Revelation 11:3-14: Dark Ages.
“And I will appoint my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.’ 4 They are ‘the two olive trees’ and the two lampstands, and ‘they stand before the Lord of the earth.’ 5 If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die. 6 They have power to shut up the heavens so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want.7 Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them. 8 Their bodies will lie in the public square of the great city – which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt – where also their Lord was crucified. 9 For three and a half days some from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial. 10 The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and will celebrate by sending each other gifts, because these two prophets had tormented those who live on the earth.11 But after the three and a half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them. 12 Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, ‘Come up here.’ And they went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies looked on.13 At that very hour there was a severe earthquake and a tenth of the city collapsed. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.14 The second woe has passed; the third woe is coming soon.” NIV
Before moving on to look at these verses in a little more detail, I wanted to share this helpful comment from F.B.Meyer:
‘We cannot in this brief note indicate the various interpretations of this chapter, but certain great principles underlie it which are true of every age. (1) During the darkest ages, men have been raised up to testify against the prevailing corruption of their time, and especially the corruption of the apostate church. Their opponents have endeavoured to silence their voice and blacken their character, but God has ever vindicated them and given life out of death. (2) Always when the enemies of the truth have deemed themselves triumphant, there has been a rekindling of gospel testimony…(3) Such witness-bearing as is suggested by the comparison with Zechariah’s vision is fed from the heart of Christ. He is the root of the martyr line; his Spirit is the life-breath of his witnesses. All through the centuries, commonly called Christian though generally very un-Christian, there has been an unbroken succession of pure and noble souls who have stood for Jesus Christ even unto death. Let us dare to stand with them and our Lord, that he may not be ashamed of us at his coming.’ ‘Devotional Commentary’, p.640.