Nazarene Apocalypse ©2000

CHAPTER ELEVEN:
TWO PROPHETS DURING DAYS OF WAR

[“Great Oppression and Two Witnesses”]
Key Word: Trampled
Theme Verse: 7

Revelation 11:1-4 – Holy City Trampled 42 Months

RV11:1 And the angel gave me a reed like a staff,498 [Ezekiel 40:3] saying: “Rise and measure the Divine Habitat of The God,499 [Zechariah 2:1, 2] and the Altar,500 and those worshipping in the Divine Habitat.501
498 A reed like a staff: Compare Ezekiel 40:3, 5. With chapter eleven begins one of three very fundamental portions of Revelation – the subject of the Great Oppression and the end-time Saints during a period of three and a half years. This is drawn from Daniel 7:21-25. [For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000© on Daniel.]
499 Measure the Divine Habitat of The God: Compare the KAI METRESON at Zechariah 1:16; 2:1, 2. There are dimensions to the Temple of God just as there are to the New Jerusalem.
500 Altar: The incense altar, as this occurs elsewhere. (Revelation 6:9; 9:13; 14:18)
501 Those worshipping in the Divine Habitat: The worshippers in the NAOS. (Revelation 4:10; 5:14; 7:11; 11:16) These must be angels for Saints are to be raptured later at Revelation 11:12. With Revelation 7:14, 15 this will include the Large Crowd or 144,000.
RV11:2 Do not measure the Courtyard [Exodus 27:9] outside the Divine Habitat. For the Courtyard is given to the non-Jews.502 The non-Jews will trample the Holy City 42 months.503 [Luke 21:24; Daniel 12:7]
502 The Courtyard is given to the non-Jews: This makes it clear the “courtyard” is not within the Temple. There is something of this in Hebrews 10:22 with its allusion to the altar and basin. The Saints are a spiritual priesthood (1 Peter 2:9-11) serving within an earthly courtyard. (Hebrews 13:10, 15) This “courtyard” should not be confused with the “court of the Gentiles” in Herod’s Temple. It is more appropriate to consider it as the “courtyard” of the Tabernacle where the sacrificial altar and water basin were located. [For details on the above compare Nazarene Commentary 2000© on the epistle to the Hebrews.]
503 The non-Jews will trample the Holy City 42 months: This can only be the New Jerusalem. Compare Revelation 3:12; 20:9; 21:2, 10; 22:19. The Holy City exists in some form since Hebrews 12:22 in order for the “nations” to trample her. Compare the echoes at Zechariah 14:16 and Daniel 8:13. This is a strong paraphrase of Luke 21:24 and Daniel 12:7.
RV11:3 And I will authorize my 2 Witnesses504 and they will prophesy505 dressed in sackcloth506 1,260 days.507 [Daniel 7:25]
504 My 2 witnesses: Or, martyrs. These are a symbol for the Saints of Revelation 13:5-7 and Daniel 7:25. They are the 144,000 Large Crowd. The voice is from Revelation 10:8 and likely that of the Master Jesus Christ. (Revelation 11:7; 12:11; 17:6)
505 They will prophesy: The 2 Martyrs are prophets as shown later. The contents of their prophecy may include elements of the 7 Trumpets as proclamations.
506 Dressed in sackcloth: Because of repentance or deep sorrow. Compare Psalm 35:3; 69:11; Daniel 9:3; Matthew 11:21. Because of their oppressed state with much sadness due to prison and execution. (Revelation 13:5, 7, 10) The theme of their prophesying also spells doom.
507 1,260 days: These equal 42 months (Revelation 13:5, 7) or time, times, and half a time. (Revelation 12:6, 14) This is drawn from Daniel 7:25 and Daniel 12:7. It is three and a half years of Great Oppression. It is a period first seen against Jerusalem from Fall of 66 to Spring of 70 CE.
RV11:4 These [two] are the 2 olive trees508 and the 2 lampstands509 who stand before the Sovereign Lord of the earth.510 [Zechariah 4:2, 11, 14]
508 2 olive trees: The angelic interpretation alludes to Zechariah 4:11 LXX where Joshua and Zerubbabel are under consideration.
509 2 lampstands: Again from Zechariah 4:2, 11. There is a problem here as Zechariah mentions only one lampstand. The oil is for the lampstand that then sheds its illumination. There was a lampstand within the NAOS and was the means to light up the interior, not the world outside, but those worshipping within the NAOS.
510 Before the Sovereign Lord of the earth: This is a paraphrase of Zechariah 4:14 LXX. The Greek text has either “God” or “Lord” as LXX has it.

Revelation 11:5-6 – Prophets Torment Humanity

RV11:5 “And if any wish to harm the 2 Witnesses511 fire issues from their mouths and devours their enemies.512 [1 Kings 17:1] And if any wish to harm them this is how they will be killed.513
511 If any wish to harm the 2 Witnesses: The 2 Martyrs can expect “harm” in the form of persecution. It is possible the “harm” here is something of a more permanent nature.
512 Their enemies: These will be around to observe their snatching or rapture. (Revelation 11:12)
513 They will be killed: They have this kind of power to use against any that would harm them. Compare the paraphrase of 1 Kings 17:1; 18:1. If they have this ability literally they would have no enemies. This fire may be that of Jeremiah 23:29. This is a clear allusion to Elijah the prophet who appeared in the Transfiguration scene. (Matthew 17:1-9)
RV11:6 These 2 Witnesses have authority to shut up Heaven so that no rain will fall514[1 Kings 17:1] during the days of their prophecy. And the 2 Witnesses have authority over the waters to turn them into blood,515 [Exodus 7:17, 19] and to smite the earth with every plague516 [Exodus 7-10] as often as they wish.
514 Shut up Heaven so that no rain will fall: Another allusion to Elijah. (1 Kings 18:1+) Compare this with Luke 4:35. The Nazarene is the one to provide the period of three and a half years. The disciple James also gives this period. (James 5:17)
515 Authority over the waters to turn them into blood: Moses is here introduced. (Exodus 7:17; 8:16; 11:10) Thus the two Prophets are like Moses and Elijah of the Transfiguration Vision. (Matthew 17:1-9) The two also appear in Malachi representing the Law and the Prophets.
516 Smite the earth with every plague: Compare Exodus 10:17; 11:1; 12:23 LXX. With this much power they would be invincible. These are likely the trumpet-like announcements in Revelation 8, 9.

Revelation 11:7-10 – Wild Beast Kills 2 Prophets

RV11:7 “And the wild Sea Beast who ascends out of the Abyss517 will finish their witness and make war with them and conquer and kill them518 [Daniel 7:21-25]
517 The wild Sea Beast who ascends out of the Abyss: At some point in the prophetic context of the Great Oppression their prophesying ends. This ascension out of the Abyss is first mentioned here but expanded in chapters 13 and 17. The whole period of three and a half years cannot start until the Beast ascends out of the Abyss as the 8th World Power – a one-world government.
518 Make war with them and conquer and kill them: This is all a paraphrase of Daniel 7:21, 25. In Daniel it is the Little Horn or Small Power. Compare Revelation 6:11. The blood of the martyrs is told to rest, for others will later be killed as they had been. The Saints can expect this in the bloody Great Oppression.
RV11:8 And their fallen body519 will be on the Broadway of the Great City.520 A spiritual City called Sodom and Egypt521 where their Master was impaled.522
519 Their fallen body: The Greek here is TO PTOMA (a fallen body or corpse). It is a unique term occurring at Matthew 24:28. Evidently a sizable body of the Saints will be executed or killed in persecution.
520 Great City: Babylon the Great. Here the subject is mentioned for the first time and then later amplified as in the case with several important subjects in Revelation. (Compare Revelation 11:2, 13 with Revelation 16:19; 17:18; 18:10) God’s own people are still within Babylon. They are called out in Revelation 18:4 by a snatching to safety in the Rapture.
521 Sodom and Egypt: Compare Isaiah 1:9; 3:9; Romans 9:29; Deuteronomy 32:32. The Great City Babylon is compared to three other places: a] Sodom for its immorality; b] Egypt for its doctrines; and, c] Jerusalem for its apostasy as God’s people. The Great City is that corporate body of “weeds” – the corrupted Christian Church – of Matthew 13:24-29, 36-43. See notes on the Great City in Revelation chapter 18.
522 Where their Master was impaled: Jesus was executed on the Tree outside of Jerusalem but within the Babylonish framework which had overcome the Jews.
RV11:9 And the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations523 [Daniel 7:14] will look at their fallen body for 3 days.524 Their fallen bodies are not laid in a tomb.
523 Peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations: This is a phrase occurring in Revelation 5:9; 7:9; 13:7; 17:15. This may indicate the three and a half years occurs during the time of attempts to compel the earth to worship the wild Sea Beast and its Image.
524 3 days: Compare Lazarus’ time in the tomb, slightly longer than the Nazarene. Is it about this time the eagles begin to gather around the TO PTOMA? (Matthew 24:28) This may represent how their enemies view them.
RV11:10 Those on earth will rejoice over them,525 making themselves rejoice, and they will send gifts to one another. For these 2 Prophets tormented those dwelling on earth.
525 Those on earth will rejoice over them: Likely a global affair judging from chapter 13.

Revelation 11:11-13 – Raptured out of the Great City

RV11:11 “And after 3 days spirit of life from The God entered them. [Ezekiel 37:5, 10] The 2 Witnesses stood up on their feet526 [Ezekiel 37:5, 10] and great fear fell upon those beholding them.
526 Stood up on their feet: This is a strong allusion to Ezekiel 37:5, 10 LXX. The end-time Saints have suffered executions and imprisonment and for all practical purposes appear “dead.”
RV11:12 And the 2 Witnesses heard a great voice out of the Celestialum, calling: “Come up here!” And the 2 Witnesses ascended into the Sky in the cloud527 [2 Kings 2:11; Daniel 7:13] and their enemies beheld them.528
527 Ascended into the Sky in the cloud: This ascension in the cloud to heaven is too similar to Matthew 24:30, 31; Acts 1:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:17 to be coincidental. It breathes of the Rapture. It occurs at the appropriate time in harmony with Matthew 24:29-31.
528 Their enemies beheld them: The Rapture is visible to their enemies with the Great City.
RV11:13 In that hour there occurred a great earthquake.529 [Ezekiel 38:19, 20] A tenth of the [Great] City fell.530 [Isaiah 6:13] 7,000 human names [1 Kings 19:2] were killed by the earthquake.531 The remaining became frightened and they glorified The God of Heaven.532 [Isaiah 66:5]
529 There occurred a great earthquake: Compare Revelation 6:12; 16:18.
530 A tenth of the Great City fell: Compare Isaiah 6:13 LXX. A symbol for a remnant of survivors.
531 7,000 human names were killed by the earthquake: A symbol for a remnant of survivors. This is a strong allusion to 1 Kings 19:18 also quoted by Romans 11:4. It infers a remnant or small group. In Elijah’s case only Yehowah knew who they were. The Saints were still inside Babylon. If these two terms, one-tenth and 7,000, stand for the TO PTOMA or corpse it would appear that these former inhabitants of Babylon appeared to die. Compare Ezekiel 37:1-14.
532 The remaining became frightened and they glorified The God of Heaven: Those who viewed the Rapture, like those of the Nazarene’s teaching are those “left behind.” These are Christians who do not receive the “seal” mentioned earlier. (Matthew 24:40, 41; Luke 17:34) They respond to the angelic warning at Revelation 14:7 and fear and glorify God. They evidently repent and are among those “nations” (Revelation 11:2) which came against Jerusalem but survive (Zechariah 14.16) into the Thousand Years. (Revelation 20:3)

Revelation 11:14 – A Third Woe Coming!

RV11:14 “The second Woe is passed! Look! the third Woe is coming quickly!”533
533 The third Woe is coming quickly: Clearly sequential. The Greek TACHY (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #5035 = shortly, quickly, suddenly) may be rendered “suddenly,” that is with surprise. It is variously rendered here: KJV: quickly; TCN: soon; PHM: following hard on the heels. TACHY occurs Revelation 2:5, 16; 3:11; 11:4; 22:7, 12, 20.

