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The Events of Revelation 11

Query for the Month

of

January 2017

Next up-date: February 1st 2017 (God willing).

Previous "Queries" are available. Click here to access.

 

This article is available as a PDF file here.    Or as a WORD doc.

Some perpetual questions ....

Is there really an immortal soul?

Do you know the difference between the "love" that is of Christianity
and the "love" that is of the world?
Click here to find out!
 

Click on the link for a good book on the character of our God which you can download and share amongst your friends.   It's called "Light through Darkness" and is one of the best books on this subject that I have ever read! 

In the meantime, try this site.   

 

Here's another great site on the character of God written in a way that's very easy to understand.

In this reply the old-fashioned words of the KJV have been modernised, and in some instances, the man-made punctuation has been altered for greater understanding.  Some of the comments are adapted from books in my library.  No recognition is given because they are not intended as authorities, but are used because they express my understanding clearly.  All the ideas expressed in this article, right or wrong, are my own.   


The query:

Why does the normal explanation of the events of Revelation chapter 11 make them appear to come BEFORE the events of chapter 10 in which we are told that we must give the loud cry AGAIN?   In a normally progressive prophetic message this is surely unusual.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

My response:

First of all we need to read both chapters in their context and follow the prophecy through to its natural conclusion.  We start with the Son of God coming to John around 91AD and showing him a little tableau of the events which were to happen around 1840.

***************(Begin Quote)

Revelation 10:

1 And I saw another mighty Angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon  [over] His head, and His face was as it were the sun, and His feet as pillars of fire: 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, 3 and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars:

and when He had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.

***************(End Quote)

Thus the “Lion of the tribe of Judah” introduced Himself to John, for this is no ordinary angel – it is the Son of God.   How do we know that?   The description fits Him well, for He tells us that if we have seen Him then we have also seen the Father.  John 14:9.  And we have this picture of the Father’s presence.

    Revelation 4:

3 And He that sat [on the throne] was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone [God the Father usually appears as coloured Lights]: and there was a rainbow round about [above] the throne, in sight like to an emerald [mainly green].

[In this vision He is not alone.]  

4 And round about the throne [of God] were twenty-four seats [other thrones]: and upon the seats I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. [They (and others) had been redeemed from the grave at the crucifixion and therefore were present in heaven in John’s vision.  Matthew 27:50-53.  We will see more of them later.]   

And then we are told:

    {7BC 971.3}  

The mighty angel who instructed John was no less a personage than Jesus Christ.  Setting His right foot on the sea, and His left upon the dry land, shows the part which He is acting in the closing scenes of the great controversy with Satan.  This position denotes His supreme power and authority over the whole earth. 

The controversy had waxed stronger and more determined from age to age, and will continue to do so, to the concluding scenes when the masterly working of the powers of darkness shall reach their height.  Satan, united with evil men, will deceive the whole world and the churches who receive not the love of the truth. 

But the mighty Angel demands attention.  He cries with a loud voice [through His people].  He is to show the power and authority of His voice to those who have united with Satan to oppose the truth. 

Here John was being shown the opening of the Book of the Future which runs from chapter 5:1 through to chapter 11:16.  It is important that we understand what we are seeing in this vision, for it is a picture (in miniature) of what we will see after the first resurrection when we too actually stand in heaven.  Then it will become the Book of History

John was following his normal pattern and recording what he was seeing and hearing:

***************(Begin Quote)

Revelation 10:

4 And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not”.

***************(End Quote)

    {7BC 971.4}  Written 1900

After these seven thunders uttered their voices, the injunction comes to John as to Daniel in regard to the little book: “Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered.” [See Daniel 12:4.]  These relate to future events which will be disclosed in their order.  Daniel shall stand in his lot at the end of the days.  John sees the little book [of Daniel] unsealed  [c. 1833]

Then Daniel's prophecies have their proper place in the first, second, and third angels' messages to be given to the world. 

The unsealing of the little book was the message in relation to time.   

    {7BC 971.6-8}  Written in 1900

The special light given to John which was expressed in the seven thunders was a delineation [the line] of events which would transpire under the first and second angels' messages. 

It was not best for the people to know these things, for their faith must necessarily be tested.  In the order of God most wonderful and advanced truths would be proclaimed.  The first and second angels' messages were to be proclaimed [1833-1840], but no further light was to be revealed before these messages had done their specific work [in the individual as well as for the whole church.]  This is represented by the angel standing with one foot on the sea, proclaiming with a most solemn oath that time should be no longer. 

***************(Begin Quote)

Revelation 10:

5 And the Angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up His hand to heaven, 6 and swore by Him that lives for ever 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.

7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel [the one with the trumpet, Revelation 8:6], when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished [come to an end], as He has declared to His servants the prophets.   

***************(End Quote)

    {7BC 971.6-8}  Written in 1900

This time, which the angel declares with a solemn oath, is not the end of this world's history, neither of probationary time, but of prophetic time, which should precede the advent of our Lord.  That is, the people will not have another message upon definite time. 

[This is because the time periods which are mentioned as applying

after 1844

 will be real time events and are not based on the day for a year principle.]

After this period of time, reaching from 1842 to 1844, there can be no definite tracing of the prophetic time [the day for a year].  The longest reckoning reaches to the autumn of 1844.  [See Daniel 8:14.]  

What is the “mystery of God” which is to be finished? 

    Colossians 1:

26 Even the mystery which has been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints: 27 to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: 28 whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. 

    Ephesians 3:

9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship  [result] of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world has been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: 10 to the intent that now to the principalities and powers in heavenly places [to the universe] might be known by the [people of the] church the manifold wisdom of God, 11 according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our LORD: 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him.   

The explained “mystery” (which has always been a part of the everlasting gospel), is that in the last days the Son of God will live in and through His Christians in such a way that the controversy over His position in heaven will be forever settled in the minds of the people of the universe.

***************(Begin Quote)

Revelation 10:

8 And the voice which I heard from heaven spoke to me again, and said, “Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the Angel which stands upon the sea and upon the earth.

 9 And I went to the Angel, and said to Him, “Give me the little book”. And He said to me, “Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make your belly bitter, but it shall be in your mouth sweet as honey”.

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.

***************(End Quote)

    {7BC 971.8} 

The comprehension of truth, the glad reception of the message, is represented in the eating of the little book.  The truth in regard to the time of the advent of our Lord was a precious message to our souls (MS 59, 1900) [as was the rest of the book of Daniel]

But it was not well given or received after 1888.

***************(Begin Quote)

Revelation 10:

11 And  [so] He said to me, “You must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings”.

***************(End Quote)

    {7BC 971.9}  Written in 1900

The gospel dispensation is the last period of probation that will ever be granted to men [that which we call “the loud cry”].

Those who live under this dispensation of test and trial and yet are not led to repent and obey will perish with the disloyal. There is no second trial.

The gospel that is to be preached to all nations, kindreds, tongues, and peoples presents the truth in clear lines, showing that obedience is the condition of gaining eternal life. Christ imparts [no longer imputes] His righteousness to those who consent to let Him take away their sins. We are indebted to Christ for the grace which makes us complete in Him (MS 40, 1900). 

The distinguishing feature of the last-day message is to be a call to stop public sinning and be obedient to the Ten Commandments.

***************(Begin Quote)

Revelation 11:

1 And there was given me a reed like to a rod [a firm stick about 2m long representing the word of God and the Ten Commandments]: and the Angel stood, saying, “Rise, and measure  [assess]

 

the temple of God,

and

the altar,

and

them that worship therein.

2 But the court which is without [outside] the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given to the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty-two months [after 1844].

***************(End Quote)

    Sermons and Talks Vol. 2;  Manuscript 4, 1888

The grand judgment is taking place, and has been going on for some time [since October 1844].  Now the Lord says, Measure the temple and the worshipers thereof.  Remember, when you are walking the streets about your business, God is measuring you; when you are attending your household duties, when you engage in conversation, that God is measuring you.  Remember that your words and actions are being daguerreotyped (photographed) in the books of heaven, as the face is reproduced by the artist on the polished plate.  {2SAT 53.2}

Why do we not get rid of these habits? Jesus Christ will help us.  He is not in Joseph's tomb.  He is a living Saviour, and we can plead His blood now, in 1888; and that same Saviour is He who said, What ye ask in My name will I give you.  If I take His promises today, and believe that He will fulfill them because He said He would, and present His name to the Father, saying, 

Father, I believe on Him whom Thou hast sent, His righteousness is pledged for me. {2SAT 53.3}  His righteousness, His purity of character, are mine to accept, and I accept His love, His kindness, and His goodness. 

If we ask, claim His promises, and pray the Father in the name of Jesus to sanctify us soul and body and spirit, we may claim the promises as ours.    He is my Saviour, and He will be your Saviour [from sin].  Why do we not accept Him? . . .   {2SAT 53.4} 

As far as measuring the altar, maybe we should take another look at how the daily lambs (there were two of them each day), which were completely BURNT on the altar, are presented to us as a picture of His eternal sacrifice.  This is simply not true, for that was shown by the Passover Lamb which was EATEN by the people to signify Christ IN us.  1 Corinthians 5:7.   Its blood was sprinkled on the doorways of the homes of the people, showing God’s protection for their inhabitants, while a small portion of the blood of the daily animals was touched onto the horns of the altar, and the rest thrown away onto the ground! 

None of it ever went into the sanctuary building! 

But we are NOT to judge the people who live outside the church (in the courtyard in this illustration) because they do not know any better.  But we are being told that they will one day harass the people of God for 42 months (3 years) in the religious persecutions of the future.  (Because of the words of the Angel in chapter 10, we cannot apply the day for a year principle to this prophetic statement.) 

Nor to the following one:

***************(Begin Quote)

Revelation 11:

3 And I will give power to My two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore [1260] days [or 3 years], clothed in sackcloth.

***************(End Quote)

    {GC 267.1-2}

Concerning the two witnesses the prophet declares further: “These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.” “Thy word,” said the psalmist, “is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Revelation 11:4; Psalm 119:105. 

The two witnesses represent the Scriptures of the Old and the New Testament. 

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.   {GC 267.1}

“They shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and three-score days, clothed in sackcloth.”  During the greater part of this period [in history], God's witnesses remained in a state of obscurity.  The papal power sought to hide from the people the word of truth, and set before them false witnesses to contradict its testimony.  (See Appendix.)   [This will be repeated during the short period in the future.]

When the Bible was proscribed by religious and secular authority; when its testimony was perverted, and every effort made that men and demons could invent to turn the minds of the people from it; when those who dared proclaim its sacred truths were hunted, betrayed, tortured, buried in dungeon cells, martyred for their faith, or compelled to flee to mountain fastnesses, and to dens and caves of the earth –

              then the faithful witnesses prophesied in sackcloth [sadness]

Yet they continued their testimony throughout the entire period of 1260 years.  In the darkest times there were faithful men [and women] who loved God's word and were jealous for His honor.  To these loyal servants were given wisdom, power, and authority to declare His truth during the whole of this time.   {GC 267.2}

In those words we have been told that the Bible in its two parts, spoken by the people of God, are the Two Witnesses!

But – and it is here that we need to stop and think prayerfully – the explanation has taken us back into the day for a year interpretation by applying it to the period of Papal domination from 538AD to 1798AD!  Yet in 1888 we were told that the “measuring” was being done by the judgment which began in 1844 and that we could have a part in that investigation – not of other people – but of ourselves and the doctrines being taught by those who claim to be Christians.

Why the sudden jump back into history?

Because there are no words which can describe the horrors of the future persecution, and only the experiences of the past can give us any idea of it! 

So the back-tracking is being done to illustrate the future.

When we look at this chapter in this way then it makes a lot more sense.

***************(Begin Quote)

Revelation 11:

4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. [See Zechariah 4:1-14.] 5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceeds out of their mouth, and devours their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.

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.

***************(End Quote)

Just as Elijah came and spoke of the impending failure of the physical rain, so the people of God (through the Two Witnesses) will speak of a departure of the Holy Spirit and the subsequent drying up of the understanding of the truth, and of the plagues which will eventually come.

***************(Begin Quote)

Revelation 11:

7 And when they [the witnesses] shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascends [comes up] out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them [cause them to stop talking].

    Revelation 17:

The beast that you saw [picturing world governments with its seven heads] was [in charge of the world once], and is not [right now]; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition [the Lake of Fire]: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they behold [understand] the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.  

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 [Jerusalem].

***************(End Quote)

These words tell us that at the end of the SECOND loud cry, the vast majority of those who heard it will have rejected it and will be treating the Bible as a dead book!  And yet it is written;

    {GC 268.1 – 269.4} 

“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.”  Revelation 11:5. 

Men cannot with impunity trample upon the word of God. 

The meaning of this fearful denunciation is set forth in the closing chapter of the Revelation: “I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”  Revelation 22:18, 19.   {GC 268.1} 

Such are the warnings which God has given to guard men against changing in any manner that which He has revealed or commanded.  These solemn denunciations apply to all who by their influence lead men to regard lightly the law of God.  They should cause those to fear and tremble who flippantly declare it a matter of little consequence whether we obey God's law or not. 

All who exalt their own opinions above divine revelation, all who would change the plain meaning of Scripture to suit their own convenience, or for the sake of conforming to the world, are taking upon themselves a fearful responsibility.  The written word, the law of God, will measure the character of every man and condemn all whom this unerring test shall declare wanting.   {GC 268.2} 

“When they shall have finished (are finishing) [the insertion is in the original] their testimony.”  The period when the two witnesses were to prophesy clothed in sackcloth, ended in 1798 [in the “day for a year” view, but it is still in the future for us]

As they were approaching the termination of their work in obscurity, war was to be made upon them by the power represented as “the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit.”  In many of the nations of Europe the powers that ruled in church and state had for centuries been controlled by Satan through the medium of the papacy. 

But here is brought to view a new manifestation of satanic power.   {GC 268.3} 

It had been Rome's policy, under a profession of reverence for the Bible, to keep it locked up in an unknown tongue and hidden away from the people.  Under her rule the witnesses prophesied “clothed in sackcloth.”

But another power -- the beast from the bottomless pit -- was  [is] to arise to make open, avowed war upon the word of God.   {GC 269.1} 

“The great city” in whose streets the witnesses are slain, and where their dead bodies lie, is “spiritually” Egypt.  Of all nations presented in Bible history, Egypt most boldly denied the existence of the living God and resisted His commands.  No monarch ever ventured upon more open and highhanded rebellion against the authority of Heaven than did the king of Egypt.  When the message was brought him by Moses, in the name of the Lord, Pharaoh proudly answered: “Who is Jehovah, that I should hearken unto His voice to let Israel go? I know not Jehovah [that is, I do not recognise His authority], and moreover I will not let Israel go.” Exodus 5:2, A.R.V. 

This is atheism, and the nation represented by Egypt (outwardly a very religious nation) would give voice to a similar denial of the claims of the living God and would manifest a like spirit of unbelief and defiance.  “The great city” is also compared, “spiritually,” to Sodom.  The corruption of Sodom in breaking the law of God was especially manifested in licentiousness [the gay life].  And this sin was also to be  [will be] a pre-eminent characteristic of the nation that should fulfill the specifications of this scripture.   {GC 269.2} 

According to the words of the prophet, then, a little before the year 1798 [and also just before the close of probation] some power of satanic origin and character would rise to make war upon the Bible.  And in the land where the testimony of God's two witnesses should thus be silenced, there would be manifest the atheism of the Pharaoh and the licentiousness of Sodom.   {GC 269.3}  

This prophecy has received a most exact and striking fulfillment in the history of France.  During the Revolution, in 1793, “the world for the first time heard an assembly of men, born and educated in civilization, and assuming the right to govern one of the finest of the European nations, uplift their united voice to deny the most solemn truth which man's soul receives, and renounce unanimously the belief and worship of a Deity.” -- Sir Walter Scott, Life of Napoleon, vol.1, ch.17. 

“France is the only nation in the world concerning which the authentic record survives, that as a nation she lifted her hand in open rebellion against the Author of the universe.  Plenty of blasphemers, plenty of infidels, there have been, and still continue to be, in England, Germany, Spain, and elsewhere; but France stands apart in the world's history as the single state which, by the decree of her Legislative Assembly, pronounced that there was no God, and of which the entire population of the capital, and a vast majority elsewhere, women as well as men, danced and sang with joy in accepting the announcement.” -- Blackwood's Magazine, November, 1870.   

{GC 269.4} 

    {GC 266.3-4}

The periods here mentioned—”forty and two months,” and “a thousand two hundred and threescore days”-- are the same, alike representing the time in which the church of Christ was to suffer oppression from Rome. 

The 1260 years of papal supremacy began in A.D.  538, and would therefore terminate in 1798.  (See Appendix note for page 54.)  At that time a French army entered Rome and made the pope a prisoner, and he died in exile.  Though a new pope was soon afterward elected, the papal hierarchy has never since been able to wield the power which it before possessed.   {GC 266.3}   [But it is to be revived, or “healed”.  Revelation 13:3]

The persecution of the church did not continue throughout the entire period of the 1260 years.  God in mercy to His people cut short the time of their fiery trial.  In foretelling the “great tribulation” to befall the church, the Saviour said: “Except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.” Matthew 24:22. 

Through the influence of the Reformation the persecution was brought to an end prior to 1798.   {GC 266.4}

All we have to do is transpose these statements into the future and apply them to all the nations of the world without any start or finish times, and we have the correct interpretation of the text in our time. In our case, we also know that all the religions of the world will join with them, for the “clay” is mixed with the “iron”. Daniel 2:41.

And through the influence of Jacob’s Trouble the persecution will be brought to a quicker finish.

***************(Begin Quote)

Revelation 11:

9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and a half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. 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.

***************(End Quote)

The period of total rejection will not be long in clock terms, but to those Christians who have to pass through it (and all the trouble that went before) it may seem an eternity!

***************(Begin Quote)

Revelation 11:

11 And after three days and a 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.

12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up hither”.  And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them [going up].

***************(End Quote)

         {GC 287.1-2} 

God's faithful witnesses, slain by the blasphemous power that “ascendeth out of the bottomless pit,” were not long to remain silent.  “After three days and a 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.” Revelation 11:11.

It was in 1793 that the decrees which abolished the Christian religion and set aside the Bible passed the French Assembly.  Three years and a half later [using the day for a year principle] a resolution rescinding these decrees, thus granting toleration to the Scriptures, was adopted by the same body.  The world stood aghast at the enormity of guilt which had resulted from a rejection of the Sacred Oracles, and men recognized the necessity of faith in God and His word as the foundation of virtue and morality.  Saith the Lord: “Whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed? and against whom hast thou exalted thy voice, and lifted up thine eyes on high? even against the Holy One of Israel,” Isaiah 37:23. 

“Therefore, behold, I will cause them to know, this once will I cause them to know My hand and My might; and they shall know that My name is Jehovah [the Keeper of promises].” Jeremiah 16:21, A.R.V.   {GC 287.1} 

Concerning the two witnesses the prophet declares further: “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.” Revelation 11:12.  Since France made war upon God's two witnesses, they have been honored as never before.  In 1804 the British and Foreign Bible Society was organized.  This was followed by similar organizations, with numerous branches, upon the continent of Europe.  In 1816 the American Bible Society was founded.  When the British Society was formed, the Bible had been printed and circulated in fifty tongues.  It has since been translated into many hundreds of languages and dialects. (See Appendix.)  {GC 287.2} 

The next time it will not be Bible translations, but word from God Himself (probably proclaiming the “day and the hour” of the Second Coming) that will signify the change from the second time of woe.  The “woes” began with three of them in Revelation 8:13, passed to the second in 9:13, and will transit into the third in 11:14.

We should note that the last “woe” (the third) is a very fast one, both in appearing and in length.

***************(Begin Quote)

Revelation 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.

14 The second woe is past;

                and, behold, the third woe comes quickly.

***************(End Quote)

This verse is telling us that the fabric of Great Babylon will begin to fray at that point, the universal close of probation, and I believe it is only indicative as far as the numbers are concerned.  But the clay and the iron will continue to separate as the “miry” wetness dries up (the former influence of the false Holy Spirit) until there will develop a universal hatred in the religious element of the feet and the laity section will turn on its leaders.

    Revelation 17:

15 And he [the angel interpreter] says to me [John], “The waters which you saw, where the whore sits, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. 16 And the ten horns which you saw upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. 17 For God has put in their hearts to fulfil His will, and to agree, and give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.    

    {GC 654.2 - 656.1} 

The wicked [rebels] are filled with regret, not because of their sinful neglect of God and their fellow men, but because God has conquered.  They lament that the result is what it is; but they do not repent of their wickedness.  They would leave no means untried to conquer if they could.   {GC 654.2}

The world see the very class whom they have mocked and derided, and desired to exterminate, pass unharmed through pestilence, tempest, and earthquake.  He who is to the transgressors of His law a devouring fire, is to His people a safe pavilion.   {GC 654.3} 

The minister who has sacrificed truth to gain the favor of men now discerns the character and influence of his teachings.  It is apparent that the omniscient eye was following him as he stood in the desk, as he walked the streets, as he mingled with men in the various scenes of life.  Every emotion of the soul, every line written, every word uttered, every act that led men to rest in a refuge of falsehood, has been scattering seed; and now, in the wretched, lost souls around him, he beholds the harvest.   {GC 654.4}

Saith the Lord: “They have healed the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.” “With lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life.” Jeremiah 8:11; Ezekiel 13:22.   {GC 655.1}

“Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!    .  .  .  Behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings.” “Howl, ye shepherds, and cry; and wallow yourselves in the ashes, ye principal of the flock: for your days for slaughter and of your dispersions are accomplished;   .  .  .  and the shepherds shall have no way to flee, nor the principal of the flock to escape.” Jeremiah 23:1, 2;  25:34, 35, margin.   {GC 655.2} 

Ministers and people see that they have not sustained the right relation to God.  They see that they have rebelled against the Author of all just and righteous law.  The setting aside of the divine precepts gave rise to thousands of springs of evil, discord, hatred, iniquity, until the earth became one vast field of strife, one sink of corruption.  This is the view that now appears to those who rejected truth and chose to cherish error.  No language can express the longing which the disobedient and disloyal feel for that which they have lost forever -- eternal life.  Men whom the world has worshiped for their talents and eloquence now see these things in their true light.  They realize what they have forfeited by transgression, and they fall at the feet of those whose fidelity they have despised and derided, and confess that God has loved them.   {GC 655.3} 

The people see that they have been deluded.  They accuse one another of having led them to destruction; but all unite in heaping their bitterest condemnation upon the ministers.  Unfaithful pastors have prophesied smooth things; they have led their hearers to make void the law of God and to persecute those who would keep it holy. 

Now, in their despair, these teachers confess before the world their work of deception.  The multitudes are filled with fury.  “We are lost!” they cry,   and you are the cause of our ruin;” and they turn upon the false shepherds.  The very ones that once admired them most will pronounce the most dreadful curses upon them.  The very hands that once crowned them with laurels will be raised for their destruction.  The swords which were to slay God's people are now employed to destroy their enemies.  Everywhere there is strife and bloodshed.   {GC 655.4}

“A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the Lord hath a controversy with the nations, He will plead with all flesh; He will give them that are wicked to the sword.” Jeremiah 25:31.  For six thousand years the great controversy has been in progress; the Son of God and His heavenly messengers have been in conflict with the power of the evil one, to warn, enlighten, and save the children of men.  Now all have made their decisions; the wicked have fully united with Satan in his warfare against God.  The time has come for God to vindicate the authority of His downtrodden law. 

Now the controversy is not alone with Satan, but with men.  “The Lord hath a controversy with the nations;” “He will give them that are wicked to the sword.”  {GC 656.1} 

***************(Begin Quote)

Revelation 11:

15 And the seventh  [trumpet] angel sounded  [the last trump]; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world are become [present tense] the kingdoms of our LORD, and of His Christ; and He shall reign [future tense] for ever and ever”.

***************(End Quote)

At this point in the future events the LORD chose to end His picture and leave it to our imagination and knowledge of the past to supply the details.

***************(Begin Quote)

Revelation 11:

16 And the twenty-four elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, 17 saying, “We give you thanks, O LORD God Almighty, which are, and were, and are to come; because You have taken to You Your great power, and have reigned [resumed reigning].

18 And the nations were angry  [in the persecution], and Your wrath is come  [the seven last plagues], and the time of the dead that they should be judged [is finished], and [it is time] that You should give reward to Your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear Your name, small and great [in the first resurrection]; and should destroy [expose] them which destroy the earth [Satan and his followers].

***************(End Quote)

We are now (in the larger vision of the whole book of The Revelation) back at the meeting in heaven that John attended at the beginning of his vision, but one at which we are soon to be present in person.  Probation has closed in the smaller vision, and the seven last plagues have commenced, for chapter eleven is the end of the first part of the book of The Revelation.  Chapter twelve starts a new line of prophecy with the birth of Jesus.

Now we should see again the twenty-four elders in 91AD as they have taken in the tremendous events they have been shown, and as they realise that they will probably be replaced by others in the future who have earned the position during the whole controversy.

    Revelation 4:

3 And He that sat [on the throne] was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone [a coloured Light]: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like to an emerald [mainly green].

4 And round about the throne [of God] were twenty-four seats [other thrones]: and upon the seats I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. [They (and others) had been redeemed from the grave at the crucifixion.  Matthew 27:50-53.]   

    Revelation 5:

8 And when He [Christ] had taken the book, the four beasts [really, “living creatures”, representing the general host of the redeemed at the cross] and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours [incense], which are [symbols of] the prayers of saints.

9 And they [all] sung a new song, saying, “You are worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10 and have made us to our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth [made new].   

Now they are to prepare for the Second Advent, for “He comes with 10,000 of His saints”.  Jude 1:14-15.

***************(Begin Quote)

Revelation 11:

19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament [which contains the Ten Commandments]: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

***************(End Quote)

We have now jumped forward more than 2,000 years!

    {GC 639.1}

Then there appears against the sky a hand holding two tables of stone folded together.  Says the prophet, “The heavens shall declare His righteousness: for God is judge Himself.”   Psalm 50:6. 

That holy law, God's righteousness, that amid thunder and flame was proclaimed from Sinai as the guide of life, is now revealed to men as the rule of judgment. 

The hand opens the tables, and there are seen the precepts of the Decalogue, traced as with a pen of fire.  The words are so plain that all can read them.  Memory is aroused, the darkness of superstition and heresy is swept from every mind, and God's ten words, brief, comprehensive, and authoritative, are presented to the view of all the inhabitants of the earth.   

A worthy conclusion to the great controversy.

 

Conclusion:

Why the sudden jump back into history in the explanation of Revelation 11?

Because there are no words which can describe the horrors of the future persecutions, and only the experiences of the past can give us any idea of it! 

So the back-tracking is being done to illustrate the future.

 

oooOooo

 


Who wants to add (or subtract!) from these thoughts? I won't argue as I have stated, but I will publish your Scriptures so that we may review all the words of God on the subject.

 

Next query. To be discussed from February 1st 2017.

 

Next query:

In The Revelation 20:1-3 we have these words, “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled:

                 and after that he must be loosed a little season". 

 

What is meant by “a little season”?

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