End Times: Back to the Future
Lesson 14 w/AnswersRevelation Chapter 11
So let’s review our overall timeline once again:
- The Tribulation Period is seven years long, comprised of two three-and-one-half year periods.
- In the beginning of that period, the Antichrist makes a peace with Israel, a peace so secure that they lay down their weapons, rebuild the temple and return to sacrificial worship. Midway through the Tribulation, the Antichrist breaks the truce with Israel, and mass persecution of the Jews breaks out with the Jews being driven out of the city.
- The Antichrist directs the False Prophet to set up the Antichrist’s image in the Temple to be worshipped there by all.
In this lesson, we will learn even more about interpreting prophecy and will, for the first time, begin to pull together prophecy from the Old and New Testament in order to garner a more complete picture of God’s plan during the Tribulation period. I encourage you to commit the time to do the reading associated with this lesson and to consider what God provides us today in His continuing revealing of end-time prophecy.
Read Revelation Chapter 11 and consider the following questions:
- Considering Revelation 11:1-2, what is being described? What is the difference between the outer court and the rest of what John is told to measure? Furthermore, when John is told to measure "the temple of God...with its worshipers", is he supposed to find out how tall each one is? Or does this mean something else?
- ANSWER: John is marking off those whom will be saved.
- From our previous studies, how many days are in a prophetic year?
- ANSWER: 360 days. We know from the calculation of many Old Testament Prophecies that work out exactly when this formula, i.e., 12 equal months of 360 days, is employed.
- Now, given this information as well as the scriptural text for this lesson, what is the difference between 1,260 days, 42 prophetic months, and "a time, times and a half time"? (see also Daniel 12:7 and Revelation 12:14)
- ANSWER: Nothing, other than a convenient way to refer to two periods of equal length separately so that they will not be confused.
- How long do the Gentiles "trample on the holy city"?
- ANSWER: 42 months — the second half of the Tribulation period.
- How do the messages found in Luke 21:20-24, Daniel 12:7, and Revelation 12:14 relate here?
- ANSWER: Christ is prophesying about the end times and the overrunning of Jerusalem by the Gentiles, as the Jews flee their homeland and become completely dependent on God’s sovereign protection.
- How long do God’s "two witnesses" prophesy?
- ANSWER: 1,260 days — the first 42 months of the Tribulation Period.
- What is the difference between the time period referenced in Revelation 11:2 and the time period referenced in Revelation 11:3? Can you discern why they are described differently?
- ANSWER: One is describing the first 42 days of the Tribulation, and the other period refers to the second half of the tribulation period (1,260 days).
- After reading Revelation 11:5-6, can you observe some similarities with two famous Old Testament men? (Hint, the similarities relate to gifts used by Moses and Elijah; list which gifts belonged to each man.)
- ANSWER: Elijah could bring rain or stop rain, and Moses turned water into blood and brought forth plagues.
- In Revelation 11:7-8, who kills the two witnesses, and where does he kill them?
- ANSWER: The Antichrist kills them in Jerusalem, just as Christ was slain there.
- We can enhance our understanding of the verses found in Revelation 11 by looking at Daniel 7:21-28. What do these verses say about the kingdom of the Antichrist and what he will do with it?
- ANSWER 1: The kingdom of the Antichrist is the "fourth kingdom that will appear on earth", that of the Romans. (The Babylonian, the Medo-Persia/Medes, and the Greek empires comprise the first three. See also Daniel Chapters 7 and 8)
- ANSWER 2: The Antichrist breaks up the world into pieces and devours the whole earth.
- How long do the Gentiles tread the Holy City underfoot?
- ANSWER: 42 months — the second half of the Tribulation period.
- How long are the bodies of the two witnesses on display?
- ANSWER: Three-and-one-half days.
- Where are the bodies of the two witnesses put on display and what specifically happens during this three-and-one-half-day period?
- ANSWER: Their bodies lie dead in the public square. There will be parties, celebrations, and gift-giving. The end of their three-and-one-half-years of preaching the gospel is met with physical death and celebration by those who killed them. The celebration will be worldwide, encompassing "some from every people, tribe, language and nation".
- What happens to the bodies of the two witnesses after three-and-one-half days? Who witnesses it?
- ANSWER: God breathes life into both of them, and they are taken up to heaven in the plain sight of their enemies!
- Following the resurrection of the two witnesses, what then happens according to Revelation 11:15?
- ANSWER: Christ receives His world kingdom.
- What else do we know about the times described in Revelation? Read Matthew 24:9-28. Based on this reading adn based on what you know about the Tribulation Period and all of the three-and-one-half references found in this lesson (three-and-one-half years, three-and-one-half days, etc.), when do the two witnesses prophesy, when is their death, and when is the "day of Gentiles" along our seven year timeline?
- ANSWER: The sealing of the 144,000, their preaching, and the preaching of the Two Witnesses all occur during the first 42 months, or three-and-one-half years of the Tribulation period. The Two Witnesses are then killed and lie in the streets for three-and-one-half days. Following this, the Gentiles trample the Holy City underfoot for three-and-one-half years, eventually putting the image of the Antichrist in the Temple to be worshipped by everyone.
- Our bonus question for the week: During the first seven-and-one-half years leading up to day the Antichrist enters Jerusalem, breaks the truce, kills the two witnesses, and drives out the Jews; what is he up to? What specific activities is the Antichrist involved in during the first three-and-one-half years? Reread Daniel 11:21-35.
- ANSWER: The Antichrist is going to take on and try to defeat Egypt. Furthermore, an alliance he thought he had forged will prove not to be so, and that deceitful dealings with allies will be the norm of the day. Failing his mission in Egypt, he will blame the defeat on the Jews, and on his way back north to Babylon, he will trample the city of Jerusalem, kill the two witnesses, and begin a worldwide campaign of persecution of the Jews — and those that help them, since there will be non-Jews who will help protect them. This will lead to the death of the 144,000, as well as the millions who were converted to Christianity as a result of their testimony.
- Further, what does Daniel 11:36-45 tell us about the second half of the Tribulation Period and the Antichrist’s activities?
- ANSWER: The scripture passage indicates to us that the Antichrist will manipulate natural and supernatural forces and overrun or destroy many lands in the Middle East except Moab and Edom (modern day Jordan), eventually putting the abomination that causes desolation in the temple.
I know that the meanings of the various images in this lesson can be very difficult to discern. Discernment requires prayer, study, and the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Much of the pieces of the Tribulation Period will now begin to fall into place, as God reveals these mysteries to us through our study of His revelations regarding end-time events.
As we continue to learn more and more, it should compel us to come to God in worship, in awe, as we see His mighty power and judgment displayed and revealed through our study. Our faith and confidence are bolstered as we see that God has a plan for us; and that through the shed blood of His Son Jesus, we know that we are saved. What a hope and glorious peace this provides!
May God continue to richly bless you as you study this difficult subject with us.