Revelation 11:5-6

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Rev 11:5  And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.
Rev 11:6  These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.

Introduction

If we were to take these verses at face value as the natural man does, then they would be telling us that if any man attempts to hurt God’s elect, “fire proceeds out of their mouth and devours their enemies, and must be killed in this manner”, and furthermore God’s elect also have the power to “shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy, and they have power over waters to turn them to blood and to smite the earth with all plagues as often as they will.”
But wait a minute. How can God’s elect do any of these things as His witnesses to the testimony of Jesus Christ in light of the very doctrines of Christ, which teach the very opposite of what we have just read?

Mat 5:44  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Didn’t His apostles teach the very same doctrine? Here is what Paul taught.

Rom 12:14  Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.

Here are John’s own words in His first epistle:

1Jn 4:20  If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
1Jn 4:21  And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
1Jn 5:2  By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
1Jn 5:3  For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

The Truth is that no one in whom Christ has taken up His abode would ever think of “killing his enemies with [ literal] fire”. Nor would he ever even think of literally “smiting his [ neighbor or his enemies] with all plagues” or literally “turning his [ neighbor’s] water into blood”.
So it is obvious that those who have been given eyes that see, and ears that hear the hidden wisdom of God, will understand that these two verses are not to be understood as outward literal statements, but this is a book which has been signified, with signs and symbols of things which are intended to be “kept and inwardly lived by” those who are given to “read, and to hear, and to keep the things which are written and signified in this book”. Only those who are asking “How do I personally “live by every word”, and “how do I personally keep the things written therein”, will have any hope of understanding how God’s two witnesses can burn up their enemies within, with the armies of the nations within, with fire from their mouths; can smite the sinful earth within, with all plagues, and turn the waters within, into blood, and still love their enemies and do good to those who persecute them”.

What then is the meaning of…

The symbols of these two verses?

The symbols of verse 5 are: 1) if any man will hurt them, fire proceeds out of the mouths of God’s two witnesses, and 2) and they kill those who would hurt them with the fire from their mouths.

Rev 11:5  And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.

The symbols of verse six are 3) the two witnesses have the power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy, 4) to turn waters to blood, and 5) to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.

Rev 11:6  These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.

So let’s begin by asking, What is the spiritual meaning of…

1)”If any man will hurt them fire proceeds out of their mouth?

Here is the Biblical definition of what is being discussed when scripture speaks of fire in one’s mouth.

Jer 5:14  Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.
Rev 11:5  And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.

That is the manner is which their enemies are “killed”. They are killed with the words of God, in the mouths of those who are faithful to those words. “In this manner…” This is not an outward statement. It is we who “oppose ourselves”, and who place ourselves in opposition to the words of Christ.

2Ti 2:24  And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
2Ti 2:25  In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
2Ti 2:26  And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

So when you hear a “great man of God” say “The first thing I’m going to do at the resurrection is walk up to Adam and punch him in the mouth”, you should be able to discern that this is not “the gentle servant of the Lord” Paul is speaking of here.
“The gentle servant of the Lord” remembers that it is not someone else who was first taken by the snare of the devil. That was you and me. It is we who first withstand the words of Christ, and it is we who later become those who “instruct those who oppose themselves” to the words of Christ, and are taken in “the snare of the devil.” But we have no interest in being anything but “gentle unto all men… that they may recover themselves out of the snare of th devil”.
If we allow ourselves to forget for one moment the fact that God’s kingdom comes first within and that we “live by every word”, then we will automatically do what the natural man always does and think of ourselves only as the two witnesses, and we will see ourselves only as those with the fire in our mouths devouring our enemies. But the truth, which is the sum of God’s word, is that ” all these things must come to pass in this generation”, and that they are ” all ours.”

Psa 119:160  The sum of thy word is truth; And every one of thy righteous ordinances endureth for ever. (ASV)
Mat 24:34  Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
Mat 24:35  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
1Co 3:21  Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;
1Co 3:22  Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;

Like the blind Pharisees, until we see that this is us, then we will remain as spiritually blind as those who do the hurting of God’s elect. If ever we are granted to see our own culpability, only then are we granted the privilege of becoming those who are being hurt by others.
So it is with all the symbols of verse 6 of this 11th chapter of Revelation and with the rest of the symbols of all scripture.
The only way to understand how any of the eight different symbols of these two verses are to be understood is to remember how we are instructed to view this prophecy at the very beginning of this book. As we have so often said, the first three verses of chapter one are the key to understanding this entire prophecy. Here are those verses:

Rev 1:1  The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
Rev 1:2  Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
Rev 1:3  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

If we fail to apply those verses to our understanding of the words of our study today, we will be forced to ignore and to violate the doctrine of Jesus Christ who told us to love our enemies and do good to those who persecute us.

Luk 6:27  But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
Luk 6:28  Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.

So the hurting of God’s two witnesses is something we all, as natural men, do and keep within our own selves when we reject and withstand the words of God’s witnesses. We also do and keep these words without, by rejecting those who first bring to us this witness of God’s fiery, spiritual, purifying words.

1Co 2:14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
1Co 15:46  Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

So it is we who first persecute and “hurt” God’s elect, because we are all “first natural” before we, by God’s grace, become those same elect witnesses who are on the receiving end of this “hurtful… daily dying” experience which is “written therein”. This is all us because “all things, things present and things to come, are all are ours”.

1Co 3:21  Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;
1Co 3:22  Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;

Those two verses of 1Co 3 never made sense to me when I believed that there was a “place of safety” for God’s elect where the things written in this prophecy could be avoided. Those two verses cannot make sense to anyone who believes in any form of exemption from the things which are written in this prophecy because “things present and things to come” would certainly include these “things which must shortly come to pass”, of which we were told in the first verse of this book of prophecy. “All [ these] things… are ours… to read, hear, and keep.”

Joh 3:36  He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

None of us are born believing on Christ, so we really are “shapen in iniquity, conceived in sin” with “the wrath of God abiding on us”, as we “hurt” God’s two witnesses.

Psa 51:5  Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

2) The two witnesses kill those who would hurt them with the fire from their mouths

So here we are as the first man, as the natural man. It is these words which pronounce us as dead and kill us. The apostle Paul agrees with the apostle John.

1Co 15:47  The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
1Co 15:48  As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
1Co 15:49  And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
1Co 15:50  Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
Eph 2:1  And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Eph 2:2  Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course [ Greek, aion, age] of this world [ Greek, kosmos, world], according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Eph 2:3  Among whom also we all had our conversation [ Greek, way of life] in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
Col 3:5  Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
Col 3:6  For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:
Col 3:7  In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.

“Afterward that which is spiritual”:

Rom 6:3  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Rom 6:4  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Rom 6:5  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
1Co 15:31  I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.
Gal 2:20  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Col 3:3  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
Col 3:4  When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

Those verses overlap, but we are first to see ourselves as “children of wrath, even as others… having walked… as children of disobedience” before coming to be “dead and buried with Christ”. To those in Babylon we are said to be “the smell of death” and not even worthy of being buried.

2Co 2:16  To the one [ the many called of Babylon] we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? [“but Christ { who} lives in me]
Rev 11:8  And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
Rev 11:9  And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.

“Three days and an half” and three and one half years or “a thousand two hundred and threescore days”, here in this same chapter, “are one” just as the cows and the corn in Pharaoh’s dream “are one”.

Rev 11:3  And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, [ three and one half years] clothed in sackcloth.
Gen 41:26  The seven good kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years: the dream is one.

You and I are “the savor of death” to all who are in Babylon, for the entire time of our “a thousand two hundred and threescore days” testimony.
We must remember Christ’s own definition of who ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ is.

Mat 25:40  And the King [ Christ] shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Act 22:8  And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.

