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Bible Commentaries
Revelation 11

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

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Verses 1-19

  1. Intro:
    1. After dining on filet-of-Scroll from the last chapter, now John is asked to grab his measuring tape.
    2. Q: If you only had 1260 days of ministry what would you do or try to accomplish?
  2. 1260 DAYS OF MINISTRY! (1-19)
    1. THE TEMPLE! (1,2)
    2. “Measuring Rod” – A reed, a species of cane that grows in the Jordan valley from 15-20’ high. [like bamboo they grow long & straight]
      1. Used frequently-n that day for measuring. They were cut to different lengths.
      2. Ezekiel’s measuring rod was approx. 9’ (40:5)
      3. John measured the “naos” (the inner temple, the holy of Holies)
      4. Measuring = the act of knowing, claiming, or staking out.
        1. Often it meant claiming it for yourself. [like a homesteader marking off their parcel]
      5. Explain: Asher Kaufman’s theory of the location of the “Dome of the Spirits”, 100 meters north of the Dome of the Rock”.
    3. 6 temples: 1st Solomon’s; 2nd Zerubabel’s; 3rd Herod’s rebuilt; (future) 4th this temple in the days of anti-christ; 5th in the days of messiah/millennium; 6th Temple in heaven.
    4. (2) Tread the holy city underfoot - God may seem to lose battles, but He will finally win the war!
    5. 42 months - “a times time & a 1/2 a time”; “1260 days” (vs.3) These are 3 ways of saying the last 3½ yrs. of the trib (the great Trib.) [remember Jewish calendar 30 day months]
      1. This points us back to Daniel where this wording is used.
    6. THE TWO! (3-14)
    8. (3) My two witnesses - We don’t have a positive I.D. on these guys!
      1. I know they didn’t read Dale Carnegies, “How to Win Friends & Influence People.”
    9. They at 1st have supernatural immunity dressed in Kevlar sackcloth ☺.
      1. Supernatural power & protection!
    10. Witnesses – legal term (concerning what he has seen & heard)
      1. Biblical terms (the witness proclaims what he knows)
    11. (4) 2 Olive Trees & 2 Lampstands - comes from Zech.4:1-14.
      1. In Zech. the 2 olive trees, Joshua & Zerub. received the empowering Spirit of God(oil),& kept the light of Israel’s work/witness burning(lampstand)
      2. Olive Oil was a common fuel of the time, so the association w/the lampstand/menorah was a logical one.
      3. Before olives yielded their oil, they were beaten off the trees with long sticks, & then crushed beneath a heavy stone wheel.
        1. Maybe perhaps this imagery of what happens to the olives to produce oil, was symbolic of what would happen to these 2 “olive trees”?
    12. (5,6) Fire comes out of their mouth – What a wonderful gift if this is Dragon like!
      1. Ok, most likely like Elijah speaking it to come forth from heaven upon his waterlogged altar.
      2. Jer.5:14 “I will make my words in your mouth a fire and these people the wood it consumes.” (NIV)
    13. They have power over: FIRE (to consume their enemies); RAIN (to keep it from raining); WATER (to change it to blood); PLAGUES (as often as they desire)
      1. 1st two remind us of Elijah; the last 2 remind us of Moses.
      2. They met w/Jesus on the mnt. of Trans. to talk about His exodus!
    14. Other Ideas:
      1. Enoch because he didn’t die either – Heb.9:27 “appointed for man once to die & then the judgment” so can’t die twice.
        1. This is a general rule for mankind, not an absolute, because at the rapture it wouldn’t be a true statement then either!
    16. (7) Their ministry will only be terminated only when “they have finished their testimony.”
      1. Whitefield, “You are immortal until your work is done!”
    17. This is the 1st of 36 references to the Beast in this book.
      1. Martyrdom of these witnesses will doubtless give him the support of many people.
    18. (8) Their dead bodies - on public display for 3 ½ days in the streets of Jer.
      1. Not only dead but then denied burial!
        1. Even criminals got a burial the day of their death.
        2. Deut. 12:22,23 “If a man has committed a sin deserving of death, and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, "his body shall not remain overnight on the tree, but you shall surely bury him that day, so that you do not defile the land which the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance.”
