Let’s look, momentarily, at what we last covered.
Revelation 10:7-9 NLT When the seventh angel blows his trumpet, God’s mysterious plan will be fulfilled. It will happen just as he announced it to his servants the prophets.” (8) Then the voice from heaven spoke to me again: “Go and take the open scroll from the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.” (9) So I went to the angel and told him to give me the small scroll. “Yes, take it and eat it,” he said. “It will be sweet as honey in your mouth, but it will turn sour in your stomach!”
“When the seventh angel blows his shofar, God’s mysterious plan will be fulfilled.”
From the first moments in the garden, the mysterious plan was in action. How appropriate that he would call the plan mysterious and here is why.
Eve told God she was deceived, but the word she used was nâshâ’, or as the Word Study Dictionary shows nāšā’. In either case it is a verb indicating lending or interest, serving as a creditor. Wait a minute, she said she was deceived but this word means that they have now voluntarily become indebted to a demonic entity and enslaved the entire human race.
At this point, you should be asking, what just happened?
You might agree that Eve was deceived, but Adam was not. His eyes were fully open and he stood right there watching and listening to everything that Satan/the serpent was up to, including the moment when Eve reached out for the forbidden fruit. What did Adam do, he followed her lead and in so doing handed over the authority and ownership of the earth and all that went with it. In doing this Adam put humanity (for a long time) into the indebtedness of Satan.
Wow, this sounds so hopeless, and it is by human standards, but not by God’s, and thus begins the mysterious plan to get rid of Satan once and for all; to redeem humanity, giving them the right to choose Christ as their master, and to finally bring His followers back into the eternal kingdom of peace.
Genesis 3:15 MKJV And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He will bruise your head and you shall bruise His heel.
(I dislike this word enmity because NO ONE uses it. The dictionary tells us it means “The quality of being an enemy; the opposite of friendship; ill will; hatred; unfriendly dispositions; malevolence.”)
Since it’s obvious that Eve would NOT live forever, the usage of the terminology “woman” is referring to Israel which will produce the Messiah – the He that this verse refers to is Jesus and He will bruise your head (Satan).
Bruise is the Hebrew word shûph and means to crush or snap. It is not the civilized word bruise, it is a death blow. You would think that Satan received such a blow when God threw him out of heaven; and yet, when you read Job you find Satan presenting himself before God in heaven. It is also clear from scripture that Satan is before God perpetually accusing the saints, so the “fatal” blow will come at the end of the thousand years of peace, when Satan is permanently dispatched into the lake of fire, never to be heard from again.
“Go and take the open scroll from the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.”
This theme originated in the Tanakh (the Old Testament) and we have several examples.
Ezekiel 2:8-10 speaks of sadness, mourning, and grief.
Ezekiel 2:8-10 CEV Ezekiel, don’t rebel against me, as they have done. Instead, listen to everything, I tell you. And now, Ezekiel, open your mouth and eat what I am going to give you. (9) Just then, I saw a hand stretched out toward me. And in it was a scroll. (10) The hand opened the scroll and both sides of it were filled with words of sadness, mourning, and grief.
Ezekiel 3 expresses how He is primarily directing this message to the people of Israel.
Ezekiel 3:1-3 NLT The voice said to me, “Son of man, eat what I am giving you—eat this scroll! Then go and give its message to the people of Israel.” (2) So I opened my mouth, and he fed me the scroll. (3) “Fill your stomach with this,” he said. And when I ate it, it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth.
And Zechariah tells us it is the curse that goes out over the face of the whole land. All of these examples sound like the Revelation.
Zechariah 5:1-3 TLV Once again I lifted up my eyes and behold, I saw a flying scroll! (2) Then the angel asked me, “What do you see?” I replied, “I see a flying scroll twenty cubits long and ten cubits wide.” (3) He said to me: “This is the curse that goes out over the face of the whole land: everyone who steals will be swept away from here according to it, and everyone who swears will be swept away from here according to it.”
I am just a mortal, but my logical assumption is that God has asked John to consume the scroll that contains the fulfillment of the mystery, the same information that we are reading. The fact that it tastes like honey might have a correlation to our hope where our spirits rejoice because there will be a time in which we finally get to return to our Father. What might explain that it turns bitter in John’s stomach is that the last seven years that fulfill the hope of the Jew, is filled with horror, pain, and death; and, hopefully repentance.
Chapter ten ends with this.
Revelation 10:10-11 NASB, “I took the little book out of the angel’s hand and ate it, and in my mouth, it was sweet as honey; and when I had eaten it, my stomach was made bitter. (11) And they *said to me, “You must prophesy again concerning many peoples and nations and tongues and kings.”
Chapter ten opened with the description of a great angel. I explained how every description of the angel points to Jesus Christ. With that information, I feel comfortable in saying that Jesus handed John the scroll. Since Jesus is the Word, then these are Jesus’ words and He has asked John to prophesy concerning many people, nations, tongues, and kings. Note that there is NO exclusivity to the Jews at this point.
Chapter ten, it would seem, is done. We have seen a finality in verse seven.
Revelation 10:7 NASB, but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, then the mystery of God is finished, as He preached to His servants the prophets.
Yes, this is event is yet to come, but it is potentially only seven years away from now.
A key to understanding chapter ten is keeping in mind that we are only introduced to the effects of the seventh trumpet; but, we have been given the impression that, at this point in time, that the seventh trumpet (a shofar) is close, in terms of time, to the events described in chapter ten.
If the mystery, according to Revelation 10, is complete, at this point, with no further delays, then why ten more chapters?
However, we don’t see the seventh trumpet until Revelation 11:15, but I think you will agree with me, as you begin to read chapter 11, that there is a lot going on.
While we are waiting for the seventh shofar to blow, what is going on?
With that we will begin to dip into Revelation 11.
Revelation 11:1 CJB I was given a measuring rod like a stick and told, “Get up, and measure the Temple of God and the altar, and count how many people are worshiping there!
Again, a Jewish theme, and one which is prominent in Ezekiel 40 – 42. Immediately I recognize that I am being given background information.
Ezekiel 40:5 CJB There was a wall surrounding the house. The man had in his hand a measuring rod six cubits long [ten-and-a-half feet], each cubit [twenty-one inches] being a normal cubit [eighteen inches] plus a handbreadth [three inches]. He measured the wall’s width at ten-and-a-half feet and its height at ten-and-a-half feet.
The lengths were standards for Israel. Revelation 11:2 is immensely significant.
Revelation 11:2 NASB “Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months.
In Luke’s gospel, we are told that Israel will fall by the sword (history tells us that this happened at least once already. The shortlist of invaders includes Romans, Saracens, Mamalukes, Franks, and Turks. Scripture tells us that it will happen again.) It is not that difficult to see that Israel is being trampled underfoot by the nations, to some degree, even now. Since the context applies to the rebuilt temple, we can understand it will be more intense and directly related to a future event associated with this forty-two months.
Luke 21:24 NASB and they will fall by the edge of the sword and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
Trampled is the Greek word pateō. It means to crush, to squeeze the juice out of grapes, to treat with insult, and to trample underfoot.
Do you want to know why the outer courts and all of Jerusalem will be trampled?
Ezekiel 8:5-9 NASB Then He said to me, “Son of man, raise your eyes now toward the north.” So I raised my eyes toward the north, and behold, to the north of the altar gate was this idol of jealousy at the entrance. And He said to me, “Son of man, do you see what they are doing, the great abominations which the house of Israel are committing here, so that I would be far from My sanctuary? But yet you will see still greater abominations.” (7) Then He brought me to the entrance of the court, and when I looked, behold, a hole in the wall. (8) He said to me, “Son of man, now dig through the wall.” So I dug through the wall, and behold, an entrance. (9) And He said to me, “Go in and see the wicked abominations that they are committing here.”
In the gospels we find this rebuke.
Mark 11:15-17 NASB Then they *came to Jerusalem. And He entered the temple and began to drive out those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who were selling doves; (16) and He would not permit anyone to carry merchandise through the temple. (17) And He began to teach and say to them, “Is it not written, ‘MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL THE NATIONS’? But you have made it a ROBBERS’ DEN.”
Did this phrase forty and two months catch your attention?
forty and two months. Equal to 1260 days, or 3 years and a half. We know that the antichrist will make a peace treaty with many for a seven-year period. (Israel is not mentioned in this conversation, and therefore safer to assume that they are not direct participants.) That could mean that Israel, without any support, has put up a deadly fight, and its attackers, in appropriate Muslim tradition, are merely reloading their weapons. But, as you know, there is a problem and this so-called global world leader, who has the ear of the Muslim nations breaks his own treaty after the forty-two months.
Right now, I would have 101 questions. Fortunately, God has answers, if we are willing to listen.
Revelation 11:3 ESV And I will grant authority (or power) to my two witnesses and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.”
Translations are interesting for they often assume a word or words. Revelation 11:3 is one of those situations, as the word authority/power are not in the Greek text. What is in the Greek text is the word didōmi which means to give something to someone. Didomi forces us to ask, what did He give them? We see this word didomi in the word grant. When I apply understanding by looking at the context, then it is easy to assume that these two witnesses have been given dunamis, or Holy Spirit power. An example of this comes from Acts 1:8.
Acts 1:8 NASB but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
This is the same thing Peter was talking about when he quoted Joel chapter 2. Here in Joel, Peter is talking about power.
Joel 2:28-32 NASB “It will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions. (29) “Even on the male and female servants, I will pour out My Spirit in those days.
(30) “I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, Blood, fire, and columns of smoke. (31) “The sun will be turned into darkness And the moon into blood Before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. (32) “And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the LORD Will be delivered; For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem There will be those who escape, As the LORD has said, Even among the survivors whom the LORD calls.
Who are these two witnesses?
Since it is appointed unto man, once to die, then I can assume that these would be the ONLY two prophets that did not die and therefore we are looking at Enoch and Elijah. Yes, Enoch was deemed to be a prophet and apparently walked off the earth. You would have to have been living under a rock to not know that Elijah got caught up to heaven in a fiery chariot.
A pastor who speaks boldly about end times events has said on many occasions that he wants front row seats to see Satan thrown into the lake of fire. That idea seems rather morbid and I doubt God will allow us to watch as it feeds into a side of our sinful nature, something that will be eradicated in that change process on the way up. What I have often expressed is that I would love to see these two witnesses in action. I suppose my desire stems from a lifetime of fear, and what I have described as powerlessness. Perhaps if I watched someone with power and how they used it, then I too would know how to use power. A bit of a useless fantasy seeing as the church will not be here on earth, a fact that should bring a feeling of hope. Anyway, the two witnesses open so many avenues of thought for me, so I am going to end this here and pick it up in the next post.
By the way, you may have picked up on the fact that God allows for exceptions, even though there are some things that have no give in them, such as, you can only get to heaven through Jesus, the Son. The challenging part of this assertion is defining what exactly the process of going through Jesus looks like. When it came to the thief on the cross, I am hard-pressed to define what happened there, but obviously, the man did what it took and found himself accepted.