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Bible Commentaries

Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation
Revelation 11

 

 

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Verse 1

Revelation 11:1

Revelation 11:1 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.

In this verse is contained, first, John's preparation unto his work appointed him by Christ.

And there was given me a reed like unto a rod

Secondly, John's Commission for the work which he was commanded to do:

and the angel stood, saying, rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.

The reed like unto a rod, wherewith the servants of Christ, His ministers ought to

measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein;

is the written Word of God, the holy Scriptures of truth: So God commanded his servant Moses and the children of Israel ( Exodus 25:8-9. And let them make me a Sanctuary, -after the pattern of the tabernacle-even so shall ye make it. And Hebrews 8:5 See (faith God) that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed unto thee in the Mount). And this revelation of measuring the temple of God under the administration of the Gospel in the latter days, which Jesus Christ shewed by his angel in a vision unto his servant John , beareth some allusion to that vision which the prophet Ezekiel had of measuring the city and temple of God ( Ezekiel 40:2-6 -In the visions of God brought he me into the land of Israel, and set me upon a very high mountain, ...and there was a man... with a line of flax in his hand, and a measuring reed... of six cubits long, by the cubit, and an hand breadth: so he measured the breadth of the building one reed; and the height one reed; 4And the Man said unto me, Son of Prayer of Manasseh , behold thine eyes, and hear with thine ears, and set thine heart upon all that I shall shew thee;- declare all that thou seeth to the house of Israel;{ Ezekiel 41:1-5} Afterward he brought me to the temple, ...So he measured the length thereof twenty cubits, and the breadth twenty cubits before the temple. And he said unto me, This is the most holy place). { Ezekiel 41:4} Now as God had shewed and instructed Moses, { Exodus 25:8-9; 2 Chronicles 3:1-17; Ezekiel 43:10-16} and the prophets, how the tabernacle, and the first and the second temple should be builded, and all things to be done about His worship and ordinances, by his holy word which he spake unto them. { Ezekiel 43:10-16} So Jesus Christ revealed to his servant John all things that must shortly come to pass, and be done about the temple of God, the altar, and them that worship, which are to be measured by the reed of the written Word of God.

Rise, and measure the temple of God.

By the temple of God, here we are to understand the house of God, { 1 Timothy 3:14-15} which is the Church of the living God, called the temple of God, under the administration of the Gospel, { Ephesians 2:21-22} which was to be builded after the Apostles' days, as was prophesied, { Amos 9:11} of the gentile Churches under the Gospel. { Acts 15:14-17} God at first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of the Gentiles a people for His name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; —After this will I return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down, —And I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith JEHOVAH, who doth all these things

And the altar

By the altar here is meant the whole worship of God, and all his holy Ordinances instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ and his Apostles, which ought to be measured also by the same reed of the written Word of God. { Philippians 3:16; Galatians 6:15-16; 1 Corinthians 11:1-23 I praise you Brethren, -that ye keep the Ordinances of God, as I delivered them to you} The golden altar was a type of Christ. And he put the golden altar in the tent of the congregation before the vail; and he burnt incense thereon as the Lord commanded Moses. And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer, and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar, which was before the throne ( Exodus 40:26-27 compared with Revelation 8:3). This altar sanctifieth the gift. { Matthew 23:19} The altar of burnt-offerings, and daily sacrifices, which stood in the open court of the tabernacle of the temple, called the brazen altar, typed forth the worship and ordinances of God under the Gospel. { 2 Chronicles 1:6; Hebrews 13:10} Then will I go to the altar of God; that Isaiah , I will worship God, and offer to him the sacrifice of praise; I will praise Thee, O God, my God. { Psalm 26:6; Psalm 43:4}

And them that worship therein

The worshippers of God in his Churches of saints, ought to be measured by the reed of Gods written Word, as well as the temple and the altar of God; that thereby it may appear, they are the true Worshippers of God in his house, and worship him in Spirit and in truth For the Father seeketh such to worship him truth. { John 4:23-24}

The ministers of Jesus Christ, who are builders of Gods gospel temple, { 1 Corinthians 3:9-16} ought to measure the pattern, { Ezekiel 43:10-11} of the churches, worship, and worshippers of God in the days of Christ and his Apostles, and to see that the churches, worship, and worshippers of God, now in these latter days, be in all things, as they were then, and to reform those things that are amiss; The rest will I set in order when I come. Let all things be done decently and in Order. Joying and beholding your Order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ. { Titus 1:5; 1 Corinthians 11:34; 1 Corinthians 14:40; Colossians 2:5} All things in the Church and worship of God ought to be done according to the rule of the written Word of God; Let us walk by the same rule. { Philippians 3:16} There is but one rule for all the churches, worship, and worshippers of God to be framed, measured, and ordered by: And the ministers of Christ, now ought to measure, frame, and order all things in the Churches and worship of God by the same rule. { Isaiah 8:20; Hebrews 8:5; Ephesians 2:19-22}

First, the ministers of Christ ought to take care, and inspection of the Church of God, and see for they are called seers, and overseers { Acts 20:28} that the Church be builded upon the foundation doctrines, and faith of the apostles and prophets, { Hebrews 6:1-3} Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone in whom all the building, fitly framed together (and compacted) groweth to an holy temple in the Lord, { Ephesians 2:19-22} etc.

Secondly, they are to take care, that the pillars, { Galatians 2:9; Jeremiah 3:14-15; Ephesians 4:11-13} in God's house, His gospel temple which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of truth, { 1 Timothy 3:14-15} be not only Trees of Righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified { Isaiah 61:4} but that they also be able ministers of the New Testament, both of the letter, and also of the Spirit. { 2 Corinthians 3:6} The Bishops, kat ekklhsian-in every Church called Stars and Angels of the Churches, { Revelation 1:20} and the pastors and teachers in every Church (called Presbyters, that Isaiah , Elders) that rule well { 1 Timothy 5:17} ought to be learned and holy men, taught of God by his Holy Spirit, qualified with spiritual and ministerial gifts and graces; to wit, knowledge, Wisdom of Solomon , meekness, and a blameless conversation. { 2 Timothy 3:1-8; Titus 1:5-7}

Thirdly, they ought to take care, or heed, that the whole worship of God, and all the sacred ordinances of the Lord be administered according to the gospel; institutions, commandments, and examples of Christ and his holy Apostles; and not after the rudiments of the world, nor after the commandments of men { Matthew 15:9; Matthew 18:19-20; Colossians 2:8-23; John 4:23-24} and their Doctrines.

Fourthly, they ought to inspect them that worship, and to take care before persons be admitted unto the visible Churches of Saints, to partake of all the sacred ordinances of God, that they be found in the faith, and holy in their life. { Acts 19:18; Acts 9:26-28|} And after they be added to the Church, the ministers ought to oversee them, that they do not walk disorderly, to the dishonour of God, and scandal of the Church; that the ministry be not blamed, nor the weak brethren stumbled or offended, and the way of God reproached. { 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15; Titus 3:10-11; 2 Corinthians 6:3; 1 Corinthians 10:32; Romans 14:13; Romans 14:21} And therefore, I do humbly beseech the wise master-builders, and all Christ's gospel ministers, to take this reed of God's holy Word, and measure the churches, the worship of God, and the worshippers of God in his gospel-temple; and to use their spiritual Wisdom of Solomon , and ministerial power, and utmost endeavours to reform and amend what they shall see amiss, and set in order, { 1 Corinthians 11:34; 1 Corinthians 14:40; Colossians 2:5; Colossians 4:17; Titus 1:5} things that are wanting, that God may be glorified, his churches of saints edified, and sinners converted.


Verse 2

Revelation 11:2

Revelation 11:2 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.

In this verse is contained, first, John's prohibition, he might not measure the outward court of the temple. Secondly, the reason, why he was prohibited,

for it is given unto the Gentiles.

Thirdly, a prophecy adjoined to the reason of John's prohibition;

And the holy city shall they (viz. the Gentiles) tread under foot forty and two months.

First, John's prohibition;

But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not.

Solomon's Temple (unto which Christ here alludes) had three courts, the first whereof was called the outward court { Ezekiel 42:14-17; Ezekiel 44:19; Ezekiel 46:20; 2 Chronicles 23:5-6; Ezekiel 40:17; Ezekiel 42:14} where all the people worshipped {Luke 1:10} the second was called the inward court, { Ezekiel 8:16; Luke 1:9-10} And he brought me into the inner court of the Lord's house, etc. where the priests burnt incense upon the altar before the Lord { 2 Chronicles 3:8-10} when they went into the temple of the Lord. The third was the inmost Court, called the Holy of Holies, the most holy place or house of God { Hebrews 9:3-12} where the High Priest went in alone once every year, not without blood, etc. He being a type of Jesus Christ. And there was a wall of separation between the sanctuary and the profane place, where the publicans, heathens, even all sorts of profane people, were permitted to come to see, and hear. This court without the tabernacle, sanctuary, and temple, was measured also. { Ezekiel 42:15-20} Five hundred cubits long, and five hundred cubits broad, to make a separation between the sanctuary and the profane place or court without.

