Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I'm currently going through the book of Revelation at church on Tuesday nights and am really -- I mean, really -- enjoying my time there! I was just talking yesterday to someone about how Christians (including me before this study) have this idea that Revelation is the last book of the Bible and it's about prophecy, future-events, and such and, consequently, because there are so many differing interpretations that it must be totally incomprehensible for the unscholarly (like myself), so why study it?

Yet during our study of this book, I have come to the exact opposite conclusion. I am convinced that it is a book that must be not only read, but studied, by believers. Yes there are hard points to understand, but the whole point of the book is that Jesus wins!
At any rate, I'm teaching on Revelation 11 tonight and part of the chapter is on the two witnessess that God will choose to bear His witness during this horrific period of the last three and a half years (yes, I know that's debated, but that's what I think) of the Tribulation period.

Revelation 11:3-5 3 "And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty 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 desires to harm them, fire proceeds out of their mouth and devours their enemies; and if anyone would desire to harm them, in this manner he must be killed.

But the amazing thing that I've realized is how many commentators who take the book of Revelation in its plain, normal, futuristic sense until they get to these two witnesses and then they propose this is referring to the whole church age, or to Christians during the Tribulation period. I just can't find that in the context. Maybe I'm missing something, but to me numbers are numbers. They are there for a reason. I think the point here is that God will sovereignly call two individuals (whoever they are -- Moses and Elijah or Elijah and Enoch, I think we have NO way of being certain) to be His stalwart witnesses during this time of destruction upon the earth during the future Tribulation.

I think my argument that these two witnesses being two literal humans (and not figurative for a large body of people regardless of the era) is because of verse 8:

Revelation 11:8 And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified.

These are clearly those who are redeemed, saved, and justified by the Lord Jesus Christ. Sure, it could be referring to "believers at large," but why specifically note two witnesses earlier in the text?

So, that's my morning thought. I must go to my Hebrew class but I wanted to write and say that I believe the two witnesses are two believers who will be divinely empowered to do God's bidding on the earth during the horrific times of the Tribulation. I'll tell ya -- I'm glad I won't be here for the Tribulation, but if there would ever be something cool to see on earth, it'd be these two guys during this future time period!

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