Revelation 11 Reading Guide
We have been seeing that the book of Revelation contains seven different perspectives on Christ's return. These perspectives run parallel in time to each other. So far we've seen:
Chap 1-3: Christ's message to His church: Begins with Christ appearing with seven lampstands, and ends with Christ sitting down victorious on His Father's throne (3:21)
Chap 4-7: The seven seals: Begins with the four horsemen being sent out (perhaps at the fall of Adam?) and ends with the Lamb at the center of the throne and God wiping away every tear (7:16-17).
Chap 8-11: Begins with the seven angels being sent out with trumpets to warn mankind of God's judgment, and ends with God's temple in heaven being opened and the Ark of the Covenant being revealed (11:19).
John is ordered to measure the "temple," which by the time John received and wrote down this Revelation had been destroyed by the Romans (A.D. 70). The temple in this vision represents the Church, both those truly committed to Christ (worshippers), and the nominal Christians on the outside.
The Church is also represented in this chapter by the "two witnesses (v3)."
The Church has been given great power, but it also will suffer greatly at the hands of the world.
It seems that the world will successfully rid itself of the Church, just as it seemed so when Christ was killed.
But just as Christ rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, so will the Church.
v15-19 - We've been reading about the angels sounding trumpets, warning of God's wrath which will be poured out on all who do not repent.
Now the seventh and final trumpet is sounded, but we don't read of what comes about next like we did with the first six trumpets. Instead, this final trumpet of warning ushers in the seven bowls of wrath in chapter 16.
Once again, this perspective of Christ's victory ends with an awesome doxology (v17-18) and God's temple in heaven standing wide open.
v2 - They will trample on the holy city for 42 months.
v3 - and they will prophesy for 1,260 days...
v9 - For three and a half days...
One of the age old questions people have asked as they've tried to interpret the visionary language of Revelation is what the various units of time represent. Since we will be encountering these units of time more and more as this book progresses, we can be thankful that the time stamps in chapter 11 are pretty straightforward. The 42 months (1,260 days - v3) represents the 3-1/2 years of Jesus' public ministry, and the 3-1/2 days the Church lies dead equals the time Jesus spent in the grave. The thing to remember, though, is that although we can pin these numbers to actual time periods, it doesn't equate with our perception of time. For example, the 42 months began when Christ ascended, and will end when He returns. We've been experiencing these 42 months for 2,000 years.
OLD TESTAMENT REFERENCE:
God's breath entering His people is a huge theme in the Old Testament:
Genesis 2:7 (NIV)
Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
Ezekiel 37:10 (The prophet has been commanded to preach life into a pile of dry bones)
So I preached as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.
In both of the original languages of the Bible, the word breath not only means the air we inhale, but it also means spirit. The above verses show that we have life because God breathed His Spirit into us.
In Rev. 11:11, God once again breathes His Spirit into the Church, giving us ever lasting life.
EYE FOR DETAIL— What are the "two witnesses," which represent the Church, wearing? (v3)
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign (v17)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Thank God that He has made you part of His Church and will therefore protect you from the terrible wrath that will be poured out.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: