Revelation 11, 12
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
Then I was given a measuring stick, and I was told, “Go and measure the Temple of God and the altar, and count the number of worshipers. 2 But do not measure the outer courtyard, for it has been turned over to the nations. They will trample the holy city for 42 months.
John is told the measure the temple proper without measuring the outer courtyard. The outer court is given over to the nations (Gentiles) the time of the Gentiles runs from Nebuchadnezzar until the end of the rapture.
The temple is important and place a very important role in the end time, yet there is no temple in Jerusalem. Jesus told us that the Matthew 24:15
Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
One of the signs of the soon return of Jesus will the rebuilding of the temple so that the abomination of desolation can take place
You will see the 42 months 1260 days are the same length of time, as a month in the Hebrew calendar is 30 days
3 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will be clothed in burlap and will prophesy during those 1,260 days.”
Who are these witnesses? These are people who are empowered to prophesy, I believe they will speak to national, world wide and individual situations to further bring people to the truth.
In Joshua we saw two spies being sent into to Jericho, what did they really find out? Nothing except that Rehab became a believer….this is the purpose of these two witnesses
Scripture always requires two witnesses for a thing to be established.
Because they are in sackcloth we know this is a ministry of calling people to repentance.
In the Greek, the real translation is “The two witnesses of mine” in other words these are two witnesses that you know.
They are identified before us historically in verse 4
These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth.
This is an allusion from Zachariah 4 leading toward Zerubbabel and Joshua the priest who rebuilt the temple in Jerusalem they are connected to two olive trees which is significant of a continuous filling of the Holy Spirit…
But the question is who is this prophetically?
What is the fire that these two have?
5,6 If anyone tries to harm them, fire flashes from their mouths and consumes their enemies. This is how anyone who tries to harm them must die. 6 They have power to shut the sky so that no rain will fall for as long as they prophesy. And they have the power to turn the rivers and oceans into blood, and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they wish.
There have been days I wished fire could fly from my mouth and consume people (not lately)
John and James wanted to do that and Jesus rebuked them
Think about who these powers remind you of?
In John 1, John was creating such a stir that they sent a group of leaders from Jerusalem, 20 miles away to inquire as to who John was! With the power of his preaching they ask are you the Messiah? Elijah? Or the Prophet we are expecting? These are who they were expecting
In Malachai, we are told before Messiah comes Elijah will come. Deuteronomy 18:15 says the Lord will raise up a prophet like Moses from among the people and you will listen to him (this is a prophetic insight recognizing all the prophets challenging Israel to walk the righteous walk and leading ultimately to the Messiah
I say all of this to say we have an allusion here of the Children of Israel expecting either Moses or Elijah’s return.
Now there has been some speculation that this could be Elijah and Enoch the two men in the Bible who did not die as Hebrews 9:27 tell us each one must die and then the judgement. But the truth of that verse is simple explaining the judgment from God is a natural extension of this life. There are a number of people who died twice, Lazarus, Jairus’ daughter, the widow of Nain’s son…this was merely a rebuttal to reincarnation. Also Enoch was not Jewish the witnesses are Jewish
As we look at the powers of these witnesses, we see the powers both Moses and Elijah displayed shutting up the sky, calling fire from heaven – Elijah, Rivers to blood and every kind of plague Moses. Who do we see with Jesus at the mount of transfiguration (Matthew 17)? There were two men at the garden tomb, Luke 24: 4, we make the assumption that they are angels but we are told by Luke they were men. Could they have been Moses and Elijah also? Acts 1:10 tells us two men where there at the ascension of Jesus, once again angels are not mentioned. Could this have been Moses and Elijah again showing up, maybe? Moses and Elijah could these be the two, special, witnesses, it is my opinion that they are. BTW the drought with the heavens being shut up lasted 3 1/2 years, sound familiar (pattern again)
If anything from this study, I’m going to get you to start looking at patterns in the scripture.
7 When they complete their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the bottomless pit will declare war against them, and he will conquer them and kill them.
