Revelation 8
The Lamb opened the seventh seal, and “There was silence in heaven
for about half an hour” (Revelation 8:1) This period of silence represents
a time of waiting, a time in which creation works its way
through history until all are sealed (Revelation 7:3)
“And the earth’s grapes are ripe” (Revelation 14:18)
After the half hour of silence, seven particular angels, who stand
before God, are given seven trumpets (verse 2) These angels waited
until another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the
He was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the
saints on the Golden altar before the throne The smoke of
the incense, together with the prayers of all the saints, went up
before God from the angel’s hand There was silence in heaven
for about half an hour
Revelation 11:3–6
It is implied that the seven angels who were given the seven trumpets
waited until the prayers of the saints had gone up before God
before they could pronounce God’s judgment as follows in chapter
8, and forward
The fi rst six verses indicate that the beginning of tribulation,
the beginning of the end, corresponds with the arrival of the prayers
of all the saints before the throne of God This would say that at
some time in history, all of mankind will have made their decision to
accept or reject God’s plan of salvation At that time, there would be
no more people to be saved; all who will be saved are saved Scripture
substantiates this in Revelation 7:3, which says, “Do not harm the
land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the
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servants of our God.” Although all the family of God is sealed, the
last generation of them will still be physically alive. Also, Revelation
11:7 says, “Now when they have finished their testimony the beast
that comes up from the abyss will attack them and overpower and
kill them.” Therefore, at any time, set only in God’s infinite knowledge
when all of God’s servants are sealed and washed, God “will
give power to the beast” (Revelation 13:7), “to kill the last two witnesses
on earth” (Revelation 11:7). So, there will be no more witness
and satan will be in total control of the earth. No more people will
be saved, and final destruction will begin.
An earthquake will precede that tribulation, as recorded in
Revelation 8:5, which says, “Then the angel took the censer, filled
it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came
peels of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.”
This is the beginning earthquake, which God will initiate. It is not
a natural phenomenon that will happen by chance. It will happen
in a place and time which will indicate the point when, through the
prayers of the last of God’s people, all of the family of God will have
been sealed. After the thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and
earthquake, the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepare to
sound them (verse six).
The First Four Trumpets
The first four trumpets, when blown, will have the effect of destroying
nature, creation. Again, in Genesis 1, there is the description of
God creating the heavens and the earth; here in Revelation 8:7–12
is the description of God taking apart, or dismantling, his creation. The first four trumpets are the first phase; the first four bowls, chapter
16, are the next phase of the destruction of God’s physical part
of creation.
With the sounding of the first trumpet, hail and fire mixed with
blood was hurled down upon the earth (verse 7). A third of the earth,
trees, and grass were burned up.
With the sounding of the second trumpet, “something like a
huge mountain, all ablaze was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea
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turned into blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died and
a third of the ships were destroyed” (verse 8).
With the sounding of the third trumpet, “a great star, blazing
like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the
springs of water … A third of the waters turned bitter and many
people died from the waters that had become bitter” (verses 10–11).
With the sounding of the fourth trumpet, “a third of the sun,
moon and stars were struck. A third of the day was without light and
also a third of the night” (verse 12b).
Thus, these four trumpets will signal the destruction of onethird
of creation. This partial destruction will serve as a warning to
satan’s family, who will be trusting in their wealth and in the things
of this world. These things will all be destroyed.
In verse 13, a new scene opens and introduces the fifth, sixth, and
seventh trumpets. As John watched, an eagle called out a message,
which gives special emphasis to the last three trumpets. He cried,
“Woe! Woe! Woe! To the inhabitants of the earth, because of the
trumpet blast about to be sounded by the other three Angels!” The
fact that the word woe is repeated three times emphasizes the terrible
destruction and devastation to come. The first four trumpets represent
physical destruction; the last three trumpets, spiritual destruction. Spiritual
destruction is much worse than physical destruction,
which accounts for the three “Woes.” So the Lord God gives special
emphasis to the fifth, sixth, and seventh trumpets as they progress to
the worst of tribulation.
The Fifth Trumpet: First Woe
When the fifth angel sounded his trumpet, the key to the shaft of the
abyss was given to “a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth”
(Revelation 9:1). When he opened the abyss, out of it came smoke,
which darkened the sun and the sky. Out of the smoke came locusts
that were given power to torment the family of satan (verse 4).
The star was either satan himself or one of the angels that were
cast out of heaven with him. Revelation 12:4 says, “His tail swept
a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth.” In
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either case, the fallen star opens the abyss. The locusts have a king. His name is “abaddon” in Hebrew and “apollyon” in Greek; both
mean destroyer. It is clear that this was an act of God because he was
in control of the fifth angel, who sounded the trumpet, and in control
of the time it was to be sounded (Revelation 8:2–6).
The names abaddon and apollyon (destroyer) are characteristic
and exemplary of the nature of this fallen angel, the king of the
locusts. He is a spiritual being who is leader of the destruction done
by the visionary locusts that have power compared to scorpions on
the earth (verse 3).
The locusts are visionary symbols through which God gives
the best illustration that exemplifies the message from the spiritual
realm to the physical world. This message is described as follows:
At a time in history when God gives the command (trumpet)
there will be unleashed––opened by a key––on earth an evil spirit
from the abyss that will torture the family of satan, “only those people
who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads” (verse 4). This evil spirit, or spirits, will not harm the earth, trees, or grass as
at the sounding of the first four trumpets, but will torture people. Their suffering, “like that of the sting of a scorpion” (verse five),
will be so severe that men will “seek death, but will not find it. They
will long to die. But death will elude them” (verse six). Whereas, the
first four trumpets described the destruction directed at creation, the
fifth trumpet describes the destruction (tribulation) directed at the
family of satan (mankind) spiritually.
The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their
heads they wore something like crowns of gold and their faces
resembled human faces. Their hair was like women’s hair and
their teeth were like lion’s teeth. They had breastplates like
breastplates of iron and the sound of their wings was like the
thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle. They had tails and stings like scorpions and in their tails they
had power to torment people for five months.
Revelation 9:7–10
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The physical features of the visionary “locusts,” as in other visionary
beings, indicate or exemplify the message being given to mankind. The described features of the locusts represent real-life situations in
These visionary beings are as “locusts.” Real, physical locusts
are feared by mankind because they eat grass, tree leaves, crops, etc.,
thus destroying man’s food. The visionary locusts are different but
exemplify the same eating destruction: “Lions’ teeth.” Verse 4 says,
“They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or
tree,” but only those people who do not have the seal of God on their
foreheads. Also, they looked like they were prepared for battle (verse
7). Thus, the visionary locusts are an evil spirit that will cause the
family of satan to devour each other and torture each other (verse
5). These locusts, with large teeth prepared for battle, give a physical
picture of spiritual beings (demons) manipulating and partnering
with mankind in spiritually devouring (destroying physical mankind)
only the family of satan.
