INTERPRETING REVELATION 11-12
Revelation Chapter 11
Revelation 11:1 And there was given me a reed like a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship in it. 2 But the court which is outside the temple leave out, and don't measure it ; for it is given to the Gentiles: and they shall trample on holy city forty two months. This has already been interpreted in the main article. It is a vision of a time period. Using pictures it shows what will happen during that time period in a very condensed fashion. The next nine verses (3-11) are the exact same time period. It is using completely different pictures, expounding just a little more.
3 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. 4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. A huge clue as to these two witnesses is the length of time of their prophecy. Symbolically 1260 days, literally 1260 years. In other words these are not two human beings. These come from Zechariah chapter 4. Part of the prophecy in this book is the same end time prophecy as Daniel and Revelation using different pictures. The Bible does not give an exact interpretation of these two witnesses or two anointed ones. One could be safe looking at them in many different ways. Ultimately though what ever way you might look at them, it will always lead back to Christ the Word and the Holy Spirit. In other words these could represent Gods people. The law and the prophets as revealed by the New Testament. The Apostles and the Prophets whom the church is built upon as in Ephesians 2:20. Basically the Truth and the Spirit of God as shown forth by his people carrying out the great commission. The reason they are clothed in sackcloth is because this time period is one of tribulation.
5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceeds out of their mouth, and devours their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. 6 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. These are the same judgments against the empire already recorded in Revelation 8-9.
7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. 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. 9 And they of the people and kindred's and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. 10 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. This like many other verses of prophecy like it is not an event. It is a picture describing that the saints be being persecuted and murdered from the very start of their ministry in Judea.
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. 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. 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 of course is a picture of the time when the empire falls in 1453 A.D. When the word goes forth and none can stop it from bearing its fruit in the earth.
Verse 11 was the end of the detour of the sounding of the trumpets. John heard six of seven trumpets when right before the 7th sounded and another angel came with 7 thunders. John was then shown the symbolic time period of Daniel's Chapter 7's little horn. That is, he was shown the extent of the Roman Empire time wise. The seven thunders are perhaps seven judgments that will end it rule. Verse 14 then goes back to the seventh trumpet and the final judgment on the city of Rome.
14 The second woe is past; behold, the third woe comes quickly. 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. 16 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 is, and was, and are to come; because you hast taken to yourself your great power, and have reigned. 18 And the nations were angry, and your wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that you should give reward to your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear your name, small and great; and should destroy them which destroy the earth. 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 lightning's, and voices, and thundering's, and an earthquake, and great hail.
This is a pronouncement of the many prophesies about the judgment of God against the city of Rome. That the sentence against it is finally and fully carried out. That Christ is taking his rod of iron and dealing with the nations. Breaking them like a clay pot for their crimes. The dead who are being judged are not the physically dead but those who are "dead" in sin. Those of the City of Rome who persecuted and destroyed the church. The vision of the temple and the ark is seen as a testimony of the faithfulness and Word of the Almighty to bring to pass what he promised. Their were the three "woes" interspersed within the seven judgments. The seventh judgment contains the third "woe." The city of Rome was conquered and sacked three times during this time period. 546 A.D. was the last time. There was also a worldwide natural disaster unlike anything ever seen outside the Noah's flood corresponding with all of this during the decade 535-546 A.D. This will be hyperlinked when these seven judgments are repeated once more in Revelation 16 as that one reveals a little more about it. That is the end of this vision. A new one starts afresh in chapter 12.
Revelation Chapter 12
Revelation 12 is a vision of the entire Roman Empire from the beginning until the end from a viewpoint of the unseen world.
Revelation 12: 1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: 2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. This would be the Israel of God. Not merely the physical descendants of Abraham, but specifically those among them that believe and serve God. They are referred to as the bride or wife of God in many a verse. The church in old testament times. It isn't so much a picture of that but a picture of the work of God bringing the messiah into the earth.
3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. 4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. This shows the true power that animates and motivates the Roman Empire. Which would be the demonic world.
5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and his throne. Jesus the Messiah 6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and sixty days. Here once more we have the church, the bride of Christ. Believers both of old and new testament times. Here though referring specifically to those during this time period.
7 And there was war in
heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon
fought and his angels, 8 And prevailed not; neither was their place
found any more in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old
serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he
was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 10
And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and
strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for
the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our
God day and night. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb,
and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives to
the death. This is a picture of the spiritual battle in the
unseen world that is the power of the Gospel.
The wording used represents a very condensed statement about a big
subject. Satan's power to rule the earth lies in his ability to control
the hearts of human beings. The Gospel is removing that power. His being "cast into the earth" represents this. This is
why the kingdom of God does not come visibly, but it comes inside of
|© 2011 Daniel Martinovich|