Summary: Study on the chapter 11
“Revealing the Revelation”
January 12, 2010
1I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, "Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, and count the worshipers there. 2But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months. 3And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth." 4These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. 5If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die. 6These men have power to shut up the sky so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want.
7Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them. 8Their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. 9For three and a half days men from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial. 10The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and will celebrate by sending each other gifts, because these two prophets had tormented those who live on the earth.
11But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them. 12Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up here." And they went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies looked on.
13At that very hour there was a severe earthquake and a tenth of the city collapsed. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.
14The second woe has passed; the third woe is coming soon.
15The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever." 16And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17saying: "We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign. 18The nations were angry; and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great— and for destroying those who destroy the earth."
19Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a great hailstorm.”
In our last study, which was chapter 10, we saw a mighty angel come down from heaven and claim the earth. He had an open book in his hand, which we didn’t get to read, and John was given a little scroll to eat. It was sweet at first but then made his stomach hurt. Kind of like when we begin to read the Bible. We are thrilled to read about heaven and forgiveness and salvation and that we are loved – but when we learn about becoming a living sacrifice and dying daily and living a holy live – it may make us a little sick to our stomach to realize all that the Lord is asking of us. But John ate and was instructed that now he was to be a witness to many nations. And, as we come to this chapter, he was given a measuring stick.
Sometimes the visual images in the Book of Revelation blows me away. Remember the Mighty Angel who spoke and it sounded like the roar of a lion? Then the Seven Thunders responded from heaven with a tremendous roar. Now John is given a measuring device and told to measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. Measuring the temple and the altar seems simple enough – but how do you measure the worshippers?
The fact of the matter is that you are always being measured. You are always being weighed in the balance. People compare you to Jesus. That’s why we are called Christians. It means “like Christ”. We are to become more and more Christ-like. People notice. It’s not judging. It is discernment. It’s fruit inspecting. You can discern if a peach is ready to pick by how it feels, how it looks, even how it smells. People are measuring you, as well. Remember King Belshazzar? As they were drinking and having a party a hand appeared out of thin air and wrote on the wall. It said,