19 January 2016

BSF 2015-2016: Revelation 10-11

After the sixth angel sounded his trumpet, John saw a mighty angel with one foot on earth and one foot on the sea. This shows that the message he carries is for the entire world. The angel held out a scroll with a message from God. John was to share this message with others.

John was prepared to write what the angel said, but he was told to seal up the message. It was intended only for John at that particular time. God does not reveal everything about the future. We must treasure what God has revealed and not speculate about what He hasn’t revealed.

The angel raised his hand and swore an oath to God. The oath says there is no more delay. God is bringing all things to a conclusion. Jesus is coming.

The angel told John to eat the scroll. The angel said the scroll will be sweet in John’s mouth but sour in his stomach. God’s Word is sweet because it satisfies our souls. It is sour because it contains hard truths and the message of judgment. The Good News is bad news for those who reject it.

Next, John was told to measure the temple. This may be a new temple that will be built one day because at John’s time the temple in Jerusalem had been destroyed. It also could refer to God’s people because we are called His temple. In the Bible, measuring most often occurs by an owner to demonstrate ownership, authority, and protection. God dwells among His people and divinely protects and preserves them.

John was instructed not to measure the outer courtyard because it belonged to unbelievers who were not under God’s protection.

Then John saw God’s two witnesses. Their identities are unclear. God gave them power and authority to stand for truth. They wore clothes of mourning – they spoke God’s truth but mourned because they knew people will reject it. People tried to physically harm the two witnesses.

Believers are called to be God’s witnesses on earth now. We are called to stand for the truth in this hostile world that rejects God and His Word.

When they finished their work for God, the two witnesses were attacked and killed by the beast from the Abyss. The beast is empowered by Satan and may be the Antichrist. After the two witnesses were killed, their bodies were left on the street for three and a half days. The people refused to bury the bodies, the ultimate sign of disrespect and humiliation.

After three and a half days, God resurrected the two witnesses and called them up to heaven. This foreshadows believers’ resurrection at Jesus’ return. Why would God resurrect our physical bodies? He will make everything new. He will correct the effects from the Fall in the Garden of Eden, including our physical bodies. God created our physical bodies in His image and for a purpose. So He will redeem our bodies.

The people were terrified because God resurrected the two witnesses. God sent an earthquake that destroyed a tenth of the city and killed 7,000 people. The survivors glorified God. We don’t know if this was a true repentance.

Next, the seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and many loud voices glorified God. The elders fell on their faces to worship God. They were full of thanksgiving because God reigns.

Things to Think About
  • It is our role to proclaim God’s truth until He returns to earth because we are His witnesses. A witness knows the truth and tells others about it.
  • Only God can change hearts, but our words do make a difference.
  • We proclaim the Gospel regardless of circumstances and consequences.
  • Pray three things. Lord, open a door (Colossians 3:4). Lord, open their hearts (Acts 16:14). Lord, open my mouth (Ephesians 6:19).

This Week’s Memory Verse
“The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.’ ” Revelation 11:15 NIV