Book of Revelation – a series presented by pastor Michael Walker
Lesson #11 – Revelation, chapter 11
Continuing under the warning of the 7th Trumpet, Revelation 11 connects with the rise of God’s Last-day Prophetic Movement as portrayed in Revelation 10. When the prophecy outlined in Revelation 10 met its fulfilment, the ‘worshippers’, as indicated in Revelation 11:1-2 were directed to Christ’s High Priestly ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary, specifically, in the Most Holy Place.
2 Important Events on the Political Stage Around that Time:
Papal Supremacy of 1,260 years ended in 1798, was a shock to Europe:
Daniel 7:25 – 3½ years = 42 months or 1,260 days in prophetic time from 538 to 1798 when the French Revolutionary armies under General Berthier deposed the pope and almost extinguished the Papacy.
The collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1840, shocked the world:
Revelation 9:5,10 – 5 months (150 years) to the establishment of the Ottoman Empire in 1449; Revelation 9:15 – 1 day, 1 month, 1 year, 1 hour – i.e. 27 July 1299 + 150 = 1449 + 391+ 15 days = 11 August 1840.
These accurate fulfilments established greater confidence in the Bible.
This was at a time when atheism was attacking the foundations of Bible teachings and Christianity. Therefore in Revelation 11, God continues to portray the battle between the Bible and atheism which has taken place in the great controversy between Christ and Satan.
‘The 2 olive trees and 2 candlesticks’ – echoes the vision in Zechariah 4:1-6; 11-14. The olive trees pour their oil into the candlesticks enabling them to give light. God’s Word shed’s light for us to walk in: Psalms 119:105,130. The oil, representing the Holy Spirit, not only inspired the prophets who wrote the Scriptures but also leads us into “all truth” (2 Peter 1:21; 2 Timothy 3:16,17; John 16:13); and God’s Word “is truth” (John 17:17).
Therefore, we conclude that the 2 Witnesses are the Old and New Testaments because:
– According to Revelation 11:3, they are God’s 2 Witnesses.
– Jesus clearly stated that the Scriptures testified of Himself (John 5:39); He proved this as He went through the OT prophecies (Luke 24:25-27, 32, 44-49).
– The witness was further given in the proclamation of the Gospel: Mark 16:15; Matthew 28:19,20; 24:14.
– Both OT and NT prophesied the 1,260 years of papal supremacy. “The two witnesses represent the Scriptures of the Old and the New Testaments. Both are important testimonies to the origin and perpetuity of the law of God. Both are witnesses also to the plan of salvation. The types, sacrifices, and prophecies of the Old Testament point forward to a Saviour to come. The Gospels and Epistles of the New Testament tell of a Saviour Who has come in the exact manner foretold by type and prophecy” – E. G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 267.
“Clothed in sackcloth” – this is a sign of mourning as they would be killed (vs. 7,8). The OT and NT were, in a certain sense, silenced, during the period of the Dark Ages due to the apostasy in the Papal Church; and later, by the attacks of infidelity and rationalism. Yet, in spite of these, the Bible continued its testimony because its prophetic time prophecies relative to these opposing powers were not prevented but were fulfilled exactly on time.
Those who hurt these 2 Witnesses shall be killed and suffer the plagues and judgements of God. The OT and NT have “power” – Greek: exousia – i.e. ‘authority’ (1) over nature to cause drought; (2) to turn water into blood; and (3) to smite the earth with all the plagues. We should not underestimate the authority of God’s Word, not even in written form, because what God declares will be done. There is spiritual power in God’s Word as revealed in the typologies of Elijah and Moses: – God warned Israel that there would be drought if they turned their hearts from Him to false gods: Deuteronomy 11:16,17. Elijah prophesied no rain for 3½ years because they turned to serve Baal: 1 Kings 17:1; 18:1; Luke 4:25; James 5:17. Is this not significant of the 3½ prophetic years in Daniel 7:25? Moses informed the defiant pharaoh that the river would be turned to blood: Exodus 7:17. Also, the ensuing plagues came as judgements against the gods of Egypt: Exodus 12:12; Numbers 33:4. It is also significant of one of the 7 Last Plagues: Revelation 16:4.
‘Beast from the bottomless pit’ – the Greek word abussos refers to desolation and chaos. Around this particular period marking the “Time of the End” of the papal era, there was only one satanically-inspired power that brought chaos and confusion, and that was the French Revolution that turned to atheistic tyranny in an attempt to destroy Christianity and the Bible. It demonstrated the same defiant attitude as did pharaoh: Exodus 5:2. During the period of the French Revolution, J. Galloway wrote his Brief Commentaries in which he makes this observation:
“If we search the annals of the world, we shall not find even a private society or sect, much less a civil community and state, which, before our day, has, in the most public manner proclaimed to all the nations around it, That THERE IS NO GOD! and made that position the basis of the constitution of its government” – Vol. 1, p. 78.
