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Revelation Lesson 28 - From George Street to Your Street

Revelation Lesson 28 - From George Street to Your Street

Series: Revelation
Ref: Revelation 11:1–14

Prophets like Moses, Elijah, and John the Baptist don't exist anymore. They're not walking the streets of New York City proclaiming the words of God and performing miracles. However, that doesn't mean the days of prophets are over. In the last days, God will send two men to prophesy of His coming judgment. Their message

Transcript

“George Street . . . Your Street”

Revelation 11:1-14

How easy is it for the church to sing, “Oh for a thousand tongues to sing, my great Redeemers praise” and yet never use our one tongue to share with anyone that we’ve been redeemed.”

If I asked this congregation the question, “Have you ever shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with an unbeliever – at work, at school, in the neighborhood, in the shop, wherever – I wonder how many could raise their hands and say, “I have . . . and not only that, I’m committed to sharing Christ with those around me.”

Let’s back it up even further.  I wonder how many people acknowledge to their world that they attend church and where they attend church and “hey, why don’t you come with me.”

According to one survey I read recently by Thom and Sam Rainer, 82% of the people they surveyed who were unchurched said they would more than likely attend a service if they were invited by a friend.  The Rainer survey then flipped the question around and discovered that typically less than 1 in 4 church members ever invite anybody to come with them. / Citation: preachingtoday.com/the potential harvest is plentiful

Harnack, the German church historian wrote that the early mission of Christianity was accomplished by means of informal missionaries.   / James Montgomery Boice, Romans: Volume 4, (Baker Books, 1995), p. 1875

That phrase, “informal missionaries” was actually coined by Justin, a 2nd century church leader and defender of Christianity in Rome until he was martyred in 165 AD.  Every believer was considered an informal missionary.

How far have we come? 

Another pollster wrote in his book the results of a survey where people claiming to be born again were asked the question, "Do you have a responsibility to explain your religious beliefs?"  And nearly 60% said that they didn’t feel it was their responsibility to be a witness.   / George Barna, What Americans Believe (Regal Books, 1991)

Sounds like the comic I read about some time ago where someone asked him about his religion. 

            He said, “I don’t talk about that.” 

            “Well then, what are you?” 

            He said, “I am a Jehovah's Bystander.” 

            The man said, “I’ve never heard of such a thing.” 

He responded, “Well maybe not, but I’m just more comfortable being a bystander than a witness.”

I’m not endorsing the Jehovah’s Witnesses, by the way . . . but I’m also deeply disturbed about the growing number of Christians who could easily be called, “Jehovah’s Bystanders.”  That’s not a spiritual cult . . . that’s a spiritual condition.

We can sing with great enthusiasm, “Oh for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemers praise” – but know in your heart that what that technically means is that you’ll sing about Him inside the church – but you’ll never say anything about Him outside the church.

“I’ll be a witness for my Lord” is not just lyrics – it is a lifestyle.

If you’ve been studying for very long with me through this last Book of the Bible and the revelation of the future, you can’t help but be struck by the faithful witnessing of so many people. 

Whether it’s the 144,000 thousand courageous Jewish evangelists, the millions who come to faith in Christ and are willing to stand for Him, the millions of martyrs who refuse to back down from their testimony – you’re aware that even into the closing days of this final harvest, God’s word is spread through the fearless testimonies of God’s people.

And two of the most dramatic witnesses are about to appear, in Revelation chapter 11.

 The Measuring of the Temple 

  1. John’s participation

But before these unusual witnesses are introduced, John is asked to actually take part in the unfolding drama of revelation.

Notice verse 1.  Then there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, “Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it.”

John was given a kalamos (kalamoV) – a tall hollow cane that grew in swampy Mediterranean regions, sometimes as high as 12 feet.  It was whittled down to make quills for writing, canes for walking or used in its entirety, as John will here, as a surveyor’s ruler or measuring rod. / Fritz Rienecker/Cleon Rogers, Linguistic Key to the Greek New Testament (Zondervan: Regency, 1976), p. 836

God tells John to take the surveyors reed and go and measure the temple – the Greek word is naos (naoV) – that was the inner temple made up of the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies . . . not the entire temple complex.

  1. John’s Observation

What we tend to miss as we read this is the elephant in the room – what John has just been asked to measure.

