Sunday, May 17, 2015
Two Witnesses Series #7 – Part 59 of Riddles, Enigmas & Esoteric Imagery of Revelation
In the last blog I brought your attention to the fact, what Jesus and His apostles were preaching created culture shock. They were presenting a powerful new religious concept that was hard to comprehend by the average person, and rigorously condemned by the religious elite. So is it any surprise they met resistance and repudiation, especially in the beginning – before the miracles and wonders became evident.
When His disciples James and John saw this, they said…Lord do you want us to command fire to come down from Heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?…He turned and rebuked them, and said…you do not know what manner of spirit you are of…for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them…Luke 9:54-56.
James & John were brothers, the sons of Zebedee, a local fisherman and businessman. Zebedee believed in the ministry of Jesus and supplied monetary assistance to Him and the apostles. This text reveals how angry James & John were when the villagers denied them access to their town.
Under the old covenant they knew they were endowed with the same supernatural powers as Elijah the prophet, so wanted to call fire down from Heaven to destroy resisters. But Jesus rebuked them, because the new covenant that He was offering must save men – not destroy them.
James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder…Mark 3:17. Jesus did change the names of some of His apostles – Simon to Peter; Levi to Matthew; Saul to Paul. So why did Jesus nickname James & John the Sons of Thunder?
Boanerges is an Aramaic word with an English translation of Sons of Thunder – men of commotion. Creating a commotion means social agitation or revolution. Historians reveal that James & John had a bombastic nature, known to bellow or shout their message, causing hearers to tremble. Boasting and flaunting their anointed power reveals their immaturity and lack of wisdom, but their stormy temperament would be a positive characteristic, once they learned to submit to the authority and humility of Jesus.
The Sons of Thunder were certainly not namby-pamby, but they did not know what spirit prompted them to demonstrate their power negatively. While Jesus did not want to stifle their dynamic and powerful personalities, He knew they must present His message with wisdom and humility, to a degenerate and godless society.
And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies…and if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner…Rev. 11:5. Revelation chapter 11 reveals the ministry of the Two Witnesses. This chapter is filled with metaphorical language, presenting a riddle that is solvable when we keep the prophecy in context.
If anyone tries to harm the Two Witnesses, fire will spew from their mouth and devour their enemies. The accurate translation for the word fire in this text is lightning – defined as the presence or anointing of God – His glory. When the glory of God is perceived by a human being it is described as lightning or fire. The Sons of Thunder spoke the anointed words – fire – of God.
Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem…and they talked together of all these things which had happened…Luke 24:13-14. These men were commiserating as they headed home, because they desperately wanted Jesus to be the Messiah – the One they had been looking for all of their lives – to overthrow Rome and set up an earthly kingdom to rule over Jerusalem. – but that didn’t happen.
So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them…but their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him…Luke 24:15-16. When Jesus asked them why they were so sad, they wondered where this stranger had been for the last three days.
Jesus began to quote from the Law & the Prophets…beginning at Moses ad all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself…Luke 24:27. Jesus showed how the Law & the Prophets – two covenants – had witnessed what just happened in Jerusalem – the spiritual kingdom of God had been re-established in the earth – not an earthly kingdom.
What did Road to Emmaus have to do with the fire in the mouths of the Sons of Thunder? Stay tuned…
God’s sheep question the doctrines of men…sheeple follow without question…