Revelation Chapter 11 – A Core Prophecy with Key Sequential Insights to End-Time Events
I do not believe it to be coincidence that the book of Revelation has 22 chapters and at the very center of it, we find a single chapter (chapter 11) as a standalone prophecy by John which is actually presenting a prophetic overview, a construct, an outline, which shows a series of events that establishes for us a sequential order of these end-time events that we can follow.
Think of chapter 11 as a timeline from which other key passages, found in Revelation and throughout the bible that refer to end-times (such as: Matt 24, 1 Thess 4, 2 Thess 2, 1 Cor 15, Revelation chapters 9, 10, 12 – 20 and many of the chapters in the book of Daniel), can be properly aligned and attached in their proper sequential order.
I will be making summaries of most verse sections, but I will keep them short. The first section summary is a little long since it is to help understand the starting point of the timeline. I use the NIV and if you are going to follow along, I would encourage to use the NIV with this study as emphasis is given to many words and phrases. If you like to flip back and forth between versions easily, I can recommend you use https://www.biblegateway.com/ as I do.
The best way to follow this study is to open a bible to Revelation chapter 11 and read the verses in the left column and then read the observations in the right column that pertain to those verses. Whenever you see a reference given, stop and read that reference. Seriously, the biggest benefit of doing this study is seeing how all the references are tied together here in Revelation 11. So when you see a reference, stop and read that reference and consider it in light of the observation being made about the Rev 11 verses.
|Verses 1 & 2||· John starts new prophetic vision (Rev 10:11)
· Suggests a real/rebuilt temple in “Holy City” (Jerusalem) (See also verse 8)
· Mentions worshippers and altar, suggesting a functioning temple
· The outer court is not considered to be part of this rebuilt temple, because it is given to the Gentiles.
· These Gentiles are unbelieving Gentiles in that they are trampling the Holy City and will do so for 42 months, which is 3 ½ years or 1260 days.
Summary: Verses 1 & 2 starts a new prophetic vision. The details of the temple help to establish a starting point or reference point in regard to a timeline for end-time events. There is no mistaking that John is required to measure a real temple, that is located in Jerusalem and that this temple is only a partial temple because the outer courts is in the possession of Gentiles. Since no such temple exists today, this lets us know that in the future, a temple is going to be rebuilt. However, we also know that an Islamic holy site currently sets on the location where the temple was built in the past. The outer courts would lie to the east which is the same direction where the Al-Aqsa Mosque & the Dome of the Rock (an Islamic Shrine) is located. Pakistan wants control over east Jerusalem. When Israel rebuilds the temple, it will likely be near the western wall and everything directly east of that would normally be considered the outer court, but it is currently occupied as an Islamic holy site or as John put it, the outer court has been given to the Gentiles. The mention of the 42 months is significant in that it represents 3 ½ years. This is exactly half of 7 years, which is in reference to Daniel’s prophecy regarding a 7 year time period in which the anti-christ makes a covenant with Israel but half way through (or 3 ½ years) He breaks the covenant and sets up the abomination that causes desolation. So the mention of this 42 months here and in verse 3 below, helps us to establish the starting point of John’s vision. Chapter 11 is going to take place in our future when the temple is rebuilt in Jerusalem. It is very possible that the rebuilding of the temple or the negotiations required in order to rebuild the temple, could be what sets off the 1st half of the 7 years Daniel spoke of. The other thing it firmly tells us, is that chapter 11 is about the 7 years and is going to detail for us the events that happen.
|Verses 3 & 4||· Appointment of the two witnesses
· Purpose of the appointment is to prophesy
· The use of the word “and” at the beginning of the verse suggests that the 1260 days coincides with the 42 months the Gentiles are trampling the Holy City in verse two
· They are clothed in sackcloth denoting a time of mourning, sorrow, distress. In all likelihood due to the Gentiles trampling the Holy City and the persecution they face as those who oppose them try to kill them
· “They are” verse 4 uses three symbolic things which reveal the identities of the two witnesses. Whenever symbolic language is used, I don’t get to tell you what it means, nor do you get to tell me what it means. Only God’s word can tell us what the symbolisms mean. I strongly recommend if you want to discover the identities of the two witnesses, you need to do a word study on “olive trees”, “lampstands” and “the Two that stand/serve before the Lord of the earth”. If you do that, it will give you an good idea of who these two witnesses are. (They are):
o The two olive trees
o The two lampstands
o And they stand before the Lord of the earth
|Verses 5 & 6||· Two witnesses are protected by divine powers
· People who attack them “must” die by these divine powers
· The divine powers resemble the display of divine powers by Moses and Elijah:
o Fire comes from their mouths and consumes their enemies
o No rain
o Turn water into blood
o Strike the earth with every kind of plague, as often as they want
· These divine powers appear to be given to the two “appointed” witnesses in Jerusalem during the 1260 days or 3 1/2 years
|Verses 7 – 10||· The 1260 days are over, they finished testifying. (Half way into 7 years)
· The beast arises from the abyss (Rev 13)
· Attacks and overpowers/kills the two witnesses – (Man of lawlessness revealed. The anti-christ – 2 thess 2)
o Rev 13:7 – Daniel 7:21
o Rev 13:5&6 – Daniel 7:25, Daniel 11:36, 2 Thess 2:4 proud words and blasphemies Rule and reign for 3 1/2 years or 42 months.
