Read: Revelation 11
Chapter 11 shows us the vision of the 2nd woe, which is a sub-unit to the 6th trumpet blast…I think. I’ll have to check my charts to be sure. Oh, who cares?
The suspense has built to a head when the 2 witnesses show up. I love these guys. They look a lot like Moses and Elijah. They do a lot of the same stuff that Moses and Elijah did. They are very powerful guys, working wonders. They impress for a while. But then they get killed. Well…they were pretty much done with their assignments anyway.
Their carcasses are treated with dishonour…not that that disgrace does them any harm. They’re dead anyway. And God prevents their bodies from degradation as a sort of sign of his continued care for them. Next, the 2 witnesses are taken up to heaven.
In the meantime the earth’s inhabitants are having a party because they didn’t care too much for those 2, sour-puss witnesses, and the world is glad that they’re dead. Those guys broke up a lot of parties with their incessant insisting on better behavior.
But then, lacking the moral guidance that these two witnesses embody, the world starts to go to hell in a hand-basket. The place turns into a real cess-pool. You know…kind of like the world today.
Here is a scenario that is very familiar to us. Christianity is vilified by its detractors as being a repressive and constrictive force (breaking up all of the parties) upon individuals and society as a whole. But then, once the world moves Christianity out of the way by ignoring or reviling it, and toss out the moral teachings that they so resented as a repressive force, the place starts falling apart at the seams. Of course the world will never concede that the world’s decline is in any way due to their killing of the 2 witnesses (the removal of the church’s influence on society) or in their delight in their deaths (the church’s demise). The world will say, ‘it’s because of the enduring and lingering impact that these 2 characters brought with them (because we haven’t gotten over our ‘church-hangover’) that we are in this mire.’
Meanwhile…as all of this tumult is taking place on earth in this post-Christian landscape…we are given yet another glimpse of heaven above and of the Lord God Almighty sitting on his throne…none the worse for wear in spite of all of the strife below. God is not rattled.
But what can help men out of the morass that they have put themselves in? The 2 witnesses are dead. More mighty men are not forthcoming. There will be no new Moses nor Elijah. The old testament approach to the woes of mankind (a lot of finger-pointing and demands for correction) was a nice-try but no dice. It didn’t work. Chapter 11 sets us up nicely for the presentation of the gospel that is given in chapter 12.