Studies In The Book of Revelation -
Chapters Ten and Eleven
By Jonathan Mitchell


1. Next I saw a Strong Agent (other MSS: another Agent, a Strong One) progressively descending (stepping down) from out of the atmosphere (or: sky; heaven) – having been clothed with a cloud, and the rainbow upon His head, and His face as the sun, and His feet as pillars of fire

2. – and constantly holding in His hand a tiny scroll having been opened up. And He placed His right foot upon the sea, but the left upon the Land (soil; earth).

3. Then He uttered a cry with (or: by) a great Voice, even as a Lion is roaring. And when He uttered a cry (or: cried out), the Seven Thunders uttered their own voices.

4. And when the Seven Thunders spoke (gave utterance), I was about to be writing and I heard a Voice from out of the atmosphere (or: heaven) repeatedly saying, "You must seal (or: = seal up and keep from being disclosed; place a seal on) what the Seven Thunders uttered (spoke)," and “You may not write these things."

5. And the Agent, Whom I saw standing upon the sea and upon the land, lifted up His right hand into the atmosphere (or: sky; heaven),

6. and swore (affirmed or promised with an oath) within (or: in union with) the One continuously living on into the ages of the ages (or: the Ages belonging to & pertaining to the ages; = the foremost of all the ages) – Who framed (created; founded; reduced from a state of disorder and wilderness) the atmosphere (or: heaven; sky), and the things within it, and the land (or: earth; ground), and the things within her, and the sea, and the things within her – that a time shall not longer be (or: that time will not further be; that {a} time will not still exist; = there will be no delay; = there will be no longer a time of delay);

7. but rather, within the days of the Seventh Agent, whenever he may be about to repeatedly sound a trumpet, God's secret (the secret, or mystery, of God or which pertains to God) is also completed (reached its goal; finished; concluded; ended), as proclaimed as good news to (or: as He announced the message of goodness to) His own slaves, the prophets [other MSS: His own slaves, and the prophets].

8. Then the Voice, which I heard from out of the atmosphere (or: sky; heaven), is speaking again with me, and is saying, "Be going (departing), take (or: receive with the hand; seize) the tiny scroll – the one having been opened up within the Agent's hand, Who has taken a stand upon the sea and upon the land."

9. And I went away toward the Agent, saying to Him to give to me the tiny scroll. And He is saying to me, "Take (or: seize) it and eat it down (devour it): and it will make your whole belly (the hollow place; the cavity; the stomach and intestines; the innermost part; used of the womb) bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey."

10. And so I took (or: seized) the tiny scroll from out of the Agent's hand, and devoured it, and it was sweet as honey within my mouth. And when I ate it, my belly (hollow place, etc.) was made bitter.

11. Then He is saying to me, "It necessitates you (or: It is binding you) to prophesy (to exercise the function of a prophet) again upon peoples and multitudes (nations; ethnic groups) and tongues (languages) and many kings."

William Barclay refers to the section of Revelation as "a kind of interlude between the sounding of the 6th and 7th trumpets." Others agree with this perspective, and ch. 10:1 does present a change in the scene that John was seeing in ch. 9:21. Yet is this a separate vision between the message of these two trumpets, or is it another aspect of the 6th trumpet, giving us more information about what is involved in this message?

The description of the Strong Agent in vs. 1 & 2 are acknowledged by many to be a figure of Christ, similar to that presented in ch. 1. But let's look at the particulars given here:
"Clothed with a cloud": Witness Lee presents an interesting thought that "to be clothed with a cloud is to come secretly." Barclay notes Ps. 104:3, "God makes the clouds His chariot." Recalling Nah. 1:3 ("the clouds are the dust of His feet"), Heb. 12:1, Mark 13:26, and Ray Prinzing's definition that "literally a cloud is a visible mass of moisture suspended in the air... [and] it bespeaks of a people who have been lifted out of the debris of earth's corruption...," let us consider the likelihood that this figure represents the complete Christ – Jesus and His body. As to the cloud being the clothing of this figure, recall Paul's use of "clothing" as a figure of a body in 2 Cor. 5:1-4. Here we see another picture of Christ continually, or repeatedly, coming (descending) in "the dust of His feet," His body of sons. Marvin Vincent comments that the expression "a cloud" occurs seven times in this book, and that in all of them it is connected with the Son of Man.

"The rainbow upon His head": the rainbow in the cloud speaks of God's "covenant between Me and the earth," (Gen. 9:13). This first setting of His bow in the cloud followed upon the judgment of the flood in Noah's day. Here too, it would seem to follow the judgments of ch. 9. But also, the bow was seen around the throne in ch. 4:3, and this would suggest the thought that the throne (place of authority and ruling) is upon the Head, or IS the Head. For another look at "the bow which comes in a cloud" turn to Ezk. 1:26-28. Prinzing associates the bow with "The Messenger of the Covenant" in Mal. 3:1.

"His face as the sun": see ch. 1:16. "His feet as pillars of fire": similar to the description in ch. 1:15, "like bronze glowing in a furnace," but here judgment is not emphasized (the bronze), rather it is God's essence: FIRE. Although the text does not state it, we can assume that there are two feet. As the feet represent the latter part, or end time, of the figure (cf the image in Dan. 2:28, 34), these two pillars of fie are His two witnesses upon the earth – to bring His cleansing fire to the earth realm. When God led Israel by night in the wilderness it was by a pillar of fire. Perhaps this speaks of His anointed leadership, via His two witnesses, who will lead the church through her dark night at this time – upon land (figure of Israel or God's people, as "the land" is a figure of Israel throughout the OT and was a central figure in God's dealing with Israel where many of the prophesies were directed to "the land;" see Walter Brueggemann, The Land) and upon the sea (figure of the masses of the remainder of humanity. Jeremiah was set as a pillar of iron (Jer. 1:18). The overcomer in ch. 3:12 is made a pillar in God's temple (His body).

The figure of His stand also speaks of His complete, universal dominion – its all-inclusiveness. Noting Deut 11:24 and Joshua 1:3 ("Every place on which the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours"), the A. E. Knoch Concordant Commentary says, "The planting of the messenger's feet on the sea and on the land is a token of possession."