o Matt 24:15 – Daniel 11:31 – Rev 13:14 Abomination that causes desolation
o 2 thess 2:9 – Rev:13&14 Powers and sign to deceive
· Bodies lay in the public square 3 ½ days – refused burial
· Nations of the earth rejoice at the sight of them dead because of the torment the two witnesses brought upon the earth by the plagues.
I highly recommend taking some time and read through all the above references and understand how they are all being related to verses 7-10 of Rev chapter 11. This where Man of lawlessness revealed. It is here that he betrays the covenant he made with Israel and as the anti-christ begins his reign (Daniel 7:25). He uses Powers and sign to deceive (2 Thess 2:9-12 & Rev 13:13&14) and sets up the Abomination that causes desolation. This is what triggers Matt 24:15-21
|Verses 11 & 12||· 3 ½ days pass and no burial
· THEN, the breath of life from God entered them
· Resurrected – stood on their feet to show they were visibly alive
· Terror struck those who saw them come back to life
· “then” they heard a “Loud” voice (shout) from heaven say “Come up here”
· The two witnesses “went up to heaven”
· They went up to heaven “in a cloud” 1 Thess 4:16&17, 1 Cor 15:51&52
· Their enemies saw them go up into heaven
Regardless of who you think these two witnesses are, the events that happen to them in verses 11&12 are clearly rapture events. It should be noted that we are but 3 verses away from the “last trumpet” being sounded. It should also be noted that Rev 10:7 says in the day before the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished. Verses 11 & 12 are taking place in the days just before the 7th angel sounds his trumpet. And any honest study of the new testament will reveal that the mystery of God is about Christ and His Church (Eph 3:3-6, Romans 11:25-27 & 1 Cor 15:51&52.) So when it says the mystery of God will be accomplished (completed), it is speaking of the rapture event because the rapture is the final thing that happens to the church and until that happens, the mystery of God is not yet fully accomplished. I believe the two witnesses either are the Church (believing Jews and believing Gentiles Romans 11) that is located in Jerusalem at this time, or it is two people (individuals) that represent the Church. Though what happens to them is localized in Jerusalem, what is happening to them, as far as it concerns the resurrection and rapture events mentioned in (1 Cor 15 & 1 Thess 4) , these events are also happening to the Church worldwide. As such the Church worldwide will be raptured and Rev 10:7 will be fulfilled and the mystery of God will be accomplished (completed).
|Verse 13||· “very hour” this phrase represents same time/very close to the time of seeing the rapture event in verse 11&12
· A severe earth quake happens
· 7000 were killed
· 1/10 of city collapsed
· Those who survived were terrified and gave glory to God in heaven
It should be noted that those who gave glory to God in heaven were not the unbelievers who we see later on still did not repent or change their ways. If they gave glory to God, they believed in God, but they must not have believed in Jesus else they would have been raptured with the rest of the church. So who are these people who were terrified and gave glory to God in heaven? It is my opinion that God is using these events of the rapture and the great earthquake to open the eyes of the unbelieving Jews/Israel who are left behind. They would be the 5 virgins who did not have oil (Holy Spirit) Matt 25:1-13. According to Romans 11:25-27 that once the fullness of the Gentiles has come in, the deliver will come from Zion and turn godlessness away from Jacob. As we will see in the next few verses, now that the rapture has taken place, Jesus is going to come and establish His earthly kingdom. As he does, he will destroy the anti-christ with the splendor of his coming and the hardening of unbelief for Israel will be over and they will see the returning Jesus as Messiah and put their faith and trust in Him and He will forgive them of their sins Romans 11:25-27 & Daniel 7:26 & 27. It is also possible that God will use the rapture events and the earthquake to also cause gentile believers to become believers. These believers both Jew and Gentile after the Rapture event will give glory to God in heaven even as they weep and gnash their teeth because they missed the chance to be raptured and must now face the 42 month reign of the beast (Rev 13:5 & Dan 7:25 & Daniel 11:36) which is the time of the mark. Many of these new believers will be martyred during this time. But Christ will come and destroy the beast at the end of the 7 yrs (Rev 19:11-21).
|Verse 14||· 2nd WOE “has passed”
· Rev 9:12 1st WOE “has passed”
· The two above references means that all the things which take place between the 6th trumpet and the 7th trumpet is considered the time of the 2nd WOE.
