SAME SONG, DIFFERENT VERSE: 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).
EVERY PROJECT BEGINS WITH A TAPE MEASURE: Chapter 11 tells of the temple being measured out. As we read this in context, we can see that the temple represents God's people - His Church. The fact that it is being measured off indicates that the Church will be spared from the full effects of the trumpet blasts which violently warn of God's judgment and the doom of unrepentant sinners.
VISIONARY TIME ZONE: 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.
DIVINE DRAMA: When Jesus gave the disciples the keys to the Church, it came with the promise that the gates of hell will never overcome Her. The two lampstands in v4 represent the Church, so it's somewhat surprising to find out that the Church is overpowered and killed by the beast from the Abyss (v7). Yet Jesus' promise is fulfilled when after lying dead and being ridiculed by the world for three and a half days, She is raised into glory.
The next question always is, are we nearing the day when the Church will experience this? Maybe, but then again, nearly every generation for the last two thousand years has thought the same thing.
MEMORY VERSE: The description of Christ's ultimate victory in v15 makes a great memory verse:
The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Messiah, and He will reign for ever and ever.
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: