Revelation 11:1-14

In the middle of the destruction of REvelation there are two prophets – two witnesses.  They are modeled on Elijah and Moses.  We see this is the way that they can pray for rain or plagues of blood.  The account brings to mind Elijah before the prophets of Baal or Moses before the Pharaoh of Egypt.  However, in this case there seems to be an epic fail.  The prophets are killed and their dead bodies are left untouched in the street.

A strange kind of Christmas happens at this point.  People are so relieved not to have to hear all this religious mumbo-jumbo and ‘hate speech’ anymore that they give each other gifts.  The righteous words of God are hateful to people and so they will rejoice at their absence.

It is a short lived rejoicing because God supernaturally raises his prophets.  Even then, there is awe but there is no repentance.

Revelation 11:1-14

1 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. 6They 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. 10The 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. 12Then 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.

13At 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.

Questions

  1. Why would God give someone a measuring rod?
  2. What do the witnesses speak about?
  3. How can people see all of God’s destruction and give glory to him without repenting?
  4. How do ‘acts of God’ affect people today?
  5. What would a witness for God speak against on the political level?  In America how would a Christian be in conflict with the Republicans?  How would a Christian be in conflict with the Democrats?  How would a Christian be in conflict with the school system?  How would a Christian be in conflict with the judicial system?  How would a Christian be in conflict with the economic system?
  6. What would be the reaction if the Christian who voices genuine ‘sin within the system’ of government died?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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