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 Revelation Chapter 11

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PostSubject: Revelation Chapter 11   Fri Jun 30, 2017 6:56 pm


The Temple of God and the Two Witnesses

(Parenthetical Rev. 11:1-13)

This parenthetical passage includes from (Rev. 10:1-11:13) continues with the measuring of the temple of God and the revelation of the two witnesses, who will be on earth the last three and one-half years of Daniel's Seventieth Week.

The Temple of God

"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. 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" (Rev. 11:1-2).

The reed here is also referred to in Rev. 21:15-16. It was about twelve and one-half feet long and like a rod or scepter, as elsewhere in Rev. 2:27; 12:5; 19:15. This scene indicates measuring for destruction, not for building. Such passages as 2 Sam. 7:14; Psm. 2:9; 89:32; Isa. 11:4; Lam. 2:8; Ezek. 20:37; 1 Cor. 4:21; etc., with the above passages, bring out the thought of a rod of chastening.
This temple is not Herod's temple, for that one was destroyed some twenty-five years before this vision at the destruction of Jerusalem in, 70 A.D. Again, this temple cannot be the Millennial temple as described in Ezek. 40-48, because that will not be built until Christ comes to the earth, Zech. 6:12-13. The temple here is the one to be rebuilt by the Jews before Daniel's Seventieth Week. It will be destroyed at the end of the tribulation, either by the earthquake under the seventh vial (Rev. 16:18-19), or by the enemies of the Antichrist at the taking of Jerusalem, Zech. 14:1-5. Both Testaments are clear that there is to be such a temple where sacrifices will be offered for at least three-and-a-half years. Then it will be made desolate for three-and-a-half years and will be polluted by the Antichrist and the Gentiles, Dan. 9:27; 12:7-12; Mt. 24:15; 2 Thes. 2:2-4.
It is noticeable that the temple, alter, and worshipers of the temple are all that were measured, showing that everything about the Jewish part of the temple and the worship of the Jews will pass under the rod of judgment and desolation for the purpose of breaking the spirit of Israel. The court of the Gentiles was not measured to be trodden down of the Gentiles, for it was already in their possession, and was considered by the Jews as being polluted and fit only for Gentiles. This court is to be cast out in the same sense that there will be no more worship there by the Gentiles, who will have worshiped there before entering into the temple itself to worship the Antichrist and his image. Not only will the temple be given to the Gentiles to trod underfoot, but the city itself will be in their possession for forty-two literal months. The word “Gentiles” is from the Greek ethnos, which occurs twenty-three times in the book and is translated “nations,” except here.
This treading down of Jerusalem by the Gentiles for forty-two months proves that the times of the Gentiles will not end until the return of Christ at the end of the forty-two months. The times of the Gentiles cannot end prior to this for the ten kingdoms of the Revised Roman Empire must first be formed, after which will come the Antichrist and the seven years of tribulation. How many years before the ten kingdoms are formed and before the Antichrist is revealed is not certain, so it is clear that the so-called 2,520 years of the length of Israel in Lev. 26 is a false theory. Certainly this plain passage concerning the times of the Gentiles continuing through the forty-two months is sufficient apart from the many other Scriptures and arguments. The phrases “forty and two months. . . a thousand two hundred and three score days,” and “a time, times, and half a time,” all refer to a definite period of time, the last three and one-half years of Daniel's Seventieth Week when Antichrist reigns supreme, Rev. 11:2-3; 12:6, 14; 13:5; Dan. 7:25; 12:7.

The Two Witnesses

"And I will give [power] unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred [and] threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. 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. (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. 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. 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. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and a half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. 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. And after three days and a 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. 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. (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." (Rev. 11:3-13).

Two of the most colorful characters in all biblical prophecy may be the supernatural prophets that burst on the scene during the first half of the Tribulation. According to (chapter 11 of Revelation), these two dress in sackcloth, prophesy, dispense astonishing miracles and witness to the grace of God in the evilest culture known to mankind.
Though some believe Elijah and Enoch are the two witnesses, most Bible scholars consider them to be Moses and Elijah. Proponents of the Moses and Elijah argument point out these two Old Testament characters where the most influential Hebrew men of their respective times. Moses introduced God’s written Law to Israel, and Elijah was the first of the writing prophets and even started the school for the prophets. In fact, whenever the Jews said “Moses and Elijah”, they usually meant “the law and the prophets”.
Together with the 144,000 witnesses, the two witnesses of Revelation 11 will have awesome power and impact in producing the enormous soul harvest of the of the Tribulation we studied and described (in Revelation chapter 7). They will provide the millions of Jews in the Holy Land a spiritual bridge to the Christian gospel. God will demonstrate His mighty power and existence through these two prophets over whom the Antichrist will have no power until the God-appointed time. Before that designated time, the two witnesses will be untouchable, and anyone who threatens them will be killed (Rev. 11:5).

Many of the souls harvested at that time will be the sons and daughters of Abraham.

First of all, let us determine just what this passage says about the two witnesses before we go to the other Scriptures. Any theory of their identity must harmonize with these statements. They are two men and not two covenants, two dispensations, ect., as is clear from the plain description of them here and elsewhere. The truths given here are as follows:

1. They are “my (Christ's) two witnesses,” Rev. 11:3.
2. They will be given power by Christ in the future, 11:3. This excludes the argument that they must be two men who have exercised this power in past history.
3. They will prophesy 1260 days or during the same period of time that the Antichrist reigns supreme, the Holy City is trodden down of the Gentiles, and the woman flees into the wilderness for protection, Rev. 11:2-3; 12:6, 14; 13:5. That they will prophesy during the last three and one-half years, instead of the first three and one-half years, seems clear from the following:

(1) All passages of the forty-two months, 1,260 days, and three and one-half years, in both Daniel and Revelation, always refer to the last half of Daniel's Seventieth Week.
(2) The fact that the two witnesses are not mentioned until the middle of the Week or after the seals and the first six trumpets, proves that they do not prophesy during the fulfillment of these in the first three-and one-half years.
(3) We naturally understand that the 1,260 days or forty-two months of Rev. 11:3 are the same as the forty-two months of Rev. 11:2, for both periods are in the same prophesy.
(4) The angel of Rev. 10 will come down from heaven after the sixth trumpet in the middle of the Week and just before the seventh trumpet. It is this angel who states, “I will give power to my two witnesses.” This implies futurity from the time when the angel comes down that this takes place.
(5) The beast which comes out of the abyss will destroy them only at the end of their testimony. It is clear that the beast will come out of the abyss sometime before the Seventieth Week and cause the rise of the Antichrist out of the ten kingdoms, who, in turn will make the seven-years covenant with Israel. This is further proven from the fact that the two witnesses will withstand the Antichrist from the middle of the Week onward for the purpose of protecting the Israelites who do not flee into the wilderness. Their ministry will be fitting only for the terrible days of the great tribulation caused by the Antichrist in the last three and one-half years. God is retaining these two men in heaven for this particular purpose.
4. They are to be prophets, for they will prophesy three-and one-half years, Rev. 11:3. The main thought is that they will preach to Israel and try to turn their hearts back to God and each other, in order to avert the judgment of God, Mal. 4:5-6.
5. They will be clothed in sackcloth as a sign of mourning because of the judgments that are about to fall, Rev. 11:3. Check out 2 Sam.3:31; 1 Ki. 20:31-32; Neh. 9:1.
6. When they are slain by the beast their corpses are to lay in the streets of Jerusalem for three and one-half days. Men will not suffer them to be put in graves. They will gloat over their death and make merry because these two prophets which tormented them are dead. After three and one-half days the Spirit of life from God will enter into them and they will stand upon their feet and ascend into heaven before their enemies. In the same hour a great earthquake will strike Jerusalem and seven thousand men will be slain and one-tenth of the city destroyed. The rest of the men will give glory to God, 11:8-13.
Here Jerusalem is called a “great city” indicating a large growth before that time. It will be rebuilt only to be destroyed again, Zech. 14:5; Rev. 16:19. It is also identified spiritually as Sodom and Egypt where Christ was crucified. This thought is a very familiar one in connection with the Old Testament, Isa. 1:9-10; Ezek. 16:46, 53; 23:3, 8, 19, 27. These facts concerning the two witnesses in the Revelation simplify the question as to the identity. In fact, they do all but name them, and thus exclude all speculation on the subject.

