Rev 11:7  "And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them"

Let us take a topical look of the "beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit."  This beast is under the power and authority of the dragon (Rev. 13:2).  He has seven heads and ten horns (Rev. 13:1).  He has a three fold warfare as he makes war with the Lamb (Rev. 17:14), the saints (Rev. 13:7) and with the word (Rev. 11:7).  This beast is like unto a leopard (Rev. 13:2).  A leopard is white and yellow with black spots.  Thus it is multinational in nature.  The multinational kingdoms in Daniel chapter 7 had also seven heads and ten horns and were likened unto a leopard (Dan. 7:3-8).  Thus they were one and the same.  Five of the heads were dead as of the writing of the book of Revelations, one was existing at that time, and one was yet to be (Rev. 17:10).  Five of the Kingdoms are identified in Daniel chapter 7 and those are Babylon, the Medes, the Persians, Greece, and Rome.  Rome was the existing one at the time Revelations was written.  Assryia existed and disappeared before the writing of the book of Daniel.  These multinational kingdoms reigned over most of the civilized world during their reign.  These multinational kingdoms try to destroy the true worship of God and replace it with a false worship as devised by the dragon (Rev. 13:4, 12; 14:9, 11;16:2). 

Rev. 11:13  And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.

The earthquake in the scriptures is used to show forth a rearranging of the order of things.  When God ushered in the covenant of the law with the children of Israel, among the signs that were manifest was that of an earthquake.  Ex. 19:18 "And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.”  Similarly, we read in Heb. Chapter 12: "And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake."  In prophesy of the coming in of the New Testament church age we read as follows:

          1.  Joel 2:10 The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining:

          2.  Nah. 1:5 The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein.

          3.  Is. 29:6 Thou shalt be visited of the LORD of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire.

          4.  Zech. 14:5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.

In addition we read where the Lord fulfilled the old law covenant and ushered in the new covenant with his death burial and resurrection as follows:

          1.  Matt. 27:51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

          2.  Matt. 27:54 Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.

          3.  Matt. 28:2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

          4.  Rev. 6:12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

Next: A narrative explanation of the contextual application of Rev. chapter 11.

Rev 11 Narrative 

Rev. 11:1 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.  2  But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. 

In the first two verses we see the apostle told to measure with a measuring reed (word of God) the temple (church), the altar, (worship), and those who worship therein (new testament worshippers).  In verse 2 we are told that the Gentiles have possession of the court (church) and the holy city (church) throughout the new covenant age (42 months). 

Rev. 11: 3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.         

We have identified the two witnesses as the law and the prophets and now we see that they prophesy according to the power that God gives them.  Truly holy men of God spake as they were moved of the Holy Ghost.  It took the power of the Holy Spirit to write the scriptures and it takes the power of the Holy Spirit, first causing the new birth and then to give the preachers power to speak in power and demonstration of spirit and for the hearers to receive the word.  The power of the Word rests in the Holy Spirit.  These two witnesses prophesied for a period of time of one thousand two hundred and threescore days.  This was throughout the old testament age.  As we will see later they still have a testimony to us today in this new testament age.  They prophesied clothed in sackcloth.  Sackcloth was worn as a sign of mourning and humility.  Certainly the prophets who prophesied did so with humility trusting in God for what they had to prophesy and they did so with mourning, mourning over the sinful condition both of themselves and to those to whom they prophesied. 

Rev. 11: 4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. 

We have identified the two olive trees and the two candlesticks as the two witnesses, which are also the law and the prophets.  For a better understanding of the significance of these signs it is needful to go to the book of Zechariah.  Zec. 4:3 “And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof.  4 So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord?  5 Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.  6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.  7 Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.  8  Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,  9  The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you.  10 For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth."

Zerubbabel is representative of Christ.  Thus the two olive trees and the two candlesticks is the word of the Lord unto Christ.  Just as Zerubbabel, by the Spirit of God, was to cause the mountain of the law and the prophets to become a plain, so Christ undertook what was impossible for man, and kept the law and the prophets to a jot and tittle, making the mountain a plain.  He both laid the foundation of salvation (covenant of redemption) for God's people and he finished it. 

We rejoice today to see the plummet in the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ.  He finished the work and it has been applied to us by his grace and we cry, grace, grace, to the finished work of Jesus Christ (headstone).  The two olive trees empty the golden oil out of themselves.  Jesus said to some unbelieving Jews, "Search the scriptures for in them ye think ye have eternal life and they are they which testify of me."  The scriptures existing at the time the Lord said this were the law and the prophets.  They empty the golden oil out of themselves thru their testimony of Jesus and this oil is a light in both Jesus (light of the world) and in the church (ye are the light of the world).  (As a side bar, this helps explain to us the parable of the 5 wise virgins and the 5 foolish virgins.)  

Rev. 11:5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. 

The first two captains and their fifties who came out to Elijah, were putting the earthly king's commandment above the word of the prophet.  Thus fire came down from heaven and devoured them.  Fire is a symbol of God's wrathful judgment and he has placed his wrathful judgment in the mouth of the law and the prophets so that those who would destroy the law and the prophets are devoured by the word itself.  We read in Jer. 36:22

Now the king sat in the winterhouse in the ninth month: and there was a fire on the hearth burning before him.  23 And it came to pass, that when Jehudi had read three or four leaves, he cut it with the penknife, and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the roll was consumed in the fire that was on the hearth.  24 Yet they were not afraid, nor rent their garments, neither the king, nor any of his servants that heard all these words.  25 Nevertheless Elnathan and Delaiah and Gemariah had made intercession to the king that he would not burn the roll: but he would not hear them.   26 But the king commanded Jerahmeel the son of Hammelech, and Seraiah the son of Azriel, and Shelemiah the son of Abdeel, to take Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet: but the LORD hid them.  27  Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, after that the king had burned the roll, and the words which Baruch wrote at the mouth of Jeremiah, saying,  28  Take thee again another roll, and write in it all the former words that were in the first roll, which Jehoiakim the king of Judah hath burned.  29  And thou shalt say to Jehoiakim king of Judah, Thus saith the LORD; Thou hast burned this roll, saying, Why hast thou written therein, saying, The king of Babylon shall certainly come and destroy this land, and shall cause to cease from thence man and beast?  30 Therefore thus saith the LORD of Jehoiakim king of Judah; He shall have none to sit upon the throne of David: and his dead body shall be cast out in the day to the heat, and in the night to the frost.  31 And I will punish him and his seed and his servants for their iniquity; and I will bring upon them, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and upon the men of Judah, all the evil that I have pronounced against them; but they hearkened not. 32  Then took Jeremiah another roll, and gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of Neriah; who wrote therein from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the book which Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire: and there were added besides unto them many like words."  

Thus the very word the king sought to destroy, destroyed him.  Even as we read in the book of Revelations we find warnings to this effect:  Rev. 22: "18  For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19  And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."  

God has taught us in Ps. 12:6  "The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. 7  Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever."  God has promised to preserve his word in a pure form forever.  He moves with wrathful judgment against those who would destroy his word.  His word pronounces this judgment upon those who would destroy it. 

Rev.11:6 “These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will." 

God has so fixed his word that, "the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them for they are spiritually discerned."  Even for those who have been born spiritually, we can receive no spiritual rain, unless the Spirit guides us to an understanding.  Without the Spirit guiding us, the law and the prophets give us no hope or encouragement, but only drought and wilderness wanderings of condemnation.  Paul said, "I was alive without the law once, but the commandment came and sin revived and I died."  Isaiah said, "Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts."  Rom. 3:19 “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20  Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin."  

The very last word of the old testament is "curse."  There were several plagues mentioned in the old testament, but the one mentioned most often was the plague of leprosy.  Leprosy was a figure of sin.  In 1 Kings 8:38 we read, "What prayer and supplication soever be made by any man, or by all thy people Israel, which shall know every man the plague of his own heart, and spread forth his hands toward this house:"  Every one of us have the plague of sin and this plague dwells in our own heart."  "By the law is the knowledge of sin."  Thus we have knowledge of sin by the law and this stops our mouths and makes us know that we are guilty before God. 

Rev. 11:7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them."

When did the law and the prophets finish their testimony?  The Lord gave us the answer to that in Matt. 5:17  "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.  18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."  The Lord Jesus Christ finished the testimony by fulfilling the law and the prophets to a jot and a tittle.  He completed this with his death, burial, and resurrection. 

