Revelation Chapter 11 Continued
Revelation 11:10 “And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth”.
“Rejoice … make merry … send gifts”: Wild with joy over the death of their tormentors, those who dwell on the earth (a phrase used 11 times in Revelation to speak of unbelievers), will celebrate the two witnesses” deaths as a holiday.
These are the same people who “rejoice,” “make merry,” and “send gifts to one another” over the murders of God’s two witnesses at the midpoint of the Tribulation (Rev. 11:10); the same people who “blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory” (Rev. 16:9); the same people who “blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds:” (Rev. 16:11); the same people who “blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail” (Rev. 16:21); and the same people whose “sins have reached to heaven”, who are guilty of “the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth” (Rev. 18:5, 24).
Verses 11-14: The two witnesses are brought back to “life”, and then taken up into “heaven”. Their “enemies” react in “fear”, since their resurrection is incontrovertible proof that their message was true and the Jesus is God and Messiah. An “earthquake” kills “seven thousand men”. Compare the earthquake that opened tombs and allowed many to be raised at the time of Christ’s death (Matt. 27:51-53). The “remnant” are the “rest”, those who are not killed by the earthquake. Many of them repent and give “glory to God”. The parenthesis begun with chapter 10 ends here. The “third woe” is the seventh trumpet, which “comes” next (verse 15).
Revelation 11:11 “And after three days and a half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.”
“The Spirit of life from God entered into them”: The festivities however, are short-lived as God vindicates His faithful witnesses by resurrecting them. Can you imagine the fear that grips them, when they realize what a great error they have made? You see, God will not be mocked. He may let the old devil win in a skirmish now and then, but the total victory is God’s.
God himself breathes the breath of the Spirit in the church and lookout for the power! You thought the church had power before, you cannot imagine the renewed power the church will have. You see all throughout Bible history, the church grows the most under heavy persecution. The church is usually its strongest when it is in hiding.
Revelation 11:12 “And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.“
“Ascended up to heaven in a cloud”: Some may wonder why God will not allow them to preach, assuming their message would have more force following their resurrection. But that ignores Christ’s clear statement to the contrary:
Luke 16:31 “And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”
The Witnesses Resurrected. 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. Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they went up to heaven in a cloud.
This “great voice from heaven” that calls to “come up hither” is the Lord’s. It is when the trumpet of redemption blows. Jesus has always been inviting us to come. The outcome of the church is following Jesus in his resurrection. Living forever in the presence of God is the outcome of all true believers after they have run the race and been victorious.
As our Lord was crucified, buried, and in three days rose from the dead, these men, after being slain and exposed to the eyes of the world, will hear the voice of God resurrecting them. A cloud will receive them out of sight in the face of their enemies. It is no wonder that “terror struck those who saw them.” The resurrection of these men will be the final confirmation that they were men of God, another illustration that God does not forget His own.
“Enemies beheld them”: Those who hated and dishonored the two witnesses will watch their vindication.
Revelation 11:13 “And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.”
“Earthquake”: God punctuates the ascension of His prophets with a earth shattering earthquake. The destruction and loss of life may be primarily among the leaders of the Antichrist’s forces.
God loses no time dealing with those who have rejected the Lord or even those who have said, I will straighten up later. There is no later. It is now. We see here that one tenth of the people lose their life in this earthquake.
“The remnant”: This refers to the Jews still living, who will not yet have come to faith in Christ.
“Gave glory to the God of heaven”: A genuine experience of the salvation of Jews (compare Luke 17:18-19), in contrast to those who blaspheme and refuse to glorify God (16:9). This makes a key fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy (12:10; 13:1), and Paul’s (Rom. 11:25-27).
Great rejoicing and loud worship fill heaven, and on earth many lightning’s, noise, thundering, hail, and an earthquake announce the approaching end.
Revelation 11:14 “The second woe is past; [and], behold, the third woe cometh quickly.”
“Second Woe”: The sixth trumpet (see note on 9:12). The interlude between the sixth and seventh trumpets ends (see note on 10:1). Israel’s repentance will shortly usher in the millennial kingdom (Acts 3:19-21; Rom. 11:25-26). But first will come the final, climatic judgments.
Revelation is written for the believers (the church), and the believers will not see the third woe. They will be enjoying their rest with Jesus.