Like John here in the book of Revelation, Saul of Tarsus is also a type of us. We are all first “the children of disobedience”, and we all first “persecute Jesus of Nazareth”. Only after we acknowledge this truth can we become “Paul the apostle of Jesus Christ”, who is persecuted by later ‘Sauls’.
So, from a Biblical perspective and indeed from Christ’s own perspective, if He has taken up His abode in us, we are “Jesus of Nazareth”, and as such we are His “two witnesses who are the target of persecution “in the streets of that great city wherein our Lord was crucified”. How do we “bare record of the word of God”? How do we “bare record of the testimony of Jesus Christ”? We do so by “reading, hearing, and keeping the things written therein, because the time is at hand” to do so. (Rev 1:3)
Here is this same event of “killing them with fire from their mouths” in other “lines, and precepts, here a little and there a little:”

2Th 2:6  And now ye know what withholdeth [“the sign of Christ’s comeing and the end of this age”] that he might be revealed in his tim e.
2Th 2:7  For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth [ Greek, withholdeth, same Greek word in preceding verse] will let [ withhold], until he be taken out of the way.
2Th 2:8  And then shall that Wicked [ who withholds] be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
2Th 2:9  Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
2Th 2:10  And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
2Th 2:11  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
2Th 2:12  That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Heb 12:5  And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
Heb 12:6  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

It is our old man who must first be deceived and die, before he can possess the words of fire which are the words of life, and have those words of fire in His mouth.

3) The two witnesses have the power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy

Rev 11:6  These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.

We have seen in our study of Revelation chapter four that the phrase “a door was opened in heaven” is the symbol of exponential growth in the knowledge and understanding of the things of the spirit. Conversely “the power to shut heaven that it rain not in the days of their prophecy”, means that those who witness for Christ will not at first understand the witness they are given.
No one who comes to the scriptures they read and immediately understands what they are reading. It varies from person to person, but we all spend a spiritually symbolic three and one half years, trying the spirits and sometimes actually trying to disprove what we are coming to see.
The clearest example of this verse is the fact that Christ witnessed to his own disciples for three and one half years, including telling them that He Himself would be “hurt”, and they did not understand. They were with Him “a thousand two hundred and three score days”, and “they understood not… in the days of His prophecy.”

Mar 9:31  For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.
Mar 9:32  But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him.

Christ’s disciples could not believe that their fellow Jews would kill their Lord, much less understand that it would be they themselves who would deny Him, just as it is hard for us to see that it is you and I who see Christ as our King and still want Him and His doctrine dead.

Joh 12:16  These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him.

Once again, these words are for us, and it is we who live both sides of this spiritual coin and experience both edges of this spiritual “two edged sword.”

Joh 8:30  As he spake these words, many believed on him.
Joh 8:31  Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

We are “those Jews which believed on Him”, and this is also us in our own appointed time, when we deny our Lord, cursing and swearing and blaspheming His name before the heathen:

Joh 8:40  But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.
Joh 8:41  Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, [ even] God.
Joh 8:42  Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.
Joh 8:43  Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.
Joh 8:44  Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

It is we who are first the children of disobedience and “of our father the devil.” It is we who at first “cannot understand Christ’s words”, and who want to kill him and His words. It is the knowing and revealing of this truth which is…

4) … The two witnesses turning waters to blood

What are ‘waters’ in scriptural and spiritual terms? As we have seen over and over again, a two- edged sword cuts both coming and going, and the words of scripture have both a positive and a negative application within us, depending on whether they are speaking of the destruction of our old man or the increase of the new man. In spiritual reality, both are positive, but it is still a “sharp two edged sword” which will “divide asunder the soul and the spirit”.

Heb 4:12  For the word of God [ is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [ is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

In scriptural and spiritual terms, waters means (on the negative side of this two- edged sword) the waters of peoples and the doctrines of those peoples, on which the great harlot, Babylon, sits and rules over those people. Those words and doctrines of the peoples of Babylon lead only to death.

