The old world is passing away, and there is much destruction along the way.
Chapter 11 gives us some very specific prophecy – there will be two witnesses of God who will be killed, but then live again. This is very specific, but there is still a lot of symbolism active in these verses – fire from their mouths consumes their enemies (probably means powerful arguments that silence their enemies), and they are even called the “two olive trees”.
This is the nature of the rest of the book of Revelation – John is speaking in code – because his churches are living in a time of persecution, and this is also the nature of prophecy. This does not mean we need to “decode” everything in the book, but rather be aware of the point of each chapter. What is the point here? There will be prophets of God who will be killed by the leaders of nations, they will rise again, and God will punish the nations for ignoring Him. We need to be ready to suffer for God, and ready to listen to those who speak His message (i.e. – it lines up with the Bible).
The seventh trumpet sounds, and voices in heaven shout the direction of this chapter – this world (that belongs to Christ) is becoming His again. There is so much in this world that does not follow Him – and those things need to pass. God gives them chance after chance to turn back to Him – but they instead fight against God… and are destroyed.
These words are meant to give hope to those who are being crushed by the power of injustice in this world – to have courage to stand with love.
|<< Revelation 11 >>
New Living Translation
The Two Witnesses
1Then I was given a measuring stick, and I was told, “Go and measure the Temple of God and the altar, and count the number of worshipers. 2But do not measure the outer courtyard, for it has been turned over to the nations. They will trample the holy city for 42 months. 3And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will be clothed in burlap and will prophesy during those 1,260 days.”
4These two prophets are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of all the earth. 5If anyone tries to harm them, fire flashes from their mouths and consumes their enemies. This is how anyone who tries to harm them must die. 6They have power to shut the sky so that no rain will fall for as long as they prophesy. And they have the power to turn the rivers and oceans into blood, and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they wish.
7When they complete their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the bottomless pita will declare war against them, and he will conquer them and kill them. 8And their bodies will lie in the main street of Jerusalem,b the city that is figuratively called “Sodom” and “Egypt,” the city where their Lord was crucified. 9And for three and a half days, all peoples, tribes, languages, and nations will stare at their bodies. No one will be allowed to bury them. 10All the people who belong to this world will gloat over them and give presents to each other to celebrate the death of the two prophets who had tormented them.
11But after three and a half days, God breathed life into them, and they stood up! Terror struck all who were staring at them. 12Then a loud voice from heaven called to the two prophets, “Come up here!” And they rose to heaven in a cloud as their enemies watched.
13At the same time there was a terrible earthquake that destroyed a tenth of the city. Seven thousand people died in that earthquake, and everyone else was terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.
14The second terror is past, but look, the third terror is coming quickly.
The Seventh Trumpet Brings the Third Terror
15Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices shouting in heaven:
“The world has now become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ,c
and he will reign forever and ever.”
“We give thanks to you, Lord God, the Almighty,
the one who is and who always was,
for now you have assumed your great power
and have begun to reign.
18The nations were filled with wrath,
but now the time of your wrath has come.
It is time to judge the dead
and reward your servants the prophets,
as well as your holy people,
and all who fear your name,
from the least to the greatest.
It is time to destroy
all who have caused destruction on the earth.”
19Then, in heaven, the Temple of God was opened and the Ark of his covenant could be seen inside the Temple. Lightning flashed, thunder crashed and roared, and there was an earthquake and a terrible hailstorm.