Saturday, January 27, 2018

Revelation 11:11-14 Resurrection of the Two Witnesses

KEY TEXT: Revelation 11:11-14 But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood up on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up here!" And they went up to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies watched them. And at that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven. The second woe has passed; behold, the third woe is soon to come. 

KEY THOT: The bodies of the two witnesses left lying in the street of Jerusalem for three and a half days are revived as God's life enters into them. They are then caught up to heaven in a cloud. And this takes place in full sight of their enemies (Gentile armies). At that moment, a great earthquake occurs in Jerusalem, killing 7,000 people. Ezekiel mentions this event in Ezek. 38:18-19, "But on that day, the day that Gog shall come against the land of Israel, declares the Lord God, my wrath will be roused in my anger. For in my jealousy and in my blazing wrath I declare, On that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel." This time, the Gentile unbelievers in Jerusalem will be so terrified by what they have seen--the rapture of the two witnesses and the earthquake--that they will give glory to God. They will instinctively know that God is on Israel's side. 

According to Ezekiel 39:22, it is at this moment Israel will turn back to God and also acknowledge Jesus as their Messiah. God's word spoken by the two witnesses and their supernatural deeds in Jerusalem would have been seen and heard by all in Israel for three and a half years. When the earthquake occurs, it would make them realize what these two witnesses have testified about Jesus is indeed true.

Earthquakes in the Bible often signify divine intervention. Some may argue we don't need to bring in God to explain earthquakes since we can now explain earthquakes in terms of movement of earth's tectonic plates. It is not so much how earthquakes occur but its timing and location that makes what is a natural incident into a supernatural intervention. When Paul and Silas were in prison singing hymns of praise to God, an earthquake shook the prisons, opening up the prison doors and unleashing the prisoners' shackles.

This was clearly a divine intervention and the Roman jailor immediately recognized it: "And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household" (Acts 16:29-31).

As the return of Jesus draws near, we will see an increase in the number of earthquakes with greater intensity. The use of earthquakes by God as instrument of his judgment demonstrates That He is the ultimate Creator and Owner of Planet Earth.

Abba-Father, You have shown us Your glory and power when You raised Jesus from the dead. And now we look to  You for the same resurrection at Your coming. Amen.

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