The Continuous Witness
Revelation 11:3-13
And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and three score days, clothed in sackcloth.…

The Lord calls forth his faithful witnesses, and makes promise that their voice and testimony shall not be silenced, even though the holy city be trodden underfoot. Mark -

I. THE UNFAILING TESTIMONY. Throughout the entire period during which the usurping worldly power shall oppress and tread down the adherents to the truth, the voice of testimony is heard. It cannot be silenced. Forty and two months is the holy city trodden underfoot; a thousand two hundred and three score days do the witnesses prophesy. Not any particular two; but the confirmatory two. The number may be minished; but the voice is clear. One herald is sufficient to make a proclamation.

II. THE PAINFULNESS OF WITNESSING AGAINST EVIL AND THREATENING JUDGMENT IS BUT TOO OBVIOUS. The witnesses prophesy, "clothed in sackcloth." So must all who stand in opposition to evil find the painful bitterness of their sad duty.

III. THE DIVINE DEFENCE OF THE WITNESSES. "If any man desireth to hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth." The Lord defends his witnesses; his anointed must not be touched. The word of their mouth is itself a penetrating sword of flame; nor can the adversaries of the truth escape those external judgments which fire always represents, and which the God of truth uses for the punishment of evil doers. This is further seen in -

IV. THEIR PUNITIVE POWER. But it is of a nature correspondent to the entire character of the gospel. "They shut up heaven." Sad indeed is it for them who stay the holy work of the heavenly witnesses. For if their work be hindered, it is as the shutting up of the heavens - no spiritual rain, no teaching. The world is the sufferer. The loss is unspeakable. By the removal of the earth preserving salt - the Word - a plague is brought upon the earth. Alas! though the testimony is continuous through all the time of the worldly oppression, yet the witnesses are finally slain! Here the vision may be for the comfort of the witnessss to the truth themselves. And we reflect -

V. UPON THEIR TEMPORARY DESTRUCTION AND FINAL TRIUMPH. They are slain, and so far the world triumphs. So it did with the one faithful and true Witness. Or we may see here a temporary triumph of the evil worldly spirit, and the final supremacy of the truth. Probably the former. But in either case the faithful witnesses to the truth are assured in this, as in many other ways, of the final reward to their fidelity and the final triumph over them who make them their foes. - R.G.

Parallel Verses
KJV: And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

WEB: I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred sixty days, clothed in sackcloth."

The Continuous Witness
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