Revelation
Chapter 11

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1 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.

2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.

5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.

6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.

7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.

8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.

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.

11 And after three days and an 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.

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.

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.

14 The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.

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.

16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,

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.

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.

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.

Commentary for Revelation 11

The state of the church is represented under the figure of a temple measured. (1,2) Two witnesses prophesy is sackcloth. (3-6) They are slain, after which they arise and ascend to heaven. (7-13) Under the seventh trumpet, all antichristian powers are to be destroyed and there will be a glorious state of Christ's kingdom upon earth. (14-19)1,2 This prophetical passage about measuring the temple seems to refer to Ezekiel's vision. The design of this measuring seems to be the preservation of the church in times of public danger; or for its trial, or for its reformation. The worshippers must be measured; whether they make God's glory their end, and his word their rule, in all their acts of worship. Those in the outer court, worship in a false manner, or with dissembling hearts, and will be found among his enemies. God will have a temple and an altar in the world, till the end of time. He looks strictly to his temple. The holy city, the visible church, is trodden under foot; is filled with idolaters, infidels, and hypocrites. But the desolations of the church are limited, and she shall be delivered out of all her troubles.

3-13 In the time of treading down, God kept his faithful witnesses to attest the truth of his word and worship, and the excellence of his ways, The number of these witnesses is small, yet enough. They prophesy in sackcloth. It shows their afflicted, persecuted state, and deep sorrow for the abominations against which they protested. They are supported during their great and hard work, till it is done. When they had prophesied in sackcloth the greatest part of 1260 years, antichrist, the great instrument of the devil, would war against them, with force and violence for a time. Determined rebels against the light rejoice, as on some happy event, when they can silence, drive to a distance, or destroy the faithful servants of Christ, whose doctrine and conduct torment them. It does not appear that the term is yet expired, and the witnesses are not a present exposed to endure such terrible outward sufferings as in former times; but such things may again happen, and there is abundant cause to prophesy in sackcloth, on account of the state of religion. The depressed state of real Christianity may relate only to the western church. The Spirit of life from God, quickens dead souls, and shall quicken the dead bodies of his people, and his dying interest in the world. The revival of God's work and witnesses, will strike terror into the souls of his enemies. Where there is guilt, there is fear; and a persecuting spirit, though cruel, is a cowardly spirit. It will be no small part of the punishment of persecutors, both in this world, and at the great day, that they see the faithful servants of God honoured and advanced. The Lord's witnesses must not be weary of suffering and service, nor hastily grasp at the reward; but must stay till their Master calls them. The consequence of their being thus exalted was a mighty shock and convulsion in the antichristian empire. Events alone can show the meaning of this. But whenever God's work and witnesses revive, the devil's work and witnesses fall before him. And that the slaying of the witnesses is future, appears to be probable.

14-19 Before the sounding of the seventh and last trumpet, there is the usual demand of attention. The saints and angels in heaven know the right of our God and Saviour to rule over all the world. But the nations met God's wrath with their own anger. It was a time in which he was beginning to reward his people's faithful services, and sufferings; and their enemies fretted against God, and so increased their guilt, and hastened their destruction. By the opening the temple of God in heaven, may be meant, that there was a more free communication between heaven and earth; prayer and praises more freely and frequently going up, graces and blessings plentifully coming down. But it rather seems to refer to the church of God on earth. In the reign of antichrist, God's law was laid aside, and made void by traditions and decrees; the Scriptures were locked up from the people, but now they are brought to the view of all. This, like the ark, is a token of the presence of God returned to his people, and his favour toward them in Jesus Christ, as the Propitiation for their sins. The great blessing of the Reformation was attended with very awful providences; as by terrible things in righteousness God answered the prayers presented in his holy temple now opened.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Revelation 11

  • A disciple
    Dewey J; We shouldn't be overly sensitive: no offense taken, Brother. With the things that we see (and can hardly believe) happening and increasing, we have volumes of warning and instruction and guidance in the Scriptures to prepare us mentally and spiritually for the opposition we are set to encounter. We should know that the transgressors coming to the full is God's determined judgment of them.
  • Dewey J
    A disciple, I didn't accuse you of adding to the scripture. That is a very serious charge to make especially against another Christian without sound evidence. I can tell by your posts that you have a very good understanding of the scripture. I concur with you and all who notice the rebellion of mankind toward God. Some say the greatest miracle is God's love and grace to man and man hate for God.
  • A disciple
    Hi Dewey; I don't think its exactly "adding to the word;" but something I heard from others, and I think makes sense. Time will tell of course! One thing is interesting too; how that even with all the plagues and punishments and the appearance of the two witnesses; those who are not killed outright by those judgments still refuse to repent or at all acknowledge the truth to give God glory.
  • A disciple
    Dewey; Enoch and Elijah were taken alive into heaven; and so we must conclude that their work is NOT finished, and that God took them aside till He would use them again at another time. The Scriptures say that "Elijah must come first:" the Lord doesn't use the real to identify types, and then not bring forth the real and the complete. John came in the Spirit and power of Elijah not to replace him.
  • Dewey J
    A disciple, Ron, and Martha Jesus said concerning John Baptist Matt. 17:12 But I say unto you that Elias is come already and they knew him not but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Elijah and Enoch finished their course let them rest. 2 Tim. 4:7,8 This language place emphasis on the Holy Ghost that enabled all prophets, apostles success
  • A disciple
    Martha; I looked up "in the spirit of" and found this simple but helpful definition to answer your question; which then makes John as foreshadowing Elijah just ahead of the Lord's coming in its perfection at the end of this age. "There is the letter of the law and there is the spirit of the law. The letter of the law are the laws themselves; the spirit of the law is the principle behind the law."
  • A disciple
    Hi Martha, nice to hear from you. Well my thoughts about how John went before the Lord to prepare His way, was after the model set by Elijah; as it were a foreshadowing of the great Day of the LORD; when Elijah himself, with Enoch himself, shall come for fulfilling their great ministry in advance of the Second Coming Of Christ and the end of this age; in such power of the Spirit never before seen.
  • Martha
    a disciple...I believe the same concerning who the two witnesses but confused when the scriptures say John the Baptist came in the spirit of Elijah; Luke 1:17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. John did die.

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Bible Trivia

In Revelation, it talks about witnesses that will come to earth in the end times, how many witnesses were named?
  • 2
  • 144
  • 40
  • 7