Question: Please explain the book of Revelation beginning with chapter one and going through chapter twenty two.
Answer: Chapter eleven explained: In this chapter we see the temple measured; two witnesses; the third woe and the sounding of the seventh trumpet. So, just what does all this mean?
In verses 1-2 John is given a measuring stick and told to measure the temple, the altar and them that worship there. He is specifically told not to measure the court without. The purpose of the measuring is that of separation as is seen in Ezekiel 42:20 “He measured it by the four sides: it had a wall round about, five hundred reeds long, and five hundred broad, to make a separation between the sanctuary and the profane place.” The purpose of the separation is that of protection: while God is judging and defeating Rome and the ungodly sinner His people have been separated out and will not be part of this judgment and His wrath. The temple is the universal Church of Christ as is seen in 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” This is the only temple God has on earth at this time. This Church is about to enter a period of time (42 months is a time figure, no more and no less) when it would suffer grievous persecution at the hands of Rome and the nations of the world, but the message is loud and clear; it will be sustained! Thus we have the explanation of not measuring the outer court.
Then, in verses 3-14, God gives power (remember, God is in control) to two witnesses that are enabled and will faithfully stand before God, on earth, with His testimony. The two witnesses are the Church as is seen in Zechariah 4:11-14 “Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof? 12And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? 13And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. 14Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.” These witnesses are said to be dressed in sackcloth indicating that they will endure hardship and mourning, but they cannot be stopped totally in their preaching for it is the Lord that sustains them; the truth may be crushed to the earth and seen as dead, but it will rise up again! Just like it’s Master our Redeemer did. This is said loud and clear and easy to see in these verses. It may seem the world is victorious with its ungodly and unrighteous teachings and works as seen in Acts 4:25-28 “Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? 26The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. 27For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, 28For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.” But, the truth is that God’s word (the gospel), His power unto salvation (Romans 1:16), will stand and shine bright in the judgment as is seen in 2 Thessalonians 1:7-11 “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 10When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. 11Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power.” Then in Ephesians 3:10-11 we learn this is Gods expectations “To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” This is exactly what happened according to the Bible in Acts 8:4 “Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.” With the second woe being passed the third woe is upon us—the sounding of the seventh trumpet.
Now, in verses 15-19, God sounds out His final warning of judgment accompanied with heavenly voices stating an absolute truth—the kingdoms of the world are under God’s control and His Kingdom, the Church, is far superior as seen in Isaiah 2:1-5 “The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. 2And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. 3And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. 5O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.” And, also seen in Acts 2:36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Then the temple in heaven was opened and “the ark of “His” covenant” is shown, to once again assure the Christian that God is faithful to His covenant and that this life of troubles and trials shall pass: Acts 3:23 “And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.” Yes, God is doing His part as seen in 1 Corinthians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” The real question is; “are you doing yours?”
Do you have a Bible question or comment you would like to have answered? Please call Marshall Stubblefield at 423-272-2404.