    19. Q: Why not put their bodies in the grave....afraid of another Empty Tomb?
    20. What a hardened sp. condition of the people!
      1. Sodom (polluted & worldly)
      2. Egypt (Rebellious & Proud)
        1. Both speak of sin, slavery, & judgment.
    21. These 2 witnesses encourage us to be faithful to the Lord in difficult times.
      1. God protects them & then permits them to be slain.
      2. Again, “We are immortal until our work is done.”
    22. (9) This is possible right now for the world to see, just google “Wailing Wall Web Cam
      1. Or maybe it will be www.twodeadwitnesses.com (The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Book of Revelation; pg.93)
    23. (10) Here is a bleak window into the spiritual/emotional state of most people during this time.
    24. A Devil’s Christmas - If this display of their dead bodies weren’t enough.
    25. The people make a Jolly Holiday of this occasion & send gifts to each other! [Satanic Xmas]
      1. A global holiday is spawned, complete with gloating & gifting.
      2. Always be careful of context! - This was cited on a Christmas card??? “They exchanged gifts & made merry” (Rev.11:10)
      3. Note: This is the only mention of rejoicing on the earth during the entire Trib. period......& it is over the death of Gods true messengers!
      4. If this is a peek into the future then what happens to Tolerance for all people, acceptance, open-mindedness?
    26. (11,12) They’re back! – Watching on their large HDTV flat screens…they rise from the dead. (know what a body looks like on hot pavement for 3 ½ days i.e. no rain) eeww
      1. God Intervenes, raises them up, & brings them to heaven in a cloud.
      2. Satan’s victory is cut short, as God takes the 2 men to Heaven!
    27. Come Up Here - In due time EVERY believer will hear Him say, “Come Up Here!”
      1. We are not called down to the grave, but UP to the skies!
      2. Also, whether He says, “Stay” or “Go”, let us be equally well pleased, so long as He indulges us w/His presence!”
      3. 2 Cor.5:9, “Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.”
    28. (13) From Joy to Fear - Maybe they realize for a moment there is a power greater then the Beast?
    29. Big day for the Media as they turn from the cloud shot to a Killer Quake! (epicenter? Jer.) - Damage done? (1/10th Jer. destroyed) - Death Toll? (7,000 Dead) - The Rest? (were scared, & Glorified God!)
      1. That’ll put a damper on a good party!
    30. From Joy to fear, from fear to giving God Glory – probably not a permanent change of heart though, by what follows.
    31. (14) Two woes down, one to go!
    32. THE TRUMPET! (15-19)
    33. (15,16) The parenthetical between the 6th & 7th Trumpet is over!
      1. Remember in ch.4 - they worshiped God as Creator! In ch.5 they worshiped the Redeemer! Now here the emphasis is on the Conqueror & King!
    34. A kingdom is a sphere or realm over which a ruler exercises his authority.
      1. This realm can be physical, spiritual, or both.
      2. Israel often forgot the spiritual realm & thought politically. Ex: “give us a king like the rest of the nations.”
      3. The bible opens our minds to the spiritual realm also, otherwise we would be totally ignorant if God hadn’t revealed it to us.
      4. Read 10:7. jesus faced Satan off & won at the cross & now we just have the “mopping up operation”. (Shepherd’s notes; pg.38.)
      5. Remember, the major message of Revelation is the triumph of God over evil in this world!
    35. (17,18) Thanks is given for 3 things:
      1. He Reigns Supremely(17) - Mt.18:18 “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.”
      2. He Judges Righteously(18a) - They were angry, they wanted to do their own thing, cast off all restraints, & God permitted it for a time...Their result “Babylon”! Mans last attempt at Utopia!
      3. He Rewards Graciously(18b) - Amen!
    36. (19) - On earth no ordinary man could see....now the Glory of God fully displayed!!! {Temple Opened....Wow!}
      1. The enemy can touch the Temple on earth, but never the Temple in Heaven!
      2. The Ark of the Covenant speaks of the presence of God, & it’s a reminder of His Faithfulness!
      3. Let us encourage each other with the Glory to come!
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Revelation 11". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/revelation-11.html. 2017.
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