The locusts wore “something like gold crowns” (verse 7). The
crown represents God-given authority, choice. The phrase, “Something
like crowns of gold,” indicates corrupted or misused “crowns”
(Revelation 6:1–2). In the first seal, all mankind was given a crown
(authority, choice), and the family of satan certainly had made the
wrong choice in the fifth trumpet by rejecting God’s plan of salvation
through Jesus Christ. Thus, God permits to be unleashed on
them a spirit that causes them to torture each other through their
misused “crown.” The fifth trumpet, then, is a manifestation of the
misuse of the God-given crown of choice by the family of satan.
The fact that the locusts’ faces resembled human faces and their
hair was like women’s hair adds credibility to this comparison of
the first seal and the fifth trumpet. The first seal was interpreted as
being a “crown of choice” that was created by God into all mankind
with a spirit of conquest. An element of that spirit of conquest is
the boy/girl conquest through which, by nature, the male searches
for, chooses, pursues, and gains the affection of his mate. Then, by
common consent they are married and the two become one; thus is
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the home and the family developed. The Scriptures and the natural
development of Christian society has taught this process down
through history.
First Corinthians 11:14–15 says, “Does not the very nature of
things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him,
but if a woman has long hair it is her glory?” This scripture says
two things that refer to this comparison. First, the very nature of
things refers to the fact that, by nature, things are done in a particular
way. In the creation account, Adam was created first, then Eve
was created as his helpmate. Man is the head of the home, and the
woman is subject to him. I am not at all chauvinistic or a liberationist,
but the fact remains that both Scripture and nature establishes
man as the dominant person in mankind. Second, the long hair of
the woman being her glory refers to the beauty of womanhood. By
nature, a woman’s hair is often referred to as beautiful and sets her
apart from man. At certain times in history, a woman’s hair would
be cut as punishment for prostitution and short hair was considered
a mark of a prostitute. A woman’s hair, as seen in Scripture and in
nature, has been a symbol of beauty and morality. With this, we
conclude that the woman’s hair of the locusts represents the natural
beauty God gave his creation. As we apply this to the locusts released
from the abyss, the woman’s hair represents God-given beauty that
is misused.
The locust faces “resemble human faces” (Revelation 9:7). No
distinction was made as to whether the faces were male or female. They were simply human faces. This fact indicates that the characteristics
of the locusts are true for both men and women.
Today, people have abused every aspect of God’s plan for mankind
and will do so even more as time progresses. Adam said, “This
is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh, she shall be called
woman, for she was taken out of man” (Genesis 2: 23). Verse 24 continues,
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be
united to his wife and they will become one flesh.” However, mankind
has abandoned God’s way and has used the spirit of conquest
to pursue the affections of many. The same is true for both sexes.
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The home and the family are being destroyed because mankind is
no longer satisfied with one mate, as was God’s plan, but enters into
ungodly relationships with others.
In the beginning, God established the natural order of relationships. In
Genesis 3:16, God said to the woman Eve as a result of her
sin, “Your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you.”
In many cases, women have bypassed God’s judgment and have
ruled over their husbands. By the misuse of the spirit of conquest,
woman has sought to be set free from God’s judgment to be ruled
by her husband.
Here in verse 8, women’s hair symbolizes God-given beauty or
attributes. Mankind, in his conquest for self-gain, uses the beauty,
or attributes, God has given as barter to get what he or she wants. In the business world today, both men and women use their bodies
to acquire sexual favors and power, an advantage in business, etc. It
is evident that the use of God-given physical beauty to fulfill desires
and gain advantage for self is extremely destructive both physically
and spiritually. Physically, health and life are destroyed by sexually
transmitted diseases, homes are broken, and children are left hurt
and homeless.
Spiritually, mankind is separated from God as they disobey his
plan and break his moral code to gain for themselves at the expense
of others. Revelation 22:15 says, “Outside [the gates of heaven] are
the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the
murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.”
This emphasizes the destructiveness of sexual immorality.
The visionary locusts’ teeth were like lions’ teeth. This symbolizes
ripping, tearing, destruction, devouring, etc. They self-destruct
and destroy each other.
Also, they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, which symbolize
self-protection and hardness of heart, without conscience and
without heartfelt concern for others.
Christians, born-again family of God, have a breastplate of righteousness
as spoken of in the Ephesians 6:14. I have a breastplate of
righteousness, but it is not my breastplate. I am a sinner. I received
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my breastplate of righteousness when I confessed my sins and was
born again into the family of God. My breastplate was given to me
by Jesus Christ, as he is the only one who is righteous.
In contrast, these who have the breastplates of iron have not
received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and, thus, they are protected
from, shielded from, the natural affections, love, and conscience
that God created into mankind.
The biblical description says that “the sound of their wings was
like the thundering of many horses and chariots running into battle”
(Revelation 9:9). This represents a fast, impatient, driving, reckless,
headlong thrust.
Thus, the visionary locusts are prepared for battle. They have
authority (crowns); they possess the beauty God created into mankind
(human faces and women’s hair); they are ferocious and destructive
(lions’ teeth); they are without conscience (breastplates of iron);
they have mobility to rush into battle (wings); and their stings torment
people for five months. This is a description of modern, affluent
mankind, both male and female, who strive to get ahead, pursue
and accomplish their goals, and gain for themselves their desires in
this world’s system.
Recently on television, I saw a documentary about a group of
children, eighth grade and under, who were involved in a special
school project. The commentator explained that these children had
given up their summer vacation from school to enter an intense study
of business, the stock market, and high finance. He emphasized the
fact that they had given up their games and vacation to prepare at
an early age to compete in the business world. As the commentator
was talking, we were shown on television the classroom with stock
market graphs and other teaching aids used by the instructor. As
the children were interviewed, they made statements like these: “I
want to make a lot of money fast”; “I want to get rich”; “I want to
become a millionaire as fast as I can.” Then the commentator closed
the news segment with comments on how today’s young people are
preparing to face the business world of tomorrow.
Message From the Throne
The ideology that is promoted and that motivates these children,
their parents, and the news media is creating a segment of
our society that is similar to the description of the locusts. They are
highly educated and trained to compete, prepared for battle (verse
7). They have the freedom to choose their lifestyle and business
endeavors (crowns; verse 7). They possess the God-given beauty and
created abilities necessary to pursue their endeavors (human faces
and women’s hair; verse 8). They are ferocious (lions’ teeth; verse
8) as they pursue their desires. They protect themselves against all
threats and have no conscience of fair play (breastplates of iron; verse
9). They have the mobility of modern technology to propel themselves
headlong into their conquest (wings; verse 9).