Now in this scene we have "a tiny scroll" (smaller than the one in ch. 5) and it is opened up. He is continuously holding it in His hand – which we later see is there for us to seize (take with our hands) and to devour. From the difference in size, as well as the difference in function, it would seem that this is a different scroll than the one in ch. 5. This one can be taken by a man, and is meant for a man to eat it down and digest its contents, ant then, perhaps, deliver its message to "peoples and multitudes" (vs. 11).

The cry of the great Voice, "as a Lion is roaring": Joel 3:16 says, "And Yahweh shall roar from Zion." And, "The Lion roars – who will not fear? My Lord Yahweh speaks – who will not prophesy?" (Amos 3:8). So here, again, we see the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. When He speaks, the Seven Thunders give their message, but John is not allowed to share this. The picture is a strong Messenger uttering a cry – and He has just descended from out of heaven. This sounds like 1 Thes. 4:16, "Because the Lord Himself will descend from heaven (or: the atmosphere) within a shout of command, within [the] Chief Agent's (or: Original Messenger's) Voice, and within God's trumpet..." So this picture is of a coming of the Lord, a picture of His taking dominion over the situation of humanity, and of the proclamation of a message.

"The Seven Thunders": Barclay suggests that they are a reference to the seven voices of God in Ps. 29. We see in vs. 3 "The voice of Yahweh is over the waters... He thunders." Prinzing says, "The message of the seven thunders could not be written down; each individual must hear it within himself, as God reveals the mysteries, the secrets which He would work into every life. 'The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us...' (Deut. 29:29)."
In "Living at Gilgal, part 3" ("The Shofar Letters") Larry Hodges shares, "It seems safe to assume that what the 7 thunders had uttered had to do with what the number 7 stands for symbolically – fullness, completion, perfection, maturity. John... was told... to seal up [what they said]. When a thing is sealed up, it becomes a mystery, a secret; it is not open. But we have hope given us, because the voice goes on to say, 'But in the days of the voice of the 7th angel (messenger), when he shall begin to sound, the mystery (which John had just created by sealing up what the 7 thunders had uttered) of God should be finished.' – Rev. 10:7."

In vs. 5-7 we have a message, in the form of an oath sworn in union with God, from the Strong Agent: "a time shall not longer be (or: there will no longer be a delay, etc.), but rather, within the days of the Seventh Agent.... God's secret is also completed (reached its goal; finished; concluded; ended)..." This is reminiscent of Yahweh swearing by Himself to bless Abraham (Heb. 6:13,14). I suggest that this secret refers not only to the time of the end, but also to the promise made to Abraham and his Seed, and to the purpose of the ages, "Let Us make humanity in Our Image." I suggest that it applies to "the eager expectation of the creation," to the expectation for which creation was involuntarily subjected unto uselessness and pointlessness – i.e., to the unveiling of God's sons.

If we take the view that this message applied to the time of the first century and to what God was doing in Israel at that time, then the finishing of this secret may have concluded in AD 70, with the destruction of Jerusalem. I suspect that the original recipients of this letter might have thought so. But there are yet ages to come in God's economy of the ages. Eph. 2:7 says, to the end that within continuously oncoming ages (the indefinite time periods continually coming upon and overtaking [us]) He may exhibit (display; point out; give proof of) the continuously transcending (being cast beyond; overshooting) riches (wealth) of His grace and favor, in useful goodness (beneficial kindness) [flooding] upon us, within Christ Jesus (or: in union with [the] Anointed Jesus). Paul refers to himself, using the word "us," as "household administrators of God's secret" (1 Cor. 4:1). Jude ends his letter with the phrase both now and on into all the ages (eons; indefinite periods of time)!

Col. 2:2 speaks of being joined cohesively (jointly knitted; welded together; literally: mounted together in copulation) and united in love – even into all the riches (or: wealth) pertaining to the state of having been brought to fullness (or: of the full assurance) whose source is comprehension (discernment; a junction of that which is sent together for a person to be able to catch on and understand); into full, accurate, intimate and experiential knowledge of God's Secret: Christ (or: of the secret of the God who is Christ; or: the secret from God, which is [the] Anointing; [with other MSS: of the sacred mystery of the God and Father, in relation to the Christ {or: having its source in [the] Anointing; or: belonging to Christ}]),

Verse 8 brings the Voice from out of heaven, speaking to John again, bringing personal instructions to him. This Voice and various other voices play recurring roles of significance in this book. It behooves "the one having an ear to hear [to] hear what the Spirit is saying to the called-out." Here John is told to participate in this vision: take the tiny scroll from the hand of the vision of the glorified, completed Christ, and then eat it. Knoch says that "The eating of the scroll correspond[s] to the digesting of its contents." Lee says that this means to receive it into one's being – echoes of Jeremiah (15:16) and Ezekiel (2:8; 3:1-3). Barclay concurs. Ps. 19:10 and Ps. 119:103 speak of God's judgments and His words as being sweet. If the message was itself a foretelling of doom, then it may have also been a bitter thing. In ch. 8:10-11, the message of the 3rd agent brought bitterness of wormwood in the waters. The vision God gives us may be sweet, but the path through the "valley of the shadow of death" (the cross) which leads to the realization of the vision, is bitter.

Chapter 10 ends with John having this message within his life and being, and he is now instructed of the necessity to prophesy this word upon peoples and multitudes (including us!).


1. Next a reed like a staff (or: rod) was given to me, [and He was] presently saying, "Rouse yourself (or: Arise; Awake) and measure the temple of God (God's temple, or dwelling), and the altar, and the folks continuously worshiping within it.

2. “And the court (unroofed enclosure; [used of the sheepfold in Jn. 10:1, 16]), the one outside the temple, you must cast outside (throw, or expel, out of doors), and you may not measure her because it was given to the multitudes (ethnic groups; nations), and they will tread (advance by setting the foot upon) the set-apart city (or: the Holy City) forty-two months.

There seems to be no break from the scene of ch. 10, but now someone gives John a reed which is like a staff, or a rod (vs. 1). This word "rod" was a unit of Jewish measurement, of about 6 cubits. It is a bamboo-like reed that often reached a height of 20 ft. So here again John is given personal instruction to participate in the vision: he must rouse himself and do some measuring. This action echoes Ezk. 40:3, Zech. 2:1 and Amos 7:7-9. It is used as a preparation for building or for restoration, as well as for preparation for destruction. "But here the meaning lies in preservation" (Barclay). I suggest that since the temple (which includes the altar) is a type of the body of Christ, that John is commissioned to check the state of the building against God's blueprints – to see if it has been built up "into a completed (finished; mature; perfect) male, into the MEASURE of the stature of the fullness of the Christ" (Eph. 4:13).

Some see the altar here as the brazen altar of burnt offerings. Others see it as the golden altar of incense, since it is associated with the temple itself and those continuously worshiping with it. Whichever the case, these are put in contrast to the outer court – perhaps the court of the Gentiles/nations. Since this court is "given" to the nations/Gentiles/multitudes, and since these peoples could not enter the "outer court" of the temple (where stood the altar of sacrifice), I would conclude that it was the entire three-part temple that is being measured here. There were worshipers within both of the first two parts of the temple.

In vs. 2 we see a separation being made: the temple and altar and the worshipers are by this measuring now separated from the rest of the city – even apart from the Holy (Set-apart) City, Jerusalem. We might consider this as correlating to the separation of the Manchild from the Woman, both of whom we shall see in ch. 12. If we see the figure of the Woman as being Jerusalem of the 1st century, then a preterist interpretation of these scenes would fit – that this prophesy was referring to the events that concluded in AD 70, and the "tread[ing] upon the set-apart city" would refer to the soon destruction by the Romans, and the manchild of ch. 12 would be the called-out community escaping Jerusalem. But if we see the Woman of ch. 12 as a type of the Bride of Christ (the Jerusalem which is above – Gal. 4:26), then these chapters would be interpreted differently.

Considering this latter interpretation, let us now look ahead to ch. 21:9-10, "And one of the Seven Agents came... saying, 'Here, I will show you the Bride, the little Lamb's Wife.' And he carried me away in spirit upon a great and high mountain, and then he showed me the Set-apart City: Jerusalem..." So here we see "the mother of us all," the Jerusalem above, continuously descending to those below, bringing life and light and healing to the nations. The Manchild would figure the Christ, the second Man, the last Adam, or, it is a type of those at any point engaged in ministry to other folks who dispense from God's throne and participate in the activities of His reign.

But let us return to the last part of vs. 2. God always uses the multitudes (the nations) to tread His people as grapes. But this is always part of the purpose of His having a vineyard – to bring forth new wine. Yet there is the promise of Zech. 1:16, "I return to Jerusalem in compassions; My House (the temple) shall be built in it... and a tape shall be stretched out on Jerusalem." See also Zech. 2:1-5. But here, "the Lord will judge HIS PEOPLE," (Heb. 10:30), and "You have trodden down all them at err from Your statutes..." (Ps. 119:118). In Isa. 10 we see a picture of a similar scene where God used the nation Assyria to judge His people, "And what will you do in THE DAY of VISITATION [note: much of today's church is now seeking a visitation from the Lord], and in the desolation (vs. 3).... O Assyrian, the rod of My anger,... My indignation (vs. 5,6). I will send him against a hypocritical nation [Israel], and against the people of My wrath will I give him charge, ... to tread them down like the mire of the streets... (vs. 11). Shall I not... so do to Jerusalem... upon Mt. Zion and on Jerusalem" (vs. 12). Isa. 5 deals with God's judgment of His vineyard. These things were literally fulfilled in times past, but we can still see instruction for "His people" today.

3. “And I will present a gift to My two witnesses (or: I will supply for My two witnesses), and they will prophesy (function as prophets) a thousand two hundred sixty days, being clothed (or: cast around) [in; with] sackcloth.”

4. These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands (= menorahs) – the ones having made a stand (or: been placed) and are standing before (in the presence of) the Lord [= Yahweh] of the earth (or: the Owner of the Land). 5. And if anyone is wanting or intending to harm or injure (or: do injustice to) them, fire is continuously (or: repeatedly) issuing (or: proceeding) out of their mouth and is one after another devouring their enemies (or: adversaries); and if anyone is intending (wanting, willing) to injure (do injustice to; harm) them, thus it is necessary for him to be killed.

6. These continuously hold (or: have) authority to close (shut, lock) the sky (or: atmosphere; heaven), so that continuously it can not shower rain [during] the days of their prophesying. And they continue holding authority upon the waters, to continuously turn them into blood; and to smite (beat, strike) the Land (or: soil; earth) within every plague as often as they may will – if they intend (purpose) to.

7. Now whenever they may complete (finish; make an end of) their witness (or: testimony), the little animal (or: beast) – the one repeatedly climbing up (or: ascending) out of the Deep – will make war (or: do battle) with them, and will overcome (or: conquer) them, and then will kill them.

8. And so their fallen dead body will be upon [other MSS: And their fall will be into] the broad place (street; square; plaza) of The Great City – whatever, spiritually, is normally being called (or: named) "Sodom" and "Egypt" – where also their Lord was crucified (or: where their Lord, also, was executed on a torture stake).

9. Then those out of the peoples – even from tribes and tongues and ethnic groups (nations, multitudes; pagans; non-Jews) – continuously see (observe, cast a look upon) their dead body three and one half days, and they will not release their dead bodies to be placed into a memorial monument or tomb (= to be buried).

10. And so the folks continuously having a house down upon the earth (or: the ones normally dwelling upon the Land) are continuously rejoicing upon them, and they will be gladdened (or: made happy) and will send presents to each other, because these, the two prophets, tested and examined (applied the touchstone to test the purity of the metal of) those continuously having a house down upon the earth (or: ground).

11. Later, after three and a half days, a spirit of Life (Life's breath-effect or spirit) from out of God entered within [other MSS: into] them and they stood upon their feet. And so (a) great fear fell upon the people continuing to be spectators of (or: watching) them.

