Revelation 11:3: The Two Witnesses
- The church as the witnesses
- Weeping witnesses
Think of all the ways in which the church is represented in the book of Revelation. We move from the traditional ‘servants’ 1:1, to more symbolic designations such as ‘kingdom’ and ‘priests’ 1:5, to the more crazy 7 lampstands 1:20. The church is called on to be conquerors in the 7 letters, they are symbolised as the martyrs under the altar 6:9; the 144 000 sealed of the people of Israel 7:1-8; and a festal throng of all nations waving palm branches in heaven 7:9. They are called saints 8:4, pictured as the woman with 12 stars for a crown, as well as the rest of her offspring ch.12. They are the armies of heaven 19:14; the souls of the beheaded who experience the first resurrection and reign with Christ; those whose names are written in the lamb’s book of life, the New Jerusalem and the Bride of Christ. This prepares us for the further way in which the Church is symbolised in Revelation 11 as the temple of God, the holy city and the two witnesses. These symbols help us to know ourselves and our mission as the church.
How do you see the church in the world? Do you see the church as given to rule and so seek to place a pope over kings? Do you see the church as a victorious army that should be conquering nations and establishing a worldwide theocracy? Do you see the church as a life boat that must not get involved in the world’s affairs at all and its job is to try and save as many people as possible before the rapture? In a world full of persecution and idolatry God reminds the church of her purpose by casting her in the role of the 2 witnesses. We will be spending some time looking at them but today we want to recognise that these witnesses are the church and they are weeping witnesses.
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