It is interesting that once their ministry is finished the beast (anti-christ) will be able to kill them but he doesn’t have the power to do so until God says, because God has another plan in witnessing to the world. Do you know who else that is true of? You! As long as you are fulfilling God’s purpose and God has a purpose for you, you can not be killed. Think about that!
8, 9 And their bodies will lie in the main street of Jerusalem, the city that is figuratively called “Sodom” and “Egypt,” the city where their Lord was crucified. 9 And for three and a half days, all peoples, tribes, languages, and nations will stare at their bodies. No one will be allowed to bury them.
It is called Sodom because of its immorality and Egypt because of its idolatry and this is Jerusalem, how far it will have fallen during this time. The whole world will see their dead bodies (we needed today’s technology to happen before this could happen)
10 All the people who belong to this world will gloat over them and give presents to each other to celebrate the death of the two prophets who had tormented them.
This is the only rejoicing we see on the earth during the tribulation…the whole world is celebrating because they felt the conviction to repent because of the preaching of the two witnesses
But after three and a half days, God breathed life into them, and they stood up! Terror struck all who were staring at them. 12 Then a loud voice from heaven called to the two prophets, “Come up here!” And they rose to heaven in a cloud as their enemies watched.
People were still watching them, maybe they will have cameras set on them like we do eagle’s nest and such that people can stream live what’s going on but God raises them up and terror strikes the whole world again. The rapture was in the twinkling of an eye, a split second this is slow having greater impact on the world. Then they are caught up like Jesus ascension and the whole world watches again
13,14 At the same time there was a terrible earthquake that destroyed a tenth of the city. Seven thousand people died in that earthquake, and everyone else was terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.
14 The second terror is past, but look, the third terror is coming quickly.
The give glory to God because they recognize it that God is all powerful but like too many people who go through some extreme event, they may recognize God for a moment but don’t receive Him as Lord.
The pause is now over and it is time for the seventh trumpet blast
15 Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices shouting in heaven:
“The world has now become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ,
and he will reign forever and ever.”
Other translations are a little better than this one where they say, “the Kingdom of this world (Satan’s kingdom) has now become the Kingdom of our God.
16,17 The twenty-four elders sitting on their thrones before God fell with their faces to the ground and worshiped him. 17 And they said,
“We give thanks to you, Lord God, the Almighty,
the one who is and who always was,
for now you have assumed your great power
and have begun to reign.
It is interesting that the elders proclaim that God has begun to reign now! He is in control, He intervenes but reigning over the earth is now beginning
18 The nations were filled with wrath,
but now the time of your wrath has come.
It is time to judge the dead
and reward your servants the prophets,
as well as your holy people,
and all who fear your name,
from the least to the greatest.
It is time to destroy
all who have caused destruction on the earth.”
This is a verse that is outlining what is coming, it is happening all in just this verse but it is to come.
Why are the nations angry? they want to do what they want, they want to throw off all restraint and fulfill all they earthly desires and this desire will send them to Armageddon
19 Then, in heaven, the Temple of God was opened and the Ark of his covenant could be seen inside the Temple. Lightning flashed, thunder crashed and roared, and there was an earthquake and a terrible hailstorm.
Don’t let this confuse you, the ark of the covenant was always in heaven what was created on earth was a replica. Hebrews 9:23 The tabernacle and all that was in it was made after the pattern of what was in heaven. Just like I believe the earth was originally created as a replica of heaven.
Chapter 12 is a strategic summary in the Bible. The story of Israel
1 Then I witnessed in heaven an event of great significance. I saw a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon beneath her feet, and a crown of twelve stars on her head. 2 She was pregnant, and she cried out because of her labor pains and the agony of giving birth.
Who is this woman?
Joseph has two dreams the first being the sheaves of wheat butt he second is the one I want us to look at
Soon Joseph had another dream, and again he told his brothers about it. “Listen, I have had another dream,” he said. “The sun, moon, and eleven stars bowed low before me!”