By

the Court which is without the Temple,

in this verse, we may understand any material Court, or external place of separation; for this is but an allusion unto that court without Solomon's Temple. And the temple here, which was to be measured, being mystical, and figured forth by that of Solomon's, this court which was without the temple, must be understood mystically; to wit, the Papal Gentiles, of whom it is here prophesied, that

the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

By these Gentiles we are to understand false Christians, namely, atheists, papists, and all profane and ungodly persons; the unbelieving Jews also, and the unconverted Gentiles likewise; especially the Roman Gentiles, by whom the holy city, Jerusalem, that now Isaiah , the churches of saints, that now are, are trodden under foot, as our blessed Saviour foretold his disciples. {Luke 21:24-27} And Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. Therefore, the angel said unto John , leave it out, and measure it not. Thirdly, the prophecy adjoined to the reason of John's prohibition. And the holy city shall they-the Roman Gentiles- tread under foot forty and two months. By

the holy city

here is meant mystical Jerusalem. As the great city of the Roman Church, is called Mystery, Babylon the great, the Mother of Harlots. { Revelation 17:1-5} So the holy city of God, his true Church, is mystically called Zion, and Jerusalem, that now Isaiah , and is in bondage with her children, { Galatians 4:24-25} whilst the holy city is trodden under foot of the Gentiles; that is to say, persecuted, imprisoned, confiscated, banished, and killed by the popes, potentates, emperors, kings and princes of the Gentiles, who have given their kingdom, power, and strength to the Beast, { Zechariah 11:9; Revelation 17:13-17} and do exercise dominion over the churches, and the people of God, who are the woman in the wilderness and her seed, who have the commandments of God, and the testimony of Jesus. { Revelation 12:6-17} The time here numbered, that the holy city (the church and saints of God) shall be trodden under foot by the Horns of the Gentiles; that Isaiah , persecuted and killed by the kings of the earth, { Revelation 13:17} who have given their kingdom, power, and strength to the Beast of the seventh and eighth head, the Pope of Rome, etc. I say the time is forty two prophetical months, which computing thirty prophetical days to a month, are one thousand two hundred and sixty years (a day for a year, and each day for a year, as Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 4:6); so long the two witnesses of Christ prophesy in sackcloth, { Revelation 11:3} so long the woman shall be fed and preserved in the wilderness, { Revelation 12:6-17} and so long the Beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit, who shall kill the witnesses, and that did rise out of the sea, and out of the earth, shall continue. { Revelation 13:1-5} And power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. All these four prophecies are contemporary, for they all begin and end at one and the same time: Whereof we shall say more in the exposition of the third verse of this chapter. See KNOLLYS: Revelation 11:3


Verse 3

Revelation 11:3

Revelation 11:3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

In this verse we are to consider, first, who these two witnesses are. Secondly, what power Christ gives His witnesses. Thirdly, what their gift of prophecy is. Fourthly, what time we are to understand by a thousand two hundred and threescore days; and fifthly, what is meant by their being cloathed in sackcloth.

First, these

two witnesses

are described metaphorically: { Revelation 13:4} These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks, etc. by which description it appears, that these two witnesses are not two individual persons, as Moses and Elias; neither by these are intended any two testimonies, as the Old and New Testament; nor two distinct offices, as magistrates and ministers. For none of these interpretations will agree with the metaphorical description of these two witnesses. { Revelation 13:4} These two witnesses are the faithful ministers of Christ, called two olive-branches. { Zechariah 4:3-14} These are the two anointed ones, which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves; that is to say, they are the ministers and prophets of the Lord, who, under the gospel, have received an unction from the Holy One, Christ Jesus. { 1 John 2:20-27} As the priests and prophets did, under the law, who were anointed with material oil, { Exodus 28:41; 1 Kings 19:16} and they are also the visible, true constituted gospel churches of Christ, called here two candlesticks, which are so interpreted and expounded by Christ Himself. { Revelation 1:20} And the seven candlesticks are the seven churches.

The Church of God under the law being but one, and that a national church, was metaphorically described by one golden candlestick. { Zechariah 4:2} But the churches of God under the gospel, being many congregational churches, as the churches in Judea, { Acts 9:31} the churches of Galatia, { 1 Corinthians 16:1} and the churches in Asia, { Revelation 1:11} when they were first planted, are resembled by two golden candlesticks, and by seven golden candlesticks. Nor is my distinguishing between the Lord's ministers, his prophets, and his churches unwarrantable, for the Holy Spirit of God did distinguish them. { Acts 13:1} Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers. { Acts 15:4} They were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders. { Acts 15:22} Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, that Isaiah , all the brethren. { Acts 15:23} The apostles, and elders, and brethren, send greeting unto the brethren, etc. The ministers of Christ in the churches of saints, are Christ's prophetical witnesses; who ought to bear their testimony for Christ, and against Antichrist. { Revelation 12:11}

Secondly, the power which Christ hath given unto his two witnesses, is not a magisterial power; for Christ hath given that kind of power to the kings of the earth, and governors under them, { Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-15; Titus 3:1} nor a monarchical Prelatical power, such as the Pope of Rome, his cardinals, and priests, have usurped, who lord it over God's heritage, His churches and clergy, contrary to the mind of our Lord Jesus Christ, { 1 Peter 5:3} mhd wv katakurieuontev twn klhrwn, Not as lording it over the clergy, but it is a ministerial, prophetical, stewardly power; that Isaiah , the power of the word, not of the sword. Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth; see, I have this day set thee over the nations, and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build and to plant. { Jeremiah 1:9-10} That is to say prophetically, by denouncing God's judgements against them, which the Lord will execute, if they repent not. { Jeremiah 18:6-10} And I will bring upon the Land all my Words, which I have pronounced against it, { Jeremiah 25:13} -which Jeremiah hath prophesied against all the nations, though the ministers of the gospel may declare the righteous judgements of God against ungodly men, according to his written word, yet they ought not to sit in judgement, and pass sentence of corporal punishment upon any man. {Luke 12:14} But yet all the plagues and judgements here mentioned, and intended are principally (though not only) spiritual plagues and judgements, such as the Lord's prophets had power to do by the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, { Ephesians 6:17} which proceedeth out of Christ's mouth, { Revelation 19:15-21} so that this power which the Lord Jesus Christ gave his two witnesses is a ministerial, prophetical, ecclesiastical power of faith, by the Word of God and prayer, { Acts 6:4} which they ought to give themselves continually unto, not using the power of the sword at any time, in any case, He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear, -He that killeth with the sword shall be killed with the sword { Revelation 13:9-10} etc.

Ecclesiastical power ordained by Christ and given to his ministers, is not magisterial, but ministerial; not the power of the sword but of the Word, For the Word of God is living and powerful, { Hebrews 4:12} etc.

Thirdly, by the gift of prophecy here, which Jesus Christ gave unto his two witnesses, called the two prophets, { Revelation 11:10} we are to understand such ministerial and prophetical gifts of the Holy Spirit, whereby they were fitted and qualified to prophesy before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings, { Revelation 10:10-11} there are diversities of spiritual gifts, and among the rest the gift of prophecy. { 1 Corinthians 12:4-10; Romans 12:6} Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the analogy of faith. This gift of prophecy Christ gives unto his faithful ministers in the churches of saints, that they may be his witnesses, { Acts 1:8; Acts 5:32} in bearing their testimony for Christ-against Anti-Christ-in all the offices of his mediatorship; and it is therefore called the testimony of Jesus which is the spirit of prophecy, { Revelation 19:10; Luke 21:12-19} that is a mouth and wisdom given by Jesus Christ, which no adversaries shall be able to gain-say, or resist: And it shall turn to you for a testimony. {Luke 21:13}

Fourthly, the time of their prophesying is here said to be

a thousand two hundred and threescore days

which days are not to be understood literally for so many natural days; for that is but three years and an half; and is intended by the three days and an half, expressed in Revelation 11:9 to be the time that the dead bodies of the slain witnesses shall lie unburied, called a time, and times, and half a time ( Revelation 12:14 and Daniel 7:21-25). But these thousand two hundred and threescore days must be understood of prophetical days; that Isaiah , a day for a year, and each day for a year, according to the scripture account, { Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 4:6} which is one thousand two hundred and threescore years (the editor of this manuscript does not here agree with H. Knowles). And so is the prophetical number of days and time of the woman, that Isaiah , the Church of God in the wilderness, viz. one thousand two hundred and threescore days. { Revelation 12:6} It is not my work at present to determine the beginning and ending of this time, and these days, but to give the right interpretation thereof, that the reader may understand the meaning by my exposition. God hath timed the persecutions, tribulations, and sufferings of His churches, ministers, and saints, in their generations. { Genesis 15:13; Exodus 12:41; Jeremiah 25:10-12; Jeremiah 29:10-13; Revelation 2:10; Revelation 11:2} They must last no longer, nor end sooner, than God's set time.

But yet I may say, that the best ecclesiastical historians, and the later expositors of this Book of the Revelation , affirm, that these thousand two hundred and threescore days began about the Year of our Lord407 , 409 , 410 or before428. (Sympson's History of the Church, Lib4. Socrat. History Eccl. cap3 , Helvicus in Concil, Taurinat cap7 , Magdeb, Cent5 cap10 etc). And if these thousand two hundred and threescore days did begin about428 , then they will end about1688 , which a short time will manifest more certainly. Though these are uncertain conjectures; yet if we shall see the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit, make war against the two prophetical witnesses, and overcome them, and kill them, as is prophesied { Revelation 11:7} then we shall certainly know the ending time of these thousand two hundred and threescore days. { Daniel 12:4-13}

Fifthly, to be

clothed in sackcloth

signifieth the sorrowful, mournful condition of these two prophets, the witnesses of Christ, by reason of their sufferings, persecutions, and tribulations, which they endured in the days and time of their prophesying. The prophets of old use to wear garments of black, especially in times of calamity and affliction, which were made of hair, and called sackcloth of hair, as an emblem and symbol of great calamity and mourning. { Isaiah 22:12; Isaiah 32:11; Isaiah 50:3; Jeremiah 49:3; 2 Kings 1:8; Matthew 3:4; Revelation 6:12} The faithful ministers of Christ, who are serving of their generation have born their testimony for Christ against Anti-Christ in all his mediatorial offices, as he is prophet, priest and king in his church, have suffered persecutions, imprisonment, banishment, and death many of them. As the apostles and disciples of Christ did suffer under the Roman pagan dragon; so the ministers and saints of God have suffered under the Roman-Papal-Beast, about one thousand two hundred fifty nine years.

God's faithful witnesses must suffer persecutions for their testimony against Anti-Christ, { 2 Timothy 3:12} yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution till the1260 days be ended.


Verse 4

Revelation 11:4

Revelation 11:4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.

The olive tree is excellent for its beautiful greenness, for its plentiful fruitfulness, and its abundant fatness. But the olive-tree said unto them, should I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honour God and Prayer of Manasseh , { Judges 9:9} etc. Unto which God compareth His church, The Lord called thy name a green olive-tree; fair and of goodly fruit; his fruitful Saints. { Jeremiah 11:16} And his beauty shall be as the olive-tree; but especially his faithful ministers. { Hosea 14:4-6} These two olive-trees upon the right side of the candlestick, and upon the left side thereof. { Zechariah 4:11} These two olive branches, which through the two golden pipes, empty gold out of themselves. { Zechariah 4:12} These are the two sons of oil, that Isaiah , anointed one, etc. { Zechariah 4:14} The bishops and pastors, the prophets and teachers in the churches of saints, whom the Lord Jesus Christ hath raised up, spirited and appointed to be his witnesses, and to bear their testimony for the doctrine, worship, and kingdom of Christ, against the false doctrines, worships, and kingdom of Antichrist; the Pope of Rome, that beast, the great whore, and all the cities of the nations. { Revelation 16:19}

A candlestick all of gold in Zechariah's vision, { Zechariah 4:2} was a figure of the church of God, which was then but one visible constituted church; viz. the national church of the Jews. The two golden candlesticks in St. John's Revelation , { Revelation 11:4} were a representation of the true visible constituted churches of God in the latter days of the gospel; viz. congregational churches of the gentiles; such were the seven churches in Asia (at their first planting). { Revelation 1:12-20} So that we may upon those scripture grounds conclude, that by the two witnesses Jesus Christ meant and intended his churches of saints, and his faithful ministers in their generations. The churches of saints ought to be like golden candlesticks for purity, for visibility, and for holding forth the light of truth by their ministers. { Matthew 5:14-16}

Standing before the God of the earth.

Standing before great persons; viz. kings, princes, and nobles { 1 Kings 10:8; Proverbs 22:29} imports, waiting and serving them in obedience unto their commands, being in their presence, and also in their favour. So here, to stand before the God of the earth, is to minister unto God, to worship him, to obey his commands, and to keep his ordinances; as the tribe of Levi did of old, To stand before the Lord, to minister unto him;{Deuteronomy 10:8} and But the Priests, the Levites, the Sons of Zadock, that kept the charge of my Sanctuary, when the Children on Israel went astray from me, they shall come near to me to minister unto me, and they shall stand before me, to offer unto me the fat and the blood, saith the Lord God, { Ezekiel 44:15-16} etc. So shall the faithful ministers of Christ stand before God to be his witnesses, and to bear their testimony for Christ against Antichrist: They shall be holden up, for God is able to make them stand. { Romans 14:4} He is called the God of the earth, for the earth is the Lords, and the fullness of it. God made the heavens and the earth; he rules and governs all things in Heaven and Earth, and he gives power to the faint { Isaiah 40:28-31; Revelation 7:14-17} and to them that have no might he increaseth strength, that so they may stand before the God of earth and serve him day and night in his temple.


Verse 5

Revelation 11:5

Revelation 11:5-6 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 killed6 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.

In these two verses is declared more particularly; I The power which Christ hath given unto his two prophetical witnesses, which power is three fold; first, they have power to shut heaven. Secondly, they have power over fire and waters. Thirdly, they have power to smite the earth with all plagues. { Revelation 11:6} II The objects upon whom their power is to be executed; to wit, their enemies that will hurt them. { Revelation 11:5} And, III The manner how they shall exercise their power;

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

And if any man will hurt them

Revelation 11:5 kai ei tiv autouv qelh adikhsai pur ekporeuetai if any do them injury or injustice. There is no respect of persons with God; therefore saith Christ, who is the true and faithful Witness, If any one, viz. Power or Potentate, King or Emperor, Princes or Nobles, Pope, Priests or People will hurt them; that Isaiah , will persecute them, injure them, oppress them, and wrong them that are the Churches of God, and the faithful Ministers of Christ, who are his Witnesses, and do bear their Testimony for Christ against Antichrist.

Fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies.

By their mouth, here we are to understand their testimony, called the testimony of Jesus. { Revelation 1:2; Revelation 6:9; Revelation 12:11-17; Revelation 19:10} The testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy, which Spirit of Prophecy, is called here the

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

Christ's ministers and his churches of saints, when they are injured, wronged, and hurt by persecution, oppression, imprisonment, banishment, etc. ought not to betake themselves to their material arms, but to their spiritual prayers; their fire which devoureth and kills their enemies, must not proceed out of their guns, their brass or iron Canons, etc. but out of their mouth; viz. their prophecy and testimony of Jesus, {Read Acts 12:5-25} Herod the King stretched forth his hands (that Isaiah , his magisterial power) to vex certain of the church, and killed James the brother of John with the sword; -and he proceed further, and took Peter also, -and put him in prison, -but prayer was made (without ceasing) of the church unto God for him; and the angel of the Lord came, and delivered Peter out of prison. { Acts 12:7; Acts 12:11-12} And the Angel of the Lord smote Herod, and he gave up the Ghost. God made his word in the mouth of his prophets as fire { Jeremiah 5:14} etc. The faithful ministers of Christ, and churches of saints, have spiritual weapons; and especially the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God. { Ephesians 6:11-17; 2 Corinthians 10:4-6} For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God.

These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy.

The ministerial and prophetical power of Christ's two witnesses, is here declared to be over waters (as well as fire) both the waters that are above the firmament of heaven, to shut heaven that it rain not; and this is the power of prayer also that Elijah had. { 1 Kings 17:1; James 5:17} Elias was a man subject to like (infirmities or) passions as we are; and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain, and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. Thus he shut heaven in the days of his prophecy; and thus Christ's two prophetical witnesses have power to shut heaven in the days of their prophecy. And they have power over the waters (under the firmament) to turn them into blood, as Moses did, { Exodus 7:19-21} and to smite the earth with all plagues, especially spiritual judgements { Isaiah 6:9-10; Matthew 13:13-15} and temporal also { Jeremiah 25:13} which God executeth according to the word of the Lord, which cometh forth out of their mouths.


Verse 7

Revelation 11:7

Revelation 11:7 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.

In this verse and the following verses to the end of the14th verse of { Revelation 11:8-14} this chapter, Christ revealed to his servant, John , 1. That his two prophetical witnesses shall be killed2. That their dead bodies shall lie unburied in the open street of the great city, three days and an half3. That their adversaries shall rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts one to another4. That after three days and an half, the two slain witnesses shall live again; and shall ascend up to heaven5. That at the same time of the witnesses ascension, the tenth part of the great city shall fall, and seven thousand names of men shall be slain6. That the remnant will be affrighted, and give glory to God7. That then the second woe will be past; and the third woe will come quickly. { Revelation 11:14} But of these seven particulars in order.

First, touching the killing of Christ's two prophetical witnesses { Revelation 11:7} we are to observe these particulars, viz1. The time when the witnesses shall be killed;

when they shall have finished their testimony.

2. Who shall kill them;

the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit.

and3. The means by which he shall kill the witnesses;

he shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.

In the exposition of this verse, and of those things, we are to observe, 1. What is the finishing testimony of the witnesses of Jesus Christ? 2. Who is the Beast that shall kill them? and3. What this war is whereby the witnesses shall be overcome and killed?

The finishing testimony of Christ's two prophetical witnesses is the gospel of the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ; which must be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all nations { Matthew 24:14} and then shall the end be. Therefore, that is their finishing testimony. Let it be considered, That the prophetical witnesses of Jesus Christ (namely his faithful ministers) during the thousand two hundred and threescore years of their testimony, have had a three fold testimony to bear for Christ against Antichrist, viz. First for the prophetical office of Christ against the Beast and the false Prophet; which testimony of the faithful ministers of Christ have in the days of their prophesying in sackcloth, born by their sound doctrine of free grace against the false doctrine of free-will, merit, and condignity; also by their sound doctrine of justification by faith in Christ, against the false doctrine of justification by our own works, or by our own righteousness: and by their sound doctrine of evangelical repentance, against the false doctrine of Popish penance and purgatory. etc. Then for the priestly office of Christ against Antichrist, mystical Babylon, the Beast, the great Whore, and the false Prophet, which testimony the faithful ministers of Christ have born likewise in the days of their prophesying in sackcloth, touching the true and pure worship of God in the administration of his holy ordinances: against the superstitious and false worship of the Beast, the Church of Rome, her priests and Jesuits in their idolatrous worship of God by images, crucifixes, Ave Maria's, masses, etc. especially of their breaden-God, by their superstitions and blasphemous inventions of transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the very true and real body and blood of Christ, by virtue of the priest's consecration. Lastly, for the kingly office of Christ as King of Saints { Revelation 15:3} King of Zion { Psalm 149:1-2} and King of Nations { Jeremiah 10:7-10} King of kings, and Lord of lords { 1 Timothy 6:14-15} whose kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom { Daniel 7:27} and he shall reign for ever and ever. { Revelation 11:15} Now the faithful ministers of Christ have born their testimony for Christ, that he is King of Saints, and King of Zion in these thousand two hundred and threescore prophetical days, of their sackcloth-condition, their finishing testimony, viz. that the Lord Jesus Christ is King of Nations, King of kings, and all the kingdoms of this world shall be the Kingdom of Christ. { Daniel 2:44; Daniel 7:13-14; Revelation 11:15} And he shall be the only potentate. { 1 Timothy 6:15} This finishing testimony of the kingdom of Christ, is properly called the testimony of Jesus { Revelation 19:6-10} which is the Spirit of Prophecy. Many of Christ's witnesses have been slain for the word of God, which they preached, and for the testimony which they held. { Revelation 6:9-11; Revelation 12:17} But those witnesses of Christ, who bear their testimony for the Davidical kingdom of Christ (to wit, that all the kingdoms of this world, shall become the kingdom of Christ) were to be slain; of which kingdom we shall treat more fully in the exposition of the15th verse of this chapter. See KNOLLYS: Revelation 11:15

The Beast that shall kill the witnesses of Christ, is here said to ascend

out of the bottomless pit,

XXX etc. ( Revelation 9:1-2; Revelation 20:1; Revelation 20:3. and so Revelation 17:8). That is out of the sea { Revelation 13:1} called the Deep ( Luke 8:31; Romans 10:7 mentioned, Revelation 9:1-11; Revelation 20:1-3; and Revelation 13:1). I saw the Beast rise out of the sea, with ten crowned Horns, etc. The mystery of this beast Christ showed to St. John { Revelation 17:3-11} where he is described, first, by his three-fold state. { Revelation 17:8} Behold the Beast that was, and is not, and yet is. Secondly, by his two-fold number. { Revelation 17:8} Even he is the eighth, and is of the seven heads. Thirdly, by his rise { Revelation 13:1} his continuance { Revelation 13:5} and his ruin { Revelation 11:8; Revelation 17:15} and shall go into Perdition: And goeth into Perdition { Revelation 18:21} and shall be found no more at all. To which description of the beast, we shall (according to that measure of wisdom and understanding which God shall give) speak more largely in our exposition of the17th chapter. See KNOLLYS: Revelation 17:1[ff] In the mean time, those that will read my Apocalyptical Mysteries, published Anno Dom1669 , and my Treatise of Mystical Babylon unveiled, Anno Dom1679 , may understand more fully my opinion, who this beast is; and that I may not leave the reader altogether unsatisfied in this matter, I shall at present assert, that this beast (with respect of his whole complex body) is mystical Babylon; viz. the Beast of the Eighth Head { Revelation 17:8-11} with two horns like a Lamb { Revelation 13:11} that angel of the bottomless pit, whose name is Abaddon and Apollyon { Revelation 9:11} to wit, the Pope of Rome, that star which fell from heaven unto the earth. { Revelation 9:1-3} The great Scarlet Whore, and Mother of Harlots, etc. { Revelation 17:1-5} to wit, the Church of Rome, and all false churches, and the false Prophet { Revelation 16:13; Revelation 19:20} to wit, the Roman Priests, those deceivers, and all false ministers, called the Ministers of Satan. { 2 Corinthians 11:13-15}

The war which the beast shall make against Christ's prophetical witnesses, whereby he shall overcome them and kill them, is an open, visible, and public opposition, which the enemies of Christ, His churches, ministers, and saints do make against them, either by open hostility, as the Popes, and Emperors Forces did against the Protestants in Germany; or else by public edicts and laws, as the Papists did against the Protestants in England in Queen Mary's days, by a violent and bloody persecution, which hath ever been the practice of the Popes and Papists; Pope Alexander the III about the year, 1159 , and the Popish powers persecuted the Waldenses, with a great and bloody persecution. Afterwards, about1464 , the Waldenses, the Wicklevists, the Hussites, and their followers, were violently persecuted, even to death, under the name of Lollards.

And shall overcome them, and kill them.

Some ministers and some members of churches will be overcome by fear, others by flatteries; the mouths of some will be stopped by preferment; others will be silenced by threatening, by excommunication, and by persecution; and so far overcome, as they will cease for a time to bear their testimony against the beast, so publicly and vigorously, as they did before. But that will not appease the rage and great wrath of the beast; for he will proceed further, and will kill them that still go on boldly and constantly to bear their testimony publicly against him, his worship, and his kingdom. { Revelation 13:15-17} The killing of the two witnesses, doth not signify a corporal death only, nor principally; for such a death doth not fully agree to their lying unburied in the streets of the city, nor to their resurrection { Revelation 11:10-11} but it is rather a metaphorical expression, by which Jesus Christ meant and intended, both a civil and ecclesiastical death, or deprivation of livelihood, and deprivation of life: Some of them shall be deprived of all their civil rights, privileges, and liberties; their estates will be confiscated, proscribed, or decimated, etc, their persons confined, imprisoned or banished, etc, and in fine, all their livings and livelihood taken from them by the beast, and his instruments of cruelty. And others of them shall be deprived of all their ecclesiastical rights, privileges, and liberties: Yea, their love to Christ will decay, their zeal for the glory of God will cool, and their spiritual vigour against Antichrist, and his false doctrines, superstitious worship, and tyrannical government, will faint, and be ready to die. The darkness and blackness of the day of the death of the two witnesses will be very great, for they will be deprived of that spirit of life, which they formerly had, and manifested for Christ against the Man of Sin, and Son of Perdition that fits in the temple of God. Some of the witnesses (not all of them) will fall from their first love, lose their former zeal and become Luke -warm; some of them will fall in with the grand apostasy of these latter days; and thereby be deprived of that vigour and spirit of life which they had. And this spiritual kind of death, is called here the killing of the witnesses; for as their resurrection shall be by the spirit of life from God entering into them { Revelation 11:11} so their death will be by being deprived of the spirit of life, by resisting, quenching, and grieving the Holy Spirit.


Verse 8

Revelation 11:8

Revelation 11:8 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.

In this verse, Jesus Christ showed his servant John where these two prophetical witnesses shall be killed; viz.

in the street of the great City, which great city is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

This great city is Mystery, Babylon the great. { Revelation 17:5} That City which then reigned over the kings of the earth. { Revelation 17:18} The Roman papal dominion, to wit, the whole anti-Christian kingdom of the beast, the great Whore, and the false Prophet, called the Man of Sin, and the Antichrist, etc. The street of the great city, is the place where the dead bodies of the two slain witnesses lie unburied for a time; which place being spoken of by way of eminency, must be understood either in relation unto the two witnesses, or in relation unto the beast that shall kill them, or in relation unto both. Now take either of these, or both, and it doth not, and it cannot signify the whole kingdom of mystical Babylon, because that is the city, as before proved, not the street which is after (v13) called the tenth part of the great city; nor are all the witnesses of Christ

in the street of the great city

killed, but, very many of them; for there were some of them alive, who called to these dead witnesses, when the spirit of life from God, was again entered into them, saying, Come up hither, etc. { Revelation 11:12}

Therefore, by

the street of the great city

we are to understand some part of it, and not the whole city; that Isaiah , some very eminent and famous kingdom, where these two witnesses have most eminently born their testimony for Christ against the beast, the great Whore, the Church of Rome, and the false Prophet; the Pope, the Papal Prelacy, and the Popish Clergy; which is (in my opinion) this Kingdom of England. For the highest, and most eminent testimony for Christ, His Kingdom, His Worship, and His Government, and against the kingdom, worship, and government of Antichrist hath been, yet Isaiah , and will be born by Christ's faithful ministers, and his churches of saints (that are his two witnesses) here in England, especially in London. And the description of this street and city of England and London, if it could be delineated, and drawn to the life, or lively portrayed (as the prophet was commanded by the Lord, { Ezekiel 4:1} to portray Jerusalem upon a tile), London would seem to be so like that city where our Lord was crucified; and England so like the land of Egypt; yea, and both this nation, and this city, would so resemble Sodom, that every one, who shall view and consider the type and antitype, will doubtless be of my opinion, and say, certainly London is spiritually Jerusalem,

where our Lord was crucified,

and where his two prophets must be killed. And is not England as like Egypt for oppression, exaction, and other cruelties against the Israel of God? And (which I cannot without abhorrence write), how like Sodom and Gomorrha these two near adjoining cities are for pride, and fullness of bread; yea, for whoredom, adultery, blood-shedding, sodomy, and other abominations; for which hainous wickednesses, God did burn Sodom and Gomorrha, and set them forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire { Jude 1:7} And God did overthrow some of the cities of Israel, as he had overthrown Sodom and Gomorrha { Amos 4:11} Yea, and God will destroy these cities also for their Sins, if the rulers and inhabitants thereof will not repent and return to the Lord { Isaiah 1:10-20} Hear the Word of the Lord, ye Rulers of Sodom: Give ear unto the Law of our God, ye people of Gomorrha; - But if ye refuse, and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the Sword; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. And the Laodicean Churches shall know, that God commandeth his destroying messengers to begin at His sanctuary { Ezekiel 9:5-7} and that judgment must begin at the house of God. { 1 Peter 4:17-19}


Verse 9

Revelation 11:9

Revelation 11:9-10 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 graves10 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.

The two witnesses being killed, some pity them, others

rejoice over them,

and most of the people will

not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.

The beast having killed the witnesses, would have them buried, that their names and their testimony might not be remembered: But they of the peoples, etc, would not suffer their names to perish, nor their testimony to be forgotten; they would not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. Which some expositors understand to be an act of pity and good will, and favour towards the two witnesses, and their testimony. Other expositors interpret their not suffering of the dead bodies of Christ's witnesses to be put in graves, to be an act of enmity and cruelty in those of the peoples, etc, that rejoiced over them after they were killed, who would not let them have a Christian burial.

And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, etc.

As the killing of these two witnesses, is the last act of the papal power of the beast; so the rejoicing over their dead bodies is the last act of the Whore's joy; and both these acts are the last sufferings of the ministers of Christ, and churches of saints. For we never read of the beasts power, the whores joy, nor the saints sufferings, after these their1260 days, or forty two months be fulfilled. And these three days and an half, are the ending time, and full period of the witnesses1260 days, and of the beasts forty-two months. And Christ hath sworn { Revelation 10:6-7} that there should be time no longer; but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, etc, which is the very next dispensation after this sixth trumpet. { Revelation 11:14-15} And the seventh angel sounded, etc, the reason why the inhabitants of the earth, that is earthly minded professors (who mind earthly things) { Philippians 3:19} do rejoice at the killing of Christ's two witnesses, and are so merry, when they see their dead bodies lying in the street of the great City, Isaiah , because these two Prophets tormented them that dwell on the earth { Revelation 11:10} which happened, first, by the power of their testimony upon some of their consciences, which cut them to the heart, as St. Stephen's testimony did theirs. { Acts 7:51-54} Secondly, by the guilt of the blood of the martyrs and witnesses of Jesus, which wounded their spirits, whereby they were filled with indignation against them, as the scribes and pharisees were, saying { Acts 15:17-33} Ye intend to bring this mans blood upon us, etc. And thirdly, by bearing their witness against their murders, as Elias did, when he said to Ahab { 1 Kings 21:19-20} Hast thou killed, and also taken possession? and against their whoredoms and adulteries, as John the Baptist witnessed against Herod and Herodias {Mark 6:17-24} and against all other their wicked Abominations.


Verse 11

Revelation 11:11

Revelation 11:11 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.

Mystical Babylon, the Mother of Harlots, and her daughters are now rejoicing and making merry, in hope that the slain witnesses shall never rise again; but their joyful days will not long continue, for after three days and an half (which is but a very short time) the witnesses are revived and raised again; and that dispensation will suddenly change their joys into fears.

This mystical resurrection of Christ's two prophetical witnesses, is in this verse described by three particulars; that Isaiah , first, by the time of their reviving and living again;

after three days and an half.

Secondly, by the means and manner thereof;

the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet.

Thirdly, by the present effect thereof;

and great fear fell upon them which saw them.

First, touching the time of their reviving. {Read Hosea 6:1-3} By the

three days and an half,

we are to understand the last three days and an half of the late1260. Prophetical days, before expressed and expounded, even the ending time thereof. The knowledge of this ending time Isaiah , that which many godly and learned men have studiously searched, and laboured to understand, whose labours being published, have been profitable to the Lord's people, and unto me, that have read their judgments, and have received much light and comfort in many things; but not being fully satisfied in their interpretations and expositions touching these two witnesses and the time of their being killed, and raised again, I am willing to give my opinion also, and the grounds thereof.

The1260 days { Revelation 11:3} being according to the nature of this prophecy of the Revelation , and the prophetical number of such days { Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 4:5-6} (as hath been proved) each day for a year; that Isaiah 1260 years: And these three days and an half being the ending time of the two witnesses prophesying in sackcloth, and the last of the1260. Prophetical days; it doth hereupon necessarily follow, and hence I conclude, first, that the ending time of the1260 days (viz. these three days and an half) are not yet come; and the two witnesses are not yet slain; for their testimony for Christ against Antichrist, is not yet finished { Matthew 24:14} nor is the tyrannical power of the beast (which was to continue forty two months { Revelation 13:5; Revelation 11:2} yet ended and expired). For the Holy City is yet trodden under foot by the papal gentiles Revelation 11:2 and the woman (that Isaiah , -the Church of God), is yet in the wilderness. { Revelation 12:6-14} The tyrannical power of the papal beast, according to the account of the best ecclesiastic historians, began about the year of our Lord428 in the reign of the Emperor Theodosius the Second, when Pope Sixtus the III, a Roman, who at the instance of the Empress Eudoxias, made a holy day for St. Peter's Church. And if the historians say true, we may conjecture, that the ending time of the beast's forty two months, and of the witnesses' 1260 days, will be about1688 for1260,428 make1688 or soon after. Secondly, though the1260 days be almost expired, the testimony of the two witnesses almost finished, and the beasts tyrannical power almost come to its end, yet the full period thereof will not be certainly known to the churches and saints of God, until these two witnesses be killed by the beast. Read Daniel 12:4-9 and Habakkuk 2:3. At the end it shall speak, and not lie. And none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand. { Daniel 12:10} Thirdly, when these three days and an half are come (which are the last three years and an half of the1260 years), the churches and saints of God shall certainly know them to be the last days, by those most remarkable proceedings and concomitant signs thereof, which are noted in the holy Scripture of Truth, viz.

First, then will be such as hath not been heretofore to the Jews Daniel 12:1-10 to the gentiles, Matthew 24:21-30; Luke 21:25-27 and to the Church of God. 2 Timothy 3:1; 1 Peter 4:17

Secondly, then will the Gospel of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ be preached, for a witness unto all nations, which is the finishing testimony of the two witnesses, for which they shall be slain. Search those scriptures, Jeremiah 10:7-10; Daniel 7:13-28; Zechariah 14:7-9; Matthew 24:14; and Revelation 11:15.

