When you finish this week, you are half-way through Revelation. Not only that, Revelation 11 has been called the most difficult chapter in the whole book. So hang on, you are almost there, and then we can all say to one another:
Next week will be a review of where we have been, with the help of a great 12 minute video. Then we will take a break with an 8 week Romans study that will include review Revelation questions in purple.
This is a hard chapter, but Dr. Campbell’s book is so enlightening! One thing I have come to appreciate is how Revelation, in many ways, is a summary of the whole Bible. So many Old Testament mysteries have been revealed in our study of Revelation! Remember this conversation between God and Ezekiel?
Ezekiel gives a good answer! “Lord, you alone know!”
This vision, like many, has more than one fulfillment:
A. God’s people Israel, were made alive when released from exile
B. Christ was physically made alive after three and a half days
C. Believing Jews were spiritually brought to life with the giving of God’s Spirit at Pentecost
D. And one great day, all true believers will rise from their graves to live forever with Christ in the new Kingdom on earth.
The Lord knew our bones would live again!
This Spirit of God which brought life to each of us continues to renew our lives. One of my favorite stories is from Kathy Houts, who introduced me to Westside Church in Vancouver, whose short messages (from J. I. Packer and more) have been blessing us in this study. She and her husband visited that church for the first time when they were in the middle of their series on Revelation. She said when the sermon was over she and Dan sat there stunned while the whole church emptied. They felt like they had been dead but had been brought to life by the breath of God.
Revelation 11 describes a terrible time of suffering for believers (three and a half days) just before that GREAT DAY when the 7th Trumpet sounds and Christ returns to reign forever and ever.
Nearly all the views of Revelation agree there is a tremendous time of suffering at the end, though some think believers with be raptured and others do not, but that a beast that comes up from the Abyss will bring much death. The world is celebrating, gazing on the dead bodies of the witnesses, and having a party.
BUT THEN, as with Christ, “A breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them.” (Rev. 11:11)
Then the believers hear a voice saying “Come up here.” Futurists would see this as a reference to the Rapture. Idealists see this either as a spiritual “Come up here” as happened with Ezekiel, or the physical resurrection of the dead in Christ, as the next thing that is described is the sounding of the 7th Trumpet, announcing the final return of Christ. We’ll look at this more carefully.
As a review of last week and to prepare for this week, listen to Revelation 11 read aloud.
On Tuesday, prepare your heart by praying along with this song:
At the end of the week, here is an optional reading:
What stands out to you from the above and why?
Monday: Apparent Defeat of Believers
2. Read again Revelation 6:11 and explain what must happen before Christ returns.
3. Read Matthew 24:9-13 and explain what Jesus says will happen at this time.
4. Read again Revelation 11:7-10 and share the ways God’s people seem to be defeated.
5. In Mystery Explained, read the first two paragraphs under THE FINAL BATTLE…(stop at”But as these devastating events…)
A. What evidence from Daniel and Revelation 20:8-10 does Dr. Campbell give for the two witnesses representing the people of God as a whole rather than just two men.
B. Why will it seem like the people of God are defeated?
C. What do Babylon and Sodom symbolize according to Dr. Campbell?
Tuesday: Breath of Life!
Prepare your heart with the above song “Holy Spirit, Breath of Living God.”
6. What does this phrase breath of life bring to mind to you? How have you experienced this both at salvation and since? How will you again, after death?
7. Read Revelation 11:11-13 again and tell what happens.
8. In Mystery Explained, beginning with “After these devastating events, read to THE SEVENTH TRUMPET.
A. How does Dr. Campbell explain the world will react to the resurrection of believers described?
B. Why does Dr. Campbell believe the words “come up here” cannot refer to the Rapture?
C. What does a cloud usually mean symbolically in Scripture?
D. What does the great earthquake usually represent in Scripture?
E. How will the world respond?
Wednesday: The Seventh Trumpet
9. Do you remember what the number seven symbolizes?
10. Read Revelation 11:15-19 aloud to yourself.
A. What is now happening according to verse 15?
B. Jesus is usually described as the one who was, who is, and is to come. How is verse 16 different?
C. What time has come according to verse 18?
11. Read, in Mystery Explained, everything under the Seventh Trumpet and share any evidence Dr. Campbell gives for this being the Second Coming of Christ and the final judgment.
Thursday: Optional Reading
There are many similarities between 1 Thess. 4, which is often associated with the Rapture, and Revelation 11. For those who are interested, Dr. Campbell provided me with a reading from “Theos.com” on this which I’m attaching here. It explains why some do not believe in the rapture. As we keep saying, this is not a matter of salvation. It certainly is not worth arguments, but we are endeavoring to see by comparing Scripture with Scripture, what is truly being taught. We welcome other opinions, for this is indeed a mystery. Click on the below (it’s also in the opening)
12. Comments on the above. (This is a safe place to disagree!)
13. We are at the mid-point in Revelation, a good time to reflect. Share two things that have impacted you and how you are applying them to your life.
14. What is your take-a-way this week and why?