Revelation 11:15 “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become [the kingdoms] of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever”.
The seventh trumpet results in the establishment of the millennial kingdom of Christ. The seven vials or bowls (16:1), are probably contained in the judgment of the seventh trumpet. They will occur in a very brief period of time at the end of the Great Tribulation. The second coming of Christ, while a great blessing for believers, will be God’s most severe judgment of the earth. “The kingdoms of this world” will be completely overthrown by the coming kingdom of Christ (19:11-21; Dan 2:34-35, 44), who will reign for ever and ever (Dan 7:13-14, 27).
This is speaking of Jesus when he takes over on this earth and reigns with the believers as His subordinates. You see, Jesus will return as King of kings, and Lord of lords.
1 Thessalonians 3:13 “To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.”
We believers are the saints. We will rule with Jesus over those who are not raptured before, but living through the Tribulation and go into the Millennium. There is no end of the reign of Jesus. It is forever.
“The seventh angel sounded”: The seventh trumpet includes the 7 vial, final judgments depicted (in chapter 16), and all the events leading up to the establishing of the millennial kingdom (chapter 20), and the coronation of Jesus as King (chapter 19).
“Kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ”: Despite its many political and cultural divisions, the Bible views the world spiritually as one kingdom, with one ruler, Satan (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; 2 Cor. 4:4). Following Satan’s lead, the human rulers of this world are generally hostile to Christ (Psalm 2:2; Acts 4:26). The long rebellion of the world kingdom will end with the victorious return of the Lord Jesus Christ to defeat His enemies and establish His messianic kingdom (Isa. 2:2-3; Dan. 2:44; 7:13-14; 18, 22, 27; Luke 1:31-33). This kingdom also belongs to God the Father (see notes on 1 Cor. 15:24).
The Seventh Trumpet – Loud Voices in Heaven – The 3rd “woe,”. The blowing of the 7th trumpet is like the breaking of the 7th seal in that it introduces the next series of divine judgments. The 7th trumpet is not in itself a judgment but rather shows all heaven rejoicing at the soon to be consummated victory of Christ over the Antichrist. John records that “loud voices” in heaven shouted, “The kingdoms of the world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!”
Verses 16-19: “God” is “worshiped” by the “elders” because what He promised is now accomplished. Their gratitude is for the establishment of the millennial kingdom (compare 1 Cor. 15:24). The Gentile “nations” will be subjugated (compare Psalm 2:1-2). The “wrath” of God will take vengeance on His enemies (compare Psalm 2:5; 2 Thess. 1:7-8). The “dead” of all ages will be “judged” at the future “Great White Throne Judgment” (20:11-15). Old Testament and Tribulation “saints” who have died will be raised and rewarded (compare Isa. 26:19-20; Dan. 12:2; Matt. chapter 25). Those who have tried to “destroy the earth” will themselves be destroyed by God (compare 19:20-21).
“The Ark of his testament” (covenant), is a symbol of the presence of God and of His faithfulness in fulfilling His covenant promises.
Revelation 11:16 “And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,”
“The four and twenty elders” (see note on 4:4).
These you remember, represented all of the believers. They have something to praise about, seeing that they were spared the wrath of God. It was the time to fall on their faces in total adoration to God.
Revelation 11:17″Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.”
“God Almighty, which art, and wast and art to come”: The coming of the kingdom is no longer future, it will be immediate.
We see here that Jesus took power. The establishing of His kingdom brings final victory to the Christian. The thanks really goes to Jesus here; the believers have not established the kingdom, Jesus did. All we can do is to praise him for establishing the Kingdom. It was not done through our power and might, but by His (Lord-Supreme Authority, Divinity, Almighty-Omnipotent). You see from this, He is all of it. His power is beyond reproach. His reign is forever and ever. He has no beginning and no end. He alone is worthy of our praise.
Revelation 11:18 “And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.”
“Nations were angry”: No longer terrified (compare 6:15-17), they will be filled with defiant rage. Their hostility will shortly manifest itself in a foolish attempt to fight against Christ, a doomed, futile effort that is the apex of human rebellion against God (16:14); 19:17-21).
“Thy wrath”: Almighty God answers the feeble, impotent fury of the nations (compare Psalm 2:1-9). The 24 elders speak of God’s future wrath (20:11-15), as if it were already present, signifying its certainty. That God will one day pour out His wrath on rebellious men is a major theme in Scripture (compare Isa. 24:17-23; 26:20-21: 30:27-33: Ezek. 38:16ff; 2 Thess. 1:5-10).
The nations, (worldly people), had a hay-day persecuting the believers. They were angry and very unfavorable to those with faith. Now the tables are turned. These very ones, whom they persecuted, will rule over them. Here we see punishment for those who did not accept the gift of salvation and great rewards given to those who did accept and live for Jesus. These, who will be destroyed, are actually the cause of the earth being destroyed. The wrath of God not only destroyed them, but damaged the earth as well.
“Dead … judged”: The final outpouring of God’s wrath includes judging the dead (compare Matt. 25:31-46; John 5:25-29). The judgment has two parts:
(1) God rewards Old Testament saints (Dan. 12:1-3; compare 22:12; 1 Cor. 3:8; 4:5), the raptured church (1 Cor. 15:51-52; 1 Thess. 4:13-18), and Tribulation saints (20:4); and
(2) God condemns unbelievers to the lake of fire forever (20:15).
These, who will be destroyed, are actually the cause of the earth being destroyed. The wrath of God not only destroyed them, but damaged the earth as well.
Revelation 11:19 “And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.”
“Temple of God … heaven” (see 3:12; 7:15; 14:15, 17; 15:5-8; 16:1, 17). The heavenly Holy of Holies (see notes on Exodus 26:31-36), where God dwells in transcendent glory, already is identified as His throne (chapters 4 and 5), and here the Holy of Holies.
“Ark of his testament”: This piece of furniture in the Old Testament tabernacle and temple (see notes on Exodus 25:11-18), symbolized God’s presence, atonement and covenant with His people. That earthly Ark was only a picture of this heavenly one (see Heb. 9:23; 10:20). It was there God provided mercy and atonement for sin. As the earthly Holy of Holies was open when the price of sin was paid (Matt. 27:51; Heb. 10:19-20), so the Holy of Holies in heaven is opened to speak of God’s saving New Covenant and redeeming purpose in the midst of judgment.
We see here the dwelling of God in all its awesomeness. There was an Ark of the Covenant in the tabernacle in the wilderness. There is much speculation about where that earthly Ark is today. Some believe that it is underneath the city of Jerusalem; some believe it is in Rome. The strange thing is that it is unimportant where it is.
“Lightnings, thunderings … earthquake … great hail”: What was anticipated (in 4:5 and 8:5), will become a terrifying reality. These events occur as part of the seventh vial (16:17-21), and are the climax of the seventh trumpet. Since heaven is the source of vengeance, judgment also comes out of God’s Holy of Holies (14:15, 17: 15:5-8; 16:1, 7, 17; see note on 6:1).
We are reassured that God’s covenant with us will never fail. We see God’s power and might in all these manifestations such as these earthquakes. We must remember continually, that Revelation is not in chronological order. God does not tell us just exactly when each thing happens. We just know they will happen. All of these earthquakes etc., just show God’s dealing with man.
Revelation Chapter 11 Continued Questions
- When the enemy thinks the church is dead, what do they do?
- What had the two witnesses done to the enemy?
- In verse 11, what happens in 3-1/2 days?
- Who breathed the Spirit into the church?
- When does the church grow the most?
- This great voice from heaven said what to the believers?
- How did they go up?
- Their _______ beheld them go up.
- What do we call this ascension of the believers?
- What is the final outcome of God’s church?
- In the same hour, after the believers went up, what happened?
- How much of the city fell? What percent?
- What did those who remain do?
- Who was Revelation written for?
- When the seventh angel sounds, what are we told by the great voices?
- Jesus came to the earth as ________ of ________and _______ of________.
- Who are the saints?
- What did the four and the twenty elders do when Jesus took over Physical rulership of the earth?
- What were the 24 saying?
- The establishing of Jesus’ kingdom here on the earth brings what to the Christians?
- In speaking of the nations, we hear they were ________.
- What is it time to do with believers and directly opposite to the non-believers?
- Why did God say that they destroyed the earth?
- What was opened in heaven?
- What do we see in this?
- Name two places various people believe the earthly ark of the covenant is.
- Where do you believe the ark is located?
- Describe your feelings about the catching away of the believers in Christ.