Thirdly, then will happen a very great formality, Luke -warmness, and worldliness, etc, among church members { 2 Timothy 3:1-17; 2 Timothy 1:1-5} holding up the form of Godliness, but denying the power thereof; kai toutouv apotrepou-Et hos devita, vel au his aversare etc, from such turn away. And the last and greatest apostasy among gospel professors. { 2 Thessalonians 2:3} In so much that our Saviour said, when the Son of Man cometh, shall he find faith on the Earth? ( Luke 18:8 and 1 Timothy 4:1). For which formality, and apostasy, God will shortly and suddenly bring forth such a dispensation of his divine providence, whereby those Laodicean Churches shall be broken in pieces, scattered and dispersed; and then will the two witnesses be killed, by whose mystical resurrection will happen a very glorious reformation { Isaiah 60:1-22} even the times of the restitution of all things { Acts 3:19-21} viz. churches, ministry, worship, and ordinances, etc. Secondly, touching the means and manner of their reviving. The means of the mystical resurrection, and spiritual reviving of the two witnesses of Christ, is here expressed to be the spirit of life from God, which entered into them. { Revelation 11:11} The manner is also here declared.

and they stood upon their feet.

That Isaiah , they were raised, revived, and strengthened, emboldened, and encouraged by the spirit of life from God, which was poured upon them, and entered into them, to bear the same testimony of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, against the kingdom of Antichrist, as formerly; and they were by the divine power and assistance of that spirit of life, enabled to stand boldly and publicly to that testimony of Christ's Kingdom and Dominion; and this bears some analogy unto that dispensation prophesied of { Ezekiel 37:5-14} O my people I will put my spirit in you, and you shall live. The Lord knows that His servants, His ministers, His churches, and His witnesses, are not able to say, do, or suffer much for Christ, without his Holy Spirit help and empower them, influence and assist them. And therefore, when God hath any eminent work to do, or any excellent witness to bear for Christ, His Truth, Worship, or Kingdom; He doth not only raise up His instruments to do that work, and call up his witnesses to bear their testimony, but He doth spirit them thereunto, as he did in former days. The spirit of God came upon Othniel { Judges 3:9-10} upon Gideon { Judges 6:34} upon Jephthah { Judges 11:29} upon Sampson { Judges 14:19; Judges 15:14} upon David { 1 Samuel 16:13} so it shall do upon the servants and witnesses of Christ in that day, when he shall call and raise them up to this work and testimony; and he that is feeble among them, at that day, shall be as David, etc. { Zechariah 12:8} Thirdly, touching the present effect;

and great fear fell upon them which saw them.

They that saw these two witnesses of Christ arise from their death, were them that dwell upon earth { Revelation 11:10} who rejoiced over the dead bodies of the slain witnesses. And now they are sorely amazed, and greatly afraid to see them stand upon their feet. and great fear fell upon them. This fear is not that holy and filial fear of God, which the Lord puts into the hearts of his new covenant people { Jeremiah 32:40} but it is that terror and dread, wherewith God smites the spirit and conscience of the adversaries of his people, whereby they are cut to the heart, as they were. { Acts 7:54}


Verse 12

Revelation 11:12

Revelation 11:12 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.

The two prophetical witnesses being now raised and spirited for the work of the Lord, are called up into an high place and condition; which calling Isaiah , 1. By

a great voice from Heaven,

which they heard2. By that which the voice said unto them,

Come up hither

3. By their ready and willing obedience unto that heavenly call;

And they ascended up in a cloud

4. By their spectators;

and their Enemies beheld them.

This

voice from Heaven

is the voice of the Lord, who spake from Heaven, to his servants the prophets, in divers manners { Hebrews 1:1} and he spake to his apostles in visions { Acts 18:9} The Lord spake to his people of old by the voice of his prophets { Acts 3:21} and here the Lord speaks to his raised witnesses, by the voice of the remnant of the woman's seed { Revelation 12:17} which kept the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ, all the time that these two witnesses were slain, and lay dead, and dispirited: who being gathered and congregated together, and having among them at this time an eminent spirit of prophecy (which is the testimony of Jesus) { Revelation 19:10} do call those raised witnesses, into whom the spirit of life from God was entered; saying unto them,

Come up hither.

Come and join with us in the Church of God; come and worship God with us; come and help us to carry on the work of the Lord in his churches of saints, according to his Holy Word.

When the witnesses of Christ are killed and dispirited, and lie slain under deadness of spirit, there will be even then a remnant of the woman's seed, which will keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus.

And they ascended up into Heaven in a cloud.

By Heaven in this verse, we may understand the holy, spiritual, and glorious state of the Church of God here on earth in the latter days, prophesied of { Isaiah 28:5; Isaiah 60:1-21; Isaiah 62:3-4; Isaiah 65:1-12} which shall be in the time of Christ's Kingdom on earth, when the Church of God shall be again like a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars { Revelation 12:1} even when the new Jerusalem shall come down from God, out of Heaven, prepared as a bride, adorned for her husband. { Revelation 21:1-3}

This cloud is a cloud of testimony; and therefore were those former believers (and martyrs of Jesus) { Hebrews 11:1-40} called a cloud of witnesses. { Hebrews 12:1} This cloud may also bear some allusion to Christ's transfiguration { Matthew 17:2-3} or rather to his ascension. { Acts 1:9-11} For the spirit of life from God entering into them, did not only transform them more and more into the image of Christ, but did also raise them into an higher and more heavenly frame of spirit, than they had attained unto before they were killed; in which respect they are said to stand upon their feet, as is prophesied the people of the Jews shall, at the time of their mystical resurrection Ezekiel 37:3-14 compared with Romans 11:15; Isaiah 60:2-11.

And their enemies beheld them.

The witnesses enemies are the Roman anti-Christian monarchy; the beast that killed them, mystical-Babylon; the great Whore and her daughters, those harlots, which are false churches; and the false prophet, those priests, Jesuits, false teachers, seducers, and all those adversaries, that rejoiced at the death of the witnesses, and made merry, and sent gifts one to another. { Revelation 11:10} Those enemies shall behold with amazement, fear, and horror, these two prophetical witnesses, when they shall ascend up to Heaven; that Isaiah , when they shall be honoured, exalted, and dignified in the glorious state of the Church of God on earth.


Verse 13

Revelation 11:13

Revelation 11:13 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.

This verse contains the concomitant effects of the witnesses' ascension.

And the same hour (that Isaiah , at the same time) there was a great earthquake,

viz. great commotions, overturnings, and terrible shakings of nations, in the kingdom of the beast. { Matthew 24:6-7; Revelation 11:19; Revelation 16:18}

And the tenth part of the city fell

This city is that city { Revelation 11:8; Revelation 16:19} mystical Babylon; that great city which reigneth over the kings of the earth. { Revelation 17:18} And the tenth part of that great city is one of the ten kingdoms, whose kings have formerly given their power, and strength, and kingdom unto the beast, { Revelation 17:13-17} till the words of God shall be fulfilled: which (most probably) is the Kingdom of England; which will then certainly fall; that Isaiah , either fall off totally and finally from mystical Babylon, the Pope and Church of Rome; or else fall, that is to say, it will be utterly ruined and destroyed for adhering to, partaking with and subjecting under the anti-Christian yoke, power, and dominion of the beast and whore of Rome. For when the Lord shall glorify the house of his glory { Isaiah 60:7} then that nation and kingdom that will not serve him shall perish, and be utterly wasted. { Isaiah 60:12} But my opinion Isaiah , that England, Scotland, and Ireland will then fall off totally and finally from the Pope, and Church of Rome; And that the King will join with those other kings of the earth, that then shall hate the whore (mystical Babylon) and make her desolate, and naked; and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire { Revelation 17:16} as God hath revealed and declared they shall do.

This verse contains the concomitant effects of the witnesses' ascension.

And the same hour (that Isaiah , at the same time) there was a great earthquake,

viz. great commotions, overturnings, and terrible shakings of nations, in the kingdom of the beast. { Matthew 24:6-7; Revelation 11:19; Revelation 16:18}

And the tenth part of the city fell

This city is that city { Revelation 11:8; Revelation 16:19} mystical Babylon; that great city which reigneth over the kings of the earth. { Revelation 17:18} And the tenth part of that great city is one of the ten kingdoms, whose kings have formerly given their power, and strength, and kingdom unto the beast, { Revelation 17:13-17} till the words of God shall be fulfilled: which (most probably) is the Kingdom of England; which will then certainly fall; that Isaiah , either fall off totally and finally from mystical Babylon, the Pope and Church of Rome; or else fall, that is to say, it will be utterly ruined and destroyed for adhering to, partaking with and subjecting under the anti-Christian yoke, power, and dominion of the beast and whore of Rome. For when the Lord shall glorify the house of his glory { Isaiah 60:7} then that nation and kingdom that will not serve him shall perish, and be utterly wasted. { Isaiah 60:12} But my opinion Isaiah , that England, Scotland, and Ireland will then fall off totally and finally from the Pope, and Church of Rome; And that the King will join with those other kings of the earth, that then shall hate the whore (mystical Babylon) and make her desolate, and naked; and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire { Revelation 17:16} as God hath revealed and declared they shall do.

