Job: 8: 7.
  6. Measurement gives room for stock taking. Luke: 14: 28

 

The Temple: Ourselves: 1 Corinthians 3: 16-17, 2 Corinthians 6: 16

 

The Altar: Our spirituality and connectivity: Judges 6: 25: 26, it represents a place of empowerment and reliance.

 

Worshippers: John 4: 23, God wants to know those who worship in truth and spirit.

 

Verse: 2:

"But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months."

The court outside the temple connotes the world where no form of refrain or restrain is exercised; the outer court is peopled by those who will not honour or reverence God and will not play by God's rules. Romans 1: 23-24, Hosea 4: 17, Psalms 28: 5. God puts timeline to all of the circumstances and situations of life Eccl: 3: 1-3. The outside court portrays the confused and decadent state of humanity and God's resolve to let him continue in his pernicious ways. 2 Thess. 2: 10-12

 

Verse: 3:

"And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, (1260), clothed in sackcloth."

These witnesses are the evidential reality of God's justification for every single decision God Has taken.  Zachariah 4: 11-14. They will be the justifier of God when we stand face-to-face before Him. They prophesied dolefulness and calamitousness, sorrowfulness and lugubriousness. They wore sackcloth­- a representation of degradation and wantonness; the extent of human depravity and spiritual hollowness that pervades the earth. And I will give power unto my two witnesses: God empowers us for such great assignments.  Certain projects require divinely engineered empowerment if exploit and victory must be had. Luke: 10: 19, Matt: 10: 1, Acts: 10: 38, 1: 8

 

Verse: 4:

"These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth." Man has outdone himself. God's symbols of empowerment and refreshing, grace and mercy, strength and dominion, victory and success have become the harbinger of doom and gloom. Humanity is under extreme condition of hopelessness and utter helplessness. The extent of human depravedness compels God to send His witnesses whose tasks are to give illumination and refreshing to proclaim devastation. Lamentation 1: 3-5, Psalms 78: 58-64

 

Verse: 5:

"And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed."

Their persistent proclamation of doom will spark uncontrolled outburst of anger which will stir murderous intent in the hearts of the hearer and in a bid to want to silence them will make attempts to hurt them. Their proclamation will hit right at the heart of the inhabitants of the earth and bruise their egotistic mien and stir their madness to orchestrate the death of these witnesses; but thankfully God guarantees death for every Pharaoh insistent on unleashing terror to God's people. 1 Peter 3: 13, Lamentation 3: 37. I believe God reassures us of His protection in this wicked world and has given us His word to liberate ourselves from the entrapment and snare of the devil.  Psalm 91: 1-16, 27: 1-4. Acts 7: 54, 57, 58

 

Verse: 6:

"These have power to shut heaven that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will."  The enormous powers bestowed on these witnesses acts as catalyst in the accomplishing of their mandate. God specifically endured us with power in order to confound the heathen and compel conformity to the gospel. James 5: 17-18, 1 Kings 17:1. The desire and thirst for success in the kingdom and indeed in any physical or spiritual endeavour requires the entrenchment of power if any meaningful landmark is to be made in this plane. The extent of obedience you compel is directly proportional to the level of power with which you operate. Acts 19: 14-15. God has made available this power through His word. Matt 16: 18-19, 18: 18.

 

These witnesses had power to turn on the miraculous at will. They are the express executors of God's intention on the earth. They had power to use at their discretion. That is a great responsibility. Jesus had power to use at his discretion, but he was very careful with it. We must be careful with the blessings God permits through us and not be haughty or supercilious.

 

Verse: 7:

"And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them."

Try as the devil may he has no capacity to stop him who God has empowered until his assignment is completed. These witnesses could not be touched until their tasks were done. They finished their mission before the devil came out to kill them. Satan's capacity to win any battle against any believer will be predicated upon the completion of the latter's assignment or purpose. Acts 12: 7-9; Luke 4: 28-30. Numbers 23: 23, Isaiah: 54: 17.

 

Verse: 8:

"And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified."

This scenario paints quite an interesting narrative especially by the conjunction of the death of these witnesses with the death of our Saviour. Sodom and Egypt are allegories to the height of man's fallen nature; the place of iniquity and unrighteousness. These two cities are symbolic of the depth of the fallen man. To be in Egypt or Sodom is a representation of spiritual hollowness and nothingness. These cities represents man's void of any modicum of spirituality and divinity. It is man at his lowest no matter what physical razzmatazz he tries to concoct.

Jesus Christ was crucified because of our abode in Egypt and delight with Sodom, our place of sinfulness and debauchery. Our sins sent Him to the cross. Spiritual Jerusalem represents man's righteousness and spiritual vibrancy. Gal 4: 25-26.

 

Verse: 9:

"And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves."

The death of the witnesses would be the relief of the workers of iniquity; to them; finally the tormentor of our soul and the harassers of our peace are no more. Now they proclaim their peace and the appeasement of their consciences by the death of these witnesses. And to show the depth of the pleasure of the death of the witnesses; they leave their bodies as spectacle for all to see. In the same way, Jesus hanging on the tree was a spectacle and a caricature for those passing by to behold with glee and contempt. The heathens' desire to leave the bodies unburied was simply because God intends to finish His work and cut it short in righteousness. The death of these witnesses was by no means the end of the story. God was going to work His awesomeness in the lifeless bodies of these martyrs.

 

Verse: 10:

 "And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth."  

The demise of these witnesses spurred uncontrollable joy in the inhabitants of the earth that they began to exchange gifts.  Their hatred for these witnesses suspended any iota of rationality in them. They not only rejoiced that they were dead but they actually went out of their way to give gifts to each other. This encapsulates the extent of man's dissipation and licentiousness. Early Christian history is replete with stories of witnesses being hacked to death or mauled by wild beast at the cheering and jeering of an eccentric crowd.

The story of these witnesses fits perfectly with the story of our Saviour. His death brought joy to the obsessed sectarian mob of the Pharisees. The gospel of righteousness stirs murderous anger in the camp of the enemy. Satan will do anything to stop the gospel of Jesus from being preached. John 16: 2-3, Acts 9: 1-3, 1 John 3: 1, Acts 12: 1-4

These witnesses should strike a very important cord in our spiritual and divine assignment. As we behold the exploits done by them; we must also ask ourselves if we are faithful witnesses to the command and charge of Jesus Christ that He so succinctly commanded us before his ascension into glory. No better honour can we bestow on our Saviour than to excitedly pursue His mission with vigour and conviction. Although the world may hate us like they did the witnesses to the point of celebrating their death and exchanging gifts at the most bizarre occurrence. We must never be deterred. He who endures to the end shall be saved.

 

"But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." Acts: 1: 8

 

Shalom.

Contributor: Paul Thomas

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 03:23 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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