Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Revelation 10-11 – The Little Scroll and the Two Witnesses

 Revelation 10 – The Little Scroll

John saw another strong angel with a little book in his hand.  He put his right foot on the sea and the left on the land.  This must have been a very large angle with great authority and what is about to be revealed will affect all people of the world.  He cried out like a roar of a lion and 7 peals of thunder responded.  John doesn’t tell us what the thunder said, because a voice from heaven said, “Seal up the things which the seven peals of thunder have spoken, and do not write them.”Rev. 10:4.  This tells us there are still things about the future and we don’t known until that time.

Then the strong angel lifted his right hand to heaven and swore that there will be no more delay – the Day of the Lord is coming.  The seventh angel will sound his trumpet.  Then the mystery of God is finished.  God had been merciful waiting for all people to come to Him, but there will be no more waiting.

Then John was told, “Go, take the scroll which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the land… Take it and eat it; and it will make you stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.” Rev. 10:8-9.  John ate the scroll or book which was sweet in his mouth, but it made his stomach bitter. 

The words of the little book were the words of God so it was sweet, but why did it become so bitter?  Maybe it was that the contents were so awful and terrible.  There would be such persecution and desolation of earth that the thought of it made John sick to his stomach.  This book was a message to people on earth.  It was sweet because it came from God, but bitter because it told of troubles to come.  God’s people would overcome in the end, but before that people would suffer greatly.  The message that there would be no more delay was sweet, but the actual end would be unpleasant or bitter.

God’s Word is sweet, but bitter if you do not believe.  Matt. 11:28 says, “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”  John 8:24 says unless you believe that I am he, you shall die in your sins.”

What mysteries has God revealed you in this study?
Are you disturbed by the thought of what is revealed in Revelation?
Who will you tell about Christ before it’s too late?

John was told to prophesy again to all the nations.  The end would be soon.  The seventh trumpet was ready to sound.

Revelation 11 – The Two Witnesses

After eating the little book, John was given a measuring rod and told to measure the temple of God.  He was not to measure the court outside the temple, because during the last half of the 7 years (3 ½ years) or 42 months (1,260 days), the holy city (Jerusalem) will be given to the nations (Gentiles) who will tread it under foot.  In Daniel 9 speaks of the 7 year period.  The Gentiles will abuse and disregard the city.  They will worship other gods.  God will allow this to happen.  This final 3 ½ years will be the worst of all.

“I will grant authority to my two witnesses and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.” Rev. 11:3.  The witnesses are identified as olive trees and lampstands.  We saw in chapter 7 there would be 144,000 Jewish men preaching to the world, but these 2 witnesses here are special.  They have authority and would be known throughout the world.  They are believed to be Moses and Elijah.  They will prophesy for 1,260 days.  They are wearing sackcloth which shows they are greatly grieved by the evil and unrepentance in the world around them.  The lampstands indicate they are prophesying by the power of the Holy Spirit.

People won’t like what they are preaching and will try to harm them.  When others try to harm them, fire will come out of their mouths and they will be killed.  They will have the power to shut up the sky during the time they are prophesying.  They will have the power to turn water into blood and send plagues to the earth. (Rev. 11:3-6).

God will protect them during this time.  He said if anyone tries to harm them, they must die.  Again, God always protects His own.

Then when the witnesses finish their testimony, the beast that comes out of the abyss in chapter 9 will make war with them and kill them.  The beast is Satan and is given authority by God to do this.  Nothing happens without God’s approval or authority. (Rev. 11:7).

Their bodies will lie in the street of the great city (Jerusalem) for 3 ½ days.  People won’t like what these men have to say and will be afraid of them.  Now that they were dead the people will rejoice.  Their happiness will last only a short time.  After the 3 ½ days lying dead in the street, God will breathe life into them.  This is a beautiful picture of the resurrection for all the believing dead who wait in the grave.  The two witnesses stood up and great fear came over the people.  They were then called up to heaven. (Rev. 11:8-12).

How have you been persecuted because of your testimony for Christ?
How has God protected you?

In that hour where was a great earthquake, 1/10 of the city fell, 7,000 people were killed, and the rest were terrified.  They gave glory to God, but it doesn’t say they repented.  They only recognized there was a God in heaven, but did not repent.  This is God’s judgment on the wicked people. (Rev. 11:13). 

“The second woe is past; behold the third woe is coming quickly.” - Rev. 11:14.  It is now time for the third and final woe.

As the seventh angel sounded his trumpet John was in heaven and heard voices saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.”Rev. 11:15.  Satan is no longer the ruler of the world.  God has reclaimed His rightful rule over the earth.  He is still in the cleansing process.  Soon we will see all the wicked followers of Satan judged in the bowl judgments in the following chapters.

The 24 elders fell on their faces and worshiped and thanked God.  Then the temple of God in heaven opened and the ark of His covenant appeared.  There were flashes of lightning, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and a great hailstorm. (Rev. 11:16-19)

How do you respond to God and His promises?
Does the thought of Jesus’ return frighten or encourage you?
How has your relationship with Him changed in light of the judgments to come?

The time had come for God to reward or punish all who have died.  He will reward His servants.  He will reward those you believed in Him.  We can be confident that God will save His people even in times of trouble.  For the unbelievers He will punish those who oppose Him.

Are you now a believer after studying Revelation?  If you weren’t before, I hope you are now.  It’s never too late.  God is waiting for you to surrender to Him.  See the bottom of this blog for His Plan of Salvation.

Next week we will study Revelation 12.  Hope to see you here.

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