All-In for Jesus
“3 And I will appoint my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.” 4 They are “the two olive trees” and the two lampstands, and “they stand before the Lord of the earth.”[a] 5 If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die. 6 They have power to shut up the heavens so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want.
7 Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them. 8 Their bodies will lie in the public square of the great city—which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt—where also their Lord was crucified. 9 For three and a half days some from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial. 10 The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and will celebrate by sending each other gifts, because these two prophets had tormented those who live on the earth.
11 But after the three and a half days the breath[b] of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them. 12 Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies looked on.
13 At that very hour there was a severe earthquake and a tenth of the city collapsed. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.” Revelation 11:3-13 NIV
I’ve read a number of different theories about who the “two witnesses” in Revelation 11 are. Some think that since “lampstands” have been used to represent churches elsewhere in the scriptures, the two witnesses could be two churches. Others think that because one of the witnesses had the power call down fire to consume their enemies and cause the heavens to not rain, this must be Elijah (since he performed those miracles in the Old Testament). They would also argue that in the Old Testament, Moses turned the waters into blood, and struckEgyptwith plagues, so he (Moses) could be the other witness. Others have argued that Enoch could be one of the witnesses (along with Elijah) since he was one of only two people who never died in the bible, and Hebrews does indicate that it is appointed for men to die once.
While the identity of the two witnesses is interesting to speculate and guess on, one thing is clear. If we needed to know their identities, it would have been revealed to us. Rather than continuing to try and figure out who they are, it may be more beneficial see what we can learn from them.
1 – They show God’s continual anointing and power. These two witnesses show that nothing can be done without the Lord. They also show that when God’s anointing is upon them, He can overcome anything! Not only that, but they show that they NEEDED God’s CONTINUAL anointing and power. Being empowered by the Holy Spirit for them, was not a one time occurrence, but an ongoing experience. They had to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit all the time.
There are many times that I rely on my own strength and skills. The witnesses teach me that I need to be begging the Holy Spirit to CONTINUALLY fill and empower me to serve Him.
2 – They show a total relentless obedience to the Lord. They show what a life totally given to God looks like. It is not an easy or carefree life because they obeyed the Lord. A life of obedience for them was not a peaceful life with great prosperity (as some people today mention following Christ should be about). These two witnesses, whoever they are, were willing to give everything to be obedient to the Lord, so much so that they were willing to lay down their lives and their comfort for the sake of the Kingdom.
I wish the ending of their story didn’t involve them dying. I’d like the story to read that because they were obedient to the Lord, He blessed them and gave them a big house, a good job, and a happy family. If I told you that, it wouldn’t be the truth. Instead, when they lived their lives all out for God, it led to them being persecuted, mocked, and ultimately killed. The point is that story doesn’t always end happily on earth. This is hard for me to say, but while God loves to bless His children, this passage shows me that sometimes the reward waits on the other side of eternity.
The witnesses refused to settle for a half-hearted obedience to the Lord; regardless of the cost! They were ALL-IN for the Kingdom. They didn’t hold anything back.
Come Holy Spirit. Move in my life and in my heart and through my hands. May I be an ALL-IN souled out, relentlessly, obedient to You.