Showing posts with the label Martyrs

Jesus, the Faithful Witness

In the salutation sent to the Seven Assemblies, Jesus is called the Faithful Witness because of his self-sacrificial death . The vision of John begins with “ greetings ” to the Seven Assemblies of Asia from the One “ Who is ,” the “ Seven Spirits ,” and Jesus Christ, the “ Faithful Witness .” The Son of God bore “ witness ” in his sacrificial death, and it becomes the pattern for the “ Assemblies ” to emulate as they give “ testimony ” while undergoing tribulation “ for the Word of God .”

Slaying of the Two Witnesses

The “ second woe ” does not end until the “ Two Witnesses ” have completed their “ testimony ” and their “ corpse ,” singular, lies on the streets of “ Babylon .” Only then will the final trumpet be heard as its ushers in the hour of the judgment. The martyrdom of the “ Two Witnesses ” puts the end into motion and seals the doom of the “ Dragon .”

Faithful Witnesses

Two terms appear multiple times in the  Book of Revelation , namely, “ witness ” and “ overcome ,” themes that are closely related. Beginning with Jesus and the witness he gave in his death on the Roman cross, the Book calls his disciples to persevere in his “ testimony ” regardless of any consequences they may suffer. It is in this way that they “ overcome ” and reign with the “ Son of Man ,” as well as qualify for everlasting life in “ New Jerusalem .” Jesus himself summoned his saints to “overcome, just as I also overcame.”

Destruction of Babylon

The complete destruction of Babylon, especially her economic power is God’s response to her persecution of the “saints”  –  Revelation 18:9-24 .  Next,  Revelation  presents the detailed description of the destruction of the “ Great City ,” and the justification for this action. In part, her demise is caused by the hatred of the “ ten kings ” that are allied with the “ Beast ” and driven by God to desolate and “ burn her utterly with fire ” for her dominance of world commerce and her “ sorcery. ”

Great Harlot Revealed

Babylon is revealed as a bejeweled harlot dripping with the shed blood of martyred saints  –  Revelation 17:1-6 .  In chapter 17,  Revelation  presents the impressive figure of “ Babylon .” She is labeled “ harlot ” and identified as the “ great city ,” and she is responsible for the deaths of the martyrs. “ Babylon ” is also closely associated with the deceptions and economic power of the “ Beast .” In her, the book’s first audience would see the city of Rome.

Fifth Seal - Martyrs

The fifth seal opening reveals the souls of martyrs kept underneath the altar as they plead with God for vindication and justice  –  Revelation 6:9-11 .  The opening of the fifth seal reveals the souls of men slain for their testimony “ underneath ” the altar, where they plead with God for vindication for what they have endured at the hands of their enemies. But they must wait for justice until the complete number of their “ fellow servants ” who are to be slain - “ just as they ” - are gathered to join them.