December 19

Revelation 10-11, Psalm 43

Those who refuse to accept Christ give a multitude of reasons for their view. Many will say if they could actually see Him, or if they could personally witness a miracle, then they would believe. Interestingly, my son, Michael, who spent many years fully invested in the world system before coming into a saving knowledge of Christ told me that the generation that he finds himself in is completely apathetic and cynical. He told me that he is convinced that if God performed a miracle through him before his friends the majority would shrug their shoulders and still not believe. Whenever he and some members in his church, The Movement, in NYC have had evangelistic outreaches in Union Square Park their words fell on deaf ears, as people surrounded other groups represented there like those worshiping plots of grass to dance, or the man dressed like a monkey god, or the fortune tellers, etc. This should surprise none of us. Faith is defined for us in Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." In the very real encounter in the afterlife in Luke 16 between Lazarus and the rich man, the rich man who finds himself in flames begs Abraham to send Lazarus from the dead to warn his brothers that they may believe and be spared his fate. But we read his response in Luke 16:31, "But he said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rises from the dead'."

We read in Revelation 11 of God's two witnesses during this period of time. Most people believe they are Elijah and Moses (though some question whether it might be Enoch or John the Baptist rather than Moses). God never leaves Himself without a witness and these two will boldly tell the world that the calamities occurring were due to their unrepentant wickedness. We read in Revelation 11:3, "And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth." They will evangelize from Jerusalem for the first half of the Tribulation with a very unpopular message. No one will be able to stop them as we read in 11:5, "And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner." We see some of the specific powers they will have in verse 6 such as stopping the rain and turning water into blood. We see the first mention of the Antichrist in the next section as he is allowed to overcome them and kill them. Realize that it was not due to the power of the Antichrist, but every child of God, doing the will of God is invincible until God decides that their work for Him is finished. We then see the bizarre reaction to the death of the two witnesses in Revelation 11:9-10, "Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three and a half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth." Realize for this event to be witnessed worldwide. satellite TV needed to be around, which was not possible until the 1960's. Realize the people were largely not convinced despite the preaching and the miracles, and were indeed so calloused that they even celebrated sort of a satanic Christmas over their deaths.

These two witnesses lived for God, to do the will of God, until their last breath. We who are in Christ possess the power of the Holy Spirit within us, yet we are not fully yielded and therefore do not experience His full power. Witnessing boldly for Christ is not often a very popular message. But Jesus told us in Acts 1:8, "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." We are to be witnesses, not a prosecuting or defense attorney. We, like those on the witness stand in a trial are simply to state the whole truth as presented to us in God's Word. Like the two witnesses above, we are simply to be faithful, and present God's offer of salvation to this world then allow God to work on their hearts. We may never see the fruit of what we do, but we are to faithfully continue to plant seeds.

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Marj Lancaster