Let me remind you that the testimony of the witnesses is so strong it’s like fire coming forth from their mouth to destroy the arguments of those who come against them (Revelation 11:5). Their testimony is like our testimony, which is what Jesus Christ has done for us. The Bible says that there is great power in the message of the Cross and specifically our testimony (I Corinthians 1:18). Our testimony says, before Christ, there was an emptiness that could not be explained. No matter how hard we worked to fill this emptiness in our lives, we could not. Before Christ, even the right we knew to do was very difficult causing us untold problems. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). The Good News is everything changed when we believed what Christ did for us on the Cross. All our sins were placed upon Christ as He took our place and paid the penalty for our transgressions. He died for our sins and was buried for three days in a tomb. On the third day, Christ rose from the dead and is now seated in Heaven making intercession for our sins. Our faith in the resurrection of Christ gives us a brand-new life in Christ where old things truly pass away. This new life fills our emptiness with the indwelling Spirit and gives us power over the old sin nature. In time we are also filled with an amazing joy and a peace that defies understanding. Our testimony has great power to those who are willing to listen. This is our testimony.
Once the witnesses finished their testimony, then the beast shall overcome them and kill them” (Revelation 11:7). Notice that the witnesses stopped their witness prior to being overcome by the beast. The best had no power over the witnesses until the witnesses stopped sharing their testimony. This is very important. Our testimony becomes foolishness and loses its great power over the forces of evil when we integrate the lies of the world into God’s holy truth. Our testimony is powerless when we believe in science over God’s truth or integrate it with Biblical doctrine. When our testimony is filled with meaningless illustrations and watered-down truth then it loses its power to convict the sinner, it loses its power over the beast system, a system designed by the devil to enslave all of humanity. Remember the beast only comes when the witness stops. Although we will have many that fight against our witness, as long as we continue to witness our testimony, even in the face of violent and rude opposition, then it will keep the beast from arising and killing us and our witness. Stop the witness of our testimony and the beast will arise. We need to be very clear about this truth.
So, what causes the witnesses to stop their testimony? What could cause them to stop witnessing to the fallen world? Was it unimaginable chaos? Was it unchecked anarchy? Although no doubt both, attributed to their decision, I believe it goes much deeper. They stopped their witness because they gave up hope that fallen humanity could change. They saw so-called believers turn away from God. Shockingly, they no longer want to hear that God is working in our lives and that nothing happens by accident. They no longer want to hear about our visions and our prophecies. They no longer want to hear about the little miracles that we see happening in our life every day. Sadly, to say it has become easy to lose hope when we see so many turning away from God and ignoring our messages. It’s so tragic to witness our testimony falling on deaf ears. When one door after another shuts it becomes easier to lose hope in humanity. This is especially tragic when you know that the beast will arise and lead the entire world into bondage when the witness stops. So, dear children, please let me encourage all of you to share your complete testimony often (read the first paragraph again). Please don’t trust in your pastors and evangelist to do this for you. We must all witness asking God to give us an open door so that they will truly listen and accept the Gospel truth.
When the witnesses are killed, and the witness is stopped there is a great earthquake (Revelation 11:13). In reality, this will shake the entire Christian community for what will soon come upon the children of God. Christians are no longer allowed to witness. “The remnant is sorely frightened.” Notice that after the witness stopped and the beast arose the remnant was still here. They were greatly frightened, not only by the beast, but by the fierce wrath of God being poured out on unrepentant humanity. There is no greater fear that humanity will ever face than the righteous wrath of God. All the wars and all the lawlessness from humanity pale in significance as to what God’s wrath will do to humanity, the earth, and the universe. With the wars and lawlessness, you can hide or fight back, but with the wrath of God, you literally can’t do anything. As fallen humanity cries and curses the God of heaven and earth, the remnant will stand firm even as they too experience great fear. The Bible says, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31). Thank God, as we shall see God does not leave His children alone to face these calamities falling upon unrepentant humanity.
When the beast turns his wrath upon God’s beloved children, “Here is the patience and the faith of the saints” (Revelation 13:10). Now fallen humanity turns their unholy wrath upon the whole Christian community, everyone who claims Jesus Christ as their Savior. Yes, this is the great persecution and if you think somehow you will magically escape it, then you will not be prepared. You will not stand firm. Only those who are patient and have faith will stand firm. Patience is extremely important as we enter this time of persecution. In the First Century, most believers at the time dealt with persecution in one of three ways. They either stood bravely before their persecutors or they fled for their lives, or worse yet they openly denied their Savior. Patiently waiting for the outcome of the charges filed against you without taking matters into your own hands will be essential. This too will take a great deal of faith believing that God is with you no matter what the outcome is, either going into captivity, being incarcerated, or being killed by the sword, their chosen method of execution (Revelation 13:10). To fight back is not an option for God’s faithful remnant if you are caught or have decided not to run.
The wrath of God now comes upon fallen humanity. “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12). When God’s beloved children are viciously attacked, then God will pour out all His wrath. This wrath is so horrific that only two things will allow the faithful remnant to have patience enough to stand firm against the persecution amid the Great Tribulation. They will patiently stand firm only by keeping the commandments of God and having faith in Jesus. It’s insightful that the Bible adds “keeping the commandments of God” to those who now need to stand firm not only against the beast and his evil system but against the wrath of God that’s poured out against all unrighteousness. So, the key to standing firm is obedience to all of God’s beautiful commandments. The biggest challenge during this time will be keeping the commandments on non-retaliation (Matthew 5:38-48) and loving your neighbors as you love yourself (Matthew 22:39). It doesn’t negate the other commandments, but it stresses during this turbulent time we must still act like Christians even if they vehemently refuse to hear our testimony, which most will. Even as they strike out against God and our fellow believers, we must maintain our Christian character. God is watching. God is not only watching but He is still with you working things out according to His divine plan (Hebrews 13:5). As we stand firm, we look forward to seeing Jesus Christ’s glorious coming in the clouds. And all the people said, Amen!
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