Thus, at the sounding of the fifth trumpet, there will be unleashed
on the family of satan (verse 4) a spiritual force such as that which
hardened the heart of Pharaoh that will drive them to use every
resource at their disposal to gain their desires and fulfill their lusts. They will, during the time of Revelation, devour each other as a
locust devours green plants. Not only will they devour each other
to gain desires and fulfill lust for this world’s goods, but they will
also devour each other in social relationships. Just as they used their
beauty and other God-given traits for business, so they will use them
to manipulate each other socially to fulfill their own desires.
God created man with a natural desire to marry a woman who
is a virgin and who will remain faithful to him all her life. Once I
was teaching a sex-relationship seminar to high school senior boys. Each young man was asked about his practices and intentions in
dating girls. They stated that their practice and intention was to get
as many sexual favors as possible. Yet each one stated emphatically
that he desired that the girl he married, who would be the mother
of his children, be a virgin. Then one stated, “But there are not any
virgins left.”
In his voice was detected the tragedy of a natural human desire
that had no hope of being fulfilled.
God created woman with a nesting instinct, a desire to have a
home and family. Once while doing pastoral visiting at a local hos82
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pital, I met in the hallway three tenth grade girls, who, though they
did not attend my church, recognized me as a local pastor. They
began to giggle and, with much embarrassment, asked me the location
of the nursery. They said, “We just want to see the babies.” I
directed them toward the nursery and thought as I continued down
the hallway, One of these three has just acquired a serious boyfriend. Sure
enough, a few days later my thoughts proved correct. One of them
had become very close to a particular boy and in her was awakened
the desires to have a home and family.
It is evident in these two illustrations that God has created into
mankind a social and moral system that is evident in all mankind. Yet, mankind has the choice to reject and manipulate those Godgiven
traits, which in turn brings guilt. Guilt that is not dealt with
brings, like an inner gnawing, a devouring and a hardening of the
heart. So, through mankind’s rejection of God’s moral laws, the family
of satan is driven by an evil spirit, which is symbolized by the
visionary locust, to devour each other.
Whereas the first woe and the fifth trumpet illustrate, through
the visionary locusts, mankind devouring themselves from within
socially and spiritually, the second woe and the sixth trumpet illustrate
mankind destroying mankind through war.
The Sixth Trumpet: Second Woe
As the sixth trumpet sounded, a voice commanded, “Release the
four Angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates” (Revelation
These angels are not bound by ropes nor chains, but by command. In
this sense, they can be compared to the four angels.
After this I saw four Angels standing at the four corners of the
earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any
wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree. Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the
seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four
Angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea;
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do no harm to the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal
on the forehead of the servants of our God.
Revelation 7:1–3
The angels referred to in chapter 7 are in charge of holding nature
in order. God sent word for the angels not to harm the land, the sea,
or the trees so as to prevent any destructive wind from destroying
the earth before the family of God are sealed. The four angels in
verse 1 are the same four angels as in verse 2. They are given power
to restrain or release the destructive potential in nature. As the earth
rotates, its surface travels through space at approximately 1100 miles
per hour; thus, there is great potential for destructive wind. These
four angels in chapter 7 were commanded to hold back the destructive
wind. However, they will be released to exercise their God-given
power to harm the land, the sea, and the trees when all of the family
of God is sealed. They are bound by command until released by
another command of God.
The sixth angel sounded his trumpet and a voice said, “Release
the four Angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” The
four angels were released, and the second woe began. The angels
were given power, as recorded in chapter 7, but were commanded not
to use that power until the designated time. Thus, with this comparison,
the four angels of the Euphrates were bound by command,
not by chains or ropes. God gave a command, and they were released
to kill a third of mankind.
And the four Angels who had been kept ready for this very
hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third
of mankind.
Revelation 9:15
As Revelation 9:14 says, “Release the four Angels who are bound at
the great river Euphrates.” There seems to be some significance to
the fact that they were bound “at” the great river Euphrates. Then in
verses 15 and 16, the scripture continues,
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And the four Angels who had been kept ready for this very
hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of
mankind. The number of the mounted troops was 200 million. I heard their number.
Revelation 9:15–16
Since the angels released at the Euphrates River unleash a 200-
million-man army that kills a third of mankind worldwide, then
we can assume that the Euphrates River represents a barrier. It is
not reasonable to think that the Euphrates River itself, or any other
physical barrier, would be a major deterrent for a modern 200-million-
man army. Therefore, there must be an explanation other than
the explanation that the Euphrates River is a physical barrier.
I believe that the great river Euphrates represents a spiritual barrier
set in place by God. There has been one great event in the spiritual
history of all mankind that took place “at” the river Euphrates. That great event is the covenant between God and Abraham. God
said to Abraham,
I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will
make your name great and you will be a blessing. I will bless
those who bless you and whoever curses you I will curse; and all
peoples on earth will be blessed through you.
Genesis 12:2–3
In his covenant, God said, “I will,” four times. As God made these
promises to Abram at Ur and Haran, both located “at” or near the
great river Euphrates, it was necessary for God to set in place a barrier
that would have the effect of bringing about the fulfillment of
his covenant. Abram would need God’s protection, as seen in the
events of Abram’s life. Refer to Genesis 12, 14, 16, and 20. This need
of protection is spoken of by God in Genesis 15:1b, which says, “Do
not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.”
With these scriptures as evidence, it is determined that God
bound four angels whose assignment was to maintain a barrier that
would prevent mankind from killing each other––specifically to prevent
the family of satan from killing the family of God. Also, these
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angels would remain bound until the sounding of the sixth trumpet
in Revelation 9. The binding of these angels that prevents men
from killing each other (Revelation 9:15–16) shows the protective
hand of God as he protects his people from their adversary, satan. satan would have destroyed God’s plan for the salvation of mankind
through the lineage of Abram had God not put in place a barrier
that held back the onslaught of satan. This is clearly seen from the
history of the family of God beginning with Abram.
Abram had a very great fear for his own life as seen when he
twice denied his beautiful wife because he was afraid he would be
killed (Genesis 12:20). Either Abram was a very great coward or he
had real reason to fear for his life. It can be concluded that Abraham
had reason to fear for his life. Of all the people in the world, he was
the one man God chose to father the lineage, the family or people,
through which Jesus would be born into the physical world. As a
spiritual being, satan would have heard this covenant the same as
Abram did and would have most certainly made every attempt to
destroy Abram and his descendents.
So, to protect his people, God placed a barrier “at” the great
river Euphrates, the place of the covenant. However, this barrier did
not provide complete protection for God’s people. They have been
persecuted and martyred throughout history. If there had been complete
protection, it most likely would have been symbolized by seven
angels rather than four. This assumption is made from the fact that
the releasing of the four angels in the sixth trumpet kills a third of
mankind––partial. Also, the Bible says,
The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates
and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the King’s of
the east. Then I saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs; they
came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the
beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. They are spirits
of demons performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the
kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the
great day of God Almighty.
Revelation 16:12–14
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The drying up of the Euphrates River gathers the kings of the whole
world, which results in the death of all of mankind. Therefore God
placed at the great river a barrier that protected his people from
extinction, but not from persecution and death. The barrier is partially
removed by the sixth trumpet and completely removed by the
sixth bowl. Thus, with the consummation of the covenant between
God and Abram, there was engaged a battle royale: satan and his
family versus God and his family.
As this partial barrier is released by the sixth trumpet and the
200-million-man army kills one-third of mankind, the second spiritual
“woe” is unleashed on mankind. This is the time and place in history
where the family of satan takes control of mankind, as explained
in Revelation 13. As they take control, all opposition will have been
destroyed (Revelation 13:15.) All over the world there will be non-
Christians who will fight rather than worship the image of the beast. That will result in a very great world war. This physical warfare will
be the family of satan fighting against the family of satan, thus fulfilling
prophecy given by Ezekiel “‘I will summon my sword against
Gog on all my mountains,’ declares the sovereign Lord. Every man’s
sword will be against his brother” (Ezekiel 38:21).
The two witnesses of chapter 11 will be part of the one-third of
mankind to be killed. They will be killed separately and under different
circumstances than the family of satan. The family of satan will
be killed in physical warfare. The two witnesses will not fight, but
will be murdered after their witness or testimony is finished. Their
battle will be spiritual warfare, not physical warfare. But the beast
gains control through physical warfare. He will then give the order
for the last remaining opposition, the two witnesses, to be killed. Thus, the sixth trumpet brings the destruction of one-third of mankind,
leaving satan and his beast in control of all the earth.
The horses and riders I saw and my vision looked like this: their
breastplates were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulfur. The
heads of the horses resembled the heads of lions, and out of
their mouths came fire, smoke and sulfur. A third of mankind
was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that
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came out of their mouths. The power of the horses was in their
mouths and in their tails; for their tails were like snakes, having
heads with which they inflict injury.
Revelation 9:17–19
These 200 million mounted troops will be dressed in red, blue, and
yellow––possibly three armies. They will kill by fire, smoke (explosives
and sulfur), chemicals, and will have horses’––war machines
that kill from in front and from behind––mouths and tails. This
greatest of all physical armies through the greatest of all physical
wars will kill one-third of mankind, and the rest of mankind will be
subdued, their hearts hardened against God their Creator.
The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still
did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop
worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone
and wood - idols that cannot see or hear or walk. They did not
repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality
or their thefts.
Revelation 9:20–21
These verses give evidence that only the family of satan will be
involved in this physical war.
Therefore, the first scene of the sixth trumpet, which is the second
woe, describes the family of satan as a mad dog. They will turn
on themselves as a rabid dog bites himself. This entire event will be
directed by God––time and circumstance––although the family of
satan will not even believe in God and will have given their allegiance
to satan.

Revelation 10
Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven
He was robed in a cloud, with a rainbow about his head; his
face was like the sun, and his legs were like fi ery pillars He was
holding a little scroll, which lay open in his hand He planted his
right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, and he gave a
loud shout like the roar of a lion When he shouted, the voice of
the seven thunders spoke And when the seven thunders spoke,
I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven say, ‘seal
up the things the seven thunders have said and do not write it
Revelation 10:1–4
The little scroll, which lay open in the angel’s hand, represents a
message from God The message shouted by the angel and spoken
by the voice of the seven thunders is the Word from God written
on the little scroll John heard and understood the audible message
and was about to write, but a voice from heaven commanded him
not to write
The message from God, as it is spoken by the seven thunders,
may have been the fi nal or completed message to the family of
God This thought could be substantiated by the fact that chapter
11 describes a scenario that shows the plight of the last Christians to
live on earth It would be a blessing, considering the circumstances
of the last days of the family of God as described in chapter 11, if
God has sealed up the message in order to protect the family of God
from the mental agony of knowing all that the future holds
Other Scripture also upholds the possibility that the message of
the “seven thunders” relates to the last days of the family of God
Alpha, Omega, Alpha
Then the angel I had seen standing on the sea and on the land
raised his right hand to heaven. And he swore by him who lives
forever and ever, who created the heavens and all that is in them,
the earth and all that is in it, and the sea and all that is in it,
and said, there will be no more delay! But in the days when the
seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the ministry of
God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants
the prophets.
Revelation 10:5–7
In the phrase, “I was about to write,” the word about means just prior
to the sounding of the seventh trumpet. The proclamation, “There
will be no more delay!” would refer to the fact that, after the two witnesses
are raised from the dead, there would immediately come, that
same hour, a great earthquake. That would mean that this unknown
event would take place after the time the Bible says, “The second
woe has passed; the third woe is coming soon” (Revelation 11:14),
and before the time the Bible says, “The seventh angel sounded his
trumpet” (Revelation 11:15a). The mighty angel delivered the scroll
message to John, voiced by the seven thunders, and then sealed it to
the last Christians to live on earth. The message of the seven thunders
is probably critical to end-time events because it comes between
the second woe and the sixth trumpet, and the third woe and the
seventh trumpet.
At the end of the second woe and sixth trumpet, the two witnesses
have been killed. Thus, “When the power of the holy people
has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished”
(Daniel 12:7).
And then, the last believers must hide out when they see the
abomination that causes desolation, which is the third woe and seventh
trumpet. “Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains”
(Matthew 24:16).
So, we believe the message of the seven thunders to be critical
to the end-time message and events. But we, as the family of God,
are spared the probable gruesome events of the message of the seven
Message From the Throne
A glimpse of the nature of the message is seen in the following
Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me once
more; “Go, take the scroll that lies open in the hand of the angel
who is standing on the sea and on the land. So I went to the
angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me,
take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but in your
mouth it will be as sweet as honey. I took the little scroll from
the angel’s hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my
mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour.
Revelation 10:8–11
John was told to eat the scroll, which means to consume, to devour,
to take in himself the message of the scroll as one would read
intently each word in order to derive the meaning thereof. In his
mouth, the message was sweet as honey. In effect, John reads and
understands the message on the little scroll, and it is great, beautiful,
and as sweet as honey. The Word of God is great, beautiful, and as
sweet as honey when we hear his message of salvation that is a free
gift to all who believe in Jesus’s name and accept his plan for salvation
to live forever in heaven with him; the greatest message ever
told. After John had eaten the scroll, his stomach, not the message,
turned sour. God used a physical action to explain a spiritual
process. When a person realizes the consequences suffered by those
who reject God’s plan for salvation and the persecution endured by
some Christians, the message takes on a different taste. The Word
of God is as sweet as honey when first received, but with full understanding,
the stomach turned sour. A fuller explanation of why the
stomach turned sour will be covered in chapters 11, 12, and 13 as the
warfare of satan against the family of God is explained.
