The Little Book of the Revelation - Fourteenth in a series
We now return to the verse by verse study of the Little Book.
We read in Revelation 11:3 (post 12) that the Lord would give power to his two witnesses and they would prophesy 1260 days clothed in sackcloth. We explained that, figuratively, these are Christians who 1) belong to God and 2) obey his Word. However, this concept is not presented as doctrine or in a dogmatic way.
- VERSE 4
They are the two olive trees, and candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
They have the oil of anointing of the Holy Spirit which continuously keeps aflame their powerful light and witness about Jesus Christ.
- VERSE 5a
If any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies:
Their message is a devouring and consuming flame, as is their God’s. (Heb 12:29)
- For the word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Heb 4:12)
- VERSE 5b
and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed;
The manner or method of killing our enemies must be only by kindly heaping coals of fire on their heads through sharing the Word, that is, the bread of God. Killing with kindness is always right.
Though Christians are often denigrated for speaking truth and there is a need to season our words with salt (Col 4:6), yet even when our words are judgmental (John 7:24), they are kindness to those who have not understood nor believed the Bible.
- …Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and spake forth unto them, saying, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and give ear unto my words. … The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the day of the Lord come, That great and notable day: And it shall be, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God unto you by mighty works and wonders and signs which God did by him in the midst of you, even as ye yourselves know; him, being delivered up by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye by the hand of lawless men did crucify and slay: … Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly, that God hath made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, Brethren, what shall we do? (Acts 2:14-37)
- (Included in this passage are an end-time prophecy and one fulfilled on the day of Pentecost.)
Judgments that ‘prick hearts’
- VERSE 6
These have the power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy and power over the waters to turn them to blood and to smite the earth with all plagues as often as they will.
Since it is God who controls the timing of the catastrophes, even that the waters turn to blood (Rev 8:8), we could view God’s witnesses, those who are his, as assisting to instigate the natural disasters which are also judgments, by their prayers— as often as they will, which would never be more or less often than God's will. At this juncture, these judgments are to open the eyes and ears of the rebellious as well as to enforce punishment.
The prayers of the saints were poured out before the first of the seven trumpet blasts that announce each cataclysm (Rev 8:3-5). In Revelation 6 we heard the saints in heaven cry out, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” (Rev 6:10) The intensity of these cries of God’s people in heaven and on earth will crescendo as the world is overcome by evil, yet they will be salted with tears for the lost (Eze 33:11).
The Lord is judging the earth on behalf of his own, bringing an end to the persecution of his people even as some suffer from the final blows, which are not so terrifying to them as to the ones who have no hope of heaven.
Will some escape the terrors of the last days? (Rev 3:10) If we do not, we can nevertheless advance from strength to strength in the midst of them as God has promised (Ps 84:7), by remaining in his Word and power.