Two Powerful Witnesses of the Tribulation (Revelation 11; Revelation 12)

Heart of a Shepherd

Mar 28, 2023

Translations

Thai

พยานสองคนที่ทรงพลังของความทุกข์ยาก (วิวรณ์ 11; วิวรณ์ 12)

Dutch

Twee krachtige getuigen van de verdrukking (Openbaring 11; Openbaring 12)

Korean

환란의 두 강력한 증인(요한계시록 11장; 요한계시록 12장)

Romanian

Doi martori puternici ai necazului (Apocalipsa 11; Apocalipsa 12)

Swedish

Två mäktiga vittnen om vedermödan (Uppenbarelseboken 11; Uppenbarelseboken 12)

Chinese (Simplified)

两位大灾难的有力见证人(启示录 11 章;启示录 12 章)

Danish

To stærke vidner om trængslen (Åbenbaringen 11; Åbenbaringen 12)

Japanese

患難の二人の力強い証人(黙示録11章、黙示録12章)

Persian

دو شاهد قدرتمند مصیبت (مکاشفه 11؛ مکاشفه 12)

Greek

Δύο ισχυροί μάρτυρες της θλίψης (Αποκάλυψη 11· Αποκάλυψη 12)

Arabic

شاهدين أقوياء على الضيقة (رؤيا 11 ؛ رؤيا 12)

Swahili

Mashahidi Wawili Wenye Nguvu wa Dhiki (Ufunuo 11; Ufunuo 12)

Portuguese

Duas testemunhas poderosas da tribulação (Apocalipse 11; Apocalipse 12)

French (Canada)

Deux témoins puissants de la tribulation (Apocalypse 11 ; Apocalypse 12)

French

Deux témoins puissants de la tribulation (Apocalypse 11 ; Apocalypse 12)

German

Zwei mächtige Zeugen der Trübsal (Offenbarung 11; Offenbarung 12)

Russian

Два сильных свидетеля скорби (Откровение 11; Откровение 12)

Malay

Dua Saksi Berkuasa Kesengsaraan (Wahyu 11; Wahyu 12)

Vietlabelse

Hai Nhân Chứng Mạnh Mẽ về Cơn Đại Nạn (Khải Huyền 11; Khải Huyền 12)

Urdu

مصیبت کے دو طاقتور گواہ (مکاشفہ 11؛ مکاشفہ 12)

Ukrainian

Два могутніх свідка скорботи (Об’явлення 11; Об’явлення 12)

Croatian

Dva snažna svjedoka nevolje (Otkrivenje 11; Otkrivenje 12)

Tagalog

Dalawang Makapangyarihang Saksi ng Kapighatian (Pahayag 11; Pahayag 12)

Hebrew

שני עדים חזקים של הצרה (התגלות 11; התגלות 12)

Chinese (Traditional)

兩位大災難的有力見證人(啟示錄 11 章;啟示錄 12 章)

Haitian Creole

De Temwen pwisan nan tribilasyon an (Revelasyon 11; Revelasyon 12)

Spanish

Dos poderosos testigos de la tribulación (Apocalipsis 11; Apocalipsis 12)

Hindi

क्लेश के दो सामर्थी गवाह (प्रकाशितवाक्य 11; प्रकाशितवाक्य 12)

Italian

Due potenti testimoni della tribolazione (Apocalisse 11; Apocalisse 12)

Two Powerful Witnesses of the Tribulation (Revelation 11; Revelation 12) 

Scripture reading – Revelation 11; Revelation 12



Note from the author: Today’s reading marks the start of the final week of a two-year chronological study of the Scriptures. I confess a sense of accomplishment, and I trust you might feel the same if you have been on this spiritual journey with me.

 

Next Sunday, January 1, 2023, “Heart of A Shepherd” will return to the Book of Genesis. A new, 2-year chronological Scripture reading schedule is available, and you are invited to subscribe and join this shepherd, as we go back to the Beginning (Genesis 1:1). Complementing my “Heart of A Shepherd” devotions, will be a sermon series that will be a Journey Through the Bible, and parallel the weekly devotional schedule. The new series is titled, “Logos: A Journey of Faith, Hope, and Love” and will be preached at Hillsdale each Sunday morning, 10:30 AM. Join me as we journey from the Beginning (Genesis 1:1) to Eternity (Revelation 22:21).