In Revelation 10:11, John was told, “You must prophesy again
about many people, nations, languages and kings.” John was told to
prophesy again in the midst of the prophetic message. This signifies
to John that, although he has seen and heard some awesome things,
the sweet Word of God will become bitter as there will be many
more horrifying events to come.

Revelation 11
Revelation 9:13–21 is a description of the events of the second “woe”
that occurs in regard to the last generation of the family of satan
Chapters 10 and 11 are a continuation of the sixth trumpet, which is
the second “woe ” Chapter 10 sets the stage for the events of chapter
11 Both pertain to events that affect the last generation of the family
of God This twofold message of the sixth trumpet is also seen in the
sixth seal Both have a message to the family of satan and the family
of God (Revelation 6:12–7:17) Having received the Word of God
from the angel’s hand (Revelation 10:10) and having understood its
sourness in the stomach, John was ready for the message of chapter
I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, go
and measure the temple of God and the altar, and count the
worshipers there But exclude the outer court; do not measure it,
because it has been given to the Gentiles They will trample on
the Holy City for forty-two months And I will give power to
my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1260 days, clothed
in sackcloth
Revelation 11:1–3
John, with a measuring rod in hand, was told to measure the temple
and altar However, there is not a record of the dimensions In the
Old Testament, Israel was given the specifi c dimensions, which are
known and recorded for the tabernacle in the wilderness and also
for the temple in Jerusalem However, these physical dimensions did
not seem applicable in the context of chapter 11 There is another
measurable dimension that has two references within the message of
this chapter It is the element or dimension of time First of all, time
is referred to clearly in verses 2 and 3, which say,
Alpha, Omega, Alpha
They will trample the Holy City for forty-two months. And I
will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for
1260 days, clothed in sackcloth.
Revelation 11:2b-3
The Gentiles will trample the Holy City for forty-two months, and
the two witnesses will prophesy for 1260 days.
There are two specific time periods. 1) Forty-two months, during
which the family of satan will persecute the family of God, and,
2) 1260 days, during which the two witnesses will prophesy. They are
the same length of time (30 days equals one month, times forty-two
months equals 1260 days). This period of time has a marked beginning
and ending set by God. The beginning is the time when all of
the family of God has been sealed (Revelation 7:3) and the ending
is when the beast is given power to make war against and conquer
the family of God (Revelation 13:7). Revelation 11:7 says, “Now when
they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the
Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them.” The second
reference to “time” is in verse 18 and 19, which reads,
The time has come for judging the dead and for rewarding your
servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence
your name, both small and great––and for destroying those who
destroy the earth. Then God’s temple in heaven was opened,
and within his temple was seen the Ark of his covenant. And
there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an
earthquake and a great hailstorm.
Revelation 11:18b-19
These verses refer to a specific, designated time that marks the beginning
of the end, when the temple in heaven will be opened to receive
the family of God and judgment will be poured out on the family
of satan. Therefore, it is concluded that John’s measurement of the
temple pertains to time rather than physical size of the temple.
John was instructed to measure three areas of the temple: 1) The
temple, 2) The altar, and 3) The outer court. These three have par95
Message From the Throne
ticular meaning and refer to different parts of the family of God and
certain time periods thereof.
First, the temple has reference to the children of Israel in that
the temple in Jerusalem was a Jewish temple. Gentiles were permitted
in the outer court only. The temple itself was given to the Jews. Thus, the temple pertains to the 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel
(Revelation 7:4–8).
Second, the altar pertains to those who will be in the altar area
as described in the fifth seal. John was told to count the worshipers
and measure the altar (time). The parallel is that there will be a specific
number of Christians that will be slain for their testimony and
a designated time when they will no longer be slain.
Third, the outer court pertains to the Gentiles, since it was
given to them. The Gentiles of the family of God are referred to in
Revelation 7:9 as “a great multitude that no one could count, from
every nation, tribe, people, and language.” Proselytes, or Gentiles,
that were converted to Judaism were permitted only in the outer
court. However, with the advance of the Christian era, “whosoever
believes” ( John 3:16) is permitted into the family of God through the
heavenly high priest, Jesus Christ, and his atoning blood shed for the
sins of the whole world. Also, historically, there was the time, AD
70, when the temple was destroyed and, at approximately the same
time, the gospel, having been rejected by the Jews, was preached to
the Gentiles. Refer to Acts 15 and Romans 9–11. Moreover, the outer
court pertains to the Gentile era during which the gospel has been
and is being preached to the whole world so that the kingdom of
heaven will be filled. Refer to Jesus’ parable about the wedding banquet
found in Matthew 22:1–14, which illustrates this fact.
The fact that John was told to measure the temple, the altar, and
the outer court demonstrates that there will be a specific time era
in which mankind will enter the kingdom of heaven. He was told
to count the worshipers at the temple, which means that there are a
specific number, who have entered in through the era of the Jewish
temple, and at the altar which will be a specific number who will be
slain for their testimonies.
Alpha, Omega, Alpha
John was told to not measure the outer court. The outer court
has dimensions, only God the Father knows the measurements or
time. That “time” is not given to mankind. This era of time began
at the preaching of the gospel to the Gentiles and the destruction
of the temple and will end when they have finished their testimony
(Revelation 11:7). Thus, the outer court is the New Testament era to
the end times––from Jesus’s ascension to the closing of the doors
of heaven––and has been given to the Gentiles that “whosoever
believeth” may enter into the family of God.
Time in Prophecy
As we interpret the measurement of the temple and the altar to
pertain to a measurement of time, let us look at other prophetic
references to time. In Daniel 9:20–27, there are precise references to
time spans.
While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the
sins of my people Israel and making my request to the LORD
my God for his Holy Hill––while I was still in prayer, Gabriel,
the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift
flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. He instructed me
and said to me, “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and
understanding. As soon as you began to pray, answer was given,
which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the message and understand the vision:
“Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy
city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for
wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up
vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy.
“Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree
to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the anointed one, the ruler,
comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty two ‘sevens.’ It will
be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. After
the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be cut off and will
have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy
the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War
will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven,’ but in the
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middle of the seven he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And one who causes desolation will place abominations on a
wing of the temple until the end that is decreed is poured out
on him.”
Daniel 9:20–27
Seventy “sevens” are decreed to put an end, or bring to a conclusion,
God’s work of redemption and revelation. Read verse 24 again. These seventy “sevens” are divided into three time spans: seven “sevens,”
sixty-two “sevens,” and one “seven” (verses 25–27). I understand
these three time spans to correspond with the answer given by the
angel when he was asked, “How long will it be before these astonishing
things are fulfilled?” (Daniel 12:6). His answer was, “It will be for
a time, times and half a time (verse 7).
