"The earth's inhabitants gloat over them and in their merriment exchange gifts, because these two prophets harassed everyone on earth." —Revelation 11:10
The two witnesses, two olive trees, and two lampstands represent the Church (Rv 11:3-4; see also Rv 1:20). The Church has such power that fire comes out of her mouth to devour her enemies (Rv 11:5). The Church has "power to close up the sky" (Rv 11:6), "to turn water into blood and to afflict the earth at will with any kind of plague" (Rv 11:6). The Lord has given the Church "the keys of the kingdom of heaven" (Mt 16:19). It is "the pillar and bulwark of truth" (1 Tm 3:15). Because the Church is the body of the almighty Christ (see 1 Cor 12:27), it is very powerful.
The Church is so powerful that the world is threatened by her and tries to destroy her (Rv 11:7). The Church is such a threat that "the earth's inhabitants gloat over" (Rv 11:10) the supposed death of the Church. They feel so pleased to see the Church seemingly dead that "in their merriment [they] exchange gifts" (Rv 11:10), because they think the Church harasses "everyone on earth" (Rv 11:10).
How does this description of the Church in Revelation compare with the Church today? Is the Church exercising her authority and power? How much would today's world delight in the supposed death of the Church? Would the people of the world be so excited as to exchange gifts? Let us love the Church (Eph 5:25) and be the Church of Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Father, "church" me by Your standards.
Promise: "God is not the God of the dead but of the living. All are alive for Him." —Lk 20:38
Praise: After a life of promiscuous "free love," Stephen repented and received the One Who is Love (1 Jn 4:16).
(For a related teaching, order our tape The Church in God's Plan on audio AV 67-3 or video V-67.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from October 1, 2006 through November 30, 2006. †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 6, 2006.
The Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Imprimatur agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.