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Lesson 9

 

TWOWITNESSES

 

 

I.COMPLIMENTARY TEXTS

††† 1.Ezekiel2 &3---A message to a rebellious people in ascroll that was sweet when eaten.

††† 2.Zechariah 4:1-14---Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit: rebuild God's house.

††† 3.Luke 9:30-35---Moses and Elijah stood by the Lord;God said hear Jesus Christ.

††† 4.1 Corinthians 15:20-28---Jesus began His reign following His resurrection and will continue till all things are subjected to Him.

††† 5.Daniel 9:26-27---After the destruction of Jerusalem, in mid week comes one who makes desolate.

 

II.MAIN THEME--REVELATION CHAPTERS 10 AND 11:The prayers of the saints are answered; judgment will be

††† delayed no longer.But first the two witnesses must complete their testimony.Then judgment will come upon those who

††† persecute God's people.

††† 1.Textual Discussion of Revelation 10-11:18.

††††††††††† 1).10:1-7---Judgment will be delayed no longer, the mystery of God would be finished.

††††††††††††††††††† a.This answers the question of the fifth seal, "How long till vengeance?" (Rev 6:10).

††††††††††††††††††† b.Punishment upon those who had persecuted the saints is coming (Roman Empire?).

††††††††††† 2).10:8-11---A message of warning for many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings.

††††††††††† 3).11:1-2---Measure the temple (God's house).

††††††††††††††††††† a.Leave out the court which has been given to the Gentiles--Rev 12:6, 14.

††††††††††††††††††† b.The temple of God opened in heaven--- Rev 11:19; chapter 21.

††††††††††† 4).11:3-6---Two witnesses (who do the miracles of Moses and Elijah) prophesy 3 1/2 years.

††††††††††††††††††† a.Significance of 3 1/2: equals half of perfection. (Rev. 11:3, 9, 11; 12:6, 14; 13:5

††††††††††††††††††† b.Clothed in sackcloth to represent mourning and sorrow over the condition of the saints.

††††††††††† 5).11:7-10---Rome will make war against, overcome, and kill the two witnesses.

††††††††††††††††††† a.Unburied bodies to lie in Jerusalem for 3 1/2 days while the nations rejoice.

††††††††††††††††††† b.The two prophets had tormented those people who are rejoicing.

††††††††††† 6).11:11-14---The two prophets receive new life and they are caught up to heaven in a cloud.

††††††††††††††††††† a.Their enemies saw them ascending into heaven.

††††††††††††††††††† b.God gave them power to overcome even death---Rev 12:10-11; 20:6.

††††††††††††††††††† c.Judgment came upon the city (Rome?)---Rev 11:13.

††††††††††† 7).11:15-18---The seventh trumpet completes the three woes of Rev 8:13.

††††††††††††††††††† a.The reign of Christ has been fulfilled---11:15

††††††††††††††††††† b.The time of the judgment of the dead and reward of the saints has come---11:18; 20:11-15

††† 2.Related Topics

††††††††††† 1).The finishing of the mystery of God (Rev 10:7) is defined in several texts:Romans 16:25-27; Ephesians 3:8-11;

††††††††††††††††††† Colossians 1:24-27; and 1 Timothy 3:16.

††††††††††† 2).The message of the little book may be a message of warning like that of Ezekiel 2&3.

††††††††††††††††††† a.Sweet in the mouth probably signifies the goodness of God's word---Psalms 119:103-105; Ezekiel 3:3;

††††††††††††††††††††††† Proverbs 24:13-14. Matt 13:15;

††††††††††††††††††† b. Bitter in the stomach probably represents the pain of warning about God's impending judgment to people who

††††††††††††††††††††††† refuse to hear---Ezekiel 2:3-10, 3:4-14;1 Cor 14:21; Acts 7:51, 28:27; Romans 11:8; 2 Timothy 4:3-4;

††††††††††† 3).The measuring of the temple may signify the measuring of God's people, Rev 11:1-2.

††††††††††††††††††† a.Christ's message in Rev. chapters 2 &3 is a type of measurement of God's people.

††††††††††††††††††† b.Many scriptures teach that Christians are the temple of God---1 Cor 3:16-17;2 Cor 6:16; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4.