Revelation 11:15-19 – The Last Trumpet

RV11:15 And the 7th Angel trumpeted.534 Great voices occurred in the Celestialum, saying: “The sovereignty of the world of humankind535 became our Sovereign Lord’s and His Messiah.536 [Psalm 2:1] [The Sovereign Lord] will reign throughout all future periods of time.”537
534 The 7th Angel trumpeted: Thus, the “last trumpet” here. (1 Corinthians 15:53; 1 Thessalonians 4:17)
535 The sovereignty of the world of humankind: Or, KJV: kingdom of the world; WEY: sovereignty of the world; MOF: rule of the world; KNX: dominion of the world. The world is not destroyed but becomes the realm or territory of YHWH and His Anointed One.
536 Messiah: Messiah began his rule (1 Corinthians 15:25) upon his return to heaven (Ephesians 1:20-23) and throughout 2,000 years he has reigned over his Church. (Colossians 1:13) Now, the Saints, both the living and the dead, united with him following the three and a half years of Great Oppression, join him in fulfillment of Daniel 7:22, 27. Daniel 7:27 lists “all the kingdoms under heaven” given to the Saints at this moment. This “sovereignty” and territory (domain) is now brought under the reign of Messiah. Whether peoples submit to this of their own free will or resist the King at Armageddon is left to each one. The whole TOU KYRIOU KAI KRISTOU is right out of the LXX at Psalm 2:1. Peter’s quotation of this in his prayer at Acts 4:24-29 gives it an application since 33 AD and Christ’s ascension to heaven. Paul also quotes Psalm 2:7 at Acts 13:33 and Hebrews 1:5; 5:5 so that Christ becomes Messianic “son” upon his resurrection and ascension. (Romans 1:4) Therefore, Psalm 2:6, “I have installed my king on Mount Zion,” is fulfilled from 33 CE. The view of Hebrews 2:5 is now greatly expanded as one sees the “sovereignty of the world (Kosmos)” now in the process of subjugation. (Compare John 12:31; 1 John 5:19) Since Psalm 2:1 has YHWH, some would prefer the noma sagrada to occur here. Again, note, if this were true, the YHWH comes from a celestial mouth.
537 [The Sovereign Lord] will reign throughout all future periods of time: This hymnal praise (Revelation 19:6-8) marks a new phase or aspect of Messiah’s near two thousand year old reign for he no longer rules alone but with his Saints; and, not just over his own Church, but over the world. Matters may proceed to a finale. It does not mean he just now begins his reign. Compare this phrase at Revelation 19:6 with Psalms 93:1; 96:10; 97:1; 99:1.
RV11:16 And the 24 Presbyters, those in the sight of The God, those sitting on their thrones, they fell upon their faces and worshipped The God, saying: RV11:17 “We give thanks to you, YHWH,538 The God, The Almighty, The-One-Who-Is, [Exodus 3:14, 15] and, The-One-Who-Was,539 because you have taken your great power and reigned.540
538 YHWH: The Greek has KYRIE here without the article and YHWH may be fitting here. Note the noma sagrada comes from the mouths of celestial beings.
539 The-One-Who-Is, and, The-One-Who-Was: Note, the third phrase of the apocalyptic name of God is missing here, “The One Who Is Coming,” for He has, in fact, come. As pointed earlier on notes elsewhere the HO ON is from the LXX at Exodus 3:14.
540 You have taken your great power and reigned: Note comments above on a similar phrase. God does not here begin to reign, but He has exercised His power in a marvelous way. The language is similar to Revelation 19:6 when this is repeated at the judgment on Babylon. It marks a monumental phase of God’s rule.
RV11:18 And the nations were wrathful,541 and Your wrath came. The appointed time to judge the dead.542 [2 Timothy 4:1] To give the reward to Your Slaves the Prophets,543 to the Saints, [Daniel 7:22] to those fearing Your Name,544 [Malachi 3:16] the small and the great.545 To corrupt those who thoroughly corrupted the earth.”546 [Isaiah 24:5, 6]
541 The nations were wrathful: Or, non-Jews. This may be an echo of Psalm 2:1, 2 but Peter shows the fulfillment in 33 CE with the execution of Messiah. The wrath of the nations is noted because of the plague which has occurred earlier. There are more plagues to come. (Revelation chapter 16)
542 The appointed time to judge the dead: This is similar to Daniel 7:22’s TO KAIROS in the context of judgment. The “dead” here are the Christian dead for this is the parousia-Judgment on God’s slaves the prophets, that is, Saints. This is the first judgment. (2 Timothy 4:1; 1 Peter 4:5; Matthew 24:31)
543 Your Slaves the Prophets: Compare Revelation 1:1; 6:11; 7:3; 10:7; 19:2; 22:3, 6 where “slaves” are always the Saints. The Greek TOIS DOULOIS TOIS PROPHETAIS is a paraphrase of LXX at Amos 3:7. On “prophets” compare Revelation 10:7; 16:6; 18:20, 24; 22:9. Note also Revelation 11:10; Ephesians 2:20; 3:5; 4:11.
544 Those fearing Your Name: Though some may be tempted to break this down into three groupings, it may also be viewed in harmony with 1 Corinthians 15:23 to mean all “those of Christ at his Arrival.” The phrase “those fearing His name” is from Malachi 3:16. All of these several allusions taken together show the subjects of the reward are the Saints and not humankind in general. On the general or second resurrection see notes on Revelation 20:5.
545 The small and the great: Compare “least” at Matthew 25:40. The “great” would include the Apostles, Paul, Timothy, etc.; the “small” including the elderly, women, and children, humble persons of no outward significance.
546 To corrupt those who thoroughly corrupted the earth: No evidence for this needs to be given. This is not just environmental disasters but also the polluting of earth by bloodshed from wars and oppressions. Compare Isaiah 24:5, 6.
RV11:19 And the Divine Habitat of The God in the Celestialum was opened.547 The Ark of the Covenant548 [Jeremiah 3:16] was seen in the Divine Habitat. And there occurred flashes of lightning, voices, thunders, earthquakes, and great hail.549 [Exodus 19:16]
547 The Divine Habitat of The God in the Celestialum was opened: The NAOS is clearly celestial.
548 Ark of the Covenant: Ending forever speculations as to where it has been since the destruction of Jerusalem in the Fifth Century BC. Now it appears in heaven. The Ark of the Covenant has always represented the Presence of God. Compare Paul’s discussion of it in Hebrews chapters 7 to 9.
549 Flashes of lightning, voices, thunders, earthquakes, and great hail: The Sinai manifestation. (Exodus 19:16; Hebrews 12:18)

THE TEMPLE AND TWO MARTYRS

#260. Still part of the contextual flow during the second “woe,” chapter eleven, verse 1, begins with a command for John to do some measuring.

#261. John is told to measure the Temple, its worshippers, and the Altar. This is very similar to what Ezekiel and Zechariah experience. (Ezekiel 40:3, 5; Zechariah 1:16; 2:1, 2) The word Temple here is from the Greek naos, nao, or naon which refers to the inner shrine of the Sanctuary with its Most Holy and Holy Place. A form of the word naos occurs eight times in the Apocalypse. Worshippers are seen in the naos at Revelation 4:10, 5:14, 7:11, 11:16 and the Temple is always heavenly. These “worshippers” must be angels for the resurrection and Rapture have not yet occurred. (Revelation 11:12, 13, 18)

#262. John is told not to measure the Temple’s “courtyard.” It is possible this “courtyard” symbolizes the status of that Priesthood still on earth, the 144,000-Saints. (Revelation 1:6; 5:10) In the ancient “courtyard” of both the Tabernacle of Moses and the great Temple of Solomon as well as Herod’s Temple in the days of the Nazarene, there was situated an altar of sacrifice and a basin of cleansing. Paul seems to allude to these in Hebrews 10:22 with the expressions, ‘hearts sprinkled from a wicked conscience (thus referring to the blood from the sacrificial altar in the priestly courtyard), and our bodies bathed in clean water.’ (The later referring to the basin in the courtyard.) Thus, this “courtyard” contains those End-time Saints who are viewed as a “spiritual priesthood” by God and the Lamb. (1 Peter 2:9-11; compare also Hebrews 13:10-16) These same Saints are also of the Woman’s Seed in Revelation 12:17. Likely, the Woman of chapter twelve is the same as the Holy City of chapter eleven. [For details on the Mosaic Tabernacle and its typical shadows see the Nazarene Commentary© on Hebrews.]

#263. Revelation 11:2 uses words that seem taken from Luke 21:24 and Daniel 12:7, ‘The nations will trample the Holy City for 42 months.’ That is, the Gentiles trample the courtyard area which contains the 144,000-Saints for “the appointed times of the nations.” Just as the Jerusalem of the First Century had its Temple, along with its courtyard, under attack from 66 to 70 CE, just so there is another Temple which is to be harassed or oppressed for three and a half years. This is all language which finds its roots in Daniel 7:21, 25, ‘The Horn made war on the Saints and prevailed against them. . . oppressing the Saints of the Most High for a time, times, and half a time.’ The language of Daniel 12:7 is similar. It comes in response to Daniel’s desire to know when the awesome period of distress and oppression will end. He is told, ‘It shall be for a time, times, and half a time. And when they have made an end of scattering the power of the Holy People, all things shall be finished.’ This later phrase is very similar to Revelation 10:7.

#264. The angel of the Revelation, evidently speaking for Jesus (Revelation 1:1), says his two martyrs or witnesses will prophesy during this period of trampling dressed in sackcloth. (Psalm 35:3; 69:11; Jeremiah 49:3; Daniel 9:3; Matthew 11:21) They are described in sackcloth either because of their oppressed state during the three and a half years of persecution or because their message during this period is thematic of doom.

#265. Who are these two martyrs or witnesses? Are they literally two or do they stand for a larger group? Verses 4 to 6 give a series of prophetic allusions to four different Biblical characters of old. See if you can discover who they are.

#266. Verse 4 alludes to Zechariah chapter 4 where the context deals with the Jewish High Priest Joshua and the newly appointed governor of Judea, Zerubbabel. These two men figured greatly in the restoration and rebuilding of Jerusalem following the Jewish exile in Babylon in the Sixth Century BCE. In many ways there is a notable comparison with Jesus Christ himself: he is both priest and king (or, governor) of the New Israel of God. At any rate, these two prophets have characteristics like this ancient priest Joshua and governor Zerubbabel. However, these are not the only ones alluded to in the apocalyptic angel’s description.

#267. Verses 5 and 6 describe two characters from Biblical history, both prophets who operated very much alone550 at the time. One can call for fire from heaven and stop rain for a certain given period of time. Jesus thus identified Elijah who prayed that the rain should not occur for three and a half years. (1 Kings 17:1; 18:1; Luke 4:25; James 5:17) The second prophet could turn water to blood and cause any plague to strike the earth. Most will see Moses immediately. (Exodus 7:17; 8:16; 10:17;11:1, 10; 12:23 LXX) Both Moses and Elijah appeared in the transfiguration. (Matthew 17:3; Mark 9:4; Luke 9:33) Moses and Elijah are foretold to come before the great Day of Jehovah. (Malachi 4:4, 5)
550 ALONE. Compare Romans 11:2, 3.

#268. Many groups and organizations have tried to identify themselves with these two Prophets, Moses and Elijah. Cult leaders have gone to their deaths claiming to be these prophetic martyrs. However, one thing must be kept in mind: these prophetic and symbolic figures only appear in the context of the Great Oppression of three and a half years. This is still in the future, just before the celestial darkness and Return of Christ. Therefore, no one could lay claim to this fulfillment of Moses and Elijah until that time.

#269. There is another way to establish the identity of the two apocalyptic Prophets and the four Biblical persons they are associated with. Note that Revelation 13:5-7, drawing on Daniel 7:18-27, identifies these two with “the People who are the Saints of the Most High” with whom the Little Horn or the wild Sea Beast war and oppress for three and a half years. This would seem to confirm that they are a corporate body of End-time Saints rather than two literal martyrs. Thus, it seems reasonable that this Moses-Elijah is a symbol for that group of Christian Saints who endure the Great Oppression and receive the seal of the living God as the 144,000-Saints. This will manifest itself by reviewing chapters eleven through thirteen in the Apocalypse. By overlaying one chapter upon another the picture becomes clearer: the “two Witnesses” or “Prophets” are the same as “the remnant of the Seed of the Woman” of Revelation chapter 12 and the “saints” of Revelation chapter 13.

#270. Now, with verse 7 a new entity is introduced in that passing manner of the Apocalypse. Occasionally, a prophetic element is brought up before its actual appearance in the main text. Here it is the ‘Wild Beast ascending out of the Abyss,’ but this prophetic element does not actually show up until the 13th chapter, which is another proof the three chapters overlap. This “Wild Beast” plays the same part as the Little Horn in Daniel 7:18-22, thus we can safely assume they are the same. Daniel does not have two periods of three and a half years, that is a total of seven years.551
551 SEVEN YEARS. Some believe the Tribulation or Great Oppression is seven years in length. They draw this conclusion by a misapplication of Daniel 9:27 and other texts taken out of context.

#271. In Daniel chapter seven there are not two periods of three and a half years adding up to seven years of oppression. Some have been led to the belief that the Great Oppression is seven years. They may conclude this from chapter eleven of the Apocalypse, judging that the Two Prophets prophesy for three and a half years and then the wild Sea Beast wars upon them for another period of 42 months. They see this again in chapter twelve where they find two periods of three and a half years. However, it is also a possibility that this trampling on the Holy City (Revelation 11:2) is the same general oppression and harassment of the Little Horn in Daniel chapter seven. Since Daniel foretells only this one period of three and a half years -- and since this chapter is the source for these periods in Revelation chapters eleven, twelve, and thirteen -- it seems to us that there is only one period of three and a half years. The contexts in the Apocalypse ought to be understood from this perspective.

#272. In chapter eleven, the wild Sea Beast heightens the ‘harassment’ or ‘oppression’ of Daniel 7:18-22 to out right ‘war’ and appears to be victorious in its conquest of the 144,000-Saints. We wait until Revelation chapters 13 to identify the wild Sea Beast further. Apparently successful, the Martyrs appear as good as a dead corpse. Their bodies lie exposed on the broadway of the Great City, Babylon. Here “the great city” is mentioned in passing before the main discussion begins in chapter seventeen. This Great City, Babylon the Great, is the nemesis of the Holy City, the New Jerusalem. With the 144,000-Saints “dead,” evidently by the cessation of their prophesying, possibly with imprisonment, there is a period of rejoicing over what appears to have been a successful war campaign by the wild Sea Beast.

#273. When the Greek of the Apostle John describes these as dead he uses the word to ptoma which means someone falling in death, or a corpse. Interestingly, this is the same word used by the Nazarene in his answer to his disciples’ question in Matthew 24:28. If this in Revelation 11:9 be the same to ptoma of Jesus’ cryptic, then it is the time for eagles to start to gather: the resurrection and the Rapture is immediately ahead.

#274. The Great Oppression has reached its climax. The 144,000-Saints lie as if dead, inactive and conquered. True Christianity is dead and gone! No doubt during this short period of a few days, about the length of time Lazarus was in the tomb (John 11:39), while their enemies are in the midst of their party-spirit, they come in for quite a shock. The 144,000-Saints rise as if resuscitated in language similar to Ezekiel’s vision of the Valley of Dry Bones. (Ezekiel chapter 36) As their enemies in the Great City look on, these 144,000-Saints are snatched out of harm’s way and raptured to heaven.