Rev 8:11  And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.
Rev 17:15  And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

The positive application of the word ‘waters’ in scripture is the words and doctrines of Christ and those words in the mouth of those who are His Christ, which words are words and doctrines of life.

Joh 6:63  It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
Joh 7:38  He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
Joh 4:13  Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
Joh 4:14  But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

So the turning wells of waters into blood is the revelation that we all first turn the truths of Christ’s words into lies. It is the very same thing as hurting and killing Christ and His elect, by abusing and twisting His words of life into the false doctrines of Babylon, which produce death. “The dream is one’, and those who twist Christ’s command to love thine enemies into ‘Love only your personal enemies, but not your national or your criminal enemies”, are condemned by Christ’s doctrines. Turning waters into blood, by our misunderstanding and our disobedience to God’s words, is what we all do before we are transformed into those who know Christ’s words, and who then turn waters into blood in a positive way, by remaining faithful to those words in the face of the pressures of the harlot who tries to force us to conform to this world, by the threat of spiritual death and by the rejection of the “many called” of the multitudes and majorities of Babylon.
The very first people who do this, and who drink of Christ’s blood and deny Him are Christ’s own elect, to whom belong “all things, things present and things to come,” and who “live by every word… of God” and who “keep these things written in this prophecy”. (1Co 3:21-22, Rev 1:3, Mat 4:4)

Mat 26:27  And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
Mat 26:28  For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
Mat 26:29  But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom. [ within you, Luk 17:20-21]

Drinking Christ’s blood is acknowledging that it is we who have shed His blood, and that He has died, and shed that blood for our sins. Refusing to acknowledge this is to “turn the waters [ of God’s] word into blood”, and to “hurt” and to “kill” God’s two witnesses. It is we who all do “all things” because “all things, things present and things to come, are ours”, both the words of life, and the words of death.

1Co 3:21  Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;
1Co 3:22  Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;

5) The two witnesses are given power to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.

Rev 11:6  These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.

When Christ’s apostles later asked the same question concerning the time of the coming of the kingdom of God which the Pharisees had demanded of Christ in Luk 17, His answer to His disciples was the prophecy of the twenty- fourth chapter of Matthew. Here again in Mat 24, we will see the fire proceeding out of the mouths of God’s witnesses to destroy our old man before we are resurrected with Christ, to have that fire in our mouths. The fire that proceeds out of the mouths of the two witnesses, and the smiting of the earth with all plagues as often as they will, are again one and the same because “the dream is one”.
It is also here in the 24th chapter of Matthew that we learn that all of this, including “smiting the earth with all plagues”, is within and is read, heard and kept in “this generation” which “reads, hears and keeps the words of this prophecy”. Let’s see how this is done.

Mat 24:3  And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

The word ‘world’ here is translated from the Greek word ‘aion’. Christ’s disciples are simply repeating the same question the Jews had earlier asked about “when the kingdom of God should come” and now they add, “and what should be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age”? It is here in one of the most famous prophecies of scripture that Christ reveals that “all these things shall be fulfilled… in this generation,” whenever “this generation” is reading, hearing and keeping the things written therein”. (Mat 24:34 and Rev 1:3)
The first thing Christ gives us as a sign of His coming is that many would come in His name, and in doing so they will be in the process of deceiving many. It is these very words of fire, pointing out that the multitudes are deceived, which proceeds out of the mouth of Christ and His witnesses, which destroy all who fail to acknowledge that we are all, in our turn, “smitten with the plagues” which are our part in living out this deception.

Mat 24:4  And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

“Take heed that no man deceive you” is like saying “The tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which is in the middle of the garden, you shall not eat of it.”

