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07172016GodsFinalDeclarationOnHisWitnessesRev10-11DonRuhl


 

God’s Final Declaration on His Witnesses 

Revelation 10–11

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • July 17, In the year of our Lord, 2016

Prelude

  1. Every person on Earth should know that God exists, because as Paul said,

    17 “[God] did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness” (Acts 14.17).

    1. We know God exists, because
      1. good does not happen by accident.
      2. Instead rain and fruitful seasons have been perfectly situated
        1. to fill our hearts with food and gladness.
        2. Human life–and
          1. Earth’s ability to support human life–
          2. did not happen by accident.
            1. How is it that food of the Earth meets our needs perfectly and
            2. how is it that our bodies assimilate food of the Earth perfectly?
              1. Paul argued that these things bear witness
              2. to the existence of the God we worship.
  2. Likewise, Revelation 10 and 11 
    1. speak of Two Witnesses,
    2. who by their very existence
      1. demonstrate God’s existence, and
      2. they also actively speak for and of God.
  3. However, as God’s witnesses, 
    1. they require both boldness and
    2. a readiness to accept rejection and persecution.
      1. As Stephen once said to the Jewish Council,

        52 “Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute?” (Acts 7.52).

        1. You know what happened to Jesus.
        2. You know what happened to the apostles, especially to Paul.
        3. Why should the church not suffer for speaking the truth?
      2. The world
        1. hates the Scriptures and
        2. hates the church for speaking the Scriptures.
    3. That conflict comes to a head as Revelation 10 and 11 show.
  4. As you read the Book of Revelation
    1. you come to chapter 8
    2. where John shows the prayers of the saints silencing Heaven.
      1. We silence Heaven, then
      2. chapters 10 and 11 show Heaven responding through The Two Witnesses.

Persuasion

  1. The Seven Thunders and a Little Book 
    1. John saw a mighty angel who cried loudly like a lion.
      1. That brought out the Seven Thunders,
      2. who uttered their voices.
        1. John started to write down what they said, but
        2. a voice from Heaven told him not to write it down, for
          1. God tells us much, but
          2. He does not tell us everything,

            2 It is the glory of God to conceal a matter…
            (Pro 25.2)
    2. The voice from heaven spoke again and told John
      1. to go to the mighty angel, and
      2. take from him an open Book,

        9 So I went to the angel and said to him, “Give me the little book.” And he said to me, “Take and eat it; and it will make your stomach bitter, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth” (Rev 10.9).
    3. Verse 10 shows John eating the little book, and
      1. having the experience that the angel said he would have,
      2. even as we do
        1. when we ingest the word, finding it sweet, and
        2. when we try to feed the word to others,
          1. they persecute us,
          2. making the wood bitter to us.
  2. The Lord’s Two Witnesses 
    1. The Lord’s Two Witnesses testify to His existence,
      1. even as nature does (Acts 14.17).
      2. You cannot explain nature apart from God, and
        1. you cannot explain the existence of the Bible and
        2. you cannot explain the existence of the church
          1. apart from God.
          2. Their very existence and
            1. the things they say,
            2. testify to His existence.
    2. First Timothy 3 shows The Two Witnesses working together,

      15 …the church of the living God [is] the pillar and ground of the truth (1Ti 3.15).

      1. Philippians 2 also shows the two working together,

        15b [We are] blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life… (Phi 2.15–16).
      2. The Scriptures and the church speak of God to the world.
    3. The church and the Bible may be heroes to us, but
      1. to the world, they are villains.
      2. For example,
        1. Two homosexual men sued ChristianMingle.com
          1. for making it so that you had to choose the opposite gender,
          2. and in July, the two men won.
            1. Now ChristianMingle must pay
            2. the two men $9,000 and $450,000 in fines, and
              1. can only ask what gender a person is,
              2. not what they search for.
        2. The first week of July, we learned that Iowa says
          1. churches must let transgenders use the restroom of their choice.
          2. There was the threat that Iowa
            1. might forbid churches
            2. from speaking against homosexuality.
              1. However, just this week Iowa said they will not.
                1. Although I do wonder what they shall do,
                2. if someone teaches outside of the church building.
              2. The truth is by just contemplating this move,
                1. they have opened the door
                2. for this liberal administration to consider it more.
        3. It would not surprise me,
          1. if someday soon we hear of an executive order
          2. banning us from speaking as the Bible speaks on this subject.
      3. These two things have happened, because,
        1. as I have told you before,
        2. the homosexual crowd would never rest content
          1. having the right by manmade laws to marry.
          2. No, they want to silence us, they want to make us go away!
    4. As Revelation 11 shows
      1. God’s Two Witnesses doing their job regardless of the consequences.
        1. And they suffer for speaking of God and His truth,

          7 When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them (Rev 11.7).
        2. Our enemy never gives up,

          12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places (Eph 6.12).
      2. Let us then remember Hebrews 12.1,
        1. which shows whom we have on our side.
        2. The writer listed how Old Testament saints suffered, then said,

          1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us… (Heb 12.1).
        3. We may not see the Old Testament witnesses, but
        4. they are there and Heaven knows of our activity.
          1. Succeeding means doing as the Lord says,
          2. not that the world will change,

            58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord (1Co 15.58).
    5. Then world humiliates the Lord’s Two Witnesses,

      8 And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. 9 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. 10 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 (Rev 11.8–10).

      1. However, the world will receive a great surprise
      2. when they discover that they have not silenced the Lord’s Witnesses,

        11 Now after the three–and–a–half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. 12 And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them (Rev 11.11–12).
    6. What will the world do without the Two Witnesses of God?
      1. The world thinks that it wins when the church loses and
      2. when they can no longer hear the Scripture, but

        15 the seventh angel sounded…loud voices in heaven, [said], “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” (Rev 11.15).

Exhortation

  1. Eventually, in every age and in every society, 
    1. evil loses and
    2. righteousness wins.
      1. That is the message of the Bible.
      2. That is the message of the Book of Revelation.
      3. That is the message of history.
  2. Listen to what happened next,

    16 And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying:

    “We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty,
    The One who is and who was and who is to come,
    Because You have taken Your great power and reigned.
    18 The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come,
    And the time of the dead, that they should be judged,
    And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints,
    And those who fear Your name, small and great,
    And should destroy those who destroy the earth.”
    (Rev 11.16–18)

    1. I will take part in that praise and worship.
    2. Why not join me?
      1. Do you belong to Jesus?
      2. Do you read and teach His word?
      3. Are you an active member of His church?
  3. Times will seem bleak. 
    1. Revelation 10 and 11 says there will be bitter and persecuting times, but
    2. if you ingest the word,
      1. you become part of The Two Witnesses and yes,
      2. the world will not like you, but
        1. you shall experience great things and
        2. You shall overcome long after a persecuting nation has vanished.