On 10 November 1793, the French Assembly by an act of the Legislature and the people, abolished the belief in and worship of God, declaring they were now extinct! Bibles were publicly insulted and abused throughout France. In Lyons, they were dragged tied to the tail of an ass in a procession through the streets!
The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was desecrated and renamed the ‘Temple of Reason’. The National Convention and all the authorities attended a burlesque and insulting ceremony. A harlot was enthroned as the ‘Goddess of Reason’ and venerated as she was paraded through the streets of Paris. The city, a centre of nationalism, was a hive of sodomy as fornication was encouraged by law!
With the Christian era now abolished, the Republican calendar in which a weekly cycle of 10 days was introduced, substituted the weekly Sabbath for another day; and replaced Christian dating of the years as a new era, declaring year one commencing September 22, 1792. It also became a spiritual Egypt with its militant atheism parading through the streets with banners, hurling insults and obscenities at the God of Heaven, with such mottoes as “Crush the Wretch!” (meaning Christ), while the streets ran with blood! France had witnessed the massacre of the Huguenot Christians by the papists back in 1572; and now it was engaged in a ‘massacre’ of Christ and His Holy Word – truly crucifying the Lord afresh (Hebrews 6:4-8).
3½ prophetic days = 3½ solar years.
The decree suppressing the Bible passed by the French Assembly in November 1793 was not immortalised! Three years later, a resolution was introduced into the Assembly that offered toleration to the Bible. It lay on the table for 6 months before it was taken up when it was passed without a dissenting vote.
“On the 17th of June, Camille Jourdan, in the ‘Council of Five Hundred’, brought up the memorable report on the ‘Revision of the laws relative to religious worship’. It consisted of a number of propositions, abolishing alike the Republican restrictions on Popish worship, and the Popish restrictions on Protestant.
1. That all citizens might buy or hire edifices for the free exercise of religious worship.
2. That all congregations might assemble by the sound of bells.
3. That no test or promise of any sort unrequired from other citizens should be required of the ministers of those congregations.
4. That any individual attempting to impede, or in any way interrupt the public worship should be fined, up to 500 livres, and not less than 50; and that if the interruption proceeded from the constituted authorities, such authorities should be fined double the sum.
5. That entrance to assemblies for the purpose of religious worship should be free for all citizens.
6. That all other laws concerning religious worship should be repealed. Those regulations, in comprehending the whole state of worship in France, were, in fact, a peculiar boon to Protestantism. Popery was already in sight of full restoration. But Protestantism, crushed under the burden of the laws of Louis XIV, and supported by the popular belief, required the direct support of the state to ‘stand on its feet’. . . . From that period the Church has been free in France. . . . The Church and the Bible had been slain in France from November, 1793, till June, 1797. The three years and a half were expended, and the Bible, so long and so sternly repressed before were placed in honour, and was openly the book of free Protestantism!” – George Croly, The Apocalypse of St John, pp. 181-183.
The effect of this new law was tremendous. According to Annales de la Religion, in July 1979, public services were restored in 31,214 communes of France and 41 churches in Paris were crowded with worshippers!
“Ascended up to heaven” – The Bible that had been so vigorously suppressed by the godless, was now exalted before all the nations! In 1804, soon after the French Revolution, the British and Foreign Bible Society was formed. At that time, it had only been translated into a few languages, but now almost the whole world can read it, or portions of it, in their own language. Today there are some 148 United Bible Societies in the world. By 2020 – the complete Bible had been translated into approx., 700 languages, while the NT has been translated into well over 1,500. Small portions of the NT translated into over 1,000 languages. At least one part of the Bible has been translated into 3,312 of the 7,097 languages. [Statistical information from: www.christianlingua.com/ ]. This has opened the way for the proclamation of God’s Last Warning Message to the world: Revelation 14:6,7.
“A great earthquake” – the symbol of an earthquake is frequently used in prophecy to characterize the turmoil and upheaval that exists in the world immediately preceding Christ’s 2nd Coming (Revelation 16:18).
“Tenth part of the city fell” – this fractional part of the city signifies a temporary judgement that terrified into submission those who gloried in the death of the 2 Witnesses. The French nation was one of the 10 kingdoms (namely the Franks) that arose from the fallen Roman Empire: Daniel 7:24.
Atheism did not end with the setting up of the French Republic. The godless forces, so dominant in the Revolution, spread North and East to find fertile soil. When Russia was plunged into political revolution in 1917, a vital part of the revolt was against religion. Likewise, atheistic Communism remains a fierce opponent of Christianity.
However, Christ’s last-day message of truth that has been repressed and cast aside by apostate teachers and plain unbelief, is now shining with a new radiance from the Word of God. Special attention has been given to Christ’s heavenly ministry as our Great High Priest; and the world is being warned to prepare to meet Him.
Today, the Seventh-day Adventist Church that is bearing this message, is the fastest growing Protestant church in the world. When the 3rd Woe comes, it will be forever too late to make our peace with God.
The full video presentation is available below: