Revelation 11 is filled with symbols. We are identifying these symbols on this exhibit to make it easier to understand the lesson and to save time in covering the lesson itself.

Verse 1:

TEMPLE OF GOD refers to the heavenly sanctuary or temple. The earthly temple had been destroyed in A.D. 70, Revelation 4:1-2, 8:1-3.

ALTAR refers to the altar of burnt offerings. In the earthly sanctuary the altar was where the lambs were offered, Exodus 27:1-8. In the heavenly sanctuary instead of bringing lambs we bring ourselves as an offering, Romans 12:1.

THEM THAT WORSHIP refers to the people who worship the Lord, John 4:24.

REED. The reed is a Bible measuring device like a steel tape, Ezekiel 40:3. Here it refers to the ten commandments by which God’s people are judged or measured, James 2:10-12, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14.

Verses 2-4:

HOLY CITY refers to God’s people, Revelation 21:9-10.

42 MONTHS1260 DAYS. Since in prophecy one prophetic day equals one literal year, we are talking about 1260 years, Ezekiel 4:6. See Exhibit 12.2 for more information regarding the 1260 years.

TWO WITNESSES refers to the Old and New Testaments of Scripture, John 5:39, Luke 24:27.

CLOTHED IN SACKCLOTH is a symbol of mourning over tragedy, 2 Samuel 3:31. The Bible is pictured as in deep trouble and mourning over a tragedy for 1260 years.

TWO OLIVE TREES refer to the Holy Spirit, Zechariah 4:3-6. This is very fitting since the Scriptures of both Old and New Testaments were given by the Holy Spirit, 2 Peter 1:21. And Scripture from both Old and New Testaments is “for instruction in righteousness”, 2 Timothy 3:16.

TWO CANDLESTICKS* refer to the Bible, God’s word, Psalm 119:105, 130.
Note: So the two witnesses, olive trees and candlesticks all refer to the same thing: the Bible which was given by the Holy Spirit.
* This is not to be confused with the seven candlesticks of Revelation 1:20, which refer to the seven churches.

Verses 5-8:

FIRE DEVOURS ENEMIES. It is true that if people “hurt” or do violence to the Scripture they will in the end be destroyed by fire, 2 Thessalonians 1:8, Revelation 22:18-19.

BE KILLED is another way of saying that those who hurt or hinder the Scripture and obey not the gospel will be destroyed. They, in effect, sign their own death warrant, 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9, Malachi 4:1, Revelation 20:15.

POWER TO SHUT HEAVEN SO THAT IT RAIN NOT refers to the time of Elijah when the word of God stopped all rain for 3½ years. Read all of 1 Kings 17 and 18.

POWER TO TURN WATER TO BLOOD AND SMITE WITH PLAGUES refers to the power of the Word of God to send the ten plagues of Egypt; the seven last plagues and any other plagues upon its persecutors, Exodus, chapters 7-12, Revelation chapter 16. There is power in the Word because Jesus is IN the Word and IS the Word, John 1:1-3, 14.

Verses 7-8:

BEAST FROM BOTTOMLESS PIT is Satan, Revelation 20:1-3

SODOM stands for licentiousness and gross immorality. Read all of Genesis, chapter 19.

EGYPT symbolizes atheism with the most high-handed hatred of and rebellion against God, Exodus 5:2.

GREAT CITY refers to a nation or governing power as in Revelation 17:18.

WHERE OUR LORD WAS CRUCIFIED. This refers to the killing of God’s saints. When one kills them or persecutes them it is the same as doing it to Jesus, Matthew 25:40, Acts 9:5.

Verses 9-10:

THREE DAYS AND AN HALF. Prophetic time would be 3½ years. Ezekiel 4:6.

TWO PROPHETS. Another name for the Old and New Testament. All prophets are moved by the Holy Ghost, 2 Peter 1:21. The Bible is made up of the words of the prophets, so here, the Old and New Testaments are referred to as prophets. The Holy Spirit is said to prophesy in Acts 21:11.

Verses 11-12:

THEY ASCENDED UP TO HEAVEN. This, in symbolic language, means they became great and well known, Daniel 4:22.

Verse 13:

EARTHQUAKE means a visitation of God’s anger and power, Psalm 77:14, 18, Nahum 1:3,5-8.

TENTH PART OF THE CITY FELL. This refers to the city or worldwide government of spiritual Babylon of Revelation 17 and 19. Babylon is supported by ten kings or kingdoms, Revelation 17:12-14, and here she loses the support of one of them. Spiritual Babylon is called a city in Revelation 17:18.