The Two Witnesses
1Then I was given a measuring stick like a rod. I was told, “Go and measure the temple# God’s house—the place where God’s people worship and serve him. Here, John sees it pictured as the special building in Jerusalem where God commanded the Jews to worship him. of God and the altar, and count the number of people worshiping there. 2But do not measure the yard outside the temple. Leave it alone. It has been given to the people who are not Jews. They will walk on the holy city for 42 months. 3And I will give power to my two witnesses to prophesy for 1,260 days. They will be dressed in rough cloth to show how sad they are.”
4These two witnesses are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. 5If anyone tries to hurt the witnesses, fire comes from their mouths and kills their enemies. Anyone who tries to hurt them will die like this. 6These witnesses have the power to stop the sky from raining during the time they are prophesying. They have power to make the waters become blood. They have power to send every kind of trouble to the earth. They can do this as many times as they want.
7When the two witnesses have finished telling their message, the beast will fight against them. This is the beast that comes up from the bottomless pit. He will defeat them and kill them. 8The bodies of the two witnesses will lie in the street of the great city. This city is named Sodom# City that God destroyed because the people were so evil. and Egypt. These names for the city have a special meaning. It is the city where the Lord was killed. 9Men from every race of people, tribe, language, and nation will look at the bodies of the two witnesses for three and a half days. They will refuse to bury them. 10People who live on the earth will be happy because these two are dead. They will have parties and send each other gifts. They will do these things because these two prophets brought much suffering to those who live on the earth.
11But after three and a half days, God put the breath of life into the two prophets again. They stood on their feet. Everyone who saw them was filled with fear. 12Then the two prophets heard a loud voice from heaven say, “Come up here!” And they went up into heaven in a cloud. Their enemies watched them go.
13At that same time there was a great earthquake. A tenth of the city was destroyed. And 7,000 people were killed in the earthquake. Those who did not die were very afraid. They gave glory to the God of heaven.
14The second great trouble is finished. The third great trouble is coming soon.
The Seventh Trumpet
15Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet. And there were loud voices in heaven. The voices said:
“The power to rule the world
now belongs to our Lord and his Christ.
And he will rule forever and ever.”
16Then the 24 elders# Elder means “older.” Here the elders probably represent God’s people. bowed down on their faces and worshiped God. These are the elders who sit on their thrones before God. 17They said:
“We give thanks to you, Lord God All-Powerful.
You are the One who is and who was.
We thank you because you have used your great power
and have begun to rule!
18The people of the world were angry;
but now is the time for your anger.
Now is the time for the dead to be judged.
It is time to reward your servants the prophets
and to reward your holy people,
all who respect you, great and small.
It is time to destroy those who destroy the earth!”
19Then God’s temple# God’s house—the place where God’s people worship and serve him. John sees the heavenly temple pictured to be like the Temple of God’s people in the Old Testament. in heaven was opened. The Ark of the Covenant that holds the agreement that God gave to his people could be seen in his temple. Then there were flashes of lightning, noises, thunder, an earthquake, and a great hailstorm.