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REVELATION - THE END OF THE AGE OF MAN
(A Synopsis of the Revelation of Jesus Christ)

CHAPTER ELEVEN

The 2 Witnesses make their appearance
The End of the 2nd Woe – the Earthquake at Jerusalem
The Seventh Trumpet Sounds

The 7th and last Seal (containing the 7 Trumpets) continues

Revelation 11:1-2

(1)  Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, "Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there.  (2)  But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months.
(NKJV)


Measure the Temple of God

Measuring symbolizes reserving a city either for:

Preservation

Ezekiel 40:3-43:7
(40:2-3)
In the visions of God He took me into the land of Israel and set me on a very high mountain; on it toward the south was something like the structure of a city. He took me there, and behold, there was a man whose appearance was like the appearance of bronze. He had a line of flax and a measuring rod in his hand, and he stood in the gateway.
(43:6-7)
Then I heard Him speaking to me from the temple, while a man stood beside me. And He said to me, "Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever.

Zechariah 2:1-5
Then I raised my eyes and looked, and behold, a man with a measuring line in his hand. So I said, "Where are you going?" And he said to me, "To measure Jerusalem, to see what is its width and what is its length." ... 'Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls, because of the multitude of men and livestock in it. For I,' says the Lord, 'will be a wall of fire all around her, and I will be the glory in her midst.'"

 — Or for —

Destruction

2 Kings 21:10-14
And the Lord spoke by His servants the prophets, saying, "Because Manasseh king of Judah has done these abominations...therefore thus says the Lord God of Israel: 'Behold, ... I will stretch over Jerusalem the measuring line of Samaria and the plummet of the house of Ahab; I will wipe Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down. So I will ... deliver them into the hand of their enemies; and they shall become victims of plunder to all their enemies.'"

Isaiah 34:11
God will stretch out over Edom the measuring line of chaos and the plumb line of desolation.

Lamentations 2:8
The Lord determined to tear down the wall around the Daughter of Zion. He stretched out a measuring line and did not withhold his hand from destroying.

Verses 2, 8 and 13 a suggest that Jerusalem, the capital of the Jewish nation and therefore a figure for the Jewish people (as at Isaiah 40:1-2, Mt 23:37-39&N)

Isaiah 40:1-2
"Comfort, yes, comfort My people!" Says your God. "Speak comfort to Jerusalem.

Matthew 23:37-38
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate;

Verses 7 and 8 show that Jerusalem deserves judgment and destruction (the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified).
But verse 13 b (the rest ... gave glory to the God of heaven) shows that its destiny is repenting and preservation.

What was measured
The temple of God
The altar
The worshipers

In addition to the Tent of Meeting (the Tabernacle) and the heavenly original after which it was modeled, Scripture mentions:
Six literal temples
1. Solomon's Temple (1 Kings 5-8)

1 Kings 6:37-38
In the fourth year the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid, in the month of Ziv. And in the eleventh year, in the month of Bul, which is the eighth month, the house was finished in all its details and according to all its plans. So he was seven years in building it.

2. Zerubbabel's Temple (Haggai 1-2, Ezra 3:4-13)

Ezra 3:8
Now in the second month of the second year of their coming to the house of God at Jerusalem, Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and the rest of their brethren the priests and the Levites, and all those who had come out of the captivity to Jerusalem, began work and appointed the Levites from twenty years old and above to oversee the work of the house of the Lord.

3. Herod's Temple (Matthew 21:12 ff., 24:1-2; John 2:19-20)

John 2:19-20
Jesus answered and said to them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." Then the Jews said, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?"

4. Anti-Messiah's Temple (Daniel 9:27, 11:45, 12:7; Matthew 24:15; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4; and here)

2 Thessalonians 2:1-4
Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

5. Messiah's Temple (Ezekiel 40-48, Zechariah 6:12-15)

Ezekiel 47:1-2
The man brought me back to the entrance of the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was coming down from under the south side of the temple, south of the altar. He then brought me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the outer gate facing east, and the water was flowing from the south side.

6. Heaven's Temple. (Revelation 7:15; 11:19; 14:15, 17; 16:17)

Revelation 11:19
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 great hailstorm.

Three Figurative temples
1. The Church (1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 2 Corinthians 6:16, Ephesians 2:21)

2 Corinthians 6:16
For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people."

2. The physical body of a believer (1 Corinthians 6:19)

1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

3. God and the Lamb (in the New Jerusalem; Revelation 21:22)

Revelation 21:22-23
I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.


What was NOT measured
The court of the Gentiles (the Nations) that was outside the temple proper.
 
How long will the Gentiles trample the holy city? 42 Months = 3 1/2 years
How long will the Two Witness have power? 1,260 Days = 3 1/2 years

Revelation 11:3-6

(3)  And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth."

(4)  These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth. 5 And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. 6 These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire.
(NKJV)

The Two Witnesses

Their Identity
In verse 4 we are told that they are "the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth."
The reference of the two olive trees directs us to Zechariah 4:1-14 where we find that Zechariah asked this very question. The answer he received was that they are "the two who are anointed to serve the Lord of all the earth."


There are many opinions as to exactly who these two witnesses are.
1. Some think they are the Law and the Prophets.
2. Some think they are the Old and New Testaments

However, these are most likely actual people.

Some think they are Enoch and Elijah because neither of these two men died a physical death.

Enoch was "taken away"

Genesis 5:23-24
Altogether, Enoch lived 365 years. Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.

Hebrews 11:5
By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away.

Elijah was taken up in a whirlwind

2 Kings 2:11-12
As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elisha saw this and cried out, "My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!" And Elisha saw him no more.

However, everyone does not have to die physically. Those still alive when the Lord calls the Church home are "caught up" to meet the Lord in the air.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.


There are those who suppose they are Moses and Elijah
Moses to represent the raptured dead and
Elijah to represent the raptured living

Others think they were either Zerubbabel and Joshua or Moses and Elijah.

1. In Ministry they compare to:
a. Zerubbabel (the Governor) rebuilt the Temple and re-established Israel
b Joshua (the High Priest) rebuilt the Temple and re-established Israel
2. In Power they compare to:
a. Moses He had the power to turn water into blood (Exodus 7:17,19) and bring plagues upon the Egyptians (Exodus 8:1-12:30), and
b. Elijah He had the power to cause it to rain or not to rain ( 1 Kings 17:1), and to bring down fire to destroy the 50 (2 Kings 1:10) .
But the Two Witnesses have power beyond Moses and Elijah
As to Blood The ability to turn water into blood as often as they choose
As to Plagues The ability to bring all kinds of plagues at any time
As to Rain The ability to cause it to rain or not rain at any time
As to Fire The ability to destroy by fire anyone who comes against them.

Their Location
Primarily in Jerusalem. Their bodies will lie in the streets of the great city:
Which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt
Where their Lord was crucified

Their Time
1. The times of these witnesses are not "Gospel" times. There are indications of the presence of  Jews and the temple, but no traces whatever of the present Church of Jesus Christ.
2. “The two olive trees” appear, but the golden candlestick is gone, and in its place is nothing but two lone lamps – the two Witnesses themselves.
3. They are allotted 3 1/2 years (1,260 days) to complete their testimony. Prior to this 3 1/2 year period the beast pretends to be a friend to Israel. He sets up his headquarters in Jerusalem and rebuilds the temple on the temple mount now occupied by the Mosque of Omar. Then he shows his true colors and turns on Israel, whose citizens are protected in the wilderness for 3 1/2 years.

Their ministry
They had a worldwide ministry

1. Verse 10 says that the inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them (their dead bodies) because they had tormented "those who live on the earth" which would indicate a ministry beyond Israel itself.
2. These witnesses kill, torment, deal out fiery judgments upon their enemies, and avenge and resent the very wish to injure them, even before it is outwardly manifested in act. This is not according to the Christian spirit and very unlike the commands which are upon us now.
3. They are here presented in the special character of Witnesses – prophetic Witnesses. A witness is one who deposes to the truth, explains it, and attests it  [Martus (NT:3144)   One who bears "witness" by his death - denotes "one who can or does witness what he has seen or heard or knows." ].

Revelation 11:7-14

(7)   When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them.  (8)  And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.  (9)  Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves.  (10)  And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.

(11)   Now after the three-and-a-half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them.  (12)  And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up here." And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them.  (13)  In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven.

