REVELATION

God Has His Witnesses

Revelation 10-11

Jerry A Collins

3/5/06

SCC

 

        Are we supposed to know everything God has for us?

        Why is the Word of God both sweet and bitter?

        What kind of witness is God expecting during the Tribulation?

 

In every generation and in every place God has His witnesses. This year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of witnesses in Ecquador謡itnesses who were killed by the very ones they were trying to witness too. On the beaches of that country their lives were taken but their testimony goes on. The recent movie, the end of the spear, tells that story to us today. I have seen these witnesses in the crowded cities of India葉he mountain cities of northern Albania葉he islands of the West Indies葉he jungles of Thailand葉he villages of rural England葉he disputed territory of the West Bank. God has His witnesses and He will also have them in the middle of the Tribulation. This passge10-14洋arks the great parenthesis of the book. Here is a commentary between the 6th and 7th trumpets. Like chapter 7, we are given additional background to the seal, trumpet and bowl judgments.

1. ANGELS ARE GOD担 POWERFUL SERVANTS 1-3

It all begins with another angel introduced to us in vs 1. This angel is pictured dramatically robed in a cloud, a rainbow above his head, face brilliant like the sun, feet sparkling like pillars of fire with a little scroll opened in his hand. This is not Christ and this is not the book of chapter 5. But this is a powerful angel with a new little book. He stands in vs 2 with one foot on the sea and one o the land. This may mean that the last plagues will affect both the land and the sea. Here is a scene inspiring awe揺e cried out in a loud voice-one like the roaring of a lion. Startling! Then something like seven peals or rumbles of thunder spoke and gave revelation from God vs 3. All of this emphasizes the significance of this moment. This unusual event commands our attention and prepares us for a dramatic outburst of God痴 activity at this point.

2. TRIBULATION JUDGMENTS WILL BRING END OF THIS AGE

        Whatever it was these thunderous voices spoke, John was about to record when he was heard a voice from heaven tell him not to write it down vs 4. It was something John heard and understood and wanted to write down but the voice did not want the church to know what it was. Deuteronomy 29:29 tells us that the secret things belong to God, but the things revealed are for us and our children forever. So my goal is to know what the Bible knows but to not know more than the Bible knows.

        Then the magnificent angel raises his rite hand and swears by God痴 eternality and God as creator that there will be no more delay vs 5-6. There is no evolution. Again we are told that God is the creator. This has been consistent from Genesis to Revelation. God is omnipotent and created everything. When the 7th angel sounds his trumpet in 11:15, the bowl judgments will be poured out on the earth, which occurs 16:1-21 and the tribulation will come to an end vs 7.

        He says that in the day of the bowl judgments the mystery用reviously unknown revelation熔f God is finished. This is the mystery God gave to the prophets all thru history about God痴 judgments, will be finished with the 7th trumpet傭y means of the 7 bowls of judgment. This mystery of God that is finished is the fulfillment of the times of the gentiles. When the last of the gentiles is brot into the fold, then Israel will be grafted back into the tree (Rom 11:11-32). That time is vs 7. Daniels undefined time period between the 69th & 7th week. 69th & 70th have to do with Israel葉he time between the gentiles. Jesus does not let the disciples know there will be gentiles容xcept possibly the great commission. This is Pauline. At Jerusalem council輸cts 15擁t was decided the gentiles could have life as believers apart from the law. Before that the gentiles related to God as the Jews did. During gentile times, nation of Israel broken off and gentiles grafted in. But times of gentiles--the reaping of many to eternal life, ends here with final series of bowl judgments in chapter 16.

        John is told to eat this book with its message. It is sweet to the taste and bitter in the belly. Bible is generally viewed as sweet when we understand it, then you realize it contains bitter judgments when you do. This bitterness has to do with prophesying about bitter judgments in vs 11. This knowledge is sobering.

3. THERE IS A TEMPLE IN JERUSALEM DURING THE TRIB

For the abomination of desolation to take place a temple has to be present. The question asked in Mtt 24 was 層hen will this temple be destroyed? But abomination of desolation means the temple is back. Here is s reference to it洋easuring of it is for the occupation of gentiles and the judgment of God. It is the temple that the antichrist will desecrate. Ezekiel does similar measurement for millennial temple in both cases to show their reality. This is 3rd temple the 4ith in 1000 reign the 1st Solomon痴 2nd herod痴. However he is told not to measure the courtyard vs 2 because for period of 42 months gentiles will occupy it implying ill treatment of Jews and desecration of the Temple.

4. THERE ARE 2 SPECIAL WITNESSES DURING THE TRIB

        Their ministry 3-6 They will prophesy for 1260 days clothed in sackcloth. The olive trees and lampstands reveal that they will be empowered by the spirit to testify. Like OT prophets they will perform miracles庸ire will destroy those trying to harm them vs 5. Like Elijah and Moses they will have power to stop rain and turn water to blood. Their judgments will be in addition to all other judgments and do so as often as desired.

        Their death & res 7-14 The beast輸ntichrist庸inally kills them. Their bodies lay in streets of Jerusalem 3 ス days unburied葉he specific place where Jesus was crucified so literal. Mystically called Sodom and Egyptplace then, rebellious and rejecting God like S & G. Everyone rejoicing about this葉hese 2 witnesses were terrorists, destroying the world, disease, destruction, death. Not able to get at God they did his servants and got back for moment vs 10. They come to life vs 11, stand up and go into heaven an earthquake kills 7000 and rest terrified give God glory 12-13. Soon they are cursing God again.

         7th trumpet sounds 15-19 Here is beginning of reign of Christ. Now not ruling yet. God痴 plan in place but will is not. 7th trumpet signals the beginning of reign容nd of trib followed by 2nd coming, judgments, kingdom. Nations are enraged because of Gods wrath (Rev 16). There is coming a time of judgment and reward vs 18. Then heavenly temple opened and ark appears. Will not find it until then. The whole scene sereal庸lashes, peals, power.

1. There are and will always be certain things we are not supposed to know. God reveals via His written Word what we are to know. What has not been written is what we are not supposed to know. So beware of false teachers with a word from God.

2. Today we are experiencing delay vs 6 in God痴 fulfillment of His promises given throughout Ot & Nt prophets but this trib period is the end of that prophecy.

3. Word of God both bitter and sweet. Its sweet telling us of God痴 character and bitter showing us holiness demands judgment of sinful world.

4. To be a witness for Lord means standing before Lord of earth so that we represent Him to the earth and that also is to be hated by those of earth耀o our message narrow not popular.

5. We must keep in mind that we live in a world ove whoch God will rule not one He does rule over now. Gods sovereign plan in place but not His will. Today things not out of gods control but outside His direct rule. Satan will appear to be winning because he is currently ruling. So don稚 expect justice from govt for instance or God directly blessing me when I have more or cursing me when I have less.