REVELATION EXPLAINED: CHAPTERS 10-11
THE ANGEL AND THE LITTLE SCROLL
Chapter ten is very short and contains only eleven verses, contained in these eleven verses is the continuation of John’s vision, and John's description of an angel who is holding a little scroll. (Revelation 10:1-4) And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire: And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth, And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices. And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.
The angel that John sees coming down from heaven calls out with a load voice, and when the angel calls out the seven thunders spoke, but what are the seven thunders? The seven thunders are not typical sounds of thunder, but are the actual voice of God communicating a message. The Bible describes the voice of God as the sound of thunder in (Psalm 18:13) and (John 12:28-30).
(Revelation 10:4) explains that the seven thunders gave John a message which he was about to record, however another voice from heaven instructed John to Seal up those things which the seven thunders had said. John's vision continues in (Revelation 10:5-7) And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer: But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.
John’s vision continues with the angel swearing that when the seventh trumpet is blown the mystery of God would be finished. The mystery of God is the message spoken by the seven thunders that John was not allowed to write down, the message of the seven thunders is the only unexplained portion of the Bible, and this mystery will be revealed at the blowing of the seventh trumpet.
JOHN EATS THE LITTLE SCROLL
(Revelation 10:8-11) And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth. And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter. And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.
The scripture in (Revelation 10:8-11) describes a real event, but this event is highly symbolic, and reveals the true cost of being God's messenger. John eating the scroll represents the word of God being put into his mouth, and John being ordained the witness of God. The scroll making John's belly bitter represents the end results of what John's preaching will be. History tells us that John did preach the kingdom of God, and that he did suffer for it . The overall message and symbolic meaning of (Revelation 10:8-11) is this: The word’s of God are sweet to those who receive them, and it is God’s will for His message to be heard by everyone. However preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to an unbelieving audience did cause John bitterness and many hardships, chapter 10 ends with this message to John, and to us.
THE TWO WITNESSES
Chapter 11 continues with John’s vision which shows the final events of the second woe, It begins by introducing two important Characters in end time Bible prophecy. These characters are known as the Two Witnesses and are described as very powerful men, sent by God to prophesy to the unsaved. Chapter 11 tells us that these two men will be given authority by God, and will be able to perform great miracles. These events conclude the second woe, and lead to the blowing of the seventh and final trumpet. The blowing of the seventh trumpet begins the third and final woe, the final woe will result in the God’s kingdom on earth coming to earth, and the ultimate defeat of Satan.
(Revelation 11:1-3) 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. 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. And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
Verses one and two explain that in the middle of Daniel's 70th week, Solomon's temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem, and an international army will occupy the holy city for 42 months. This end time military occupation of Jerusalem signals the final three and a half years of Daniel's 70th week. The end time invasion of Jerusalem is described throughout the Old testament, and was foretold by the Prophets (Isaiah 13:10-18) (Zechariah 14:2). At this time, God will send His Two Witnesses to preach in Jerusalem, alongside the 144,000 described in chapter seven. The following verses describe the Two Witnesses, the powers they will posses, and the result of their preaching to the world.
(Revelation 11:4-12) These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.
The scripture explains that in the middle of Daniel's 70th week, the Two Witnesses will conduct a super natural ministry for Jesus Christ, which will last exactly 1260 days. Prophecy tells us that after these days are fulfilled, the Two witnesses will be killed by the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit. It is important to understand that the beast described in verse seven is not referring to Apollyon who is referenced in (Revelation 9:11), but rather the Beast described in (Revelation 17:8). The scripture explains that the Two Witnesses will be killed in the city of Jerusalem, and that after three and a half days they will be resurrected in the sight of their enemies.
THE TWO WITNESSES IDENTIFIED
The identities of the Two Witnesses are revealed in the scripture, the first clue is found in (Revelation 11:6) These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy. We know from the previous scripture that the Two Witnesses will testify of Christ for exactly 1260 days, or three and a half years, the prophet Elijah was also given power by God to stop the rain for 1260 days (James 5:17-18). The next clue is found also in (Revelation 11:6) and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. The Old Testament describes God giving these exact powers to Moses in (Exodus chapters 7 to 12).
JESUS REVEALS THEIR IDENTITIES
Jesus revealed the identity of the Two Witnesses to His disciples which is recorded in (Matthew 17:1-9) And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only. And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.
The Two Witnesses can be identified, and the scripture explains that they will be the Old Testament prophets Moses and Elijah. Bible prophecy says that it will be the 144,000 lead by these two saints, that testify of Jesus during the middle of Daniel's 70th week. According to prophecy the death of the Two Witnesses will be a global event which will captivate the whole world, the scripture explains that their deaths will be followed by a great earthquake in Jerusalem, and will begin the third and final woe.
(Revelation 11:13-14) 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. The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.
THE SEVENTH TRUMPET IS BLOWN
The third and final woe begins at the sound of the seventh trumpet, which is described in the following verses. (Revelation 11:15-19) 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. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, 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. 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. 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.
The blowing of the seventh trumpet begins the reign of Jesus Christ as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and the events that follow conclude God’s judgment of the earth. The blowing of the final trumpet brings about the third and final woe, the third woe consists of horrific natural disasters, unlike any seen before. These events include but are not restricted to a massive earthquake, and the raining of great hail stones weighing up to one hundred pounds.
A further description of these disasters can be found in (Revelation 16:17-21) And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.
The seventh trumpet signals the final stage of God's wrath, and begins the reign of Jesus Christ as king of the world, and although this seems like the end of the story, it is only eleven of twenty two chapters. It is important to remember that the first eleven chapters give a detailed overview of Daniel's 70th week, and the events that take place during this time. The first half of Revelation gives a very specific timeline, and details end time events that can be compared to other scripture found in chapters twelve to twenty two. The other half of Revelation describes more visions given to John, that retell this same story in greater detail.
TO BE CONTINUED