Today’s Scripture reading is Revelation 11 and 12, and our study will be taken from chapter 11. Having witnessed the warnings and judgments that followed four of the seven trumpets (Revelation 8:7-12), John recorded he heard “an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth” (Revelation 8:13). The first woe began when the fifth trumpet sounded, and the devil was “given the key of the bottomless pit” (Revelation 9:1). Opening the gate of the pit, an innumerable host of demons emerged in the form of locusts, and darkened the sun and air (Revelation 9:2-3). They went forth to afflict and terrorize the inhabitants of the earth (Revelation 9:4-12).



The sixth trumpet sounded, and the second woe came forth (Revelation 9:13). An angel loosed four angels (whom I believe were demonic beings) that were “bound in the great river Euphrates” (Revelation 9:14). Those four beings were followed by 200 million “horsemen” (I believe demonic spirits, Revelation 9:16-17). One-third of humanity was slain (that number would be over 2 billion today, Revelation 9:18). Tragically, in spite of the suffering, men would not repent of their wickedness, and continued in their sin (Revelation 9:20-21).



The seventh and final trumpet was heard in Revelation 10, and marked the final woe, whose judgments continued to Revelation 11:15).



Revelation 11

 

I believe chapter 11 marks the beginning of the final triumph over evil. As John looked on, he was compelled to take a reed, essentially a measuring rod, in hand and “measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein” (Revelation 11:1). The purpose for measuring was not given, but I believe it was God’s way of meting out and marking for judgment those who would be saved from destruction (Revelation 11:1). Then, John was commanded to not measure the outer court of the Temple, with the explanation “it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months” (Revelation 11:2). 



The ancient temple in Jerusalem had an outer court called, “The Court of the Gentiles,” and Gentiles were allowed to only enter that area of the Temple grounds. So, it was a place where “they tread” (Revelation 11:2). The Temple built during the Tribulation will also have a Court of the Gentiles and “the holy city (Jerusalem) shall they [the Gentiles] tread under foot forty and two months” (Revelation 11:2). (Forty-two months is equivalent to 3.5 years and marks the latter half of the seven years of Tribulation.)

 

The Powerful Witness of Two Preachers (Revelation 11:3-14)



John described “two witnesses” that would “prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth” (3.5 years, Revelation 11:3). They were described as “two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth” (Revelation 11:4). Olive trees and their oil, and two candlesticks, were indicative of light and the powerful witness of the two prophets (Revelation 11:4). God warned He will be jealous of His witnesses, and described the power of their words as “fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies” (Revelation 11:5).

 

Like Elijah, who prayed and God shut up the heavens that it did not rain (1 Kings 17:1), and Moses whom God gave power to turn water to blood, and “smite the earth with all plagues” (Revelation 11:6), the two witnesses will be powerful like the two great prophets (in fact, scholars suggest they will in fact be Elijah and Moses).

 

The Murders of God’s Witnesses and the World’s Contempt (Revelation 11:7-10)



Only when their ministries were finished would an attack on the witnesses be successful (Revelation 11:7a). At that time, “the beast” (not Satan, but most likely the antichrist), would rise up from the “bottomless pit” and “make war against them [two witnesses], and shall overcome them, and kill them” (Revelation 11:7)

 

The bodies of the witnesses were left to decay in the streets of Jerusalem (described as “the great city,” and so wicked they were “called Sodom and Egypt” (Revelation 11:8). John beheld how the people and nations of the world looked on the bodies of the dead witnesses with contempt, and the people of the earth celebrated their deaths by giving and exchanging gifts (Revelation 11:10). Everyone rejoiced, for they had been tormented by the words and testimonies of God’s prophets (Revelation 11:10).

 

The Miraculous Resurrection of Two Witnesses (Revelation 11:11-13)



The celebration of the wicked came to a sudden halt when, “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” (Revelation 11:11). When 3.5 days were passed, the world looked on in terror, as those who had celebrated their deaths, now watched as the two witnesses rose to their feet, and were commanded by the Lord, “Come up hither” (Revelation 11:12). Within the same hour, a great earthquake struck Jerusalem, destroying one-tenth of the city, and slaying 7,000 men (Revelation 11:13).

 

Closing thoughts (Revelation 11:13-19) – The Scriptures do not say those who survived the earthquake repented of their sins, but John records they were terrified, and “gave glory to the God of heaven” (in other words, they acknowledged all they observed was God’s work, 11:13). This event marked the conclusion of the second woe (Revelation 11:14), and was followed by a blast from the seventh trumpet, marking the beginning of the final woe (Revelation 11:15). Lord willing, I will address this section of our Scripture reading in another year.

 

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