As we noted earlier, the dragon, and subsequently, the beast has a three-pronged warfare against the Lord, the church, and his word.  The beast sought to destroy his word by destroying Jesus.  John 15:22-25 gives us their reason for the hatred they had for Jesus and his word, John 15:22  "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.  23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also.  24 If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.  25 But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause."  The law is a band around wicked men that they seek to destroy:  

Ps. 2:1  "Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?  2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,  3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.  4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision."  All the efforts to destroy the Lord were not just directed against the Lord, but were directed against that which he was speaking (law and the prophets).  They hated the testimony, that hated the service, and they hated the one who was fulfilling it.  They thought that through destroying the Lord that they would destroy his testimony and his works.  When they killed the Prince of Peace, they thought to have destroyed the bands that were holding them (law and the prophets) which they hated.  The law and the prophets hang upon the Lord Jesus Christ.  None other could fulfill them.  Thus whatever happened to the Lord, happened also to the law and the prophets.

Rev. 11:8  "And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified."

The law and the prophets were essentially dead without the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, just as we are dead without the resurrection of the Lord.  (1 Cor. 15:17  "And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.")  The location of the dead bodies of the law and the prophets is said to be in the same place where our Lord was crucified.  Jerusalem has now become known spiritually as Sodom (place of perverseness) and Egypt (place of darkness).

Rev. 11: 9  "And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves."

I believe v.9 and v.10 to be talking about two different groups of people.  It seems to me that v.9 is talking about God's people and v.10 is talking about those that are not his or at least not yet born again.  Three days and a half were the time from the crucifixion of Christ to the resurrection of Christ.  During this time the Lord's disciples would not suffer the dead bodies of the law and the prophets to be put into graves.  This is evident in the 24th chapter of Luke in the account of the 2 men who were on the road to Emmaus and were talking of the things that had happened to Jesus and had heard things that had amazed them.  At this time Jesus appeared unto them, but they didn't recognize him and he conversed with them and opened the law and the prophets unto them concerning himself.  Thus though Jesus died and had lain in the grave, yet they still would not suffer the law and the prophets to be buried.  They had trusted that it was Jesus who would deliver them.

Rev. 11:10  "And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth."

Two things were going on simultaneously during this period of time just as the Lord said that it would: John 16:20 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy."  The disciples were weeping and lamenting, whereas the world was rejoicing.  It was Christmas time for the world as they were sending gifts one to another.  They had been tormented by what the law and the prophets had said.  They didn't want to do according to the law and the prophets, but they wanted to worship Baal and the idols and all manner of false worship and do whatever they wanted to do without being made to feel guilty for doing it.  The law and the prophets had tormented them. In contrast, the disciples wept over the death of Jesus.

Rev.11:11 "And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. 12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them."

When Jesus arose from the dead and made himself known unto the disciples, their weeping was turned to joy.  One of the things Jesus did was to show to the disciples those things that were written in the scriptures concerning him.  It was said that their hearts burned within them as he made known unto them the scriptures.  They could now see that all the types and shadows were fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ and all the prophecies were fulfilled in him and that God's wrathful judgment had been satisfied in him.  Yes the law and the prophets arose after the Spirit of life from God entered into them with the resurrection of Jesus. They did indeed ascend up to heaven in a cloud (glory of God).  For God was glorified in their fulfilled testimony. 

Rev. 11:13  "And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven."

As we have before noted an earthquake is associated with a change in order and a great shaking or rearranging of things.  It was associated with the giving of the law covenant to Israel.  It is now associated with the bringing in of a better covenant that is established upon better promises.  It is associated with the new covenant of worship.  In this earthquake there were slain of men "seven thousand."  Seven is a complete number and thousand is associated with a very large indefinite number.  There is a great number of God's people who are still trying to get right under the law and have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God.  Though they are slain by the law, yet they still hold to the law with the belief that they can establish their righteousness under the law.  Yet there is a remnant who were affrighted by the law (the law is our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ).  They see that it was through the shed blood of Jesus that they were made right before a just and holy God and they desire above all else to give glory to the God of heaven who has redeemed them.

Next we complete the narrative of Rev. chapter 11.  Rev  11- Narrative Part 2