Useful Bible Studies > Revelation Commentary > chapter 11

A great earthquake

Revelation 11:13

People often call earthquakes Ďacts of Godí; and it is not hard to see why. Major earthquakes are some of the most powerful natural events that happen in our world. The ground across whole countries may shake so severely that buildings fall down. Earthquakes happen suddenly. Although they may only last a few seconds, the results can be terrible.

John describes an earthquake in the same city where the two witnesses spoke Godís message. There they served God, and there they died. God then made them alive again and he took them to heaven. That was when the great earthquake happened. It seemed a clear act of judgement against the inhabitants of that city, who had dealt so cruelly with Godís servants. Many of them died in the earthquake. The other inhabitants of the city believed that God was responsible. They gave glory (honour) to God.

That may not mean that they decided to serve God. In Joshua 7:19-20, Achan gave glory to God when he confessed his evil deed. He was not choosing to serve God. He was declaring that God was right to punish him. So, the people in Revelation 11:13 may not want to serve God. They could simply be saying that God was punishing them.

This passage is describing a future event that will happen in the last years before Christís return. At that time, people will become very evil. They will carry out some of the worst acts that will ever happen in our world (chapter 13).

It is not clear whether some of Godís people are also living on earth at that time. However, there seem to be references to them at Revelation 13:7 and Revelation 14:12-13. Also, the 144,000 people, who were living on earth in Revelation 7:2-8, appear again in Revelation 14:1-5. There they are on the mountain called Zion, which is another name for Jerusalem. However, in Hebrews 12:22, ĎZioní is a reference to heaven.

Next part: The order of events in the Book of Revelation (Revelation 11:14)


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© 2016, Keith Simons.