Here is a list of the time spans and corresponding explanations.
1. Seven “sevens” (rebuilding of temple) equals 49 years.
2. Sixty-two “sevens” (coming of Christ) equals 434 years
3. One “seven” (end of time) equals 7 years
Seven sevens equals forty-nine years and was approximately the span
of time to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem from the issuing of the
decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem (verse 25). Thus, the point of
beginning was the decree to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem; fortynine
years was decreed to rebuild it. History says that it took fifty
years to rebuild the temple.
Sixty-two “sevens,” the time span from the rebuilt temple to the
anointed one ( Jesus), is “cut off.” Sixty-two times “sevens” equals 434
years. I understand this time span of 434 years to be from the rebuilt
temple to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Verse 26a says, “And after
the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for himself.”
History says that there was approximately four hundred years
between the Old Testament and the New Testament. History also
says that Jesus was crucified at about thirty-two to thirty-four years of
age. Although history does not give us an exact account of the years
during this time era, it is my opinion that the biblical calculation of
Alpha, Omega, Alpha
“time” is more accurate than known recorded history. Even so, the
biblical “time” and the historical record are so very close: 434 years.
One “seven”––seven years in which God will confirm a covenant. However,
in the middle of these seven years (three and a half
years), there will be an end of sacrifice and offering (verse 27). This
one “seven” fits into history only at the end of time as described in
Revelation 11. The two witnesses will be protected by a special covenant
by God until their witness is complete, even though satan and
his family will be trying to kill them. Three and a half years equals
1260 days.
These time spans in Daniel relate to the measurement of the
temple in Revelation 11:1 in this way:
The seven “sevens” and the sixty-two “sevens” are the era of the
temple measurement. The time from the decree to rebuild the temple
to the resurrection and ascension of Jesus is the fulfillment of
God’s plan through his chosen people, Israel. Thus, the resurrection
of Christ and the beginning of the Christian era also brings the end
of the temple era.
The one “ seven” is the era of the last generation of Christians
to live on earth, the last generation of the Gentile era, and the era
of the seven-year tribulation, which ends with God’s judgment,
the destruction of all physical mankind and physical creation as we
know it.
In Daniel therefore, there are three “decreed” time eras, but not a
“decreed” amount of time from Jesus’s resurrection and ascension to
the death of the two witnesses. I interpret this to mean that there is a
fourth time era. The fourth time era is spoken in Daniel 9:26, which
says, “After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be cut off
and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will
destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood,
war will continue until the end and desolation’s have been decreed.”
Thus, Daniel 9: 26 and Revelation 11 both attest to the fact that the
“Outer court” (Gentile era or church age) does not have a “decreed”
time. It was not made known to mankind. Jesus said that he did not
know that time, only the Father. The Old Testament “outer court,”
Message From the Throne
however, had dimensions. Likewise, there is a measured time for the
“outer court” of Revelation 11, but only God the Father knows it. Just
as the seven thunders of chapter 10 were sealed up that we would not
receive that knowledge, we are also not permitted to know the measurement
of the time from the resurrection and ascension of Jesus to
the beginning of the seven-year tribulation. At the time of the death
of the two witnesses, we can understand that 1260 days prior to that
day the seven-year tribulation will begin.
There are two other very interesting references to “time” in
Daniel 12:11–12.
From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the
abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1290
days. Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the
1335 days. As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest and
then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted
These verses clearly speak of the end times, and particularly of the
last generation of Christians as referred to in Daniel 12:7. I interpret
Daniel 9:27, Daniel 12:11–12, and Revelation 11:1–3 to be the same
time and circumstance. There seems to be a contradiction in the
number of days and their sequence, but after months of prayer and
study, I give the following explanation.
One difficulty comes in reference to the time of the “end of sacrifice
and offering,” and also in regard to the number of days. Daniel
9:27 says, “In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice
and offering.” This verse states plainly that sacrifice and offering
will end after three and a half years––also 1260 days (middle of one
“seven”). Daniel 12:7 says, “From the time that the daily sacrifice is
abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there
will be 1290 days.” This verse speaks of the accomplishment of two
events during a span of 1290 days. The abolishment of sacrifice will
occur first, three and a half to 1260 days, with the establishment
of the abomination following thirty days later. Also, Revelation
11:3 says, “And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will
Alpha, Omega, Alpha
prophesy for 1260 days.” This verse tells us that God will provide
protection for his two witnesses, who will prophesy for 1260 days or
three and a half years, the middle of the one “seven”.
It is a fact that the final time span described as one “seven” is
seven years, for it is referred to as the end of sacrifice and offerings
coming in the “middle” (Daniel 9:27) as “half a time” (Daniel 12:7)
and as “forty-two months” and “1260 days” in Revelation 11:2–3. I
also understand that the seven-year period is the time of tribulation
divided between the trumpets during the first three and a half years
and the bowls during the last three and a half years.
Then there is the fact that Daniel 12:11 speaks of 1290 days, but
Revelation 11:3 speaks of 1260 days. Notice that the 1290 days is listed
in relation to both the abolishment of sacrifice and the establishment
of the abomination that causes desolation, whereas the 1260
days speaks only in relation to the time span during which the two
witnesses will prophesy. I suggest that both are correct. The two
witnesses will prophesy for 1260 days and will be killed––sacrificed,
abolished. Then thirty days later, at 1290 days, the beast will, with
the absence of the witnesses, be able to set up the abomination that
causes desolation.
Please note: Old Testament sacrifice equals New Testament
worship. When the two witnesses are killed, satan’s beast takes total
control. Although there will probably still be church, there are no
more true worshipers of the true church because the two witnesses
(leadership) have been killed and the rest of the true church have run
for the mountains (in hiding).
Daniel 12:12 gives another number, which causes us to question. It says, “Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the
1335 days.” These 1335 days as recorded is the 1290 days plus fortyfive
days more. Therefore, it is saying that “blessed” are the family of
God who survive seventy-five days after the killing of the two witnesses,
which is forty-five days after the setting up of the abomination
that causes desolation.
There are two Scripture passages that allow this to be so: Rev101
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elation 11 and Matthew 24. In Revelation 11:7, the two witnesses
are killed, then, in verses 11–12, they are resurrected and ascend to
heaven. Then, in verse 13, a severe earthquake occurs, followed by the
sounding of the seventh trumpet in verse 15. With that, God takes
great power and begins to reign as described in verses 17–18, “Then
God’s temple in heaven was opened” (verse 19).
This description of events in chapter 11 allows the possibility
that the rapture (when the last Christians shall meet Jesus in the air)
will occur when God’s temple is open in verse 19.
