Faithlife
Faithlife

Sunday, October 1st, 2017 - AM - God's Dynamic Duo, Part 2 (Rev. 11:7-14)

Rejoicing Through Revelation  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  46:11
0 ratings
· 4 views

God’s two witnesses stood firm, even unto death, to complete the ministry they had been given.

Files
Notes & Transcripts

Introduction:

Throughout history God has faithfully sent His spokesmen to call sinners to repentance. During the long, dark years of Israel’s rebellion,
Main Thought:
Sub-intro:
a
Throughout history God has faithfully sent His spokesmen to call sinners to repentance. During the long, dark years of Israel’s rebellion,
2 Kings 17:13–15 KJV 1900
Yet the Lord testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets. Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the Lord their God. And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the Lord had charged them, that they should not do like them.
however, they did not listen, but stiffened their neck like their fathers, who did not believe in the Lord their God. They rejected His statutes and His covenant which He made with their fathers and His warnings with which He warned them. And they followed vanity and became vain, and went after the nations which surrounded them, concerning which the Lord had commanded them not to do like them. (vv. 14–15)
The Lord, the God of their fathers, sent word to them again and again by His messengers, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place; but they continually mocked the messengers of God, despised His words and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people, until there was no remedy. ()
2 Chronicles 36:15–16 KJV 1900
And the Lord God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy.
Jeremiah 44:4–6 KJV 1900
Howbeit I sent unto you all my servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, saying, Oh, do not this abominable thing that I hate. But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear to turn from their wickedness, to burn no incense unto other gods. Wherefore my fury and mine anger was poured forth, and was kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; and they are wasted and desolate, as at this day.
I sent you all My servants the prophets, again and again, saying, “Oh, do not do this abominable thing which I hate.” But they did not listen or incline their ears to turn from their wickedness, so as not to burn sacrifices to other gods. Therefore My wrath and My anger were poured out and burned in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, so they have become a ruin and a desolation as it is this day. ()
Prophets such as Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Jonah, and the others confronted both wayward Israel and sinful Gentile nations.
The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah (that was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon), which Jeremiah the prophet spoke to all the people of Judah and to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, “From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, even to this day, these twenty-three years the word of the Lord has come to me, and I have spoken to you again and again, but you have not listened. And the Lord has sent to you all His servants the prophets again and again, but you have not listened nor inclined your ear to hear, saying, ‘Turn now everyone from his evil way and from the evil of your deeds, and dwell on the land which the Lord has given to you and your forefathers forever and ever; and do not go after other gods to serve them and to worship them, and do not provoke Me to anger with the work of your hands, and I will do you no harm.’ ” ()
Yet the picture has not been entirely bleak; God has always preserved a believing remnant.
In the New Testament, as in the Old, faithful preachers called for repentance and faith, offering all sinners the hope of forgiveness in Christ. Chief among those preachers was the Lord Jesus Christ Himself (; ). The ranks of New Testament preachers also included John the Baptist (), the Twelve (; ), Peter (.; 3:12ff.), Stephen (), Phillip (, , ), and the most prolific of them all, the apostle Paul (.; ; ).
They in turn passed the truth of the gospel to a next generation of godly preachers, who passed it down to other preachers (cf. ), such as Timothy, Titus, and the prophets and apostles of the churches, as well as the evangelists, pastors and teachers of those early churches. Along with the many unknown preachers through the ages there have been notable proclaimers of the gospel, such as Clement, Ignatius, Polycarp, Chrysostom, Irenaeus, Wycliff, Huss, Tyndale, Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Latimer, Knox, Bunyan, Wesley, Whitefield, Maclaren, Edwards, Spurgeon, and a host of others down to the present day.
In the future, during Earth’s darkest hour, God will raise up two exceptional and powerful preachers. They will fearlessly proclaim the gospel and will proclaim God’s judgment on the wicked world.
In addition to preaching the gospel, these two preachers will proclaim God’s judgment on the wicked world. Their ministry will likely stretch from the midpoint of the Tribulation until just before the sounding of the seventh trumpet. That trumpet will herald the pouring out of the rapid-fire vial judgments, the battle of Armageddon, and the return of Christ. During that period, they will declare that the disasters befalling the world are the judgments of God. They will participate in fulfilling the words of the Lord Jesus Christ that the
Main Thought:
Matthew 24:14 KJV 1900
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
God will protect his people against all satanic opposition, and they will proclaim the gospel until the kingdom comes.
But before introducing these two faithful witnesses, John records a fascinating incident in which he himself took part, an incident that sets the stage for the arrival of the two preachers. [Introduction Adapted from: John F. MacArthur Jr., , MacArthur New Testament Commentary (Chicago: Moody Press, 1999), 290–292.]
[James M. Hamilton Jr., Preaching the Word: Revelation—The Spirit Speaks to the Churches, ed. R. Kent Hughes (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012), 232.]
But before introducing these two faithful witnesses, John records a fascinating incident in which he himself took part, an incident that sets the stage for the arrival of the two preachers.
But before introducing these two faithful witnesses, John records a fascinating incident in which he himself took part, an incident that sets the stage for the arrival of the two preachers. [Introduction Adapted from: John F. MacArthur Jr., , MacArthur New Testament Commentary (Chicago: Moody Press, 1999), 290–292.]
[Adapted from: John F. MacArthur Jr., , MacArthur New Testament Commentary (Chicago: Moody Press, 1999), 290–292.]
Body:

I. The Surveyors Tools & Task ()

Revelation 11:1 KJV 1900
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
This activity of measuring the temple of God had precedent in the vision of Ezekiel. The OT prophet saw the angel measure the future Millennial Temple with a reed of six cubits (about eighteen feet) in . Elsewhere in Scripture, the measuring of Jerusalem (cf. .) and the measuring of the New Jerusalem (cf. ) suggest divine ownership, interest, and building. Taking measurements apparently refers to the building or construction activity of the Tribulation Temple which will include the holy place, the altar of incense, and the worshippers. The Scriptures reveal four temples in Israel history, namely Solomon’s Temple (cf. ; .), the Zerubbabel-Herod Temple (cf. ; .), the Tribulation Temple (), and the Millennial Temple (.). Daniel predicted and Paul confirmed that there will be a Tribulation Temple. For instance, the OT prophet implied that future temple sacrifices[1580] would cease at the midpoint of the Tribulation, saying, “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate” (; vide 12:11). The NT apostle confirmed this interpretation, saying, “Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God” ().
1580 The Jews have had a long time desire to rebuild their temple in Jerusalem so that they can reinstitute animal sacrifices.
[Thomas M. Strouse, To the Seven Churches: A Commentary on the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ, Selected Works of Dr. Thomas M. Strouse (Bible Baptist Theological Press, 40 Country Squire Rd., Cromwell, CT 06461, 2013), 417–418.]

II. The Angel's Statement & John’s Recounting ()

A. Instructions for Measuring ()

1. Include the Temple, Altar and Worshippers ()

Revelation 11:2 KJV 1900
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.

2. Exclude the Outer Courtyard & Why ()

Revelation 11:3 KJV 1900
And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
a
The times of the Gentiles began with Nebuchadnezzar (cf. ) and his destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC (cf. ; .), and will end with the conclusion of the battle of Armageddon (cf. ; cf. also ). The gentilic nations depicted in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream included Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece, Roman, and the revived Roman empire (.), whose true natures were cast as a lion, bear, a leopard, and a dreadful and terrible beast, respectively (cf. ). Paul succinctly summarized the fulfillment of Gentile dominion, stating, “For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree? For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob” (). [Strouse, 420–421.]
Thomas M. Strouse, 420–421.]