Gen 2:17  But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Both Mat 24:4 and Gen 2:17 are “words of fire” coming out of the mouth of God’s two witnesses. Just as all who deny they are blind will remain blind,…

Joh 9:40  And [ some] of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?
Joh 9:41  Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

 … so also will all who deny that they are have been as deceived as walking dead men must be killed by these fiery words out of the mouths of God two witnesses. “Take heed that no man deceive you” is nothing less than a prophecy that you and I will be deceived, just as ‘do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil’ is a prophecy that God knew Adam would fulfill and had already prepared the sacrifice of that sin.

2Ti 1:9  Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

So Christ tells us that we are all born spiritually dead and in need of a Savior.

Mat 8:22  But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.
Luk 9:60  Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.

After we have acknowledged our spiritually dead condition as the first Adam, of the earth, earthy and corruptible, then we can say with the apostle Paul:

Gal 2:20  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Eph 2:1  And you [ hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Col 3:3  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

Continuing with the signs of Christ’s coming and the smiting of the earth with all plagues:

Mat 24:5  For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

The “many who are deceived” are the same as the “many who were made sinners.” It is all inclusive, and common to all men.

Rom 5:19  For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

You will hear of wars and rumors of wars… nation will rise against nation, but this is not yet the end of the age, it is instead, just “the beginning of sorrows”. If we believe that all of this is for those sinners out there who are left behind while we are spared these sorrows, and plagues, then God has simply blinded our eyes to the words “ye” and “you” throughout this prophecy, which is given in answer to His disciples question, “What will be the sign of your coming and the end of the age?”

Mat 24:6  And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
Mat 24:7  For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
Mat 24:8  All these are the beginning of sorrows.

How often will God’s elect “smite the earth with all plagues”? Like Christ, His elect seek only the will of His Father. Here is a list of those ‘plagues’ and those sorrows with which “they smite the earth as oft as they will”, and which we should expect, since they are the sorrows which Christ tells His disciples to look for as the sign of His coming and the end of this age:

Mat 24:9  Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.
Mat 24:10  And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
Mat 24:11  And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
Mat 24:12  And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
Mat 24:13  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Mat 24:14  And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations [ by the two witnesses]; and then shall the end come.

So the end of this age does not come till after we have been delivered up, afflicted and killed. This ‘death’ is the same as the death of God’s two witnesses. So the end does not come until we have been deceived by many false prophets, we have been overwhelmed by iniquity and have “left our first love” (Rev 2:4). The end does not come until after we are “hated of all nations for Christ’s name sake”. The profound truth of what we have just read is that the end does not come until we have “endured to the end.”
What else happens before the end of the age comes?

Mat 24:15  When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
Rev 1:3  Blessed [ is] he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

So “the abomination of desolation” for those who “read and understand”, occurs before the end comes, as does also the “great tribulation.”

Mat 24:21  For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
Rev 16:18  And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.
Mat 24:22  And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
Mat 24:23  Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
Mat 24:24  For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
Mat 24:25  Behold, I have told you before.
Mat 24:26  Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.
Mat 24:27  For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Mat 24:28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

Christ’s coming is “as the lightning that comes out of the east and shines even to the west, “for” or ‘because’ the eagles gather only at the carcase, the dead bodies, which have died to this world, “before the end comes”. For all those who “read and understand” these are the same “dead bodies” as the dead bodies of the two witnesses of our 11th chapter of Revelation.

Rev 11:8  And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

Continuing with His answer to the question, what will be the sign of your coming and the end of this age, Christ tells us:

Mat 24:29  Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
Joe 2:31  The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.
Joe 2:32  And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.

It is both that period “before… and immediately after the tribulation of those days” that Sun in our heavens is darkened by the smoke that arises out of our bottomless pit, and the great earthquake such as never was, nor ever will be, comes as the sign of the Son of Man in the heaven which appears to us and shakes us out of our sleep of spiritual death. That is what is required to bring every son to God.

Mat 24:30  And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Mat 24:31  And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Heb 12:6  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

When do all of these things take place? When is the sign of Christ’s coming and of the end of this age? When are those who hurt God’s two witnesses killed by the fire from their mouths? Here is Christ’s own answer to this question.

