Revelation 11

The Two Witnesses and the Conclusion of the Seven Trumpets

In the previous chapter, the narrative of the Seven Trumpets was interrupted when John saw an angel holding a Little Scroll and heard the voice of Seven Thunders. In this chapter, John will be returned to the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet after being given more information concerning the the Attack on Jerusalem, which we read about earlier in the events of the Fourth Trumpet and that is described as a time when the Gentiles will trample on Jerusalem.

I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, “Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, with its worshipers. 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 42 months.” Rev. 11:1-2

In these passages, the description of the Attack on Jerusalem begins with instructions concerning the measuring of the Temple. From history, we know that the original Temple in Jerusalem, which was built by King Solomon, was destroyed around 586 B.C. when the city was conquered by the Babylonians. Construction on a new temple was started approximately 70 years later when the Babylonian captivity ended. This Second Temple was greatly expanded by king Herod in the First Century B.C. but was subsequently destroyed by the Romans, in 70 A.D., during the Jewish rebellion, and never rebuilt. However, in these verses, John is told to measure the Temple. In addition to this, in later chapters of the Revelation, we will read about events that will take place in the Temple, which seems to imply that the Temple will be rebuilt.

From the above the description of the Temple, which will include an outer court that will given over to the Gentiles, we can assume that the rebuilding of the Temple will take place as part of an international effort and will contain an area dedicated to the worship of foreign gods.

After being instructed to measure the Temple, John is told that the holy city will be trampled on by the Gentiles for 42 months (3 1/2 years), which is another description of the Attack on Jerusalem, which was first shown to John in the events of the Fourth Trumpet. When we read that the Gentiles will trample on the city, it is a reference to how they will occupy Jerusalem for the 3 1/2 year period. This also corresponds with how we read in the previous chapter that the Restoration of Israel will not take place until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in. As we discussed in that chapter, the fulness of the Gentiles refers to the complete dominion of the Gentiles over God’s people, which will include their occupation of Jerusalem.

After re-describing the events of the Fourth Trumpet, John was then told of two prophets who will prophecy from Jerusalem and will be given power to call down the plagues that were first described in the events of the First Three Trumpets.

And I will appoint my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.” They are “the two olive trees” and the two lampstands, and “they stand before the Lord of the earth.” 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. Rev. 11:3-5

In these verses, we learn that the two prophets known as the Two Witnesses will prophecy in the holy city for 1,260 days, which also equals 3 ½ years. Although we are not given the identity of the Two Witnesses, we are told that fire will come from their mouths to devour anyone who tries to harm them, which is a description of how the two prophets will be able speak a word of judgment against their enemies. This is similar to how the prophet Elisha was also able to curse those who came against him.

He (Elisha) went up from there to Bethel, and while he was going up on the way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him, saying, “Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!” And he turned around, and when he saw them, he cursed them in the name of the Lord. And two she-bears came out of the woods and tore forty-two of the boys. 2 Kgs. 2:23-24

Next we read that the Two Witnesses will be given the power to shut up the heavens so that it does not rain, to turn the waters into blood and and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want.

They have power to shut up the heavens so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want. Rev. 11:6

When we compare the above passage with the plagues of the First Three Trumpets, we find that they both describe similar plagues that will harm the earth and the sea. Accordingly, when the two prophets announce the plagues to those on earth, the First Three Trumpets will announce these same plagues to those in Heaven as follows:

– When the Two Witnesses shut up the heavens so that it will not rain, it will cause a worldwide drought when a third of the earth, a third of the trees, and all the green grass will be burned up, as announced by the sounding of the First Trumpet.

– When the Two Witnesses turn the waters into blood, a third of the creatures in the sea will die, and a third of the ships will be destroyed, as described in the sounding of the Second Trumpet.

– When the Two Witnesses call down plagues as often as they want, it will include a plague on a third of the rivers and the springs of water, as announced by the sounding of the Third Trumpet.

The corresponding events of the First Three Trumpets and the Two Witnesses tells us that Plagues on the Land, the Sea, and the Trees will be announced by the trumpets in Heaven and by the prophets on earth. In this way, the Plagues on the Land, the Sea, and the Trees will be accompanied by the preaching of the Two Witnesses, who will call down the above plagues while warning the Inhabitants of the Earth of the Wrath of God to come. In this way, those on earth will be given an opportunity to repent and to escape from the judgments that will avenge the blood of the Martyrs in Heaven that was shed by past generations. (See Chapter 6 to read about the Martyrs in Heaven).

Due to the magnitude of the plagues that will be called down by the two prophets, the whole world will become aware of their ministry and their words will spread to everyone on earth in fulfillment of the following prophecy.

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. Math. 24:14

Rather than repenting for the blood that was shed by past generations, the Inhabitants of the Earth will attempt to strike back at the two prophets, but anyone who tries to harm the Two Witnesses will be killed by the words that come from the prophets’ mouths. The account of the Two Witnesses has its comparison to the events of Moses and Aaron, who testified to Pharaoh and who also became loathsome to the people because of the plagues they called down. In the same way, the two prophets will be hated by the Inhabitants of the Earth, who will refuse to repent, and who will become enraged when the Two Witnesses call down the Plagues on the Land, the Sea, and the Trees.

The Beast

After being given the description of the Two Witnesses, who will warn the Inhabitants of the Earth before the Wrath of God is poured out, John was next instructed about a future world leader who the Revelation calls the Beast. Elsewhere in the Scriptures, this same person is called the antichrist
(1 John 2:18, 1 John 4:3) but in the Revelation, the word antichrist is never used, instead, this ruler is called the Beast. The Beast will lead the world’s opposition to the ministry of the Two Witnesses and will attack and kill the two prophets.

Now when they (The Two Witnesses) have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them. Their bodies will lie in the public square of the great city—which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt—where also their Lord was crucified (Jerusalem). Rev. 11:7-8

The martyrdom of the Two Witnesses will not take place until the two prophets have finished their testimony, which is a reference to how the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom will reach the whole world before the Two Witnesses are killed. The account of how the Beast (the antichrist) will kill the Two Witnesses does not mean that he will fly on a plane to Jerusalem and personally kill the two prophets himself, but that he will lead the nations in the Attack on Jerusalem when the Two Witnesses will be killed. Accordingly, the ministry of the two prophets will take place in the 3 1/2 years leading up to the Attack on Jerusalem. In this way, the 3 1/2 years of the two prophets will be followed by the 3 1/2 years when the Gentiles will trample on Jerusalem for a total of 7 years.

In the next several chapters, we will be given more information concerning the rise of the Beast (the antichrist) and the nations that will follow him, but for now we are told that he will come up from the Abyss and will kill the two prophets. The word Abyss, itself, is used to describe a bottomless pit (Strong’s 12; abyssos) and is described in the Gospels as the place where demons are sent to, as seen in Luke’s Gospel.

Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him. And they begged Jesus repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss. A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, and he gave them permission. When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned. Lk. 8:30-33

Later, we will read how Satan himself will be kept locked in the Abyss for a thousand years before being released from his prison.

And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. Rev. 20:1

When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison. Rev. 20:7


From the above verses, we learn that the Abyss serves as a prison for demons, just as we read how Hades serves as a prison for the unrepentant dead from among mankind (See Chapter 1 to read about Hades). Together, the Abyss and Hades serve as the temporary holding places of the condemned, and both are described as a place that you go down to, with Hades being the place of darkness, and the Abyss even deeper still in the bottomless pit. Previously read how Satan will temporarily be given the keys to the shaft of the Abyss when he is cast from heaven.

The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss. Rev. 9:1

Having been given the key to the shaft of the Abyss, Satan will be the one who will cause the Beast to rise up from the Abyss, and who will empower him. Accordingly, the Beast or antichrist will be of demonic substance in human form. The demonic nature of the Beast corresponds with how the in the previous verses we were told that anyone who came against the Two Witness would be killed by the words that came from their mouth, while in these passages we are learn that the Beast will be able to overpower and kill the two prophets.

For three and a half days some from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial. The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and will celebrate by sending each other gifts, because these two prophets had tormented those who live on the earth. Rev. 11:9-10

After the Two Witness are killed by the Beast as part of the Attack on Jerusalem, the Inhabitants of the Earth will gloat over the bodies of the two prophets and will celebrate their deaths by sending each other gifts. This is more evidence that tells us that when the Two Witnesses call down plagues, those on earth will refuse to repent and instead will attempt to harm the two prophets. The fact that their will be some from every people, tribe, language, and nation in Jerusalem that will witness the dead bodies of the Two Witnesses tells us the Attack on Jerusalem will take place during a time when a international event is taking place in the city. Accordingly, when the Beast is able to kill the Two Witnesses, people from all over the world will celebrate their deaths.

The Two Witnesses are Caught Up

The account of the ministry of the Two Witnesses ends with the description of how the breath of life will come into their dead bodies before they are called up to heaven.

