Revelation Study Guide: Week 16, Chapter 11

By Coty Pinckney

Read Revelation 11 at least three times, without referring to notes or commentaries. Recall that we are between the 6th and the 7th trumpets; the 6th trumpet was blown in 9:13. Look back at the end of chapter 6 and chapter 7 to remind yourself of what happened between the 6th and 7th seals.

(1) Think about the chapter as a whole. What images here must be symbolic? Which are possibly literal?

(2) Consider verses 1 and 2. What is John told to measure. What is he told not to measure? In verse 2, what is the explanation given for his not measuring? What does this tell you about the concept behind the measurement? Ezekiel 40-48 records the measuring of a temple (I don't suggest you read all that!); see also 2 Corinthians 6:16 and Zechariah chapter 2 for measuring the temple. Daniel 9:25-27 and 12:7-12 mention similar periods of time to the 42 months referred to here.

(3) List the characteristics of the witnesses, as described in verses 3-6. Are you reminded of any Old Testament characters? (No, I'm not going to give it away by listing verse references!) Why are they described as olive trees and lampstands? What useful substance do olive trees yield? Think about this, then look at Zechariah chapter 4.

(4) How can you tell in verse 7 that God remains in control, even though his witnesses are killed? Look back to chapter 9 for the abyss.

(5) What was characteristic of Sodom and Egypt? Why does God use these terms for (literal or figurative) Jerusalem? How would you describe the reaction of the residents of this city to the death of the witnesses? To their resurrection?

(6) Look at the end of chapter 6 and the end of chapter 9; compare those sections to verse 13. When the people give "glory to the God of heaven," are they repenting and turning to God?

(7) The seventh trumpet sounds in 11:15. Once more John sees a picture of heaven. How would you describe the impact of the seventh trumpet? Consider verse 18 especially. Compare the title of God given in 11:17 to 4:8. What is different? Why?

(8) Think again about the 6th and 7th seals, and what happens between them. In what way are the 6th and 7th trumpets, and what happens between them, similar? In what way are they different?

(9) Verse 1:3 tells us that the one who "heeds what is written" in this book will be blessed. What are we to heed from this chapter? What difference does this chapter make in the way we live our lives?

(10) Think again about the literal and symbolic elements of this chapter. Can you come to a conclusion about this issue? Does your conclusion have an impact on your answer to question 9? You may want to look at Matt 24:11-14 and 27-31.

Now read Stedman's sermon on chapter 11 as well as Wilcock pages 103-109. Wilcock page 108 is really excellent. Revise your answers, if necessary, in light of the insights of these two commentators.

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