Reading through Revelation – Chapter 11, Part 2, The Two Witnesses preach


Bamberg Apocalypse Folio 027v Two Prophets And Beast From Abyss

Bamberg Apocalypse, Folio 027v – The Two Prophets And The Beast From Abyss


Revelation 11:3-6

NASB

And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. And if anyone wants to harm them, fire flows out of their mouth and devours their enemies; so if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this way. These have the power to shut up the sky, so that rain will not 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 plague, as often as they desire.


Related passages

Exodus 7:19

19 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their rivers, over their streams, and over their pools, and over all their reservoirs of water, that they may become blood; and there will be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood and in vessels of stone.’”

1 Kings 17:1

Now Elijah the Tishbite, who was of  the settlers of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, surely there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.”

Revelation 1:20

20 As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.


thoughts

Careful students of the book of Revelation will probably agree with Alford that chapter 11 “is undoubtedly one of the most difficult in the whole Apocalypse.” A comparison of many commentaries will reveal the widest kind of disagreement as to the meaning of this chapter. 

Dr. John Walvoord

Brethren, I regret having started this project. I see now that it’s  inappropriate for a woman, and someone with limited training. Also, differences in views on eschatology cause pain and dissension. Discussion is good but most of us are so invested in our views that that is nearly impossible, except among those who hold the same ones. Incorrect and imprecise terms or ones that wound – such as “heretical” or “from the pit of hell” – add to the confusion and pain. Today, I offer an exposition by John Gill. His words show that Revelation throws light upon the long history of the Church, not merely its consummation. After this, I will finish my project using works of art and literature.  
 

John Gill’s Exposition of the Whole Bible

Waldensian motto: “Light Shines In Darkness”

Verse 3

And I will give power unto my two witnesses,…. By whom are meant, not Enoch and Elias, as some of the ancient fathers thought, who, they supposed, would come before the appearance of Christ, and oppose antichrist, and be slain by him, which sense the Papists greedily catch at; nor are the Scriptures, the two Testaments, Old and New, designed, though their name and number agree, and also their office, which is to testify of Christ; but then to be clothed in sackcloth, to be killed, and rise again, and ascend to heaven, are things that cannot so well be accommodated to them: but these witnesses intend the ministers of the Gospel and churches of Christ, who have bore testimony for Christ, and against antichrist, ever since he appeared in the world; and particularly the churches and ministers in Piedmont [Waldensian] bid fair for this character; who were upon the spot when antichrist arose, always bore their protest against him, and were ever independent of the church of Rome, and subsisted in the midst of the darkness of the apostasy; and suffered much, and very great persecutions, from the Papists; and have stood their ground, and continue to this day; and have been like olive trees and candlesticks, imparting oil and light to others. Though they ought not to be considered exclusive of other ministers and churches, who also have bore, and still do bear a witness for Christ, and against the idolatries of the church of Rome: no two individual persons can be meant, since these witnesses were to prophesy 1260 days, that is, so many years, but a succession of ministers and churches; and these are called two, both on account of the fewness of them, and because the testimony of two is sufficient to confirm any matter; and it may be in allusion to the various instances of two eminent persons being raised up at certain periods of time, as Moses and Aaron, at the deliverance of the children of Israel out of Egypt; Caleb and Joshua, at their entrance into Canaan; Elijah and Elisha in the idolatrous times of Ahab; and Joshua and Zerubbabel at the rebuilding and finishing of the second temple. Now the Angel, and who is Christ, here promises that he will give something to these witnesses: some supply the words, ‘I will give it’; that is, the holy city, or the church, to them, to be taken care of and defended; others, ‘I will give’ them a mouth and wisdom, which their adversaries shall not be able to resist, according to the promise in Luke 21:15. We supply the words, ‘I will give power’; that is, authority to preach the Gospel, and strength to profess it, and to continue to bear a testimony to it, signified by prophesying; see 1 Corinthians 14:1.”


Waldensian Confessions of Faith – the faith of “heretics”

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"LIGHT SHINES IN DARKNESS"

“LIGHT SHINES IN DARKNESS”

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Therefore we humbly entreat all the Evangelical and Protestant Churches, notwithstanding our poverty and lowness, to look upon us as true members of the mystical body of Christ, suffering for his name’s sake, and to continue unto us the help of their prayers to God, and all other effects of their charity, as we have heretofore abundantly experienced, for which we return them our most humble thanks, entreating the Lord with all our heart to be their rewarder, and to pour upon them the most precious blessings of grace and glory, both in this life and in that which is to come. Amen.

Source: Waldensian Confession (1655)

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Waldensian Confession of 1120

Source: Old Waldensian Paths.

1. We believe and firmly maintain all that is contained in the twelve articles of the symbol, commonly called the apostles’ creed, and we regard as heretical whatever is inconsistent with the said twelve articles.

2. We believe that there is one God – the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

3. We acknowledge for sacred canonical scriptures the books of the Holy Bible. (Here follows the title of each, exactly conformable to our received canon, but which it is deemed, on that account, quite unnecessary to particularize.)

4. The books above-mentioned teach us: That there is one GOD, almighty, unbounded in wisdom, and infinite in goodness, and who, in His goodness, has made all things. For He created Adam after His own image and likeness. But through the enmity of the Devil, and his own disobedience, Adam fell, sin entered into the world, and we became transgressors in and by Adam.

5. That Christ had been promised to the fathers who received the law, to the end that, knowing their sin by the law, and their unrighteousness and insufficiency, they might desire the coming of Christ to make satisfaction for their sins, and to accomplish the law by Himself….”

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Waldensian Confession (A. D. 1655)

Source: CARM (Christian Apologetics & Research Ministries)

A brief confession of faith of the Reformed Churches of Piedmont

[Italy, capitol Turin – literally “at the foot of the mountains”]

Published with their Manifesto on the occasion of the frightful massacres of the year 1655.

Having understood that our adversaries, not contented to have most cruelly persecuted us, and robbed us of all our goods and estates, have yet an intention to render us odious to the world by spreading abroad many false reports, and so not only to defame our persons, but likewise to asperse with most shameful calumnies that holy and wholesome doctrine which we profess, we feel obliged, for the better information of those whose minds may perhaps be preoccupied by sinister opinions, to make a short declaration of our faith, such as we have heretofore professed as conformable to the Word of God; and so every one may see the falsity of those their calumnies, and also how unjustly we are hated and persecuted for a doctrine so innocent.

I. That there is one only God, who is a spiritual essence, eternal, infinite, all-wise, all merciful, and all-just, in one word, all-perfect; and that there are three persons in that one only and simple essence: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

II. That this God manifested himself to men by his works of Creation and Providence, as also by his Word revealed unto us, first by oracles in divers manners, and afterwards by those written books which are called the Holy Scripture…

…And for a more ample declaration of our faith we do here reiterate the same protestation which we caused to be printed in 1603, that is to say, that we do agree in sound doctrine with all the Reformed Churches of France, Great Britain, the Low Countries, Germany, Switzerland, Bohemia, Poland, Hungary, and others, as it is set forth by them in their confessions; as also in the Confession of Augsburg, as it was explained by the author, promising to persevere constantly therein with the help of God, both in life and death, and being ready to subscribe to that eternal truth of God with our own blood, even as our ancestors have done from the days of the Apostles, and especially in these latter ages.

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The 1603 document referred to above can be found here:

Reformed Confessions of the 16th and 17th Centuries in English Translation: Volume 4, 1600–1693, James T. Dennison Jr., REFORMATION HERITAGE BOOKS Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Source: [PDF File] of “Waldensian Confession (1603)”

A Declaration of the Waldenses of the Valleys of Meane, and of Maties and of the Marquisate of Saluzzo, presented in the year 1603, to the Duke of Savoy. Whereas our predecessors from all time, and from father to son, have been instructed in the doctrine and religion which we have always openly professed from our childhood and in which we have instructed our families, as we have learned from our fathers, and which (while the king [of France] held the Marquisate of Saluzzo), we were permitted to profess without any disturbance no less than our brothers in the Valleys of Lucerne, who, by a treaty expressly made with their sovereign prince, have rejoiced with us in securing its continuation: and because His Highness, incited instead by persons of evil intentions than by his own will, has resolved to disturb us and to that end has brought forth an edict against us: that all the world may know that it is not for any crime which we have committed, either against the person of our prince, or to rebel against the laws, or that we have been guilty of murders, of thefts, etc.; that we have been tormented in that way, spoiled of our goods, and the possessions of our houses, etc. We declare that we are certain and persuaded that the doctrine and religion practiced by the Reformed Churches of France, Switzerland, Germany, England, Scotland, Geneva, Denmark, Sweden, Holland and other kingdoms, nations and dominions, of which we have before made open profession under the obedience of our princes and principal sovereigns, is the only doctrine and religion ordained of God, which alone is able to render us acceptable to God and to lead us to salvation. We have resolved to hold it at the peril of our lives, goods, and honor, and to continue in it up to the last breath of our life. And if anyone believes that we are in error, we very humbly beseech him that he show us our errors; we offer to renounce it without delay and to follow whatever would be shown to be more excellent, desiring nothing more than to render the obedience to God that we owe to Him, as poor creatures, and by this means obtain from Him true and eternal happiness. But if by violence, they wish to constrain us to abandon the way of salvation, to follow the errors and false doctrines invented by men, we choose rather to suffer the loss of our houses, goods, and lives, begging most humbly His Highness, whom we recognize as our lawful Prince and Sovereign, that he not permit us to be persecuted without cause, but rather that he allow us to continue all the rest of our life, and our children and posterity after us, in the same obedience which we have before inviolably rendered as his true and faithful subjects. Since we request nothing else of him except the rendering whatever we ought according to the express commandment of God, we may also be allowed to give to God the service which is due to Him and which is required of us by His Word. And meanwhile in the midst of our calamities and banishment, we pray the Reformed churches to recognize us as true members of theirs, always ready to seal with our own blood, if God calls us to, the confession of faith which has been published, which we hold in every way agreeing with the doctrine of the holy apostles, wishing to live and die in it. And if for so doing we are persecuted, we return thanks to God, who has granted us the honor of suffering for Him, committing the outcome of our affairs and the justice of our cause into the hands of the providence of God, who will deliver us when and by the means which shall please Him. Most humbly praying that as He holds the hearts of kings and princes in His hand, He will be pleased to bend the heart of His Highness to have pity on us, who have never offended him, and have resolved not ever to offend him, that he may acknowledge us, he may recognize us to be most faithful subjects, than those who persuade him to persecute us severely, and for ourselves, that He will be pleased to strengthen us amid these temptations and give us constancy and patience to persevere in the profession of the truth until the end of our life and that of our posterity after us. Amen.

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How Rome views the Waldensians’ faith,

despite the ecumenical efforts of Francis I

Source: New Advent encyclopedia

An heretical sect which appeared in the second half of the twelfth century and, in a considerably modified form, has survived to the present day. 

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Resources

Brief history of the Waldensians

Timeline

Waldensian Confession of Faith / WALDESIAN CONFESSIONS

Statutes of the movement "Old Waldensian Paths" STATUTES - (EXTRACT) (Revision 7 July 2013)

Waldensian Tours (June 30 - July 9, 2016) "The Waldensian Valleys of Piedmont"

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