After the Divine Interlude in Revelation 10, we pick up where the overview ended. The heavenly immortal government has released the first six trumpet judgments. Despite all that has been endured, the Gentile nations still refuse to repent. Their hearts are hardened.
Meanwhile, the Jewish remnant has fled into their prepared place to be nourished through the 3½-year war for Jerusalem. The latter rain outpouring enables them to fight like mighty men. And now God is fighting for them, now that they have been judged for their apostasy.
Revelation 11 records that John is given a reed to measure the temple, the altar, and those who worship there. But he is told to leave out the court outside the temple, for it has been given over to the Gentiles. We are reminded that the Gentiles will tread the holy city for 42 months (3½ years).
In the city itself, God brings two witnesses to preach the Gospel to the Jews. They are not named, but they are generally acknowledged to be Moses and Elijah, who represent the law and the prophets. These two pivotal individuals from the Old Testament also appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus.
They are described as two olive trees and two lampstands. The olive trees represent the anointing oil and the lampstands represent the revelation of God and Jesus Christ, the Light of the World. They have the power to hold back rain from the earth, turn water to blood, and strike the earth with plagues as often as they see fit. If this sounds familiar, it should. These were some of the signs and wonders they displayed in their earlier earthly ministries under the Old Covenant. They are protected from harm until their ministry and testimony are complete.
Next we see a replay of the 6th trumpet (2nd woe). This time, in addition to the spiritual princes that are released from the Pit, we are told that a beast also rises from the Pit. As with the princes whose king is Satan, the beast’s intention is to make war. Since this is the 6th trumpet, we know that the beast is giving it all he’s got.
Furious that the Gospel is still going forth with boldness in the face of his armies, the Antichrist kills the two witnesses, leaving their bodies in the street for all to see. Not surprisingly, the city is temporarily referred to as Sodom and Egypt. Yet we know it is Jerusalem because it is the place where Jesus was crucified. It is also where He was raised from the dead.
Once again, the Antichrist thinks he has won the day, as he refuses to let the bodies be buried for 3½ days. He should have known better. God’s breath miraculously comes into the bodies and they are raised from the dead. Great fear comes as the armies witness the wondrous sign. Ya think?
The earth shakes again, causing one-tenth of the city to fall, killing 7,000 people. In Scripture, the number 10 refers to divine order, and the number 7 and any multiple thereof symbolizes completion. Some of the people respond in terror. Others finally get the hint and give glory to God.
Then we hear the replay announcer declare, “The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe is coming quickly.” The next sound to be heard will be the 7th trumpet echoing through the heavenlies and across the earth.