The Identity of the Two Witnesses

There is no doubt after due consideration of the above facts concerning the two witnesses that there are only two men in the whole Bible that fit this plain Revelation. They are Enoch and Elijah. That Elijah will be one of them seems to clear from Scripture. Elijah must come back in person to fulfill Mal. 3-4. This first verse of Malachi 3 gives us a reference both to Elijah and John the Baptist, but beyond this verse John is not mentioned. John was never Elijah in person as some would take from the words of Christ in Mt. 11:14. John himself said he was not Elijah, Jhn. 1:19-23. Both Christ and John were truthful. When John said that he was not Elijah he meant he was not Elijah in person, for he could not have been the natural son of a Tishbite in the days of Ahab and also be the natural son of Zachariah and Elizabeth as in Lk. 1. All Christ had in mind was that John was he who was to come in the “spirit and power of Elias” as in Lk. 1:17; Mal. 3:2-6, 13-17; 4:1-6 have a reference to the second advent of Christ because they speak of judgment and tribulation and the Day of the Lord, and not of grace as in John's day. This seems to identify one of the two witnesses as being the Elijah of the Old Testament who was translated to be reserved before God unto future day when God will need of him again, to withstand Antichrist as he did Jezebel and Ahab of old.

Moses Could Not Be One of the Two Witnesses

Moses would never fit the statements given above concerning the two witnesses. It is believed that Moses and Elijah are the two men who have exercised the powers of the two witnesses but this power is annulled by point two under the heading “The Two Witnesses” above. They had equal power whether it be in over rain or over plagues. Verse 6 above shows that they have equal power. Surely if God had intended to raise Moses from the dead, He would have translated him as He did Enoch and Elijah, or at least would have raised him before burying him in the land of Moab (Deut. 34:5-Cool. Moses cannot have a glorified body now, as he would be sure to have if he were resurrected, and still be a mortal man as one of the two witnesses to come back to earth and die at the hands of the Antichrist. A resurrected body can never be killed. “It is appointed unto men once to die but after this the judgment,” Heb. 9:27. This appointed death has reference to that passed upon all men under the curse. It is true that a few have been raised from the dead temporarily, to show the glory and power of God, but no such person has ever seen corruption nor has he ever undergone his appointed death and lived again in this life to die the second time. Neither will Moses be once more in corruptible form during the tribulation after having died his appointed death and seen corruption. This excludes Moses as being one of the two witnesses, for he can never be killed by the Antichrist as they will be.

Enoch Will Be the Other Witness

We advance Enoch as the other witness as the obvious choice by God, although not with a definite “saith the Lord” as in the case of Elijah, Mal. 4:5-6. It is clear, however, that Enoch and Elijah are the only two who have not tasted death, i.e., have not died their appointed death on earth. This, they must do as all other have done, Gen. 5:21-24; Heb. 11:5; 2 Ki. 2. Both were prophets of judgment, Jude 14-15; 1 Ki. 17-18. We know that Elijah was translated is now one of the two olive trees and two candelsticks which stand before God. Is it not reasonable that Enoch, being the only other man translated that he should not see death during his lifetime on earth, and that for some definite purpose, is the other witness?
Enoch lived a natural life under the laws of degeneration and was subject to the law of death. He could not possibly escape it unless he were to live at the time of the rapture when the mystery of men being translated, without seeing death, will be fulfilled.
Paul showed the mystery of translation and entrance into an eternal state without death for those who lived in the Church Age at the time of the rapture.
Moreover, Enoch and Elijah as the two witnesses are supported by early tradition, as is proven by the apocryphal writings which have come down to us.

