Today’s Reading: Revelation 10-11.
(Context: In between the 6th and 7th “trumpet” sounding, a strange parenthesis appears, where John is given a small scroll to eat. Much has been made of this, likely rightly so, but to me a certain mystery shrouds this chapter and the next. In part, it is on purpose, for this small scroll has things that God tells John not to write, for they will be important words in the future, for a special time and purpose. The future 7th trumpet will seemingly bring in the Millennium. Chapter 11 speaks of the two witnesses who are rejected, killed by Antichrist, only to be resurrected and ascended to heaven by God. It seems like this is a prediction of the last few months of Antichrist’s reign, building-up to Armageddon. It is important to note that Revelation is not a truly chronological book, for it does jump back and forth, chapter 12 being a prime example, as it moves back in time.)
We like scapegoats. We love to blame someone, or something for our current miseries and troubles. Of course you realize this, but let’s take a refresher course:
–Adam blamed his wife for her deception. Eve blamed the Serpent. The Serpent, Satan himself, had blamed God to begin with, for his rules.
–Cain blamed God for accepting Abel over him, not stopping to ask for an explanation, instead taking justice in his own hands out of jealousy.
–Joseph’s brothers blamed a wild beast, hiding their wickedness at selling their then-youngest brother into slavery to their cousins, the Ishmaelites.
-The Israelites blamed their misfortune on Moses, blaming him and therefore God, for they lacked patience to trust in such a wonderful God.
–Saul blamed Samuel for arriving late, thus, he argued, he had to complete the sacrifice himself, without the priest’s help, which was mandated by God.
–David attempted to manipulate Uzziah into sleeping with his wife, that was being able to cover up his affair with Bathsheba.
-The Pharisees blamed Jesus for the people’s desire to rise-up against Rome, falsely accusing Him of treason, when in reality they just hated that He attacked their authority structure.
This now brings us to our last example, from Revelation 11, where the entire world under Antichrist’s dominion, will blame the two false witnesses for their misfortune, for the earthquakes, for the bad water, for the massive hailstones, for the famines, etc.
“And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days (three and a half years, in Hebrew Calendar), clothed in sackcloth.” These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. And if anyone would harm them, fire pours from their mouth and consumes their foes. If anyone would harm them, this is how he is doomed to be killed. They have the power to shut the sky, that no rain may fall during the days of their prophesying, and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague, as often as they desire. And when they have finished their testimony, the beast (Antichrist) that rises from the bottomless pit will make war on them and conquer them and kill them, and their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city (Jerusalem) that symbolically is called Sodom and Egypt, where their Lord was crucified. For three and a half days some from the peoples and tribes and languages and nations will gaze at their dead bodies and refuse to let them be placed in a tomb, and those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and make merry and exchange presents, because these two prophets had been a torment to those who dwell on the earth. (Revelation 11:3-10)
The two witnesses will seemingly be alive for the duration of the “great tribulation”, or the last 3.5 years of the Tribulation. It will be, without question, the most devastating season in world history, full of war, pain, natural disasters, and supernatural destruction. It may be that close to one half of the world population will die/be killed in these years – that would be roughly 4 billion people, were it to happen soon!
Antichrist will blame the two witnesses for the world’s suffering. He will be right actually, in the effect side of things. Yet he, the Antichrist will be the true cause of the necessity of an effect (i.e. mass destruction of the world), for God will be reacting to his evil and his wickedness. God will be attempting to wake the world up from their slumber and continuous love-affair with Antichrist.
Let us go one step further into the cause, though, for it is not simply the fault of the Antichrist. The true fault lies with the world’s acceptance of Antichrist as their world leader. They were openly rejecting God, and blaming Him for their previous misfortunes. They were “going all in” for this angel-faced monster, and were blaming their Maker and accusing Him of wrong.
The next time you or someone you know throws a fist up a God and yells or even thinks: “God why?!“, think again. You have yourself and your race to blame for your misfortunes, not God. So do I.
Sin is the problem, God the cure. Let us not be deceived, let us take the blame that rightly belongs to us, so that we may find forgiveness in the Blameless One.