19: The Little Book, the Reed, and the Two Witnesses (Rev
The sixth trumpet had sounded.
Now we come to another interlude in which John saw a mighty angel who held a
little book. John was commanded to receive the book from the angel and eat it,
and he was to prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings.
In the next scene, John was given a reed for measurement and revealed about the
two powerful witnesses. This interlude sets the stage for the final woe (11:14)
in which God’s mystery will be finished.
“But in the days of the sounding
of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be
finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets” (10:7).
Did You Know…?
1. Reed (11:1): “A bamboo-like cane that often reached a height
of 20 feet and grew in abundance in the waters along the banks of the Jordan.
Straight and light, the reed was a convenient measuring rod (see Ezek 40:3; Zec 2:1-2).” 13/1936
2. Court (11:2): “The court of the gentiles, approximately 26
3. Two olive trees and two lampstands
(11:4): “…an allusion to Joshua and Zerubbabel in
Zechariah’s vision, who were also said “to serve the Lord of all the earth”
(Zech 4:1-6a, 10b-14).” 9/505
4. Their dead bodies will lie in the street (11:8): “In the Near East the denial of burial was a flagrant violation
is unique about this vision in terms of John’s role?
1. Does the appearance of the angel resemble anything we have
seen before in Revelation?
2. What does the sealing of the words of the seven thunders
tell us about our knowledge of divine plan? (cf. 2Cor 12:3-4)
3. Record the proclamation of the angel.
4. Why does he swear by the everlasting God?
5. Read the following references and write down the types of
mysteries recorded in the Bible
5a. Eph 1:9-10; 3:4-6; Col
2:2,3; 1Tim 3:16
5b. Mt 13:11; Lk 17:20-21
5c. Eph 5:28-32; Rev 1:20; 19:7-8
5d. Rom 11:25-36
5e 1Cor 15:51-53; 1Thess 4:16-17
5f. Rev 17:5,7
6. What does it mean that the mystery of God would be finished?
7. In view of verse 11, what does the little book represent?
8a. Ezekiel had also been commanded to eat a scroll. Read his
experience in Ezek 3:1-3. Considering the situation and mission of both John
and Ezekiel, what does the experience of sweetness and bitterness symbolize?
8b. What does it mean to eat God’s word?
Why must we eat God’s word before we can preach it to others?
8c. How has God’s word been sweet in your
mouth but bitter in your stomach?
8d. Have you ever been entrusted with a task that you would rather
avoid? How did you overcome your reluctance and end your complaints?
9a. What can we infer from verse 11:2 as
to the purpose of measuring the temple, the altar, and those who worship there?
9b. Compare the holy city with the great city of verse 8.
9c. What possible meanings are there to
the trampling of the holy city by the Gentiles?
9d. If the act of measuring symbolizes
divine separation of true and false worshippers, on what basis will the
separation be made? In other words, who does God consider as true worshippers?
Are you a true worshipper?
9e. If the forty-two months parallel half of the period of
tribulation in Dan 9:27 (half a week), which half would it be equivalent to?
10. Why must the measuring take place here, in view of the
progression of events in Revelation?
11. Compare the measuring with the work of the two witnesses.
Could these represent the two commissions of the church today? What are these
12. How long will the witnesses prophesy?
13a. Why do you think the witnesses are
clothed in sackcloth?
13b. What does this teach us about our
attitude when we preach to the world?
14. Read Zech 4:1-14 about the two olive trees and lampstands (gold pipes). If the two witnesses represent the
believers, what would be the significance of using the olive trees and lampstands to describe the church?
15a. Which two OT prophets performed
miracles similar to those in 6?
15b. Why do you think the witnesses were
given such great power?
16a. Why does the beast make war with and
kill the witnesses?
16b. When will the two witnesses be killed?
What teaching can we learn from this?
16c. What do “Sodom,”
and “where our Lord was crucified” collectively represent?
17a. What can we know about the inhabitants
of the earth from 9 and 10?
17b. Have you ever resented someone who pointed out your mistake?
What should you have done instead?
18a. How long were the two witnesses dead?
18b. Compare the resurrection of the witnesses with 1Thess 4:16-17.
19. Compare 11:14 with 10:6. What does it tell us about the timing
of the final judgments?