12. Then they heard a great (or: loud) Voice from out of the atmosphere (or: sky; heaven), repeatedly saying to them, "You must climb up here (or: ascend to this place)." So they climbed up into the atmosphere (or: ascended into the sky and heaven) within the cloud, and their enemies watched (or: were spectators of) them.

13. And within that hour, a great shaking (or: earthquake) was birthed (or: came to be; occurred) and the tenth of The City fell (or: collapsed), and seven thousand names of humans (= people) were killed within the shaking (quake), and the remaining ones (= survivors) came to be terrified – and so they gave glory to the God of the heaven (or: atmosphere; sky).

14. The second woe departed (or: tragedy went away). Consider! The third woe is progressively coming swiftly.

In vs. 3 we come to God's two witnesses. Much conjecture has been made as to who these two are, but I think the stress should be upon the fact that they are God's WITNESSES. In Deut. 19:15 we see God's principle set forth, "a matter shall be confirmed at (or: on) the mouth of two witnesses..." In John 8: 17-18 Jesus says, "It is also written in your Law that the testimony of two people is true. I am the One continuously bearing witness concerning Myself, and the Father – the One sending Me – continuously bears witness concerning Me." So they saw only one man, Jesus, but He was TWO WITNESSES.

The Pharisees had just said to Him (John 8:13), "You bear record of yourself; your record is not true." We can see another example of this same type of situation in the ministry of the disciples in Mark 16:20. Jesus had been "received up into heaven" (vs. 19), "And they went forth and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the Word with signs following." So now one can be alone here on the earth, and yet be two witnesses if the Lord (in the spirit, or in heaven) is working with him. To see "the Two Witnesses" as a figure of God's anointed ministry here seems consistent with the continual procession of figures which we have thus far seen in these visions.

These two witnesses function as prophets (vs. 3). In Deut. 18:9 Moses is speaking to Israel concerning "when you come to the land that Yahweh your Elohim is giving you. . ." In vs. 15 he prophesies about this time and situation, saying, "A Prophet from among you – from your brothers, LIKE ME – shall Yahweh your Elohim raise up for you." While Israel was physically in "the Promised Land," they had many prophets. Yet when John the Baptist came, in enquiring who he was, when John acknowledged "I am not the Messiah," the priests and Levites then asked him if He was Elijah, and he told them that he was not. So their next question was, "Are you THE PROPHET?" He replied, "No." (John 1:20,21) So after having had a history in which many prophets were sent to them, the Jews were still looking for THE PROPHET of whom Moses spoke.

The agent Gabriel had appeared to Zechariah and had told him that he would have a son who he was to call John. He says of John, "And he shall be coming before in His sight, in the spirit and power of Elijah." (Lu. 1:17). In Matt. 17:10-13, "And His disciples inquire of Him, saying, 'Why, then, are the scribes saying that Elijah must be coming first?' Now He, answering, said to them, 'Elijah is indeed repeatedly (or: continuously; presently) coming, and will be restoring all. Yet I am saying to you that Elijah came already, and they did not recognize him, but they do to him whatever they will. Thus the Son of Man ALSO is about to be suffering by them.' Then the disciples understand that he spoke to them concerning John the Baptist."

In connecting Luke and Matthew, above, it would seem that it is the Spirit of God, working in God's anointed prophet, that is symbolized by the name "Elijah." Thus, also, I would say that Jesus associated Himself with this spirit of ministry in Matt., above, when He said, "Thus the Son of Man ALSO." In light of this, let us consider a literal translation of Matt. 11:13-15, "For all the prophets and the Law prophesied (or: prophesy) till John. And, if you continue willing to receive [this], the One about to be continually (or: presently; repeatedly) coming is Himself Elijah. The one having ears to hear, let him hear." The last part of vs. 14 could also be translated, "He is Elijah: the One about to be presently coming." These renderings use the Greek word "autos" as the intensive, in the first version, and as the oblique, in the second rendering. Thus, it would seem that Elijah is the figure for God's Anointed, His Christ, as well as for His agent who announces His coming (e.g., John). But the term THE PROPHET (which John denied being) refers to THE CHRIST, both to Jesus when He ministered on earth, and to HIS BODY here in Revelation.

In vs. 3 it mentioned that these are clothed in (or: cast around with) sackcloth. This was worn when one was mourning (Gen. 37:34), but was also a figure of repentance (Matt. 11:21; Jonah 3:8), and there is a definite sense of humiliation in Isa. 58:5, ". . . to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes [under him] . . ." It also signified a time of trouble (Esther 4:1-3). It has been suggested that this figure speaks here of the two witnesses being yet in their mortal bodies (e.g., 2 Cor. 4:10-11; 5:1-4) as opposed to agents in glorified bodies. It could also symbolize the nature of their ministry: judgment, to bring humility and repentance and mourning to those to whom they ministered – and to foreshadow trouble.

We should also note the "forty-two months" (vs. 2) and the "1260 days" (vs. 3 and in 12:6). These are all the same amount of time: three and a half years. The period of their ministry follows the pattern of their Lord's, which many consider to be about the same length of time. That we see the same time period in 11:2,3 and in 12:6 may indicate that these are parallel passages, giving different aspects of, or another presentation of, the same situation. This same period of time is stated in 12:14 as "a season, and seasons, and half a season." This latter is an echo of Dan. 7:25 and 12:7, and may well be the antitype of those two passages. Kenneth Earl has also pointed out that one half of a week is three and one half days, being equal to three and one half years since the 70 weeks of Dan. 9:24-27 equals 70 years that Jeremiah prophesied that Israel would be in captivity. Ken has shared that it was Jesus that "confirmed the covenant" in the "midst of the week," and His sacrifice "caused the sacrifice and the oblation to cease" [in God's economy] following His three and one half year ministry. Thus do we have the remainder of the 70th week (3 & ½ days = 3 & ½ years) to be fulfilled here in Rev. 11 & 12 by His body, the two witnesses, the unveiled sons.

Those of a preterist persuasion view the second half of this 70th week, the final 3 ½ years of Daniel's prophecy, as having been fulfilled when "God destroyed Judea and the city of Jerusalem in AD 67-70 by the invading Roman armies that came in" (John L. Bray, "The Millennium," p. 21; also see "What Happened in AD 70?" by Edward E. Stevens, p.9, under the section "Fulfillments Mentioned In Josephus" where he says, "Daily sacrifices ceased in the 'midst of the week' {i.e., after 3 ½ years} – Dan. 9:27 {Wars 6:2:1};" Bray, in his booklet "The Rapture of Christians," p. 21, also quotes E. Hampded Cook from his book, “The Christ Has Come,” {1894}, ". . . the surviving members of the Hebrew Christian church . . . hastily sought refuge in the wilderness, where for the whole duration of the war in Palestine – 1260 days, or 3 ½ years – she remained, cared for by God.").

In Rev. 11:4 we come to "the two olive trees and the two lampstands" that are a direct reference to Zech. 4. In this prophecy we see a fuller description. Here also, the messenger rouses Zechariah (vs. 1). In vs. 2 we see that the lampstand has 7 lamps – sound familiar? This shows that this message concerns the churches in Revelation, but was a picture in the tabernacle in Zech. Vs. 3 says, "And two olive trees are over it, one on the right of the bowl [of the lamp] and one on its left." Note vss. 7 & 9 where Zerubbabel is a figure of the Anointed One, Christ: "... And He shall bring forth the Headstone with tumults: Grace, grace to it!.... The hands of Zerubbabel laid the foundation of this house, and His hands SHALL COMPLETE IT!" Note that both "trees" are over "it" – figuring the anointing being in the realm of heaven, or the spirit, that ministers the oil (anointing) to the gathered assemblies.

In Zech. 4:11, he repeats the question as to who are these two olive trees. He is answered enigmatically in vs. 14, "These are the two sons of clear oil who are standing by the Lord of the entire earth" (CVOT). The conclusion seems obvious: these two witnesses are a figure of the anointed witness of His body – they are His anointed ones, His Christ.

In Rev. 11:5-6 there is a description of their ministry: fire comes out of their mouth. They are not "dragons," but they minister the Word of God, Who is a consuming fire. God's word devours their enemies. Are people our enemies, or is it the carnal mind? Remember: we are dealing in figures here – symbols. It is the disposition of the flesh (the carnal mind) that is at enmity with God. This carnal mind (the one centered upon self and its interests) that wants to injure God's anointed ministry. The fire of God's Word will destroy these enemies (these carnal mindsets and interior strongholds) and will bring purification. Yet I would not say that their ministry might not have the same effect as Peter's words to Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5). In vs. 6 are figures that represent the ministries (or: spirits; attitudes) of first Elijah (no rain) and then Moses (water changed to blood/every plague). This Prophet (One Body that has One Mouth, vs. 5) is The Prophet like unto Moses, which Moses foretold.

Before proceeding in ch. 11, I'd like to add more thoughts on vs. 1-6, mainly from Ray Prinzing's enlightening book, "Revelation, A Positive Book." When he quoted vs. 1, I saw where my wife Lynda had circled the word "rod" and added this note, "The Standard is Christ." This rod is indeed both the measuring tool – the standard of comparison – and also the means, the Way in which His body "measures up."

In considering the temple, and its being separated for this measuring, Ray insightfully connects two passages, "'Can two walk together, except the be agreed?' (Amos 3:3). For 'what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?' (2 Cor. 6:16)." There is a definite separation due to the difference of vision, and thus a lack of agreement between His anointed body in the earth, and the City, the institutional church. Not all are set with the same function; not all mature at the same time (1 Cor. 15). God is separating us from the idols within us and within the church.

Again Ray continues, "God said to Moses, 'Let them make Me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them' (Ex. 25:8). Sanctuary – literally, a place set apart.... 'And it came to pass, that every one which sought the Lord went out unto the Tabernacle of the congregation, which was without the camp' (Ex. 33:7).... 'Let us go forth therefore UNTO HIM without the camp...' (Heb. 13:13). And so there has been a going without the camp – beyond the forms of religion, beyond the symbol and ceremony, to be joined to Him in one Spirit.... 'In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit' (Eph. 2:22)." Ray also quotes, appropriately, Ps. 23:4, "Thy rod and Thy staff – they comfort me."

As this measuring of the temple is also a figure of God judging the completeness and conformity to the Patter, Ray continues, "Well Peter wrote, 'For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God... first begin AT US'.... Judgment – the correctional inworkings of God, begin AT, or literally, FROM, the House of God.... 'Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy' (1 Pet. 1:16)."

In Num. 7:1 when the tabernacle and the altar (in Rev. 11:1 we have the temple and the altar) were dedicated, they were both anointed. Here, then, we have two "anointed ones" – the temple and the altar. Of what do these speak? I suggest that they are a figure of God's presence (recall that the temple is God's home among His people) and His attending judgments (the brazen altar represented judgment upon failure, deviation from the goal, sin) – for this was what the tabernacle signified in the wilderness: God's presence dwelling in the midst of Israel. It also is a type of the spirit and life of sacrifice which characterize His Anointed. These are also His two witnesses: His Body and their life of sacrifice – laying down their lives for their friends, just as He did.

In regard to the ongoing application of the court being cast outside and not being measured, Ray gives some interesting insights:
"The application is two-fold. First, in speaking of our becoming the temple, He is dealing with our inner man, 'the hidden man of the heart.' 'For the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for the man looketh on the outward appearance but the Lord looketh on the heart' (1 Sam. 16:7). And so Jesus reproved the Pharisees, because they 'make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess' (Matt. 23:25). And again emphasizing that it was not the outward, but the inward that mattered, He said, 'Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man, but that which cometh out of the mouth – this defileth a man.'

"Religion concerns itself with the measuring of the outward, the physical, the self-worth, the fame and success, etc. And they set standards for dress, and code of action, ignoring the fact that the outward is but a portrayal ground for the inward – and sooner or later all masquerades are stripped away, and we will be seen for what we are. In the measuring of the temple, altar, worshipper, the instruction was to place the emphasis upon the spiritual, not the natural....