#275. Revelation 11:11, 12 records the very thing foretold by Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17, ‘Spirit of life from God entered them. . . They heard a great Voice out of heaven say: “Come on up here!” And they went up to heaven in a cloud and their enemies watched them (ascending).’ How could John have recorded this without thinking of Paul’s description of the Rapture?

#276. As the 144,000-Saints ascend to meet their already resurrected brethren in a celestial meeting with their Lord, a great earthquake occurs. This may be the same global tremor of Revelation 6:12 and Revelation 16:18, marking the Rapture as occurring just before the finale of the Great Day of the Lamb’s Wrath. (Revelation 6:17)

#277. The Lamb’s Small (apocalyptic) Bible’s Seventh Seal and Sixth Trumpet continues to reveal how this destructive earthquake causes the collapse of a portion of Babylon the Great with the death of 7,000 persons,552 as a tenth of the city falls. What is the reaction of the survivors? To our surprise, they glorify God. This may well indicate that good-hearted persons respond favorable to all of this and repent. They likely will be among those “nations” which survive the catastrophic end to one-third of life on earth and thereafter become subjects of the reigning King, Messiah.
552 7,000. This is the same figure used in 1 Kings 19:18 and quoted by Paul at Romans 11:4 and seems to equate to “a remnant”. The use of “one-tenth” is also taken from a source in Isaiah 6:13 (LXX). Both phrases are related to a “remnant” and may refer to that number of the 144,000-Saints who have departed Babylon by their ascension to heaven.

ONE MORE WOE!

#278. This Sixth Trumpet’s “second woe” ends with Revelation 11:13, and verse 14 warns, ‘The third woe is coming quickly!’ Now, it is time for the finale in the Seven Trumpet as John was assured in chapter ten, verse 7.

THE SEVENTH (LAST) ANGELIC TRUMPET: The Final Woe: Judgment!

#279. If chapters twelve to fifteen be viewed as a review of chapter eleven, then the events of chapters sixteen to nineteen could be viewed as part of the Seventh Trumpet reaching a finale in Armageddon and the abyssing of the Devil.

#280. This Seventh Trumpet is so similar in character to that trumpet of Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17 as to be identical. It is the Last Trumpet which spells a resurrection and judgment upon the Household of God. It is the time of the parousia-Judgment illustrated in the Nazarene’s parables of the Master’s Return and the settling of accounts with his slaves. (Matthew 24:43-25:46; Luke 12:35-48; 19:12-27) It is that time when, ‘we must all appear in front of Christ’s Judgment so each individual receive their just payment for everything done while in the body, whether good or vile.’ (2 Corinthians 5:10) It is that moment described in Daniel 12:2, following the rescue of Daniel’s People, ‘And many of those sleeping in the earth’s dust shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to reproaches and to everlasting loathing.’ (Compare John 5:29) It will be a time for those lawless workers to cry, ‘Lord, Lord!’ (Matthew 7:21; 25:44) Now, is the time, naked before Christ, to speak either outspokenly or with great embarrassment. John gives his own description of this moment, ‘So, Little Children, remain in (the Son), so whenever he appears we might have outspokenness (in the day of judgment) and not be shamed away from him in his Presence.’ 553 (1 John 2:28; 4:17)
553 IN HIS PRESENCE. Or, “at his Arrival.”

#281. While on this subject of judgment it is well to consider several important matters which are the ‘basis for judgment.’ John 3:18-20 describes the Nazarene’s own explanation: ‘The one believing in (the Son) is not to be condemned. The one not believing is condemned already because of not believing in the name of the only-begotten Son of God. But, this is the judgment: the Light has come into the world but men have loved the darkness rather than the Light for their works are wicked. For everyone who habitually does vile things (John 5:29; 2 Corinthians 5:10) is hating the Light, refusing to approach the Light, so his works may be reproved. But, the truthful one approaches the Light so his works may be manifest as the Works of God.’ Elsewhere the crowds asked the Nazarene, “What are the works of God?” He answered: ‘This is God’s Work: believe him that (God) sent.’ (John 6:28, 29)

