Clouds Parting Revealing the Heavens

A daily devotion for September 15th

The Two Witnesses

But after the three and a half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck 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, while their enemies looked on.

Rev 11:11-12

In one of Paul's great messages recorded in the book of Acts, he makes the statement that God never leaves himself without a witness. Here, in the midst of the greatest time of apostasy the world has ever seen, God still preserves a witness. It is manifest in the form of two individuals, two men, dressed in sackcloth. It was the traditional garb of a prophet when he was sent to declare some threatened judgment. These two individuals appear dressed in sackcloth because their ministry is to strip away the delusions, lies, and humanistic propaganda masquerading as the truth, which come from the Man of Sin in that day.

Jesus spoke of this Man of Sin. He said that the sign of the last days would be when you see the abomination that causes desolation (Matthew 24:15) standing in the holy place. Paul tells us in his second letter to the Thessalonians that he will sit in the temple, magnifying himself as God (2 Thessalonians 2:4). It is he who attacks these two witnesses and puts them to death. They have been a constant thorn in his side. They kept telling the truth to the people. This must have angered and enraged this artful propagandist, who had all the world under his control except for those who believed the two witnesses. But at last he is allowed to kill them.

These two witnesses are privileged to pass through the same experience that the Lord went through. They are cruelly killed as he was killed, are resurrected 3-1/2 days later, and ascend into heaven before the eyes of this startled crowd. Terror shivers through the crowd as they watch. They feel the chill of their own defeat in what they see. Who can oppose a God of resurrection power? The worst anyone can do is to put you to death, but after that, there is nothing more they can do. Not even death can hinder the carrying out of God's program!

The wonderful truth taught here is that this is the destiny of everyone who believes in Jesus. We shall all die, except those that are caught up at the end, and even they are changed in the twinkling of an eye. If we die we shall be resurrected, and shall ascend into heaven to be with the Lord forever. So this is also the destiny of the two faithful witnesses. We need not be surprised that God takes care of his own this way, for he does this for all who trust in Christ. It is also not surprising that these who live on the earth should feel terror when this happens. Who can defeat a God of resurrection? The hope of believers throughout the ages is that death cannot claim us finally. It must itself feel its own death in the lake of fire to come.

Lord, grant me the courage to stand for you as a witness, trusting that any suffering I must endure is not the last word. Amen.

Life Application

How can you be a courageous witness for the Lord today?

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

The Last Warning

Listen to Ray