REVELATION 11Revelation of Jesus | Revelation of JohnT: REVELATION 11:1-1911:1,2 MEASURING THE TEMPLETHE ALTAR AND THOSE WHO WORSHIP THERE11:2 LEAVE OUT THE COURT11:3-6 WHO ARE THE TWO WITNESSES?OLD TESTAMENT TYPES OF THE TWO WITNESSESWHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?11:7-10 THE TWO WITNESSES KILLEDSATAN’S IMPERSONATION OF CHRISTWHEN WILL THE BEAST APPEAR?11:11-13 RESURRECTION OF THE TWO WITNESSES11:14,15 THE KINGDOMS OF OUR LORD11:16-18 ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE JUDGMENT11:19 THE ARK OF THE COVENANT


WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?

A summary of the Old Testament references in Revelation 10 and 11 confirms and clarifies the role of the two witnesses. Eating the little book refers to the message Ezekiel was to give to the people of God who were captives in Babylon. Measuring the temple refers to the measuring of Ezekiel’s “new temple” which showed the standards required of those who would return from Babylon. The two olive trees and two lampstands refer to the ministry of Zerubbabel, who brought God’s people back to Israel from Babylon to rebuild the temple. The power of the two witnesses to shut heaven so that no rain falls refers to Elijah and his ministry to bring the people of God who were in idolatry to repentance and back to the true God. Turning water to blood and striking with plagues refers to the ministry of Moses, who announced the plagues that God used to bring His people out of captivity in Egypt. All of these references have a consistent theme: the faithful witness brought a message to God’s people who were in captivity, leading them out of physical and spiritual slavery and back to God.

TWO WITNESSES—GOD’S LAST-DAY MESSENGERS TO THE CAPTIVES IN BABYLON

VERSES IN REVELATION

OLD TESTAMENT PARALLEL

SUMMARY OF OLD TESTAMENT PASSAGES

Revelation 10: 8-11

Ezekiel 2, 3

Ezekiel ate a little book, then gave its message to the captives in Babylon.

Revelation 11: 1,2

Ezekiel 40-48

The temple was measured, giving the captives in Babylon the standards that were expected of them.

Revelation 11: 4

Zechariah 4: 6-10

Two olive trees and two lampstands represented the Spirit-filled ministry of Zerubabbel, who led Israel back from Babylon.

Revelation 11: 6

1 Kings 17, 18

Elijah announced a drought, followed by miracles that convinced God’s people to abandon idolatry.

Revelation 11: 6

Exodus 7-12

Moses turned water to blood, and then announced a series of plagues which resulted in freedom for God’s people.

What is the significance of this for us, who live before the time of trouble? Today most of the people of the world do not consider themselves to be Christians; they are Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, animists, atheists and many other mixtures. However, one thing they all have in common is that they have never heard the gospel presented effectively. The Christian church, which should be bringing them the gospel, is a confusing and confused assortment of various denominations who are characterized in Revelation as Laodicea, the church of wealth and spiritual apathy. Lukewarm Laodicea will never do an effective job of taking “the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15), and for this reason God is now putting together an evangelistic “team,” known in the book of Revelation as the remnant, the two witnesses, and the 144,000. Satan is also assembling his team, presented symbolically in chapter 13 and 16 as the followers of the beast and the false prophet, who will use false miracles along with the the mark and the number of the beast to deceive and coerce the world to worship the image of the beast (see chapter 13).

The time of trouble will begin suddenly with the trumpet plagues. As the world descends into chaos all the people of the world will be frantically trying to find out how to get God’s help. Satan will make every effort to destroy as many as possible before they can make a decision for God—Revelation 9:15 indicates that he will manage “to slay a third of men.” Those who are not killed will suffer such agony and torment that they “will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die and death will flee from them” (Revelation 9:6).

Their misery will be in contrast to those who have been sealed by God. Although they will be persecuted and in distress, they will be protected by God’s unseen providence (See 9:4 Protected by the Seal). They will not rely on their own talents and abilities; when they are “sealed in the forehead” they will receive the long-awaited “latter rain” and will experience the joy of ministering in the power of the Holy Spirit (See 7: Sealing, the Law and the Latter Rain).

According to Revelation 7, the 144,000 will be sealed before the time of trouble begins. Now God is calling his luke-warm Laodicean people to throw off their apathy and become His special witnesses. Jesus says, “I stand at the door and knock” (Revelation 3:20). He offers us “gold refined in the fire that you may be rich, and white raiment, that you may be clothed…and eye salve, that you may see” (Revelation 3:18). He is ready to pour out the “latter rain,” the fullness of the Holy Spirit. This is an experience that no one should miss. If you are a Christian and you are reading this, now is the time to seek God with all your heart, to make sure your sins are forgiven and forsaken, to learn to hear His voice and through His power to obey Him.

Can you put this off and still be saved? It is true that a great multitude will be saved in the midst of the time of trouble. But there is no guarantee that you will be among them. The truth is that if you are wavering in your commitment to Christ you will be among the primary targets of Satan, either to be wiped out with the multitudes that will perish or to fall under the overwhelming deceptions of that time. Jesus is pleading with you, “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts” (Hebrews 3:7,8).

Continue to next section: 11:7-10 THE TWO WITNESSES KILLED