#282. According to the apocalyptic parables of the Nazarene this “belief” is manifest in two primary ways: a) remaining awake in faithful anticipation of the Master’s Return; and, b) practicing human kindness toward one’s neighbors. (Matthew 24:45-25:46) This is wholly consistent with all of the Nazarene’s teachings elsewhere, including the famous, Golden Rule found within the Sermon on the Mount. During the Last Supper, the evening of Christ’s arrest, the Nazarene told his disciples: ‘If you love me you will observe my commandments. ... If you are my friends you will do what I command you.’ (John 14:15; 15:14) If one were starting out as a new Christian, a disciple of the Nazarene and an adherent of his teachings, this would be the place to begin: with the “commandments” of Jesus Christ. These are found largely in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapters 5-7), the Plain Teachings (Luke chapter 12), the Olivet Answer (Matthew chapters 24 and 25, Mark chapter 13, Luke chapter 21), the Parables (Matthew chapter 13 and 25; Mark chapter 4; Luke chapters 12 to 19), and the Last Supper Counsel (John chapters 13-17). Found within these “sayings” will be at least one-hundred “commandments” both in positive and negative forms, along with many principles. According to Hebrews 1:1, ‘God now speaks to us by means of a Son,’ and no longer the ancient Biblical Prophets, so it is wise to concentrate on what the Son teaches.

#283. The ultimate reunion (John 14:2, 3) of the Nazarene with all his faithful adherents or disciples will mark that moment when the Saints ‘inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the world’s foundation.’ (Matthew 25:34; 1 Corinthians 15:50-53) This moment marks a milestone in the history of Messiah’s rule. He has reigned alone since the year 33 CE. (Psalm 2:7; 110:1; 1 Corinthians 15:24, 25; Matthew 25:19; Luke 19:12, 13) Now he is at last joined by all the faithful throughout the twenty or more centuries since his departure. (Acts 1:9-11; 3:20, 21; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17) This in fulfillment of Daniel 7:22, 27, ‘I watched when the Horn made war against the Saints and was prevailing until the Ancient of Days arrived and judgment was rendered in favor of the Saints of the Most High and the time came for the Saints to possess the Kingdom. ... And the Kingdom and Government and grand domain of all the kingdoms under all the heavens were given to the People who are the Saints of the Most High. All governments will serve and obey them.’

#284. For this reason, Revelation 11:15-17 includes a special moment of heavenly praise, a Celestial Panegyric: ‘The Kingdom of the world became our Lord’s and his Messiah. The Lord will reign into the Ages of the Ages. ... We thank you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is554 and the One who was, because you took your great power and reigned.’ The phrase tou kyriou kai tou khristou is right out of Psalm 2:1 of the LXX. Peter’s quotation of this at Acts 4:25-29 and Paul’s citation in Acts 13:33, prove the Second Psalm begins fulfillment, along with Psalm 2:7, in the First Century. (Ephesians 1:20-23) This hymnal praise marks a new phase or aspect of Messiah’s reign for he is no longer alone but joined by his associates as Daniel 7:22, 27 foretold. The gratitude for God taking his power and reigning does not need to mean he first begins to rule here at this moment. The expression “begun to rule” is used several times to mark a new milestone in the ongoing rule of the “King of eternity.” (Revelation 19:6; Psalm 93:1; 96:10; 99:1; 1 Timothy 1:17; Revelation 15:3)
554 THE ONE WHO IS. The fundamental meaning of Yahweh or Jehovah in Greek. (Exodus 3:14 LXX)

#285. According to Revelation 11:18, this moment following the Rapture of Revelation 11:12, finds the nations in an angry mood. The appointed time has arrived for judgment,555 with reward and punishment. (1 Peter 4:5; 2 Timothy 4:1; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Matthew 25:31-46) The Christian Saints and Prophets are the focus though some would expand its meaning. The verse breathes of John 11:24-26 and 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17. Compare Revelation 1:1; 6:11; 7:3; 10:7; 19:2; 22:3, 6 where the “slaves” are always the End-time Saints.556
555 TIME TO JUDGE. This phrase, “the appointed time to judge,” is right out of Daniel 7:22 LXX.
556 SLAVES THE PROPHETS. This phrase is straight from Amos 3:7 LXX. Compare Revelation 10:7; 16:6; 18:20, 24; 22:9 where “prophets” are those Christian spokesmen. All these mentioned in Revelation 11:18 are the same as “those in Christ” at 1 Corinthians 15:23.

#286. It is also the time to ruin those who have been ruining the earth and its environment, particularly by bloodshed. (Isaiah 24:5, 6) The great Day of the Lamb’s Wrath with its four destructive winds can now carry on to a finale with the 144,000 safely sealed and rescued out of the Great Oppression. (Revelation 6:16, 17; 7:1-4, 9-17; Daniel 12:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17)

#287. The Divine Sanctuary (nao) in the celestial realm is now open and the once lost Ark of the Covenant is seen within the Most Holy of the Celestial Temple. Sinai-like phenomenon now occur reminding us of Hebrews 12:18-23 as a fitting conclusion to this portion of the Seventh Trumpet and Third Woe. However, this is not the end of the apocalyptic description. The same period of Great Oppression is to be revisited in chapter twelve.

Nazarene Commentary 2000

Mark Heber Miller

2000 All Rights Reserved