B. Introduction of the Two Witnesses ()

1. Overview of their ministry of prophecy ()

Revelation 11:3 KJV 1900
And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
a
The immediate question arises, who are these two witnesses? The phrase literally reads, “the two witnesses of mine,” implying they are known characters. A popular conclusion is that they are Enoch and Elijah because they never suffered death. In collating that fact with , “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment,” the conclusion is made that these two must someday face death. Because these two witness will die, the conclusion is that they must be the two. Furthermore, the prophet Malachi foretold that Elijah would come before the great and dreadful day of the Lord in . However, the problem with that logic is this: in the Rapture, many will enter heaven without dying. Thus this logic is diminished. Other names have surfaced such as Moses and Elijah because they appeared with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration.
The safer conclusion however is that we don’t really know who these two individuals are. They may be special preachers which the Lord raises up for the occasion. The fact they will prophesy indicates they are preachers. It has been presumed by many that through their preaching, the 144,000 Jewish preachers are converted. There is no contextual evidence to support that thought. It rather is only from the logic that someone had to so preach for the 144,000 to be converted. The church has been taken out via the Rapture. Apparently, God therefore sends these two preachers. Perhaps they are notable biblical characters sent from heaven for the task, maybe Elijah is one. That certainly would be the literal fulfillment of .
The immediate question arises, who are these two witnesses? The phrase literally reads, “the two witnesses of mine,” implying they are known characters. A popular conclusion is that they are Enoch and Elijah because they never suffered death. In collating that fact with , “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment,” the conclusion is made that these two must someday face death. Because these two witness will die, the conclusion is that they must be the two. Furthermore, the prophet Malachi foretold that Elijah would come before the great and dreadful day of the Lord in . However, the problem with that logic is this: in the Rapture, many will enter heaven without dying. Thus this logic is diminished. Other names have surfaced such as Moses and Elijah because they appeared with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration.
Their ministry is for “a thousand two hundred and threescore days.” The Hebrew calendar was one of a 360 day year. A thousand two hundred and threescore days is precisely three- and-one-half years. If we assume their ministry is to preach so that the 144,000 are converted, and if we assume one of the two might be Elijah who was to appear before the worst part of the Tribulation for Israel began, it thus seems that their ministry is during the first half of the Tribulation. Moreover, when their ascension back to heaven happens, there still is much Tribulation remaining. It seems apparent, the ministry of the two witnesses is during the first half of the Tribulation. Moreover, the following context strongly suggests their ministry is in Israel for they fulfill the prophecy of which clearly is related to the land of Israel. Furthermore, their death is in Jerusalem.
Their garments of sackcloth suggest the austere garment often worn by Hebrew prophets of old. See , , and . It may be that their appearance, in what clearly is ancient garb of Old Testament prophets, may further authenticate them to the modern Israeli mind to pay heed to their message.
[David H. Sorenson, Understanding the Bible, An Independent Baptist Commentary - Hebrews through Revelation, vol. 11, Understanding the Bible, An Independent Baptist Commentary (Northstar Ministries, 2007), 446–447.]
David H. Sorenson, Understanding the Bible, An Independent Baptist Commentary - Hebrews through Revelation, vol. 11, Understanding the Bible, An Independent Baptist Commentary (Northstar Ministries, 2007), 446–448.]