Possible Timetable:
One “seven” equals seven years, or 2520 days
Middle of one “seven” equals three and a half years,
or 1260 days
1260 days equals two witnesses killed and the sacrifice
1263 1/2 days equals two witnesses resurrected
1263 1/2 days, plus one hour, equals severe
“Soon” after (verse 14) 1263 1/2 days plus one hour
equals the seventh trumpet blown and God begins
to reign.
1290 days equals the establishment of abomination
by the beast (Revelation 13:14).
1335 days equals the rapture of remaining Christians
(Revelation 11:19).
2300 days equals “both the sanctuary and the host
to be trampled underfoot … The sanctuary shall be
cleansed” (Daniel 8:13b, 14b).
2520 days equals the end of the one “seven.” satan
is bound and the millennial reign of Christ begins
(Revelation 20:1–4). Also refer to Matthew 24:22:
“Those days were shortened.”

Alpha, Omega, Alpha
Jesus said that no man knows the day, not even the angels or Jesus
Christ, only the Father (Matthew 24:36).
But, we are given a pretty good timetable for the seven-year
tribulation period.
The time that we do not know is the beginning date and time
of the tribulation, which begins as recorded in Revelation 8:1 and
Revelation 11 says, “They will trample the holy city for fortytwo
months.” The pronoun “they” refers to the Gentiles mentioned
in the previous sentence, to whom was given the outer court. Here
there is a play on the use of the meaning of the word Gentile. Historically,
the word Gentile had a compound meaning. First, it referred
to all of mankind who were not of the blood lineage of Israel, anyone
who was not a descendent from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Israel). It is inferred that, whereas the Jews are God’s people, the Gentiles
are not God’s people, thus, outside the family of God. However, the
New Testament teaches plainly that the natural branches (descendents
of Abraham) were cut off. Therefore, the Gentiles, who have
come to salvation through Jesus Christ, are those of the outer court
and part of the family of God. The Gentiles, who reject salvation
through Jesus, are those who trample the holy city for forty-two
months. Therefore, the pronoun “they” refers to the family of satan.
Note: The difference between “Gentiles” and “they” is that the
outer court is given to those referred to as “Gentiles” (family of
God) and those referred to as “they” trample the holy city (family
of satan).
The Gentiles who have rejected Christ––”they” equals the family
of satan––will trample the holy city for forty-two months, and
God says, “I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will
prophesy for 1260 days clothed in sackcloth” (Revelation 11:3). Here
is presented the two physical entities that are engaged in the greatest
battle ever, the battle for the souls of mankind. It involves physical
mankind, but the battle is spiritual. Those referred to as “they” are of
the family of satan and the “two witnesses” are of the family of God. Thus, the stage is set for the final spiritual conflict.
Message From the Throne
The Two Witnesses?
And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will
prophesy for 1260 days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two
olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord
of the earth.
Revelation 11:3–4
Lampstands are explained in Revelation 1:20 as being representative
of the seven churches. We believe the same reference applies here in
chapter 11. The two lampstands represent two churches.
The two olive trees are explained in Zechariah 4:1–8. Therein is
a peculiar discussion of the two olive trees, which seemed to be of
particular importance because of the nature of the discussion. It is
described as follows:
I (Zechariah) see a solid gold lampstand with a bowl at the top
and seven lights on it, with seven channels to the lights. Also,
there are two olive trees by it, one on the right of the bowl and
the other on the left. I asked the angel who talked with me,
“What are these, my lord?” He answered, “Do you not know
what these are?” “No, my lord,” I replied. So, he said to me,
“This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor
by power, but by my Spirit’, says the Lord Almighty.”
Zechariah 4:2
The angel seemed to avoid the question by entering into a dialogue
about Zerubbabel. Two more times, verses 11 and 12, Zechariah asked
about the two olive trees. The angel again replied, “Do you not know
what these are?”
“No my lord,” said Zechariah.
After the third time, the angel said, “These are the two who are
anointed to serve the Lord of all the earth.” (Zechariah 4:13–14).
The fact that there is much discussion over the olive trees gives
importance to them. Zechariah’s three questions have a progressive
nature that narrows the question to the olive trees. Verse 4 is a general
question: “What are these, my lord?” Verse 11 is more direct: “What are
Alpha, Omega, Alpha
these two olive trees on the right and the left of the lampstand?” Verse
12 is more descriptive: “What are these two olive branches beside the
two golden pipes that pour out golden oil?” Though there are other
elements in the vision––lamp stand, bowl, seven lights, golden oil––
the two olive trees have prominence in the eyes of Zechariah, for he
questions three times to get their meaning.
The two olive trees are finally explained as “The two who are
anointed to serve the Lord of all the earth” (verse 14). They are
anointed. Therefore, they are set aside, instructed, and directed by
God. They are to serve. Therefore, they are to carry out the instruction
as directed by “the Lord of all the earth” (verse 14). God’s will
is carried out in all the earth. The statement that the two olive trees
are anointed to serve and set aside to carry out orders is illustrated
within this text at least four times. First, Zechariah 4:7 says, “What
are you, O mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become
as level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone with shouts of,
‘God bless it! God bless it!’”
Zerubbabel had been given the task of rebuilding the walls and
temple in Jerusalem. He had a mountain of a job to perform with a
small group of Jewish refugees from Babylon. However, because it
was God’s will that the walls and temple be rebuilt, that mountain
would become as level ground. The Spirit of God would carry out
God’s will on earth through Zerubbabel, as he was representative of
the two olive trees in the vision.
The two olive trees, then, represent the one who is anointed
to carry out God’s will on earth through and by the Spirit of God. Another illustration of God’s will being carried out on earth is found
in Zechariah. It says,
I looked again, and there before me was a flying scroll! He asked
me, “What do you see?” I answered, “I see a flying scroll, thirty
feet long and fifteen feet wide.” And he said to me, “This is the
curse that is going out over the whole land; for according to what
it says on one side, every thief will be banished, and according to
what it says on the other side, everyone who swears falsely will
be banished. The Lord Almighty declares, ‘I will send it out,
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and it will enter the house of the thief and the house of you who
swear falsely by my name. It will remain in his house and destroy
it, both its timbers and its stones.’”
Zechariah 5:1–4
God’s Word (the flying scroll) condemns sin––theft, swearing
falsely––and the sinner’s house. As a result, the sinner’s house will
be destroyed with its timbers and its stones. God’s Word as directed
by his Holy Spirit will accomplish these things through prophets
and ministers, who are anointed by God, to carry out the task that is
representative of the two olive trees as they proclaim God’s Word.