"Secondly, another application can be drawn – for the intense dealings of God are first upon the remnant firstfruits of the new creation order (the overcomer, which He is leading onward): these are being dealt with in ways and depths that the multitudes know nothing of. But the people of the court will carry on with their ministries and programs, often blessed by God for the realm in which they move, though they are totally ignorant of the 'wheel within a wheel,' of the separated walk of those who go on to worship in spirit and in truth." End of quotation.

We now come to ch. 11:7, and see the entrance on the stage of the little animal (or: the little beast). Note that he is "the one continuously, or repeatedly, climbing up out of the Deep." The Greek is present tense, not future. I think that we encounter this "beast nature," or "animal instinct," periodically climbing up out of the deep within us, and when it does, it kills the witness of God in our lives. But corporately, in the "macro-cosmic" application, whenever God's anointed servants come to a completion of what Father has assigned for them to do (figured by the 3 & ½ years), then the corporate beast that is within "the peoples" (vs. 9) will "make war (do battle) with them, and will overcome them, and then will kill them." Here they follow the pattern set by the Head, the "Sign," [note: Lu. 2:34, "Behold, this One is continuously lying... for a SIGN {which is} being continuously spoken against"]. This Sign was our Pattern, and He pointed to, or spoke of, His body, His mature sons who are servants to mankind. A sign always points to, or announces, or identifies, something else – not itself.

Kenneth Earl said, "I want you to see that the death of the two witnesses is a part of the death of Christ." Is he speaking heresy here? Remember, the body of Christ is a part of the Christ. Rom. 8:17 speaks of our "suffering (experiencing) together with" Him, and thus, He with us. Consider what Paul said in Col. 1:24, I am at this moment continuing to rejoice within the experiences and my sufferings over your [situation] (or: on your behalf), and I am progressively filling up in turn – so as to supply what is lacking and create a balance – within my flesh (or: = with the means of my natural situation) the deficiencies (or: the results from what is lacking) with regard to the pressures (squeezings; tribulations; tight spots) that pertain to the Anointed One (or: that belong to and affect Christ) over [the situation of] His body, which is the called-out community (the summoned-forth congregation; the ecclesia).

In vs. 8 e have the scene of "their fallen dead body upon the broad place (street) of the Great City." Here the vision must have been so enigmatic that the agent had to emphasize that this is a figure, for he says, "whatever, spiritually, is normally being called (named) 'Sodom' and 'Egypt.'" The identity of the "City" is a figurative identity.

Sodom is spoken of in Jude 7 as "being given to fornication (or, having its source in fornication) and going away after different flesh..." 2 Peter 2:6 uses Sodom as an example for those about to be impious, irreverent, or ungodly. Gen. 18:20 says that "their SIN is exceedingly heavy." But Ezk. 16:48-50 gives an amplified picture, "By My life! says the Mighty Lord, Sodom, YOUR SISTER, she and her daughters did not do WHAT YOU and YOUR DAUGHTERS have done! Look! This was the fault of Sodom, YOUR SISTER – pride, gluttony and careless ease were hers, and her daughters'; and that she did not support the house of the poor and the wretched. [cf Matt. 25:45] They were also haughty, and practiced depravity before Me..." Note that her behavior made Jerusalem to be categorized as a sister of Sodom, in the Lord's eyes. Remember that a name speaks of one's character. I think we will see Jerusalem again, but called by a different name, later on in this Unveiling.

The term "Egypt" speaks of what this country represented to Israel in all her history. It spoke of bondage. Thus, this Great City had become an oppressor, enslaving its citizens and subjects. As Egypt was a "world power," it also carries the symbolic significance of "the world." Here then, "the set-apart City" has become characterized as being identified as "the world," or, "a world power." When Israel went down into Egypt, they received blessings as the hand of Joseph – who was a type of Christ. They were "in the world, but not of it." But notice Ex. 1:8, "Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph." Thus did the good times turn to bad for them. I suggest that here in ch. 11, we have a type of the church (the Jerusalem below, in this figure) that knows not Jesus. The phrase "where their Lord was crucified" establishes beyond a doubt that this Sodom and Egypt, where the two witnesses are overcome and killed, is Jerusalem. It was historical Jerusalem in the 1st century; the spiritual counterpart, or application, in this age is the apostate church. Recall the words of Jesus in Lu. 13:

3. "Moreover, it continues being binding and necessary for Me to continue journeying today, tomorrow and on the following one [other MSS: in the one still coming], because it continues being inadmissible (not acceptable; = unthinkable) for a prophet to be destroyed outside of Jerusalem!

4. "Jerusalem, O Jerusalem! – the one constantly killing off the prophets, and repeatedly stoning the people having been sent off as emissaries (missionaries; representatives) to her – how often (how many times) I wanted and intended to at once completely gather together and assemble your children, in the manner in which a hen [gathers] her own brood (or: chicks) under [her] wings, and yet you people did not want [it]!

5. "Look and consider this – your house (or: House; = the Temple; or: household [a figure of the entire people]) is being progressively left and abandoned to you people (or: is habitually sent away because of you; or: is repeatedly forgiven for you folks)!

In vs. 9-13, we see the events following the figure of the death of the two witnesses, and their final end. Their life and ministry show a certain parallel to that of Jesus, yet these are not allowed to be buried as Jesus was. Ken Earl suggested that those observing them wanted to make sure there was no plot by disciples to steal the bodies and claim that they too ascended as did Jesus. This interpretation sees this figure in literal fulfillment – and this might well have been the case in the 1st century setting, but we have no records of such – but Ken applies this to a corporate "end time" event. Time will tell.

Yet how did this relate to the early church, and to us as individuals who have been, or are being, grown throughout this age? What can we receive from this right now? Does the Lord use the beast from within our personal Deep, as well as those of the "beast system," to slay us (i.e., the false persona; the carnal self) so that resurrection life may ensue? We live out His witness; we preach His anointed message; we destroy our enemies (crushing satan, our adversary, under our "feet" – or in our personal walk with Christ). Then suddenly, we are overcome by the beast (from within, or from without – either of which affect us within). Those observing us could ask regarding us, "Can these bones live?" Yet when the appointed time of death has been fulfilled, we hear the Voice within "repeatedly saying to [us], 'Climb up here, to this place!'" And so we find ourselves on a higher place with new life and a greater vision from this new height.