2. Their OT Identity ()

a
a
The safer conclusion however is that we don’t really know who these two individuals are. They may be special preachers which the Lord raises up for the occasion. The fact they will prophesy indicates they are preachers. It has been presumed by many that through their preaching, the 144,000 Jewish preachers are converted. There is no contextual evidence to support that thought. It rather is only from the logic that someone had to so preach for the 144,000 to be converted. The church has been taken out via the Rapture. Apparently, God therefore sends these two preachers. Perhaps they are notable biblical characters sent from heaven for the task, maybe Elijah is one. That certainly would be the literal fulfillment of .
[Sorenson, 447.]
It seems far preferable to regard these two witnesses as two prophets who will be raised up from among those who turn to Christ in the time following the rapture. Ainslie identifies the two witnesses as “two strange men” whose identity cannot now be determined who will literally have prophetic ministry for twelve hundred sixty days and then be slain.6 Many other conservative expositors agree with Easton...He adds, “Who they may be, can be but conjecture, and is best left in the obscurity in which God has surrounded them.”7
6 6. Edgar Ainslie, The Dawn of the Scarlet Age, pp. 93-94.
7 7. William Easton, Gleanings in the Book of Revelation, p. 83.
[John F. Walvoord, The Revelation of Jesus Christ (Galaxie Software, 2008), 179.]
a
Their ministry is for “a thousand two hundred and threescore days.” The Hebrew calendar was one of a 360 day year. A thousand two hundred and threescore days is precisely three- and-one-half years. If we assume their ministry is to preach so that the 144,000 are converted, and if we assume one of the two might be Elijah who was to appear before the worst part of the Tribulation for Israel began, it thus seems that their ministry is during the first half of the Tribulation. Moreover, when their ascension back to heaven happens, there still is much Tribulation remaining. It seems apparent, the ministry of the two witnesses is during the first half of the Tribulation. Moreover, the following context strongly suggests their ministry is in Israel for they fulfill the prophecy of which clearly is related to the land of Israel. Furthermore, their death is in Jerusalem.
Their garments of sackcloth suggest the austere garment often worn by Hebrew prophets of old. See , , and . It may be that their appearance, in what clearly is ancient garb of Old Testament prophets, may further authenticate them to the modern Israeli mind to pay heed to their message.
[Sorenson, 447–448.]

a. Their Place of Prayer ()

Revelation 11:4 KJV 1900
These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
a
In explicating , several truths emerge. 1) Zechariah was the prophet that the Lord used to encourage the Jews and especially Zerubbabel (a.k.a. Sheshbazzar [vide , ]) to finish building the Second Temple around 520 BC (cf. ; ). 2) With the high priest and religious leader Joshua (), Zerubbabel was the builder, as the Lord declared, saying, “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you” (). 3) The angel revealed to Zechariah a golden candlestick and two olive trees which prompted Zechariahs’ query, “What are these?” (). 4) Ultimately, the angel answered, saying, “These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth” (). 5) The two anointed ones were Zerubbabel the builder of the Second Temple and Joshua the high priest of the Second Temple. Their presence before the Lord insured that the Second Temple would be built and would maintain proper worship, resisting satanic opposition (cf. ). 6) The Lord declared through the instrumentality of Zerubbabel that He would finish the Second Temple, saying, “This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts” (),1610 and He declared through the instrumentality of Joshua that he would guarantee orthodox worship in the Second Temple, saying, “Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by” ().
Zerubbabel and Joshua represented the two olive trees and united golden candlestick of the Second Temple pre-figuring the Lord’s two witnesses with regard to the Third Temple. The interpretative conclusion is that the two unnamed witnesses are the divine guarantees for the Third Temple as were their precursors for the Second Temple. The presence of these two witnesses will guarantee the completed building of and proper worship in the Tribulation Temple. The fact that they are depicted as “standing before” ... “the God of the earth” ...,1612 denotes that they are “before” His place of worship, namely, the Temple of God.
1610 The LORD promised His future blessing upon obedient Zerubbabel, saying, “In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the LORD, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the LORD of hosts” ().
1611 In Revelation, this adverb quite often contextually refers to being in the presence of God (cf. ).
1612 The Lord is sovereign over heaven and earth (cf. , ; ). This expression connotes His sovereignty over earth (cf. ) during the Tribulation.
[Strouse, 427–428.]

b. Their Protection ()

Revelation 11:5 KJV 1900
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.
2 Kings 1:10 KJV 1900
And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.
2Ki. 1:10
2 Kings 1:12 KJV 1900
And Elijah answered and said unto them, If I be a man of God, let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And the fire of God came down from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.
Jeremiah 5:14 KJV 1900
Wherefore thus saith the Lord God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.
Jer. 5:14
Romans 12:20 KJV 1900
Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

3. Their Authority ()

Revelation 11:6 KJV 1900
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.

a. Over the Heavens ()

Certainly these two prophets are reminiscent of Elijah, about whom Scripture declared, saying, “And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word” (). This divinely enabled drought will be “in the days of their prophecy” ... the Lord explained. The number of days has been recorded as twelve hundred and sixty days (v. 3) or three and a half years, harmonizing with the length of Elijah’s drought. James revealed about Elijah, saying, “Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months().
[Strouse, 432.]