Also, the Word of the Lord came to Zechariah, who wrote,
Take silver and gold from the exiles, Heldai, Tobijah and Jedaiah
who have arrived from Babylon. Go the same day to the house
of Josiah son of Zephaniah. Take the silver and gold and make
a crown and set it on the head of the high priest, Joshua son of
Jehozadak. Tell him this is what the Lord Almighty says; “Here
is the man whose name is the Branch, and he will branch out
from his place and build the temple of the Lord. It is he who
will build the temple of the Lord and he will be clothed with
majesty and will sit and rule on his throne. And he will be a
priest on his throne. And there will be harmony between the
two.” The crown will be given to Heldai, Tobijah, Jedaiah and
Hen the son of Zephaniah as a memorial in the temple of the
Lord. Those who are far away will come and help to build the
temple of the Lord, and you will know that the Lord Almighty
has sent me to you. This will happen if you diligently obey the
Lord your God.
Zechariah 6:9–15
Zechariah was told about “a man whose name is the Branch.” (verse
12). The “Branch” refers to Jesus. It is said of this branch, “And he
will branch out from his place and build the temple of the Lord. It is he who will build the temple of the Lord … ” The context in
which this statement is made is the vision and directive from God to
the Jewish exiles in Babylon to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the
walls and temple. (Zechariah 1–2). Within the directive to rebuild
Alpha, Omega, Alpha
the physical temple, it is revealed that the branch, Jesus, will build
the spiritual temple.
Conclusion to the Olive Trees
1 Therefore, Zerubbabel, as he was moved, anointed,
by the Spirit of God to carry out, serve, the rebuilding
of the temple, was representative of the two olive
2 The “flying scroll” (Word of God) represents the carrying
out of God’s will in all of history. As prophets,
preachers, evangelists, and witnesses proclaim the
Word of God, sin is condemned and the houses of
sinners are torn down, spiritually. Therefore, those
who are anointed or called to proclaim the Word of
God are the “two olive trees” that stand before the
Lord of the whole earth.
3 The “Branch,” which is interpreted as Jesus, is the
one anointed to provide salvation to the whole world. Thus, in carrying out God’s will, Jesus fulfilled the
spirit and purpose of the “two olive trees,” just as the
physical Jesus was obedient to the direction and will
of God in his life on earth.
Therefore the two witnesses, as the two olive trees, are physical
mankind who are anointed by God to carry out a particular task that
accomplishes God’s will on earth. Thus, these two witnesses are a
part of the last generation of the physical family of God, who were
given the task of proclaiming God’s Word and of suffering martyrdom
in the end. They bring to a conclusion the witness of the family
of God according to God’s plan.
As we apply the principle of the limiting number, the two witnesses,
the two lampstands, and the two olive trees are a limited
number (very few out of many) of the churches and Christians who
are anointed to serve God in the last generation to live on earth.
Message From the Throne
The above discussion about those who are anointed of God is
important because it needs to be understood, in light of the two witnesses
in Revelation 11. This is important because many have supposed
and written that the two witnesses are Moses and Elijah, who
have returned to earth in the last generation to perform miracles as
they did in the Old Testament.
The “two witnesses” are not two individuals, but a very small
number of God’s anointed witnesses out of two churches, meaning
a very small number of the existing churches, who are anointed of
God in the last generation of Christians to live on earth.
The “two witnesses” carry out a most important task, as anointed
by God. They proclaim to the family of satan the final witness with
undeniable miracles and power. So that, when mankind, who has
rejected Jesus Christ, stands before the throne of God, they will have
no excuse. God’s judgment will be just and justified.
The Time of the Battle
The time of the battle will be 1260 days, or forty-two months. In
Revelation, 1260 days is used twice. In each of the two places, the
people involved are God’s family, who are protected by God. Revelation
12:6 says, “The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared
for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1260 days.” Of
the two witnesses, Revelation 11:5 states, “If anyone tries to harm
them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. This
is how anyone who wants to harm them must die.”
The fire from their mouths is interpreted as the Word of God,
not a flame. Thus, they are protected by the Word of God. Therefore,
the 1260 days refers to the family of God, who are protected by
him in the midst of persecution for 1260 days.
The forty-two months is mentioned twice in Revelation. The
Scripture says, “They will trample on the Holy City for forty-two
months” (Revelation 11:2). This verse tells of a time when the family
of satan will trample (persecute) the Holy City, the family of God. The Scripture also says, “The beast was given a mouth to utter proud
words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two
Alpha, Omega, Alpha
months” (Revelation 13:5). The “beast,” the family of satan, will be
given by God a mouth to blaspheme God and exercise authority. Therefore, the forty-two months refer to the family of satan, who
are given particular power to fight against God and his people.
I believed for a long while that not only were the 1260 days and
forty-two months the same span of time, but that they occurred
simultaneously in history. But, I now believe that the best interpretation
is that the 1260 days are the first three and a half years of
tribulation and the forty-two months are the last three and a half
years, or great tribulation.
During the seven year tribulation:
For 1260 days: the last generation of the family of God are still
on earth.
After the 1260 days, for forty-two months: satan, the beast, and
the false prophet are in complete control of earth.
The beast––gentiles, as pertaining to those who are of the family
of satan––will make war against the woman (Revelation 12:6) and
the two witnesses.
Of the two witnesses, Revelation 11:7 says, “Now when they have
finished their testimony.” The two witnesses will be part of the last
generation of Christians to live on earth. Their testimony will not
be finished as a result of a successful witness to all mankind, for
mankind will reject the testimony of Jesus Christ. However, it will
be finished in that no one will receive their testimony and be saved. At that point in time, when all of every nation, tribe, people, and
language who are going to be saved have been saved, then their testimony
will be finished. Only God knows that point in time.
I believe that this final witness is of utmost importance. When
the witnesses have finished, they are killed by the beast. And then
comes the final destruction of the bowls, and at Armageddon all
those who were witnessed to are killed by God. Thus, this is God’s
final witness to mankind. So, with the illustration in Zechariah, we
are given an overview of God’s determined witness to mankind. The
gospel of Jesus Christ will be preached to the ends of the earth, to all
mankind, and then the end.
Message From the Throne
The testimony of the “two witnesses” is, in some ways, the same as
that of John’s testimony. Revelation 1:2 says, “He made it known by
sending his angel to his servant John, who testifies to everything he
saw, that is, the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
That testimony of Jesus Christ is given to us from his own mouth
as recorded in Revelation 1:17–18, which says, “I am the first and the
last. I am the living one; I was dead, and behold I am alive forever
and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.” Though there
are many doctrines and many religions, the testimony of the two
witnesses is that Jesus is “the way and the truth and the life” ( John
14:6), and there is no other way to salvation and life after death with
God. This is the everlasting gospel spoken of through the three
angels of Revelation 14:6–9.
Now, when they have finished their testimony, the beast that
comes up from the abyss will attack them, and overpower and
kill them.
Revelation 11:17