Remember, there is no temple standing in Jerusalem when John writes the Book of Revelation.  It had been destroyed 25 years earlier.  The history of the temple was a sad history, illustrating the cycles of faithfulness and unfaithfulness of the people of God.

  • The first temple was built by Solomon centuries earlier but it had been destroyed.
  • The second temple was reconstructed by Zerubbabel after the exile but that had been destroyed as well.
  • The third temple had been built by Herod by the time of Christ but then, just as Christ predicted in Matthew 24:2, not one stone of the temple would be left upon another. 

That prediction of judgment came true in A.D. 70 when Titus the Roman general overran rebellious Jerusalem and burned the temple to the ground.  Tradition informs us that the flames were so intense that the gold and silver adorning the temple melted and ran between the cracks.

The only thing left standing in Jerusalem was a portion of the Western Wall, most often referred to as the wailing wall, for there to this day, Orthodox Jews come day after day and especially on the Sabbath and pray, “May it be thy will that the temple be speedily rebuilt in our own time.”  / Sam Gordon, Worthy is the Lamb (Ambassador, 2000), p. 235

  • There will be a fifth temple will be constructed during the glorious Millennial Kingdom which we’ll take note of later.

But John sees a temple that was built after Herod’s temple was destroyed in A.D. 70 and before the Millennial Temple is constructed in the coming Kingdom.

So this is the fourth temple which will be reconstructed in Jerusalem perhaps just prior to and lasting through the Tribulation period which the Antichrist will oversee and then later desecrate in a fit of jealousy and blasphemy as more and more Jews return to Jerusalem and the temple worship which causes them to look for their true Messiah.

In fact, the Apostle Paul clearly speaks of the Antichrist’s desire to be viewed as God by seating his worship in that Tribulation Temple he initiated building.

Paul writes to the Thessalonians, “The man of lawlessness will be revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4)

And here you find John being commanded to measure out the Tribulation Temple – literally the Holy Place – the naos – which included the Holy of Holies.

Obviously, this wasn’t an effort to determine its physical dimensions, since none are given; but this was an act which signified ownership.  God was measuring out this spot and the worshipping Jews within it as His property! / MacArthur, p. 293

If there is any doubt about your property line you call a surveyor and he measures it out and puts stakes into the ground.  And now you where you can plant your trees, mow your grass and put up a fence.

Listen, this was stunning news to John – there will be another temple!  God’s word and promises will come true.  There will evidently be a state of Israel and a people of Israel and a literal temple for Israel that can be literally marked out with a literal measuring reed, in a literal Jerusalem.

  1. John’s Omission

Now notice John’s omission in verse 2.  But leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread underfoot the holy city for forty-two months – or, 3 ½ years.

This court outside the Temple represented the court of the Gentiles – the court to which Gentiles had access.  The command of God for John not to measure this outer court simply marks this area as being excluded from God’s favor.  It was literally abandoned to the unbeliever. / Robert L. Thomas, Revelation: Volume 2 (Moody Press, 1995), p. 83

This omission has become even more fascinating in light of the findings of archeologists in just the past 20 years.

Let me explain.

Have you ever wondered how the Tribulation Temple could be rebuilt on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem when right now?  If you were to visit the Temple Mount, what you would find is one of Islam’s most sacred spots on the planet; a Muslim Mosque and a shrine known as the Dome of the Rock. 

Muslims believe this is the cornerstone of creation, the place where Abraham nearly offered his son and most importantly to them, the very spot where they believe their prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven without dying. / John MacArthur, Revelation: Volume 1(Moody Press, 1999), p. 294

 

And since A.D. 691, this Dome of the Rock with it’s golden dome shining in the Middle Eastern sun has stood on the Temple Mount – 35 acres of land where once stood the Temple of the Jews.

Now John sees a reconstructed temple for Jewish worship on the Temple Mount – it’s claim to legitimacy is that the Holy of Holies is on the exact spot as Solomon’s temple.

How do the Jews get to rebuild the sanctuary without World War III?  For 2,000 years, Jews, Muslims and Christians have been slaughtered in their attempts to control that little plot of land.  Even today the world focuses on this little piece of land.

With the help of archaeologists and surveyors, there is good reason now to believe that the Muslim’s Dome of the Rock is not on the actual spot of the naos – the sanctuary which housed the Holy of Holies.

