Go and Tell
Faithful God, change both excites me and frightens me. May my security in You open me to You anew.
Read REVELATION 11:1-19
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“The more you witness for Christ, the more you feel Christ alive in you and working through you” (Tony Campolo).
According to Acts 1, the last words of Jesus before his ascension were to call on the Church to witness. Witness is the focus of this chapter. The chapter opens with another reference to the temple, though by now the Jerusalem temple has been destroyed. Throughout Revelation we have had allusions to temple worship with altars of sacrifice and incense. Now John refers to the various temple courts. Behind the measuring is the idea of counting and protecting God’s people gathered in the inner court against all that must befall the world.
Suddenly two witnesses are introduced without explanation. They probably represent the Church down through the years, called to witness with great power and then face great suffering. These are God’s witnesses/martyrs who proclaim God’s word and suffer for God’s work. They wear sackcloth to show the seriousness of their message and the need for response. In the Old Testament two witnesses were needed to authenticate any testimony in court. In the Gospels Jesus sent out his followers in groups of two. Eventually, in the city described in various ways as Babylon, Sodom, Egypt or Jerusalem, the witnesses are silenced and their bodies dishonored, with celebrations following this evil deed. But after death comes resurrection, and the message is proclaimed once more. Here the actions of the witnesses resemble those of Elijah and Moses (12), who bore witness to Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration.
The meaning is clear. The trumpets call the people to repentance before it is too late. The witnesses proclaim hope through the gospel. Those who respond, God protects. Those who don’t, face his judgment. Time is running out and once the seventh trumpet sounds it will be too late, as glory is revealed.
Reflect on your daily witness. What does it communicate? How effective is it? Thank God for it!
Lord, I want to be in step with the Spirit. Go before me and give me divine appointments, opportunities to share the hope you give to those who are lost.
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