Mat 24:32  Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
Mat 24:33  So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
Mat 24:34  Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
Mat 24:35  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
Joh 6:63  It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

“This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled” tells us that “the sign of the Son of Man in heaven” comes and causes all the tribes of the earth to mourn before “this generation passes, and all these things are fulfilled”. That is the doctrine of Jesus Christ both here in Mat 24, in 2Th 2:6-12,  in Heb 12:6-7 and here in Revelation six.

Rev 6:12  And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
Rev 6:13  And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
Rev 6:14  And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
Rev 6:15  And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
Rev 6:16  And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
Rev 6:17  For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

Summary

We have seen the symbol of:
1) fire proceeding out of the mouths of God’s two witnesses is the word of God in their mouths, and
2) that is the fire that kills their enemies, and that none of this is literal, and that therefore Christ’s two witnesses do not violate His doctrines by killing those who would hurt them with the fire from their mouths. The fact is that we have seen that it is we who are first killed by that fire.
We also saw that:

3) the power given to the two witnesses to shut heaven that it rain not in the days of their prophecy, is again, nothing more or less than understanding the nourishing words of Christ as the rain which they are, and as they relate to our own experience of first denying Him and His doctrines, during the days of the prophecy of the two witnesses in our own lives. We saw that we, just like Christ’s apostles, we all think we understand His words during the time of His testimony, but in reality the heavens are shut, and we “understand not”. Just like Christ’s apostles, we all first deny and reject Him as our Savior.

Mat 13:49  So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,
Mat 13:50  And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Mat 13:51  Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord.

The Truth, of course is that “they understood not” till their conversion after Christ’s resurrection, and after their own spiritual ‘resurrection.’

Mar 9:31  For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.
Mar 9:32  But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him.
Luk 9:43  And they were all amazed at the mighty power of God. But while they wondered every one at all things which Jesus did, he said unto his disciples,
Luk 9:44  Let these sayings sink down into your ears: for the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men.
Luk 9:45  But they understood not this saying, and it was hid from them, that they perceived it not: and they feared to ask him of that saying.

We saw that:
4) to turn waters to blood is the spiritual way of telling us that God’s Words, which are the nourishing waters of life, will destroy us when we are denying that they speak of us, and that they will continue to work against us till we acknowledge that it is we who must live by every word. God’s Words are “turned to blood”, and condemn us of the blood of Christ, till we acknowledge that we are that man who denied our Lord while cursing and swearing that we “know Him not”. Just like Joseph’s brothers, we are condemned until we acknowledge that it was we who nailed our Lord to the cross.
We know that we are the earth.

 Jer 22:29  O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the LORD.

Finally we have seen that:

5) to “smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will” is “the word of the Lord which is but a continuation of that same work of destroying or old man and any sense of self righteousness that may remain in our earth. We have seen that we are the earth, and that until we “hear the word of the Lord” concerning our own culpability in every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God, and our guilt in shedding the blood of Christ, the work of “smiting the earth with all plagues, will continue in light of this Truth.

Joh 3:36  He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Since we are to “see all of these things, and we are to know that it is near, even at the doors, and this generation will not pass till all these things be fulfilled”, it becomes obvious that it really is God’s firstfruits who first experience the “one event that is common to all men, and who must be those who first “live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God, and keep the things written therein, because all things are ours.”

Ecc 9:2  All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.
Mat 4:4  But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
1Co 3:21  Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;
1Co 3:22  Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;
Rev 1:3  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

Next week, Lord willing we will continue our study here in Rev 11. Here are our next verses. As is always the case, to see these words as words which are compatible with the third verse of chapter one is foolishness to the natural man, but we will see next week that these “things written therein” were as applicable in John’s day as they are today and will be tomorrow.

Rev 11:7  And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
Rev 11:8  And their dead bodies [ shall lie] in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
Rev 11:9  And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.
Rev 11:10  And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.

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