That spot, one engineer by the name of Asher Kauffman and others are saying, is actually about 100 yards north of the Dome.  I researched his drawings and topographical maps this past week to see the work he and his team – and other teams of archaeologists and engineers have accomplished. / citation: templemount.org

There are numerous scholarly findings to give serious doubt to the fact that the Dome of the Rock actually sits on the site of the original Holy of Holies.

If this research is correct, you can easily see your way to a Middle East solution - somewhat; the Jews can have their sanctuary rebuilt without having to tear down the Muslim’s sacred site. / Ray Stedman, Revelation: God’s Final Word (Discovery House, 1991), p. 214

But even with that in mind, the reconstructed temple would have one interesting problem – if the Temple Courtyard were fully built out in the Tribulation – the courtyard surrounding the Naos – the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies it would actually encompass the Dome of the Rock.

How interesting then that John here in Revelation 11 is told not to measure the area outside the Sanctuary, for that, he is told in verse 2, has been given to the nations – that is, Gentile unbelievers.

So the Tribulation temple may actually be the inner sanctuary – the Holy Place and Holy of Holies, without the grand courtyards.

Today, committed, orthodox Jews involved in organizations such as The Temple Institute are busily weaving clothing for the priests to wear; jewelers and artisans are making vessels of silver and gold for that day when temple worship is begun again.  Men are currently being trained in Levitical rituals, according to Old Testament systems of sacrifice and worship.   / Adrian Rogers, Unveiling the End Times in Our Time (Broadman, 2004), p. 134

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are living in a generation where plans and preparations for a functioning Jewish temple are already drawn up and the Jewish people are merely awaiting the world’s permission to build and we know from Scripture that the permission will come on the heels of a coming peace maker – the antichrist – who will make it happen.

Now John sees the Temple sanctuary rebuilt . . . but by the time he sees it, it has already been desecrated as the final 3 ½ years of the Tribulation are now ticking to a close.

And in this final period, God stations outside the temple, in Jerusalem, two unusual witnesses who deliver the gospel and prophecy of the antichrists coming doom and the world that follows him.

The Ministry of Two Witnesses

  1. Their Identity

Notice verse 3. And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophecy for twelve hundred and sixty days – again, 3 ½ years – clothed in sackcloth.”  These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth.

This same symbolic terminology appears in Zechariah 4 where two olive trees drip their oil into a lampstand as a witness to Israel in Zechariah’s day. 

The oil is a consistent reference in the Bible to the Spirit of God; and since the oil is directly connected to the lampstands – in Zechariah and in Revelation, the testimony of the witnesses effectively never runs out of power . . . their light is perpetual.  / Adapted from Thomas, p. 89

In fact, it is this oft-quoted text in Zechariah we use even to this day to speak of God’s empowering Holy Spirit in and through the witness of His children – and the text says, ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.’ (Zechariah 4:6)

Never will that be more clearly applied than in the lives of these two indestructible witnesses, empowered by God’s spirit.

But who are they?

They’re not named . . . so that’s good enough reason to spend hours guessing, right?

No need to guess, I found a verse that clearly marks it out.  It’s in Hezekiah chapter 2 . . . if you’d like to turn there . . . it’s right next to Zephaniah. 

Okay, so there isn’t a Book of Hezekiah . . . quit looking.  But if there was a Book of Hezekiah, the answer would be in chapter 2.

Really all we can do is put together some clues to come up with who these men are and I would venture to say they are Elijah and Moses simply because of what God has them do.  

  1. Their Power

Like Moses, they have the power to turn water into blood and strike the earth with plagues; like Elijah, they have the power to deal with their enemies by fire as well as cause the rain to cease falling.

Notice verse 5.  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.  6. These have the power to shut up the sky, so that rain will not fall during the days of their prophesying – literally the last 3 ½ years – 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.

You can only imagine how they will be hated by the antichrist and the unbelieving world.

These two witnesses will fearlessly, supernaturally testify to the truth of God’s word and the coming of the Messiah.

By the way, all of this focus on Israel and Jerusalem and the Temple is further evidence that the church is already gone; for those who believe the church will go through half of the Tribulation, or all of it – as the Posttribulationalists and the Historic Premillennialists believe; this chapter spells great problems for them.

A nondispensational, non-literal attempt to understand and expound Revelation have run into problems already; but in this chapter many of them admit they are stumped.  Why? It is simply impossible to get the church into this chapter without changing all their own rules of interpretation.

