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 Revelation Chapter 11 (Part 53) (Verses 9 – 19)

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PostSubject: Revelation Chapter 11 (Part 53) (Verses 9 – 19)   Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:48 pm

Revelation Chapter 11 (Part 53) (Verses 9 – 19)

The last time we left off, God’s 2 Witnesses, Elijah and Moses had just been slain by the beast from the Abyss, or the Anti-Christ who is possessed by the beast from the Abyss. Verse 9 says, “For three and a half days men from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial.” I’m not sure if verse 9 would be possible back in biblical days. How can people from every nation, language and tribe gaze upon the bodies of 2 men? Today it is very possible, as we are in the days of television and CNN. It seems that CNN (or whatever news station is around at that time) will have no qualms in showing gruesome, sensitive visuals on television. They show gruesome things today on the news, but at least try to blur out sensitive visuals. Not so in the days of these 2 witnesses. These men will be so hated that in celebration of their deaths, they will be disgraced not only by having their bodies lie in the street of Jerusalem and refused burial, but also have their dismembered bodies in full view on television. But the verse tells us that this will happen for only 3 and a half days.

Verse 10 says, “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.” This reveals the true hatred of the people of the Earth toward these 2 men. It is almost as if they are trying to create a new holiday to celebrate the slaying of these 2 men. People will give each other gifts. What is interesting to me is that the verse says that these men had “tormented those who live on the Earth.” Really? How did they torment the people of the Earth? All they are truly guilty of is prophesying and declaring the Word of God. Yes, the Word of God torments the people who live on the Earth. Reminds me of King Zedekiah (King of Judah) who throws Jeremiah into prison because Jeremiah preached and prophesied that God will soon hand over Jerusalem to Babylon along with Zedekiah himself. People don’t like hearing the judgment of God. The futile thing is that one can stop up one’s ears to God’s Word, but that will not prevent the Truth of God’s Word from occurring. God’s Word is going to occur whether we want to hear it or not. This verse in Revelation reveals how man’s evil heart is antagonistic against God’s Word. This is not an anomaly in the Tribulation times; for we already studied that there will be lots of Christian martyrs in that time. The culture at large will hate God and not want to hear anything concerning God and the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Our culture (America) is very close to this today. Actually, God is okay. Most people in our society don’t mind “God” discussed. It is Jesus that somehow incites people’s anger. Most people don’t mind a vague discussion about God. But when we get specific and speak of Jesus, that’s when they get “offended” and stop up their ears.

Verse 11 says, “But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them.” Show that on CNN. Till this day, I cannot figure out how Pharaoh of Egypt never converted to following the True God after seeing all of the miracles Moses showed him, including up to splitting the sea and turning its ground dry. The world will witness these 2 Witnesses resurrect from the dead after 3 and a half days and will still reject and deny God. Their deaths will be well documented on the news, so too their resurrection will be well documented. I hope CNN will get a close up of the expressions of faces who witness this, as the verse tells us that “terror struck those who saw them.” That will be great to watch on the Heaven’s monitor tuned into CNN. This should remind us that the resurrection from the dead is real. All God has to do is to simply breathe on us. God had Adam laying on the ground fully formed, but it was not until He breathed on Adam that Adam opened his eyes to life. There are quite a few resurrections throughout the bible. Elijah resurrects a boy. Elisha resurrects the son of a Shunammite woman. A dead man comes back to life when he touches Elisha’s bones. Jesus resurrects Lazarus. Jesus also resurrects a widow’s son at Nain and Jairus’ daughter. Peter resurrects Tabitha. Paul resurrects Eutychus. It can be argued that Paul himself was raised from the dead. And at Jesus’ crucifixion, many rose from their graves. And the best one of all, Jesus resurrected from the dead. And we know that at the Rapture, our bodies will resurrect from the ashes, that is, those who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Resurrection is no small thing to God. Jesus said that if He wanted, God can raise up stones to become children of Abraham.