The Seventh Trumpet: The Third Woe
(Rev. 11:14-13:18)

"The second woe is past; [and], behold, the third woe cometh quickly. And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become [the kingdoms] of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail" (Rev. 11:14-19).

The first part of this passage announces the third woe, which is the last of the three woes announced by the angel in Rev. 8:13 that were to take place under the fifth, sixth, and seventh trumpets. The third woe is not the earthquake of Rev. 11:13 which takes place when the two witnesses are caught up to heaven, but the casting out of Satan to the earth as under the seventh trumpet, Rev. 12:12. The two witnesses are not caught up under any of the trumpets, but at the end of the Week. Verse 13 above ends the fourth parenthetical passage and verse14 above announces the third woe in the same way that the second woe was announced just before it began, Rev. 9:12.
The seventh trumpet is a period of time (Rev. 10:7) and embraces the above statements, besides the vision of the woman, manchild, dragon, remnant, war in heaven, beasts, etc., of Rev. 11:14-13:18. It does not embrace any event beyond these chapters. When it sounds all the above statements are made by different creatures in anticipation of what is soon to take place. What happens under the seventh trumpet in the casting out of Satan, makes it possible for God to be supreme over the world. This does not indicate that God becomes absolute ruler over the world during the seventh trumpet, for God must first defeat the satanic powers in the heavenlies before He can carry out His purpose on the earth. This shows that the seventh trumpet need not last throughout the last three and one-half years as some teach, for God can cast out the usurper of the world, thus making it possible to take the world as His own, without actually taking possession of it. God becomes sovereign by this defeat of Satan, but it takes time for the results of this victory to be worked out on earth so that it is realized among men. This necessary delay of the three and one-half years in actually taking possession of the earth in person, after the seventh trumpet, is caused for the completion of God's prophetic word in pouring out His wrath upon men for their persecution of Israel.
After the statement of God becoming sovereign over the kingdoms of this world, we have six sayings of the elders which are either fulfilled under the seventh trumpet or given in anticipation of the time each will be fulfilled, as the case may be. The first three statements are fulfilled at this time, but those relevant to judging the dead, giving reward to saints and destroying the earth-destroyers, will be fulfilled in their own time. They all have a definite time of fulfillment, but that time is not given here. We know that the dead will be judged at the final judgment after the millennium, Rev. 20:4-6.
After the statements of the elders, John saw the temple of God in heaven opened where the ark of His testament was located. This temple is the same as discussed in Rev. 4, 15. The ark is not the one Moses made, but the heavenly pattern from which he made his. We see the thunderings such as those of Rev. 8:5; 16:17-21.
The catching up of the manchild, the casting out of Satan from heaven, the flight of the woman into the wilderness, the persecution of the remnant, the rise of the beast out of the sea and the beast out of the earth, will all happen and will all be completed under the seventh trumpet. Just because the manchild is in heaven, the woman is in the wilderness, the devil is on earth, and the beasts of Rev. 13 continue for the last three and one-half years, that does not mean the seventh trumpet lasts that long.
The seventh trumpet is not the same as “the last trump” at the time of the rapture. This trumpet blows in the middle of the Week at least three and one-half years or longer than the rapture. That it blows in the middle of the Week is clear from the fact that there is only a period of forty-two months (Rev. 11:2; 13:5), 1,260 days (Rev. 11:3; 12:6), or three and one-half years (Rev. 12:14) from the blowing of the seventh trumpet to the end of the Week. The first through the sixth trumpet are completed in the first three and one-half years of the tribulation period as well as the whole seven seals, so we can conclude that all of these complete the first half of Daniel's Seventieth Week.
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