Rev Mar’s Nov 22 sermon text and slides can be downloaded here:
Revelation Chapter 10-11:14 – The First Two Woes
- Review Chapters 8-9
- Except for Chapter 7 of the Book of Revelation, from chapter 4 to chapter 9 are chronological chapters. Now in Chapter 10 until Chapter 11:15, we encounter another parenthetical portion of the Book of Revelation. A parenthetical portion of the book does not advance the revelation of future events in the great tribulation.
|Revelation Chapter 10 (First Part of the Parenthetical Portion of the Book)||Comments|
|The Message of the Angel of the LordRev 10:1 And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire: Rev 10:2 And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth, Rev 10:3 And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices. Rev 10:4 And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.|
The angel is described in a way that it is almost to the glory of the Lord (his face as it were the sun and his feer as pillars of fire). But this is not the Lord Himself because he is called “another” angel – the same kind as a previous angel; “come down from heaven”-the Bible does not indicate that Jesus would return to earth during the great tribulation.He had a “little book” (Gr., biblaridon) is different from the book (Gr., biblion) with 7 seals which was unsealed in Chapter 6. John was forbidden from writing down the voices of the 7 thunders (cf. when Paul was caught up into paradise, he heard unspeakable words, which were not lawful for a man to utter, 2Corinthian 12:4)
|Rev 10:5 And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, The AnnouncementRev 10:6 And sware by him that liveth forever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer (that there would be no more delay, ESV):Rev 10:7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.|
Another reason why this angel is not the Lord Jesus because “he sware by him that liverh forever and ever.”-If this were Christ, He would have sworn by Himself (Hebrews 6:13 when Jesus Christ could swear by no one greater, he sware by himself.)The angel makes the important announcement that “there will be more delay (in the fulfillment of the judgment of God “in the days of the voice of the 7th angel when he shall begin to sound”). Note that 6 trumpets have been sounded and the next to be sounded is 7th trumpet which contains the most severe and most terrifying 7 bowls of judgment. There will be no more delay in fulfilling the judgment on this earth.
|Rev 10:8 And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth. Rev 10:9 And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. Rev 10:10 And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter. Rev 10:11 And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.||This commandment to John to eat the little book (most probably contains the word of God) has a parallel in Ezekiel (Ezekiel 2:9-3:4) and Jeremiah (Jeremiah 15:16-18). Ezekiel was commanded by the Lord to speak the words of the Lord after having eaten the scroll.The word of God is both bitter and sweet. The promises of God are sweet and full of grace but the judgment of God is also bitter and dreadful when it condemns the wicked.|
Just as Ezekiel was commanded by the Lord to speak the words of the Lord after having eaten the scroll, John, after eating the little book, is commanded to prophesy again before many peoples and nations and tongues and kings. (Prophecy in the New Testament is not only predicting the future or foretelling, but the primary meaning is forthtelling the will of God.) This is an indication that John will be released and he will preached again this words given to him.
|Revelation 11:1-14 (Second Part of the Parenthetical Portion of the Book||Comments|
|The Measuring of the Tribulation TempleRev 11:1 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. Rev 11:2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.|
John is given a 9-foot rod to measure the Temple but not the outer court which is given to the Gentiles because they will trod the city underfoot for 42 months or 3 ½ year. Even after the 1967 War, when Israel recaptured Jerusalem and the Old City where the Temple Mount is, yet they do not fully control the Temple Mount. Presently, it is under the administration of Waqf under Jordanian custodianship, while maintaining Israeli security control. It remains a major focal point of the Arab–Israeli conflict. Forty-two months refer to the 2nd half of the Tribulation period when the temple would have been desecrated by the antichrist. Israel will be able to build the tribulation temple during the first half of the 7 years under the protection of the antichrist (Daniel 9:24-27). Presently it is not possible because the site is occupied by the Dome of the Rock of the Muslims and it would be disastrous under the present political climate.Just as the Lord Jesus Christ prophesied in Luke 21:24 “…and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” “Times of the Gentiles” will end when the Lord Jesus comes again to establish His Millennial Kingdom on earth in Jerusalem.