Verse 12 says, “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.” These 2 Witnesses will not only resurrect from the grave, but also rapture up to Heaven. Although the bible doesn’t say, I personally believe that this was the discussion Jesus had with Elijah and Moses during His Transfiguration, along with what the bible does tell us in Luke 9:31, which reads, “…They spoke about His (Jesus’) departure, which He was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem.” Elijah and Moses will “depart” just as Jesus did by being Raptured up to Heaven. Remember way back in our series we covered how John, the writer of Revelation, represents the Church. Here, a voice says to Elijah and Moses, “Come up here”, and that pronouncement preceded their rapture. If we go back to Revelation 4:1, it reads, “After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in Heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, ‘Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.’” John was also raptured (in Spirit) to Heaven because he represents the Church and the prophetic words John had just written was all of Church history (the 7 churches). The Rapture, of course, comes after Church history. Now, Elijah and Moses’ rapture contrasts with Jesus’ in that when Jesus raptured up, His believers looked on. When Elijah and Moses will rapture, their enemies will look on. Elijah was raptured too in the Old Testament, so Elijah gets to experience 2 raptures (lucky him). Elijah, Moses, and Jesus were all raptured in a cloud. This may be a small point, but in Revelation 11:12, the word “a” would be more accurately rendered as “the” in “the cloud” as opposed to “a cloud”. The clause “the cloud” emphasizes that this is God’s cloud.

Verse 13 reads, “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.” For some reason, atheists and the ungodly turn to prayer and praise of God when a devastation occurs. I recall that during September 11, when the towers fell, that it seemed the whole nation turned religious and started praying. God was mentioned much more often than before, but as we all know, the national revival didn’t last that long. The word “people” in this verse in the Greek literally reads, “men of renown.” So it would be more accurately rendered as “Seven thousand prominent men were killed in the earthquake…” This means that among the casualties are delegates, dignitaries, and political men: well-known people. Famous people, maybe renown newscasters or whatever celebrities there will perish in the earthquake. Anyone who has some knowledge of the bible during that time should stop and think about the casualty count and consider that “seven” is God’s number. I wonder if there will be anyone during this time who discovers the bible. They will be able to open the bible and see that a great earthquake is coming just after the 2 witnesses resurrect, then they would be able to retreat to safety beforehand. The phrase “they gave glory to the God of Heaven” doesn’t mean much because these are not converted believers. Exodus 9:27 says, “Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron. ‘This time I have sinned,’ he said to them. ‘The LORD is in the right, and I and my people are in the wrong.’” Exodus 10:16-17 says, “Pharaoh quickly summoned Moses and Aaron and said, ‘I have sinned against the LORD your God and against you. Now forgive my sin once more and pray to the LORD your God to take this deadly plague away from me.’” We know how short lived Pharaoh’s penitence lasted. Pride is what keeps the ungodly from truly repenting. Of all sins, pride is at the top of the list of the sins that God hates. It was pride that caused Lucifer to fall. Pride was the first sin. These people, along with Pharaoh repent out of fear, not out of a legitimately pierced heart.

Verse 14 says, “The second woe has passed; the third woe is soon coming.” The woes progressively crescendos into greater judgment. The third woe is the worst. There are only 3 woes. The third woe consists of the 7th trumpet blast, which consists of the 7 vial judgments. The 7th Trumpet Blast comes with an announcement. Verse 15 says, “The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in Heaven, which said: ‘The kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever.’” The “loud voices” are not the 24 Elders. The 24 Elders are mentioned in the next verse. The voices is not God speaking because “voices” are plural, and although the Trinity is plural, when God speaks in the bible, that is often referred to in the singular form. It is very likely that these voices are angels, as they “say” instead of “sing” their pronouncement. The word “kingdom” is singular, and the word “the” as in “the world” would be more accurately rendered as “this” as in “this world.” Today, the kingdom of this world is in the hands of Satan, but in the end Jesus going to take it from Him forever. Satan is in charge of today’s world order because sinners are the majority. But I often think that Christians are partly responsible for today’s world being in the hands of Satan because we often do not speak up and defend righteousness. We are too passive and often concede to the wicked who makes laws that rid God from society. God does not want us to be so passive that we keep Church on the inside of stained glass windows and not influence society. Our voice should be the dominate voice of society, not yield to the opinions of the ungodly. Thankfully, Jesus is going to one day come back and usurp the kingdom of this world upon Himself.

There are a few verses that say that Satan is the current ruler of the kingdom on Earth, and I’d like to share some with you. In John 12:31, Jesus says, “Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out.” Jesus calls Satan ‘the prince of this world.’ Again, in John 14:30, Jesus says, “I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me…” There are other references, but that’s enough.