And in the earthquake were slain seven thousand names of men:

onomata anyrwpwn that Isaiah , a great number of Roman grandees, renowned papists, cardinals, prelates and romish clergy men, popish bishops, priests, etc.

And the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.

The remnant, that Isaiah , the rest of the men of name, which were not killed in this earthquake, were affrighted; that Isaiah , amazed, and converted from popery, to the glory of God.


Verse 14

Revelation 11:14

Revelation 11:14 The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.

When this

second woe (which was to happen to the inhabiters of the earth) { Revelation 8:13} is past

then we are to come to the period of the second principal vision, to with, of the seven trumpets, whereof six have been sounded by their respective angels; and the seventh angel is ready to sound: whereupon quickly followeth the third woe.

Behold the third woe cometh, tacu, quickly. That Isaiah , without any delay { Matthew 5:25} without any intermission of time { Matthew 28:7} even as soon as the second woe is past, behold the third woe cometh speedily, suddenly and quickly. This third woe trumpet must be sounded by the seventh angel. The fifth angel sounded, and one woe passed. { Revelation 9:1-12} The sixth angel sounded, and the second woe passed. { Revelation 9:13; Revelation 11:14} And when the seventh angel begins to sound there shall be time no longer (as Christ hath sworn) { Revelation 10:5-7} unto the Roman anti-Christian beast, for then the forty two months of his reigning power { Revelation 13:1-5} will be expired; then the thousand two hundred and three score prophetical days of Christ sackcloth witnesses { Revelation 11:3} will be fully ended, and then the kingdoms of this world will successfully, one after another, become the Kingdom of Christ, as here followeth in Revelation 11:15; and then this third woe follows immediately, which containeth the third principal vision, to wit, the seven vials of the wrath of God, which are the seven last plagues, that are to be poured forth upon the Roman anti-Christian kingdom, mystical Babylon, the beast, the whore, and the false prophet. { Revelation 14:8-11; Revelation 15:1-7; Revelation 16:1-10; Revelation 18:2; Revelation 18:8; Revelation 18:21}

Now, although I have a very honourable esteem for those godly and learned expositors of this Book of the Revelation , who have declared their judgments, and some reasons thereof; viz. that several of those seven vials have been poured out upon mystical Babylon, and upon the kingdom of the beast; yet, notwithstanding all that they have said, I do humbly confess, that I am not of their minds, but do rather think, that none of those seven vials are yet poured out. And the scripture grounds, which I humbly submit to the judgment of the judicious reader, for my opinion in this matter, are, first, because the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in Heaven, is not yet opened; out of which temple the seven angels must come, who are to pour out those seven vials of the wrath of God. { Revelation 15:5-7} The opening of the temple, is the restoring the Church of God on earth unto its apostolical constitutions, and primitive purity of worship, and spiritual gifts, and unto Christ's ecclesiastical government, which is not yet done.

Secondly, because the second woe is not yet past; and therefore the third woe (which is the seven vials of the wrath of God, as hath been fully proved) is not yet come. { Revelation 11:14} That the second woe is not yet past, is evident; for Christ's prophetical witnesses are not ascended, nor the seven thousand men of name are not yet slain by the earthquake.

Thirdly, because the seventh angel hath not yet begun to sound. { Revelation 11:15} For then, and not till then, those vials of Gods wrath and last plagues are to be poured forth one after another, as is revealed in the whole16th chapter of this prophecy. As the seventh seal ushered in the seven trumpets { Revelation 8:1-6} so the seventh angel sounding, ushers in the seven vials, and brings in the dispensation of the Kingdom of Christ (which is not yet come) and the opening of the Temple of God in Heaven (which is not yet done). { Revelation 11:15-19} And out of the temple shall come the seven angels, having those seven last plagues. { Revelation 15:5-7} And after all these things (then, and not till then) the seven angels are commanded by a great voice from heaven, saying to them, go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth. { Revelation 16:1-2}

Fourth, because these last plagues come upon mystical Babylon in one day, death, and mourning and famine; and she shall be utterly burnt with fire: For strong is the Lord that judgeth her. (Compare Revelation 17:1-16 with Revelation 18:2; Revelation 18:5; Revelation 18:8; Revelation 18:21). And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all; kai ou mh eureyh eti and shall not be found thenceforth, after that, at all. A great millstone cast into the sea, doth not, cannot sometimes sink and sometimes swim; but always sinks even to the bottom, and never swims, no, never riseth again at all: Song of Solomon , whensoever mystical Babylon is once cast down and fallen, by the pouring out those vials of Gods last plagues upon her, she shall never, no never rise more, but be made utterly desolate for evermore. { Revelation 18:8; Revelation 18:10; Revelation 18:21}


Verse 15

Revelation 11:15

Romans 11:15 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.

In this verse, and the verses following, to the end of this chapter, are contained, first, a publication of glad tidings, by a great voice from heaven upon the seventh angel's beginning to sound,

Saying, the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.

Secondly, a doxology and thanksgiving unto Christ by the twenty four elders, for taking unto him his great power, and setting up his kingly government. { Revelation 11:16-17} Thirdly, the effects of God's setting up Christ's Kingdom on earth. { Revelation 11:18} And the nations were angry. The heathen rage; the kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord, and against his Christ { Psalm 2:1-3} etc. XXXX LXX XXXX Amplified, first, by the wrath of Christ, against his and his people enemies, unto their destruction { Revelation 11:18} and thy wrath is come. Secondly, the time of the dead, that they should be judged, all the saints rewarded, and the wicked destroyed. { Revelation 11:18} Thirdly, and the temple of God opened. { Revelation 11:19} And the ark of his covenant seen in his temple: whence proceedeth a dreadful and terrible tempest of lightnings, thunders and voices. { Revelation 11:19}

And the seventh angel sounded.

This seventh angel is the angel that is to sound the third woe trumpet { Revelation 8:13} which third woe will come quickly after the second woe is past; to wit, the seven vials full of the seven last plagues. { Revelation 21:9} For in them is filled up the wrath of God { Revelation 15:1} to be poured out without mixture (of any mercy) into the cup of his indignation; which wine of the wrath of God, mystical Babylon, and every one that (then) shall worship the beast, and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, shall drink, and shall be tormented forever and ever. { Revelation 14:8-11; Revelation 16:10-19; Revelation 18:2; Revelation 18:8; Revelation 18:21}

As it was dangerous to worship the beast or his image when HE was rising; so it will be damnable to worship him or his image, when HE is falling. { Revelation 18:2-19; Revelation 19:19-21; Revelation 14:8-11}

And there were great voices in heaven, saying

This public declaration of the glad tidings, our Lord Jesus Christ revealed to his servant John , by way of anticipation for the comfort of his churches, ministers, and saints. { Revelation 17:1; Revelation 21:9} By voices from heaven is meant his ministering spirits sent forth by Christ to minister for them, who shall be heirs of salvation { Hebrews 1:14} so that the doctrine of Christ's Kingdom hath heaven's authority for it, touching which, here are two principal things asserted by these voices from heaven; viz. two heavenly truths. First, that the kingdoms of this world are become the Kingdom of Christ. Secondly, that HE shall reign forever and ever.

The kingdoms of this world are become the Kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ.

Are, that Isaiah , shall be, when the seventh angel soundeth; as { Revelation 14:8; Revelation 18:2} Babylon is fallen, that Isaiah , shall fall when God judgeth her. { Revelation 18:8} By the kingdom of this world we may understand, first, the Kingdom of David {Luke 1:30-33} to wit, Judah, and Israel. { Micah 4:8} And thou O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the Daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, EVEN THE FIRST DOMINION. The Kingdom shall come to the daughters of Jerusalem { Micah 4:7} and the Lord shall reign over them in Mount Zion, from henceforth even forever. Read Zechariah 12:7. Secondly, the kingdoms of the Roman Caesars, which the fourth monarchy { Daniel 2:40-44} And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed, etc, that Isaiah , the fifth monarchy; viz. the Kingdom of Christ. Lastly, all the kingdoms on the earth { Daniel 7:13-14} And there was given unto him dominion and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations and languages, should serve him: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his Kingdom, that which shall not be destroyed { Zechariah 14:9} And the Lord shall be King over all the earth: In that day (viz. one day known to JEHOVAH) { Zechariah 14:7} shall there be one Lord, and his name one { Psalm 2:6-8} and. { Daniel 7:27} These prophecies have not yet been fulfilled, but they shall be fulfilled to a tittle. { Matthew 5:17-18}

The kingdoms of this world shall become the Kingdom of Christ.