Those of the multitudes – the world, including "the church world" – "the ones continuously having a house (dwelling) upon the earth" realm, are made happy by their fall, their death. The message of these prophets tested and examined them – they were weighed in the balances and found wanting of substance – and they were glad for them to be gone. This will apply to the outward ministry to the church, and it now applies within. Our self, which wants to save its life, is happy and wants to party when the heat of God's message to us is temporarily ended. The Word and the Spirit baptize us with fire to test and examine the purity of the gold which He has placed within us. Our flesh always wants this to be over soon – and is glad when it appears to be so.

But the end is an infusion of the Spirit of Life from God, and the finished product – the Last Adam (the completed body) – having done all, stands upon its feet and then ascends into the atmosphere (or: heaven) within the cloud. Here it is not the disciples beholding this, but it is their enemies. The work and witness has moved from the "little flock" to "the peoples." So just who are these peoples (vs. 9)? Well, where were they slain and left lying? Was it not within "The Great City" (vs. 8) which we have already identified? Would it not be safe to assume that it would then be the citizens of this same city (the Jews of the 1st century; the carnal church/carnal humanity of subsequent times) who will be the ones who will observe and then celebrate? Remember that this letter and these visions were and are to the church – from it beginning to the present day.

When the witnesses are revived and take a stand, great fear fell upon "the observers." Our enemies quake at our resurrection. Following this (in vs. 12) there comes a great shaking. Great shakings can be good! The result is a tithe of the City falls (what else is 1/10th significant of?). On the personal level, 1000 symbolizes our innermost being, our "holy of holies." 7 = fullness or completion. The old man of the heart has been totally killed. Everything that is left gives "glory to the God of the atmosphere (or: heaven)" (vs. 13). On the corporate level, this symbolizes the total eradication of the presence, influence and rule of the flesh (anything produced by man and not God) from the church – remember: the setting of this scene is the set-apart City, which had come to be identified with blasphemous names, names of the world.

This ends the second woe. Do you think that the three woes could correspond to the spirit, the soul and the body? For the church of the 1st century, the three woes would have foretold three aspects of God's judgment on Jerusalem. This would fit the full preterist view, and perhaps even the partial preterist view. But may we, the Jerusalem which is above, not still see an antitype of "the Jerusalem that then was" as being the existing apostate church (within all denominations and groups) today?

15. Next the seventh agent sounded a trumpet, and great (or: loud) voices of themselves came to be (birthed themselves; occurred of themselves) within the sky (or: atmosphere; heaven), continuously saying, "The reign of the ordered System (world of religion, culture, government and economy) suddenly came to belong to our Lord [= Yahweh or Christ] and to the anointed of Him (or: The kingdom of the arranged system at once became our Lord’s and His Christ’s; The rule as king which pertains to the world, was birthed to be the possession of [Yahweh], as well as of His Anointed), and so He will be reigning (ruling as King) on into the ages (or: indefinite time periods) of the ages [other MSS add: So it is (Amen)]."

16. Then the twenty-four elders (or: old people) – the people continuously sitting upon their thrones before (in the presence of) God – fell (or: at once fall) upon their faces and worshiped (or: do obeisance to; worship) God,

17. repeatedly saying, "We are continuously grateful (thankful) for You (or: we continuously give You thanks), Lord [= Yahweh] God, the One of All Strength (the Almighty, Omnipotent One), the One continuously existing (or: being), even the One Who was continuously existing (being), because You have taken – so that You have in Your hand – Your great power and ability, and You reign (rule as King)."

18. Now the multitudes (ethnic groups; nations) were made angry (raged; were, or are, made to internally swell; were aroused; were made impulsive) [Ps. 2:1], and Your inherent fervor (swelling arousal; impulse; wrath; anger; indignation; natural bent) came (or: comes), and the season (fitting situation; suitable circumstances) for the dead folks to be separated, decided about and judged, and then to give the wages (or: reward) to Your slaves: to the prophets and to the set-apart people, and to the ones continuously fearing Your Name – to the small (= insignificant) ones and to the great ones – and then to thoroughly spoil (fully ruin; thoroughly decay; utterly destroy) the folks continuously corrupting (thoroughly spoiling, ruining, destroying) the Land (or: earth; soil).

19. And then the Temple of God – the one within, or in union with, the atmosphere (or: heaven) – was opened (or: suddenly opened up), and the ark of the covenant (or: arrangement) [other MSS read: ark of the covenant of the Lord; or: ark of God's covenant] was seen (or: is seen) within the midst of His Temple. Next lightning and voices and thunders and a shaking (or: an earthquake) and great hail were birthed (came to be; occurred).

Here John finally sees the last trumpet being sounded. Is this merely the final one of the seven trumpets of this vision, or is the 7th trumpet the one which Paul referred to in 1 Cor. 15:52, "Within a moment (an instant), within the twinkle of an eye, within the last trumpet..."? Most say no. But here Paul was speaking of not all sleeping (= dying) in vs. 51, then in the end of vs. 52 he says "and we shall be changed." This sounds similar to 1 Thes. 4:14-17 where Paul speaks of those who did fall asleep, and "we, the living, who are left over into the presence of the Lord," (and thus, are not sleeping). Here we also have the Lord descending from heaven "within God's trumpet, and the dead ones within Christ will raise themselves up first." Then, "we, the continuously living ones – the ones being left over – will at the same time be snatched away within a cloud into the Lord's meeting – into air; and thus will we always exist with the Lord." Recall the picture of the glorified Christ descending in ch. 10. We will later see the heavenly Jerusalem descending out of heaven. In this picture I see "His kingdom having come." (In vs. 11-12 we saw "the dead in Christ" arise!) This book is to the churches, and is specifically about what they are, at that time (the 1st century) and since – and will yet be, involved in. This is the 7th trumpet, the fulfillment of the messages: the kingdom of the world (the reigning of the governments, cultures, religions and societies of the ordered System) belongs to and is ruled by Yahweh!