This is a literal temple that can be measured with literal Jewish worshippers marked out as God’s possession; the Gentiles are excluded – which poses a great problem simply because the church includes both Gentiles and Jews; furthermore you have a literal Temple Mount, a literal Jewish remnant, a literal altar and references to prophetic olive trees and lampstands from Zechariah and a holy city where Christ was literally crucified – which is Jerusalem.

And here you have two witnesses standing in Jerusalem testifying in the same power of the Old Testament prophets, calling Israel back to God.

If the church is somehow represented here, what is meant by Jerusalem?  And if the two witnesses symbolize the ministry of the church during the tribulation or at any time in church history – what are they doing killing people with fire out of their mouths with God’s blessing – the church isn’t to make people suffer, the church is called to suffer. And if the witnesses are to be killed – as we’ll see in a moment – and then taken up to heaven as a symbol of the church, does that mean all true Christians are to be martyred, lie in the street, be resurrected and raptured only after having killed thousands of people with fire and plagues? / Adapted from Edward Hindson, Revelation: Unlocking the Future (AMG Publishers, 2002), p. 122

Take this text at face value . . . as you can the entire Book of Revelation.  You don’t have perform any sort of gymnastics if the church is already raptured and the Jewish temple is being measured out as God’s special property.

There’s another sidebar to the coming of Elijah as one of the witnesses that makes a lot of sense to the Jewish people.

For centuries now, the orthodox Jews celebrate Passover in their homes.  And they always put out an extra chair and plate for whom?  For Elijah. / David Jeremiah, Escape the Coming Night Study Guide: Volume 2 (Turning Point, 1994), p. 122

A child is sent to the door to see if Elijah has come?

Why would they do that?  It is because they take literally the promise of Malachi that Elijah will precede the coming of their Messiah. (Malachi 3 and 4).

Some would say that John the Baptist fulfilled this prophecy.  That isn’t true because when John was asked if he were Elijah he said he wasn’t (John 1:21)

He came in the spirit of Elijah, preparing the way for the first coming of the Messiah to suffer; and we know from the prophets that Elijah will literally come and preach and prophecy before the second coming of the Messiah, which is another reason to believe that one of these witnesses is Elijah himself.

Back to our text where you discover that the antichrist is allowed to move against these two witnesses and God allows him to put them to death – and would you notice it is only after they have finished their God-ordained, God-determined length of ministry.

  1. Their Death

Notice verse 7.  When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them – in other words, the demonically empowered beast – the antichrist will fight them and overcome them and kill them.

We’ll deal with the antichrist in a future study but for now, notice 8.  And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt where also their Lord was crucified.

In other words, Jerusalem will be called spiritual nicknames – Sodom, because of their sexual immorality and Egypt, because of their oppression of God’s people.

Notice verse 9. Those form the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and will not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb.

The greatest insult to the deceased is to withhold burial – to leave them to decay.

And this text says the world will watch them where they lie out in the open.  In fact the present active participle “were beholding them” indicates continued action.   / Stewart Custer, From Patmos to Paradise (BJU Press, 2004), p. 126

Skeptics long scoffed this prophecy as impossible to literally apply.  But then came along satellites and the internet.

Cameras are posted from every news organization on the planet and the images of this scene is transmitted from Jerusalem to Tokyo to New York to London, Moscow, Beijing, South Africa, Paris and to the whole world.

And this becomes a moment of great celebration for the entire world.  Notice verse 10.  And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and celebrate; and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth – literally, those who live for earth – a catch phrase for unbelievers.

This is the antichrist’s anti-christmas. 

The party and the celebration is like nothing before – it literally galvanizes the human race into one giant celebration as they send gifts and cards to one another in happy celebration..

In fact, this is the only instance of rejoicing during the Tribulation recorded in this Book.  This is effectively the world’s last Mardi Gras.   / Citation:soniclight.com Thomas Constable, Notes on Revelation, p. 103

This reveals the depth of unbelief  and the confirmed hatred of the world for the glory of God and His witness on earth.

  1. Their Resurrection and Rapture

But the party doesn’t last for very long.  As the cameras are trained on these decomposing bodies, suddenly the glow of health returns to them and their skin begins to changed from pallid to rosy.  A finger twitches and then a leg straightens.   / Adapted from Rogers, p. 139

The revelers hush in shock and packages drop to the floor; A hand moves and then an arm turns around . . . the witnesses blink in the glare of the camera lights, then sit up and then stand up alive.