We are told to pray for the fulfillment of Revelation 11:15. We call it “The Lord’s Prayer” and it is found in Matthew 6:9-13. The Lord’s Prayer might be a misnomer, for the real Lord’s Prayer is found in John 17:6-19 where the Lord actually prays. It would be more accurately labeled, “The Disciple’s Prayer.” Nevertheless, the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew is a template, or outline for how to pray. We are not going to cover it today, but just point out that Matthew 6:10 says, “…your kingdom come, your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.” God’s Kingdom on Earth will resemble what it is in Heaven. God’s Kingdom on Earth is when God will have His will and Word fully realized and implemented on Earth. This will one day come to pass, as the angel announces in Revelation, “The kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever.” God wants us to pray for the expeditiousness of His Kingdom coming and the manifestation of it on Earth.

In Revelation 11:15, the word “he” is singular in “…He will reign forever and ever.” It is predicted in Daniel that Jesus will one day rule forever and ever. Daniel 7:14 says, “He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshipped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and His kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.” Of Jesus, Psalm 2:8 says, “You will rule them with an iron scepter; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.” Again, of Jesus, Psalm 72:11 says, “All kings will bow down to Him and all nations will serve Him.”

Revelation 11:16 says, “And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshipped God, saying: ‘We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign.’” Here we see that singing is not the only way the Church communicates with God. Here the Church “says” their discourse. This is a solemn moment. The 7th trumpet judgment has just sounded. God is about to send His greatest judgment to the wicked upon the land—great time to worship. We should always remember that God chose us; we did not choose Him. And we should always keep in mind that God’s redemption is unmerited. He redeemed us not because of anything that we have done, but because of the price He paid on the Cross on our behalf. God deserves our thanks and praise. We are reminded from this verse that the Church is given a position of authority and is reigning with Christ. Our earlier studies revealed that reigning with Christ is a conditional promise. One must be an overcomer and disciple of Christ to reign with Him in the future. Naturally, all who reign with Christ are Christians; but not all Christians will reign with Christ.

In verse 18, the Church continues, saying: “The nations were angry; and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great—and for destroying those who destroy the Earth.” This verse is the fulfillment of Psalm 2. It begins, “Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain?” Nations plot and conspire against God. Is that even possible? Well, they can plot and conspire, but the verse tells us that it is all in vain. Psalm 2:2 is true in a general sense, but it is specifically fulfilled during Armageddon. It reads, “The kings of the Earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and against His Anointed One.” The kings of the Earth do this today systematically; but one day they will literally do this. Verse 3: “‘Let us break their chains,’ they say, ‘and throw off their fetters.’” We see the Trinity in this verse. Mankind here is plotting ways of establishing their own autonomy apart from God. They don’t want to hear the “Thou shall nots” and the “Thou shalts”. They don’t want to be confined and restricted by God’s word and instead be free to follow the desires of their flesh. They see God’s Word as “chains” and “fetters”. They believe that to serve God means slavery. Galatians 5:1 says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set you free…” Satan seeks to deceive and trick free man that God, who is actually freeing mankind from sin and death, into thinking that God is enslaving them by His Word. Satan wants us to focus on our restrictions and not pay attention to all of the other trees in the Garden that we may freely eat from. Psalm 2:4-5 says, “The One enthroned in Heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. Then He rebukes them in His anger and terrifies them in His wrath, saying, ‘I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill.’”

That last clause of verse 18 intrigues me. According to the verse, one of the reasons God’s judgment is coming upon them is to judge “those who destroy the Earth.” When I first read that I thought about global warming and our overfishing, insecticides, etc. But I don’t think that is what this is referring to. Nuclear bombs and warfare does far more damage to the Earth than global warming can possibly do. God does not like our bombs as they destroy His Earth. We need to remember that this is His Earth and we are just renters; God has the deed. Also within verse 18, it says, “The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants your prophet and your saints…” The dead includes many who are alive. The dead includes all who are without the life of Jesus Christ whether they have passed away or are still breathing. During the Tribulation, God is going to judge the dead on Earth for their sins, and at the same time reward His servants and believers in Heaven for their faithfulness.

Verse 19 says, “Then God’s temple in Heaven was opened, and within His temple was seen the ark of His covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and an earthquake and a great hailstorm.” So archeologists can stop looking for God’s Ark of Covenant, because like Elijah, God took it to Heaven. Any archeologist that claims they discovered it, we know that that ain’t it. 1 Kings 8:9 says, “There was nothing in the ark except the two stone tablets that Moses had placed in it at Horeb, where the LORD made a covenant with the Israelites after they came out of Egypt.” That’s what God commanded Moses to do in Exodus 25:16, which reads, “Then put in the ark the Testimony, which I will give you.” Moses did just that according to Exodus 40:20, which reads, “He [Moses] took the Testimony and placed it in the ark, attached the poles to the ark and put the atonement cover over it.” That’s all nice, but we are hit with a curve ball when we read Hebrews 9:4: “This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the Covenant.” So are we faced with a contradiction? Of course not, the bible never contradicts. We just have to adjust our first notion to gel apparent contradictions to where they do not contradict. God’s Word is perfect. There are a couple of ways to gel Hebrews with the other passages. I’ll just share the one that I think is most probable: recall that the Ark of the Covenant was captured by other nations and relocated several times. During those times, things might go in and out of the Ark. We know from the other Scriptures that the 10 Commandments was the first item to be placed inside the Ark. After 1 Kings 8:9 or before 1 Kings 8:9, those other things mentioned in Hebrews were also in the Ark. Nonetheless, God’s Ark is no longer on Earth, but it still exists and resides in Heaven. We are reminded that there is no Temple on Earth currently, but there is currently a Temple in Heaven. Upon opening the Temple in Heaven (current “Heaven”) comes flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, a great earthquake and a great hailstorm. I have to keep clarifying “current” Heaven because as Jesus said, Heaven and Earth will pass away, but His words will persist forever. The current Heaven will one day pass away (along with this Earth) and be “replaced” by the New Earth.

For completion I want to point out the apparent correlation between God’s 2 Witnesses and Zerubbabel and Jeshua. I mentioned in the last post that we would return to Revelation 11:4, which reads, “These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the Earth.” This verse tells us that Moses and Elijah are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the Earth. Just as Jesus has precursors in Melchizedek and King David, and John the Baptist has a precursor in Elijah, so it seems that God’s 2 Witnesses also has precursors. Let’s do a quick study of Zechariah chapter 4. Verse 1 says, “Then the angel who talked with me [Zechariah] returned and wakened me, as a man is wakened from his sleep.” This is a cool verse because it proves that not all visions of the Lord occur with the person asleep. Zechariah will experience the following vision while wide awake. God’s visions are not just dreams. John, in Revelation 1:10 says, “On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit…” then John continues describing his visions.

Verse 2: “He asked me, ‘What do you see?’ I answered, ‘I see a solid gold lampstand with a bowl at the top and seven lights on it, with seven channels to the lights.’” The bowl at the top is to hold the oil that the candles use. The 7 channels supplies each light its oil. In Revelation 1:20, there are 7 golden lampstands that we are told represent the 7 churches, but that is not pertinent here. Verse 3 says, “Also, there are two olive trees by it, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left.”

…Sorry to break this abruptly, but while typing this, I realized that to continue explaining Zerubbabel and Jeshua, it would require a lot more typing to go into such detail as I often do. I don’t want to divert too much away from the Revelation series. We may return to this if I make a Zechariah series. I’ll leave you with some quick notes: Zerubbabel is featured in chapter 4 of Zechariah. Jeshua, or A.K.A. Joshua, is featured in Zechariah chapter 3. Together, they are called the two olive trees just as the 2 Witnesses in Revelation are called the same. Zerubbabel is responsible for rebuilding God’s Temple. Jeshua and Zerubbabel have both kingly and priestly ties just as Melchizedek and Jesus (who is King and our Most High Priest.) So Zerubbabel and Jeshua are not only archetypes of the 2 Witnesses, but also of Jesus, similar to Melchizedek. Zerubbabel and Jeshua are together in Ezra 4:3. There are a lot of verses regarding these 2 people that I just realize is too much to cover at the moment. We will continue next with Revelation chapter 12.


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Revelation Chapter 11 (Part 53) (Verses 9 – 19)
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