††††††††††††††††††† c.Christians are warned to examine ourselves--1 Cor 11:28; 2 Cor 13:5; Galatians6:4.

††††††††††† 4).The two witnesses probably represent God's Message, with Moses and Elijah representing the Law and the Prophets

††††††† ††††††††††† (Godís word) which is now the gospel of Jesus Christ.

††††††††††††††††††† a.In the account of the two olive trees of Zechariah 4,God commanded to rebuild Jerusalem by depending on His

††††††††††††††††††††††† Spirit.The two anointed ones standing by the Lord in that vision might remind the Christians of Moses and Elijah

††††††††††††††††††††††† standing by Jesus and God speaking from ††† heaven: "This is my beloved Son, hear Him." --Luke 9:30-35.

††††††††††††††††††† b. God's word was being preached in difficult circumstances.Most of the Apostles had been killed by Rome, first with

††††††††††††††††††††††† the help of the unbelieving Jews, and then with the full authority of the Roman Empire beginning with Nero.

††††††††††††††††††††††† Christians were condemned for their refusal to worship the Roman Emperor.Now John had been exiled to Patmos

††† ††††††††††††††††††† by Domitian who demanded to be addressed as God, and who had his own cousin Flavius Clemens killed for being a

††††††††††††††††††††††† Christian. (Volume 1, page 214-215, THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE, by Edward Gibbon,

††††††††††††††††††††††† 1952 by Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc.)

††††††††††††††††††† c.The messengers of God, those faithful Christians who refused to worship the Emperor, were being put to death, but

††††††††††††††††††††††† their persistent faith, though they were persecuted, served to increase the power of their message.

††††††††††† 6).Three and one half days; three and one half years; 1260 days; time, times and half a time are all based on 1/2 week.

††††††††††††††††††† Daniel 9:26-27 is a vision of the time following the crucifixion of Christ.This involves the destruction of Jerusalem and

††††††††††††††††††† the abomination of desolation spoken of by Jesus in Luke 21:20-24.This same time period is used to portray the hiding

††††††††††††††††††† of the woman in Rev 12:6, 14.The gospel had gone forth from Jerusalemto all the world carried by the Jewish apostles

††††††††††††††††††† of Jesus.Now Jerusalem had been destroyed and all the Apostles except John had been killed.The abomination that

††††††††††††††††††† makes desolate (Rome) had done its †† terrible work.The messengers of the gospel are dead, so Satanís followers rejoice.

††††††††††† 7).The resurrection of the witnesses is a powerful demonstration of the power of God to overcome the persecuting power of

††††††††††††††††††† Rome and to cause the gospel to spread with increased zeal.The blood of the Christian martyrs added to the appeal of

††††††††††††††††††† the gospel.Soon the force of Christianity would destroy the pagan power of Rome and a Christian would become

††††††††††††††††††† Emperor.Rev 2:10, 13; 11:15; 12:10-11.

 

III.PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS

††† 1.We need to preach the word without fear.When we compare what we face today with what the Christians faced in the time

††††††† of the apostles, we have nothing to fear.Even if the government works against God's purpose, it will be temporary and God's

††††††† word will prevail.2 Tim 4:1-4.

††† 2.Remember that we do not do God's work by our power or might, but by God's Spirit.Rom 1:16; Heb 4:12; Rom 8:13;

††††††† Zechariah 4:6-7.

††† 3.We can expect persecution when we preach the gospel.Remember that the people rejoiced when they saw that the two

††††††† witnesses had been killed.Paul said that Christians are the aroma of death to those who reject Christ.2 Cor 2:14-17; 2 Tim 3:12.

††† 4.Worldly power is temporary.We have seen the rise and collapse of Communism in less than one hundred years.The Roman

††††††† Empire lasted just a few hundred years.All power will be subjected to Jesus before the end.1 Cor 15: 20-28; Rev 11:15;

††††††† Acts 17:26-27.

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5.God's anointed people will triumph.God chose to give the church responsibility to show His wisdom by the preaching of

††††††† the gospel.Members of the body of Christ are the earthen vessels chosen to carry the gospel to a dying world.Ephesians

††††††† 3:8-11; Colossians 1:24-29; 3:1-4; Rev 3:21; 2 Corinthians 4:5-10.

 

IV.MEMORY VERSES:REVELATION 10:10-11

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