Then I was given a measuring rod, which was like a pole. And I was told, “Get up and measure God’s temple, the altar, and those who worship there. 2 But don’t measure the court outside the temple. Leave that out, because it has been given to the nations, and they will trample the holy city underfoot for forty-two months. 3 “And I will allow my two witnesses to prophesy for one thousand two hundred sixty days, wearing mourning clothes. 4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. 5 If anyone wants to hurt them, fire comes out of their mouth and burns up their enemies. So if anyone wants to hurt them, they have to be killed in this way. 6 They have the power to close up the sky so that no rain will fall for as long as they prophesy. They also have power over the waters, to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with any plague, as often as they wish. 7 “When they have finished their witnessing, the beast that comes up from the abyss will make war on them, gain victory over them, and kill them. 8 Their dead bodies will lie on the street of the great city that is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. 9 And for three and a half days, members of the peoples, tribes, languages, and nations will look at their dead bodies, but they won’t let their dead bodies be put in a tomb. 10 Those who live on earth will rejoice over them. They will celebrate and give each other gifts, because these two prophets had brought such pain to those who live on earth. 11 “But after three and a half days, the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet. Great fear came over those who saw them. 12 Then they heard a loud voice from heaven say to them, ‘Come up here.’ And they went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies watched them. 13 At that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. Seven thousand people were killed by the earthquake, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven.” 14 The second horror is over. The third horror is coming soon. (Revelation 11:1-14, CEB)
Does this passage make sense apart from the rest of the book? Revelation is a vision in three sections, or at least I was taught that revelation is a vision given to us from three different viewpoints.
So to take part of it is not to really understand what it says. We need to realize this was a book written to the church when it was being persecuted as a way of reminding the followers of Jesus that hope was still coming. That God was in control.
Revelation is a book of hope for those being oppressed.
Let’s hope in the promises.
Loving People. Loving God.