b. Over the Waters ()

Just as Moses and Aaron were the human instruments that caused the plagues on Pharaoh, including the plague of turning water into blood (cf. ), so these two witnesses will be the human instruments for the plagues of the Seal and Trumpet Judgments.
[Strouse, 433.]

c. Over the Earth ()

a
a
[Strouse, 432.]
a
[Strouse, 432.]
The two witnesses will live through the Seven Seal Judgments and up to the Fifth Trumpet Judgment, being the human instrumentality for their accomplishment.
[Strouse, 433.]
[Strouse, 432.]
[Strouse, 433–434.]

C. The Completion of Their Ministry of Prophecy ()

1. Slain by the Beast from the Abyss ()

a. His Destructive Campaign ()

Revelation 11:7 KJV 1900
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.
Revelation 16:13 KJV 1900
And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
Revelation 13:11 KJV 1900
And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
a
As John previously revealed, Satan was cast into the bottomless pit as a result of the Fifth Trumpet Judgment at the midpoint of the Tribulation, and released smoke and demon-locusts (). Apparently, along with the ascending smoke and demon-locusts, the First Beast or Antichrist will ascend from the abyss coincidental with them. John revealed further detail, saying, “The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is (). He will feign some sort of return from death via reincarnation,[1648] having had a deadly sword wound that was healed (cf. , , ). Presumably, the Second Beast will perform a miracle in connection with the Antichrist’s staged healing, turning world attention on the Antichrist and his image (cf. ).
1648 Reincarnation, not resurrection, is Satan’s theological road to godhood (cf. ).
[Strouse, 436.]
1) He Makes War
Unlike his previous peaceful statesmanship, here his will gain victory through military strategy.
Revelation 6:2 KJV 1900
And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
Revelation 13:4 KJV 1900
And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
Daniel 8:23–24 KJV 1900
And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.
2) He Conquers Them
3) He Kills Them

b. Their Desecrated Corpses ()

Revelation 11:8 KJV 1900
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.
1) Lain in the Streets of Jerusalem
a) Great Sinful and Lustful City
a
Πνευματικῶς (Pneumatikōs, “Spiritually”) shows this to be the language of allegory or metaphor. Neither Sodom nor Egypt is the city’s real name (Alford, Beckwith). The figurative likeness suggests utter moral degradation. Isaiah (.) and Ezekiel () gave the name Sodom to Judah in her worst days.88 Egypt is a symbol of oppression and slavery (Swete, Mounce). The thing that Sodom and Egypt had in common was their unmitigated enmity toward the true God and His people.89
88 Barnes, Revelation, p. 279; Mounce, Revelation, pp. 226–27.
89 Düsterdieck, Revelation, p. 317.
[Robert L. Thomas, : An Exegetical Commentary (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1995), 93.]
b) Where Christ Was Crucified
a
Sodom in Scripture is universally reflective of great sin, and Egypt is of the world. The Holy Spirit thus alludes to the wicked and worldly character of Jerusalem. There are only rare times throughout the course of history that this great city has been truly godly. The greater majority of the time, it has been wicked. That certainly is true to the present.
[Sorenson, 449.]

2. Their Death Celebrated by the World's Inhabitants ()

a. The Details ()

Revelation 11:9 KJV 1900
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.
1) Who is celebrating
2) How long

b. The Disrespect ()

a
Since this event is almost treated as an international “holiday,” it may be that the world will attempt to inflict shame on the witnesses symbolically, one day for every year they plagued the earth (e.g., 3 and ½ days = 1260 days = 42 months)!
[Strouse, 442.]

c. Their Delight ()

Revelation 11:10 KJV 1900
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.
1) Who is rejoicing - earth dwellers
2) How they're celebrating - euphoria and exchanging gifts
a
It is like Christmas. Worldwide merrymaking is in order and a great holiday celebration gets under way. Sales boom again and gifts are exchanged freely. Joy to the world, the Lord is dead! Men once celebrated the birth of Christ in such a manner; now they will rejoice in His death. No more will they have to hide in caves of the earth from the wrath of the Lamb. Nevermore will angels fly across the sky, warning those who dwell on the earth of great woes about to fall. The stinging scorpion-locusts and the frightful horse-demons are a bad memory that will never torment them again.
The great prince has conquered Christ, and no one can make war with him anymore (). Henceforth his power is invincible, and he will rule, in Satan’s name, forever. He has even been to hell and back, and death itself has been vanquished by him. His greatest human enemies, the two tormenting prophets, lie still in the streets of Jerusalem, and all the peoples of the world are rejoicing in his victory. His triumph is complete.
[Henry M. Morris, The Revelation Record: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Prophetic Book of the End Times (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale, 1983), 202–203.]
3) Why they're celebrating - tormentors dead
a
The verbs χαίρουσιν … εὐφραίνονται (chairousin … euphrainontai, “rejoice … make merry”) reflect clearly the emotional state of the wicked at the death of the two witnesses. Their celebration and exchange of gifts are both fiendish and childish. They show their state of utter depravity and unquenchable hatred toward Christians (Swete, Beckwith, Lenski). This is an interesting reversal of the picture when the Jews rejoiced over the death of Haman at the first Feast of Purim (, ) (Sweet).
[Thomas, 96.]

3. Their Resurrection and Rapture by God ()

a. Resurrection ()

Revelation 11:11 KJV 1900
And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.
1) The Spirit of Life
2) Strength to Stand
In evidence of their resurrection, the two witnesses stood on their feet just as the dry bones in Ezekiel’s vision () and the dead within Elisha’s tomb ().
[Thomas, 97.]
3) Spirit of Fear
a
[Thomas, 97.]

b. Ascension ()

Revelation 11:12 KJV 1900
And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.
1) The Call
2) The Rising
3) Those Beholding
a
The two witnesses had stood by “the God of the earth” (). Now “the God of heaven” had stood by them.
[Morris, 204.]

4. The Judgment and Glory of God ()

Revelation 11:13–14 KJV 1900
And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven. The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.

a. Deadly Earthquake Strikes

b. Staggering Death toll

c. Fearful Remnant Glorifies God

Conclusion:

a
...certain great principles underlie it, which are true of every age.
(1) During the darkest ages, men have been raised up to testify against the prevailing corruption of their time, and especially the corruption of the apostate Church. Their opponents have endeavored to silence their voice and blacken their character, but God has ever vindicated them and given life out of death. (2) Always when the enemies of the truth have deemed themselves triumphant, there has been a rekindling of gospel testimony... (3) Such witness-bearing as is suggested by the comparison with Zechariah’s vision, is fed from the heart of Christ. He is the root of the martyr line; his Spirit is the life-breath of his witnesses. All through the centuries, commonly called Christian, though generally very un-Christian, there has been an unbroken succession of pure and noble souls who have stood for Jesus Christ even unto death. Let us dare to stand with them and our Lord, that he may not be ashamed of us at his coming.
[F. B. Meyer, Through the Bible Day by Day: A Devotional Commentary, vol. 7 (Philadelphia: American Sunday-School Union, 1914–1918), 192.]
It seems far preferable to regard these two witnesses as two prophets who will be raised up from among those who turn to Christ in the time following the rapture. Ainslie identifies the two witnesses as “two strange men” whose identity cannot now be determined who will literally have prophetic ministry for twelve hundred sixty days and then be slain.6 Many other conservative expositors agree with Easton who takes these two witnesses “to be two men, not two companies of men, nor yet a mere symbol of ‘adequate testimonies.’” He finds this confirmed in verse 10 in the expression “these two prophets.” He adds, “Who they may be, can be but conjecture, and is best left in the obscurity in which God has surrounded them.”7
6 6. Edgar Ainslie, The Dawn of the Scarlet Age, pp. 93-94.
7 7. William Easton, Gleanings in the Book of Revelation, p. 83.
John F. Walvoord, The Revelation of Jesus Christ (Galaxie Software, 2008), 179.
RELATED MEDIA
See the rest →
RELATED SERMONS
See the rest →