|The Two WitnessesRev 11:3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. Rev 11:4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. Rev 11:5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. Rev 11:6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.|
For the same period the antichrist will possess the temple for the worship of himself, the Lord calls His two witnesses. Two witnesses are necessary because in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. Two witnesses symbolized by the two olive trees and two lampstands have a parallel in Zechariah 4 where a lampstand is fed with oil by two olive trees. Zerubbabel, one of the leaders of Israel during Zechariah’s time, their witness was empowered by the oil from the olive tree symbolic of being empowered by the Holy Spirit.These two prophets are given the power to shut up the sky so it will not rain for 3 ½ years and the power to turn the waters into blood. While it is impossible to be dogmatic, the miracles they will perform are similar to the judgments in the OT done by Moses and Elijah. Elijah pronounced a 3 ½ year drought in all the land (1Kings 17:1; James 5:17) and called down fire from heaven (2 Kings 1:10, 12) while Moses turned the Nile river into blood. Hebrews 9:27 (it is appointed for men to die once and after it comes judgment does not rule out the return of Moses because there is an exception such as Lazarus (John 11:14, 38-44).
|Rev 11:7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. Rev 11:8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. Rev 11:9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and and a half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. Rev 11:10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. Rev 11:11 And 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.Rev 11:12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. Rev 11:13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven. Rev 11:14 The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.||Finally, when they have done their preaching, the two witnesses were overcome by the beast (antichrist) that comes up from the Abyss. Abyss is the prison for certain demons (9:1-3). Though the antichrist is a man, he will be empowered by the demon from the abyss. And kill the two witnesses.Fifty years ago, the entire world watching the dead bodies of the two witnesses on the street of Jerusalem can question the prophecy. But with the advent of satellite television in 1962-63 or the Internet, this prophecy as written by John can be a reality. After 3 ½ days, a greater impact is achieved as they are also watched worldwide when a voice from heaven calls them, “Come-up hither.” the people watching are terrified but do not repent. The Lord Jesus said, “If unbelievers do not listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.” (Luke 16:31)What ensues is a great earthquake and a tenth of the city is destroyed and seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake. While the people at that time are unrepentant of their sins (9:20-21), a remnant gave glory to God of heaven. This must refer to the Jews that will come to faith in Christ by the preaching of these two witnesses.|
|The interlude or the parenthetical portion ends here and comes the seventh trumpet containing the more terrifying 7 bowl judgments QUICKLY follows and then comes the return of Jesus Christ, our Lord, in glory to set up His kingdom.|
The “mystery of God” in Revelation 10:7 is the long delay of our Lord in judging this wicked world once and for all and establish righteousness on earth.
Dr. W. A. Criswell writes this:“The mystery of God is the long delay of our Lord in setting up His kingdom and establish righteousness on earth is the most inexplicable mystery that mind could dream of, the mystery of the presence of evil. For these thousands of years, God has allowed satan to wrap up his vicious slimy, filthy, cruel tentacles around the earth. Does God know it? Is He indifferent to it? Oh the mystery of the delay of God! That mystery has brought more stumbling to the faith of God’s people than any other experience in life. The infidel, the atheist, the agnostic, and the unbelievers laugh and mock us and God let them mock us…our missionaries are slain, our churches are burned to the ground, people in this earth by uncounted millions are oppressed, living in despair and God just looks on.” He seemingly does not intervene. He does not say anything, and He does not move. Sin just develops and it goes on and on.” (Sermons on Revelation, Zondervan, 1969, pp. 199, 200)
This reminds me of the passages in Hebrews 11:Heb 11:36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: Heb 11:37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; Heb 11:38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. Heb 11:39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: Hebrews 12 has this to say: Heb 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Meaning that those who were ahead of us remained in the faith, despite the appearances to the contrary, and, they received not the promise of deliverance from evil and see the coming of the Lord to set up His kingdom of righteousness and yet they remained in the faith, how much more of us, how shall we not also endure sufferigns and remain in the faith because we saw the Lord suffering on the cross that we may obtain the promises. How shall we not also endure the suffering we are going through by “laying aside the weight of sin that easily beset us, let us endure suffering to finish the race by looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith because He endured the cross, despised the shame that He may be able to share with us the joy of being with Him in glory unto eternity.
The apostle Peter has this to say:2Pe 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 2Pe 3:11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 2Pe 3:12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 2Pe 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
Yes, we “look for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.” (Titus 2:13-15)
There is a day, an hour at the appointed time in eternity when the Lord “shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)
The Lord’s Message 22/11/2020