But after the three and a half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them. Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies looked on. At that very hour there was a severe earthquake and a tenth of the city collapsed. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven. Rev. 11:11-13

The Seventh Trumpet

After giving the account of the Two Witnesses, the narrative of this chapter returns to the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet by telling us that the Second Woe has passed.

The second woe has passed; the third woe is coming soon. Rev. 11:14

When we read of the Second and Third Woe, it tells us that the Revelation is returning to the events of the Seven Trumpets, and in particular the Last Three Trumpets that will bring Three Woes to the Inhabitants of the Earth, as we were told in a previous chapter.

As I watched, I heard an eagle that was flying in midair call out in a loud voice: “Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels!” Rev. 8:13

Based on the above passage, we know that the announcement that the Second Woe has passed is a reference to the events of the Sixth Trumpet. In this way John was returned back to the narrative of the Seven Trumpets, which was interrupted in order to give him more information concerning the events of the First Four Trumpets. Accordingly, the next verses describe the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet and the Third Woe.

The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.” And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying: “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign.
Rev. 11:15-17


In these verses, we learn that the events of the Seventh Trumpet will usher in the reign of the Messiah on earth. In this way, the events of the Seventh Trumpets will end with the defeat of God’s enemies, resulting in the Reign of Christ on Earth. This is similar to how the events of the Seven Seals ended with the Seventh Seal and the Silence in Heaven, which also signified the defeat of God’s enemies. In this way the events of the Seventh Trumpets will merge with the events of the Seven Seals.

The Reign of Christ on Earth is not a description of eternal life in heaven but, rather, the rule of Christ on earth through his people. Accordingly, the Reign of Christ on Earth will be accompanied by the Restoration of the Kingdom to Israel, which we read about in the previous chapter. The Reign of Christ on Earth does not mean that the Lord will rule from Jerusalem in physical form but that His people will rule over the surviving Inhabitants of the Earth. In later chapters, we will read how the Reign of Christ on Earth will last for a thousand years, which is why this event is commonly referred to as the 1,000 Year Reign of Christ. Although this event will be a cause of rejoicing for God’s people, for the Inhabitants of the Earth, the events of the Seventh Trumpet will bring the Third Woe to those on earth as it will come as a result of the destruction of God’s enemies and will be a rule of iron.

Following the 1,000 Year Reign of Christ will come the day of judgment when God’s people will be rewarded and the unrepentant will be destroyed.

The nations were angry, and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your people who revere your name, both great and small—and for destroying those who destroy the earth.” Rev. 11:18

The above statement is another announcement of the events that will lead up to 1,000 Year Reign of Christ on Earth and that will be followed by the Day of Judgment, which we will read about later. With the above announcement, John also saw the temple in heaven and a earthquake and severe hailstorm.

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 severe hailstorm.  Rev. 11:19

The Great Earthquake and the Severe Hailstorm were previously mentioned by John in his description of the opening of the Sixth Seal when the whole earth will call out in fear of the Wrath of God, as repeated below.

I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?” Rev. 6:12-17

As mentioned before, the events of the Seven Trumpets will take place within in the events of the Seven Seals and both conclude with similar descriptions of the judgments of God that will take place at the end, including a Great Earthquake and Severe Hailstorm. The exact way in which these final events will conclude will become more clear as we continue to read through the chapters of the Revelation. In the meantime we can add the events of the Seventh Trumpet, including the 1,000 Year Reign of Christ, to the Order of Events of the Last Days.

Order of Events of the Last Days

1. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ
2. Wars, Rumors of Wars, Earthquakes, and Famines (Seals 1-4)
3. The Martyrs Pray for Judgment and Revenge (5th. Seal)
4. The Hour of Trial when the Inhabitants of the Earth will be Tested
– A third of the earth is burned up (1st. Trumpet)
– A third of the sea turns to blood (2nd. Trumpet)
– A third of the waters turn bitter (3rd Trumpet)
5. The Attack on Jerusalem (4th. Trumpet)
6. The Great Tribulation when the Full Number of Brothers and Sisters will be Killed
7. The Wrath of God is Poured Out (6th. Seal)
– The Plague of Locusts (5th. Trumpet)
– The Plague of Fire, Smoke, and Sulfur (6th. Trumpet)
– The 1,000 Year Reign of Christ on Earth (7th. Trumpet)
8. The Silence in Heaven (7th. Seal)

Revelation Chapter 10
Revelation Chapter 12

Questions and Comments may be sent to: RevelationStudyGuide@gmail.com
Bryan Coray is the author of Keep Watch: The Order of Events of the Last Days, available on Amazon.