Vs. 15 echoes Dan. 2:34-35; 44-45. There, the head of gold is a figure of the Babylonian empire (vs. 38; see Jer. 51:7); the silver chest/arms is the Medo-Persian empire; the bronze belly and thighs represent the Greek empire; the iron legs and feet speak of the Roman empire. Now views regarding the 4th kingdom vary, but the narrative seems to indicate an unbroken sequence of world powers, beginning with Nebuchadnezzar, until something "supernatural" occurs in vs. 34f, "till a stone severs itself, that is, not by hands." This language speaks of an act of God. We find that this Rock (or, Stone that the builders rejected) struck the statue on its feet (the 4th kingdom), and this act destroys the entire statue.

Now the first three kingdoms were already history, but vs. 35 says that the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were "broken to pieces at the same time," (NIV); "broken small together," (Young); "Then pulverized, as one," (CVOT); "broken in pieces at once," (Rotherham). Thus, this prophecy must have a significance other than something physical. The work of the "stone" is Christ, "nailing it on the cross, stripping off the sovereignties and authorities with boldness He makes a show of them, triumphing over them in it" (Col. 2:15, CLNT). Recall Rev. 1:5, "Jesus Christ.... the Ruler (Prince) of the kings of the earth." The advent of the Anointed One and His work of the cross was the stone that smashed the power of the kingdoms of the world, and established the Kingdom of God within. Note in Dan. 2:35 that this Stone "became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth." The kingdom began as a stone and grew to become a huge mountain! This calls to mind the picture given in Isa. 9:7, "Of the increase of dominion and of prosperity there shall be no end" (Rotherham). This vs. speaks of the throne of David and his kingdom, but these were a type of Christ and His kingdom within.

In Dan. 2:44 we see that God's kingdom crushes the kingdoms of the world, just as His body crushes the spirit of those kingdoms (satan) under their feet (Rom. 16:20). Thus have we seen the call to be "overcomers," "conquerors." It was not the people or the kings of those kingdoms, but the carnal nature, the old humanity (Adam), the estranged aspect of the self in them, that has to be crushed. And this is the work of Christ. But recall that Acts 1:1 speaks "concerning all the things which Jesus BEGAN both TO DO, and to teach." Remember also that He said to His disciples, "Certainly, I am now saying to you folks, the one continuously believing and putting trust into Me: the works which I am now doing HE ALSO WILL DO, and greater than these will he do..." (John 14:12).

As the final of the three main feast of Israel happened in the seventh month (Lev. 23:34), being the Feast of Tabernacles – could we say "the Feast of Tents," or the Feast of His Temple, His body" – there is a symbolic connection with this 7th trumpet. The Day of Atonement, the second part of this Feast, involved TWO kids of the goats. One was sacrificed, the other – the scapegoat – bore the iniquities and sins of Israel away from the camp and into the wilderness (Lev. 16).

Other roots of Rev. 11 are in the following:
In Josh. 6:4, "Have seven priests carry trumpets [note: that would be 7 trumpets]... On the 7th day march around the city 7 times with the priests blowing the trumpets." It was with the blowing of the trumpets that "the kingdom of Canaan" began to become the kingdom of the Lord's anointed people.

Num. 10:2 says, "Make two [the number of witness] trumpets of hammered silver and use them for calling the community together, and for having the camps set out."

In Lev. 25:9-10, "Then you will make the trumpet blast pass over all your land in the 7th month.... On the day of propitiatory shelters you shall make the trumpet pass in all your land. And you will hallow the year, the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty in the land.... A jubilee year..."

Returning to the Unveiling (Rev.), vs. 16 brings us back to the throne scene of ch. 4, and our attention is called to "the universal church," to use Malcolm Smith's term, sitting upon their thrones. Note how they are "ruling and reigning with Christ": they worship God! They continuously give Him thanks (vs. 17); they acknowledge who He is and what He has done. It is really Him who reigns.

What is the significance of vs. 18, where the multitudes are made angry? Is this a response to, and then a result of, the world's kingdom becoming the Lord's, in vs. 15? Or was this just their natural, estranged state of being? Whichever, we see that God's inherent fervor also came. This is an echo of Ps. 2:1-9. The anger of the multitudes is also the result of their being subjected to vanity (Rom. 8:20). Furthermore, "God's inherent fervor (swelling impulse; wrath) is continuously abiding (dwelling; remaining) upon" the one constantly disobeying (John 3:36). So is vs. 18 referring to that which has already happened and thus now exists, or is this in reference to a future event (viewed as past, or present, within this vision)? When His rule comes into our world, it does often make us (our flesh) angry and impulsive. Then His anger and impulse separates us for His decisions – often letting us reap our harvests (or, our wages). So in this scene we can see both the micro-cosmic view and the macro-cosmic view of what is, and of what will more fully be.

In the last part of vs. 18 we have an example of sowing and reaping. Those who are continuously spoiling the land (or: the earth; or: = their own bodies) receive that which they have planted, as a harvest, upon themselves. As in John 3:36, we can look around and see this abounding even today. He has always meted out His judgments line upon line, age upon age. Thus do we constantly see His wrath "remaining; abiding." We can look to what happened to Israel (which things happened to them for us): He laid out the pattern in them.

Vs. 19 presents the temple of God (the one within the atmosphere, or heaven) opened. This is the "temple" composed of those "seated together in the heavenlies" (Eph. 2:6), which is the only temple now in existence. We are it! John sees the body of Christ, and sees it opened – a figure of being receptive and receiving to people. This is how Jesus left the literal temple (Matt. 27:51) when its veil was torn open from top to bottom. And 2 Cor. 3:18 refers to us who, "with unveiled face" reflect the glory of Yahweh.

Because the temple is open, the ark of the covenant can now be seen. The place of His manifested presence is now seen – His glory is now seen – within His body. The throne of God – the ark with the mercy seat and the cherubim – are now all manifested: in His body.

The lightning, voices, thunders, shakings (both heaven and earth) call us back to the scene of the throne again. The association of the tabernacle/temple with the throne scene is again established. Figures of God's presence (lightning, voices, thunders, shakings) are joined to the figure of His judgment: great hail. This reiterates in symbol what was just stated in vs. 18. Thus ends the third vision.

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