(14)  The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe is coming quickly.
(NKJV)


Their Death
1. This comes only after they complete their testimony
2. The beast [Antichrist] is now in power and wants to take over the temple; but he cannot succeed until the two witnesses are out of the way.
3. God will permit him to slay them, for no one will be able to make war against “the beast” and win (Revelation 13:4)
4. Their bodies will lie in the streets for 3 1/2 days. The witnesses will not even be permitted decent burial (see Psalms 79:1-3). But even this indecent will be used by God to bear witness to mankind.
5. No doubt the TV cameras in Jerusalem will transmit the scene to people around the world, and the news analysts will discuss its significance.
6. The earth dwellers will rejoice at their enemies’ removal and will celebrate a ‘satanic Christmas’ by sending gifts to one another.

Their End
1. Physical death was not their end.
2. Once again God breathes the breath of life, and the two witnesses are resurrected and stand up, striking fear into the hearts of all who saw them.
3. They are taken up into heaven in a cloud while their enemies watch.

Nothing is hidden with the ministries of these two witnesses.
Their 3 1/2 year ministry is worldwide and public
Their death is witnessed by all the world
Their dead bodies are watched by everyone
Their resurrection is seen by His enemies
Their ascension into heaven is broadcast around the world
Although the beast is given temporary power over them and kills them, he cannot stop the worldwide news coverage broadcasting everything that happens. One can only imagine the fear that will strike the beast as he sees the two witnesses stand up, alive again; how he would love to hide this fact from the world, but cannot.

This all culminates with the great earthquake that demolishes a tenth of the city of Jerusalem, killing 7,000 people. The rest of the residents of Jerusalem, in their terror, (finally) gave glory (praise and worship) to the God of heaven.

This ends the 2nd Woe.

The 3rd Woe is coming soon!

Revelation 11:15-19

(15)  Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!"  (16)  And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God,  (17)  saying:

  "We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty,
The One who is and who was and who is to come,
Because You have taken Your great power and reigned.
(18) The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come,
And the time of the dead, that they should be judged,
And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints,
And those who fear Your name, small and great,
And should destroy those who destroy the earth."

(19)  Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.
(NKJV)


The Seventh Trumpet —  THE KINGDOM ANNOUNCED (11:15-19)

Revelation 11:15-16
Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!"


When the seventh angel blew the trumpet, four dramatic events occurred:
1. (15) An Announcement of Victory
a. The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ
b. He will reign for ever and ever
2. (16-17) An Acclamation of Praise
a. To the Lord God Almighty
b. To the the One who is and who was
c. Because you have begun to reign
3. (18) An Affirmation of Judgment
a. Your wrath has come
b. The time has come for
1. Judging the dead
2. Rewarding your servants the prophets
3. Rewarding your saints
4. Rewarding those who reverence your name
5. Destroying those who destroy the earth
4. (19) An Assurance of God's Faithfulness
a. The heavenly Temple is opened
b. The ark of His covenant is seen
 
Revelation 1:4 To the 7 Churches Grace and Peace to you from Him —
Who is and Who was and Who    is to come
Revelation 1:8 Says the Lord God to the 7 Churches I Am the Alpha and the Omega —
Who is and Who was and Who    is to come
Revelation 11:17 The 24 Elders to God Lord God Almighty, the One —
     
Who is and Who was    

 


The phrase "and Who is to come" in 11:17 is omitted from most translations, and from most Greek texts translated from the mid 1800's on because of the discovery of ancient copies during and after that time that were not available earlier to the earlier translators.
In 1:4 and 1:8 he is speaking to the churches on earth, and would be looking forward to His coming.
In 11:17 the Praise is to the Lord God Almighty who
HAS begun to reign
HAS sent His wrath
In 11:17 the Time
HAS come for judging
HAS come for rewarding His servants
HAS come for destroying those who destroy the earth

As the Revelation & Daniel Student Manual points out: "The seventh trumpet escorts us to the end. God encourages believers by showing us the final victory. Now we are ready to return to the Tribulation. May the Western reader not stumble over the way John moves back and forth [in time]. Throughout Revelation, God keeps reminding us to look up and ahead. The next time the devil reminds you of your past, remind him of his future!"
(from Revelation & Daniel Student Manual by Dr. Glen D. Cole & Dr Quentin McGhee)



 

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