Welcome to my world.

Revelation – Week Four

Chapters 10-11

“Little Scroll, Two Witnesses and the 7th Trumpet”

Week Four PDF

  • Chapter Ten
    • Just as with the break in between the sixth and seventh seals, we see an interlude between the sixth and seventh trumpets.
    • As chapter 10 opens, John sees a ‘mighty angel’ (v1) descend from heaven. This angel holds a little scroll and sets one foot on the sea and the other on the land, signifying that the message contained in the scroll is for all inhabitants of the earth, everywhere.
      • Is this scroll the Book of Revelation?
    • In verse three, the angel shouts which causes ‘the voices of seven thunders’ to speak. John is told to ‘seal up’ and not to write what the seven thunders have said (v4).
      • This is interesting especially since the whole book is a ‘revelation’, which means a ‘revealing’.
      • See Daniel’s end-time vision of a Ram and Goat, especially Daniel 8:26, where he is told to ‘seal up the vision’.
    • The angel raises his hand to make a vow before God that the end has come- no more delay! Note that God has been very patient with the world, but we can’t expect that patience to last forever:

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” – 2 Peter 3:9 NIV

  • As instructed (v8-9), John takes and eats the scroll. While it tastes sweet in his mouth, it makes his stomach bitter (v10). He is then told that he will prophesy against many people (v11). As pleased as John must be to see that the Day of the Lord is imminent, he must also be devastated that so many still refuse God.
    • God’s Word is sweet to read and study, but it can also cause uneasiness as we are convicted of our wrong-doings and as we are reminded of the fate of those who are unsaved.
    • Just as the Bible gives us comfort, it should also break our hearts for those who are unsaved- and encourage us to work towards their accepting God’s saving Grace.

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing…” – Jesus, Matthew 23:37 KJV

  • Chapter Eleven
    • John is told in verse one to measure the temple, which seems to be symbolic of believers or the ‘Christian church’.  John numbers those within the safety of the inner court; likewise we saw a numbering of the 144,000 in chapter seven.
      • At the second Temple, King Herod placed a low wall around the Temple’s inner court. Gentiles were not allowed past this wall, but instead had to stay in the outer court, the so-called ‘Court of the Gentiles’. The penalty for a non-Jew to enter the inner court was death.
    • Note that 42 months is three and one-half years. 42 x 30 = 1,260. (Months in the Jewish calendar have either 29 or 30 days).
    • Note that the witnesses are described as Olive trees and lampstands. Olive oil was commonly used in lamps, so it seems symbolic that these two witnesses are to be the start of a great enlightening, or spiritual revival.
      • Note that in Deuteronomy 19:15, we see that ‘testimony of two or more witnesses’ are required to convict someone of a crime or offense.
    • They testify for three and one-half years. Nothing could harm them and they wield great power, causing plagues at will.
    • They are killed by the beast in verse 7. Note that this is the first time we read of the beast, who is mentioned 36 times in Revelation.
    • The world rejoices at their deaths for three and one-half days, celebrating like a holiday by exchanging giving gifts and leaving their bodies in the street. (v8-10)
    • After this, they are brought back to life by God and called into heaven. (v11-12) This naturally strikes fear into the world.
    • In verse 13, we see an earthquake kill 7,000 people, and the survivors give glory to God. This is the fruits of the two witnesses- that so many should be saved.
    • So, who are the two witnesses????
      • Are they the church?
      • Moses and Elijah? (see Mark 9:1-2, Jesus’ Transfiguration)
      • Joshua and Zerubbabel?  (see Zechariah chs3-4.)
      • Does it really matter?
    • As chapter 11 ends, we see the seventh trumpet sound, which fulfills the vow taken by the angel we saw at the beginning of chapter 10 (Rev 10:6-7). The end is truly at hand.This trumpet releases the seven bowl judgments, though we will have to wait to chapter 15 to read about them…
  • Discussion
    • Take note that the judgments become progressively worse as God tries to convince people to turn to Him.  God is giving people time to turn to Him.
    • Why doesn’t God let the two witnesses continue to testify after raising them from the dead? Wouldn’t that be more effective? See Luke 16:31.

    Next week:
    “People and Events”
    Chapters 12-14