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 Prophetic Times To The End - Part Eighteen

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PostSubject: Prophetic Times To The End - Part Eighteen   Tue Jul 20, 2010 3:36 am

TIMES OF THE GENTILES TO CONCLUDE IN FOURTY-TWO MONTHS


Rev. 11:1-2 John here tells us of the anticipation of the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem during the tribulation. We also see here that John is given a measuring rod like a staff. John is telling us that the temple is to be prepared for those who worship in it. Some history, there have been three previous temples built in Jerusalem: Solomon’s temple described in 1 Kings 8 and destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 583 B.C. [Ref. 2 Kings 24-25]; Zerubbabel’s temple, described in Ezra 3 and destroyed by Antiochus Epiphanies’ in 168 B.C. [Ref. Dan. 11:31-35]; Herod’s temple, referred to by the Lord in John 2:20 and destroyed by Titus in 70 A.D. [Ref. Dan. 9:26].

This temple is to be built in the “Holy City.” This takes us to Jerusalem, for there is no other city so designated in the Scriptures [Ref. Dan. 9:24; Mt. 4:5;
Mt. 27:52-53]. A magnificent temple will be erected at Jerusalem and many worshipers will gather. A system of priesthood and sacrifices will be set up in the midst of an ordered service of worship as shown in Ezekiel 40-48.

In that temple the Antichrist will appear and claim the right to be worshiped [Ref. 2 Thess. 2:4]. This is the abomination of desolation spoken by Daniel [Ref. Dan. 9:2] and attested by our Lord [Ref. Mt. 24:15]. The religious system of the man of lawlessness will be connected with the temple at Jerusalem. The mass of the people will accept him who will come in his own name [Ref. Jn. 5:43].

John tells us that the outer court of the temple was not to be included in the measurement but is to be rejected. The outer court is the court of the Gentiles. “The holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months,” the Gentiles are not being favored by God above the Jews, but rather God is using them for the chastisement of Israel [Ref. Zech 14:1-2]. The “rod” which in the book of Revelation is an instrument of chastisement [Ref. Rev. 2:27; 12:5; 19:25], will be laid upon Israel at the hand of the Gentiles for a limited time only—“forty-two months.” This corresponds to the phrase of Daniel as “a time, times and half time” [Ref. Dan. 7:25; 12:7], meaning one year plus two years plus a half year or a total of “forty-two months,” or a “thousand two hundred and threescore days.”

The duration of Israel’s trouble also know as “the time of Jacobs trouble,” the exact time the beast is permitted to thunder forth his blasphemies [Ref. Rev. 13:5]. This is the period of the exile of the woman clothed with the sun [Ref. Rev. 12:6]. This period is the last three and one half years the Great Tribulation which will come to a close with the personal return of Christ to the earth, when He shall subdue all evil and establish His reign. “Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations {Gentiles}, as when He fought in the day of battle. And His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south” [Ref. Zech.14:3-4]. Our Lord said that “Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled’ [Ref. Lk. 21:24; Rev. 19:17-19].


THE TWO WITNESSES

These two witnesses are not the law and the gospel, or the Old Testament and the New Testament. They speak. They have mouths. They are heard, handled, and hated. They are individuals, for after their martyrdom John sees their “dead bodies” [Ref. Rev. 11:9]. These witnesses wear clothing of “sackcloth”. A word used for a garment worn when one is expressing mourning or declaring the need for repentance [Ref. Mt. 11:21; Lk. 10:13].

These two witnesses are called “the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth” [Ref. Rev. 11:4]. What John saw here is explained in Zechariah’s vision in Zechariah, chapter 4&5, where two olive trees represent two individual persons, Joshua and Zerubbabel, men who were the media whereby the Word of God was transmitted to the people. They are men who have rejoined upon them a position of responsibility in service before the Lord of all the earth. The two together are mentioned by the prophet Haggai as standing together in a united witness for Jehovah [Ref. Hag. 1:1; 2:2, 4]. Thus we see the phrase “two olive trees” is explained in scripture and means two persons.


THEY ARE PROPHETS

We must take note here that the Lord calls them, “My two witnesses” [Ref. Rev. 11:3], meaning that they are foretellers and foretellers of Christ and His message. They preach to men on earth God’s message sent from Heaven. We are not told in scripture that the two witnesses are, but we have scripture to base an opinion on whom they may be. We are told in scripture that, “and it is appointed unto men once to die”]Ref. Heb. 9:27]. For then we have two persons who qualify to be these two prophets. We have Elijah who did not experience physical death [Ref. 2 Kings 2:9-11], we also have Enoch, who lived before the flood, was translated without seeing death [Ref. Gen. 5:24], so they could return and experience death as the two witnesses will [Ref. Rev. 22:7-8]. Like Elijah, Enoch was a prophet of judgment [Ref. Jude 14-15], and this is consistent with the ministry of the two witnesses who prophesy judgment. I believe that these two prophets, Enoch and Elijah, fit the case in Revelations 11 more accurately than any others.

THEY ARE POWERFUL

John tells us the two witnesses are given power, the Lord gives them supernatural power to defend themselves by sending out fire from their mouths to slay any who would come to hurt them [Ref. Rev. 11:5]. Because they are Christ’s witnesses, they are immortal until their work is done. The whole earth is against these two, but they continue to display divine power to hold back rain, turn water into blood, and smite the earth with plagues [Ref. Lk. 4:25]. This is not in the age of grace as we live and abide in grace as did Stephen and Paul and Peter, Christians do not avenge themselves. These two witnesses, however, are sent forth to the earth in judgment times. The Third “woe” and the “seventh trumpet” are ready to send forth their judgments. Because they are judgment prophets they are given judgment power.

THEY ARE PERSECUTED:

These two witnesses, like all true witnesses of Jesus Christ, are immortal until their work is done. We see from John that the two are not killed until after they had “finished their testimony” [Ref. Rev. 11:7]. The beast that comes out of the abyss cannot harm them until they accomplish their divinely-ordered mission. Satan is unable to silence or slay them. God will not allow anything to interfere with their witness bearing as long as they are in His will. So significant will be the testimony of the two witnesses that their death at the hands of the beast shall cause an international stir. Their dead bodies go unburied and lie in the streets of Jerusalem for three and one half days. John goes on to tell that “this great city” where the witnesses die is also known as “spiritually called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified” [Ref. Rev. 11:8]. The bodies of the two witnesses become a spectacle to the entire world. John tells us there will be jubilation and the sending of gifts, every method of communication will be used to spread the news that the two witnesses are dead at last. The world’s superman, the beast, will become the new world’s champion and the hero in the eyes of the morally degenerating mass of humanity. This will be the world’s most ungodly period. It is described in Jude 14-15.

THEY ARE PRESERVED:

The enemies of God are about to witness an example of divine power that the beast cannot equal. The world will see the dead witnesses coming back to life, and will witness Christ’s vindicated witnesses ascending alive to heaven. Here is a re-enactment, of Elijah’s and Enoch’s first departure to Heaven [Ref. 2 Kings 2:11]. God preserves all who come to Him through Jesus Christ.

Rev. 11:13 This earthquake is not symbolic but literal, an actual visitation of judgment from God. An earthquake attended both at the death and the resurrection of our Lord [Ref. Mt. 27:51; 28:2]. A tenth of the city fell and seven thousand people will be killed. The preservation of God’s two witnesses is followed by the prosecution of the devil’s witnesses. Those left in the city were compelled by this force to recognize divine power on the earth from Heaven [Ref. Phil. 2:9-11].

Rev. 11:14 that crowd in the Great Tribulation in John’s vision was terror-stricken; they were not praising and blessing God, else we would not have the following words, “The second” “woe” is past; and, behold, the third “woe” cometh quickly.”

THE THIRD WOE

With the translation (catching up of) of the two witnesses from earth to Heaven, the seventh trumpet sounds. Verse 14 marks the end of the interlude portion of vision between the sixth and the seventh trumpets.

The Anticipation of the Kingdom:

Rev.11:15 The sounding of the seventh trumpet is the official proclamation of the coming coronation of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. He is the King of Psalms 2 and 24, and His kingdom is described in Daniel 2:44; 4:3, 6:26; 7:13-14, as well as by the angel in Luke 1:32-33. His government will be a righteous government, the kind that human laws and religions can never produce. Christ’s coming again to the earth will result in a radical change in the government and religion of the world. Christ as king over all the earth does not occur until the events recorded in Revelation chapter 12-18 have been fulfilled.


The Acclaim of the King:

Rev. 11:16-17 Immediately of the voices in Heaven announcing the coming kingdom then the elders fall on their faces to worship God and give thanks that the almighty has at last assumed His sovereign right to the earth. Presently the kingdoms of this world are in Satan’s control [Ref. Jn. 12:31; 14; 30’16:11], and admitted that the world was his kingdom [Ref. Mt. 12; 26]. The world kingdom that has been in Satan’s hands must come to an end.

The Anger of the Creation:

Rev. 11:18 those things which cause rejoicing in Heaven stir up anger on earth. The two places and their inhabitants have nothing in common. The earth dwellers who lived for the things of this earth by life must now relinquish all to the Creator and Owner of All. “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof” [Ref. Psa. 24:1, 1 Cor. 10:26, 28]. In this life “the Church Age” we never see full justice meted out, but when Christ returns to take over, then all will receive their due deserts. The losers will rage in vain, for they will have had their opportunity to join the heavenly family. When Christ comes again there will be winners and losers. Reward will be given to His “servants the prophets,” and also the saints, all those who fear His name. “The small and the great” When our Lord spoke of the reward of the tribulation saints, He emphasized the importance of faithfulness in small things. [Ref. Mt. 25:31-46]. Will our works survive the fire [Ref. 1Cor. 3:5-8]? May God help us to be faithful [Ref. 1Cor. 4:1-2].

The Ark of His Testament:

Rev. 11:19 this verse brings before us an entirely new Prophecy which continue on through chapter 14. It is one which is related chiefly to Israel. The Ark of the Covenant had to do with Israel, not with Gentiles.

It is stated that “the temple of God was opened in Heaven.” There is a heavenly temple after which the tabernacle and temple of the Jews were patterned. When God instructed Moses concerning the building of the tabernacle He said, “And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shown thee in the mount” [Ref. Ex 25:40]. The writer to the Hebrews refers to the tabernacle and its ministries as “patterns of things in the heavens” [Ref. Heb. 9:23]. The earthly worship was copied after the heavenly. But sin has corrupted the earthly worship so that the two are no longer alike. If all were holy on earth now, there would be no need for a place of worship. Our Lord and Savior said, “God is Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth” [Ref. John 4:24].

The fact that John sees the temple in view and the ark indicates that Israel is coming into view and God will once more renew His dealings with Israel nationally.

The ark, made of acacia wood and over laid with gold, was the only piece of furniture in the Holy of Holies. It was two-and-one-half cubits long, one-and-one-half cubits in height [Ref. Ex. 25:10-16]. The ark, which God speaks of God’s covenant with Israel, is in the midst of a judgment scene described in terms of “lightenings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.” The Judgment is coming, but the remnant of Israel will be saved.
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Prophetic Times To The End - Part Eighteen
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