God's two servants
1 Someone gave me a stick, like the sticks that people use to measure things. He told me, ‘Go and measure the size of the temple and the altar. Also count the number of people who worship God there. 2 But do not measure the yard that is outside God's house. Do not measure it, because God has given that yard to Gentiles who do not believe in him. They will stamp all over God's own city for 42 months and they will destroy it.
3 I will give authority to my two servants who speak my message clearly. They will tell people my messages for 1,260 days. They will wear rough clothes made from goats' hair.’
11:3Jews wore rough cloth (sackcloth) to show that they were very upset or very sad.
4 These servants are the two olive trees and the two lampstands. They stand in front of God who is the Lord of the earth. 5 If anyone tries to hurt them, fire comes out of the servants' mouths. This fire destroys their enemies. Anyone who wants to hurt the two servants must die in this way. 6 These servants of God have authority to shut up the sky. Then there will be no rain during the time that they tell their messages from God. They also have authority to cause the water on earth to become blood. They can cause many different kinds of trouble to happen on the earth. They can do this as often as they want to.
11:4God showed his prophet Zechariah two olive trees and a gold lampstand. See Zechariah 4.
7 When these two servants of God have finished speaking God's messages, a wild animal will attack them. This is the animal that lives in the deep hole. It will come up out of the hole. It will be stronger than the two servants and it will kill them. 8 Their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city where people killed their Lord on a cross. This city should be called Sodom or Egypt, because it is as bad as those places.
11:8People killed Jesus Christ on a cross outside the city of Jerusalem in Israel. The leaders of Israel's people caused Jesus to die there. They refused to recognize him as Lord.
9 People from everywhere in the world will look at the servants' dead bodies for three and a half days. Those are people from every nation, from every tribe and from every language. They will not agree to bury the bodies. 10 The people who live on the earth will be very happy because the two servants of God are now dead. They will send gifts to each other because they are so happy. These two prophets of God had caused bad trouble for them, but now they have died.
11 But after three and a half days, God breathed life into those dead bodies. They stood up. The people who saw them were very afraid. 12 Then God's two servants heard a loud voice that came from heaven. The voice said, ‘Come up here.’ They went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies watched them.
11:12The two servants speak God's messages to the people who are living on the earth. They may be two special people who will come one day. Or they may be like a picture of Christians all over the earth. The number two is important. Among God's people long ago, there had to be two or more people to agree that something was true. Then they could say that it had really happened. See Deuteronomy 19:15.
13 At the same time the ground shook with a strong earthquake. One in every ten buildings in the city fell down. 7,000 people died because of the earthquake. The people who were still alive became very afraid. They praised the God of heaven and said that he is very powerful.
14 That is the second great trouble and it has now finished. But the third great trouble will come soon.
The seventh trumpet
15 The seventh angel made a sound with his trumpet. Then there was the sound of loud voices in heaven. They shouted:
‘Our Lord God and his Messiah now have all authority!
The whole world has become their kingdom.
God will rule as King for ever!’
16 The 24 leaders were sitting on their thrones in front of God. Now they threw themselves down on their faces and they worshipped God. 17 They said:
‘We thank you, Lord God, because you have all authority!
You are alive now and you have always been alive.
You have great power and now you have begun to rule the whole world!
18 The nations of the world were very angry.
But now it is time for you to be angry with them.
Now you will judge all the people who have died.
You will give good things to your servants, the prophets,
and to all your people.
You will bless everyone who respects and obeys you,
whether they are important people or not.
But you will destroy all those people who destroy the earth.
The time has now come for all this to happen.’
19 Then the door of the temple in heaven became open. Inside it, I saw God's Covenant Box. There was a great storm with bright lightning and the loud noise of thunder. There was an earthquake and strong rain with stones of ice fell from the sky.
11:19Many years ago, God told Israel's people to make a special box. He told them to keep the box in God's house. See Exodus 25:10-22. The box helped them remember God. They remembered that God had promised to live among them. He had agreed to be their God if they would obey him.