· The 3rd WOE is coming soon. The time of the 3rd WOE is when God’s wrath is poured out on the earth. This time begins with the blowing of the 7th trumpet and as we will see the Wrath of the Lamb will come (Rev 11:18).
It should be noted that the Church will not suffer under the wrath of God, which we know is true since the rapture event took place in verses 11 & 12 to which Rev 10:7 confirms that in the days “before” the 7th angel blows his trumpet, the “mystery of God” will be accomplished. Again, the Mystery of God (Eph 3:3-12, Romans 11;25, 1 Cor 15:51&52) speaks of Christ and His Church and the sign of the church being accomplished/completed is the event known as the rapture.
|Verse 15||· 7th angel blows “last” trumpet
· Voices ”IN HEAVEN” declare/proclaim that the world has now become the kingdom of the Lord and of his Messiah
· The Lord’s Reign is forever and ever. (Daniel 7:9-14)
Notice the implicit use of title Messiah being used here. This is clearly for emphasis to Israel as Jesus arrives to claim and establish His kingdom and sit upon the throne of David. This is to fulfill the covenant He made with David 2 Samuel 7:12–17. (Please note that as Christ sets up His earthly kingdom, note the LOCATION of the voices. They are IN HEAVEN. Lastly but very important! We know that the man of lawlessness is revealed after the first 3 1/2 years and Rev 13:5 & Dan 7:25 & Daniel 11:36 clearly show that the man of lawless, the anti-Christ will rule for 42 months. Verse 15 declares that the world has now become the kingdom of the Lord and of his Messiah, so it also is letting us know that the anti-Christ’s reign of 42 months is over. Which means verse 14 & 15 are declaring the end of the 7 years (Daniel 12:11&12 From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. 12 Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days.). Some may noticed that if the anti-christ’s reign is only 1260 days (42 months) how come Daniel 11& 12 says 1290 days and 1335? Once the 7 years is completed, as signified by the 7th trumpet being sounded, the time of the wrath of the lamb begins (rev 11:18). These additional days are the time of the 3rd WOE in which Christ will establish himself on David’s throne. he will pour out God’s wrath upon the nations and destroy the beast with the splendor of his coming (The account of this time starts in Rev 14 and goes through Rev 19).
|Verses 16, 17 & 18||· 24 elders (I believe representative of the 12 tribes of Israel and the 12 apostles of the Church)
· Seated upon thrones (Rev 20:4, Daniel 7:9-14)
· Where are the thrones located? They are LOCATED IN HEAVEN before God
· They fell on their faces and worshiped God. Showing humbleness and proper recognition that their thrones are under the authority of Christ’s throne both in heaven and the one He is setting up over the earth
· *The WRATH OF THE LAMB HAS COME. This is the time of the 3rd WOE and anything that happened before this was not God’s wrath but falls under the designation of tribulation in the world. (John 16:33).
· Christ rewards the prophets and those who revere His name
· Put His kingdom in order by destroying those who destroy the earth
2 thess 2:8 makes it clear that Christ will overthrow the anti-christ when He comes. (8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.) Rev 19:11-21 give us a detailed account of Christ overthrowing the beast (anti-christ)
|Verse 19||· Not in Jerusalem, but “In heaven” God’s Temple is opened
· The ark of the covenant is seen. This is to confirm what Jesus said in Matt 5:17-19 which confirms that Christ will govern his earthly kingdom in keeping with the Law. Until rev 20:11 happens, the principles of the Holy Law will continue to be in effect and will not be abolished.
· Rev 11:19 is connected to Rev 15:5. Again, remember that as Christ sits upon His throne, he will rule the nations with an Iron scepter! The pouring out of God’s wrath will be the catalyst and also the divine judgement of God that will establish His reign over the earth. Those who are still under the law, that refused the grace of God via the cross of Christ, will now be subject to judgement under it and they will have to face God’s wrath (Rev 11:18).
Verses 15-19 takes us through the coming of Christ, the establishment of His earthly kingdom upon David’s throne and the time of the 3rd WOE which is the pouring out of God’s wrath upon the earth. This brings us to Rev 20:7 which is the short time after the 1000 years have passed.
Revelation Chapter 11 is an amazing prophecy that is a standalone prophecy by John which is actually presenting a prophetic overview, a construct, an outline, which shows a series of events that establishes for us a sequential order of these end-time events that we can follow. Think of chapter 11 as a timeline from which other key passages, found in Revelation and throughout the bible that refer to end-times (such as: Matt 24, Romans 11, 1 Thess 4, 2 Thess 2, 1 Cor 15, Revelation chapters 9, 10, 12 – 20 and many of the chapters in the book of Daniel), can be properly aligned and attached in their proper sequential order. I hope this helps to complete in our understanding an overall picture of the events as they happen. I pray that you will be encouraged at the thought that Jesus is coming again soon. Be awake and pray. And though there may be some rough times ahead, join with me in saying… Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus.
By Him and for Him,
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