Then a loud voice booms from heaven “Come up here” verse 12.  Then they went up into heaven in a cloud, and their enemies watched them go . . . I’ll bet they did!  This isn’t really a rapture where the church vanishes in the twinkling of an eye – this is more like the ascension of Christ.

Then notice what followed; 13. And in that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell; seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.

By the way, this is the only reference to repentance following a disaster in the Tribulation.  This reference to giving glory to God is a mark of genuine repentance and belief in Revelation. / MacArthur, p. 305

Most of the world will still reject their testimony, but some will believe.

There are core principles from the testimony of these witnesses that can be applied to our own lives, right now.

Stand for Christ – no matter how rejected and ignored and ridiculed and even persecuted, the world will not party for very long before the Lord returns.  That’s true for them in Revelation 11 and it’s true for us today.

Make Christ known in your world.  You bear the truth; you have the answer . . . you have the only hope for a world that is drowning out their sorrow and fear with a party – even now it attempts to silence the pounding of their hearts in fear over the future of their world.

And like these two witnesses, the issue is not the response of the world – the issue is our obedience to the word of God.

The truth is, you may never know the impact of your testimony on that campus, that corporate setting, that home until that day when you are rewarded by Christ for saying, “I’ll be a witness for my Lord.”

Several decades ago an English pastor by the name of Francis Dixon revealed the remarkable story of a gentleman who faithfully witnessed for Christ.  In fact, after first telling this story, I received an email from another pastor in South Wales, Australia who not only confirmed this man’s testimony but told me of his friendship with this faithful witness.  / Pastor Steve Grose, Newcastle Baptist Tabernacle, New South Wales, Australia.

The story begins at the Crystal Palace Baptist Church in Southern London – a man asked if he could tell give his testimony to the assembly.  The Pastor said, “Sure”.  The man said, “I’ve just moved into this area from Sydney Australia and just a few months I visited some relatives in Sydney and I was walking down George Street.  And as I passed one shop, a little white haired man stepped out in front of me, handed me a tract and asked me, “Are you saved and if you died today would you go to heaven?”  He said, “I walked away but was dumfounded.  No one had ever asked me that question before and on the flight all the way back to Heathrow in London I was puzzled as I read the little tract.  I called a friend who was a Christian and he told me how to accept Christ and I just wanted to share with you friends that I am now a Christian.  Of course the church was excited to hear this testimony of a man who would become a part of their church. 

The pastor of that church flew to Australia for a 3 day series in Adelaide, Australia.  During that series of meetings a woman came to him for spiritual counseling and he of course wanted to know where she stood with Christ.  And she said, “Well, I used to live in Sydney and a couple of months, I was doing some shopping on George Street . . . same . . . . after I walked away I visited this church where you’re speaking today, knowing they believed what that gospel tract talked about and the pastor here led me to Christ.

Twice in a few days, this pastor had encountered someone impacted by a little white haired man on George Street.

A few weeks later, this pastor flew to Perth, an island off the coast of Australia where he preached for an evangelical church there in Perth.  After one of the services, the leading elder of the church took him out for dinner.  While they were eating, this pastor asked his fellow elder, when he had come to faith in Christ.  This lay elder said, “I grew up in this church until the age of 15, never made a commitment . . . grew up to a place of influence.  I was in Sydney 3 years ago on business when a little white haired man accosted me with a tract and asked me if I was saved and on my way to heaven.  I tried to tell him that I was a Baptist elder in a Baptist church and this little man didn’t care.  I was so angry that when I arrived back in Perth I told our pastor what had happened and my pastor told me, “You know, for years I’ve wondered if you were truly born again” and my pastor led me to genuine faith in Christ.

This pastor flew back to the UK and was speaking in the Lake District at a Christian conference and he told these three testimonies to his audience.  After the meeting, 3 pastors, unknown to one another in this regard, came up after the meeting and said, that they had all come to faith in Christ – around 30-35 years ago – after receiving from this same man on George Street a simple gospel tract.

This pastor was absolutely astounded.

The following week the pastor flew to another Keswick convention in the Caribbean to a group of missionaries that had gathered.  He was so excited about the fruit of this one little man’s testimony that he shared it with his audience.  At the close of his teaching session 3 missionaries came up and said that they had been saved 15-20 years ago through the initial testimony of this same man on George Street.