First, by preaching the gospel of the kingdom in all the world, for a witness to all nations. { Matthew 24:14-30; Revelation 14:6-14} Secondly, by pouring out the spirit upon all flesh. { Joel 2:28-29} By which dispensation of grace, the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. { Habakkuk 2:14} And in his temple (when that is opened) { Revelation 15:5} shall every one speak of his Glory { Psalm 29:9-10} The Lord sitteth King forever. And then will the saints bless him. They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power, to make known to the sons of men-the glorious majesty of his Kingdom. { Psalm 145:1-13} Thirdly, by breaking the kingdoms of this world to pieces { Daniel 2:34-44} Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands. It shall break in pieces, and consume all these kingdoms, etc. And that after this manner; viz. first, God will make Jerusalem (that Isaiah , his church and people) a burdensome stone for all people; all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces. { Zechariah 12:3} Secondly, the beast and the kings of the earth, and their armies, will fall upon the chief cornerstone (which God hath laid in Zion) { 1 Peter 2:6} namely, Jesus Christ { Ephesians 2:20-21} And afterwards that stone will fall upon them, by whom they shall be broken in pieces, and grinded to powder. Read and compare those scriptures for proof hereof. { Matthew 21:42-44; Revelation 17:13-17; Revelation 19:19-21; Matthew 21:42-44} Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, the stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes. Therefore say I unto you, the kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. Thirdly, the Lord Jesus Christ will then put down all rule, and all authority, and power (that are enemies to his kingdom and kingly power) for he must reign till he have put all enemies under his feet ( 1 Corinthians 15:24-25 and Luke 19:27 and Isaiah 60:12). Therefore King David prophesying of those kings of the earth, and rulers, that take counsel together against the Lord, and his Christ { Psalm 2:2-3} doth thus exhort them { Psalm 2:10-12} Be wise now therefore, O ye Kings, be instructed, ye Judges of the earth:- Kiss the Song of Solomon , least HE be angry, and ye perish, etc.


Verse 16

Revelation 11:16

Revelation 11:16-17 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.

These two verses contain a doxology and thanksgiving to God (for the glad tidings of the Kingdom of Christ declared from heaven) by

the four and twenty elders which sat before God on their seats;

They worshipped God with thanksgiving, etc. { Revelation 11:16} By these four and twenty elders which alludeth to the four and twenty orders of the sons of Aaron, who were Governors of the House of God { 1 Chronicles 24:1-19} we are to understand the faithful ministers of Christ, who are also called elders { Acts 20:17-28; 1 Timothy 5:17} and have the rule and government over the members of the church. { Hebrews 13:7-17} In their thanksgiving, we have, first, the object of praises,

O Lord, the God, the Almighty, kurie o yeov o pantokratwr which art, and wast, and art to come.

Secondly, the matter of their thanksgiving; that for which they give thanks to God:

because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.

By the

Lord, the God, the Almighty,

here we are to understand the Lord JESUS CHRIST, for he is called JEHOVAH, our Righteousness. { Jeremiah 23:6} The true God { 1 John 5:20} which Isaiah , and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. { Revelation 1:5-8} This great power, is all power in heaven, and on earth. { Matthew 28:18} By Christ his taking this great power to himself, we are to understand the execution of Christ's Kingly power on earth; therefore it followeth,

And hast reigned.

Though the Lord Jesus Christ had this great power given him of his Father before { Matthew 28:18} yet he hath suffered other Lords to have dominion over his people. As God suffered the kings of the nations to have dominion over his people Israel of old. { Nehemiah 9:36-37} So the Lord Jesus Christ hath suffered the princes of the gentiles to exercise dominion over his saints. { Matthew 20:25} The saints at Rome { Romans 13:1-7} also the saints scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, and other gentile countries, were exhorted to submit themselves to their kingly government. { 1 Peter 2:13-17} For so is the will of God. { 1 Peter 2:15} But the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Prince of the Kings of the earth, { Revelation 1:5} will in his time shew himself to be the only Potentate. { 1 Timothy 6:13-15} by taking unto himself his great power, and reigning on earth and Christ will then put down all rule, and all authority, and power, that are his enemies { 1 Corinthians 15:4; 1 Corinthians 15:25} for HE must reign till he hath put all his enemies under his feet.


Verse 18

Revelation 11:18

Revelation 11:18 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.

The effect of Christ's execution of his kingly power and government, as King of Nations, whom they should fear { Jeremiah 10:7-10} is as here followeth,

The nations were angry.

Or as David prophetically expounds it. { Psalm 2:1-3} The heathen rage, the kings of the earth (who from the rise to the ruin of the beast, give their kingdom, their power and strength unto him) { Revelation 17:13-17} set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. This opposition of the kings, rulers and counsellors, will provoke the Lord to be angry against them, as here followeth.

And thy wrath is come.

So David prophesied { Psalm 2:5} Then shall HE speak to them in his wrath, and vex them in his hot displeasure. Such a dispensation was very terrible to the kings, and princes, and captains, and people of the Roman pagan empire { Revelation 6:15-17} And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free Prayer of Manasseh , hid themselves in the dens, and in the rocks of the mountains. And said to the mountains and rocks, fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of his wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand? And so will this day of Christ's great indignation be when his wrath shall come upon the kings, the rulers, the counsellors, the captains, and the people of the Roman papal empire, and anti-Christian kingdoms of this world { Revelation 17:15} And he saith unto me, the waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. And. { Revelation 16:11-21} The effect of Christ's wrath will be their utter destruction, as here followeth;

And to destroy them that destroy the earth, kai diafyeirai touv diafyeirontav thn ghn and the time of the dead that they should be judged.

This is another effect that will follow upon Christ's coming to set up his kingdom on earth, when He shall take unto himself his kingly power, and hath reigned, till God hath put all his enemies under his feet, then the time will come, when the dead shall be judged, and all the saints shall be rewarded by the Lord Jesus Christ.

The dead that are to be judged in contradistinction to the saints, that are to be rewarded, are all persons without Christ (when He comes to judgement;) whether they be then living in their sins (and yet dead in trespasses and sins) { Ephesians 2:1; Ephesians 2:5; Ephesians 2:11-12} or dead for their sins, dying without Christ. For Christ shall judge the quick and the dead, at his appearing, and his kingdom. { 2 Timothy 4:1}

And that thou shouldest give the reward, etc.

Revelation 22:12 And behold I come quickly, and my reward is with me; to give every man according to his work shall be. Read those scriptures, Romans 2:6-10; 1 Corinthians 3:8; Matthew 16:27.

Unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great.


Verse 19

Revelation 11:19

Revelation 11:19 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.

And the temple of God was opened in heaven.

This temple is not New Jerusalem, which is still above, the mother of us all { Galatians 4:26} And shall come down from God out of heaven. { Revelation 21:2} For in that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. { Revelation 21:9-11} St. John saw no temple therein; for the Lord, the God, the Almighty is the temple of it, even the Lamb. { Revelation 21:22} o yeov; pantokratwr, naov authv authv; kai to arnion But this temple is that which St. John was commanded to measure, verse1of this chapter, { Revelation 11:1} viz. the true, visible, constituted, organized churches of saints in the apostles days (whereof see more in our exposition on the first verse of this chapter) See KNOLLYS: Revelation 11:1 which are called the Temple of God { Ephesians 2:20-22; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; Revelation 7:5-15; Revelation 15:5} And after that I looked, and behold the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened;

And there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament

This ark bears some allusion unto that ark in the temple of God's tabernacle called the sanctuary. { Exodus 25:1-22} And in the temple of the house of the Lord, which Solomon built. { 2 Chronicles 5:1-10} There was nothing in the ark save the two tables which Moses put therein at Horeb, when the Lord made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of Egypt. Compare 2 Chronicles 5:13-14 with Revelation 15:5-8 wherein you have the full allusion.

By the ark of his testament we are to understand Christ, in whom is safely laid up the new covenant of grace; or the testament of the gospel; for all the promises of God in him are Yea, and in him, Amen. { 2 Corinthians 1:20}

And there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail

By these metaphorical expressions, are signified the ruins and destructions of all those nations, kingdoms, potentates, powers, kings, princes and people, that oppose the Church of God, and the Kingdom of Christ on earth in that day { Daniel 2:44} And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed. And the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces, and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever { Isaiah 60:7-12} For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee, shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted. { Psalm 18:13-14} The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the highest gave his voice, hailstones and coals of fire: Yea, he sent out his arrows and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomforted them; especially the righteous judgments and plagues of God upon mystical Babylon in that day of her desolation. Compare Revelation 16:18-21 with Revelation 18:2-21. Lastly, by the voices here we are to understand those alleluia's expressed { Revelation 19:1-9} and after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, alleluia; salvation, and glory, and honour, and power unto the Lord our God: For true and righteous are his judgments; for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. And again they said, alleluia. And her smoke rose up forever and ever-And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. All which things will be more fully manifested in our exposition of the sixteenth chapter of this Book of the Revelation. See KNOLLYS: Revelation 16:1[ff]

 


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Bibliography Information
Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 11:4". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-11.html.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, October 16th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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