Keys to Revelation – Chapter 11
AUTHOR: Capoccia, Tony
PUBLISHED ON: May 12, 2003
PUBLISHED IN: Bible Studies

                        Keys to Revelation – Chapter 11

Taken from the HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (C) 1978 by the New
York International Bible Society, used by permission of Zondervan Bible

          BIBLE TEXT                                  COMMENTARY

REV 11:1  I was given a reed like        [reed] – Near the Jordan were many
a measuring rod and was told, “Go        bamboo-like canes which were long and
and measure the temple of God and        rigid, sometimes as long as 15 or 20
the altar, and count the worshipers      feet, ideal for a measuring rod.
                                          [Go and measure] – Gives clear
                                          evidence of a literal temple that is
                                          to be constructed before or during
                                          the Tribulation Period.  God measured
                                          Jerusalem in Zechariah 2, the Temple
                                          in EZE 40, and the New Jerusalem in
                                          REV 21:15-17.

REV 11:2  But exclude the outer          [outer court] – The court which is
court; do not measure it, because        outside the temple would be the Court
it has been given to the Gentiles.        of the Gentiles.  It would be an
They will trample on the holy city        uncovered yard outside of the temple.
for 42 months.                           
                                          [do not measure it] – The new temple
                                          is still a place of false worship
                                          that the Jews have rebuilt to return
                                          to sacrificial worship, which is no
                                          longer acceptable to God because of
                                          the finished work of Jesus Christ.
                                          And the Jews still are excluding the
                                          Gentiles from access to what the Jews
                                          believe to be the truth.

                                          [Gentiles… they will trample] – The
                                          Bible always contrasts two peoples,
                                          The Jews and the Gentiles.  The
                                          Gentiles include all those not born
                                          of Jewish heritage and most Gentiles
                                          are unbelievers.  These unbelieving
                                          Gentiles will dominate and rule over

                                          [42 months] – Equates to a three-and-
                                          one-half-year period or half of the
                                          seven-year period of the Tribulation.
                                          The chronology of events would place
                                          the 42 months as the second half of
                                          the Tribulation.

REV 11:3  And I will give power to        [I will give power] – God commissions
my two witnesses, and they will          two persons to speak in a very direct
prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in      way to the world.
                                          [1260 days] – 42 Months or three-and-
                                          one half years (Bible uses 30 day
                                          months and 360 day years).

                                          [sackcloth] – Rough garb of the 
                                          ancient prophets made of fabric from
                                          sacks and usually dark in color. This
                                          garb was especially suited to be worn
                                          as a mourning garment.

REV 11:4  These are the two olive        [olive trees] – Source of olive oil
trees and the two lampstands that        that is burned in lamps and used to
stand before the Lord of the earth.      represent the Word of God.  In ZEC
                                          4:3, 11, 14, we see the same picture

                                          The Spirit used the symbols of the
                                          trees and the lamps to represent two
                                          prophets He will cause to testify on
                                          the earth in the spirit and power of
                                          Moses and Elijah.

REV 11:5  If anyone tries to harm        [fire…from their mouths] – Not real
them, fire comes from their mouths        flames but rather the Word of God
and devours their enemies. This is        spoken in judgment that will cause
how anyone who wants to harm them        their would be assailants to be
must die.                                killed.  See JER 5:14 for a clear
                                          use of God’s Word as fire.

REV 11:6  These men have power to        [power to shut up sky] – They will
shut up the sky so that it will not      like Elijah be able to prevent rain
rain during the time they are            from falling to the earth (1KI 17:1).
prophesying; and they have power to     
turn the waters into blood and to        [turn the waters into blood] – This
strike the earth with every kind of      is real blood given to a blood
plague as often as they want.            thirsty world.  This same judgment
                                          is seen in EXO 7:19 when Moses turned
                                          the waters of Egypt into blood.

                                          [strike the earth…plague] – These
                                          two men have a message to speak and
                                          they will perform various miracles
                                          of judgment to try to get an unsaved
                                          world to believe, but because of the
                                          hardness of men’s heart, mankind will
                                          refuse God’s grace and simply receive
                                          His righteous judgments.

REV 11:7  Now when they have              [finished their testimony] – In 11:3
finished their testimony, the beast      we learned that the period of their
that comes up from the Abyss will        testimony will be three-and-one-half
attack them, and overpower and kill      years.
                                          [beast] – The Abyss is the place for
                                          the very wicked demons and one of
                                          them, referred to as the beast, will
                                          inhabit a man, most likely the one
                                          who will assist the Antichrist (see
                                          REV 13:11).

                                          [attack…kill them] – God removed
                                          his protection from the two witnesses
                                          because His purposes had been ful-

REV 11:8  Their bodies will lie in        [bodies will lie] – Literally they
the street of the great city, which      will be killed as they were speaking
is figuratively called Sodom and          God’s truth publicly and then left
Egypt, where also their Lord was          on the street.
                                          [great city] – Clearly it is the City
                                          of Jerusalem for it is where our
                                          sweet and lovely Savior died for our
                                          wickedness.  By the time of the 
                                          Tribulation Jerusalem has become very
                                          wicked, even earning the name Sodom
                                          and being likened to Egypt, a country
                                          of oppression and slavery.

REV 11:9  For three and a half days      [three and a half days] – Literal
men from every people, tribe,            time when the bodies were simply left
language and nation will gaze on          on the streets to decay because of
their bodies and refuse them              hatred of the two prophets by the
burial.                                  unbelieving world.

                                          [every…nation gaze] – Every people,
                                          tribe, language, and nation gaze or 
                                          watch the bodies for three and a half
                                          days.  This means the whole world can
                                          see the bodies, which could be easily
                                          accomplished by satellite TV.

REV 11:10  The inhabitants of the        [gloat…celebrate] – The world has a
earth will gloat over them and will      fiendish glee over the death of those
celebrate by sending each other          who preached words of judgment and
gifts, because these two prophets        performed such dreadful miracles.
had tormented those who live on the
earth.                                    [sending each other gifts] – What a
                                          sick and wicked world that would kill
                                          God’s prophets and then give gifts to
                                          celebrate the occasion.

REV 11:11  But after the three and        [But] – God will now stop the sick
a half days a breath of life from        rejoicing of sinful man.
God entered them, and they stood on     
their feet, and terror struck those      [breath of life entered them] – Jesus
who saw them.                            does the same to the two witnesses as
                                          He did for Lazarus who was dead for
                                          about the same length of time, He
                                          brought them back to life, creating
                                          new flesh and organs to replace those
                                          already destroyed by three plus days
                                          of decay.

                                          [stood on their feet] – They did not
                                          simply start breathing again as they
                                          laid there, rather they had full
                                          strength, just like many who were
                                          healed in the the New Testament days.

                                          [terror struck…who saw] – While the
                                          wicked was rejoicing over the deaths
                                          of God’s anointed and opening their
                                          presents as they watch the corpses on
                                          International TV, suddenly the bodies
                                          began to move and then stand up!  The
                                          wicked then knew these were God’s
                                          prophets and terror “set in” as they
                                          fearfully awaited Divine Judgment.

REV 11:12  Then they heard a loud        [Come up here] – Jesus commands them
voice from heaven saying to them,        to “Come up to Heaven” and their
“Come up here.” And they went up to      resurrected bodies simply “lifted”
heaven in a cloud, while their            off of the earth and most likely
enemies looked on.                        ascended slowly to “capture” the

REV 11:13  At that very hour there        [terrified and gave glory] – This is
was a severe earthquake and a tenth      not a turning from sin in faith to
of the city collapsed. Seven              God, but rather they are simply
thousand people were killed in the        compelled by overriding terror to
earthquake, and the survivors were        recognize that God is to be feared
terrified and gave glory to the God      and glorified.
of heaven. 

REV 11:14  The second woe has            [second woe] – The sixth trumpet
passed; the third woe is coming          (9:12) with the two episodes attached
soon.                                    (10:1-11:13).

                                          [third woe] – The seventh trumpet
                                          which includes the seven bowls of
                                          God’s wrath (16:1).

REV 11:15  The seventh angel              [world has become kingdom] – With the
sounded his trumpet, and there were      third woe come the final judgments
loud voices in heaven, which said:        which open the way for the Glorious
“The kingdom of the world has            Kingdom of Christ.
become the kingdom of our Lord and
of his Christ, and he will reign
for ever and ever.” 

REV 11:16  And the twenty-four            See REV 4:4 and 4:9-11
elders, who were seated on their
thrones before God, fell on their
faces and worshiped God, 

REV 11:17  saying: “We give thanks        [great power] – Points to the final
to you, Lord God Almighty, the One        conflict in which God overpowers all
who is and who was, because you          of His enemies.
have taken your great power and         
have begun to reign. 

REV 11:18  The nations were angry;        [nation were angry] – They were
and your wrath has come. The time        defiant in their anger towards God.
has come for judging the dead, and       
for rewarding your servants the          [wrath has come] – God has been
prophets and your saints and those        storing up wrath for generations to
who reverence your name, both small      be poured out during the end times.
and great–and for destroying those
who destroy the earth.”                  [judging the dead] – This takes place
                                          at the Great White Throne in REV 20:
                                          11-15.  This is only for the wicked
                                          dead, because the redeemed have
                                          already been judged at the cross.

                                          [rewarding…saints] – REV 21:1-4,

REV 11:19  Then God’s temple in          [temple in heaven] – The sanctuary
heaven was opened, and within his        of God in heaven.  The temples built
temple was seen the ark of his            on earth by Moses and Solomon was in
covenant. And there came flashes of      likeness to the Sanctuary in Heaven
lightning, rumblings, peals of            to include the Ark. 
thunder, an earthquake and a great
hailstorm.                                This last verse pictures the love
                                          and faithfulness of God as He reveals
                                          His Ark of His Covenant, the promises
                                          to His children. Likewise, the latter
                                          part of the verse shows the wrath 
                                          being poured out on His enemies.

Tony Capoccia
Box 130
Shreveport, LA 71110
Modem (318) 949-1456
300/1200/2400/9600 Baud

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