At the end of that meeting, this pastor flew back, by way of Georgia in the USA to speak at a Naval Chaplain’s convention.  After 3 days of revving 1,000 Chaplains about being a witness for Christ.  At the end of the conference the Chaplain General took me out to dinner and he asked him, “How did you come to faith in Christ?”  The Chaplain General aid, “Well, it really was miraculous.  I was in the Navy and lived a terribly immoral, profligate life.  We were doing exercises in the South Pacific and we ended up on a brief leave in Sydney.  He said, “I partied in downtown Sydney that night, got on the wrong bus and it took me to George Street.  As I got off the bus, an elderly white haired man suddenly appeared, I thought it was a ghost and asked me, “Sailor, are saved and if you died do you know you’d go to heaven?”  That confrontation shocked me so much, when I got back to the battleship I sought out my Chaplain and he led me to Christ.  I soon began to prepare for the ministry under my Chaplains guidance and now here I am in charge of leading 1,000 chaplains to share Christ with others.

That same pastor, 6 months later, flew to India to do a convention for 5,000 missionaries in an eastern area of India.  At the close of the meeting a humble Indian missionary took him home for a meal.  The pastor asked him, “How did you, a Hindu, come to faith in Christ?”  The missionary pastor responded, “I was in a very privileged position, working for the Indian Diplomatic Mission – traveling the world.  One of my diplomatic trips took me to Sydney and one night I was doing some last minute shopping on George Street – carrying packages – a courteous man stepped out and asked me . . .  I thanked him but this disturbed me.  I sought out my Hindu Priest who didn’t have an answer but who actually suggested I take my questions about Christ to a local mission station nearby.  I did, and the missionary led me to Christ.  I left Hinduism and began to prepare for the ministry.  Now I’m leading these missionaries and we’re winning thousands of Hindu’s to faith in Christ.

Eight months later this pastor of the Crystal Palace Baptist Church, whose travel schedule – by the way – I would not want, had meetings in Sydney.  He asked the pastor there – “Do you know a little man who hands out tracts on George Street?”  The pastor said, “Sure I do . . . he’s done that for years.  His name is Mr. Jenner, but I don’t believe he does that anymore because he’s now old and very frail.”  The visiting pastor said, “I’ve got to meet him.”  His colleague said, “Not a problem, I know where he lives.” 

Two nights later they went to this little apartment and knocked on the door and a tiny, frail little man with a head of white hair answered the door.  He invited them in, sat them down and made them some tea, serving them even though his hands trembled with age. 

As they sat together, this London pastor told Mr. Jenner all the encounters he had had over the past 3 years and all the Christians he’d met from England to Australia to India to America who’d come to faith in Christ because of his gospel witness on George Street. 

This little man sat there with tears running down his cheeks.  He said, “I made a commitment that I would attempt to share Christ with someone every day – up to as many as 10 a day, if I could.”  He said, “Sometimes I couldn’t do it – I was sick or whatever – I wasn’t paranoid about it . . . it was just my desire. 

When I retired from the military, I decided that I would devote my time to witnessing and for the past several decades I’ve been in one place.  I believed that the busiest and best place in Sydney to pass out tracts was George Street and now for 40 years I’ve passed out tracts on that busy avenue.  I’ve had a lot of rejections, but many people have been courteous and they’ve accepted my gospel literature.”

“However, I must tell you,” he said with tears coursing down his cheeks, “that until today, I have never had one person respond favorably to my question . . . until today, I knew of not one person who had accepted Christ from my witness all these years.” 

This pastor eventually did a rough count, as best as they could determine, and came to the conclusion that at least 146,000 people were influenced to faith in Christ because of this man’s consistent, unfruitful – to him – testimony.   And that was only the tip of the tip of the tip of the iceberg.

Mr. Jenner died 2 weeks after these pastors visited him. 

Imagine, only a few Baptists in Southern Sydney even knew about Mr. Jenner.  But heaven knew about him . . . and I can’t imagine the fanfare when this man arrived home.

Dear flock, I don’t know about you, but a testimony like that deeply challenges me . . . it both encourages me and convicts me regarding my own witness.

The old Spiritual asks the question, “Who’ll be a witness for my Lord?”  And the answer we must return is, “I’ll be one . . . I’ll be one . . . here am I send me . . . I’ll be a witness for my Lord.”

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