Revelation: The Two Witnesses

What kind of measuring rod could be used to measure the sanctuary and count the worshipers?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Revelation 11:1 I was given a measuring rod with instructions to measure God’s sanctuary and altar, and count the worshipers.
King James
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.

The Temple’s outer court had specific measurements. Why was this court not to be measured?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Revelation 11:2 The messenger said, “Do not measure the outer court, which is for those who don’t know God, who will walk through his city for forty-two months.
King James
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.

Why would God’s two witnesses be clothed in burlap?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Revelation 11:3 “Clothed in burlap, my two witnesses will receive power to proclaim the message for 1,260 days.
King James
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.

What power did the witnesses have? In what ways was their power limited? Why?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Revelation 11:3–7 “Clothed in burlap, my two witnesses will receive power to proclaim the message for 1,260 days. They are the two olive trees, the two lampstands before the God of Earth. In confronting threats, fire from their mouths consumed their enemies, killing those who had intended harm. In the days of their speaking, the witnesses will have authority over the skies. They have power to withhold the rain, turn water into blood, and send plagues upon the earth. When they finish speaking, the wild beast will rise from the bottomless abyss to make war, to overcome and kill them.”
King James
Revelation 11:3–7 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. 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 killed. 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. 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.

How will the wild beast make war with the witnesses? With the power they’d been given, how could the witnesses be killed?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Revelation 11:7 “When they finish speaking, the wild beast will rise from the bottomless abyss to make war, to overcome and kill them.”
King James
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.

Why did people celebrate the death of the witnesses?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Revelation 11:8–10 “Their corpses will lie in state in the main street of the great city, which has the spiritual nature of Egypt, Sodom, and Golgotha. For eighty-four hours, a multitude from different nations, races, and cultures will view their bodies, not allowing their burial. The people on Earth will have a big party, giving gifts to one another to celebrate the death of the two who had tormented them.”
King James
Revelation 11:8–10 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. 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 graves. 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.

What was so terrifying about the resurrection of the witnesses?

Author’s Thoughts
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Revelation 11:11 After the eighty-four hours, the Holy Spirit entered the bodies and made them live. Those who saw the two witnesses stand up were terrified.
King James
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.

How does the ascension of the witnesses compare with Christ disappearing into the clouds?

Author’s Thoughts
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Revelation 11:12 A loud voice from above said, “Come here,” and the two ascended into the clouds as their enemies watched.
King James
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.

Why did unbelievers have to respect God?

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Revelation 11:13 In that hour, a great earthquake shook the city. A tenth of the buildings fell, killing seven thousand. Terror gripped the survivors as they had to respect the God of Heaven.
King James
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.

What condition exists in Heaven and on Earth after the seventh messenger’s trumpet blast?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Revelation 11:15–17 With the seventh messenger’s trumpet blast, mighty voices from above said, “Earth’s kingdom is to be the Kingdom of our God and his Anointed, who will rule forever.” The twenty-four elders rose from their seats around the throne and bowed to the ground as they worshiped God, saying, “Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come, we give you praise, for you have received great power and now reign.”
King James
Revelation 11:15–17 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. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, 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.

Why is judgment necessary?

Author’s Thoughts
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Revelation 11:18 “The anger of the nations is met with your indignation, for it is time to judge the dead who have corrupted the world and to reward your servants and saints, those who love and respect you, both great and small.”
King James
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.

Why might there be no difference between the reward for a cup of water and for the saving of a lost soul?

Author’s Thoughts
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Mark 9:41 “Believe me, people who give something as insignificant as a cup of cold water under my direction and authority, because you are my disciples, are sure to be rewarded.”
Luke 12:47–48 “The servant who knows what his master wants but fails to prepare and do the work will be severely punished, but the one who does wrong out of ignorance will receive a lighter sentence. Much is required of those who are given much responsibility, and more is required of those who are given more.”
Revelation 11:18 “The anger of the nations is met with your indignation, for it is time to judge the dead who have corrupted the world and to reward your servants and saints, those who love and respect you, both great and small.”
King James
Mark 9:41 For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.
Luke 12:47–48 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
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.

Do you think the “ark of the covenant in Heaven” refers to a physical or spiritual reality? Why?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Revelation 11:19 Then the Temple of God was opened in Heaven, revealing the ark of the covenant. Lightning flashes brought loud rumblings of thunder and large hailstones as an earthquake shook the ground.
King James
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.

What was the significance of the thunderstorm and earthquake?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Revelation 11:19 Then the Temple of God was opened in Heaven, revealing the ark of the covenant. Lightning flashes brought loud rumblings of thunder and large hailstones as an earthquake shook the ground.
King James
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.