10 This time he told the dream to his father as well as to his brothers, but his father scolded him. “What kind of dream is that?” he asked. “Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow to the ground before you?” 11 But while his brothers were jealous of Joseph, his father wondered what the dreams meant.
Eleven stars+ Joseph is 12 stars, notice when he tells the dream to Jacob, Jacob interprets the dream for us. Also notice Jacob is upset by the dream but like Mary, ponders the dream in his heart, knowing it has significance
This woman is not the church because the church is the virgin bride of Christ and if she is the church then she is in big trouble….the bride shows up in Revelation 19.
In the OT, Israel is often described as a woman in travail; Isaiah 64,66 Jeremiah 3,6, Micah 4,5 and more.
Also the church did not give birth to the Messiah, Israel did, we shall see that in a moment.
In Genesis chapter 3 we see the first mention of the Messiah through one of His titles, “the seed of a woman”
3-4 Then I witnessed in heaven another significant event. I saw a large red dragon with seven heads and ten horns, with seven crowns on his heads. 4 His tail swept away one-third of the stars in the sky, and he threw them to the earth. He stood in front of the woman as she was about to give birth, ready to devour her baby as soon as it was born.
These idioms should sound familiar as it seems they were lifted right out of Daniel chapter 7. We will find out who he is very shortly here….This adversary, this red dragon was ready to eliminate the child as soon as he is born. Let’s go on so we see who this is let’s just jump quickly to verse 9
9 This great dragon—the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world—was thrown down to the earth with all his angels.
This is where we see that the tail sweeping away 1/3 of the stars(angels), his followers are thrown down to where?
Good thing is that means two thirds of the angels are still with the Lord and are assigned to protect us.
Devil- slanderer, Satan Hebrew word -adversary. His key mode of operation is deception. The devil is not wearing red underwear, carrying a pitchfork ruling over a place called hell. Hell is the place he is destined for where he will be punished
5 She gave birth to a son who was to rule all nations with an iron rod. And her child was snatched away from the dragon and was caught up to God and to his throne.
Once again showing us that this is the Messiah, Jesus Christ as he will rule all nation being caught up is alluding to His ascension
6-8 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where God had prepared a place to care for her for 1,260 days. 7 Then there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and his angels. 8 And the dragon lost the battle, and he and his angels were forced out of heaven.
Once again we are looking at a summary, Jesus has gone in heaven, the church is birthed, there is silence about that because this chapter is focused on Israel, so we jump right to the tribulation period where Israel needs to be hidden for 1260 days, 42 months 3 ½ years we see the dragon thrown from heaven perhaps an allusion to the star we talked about falling from heaven, or it could have happened millennia ago
Take notice here who is the battle between? Jesus is not fighting, The Father is not fighting Michael and his angels are fighting against Satan. Jesus and Satan are not equals, Satan is a created being
Let me pause for a moment do you remember when Jesus read from the book of Isaiah in the 61: 1,2a (Luke 4:18,19)
“The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.”
Jesus stopped at what would have been a comma. The next line of 61:2 is “And the day of vengeance of our God;” he paused and did not read that part because Revelation is that part Back to the verses.
Michael is the only angel in scripture labeled and arch angel Jewish tradition says there are seven but we don’t know for sure. Daniel 10, Jude 9, 1 Thessalonians 4:16
What we are witnessing here is the set up to the requirement that most be fulfilled before Jesus 2nd coming, not the rapture, but his return and that is the repentance of Israel. Remember Hosea 5:15
Then I will return to my place
until they admit their guilt and turn to me.
For as soon as trouble comes,
they will earnestly search for me.”
This is the reason, even though Satan is defeated that he keeps at it, he wants to stope your and my productivity and try to stop the world especially Israel from coming to repentance…you see Satan’s competition is not God, but mankind because we are set to inherit what Satan wanted all along
10-12 Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens,
“It has come at last—
salvation and power
and the Kingdom of our God,
and the authority of his Christ.
For the accuser of our brothers and sisters
has been thrown down to earth—
the one who accuses them
before our God day and night.
11 And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb
and by their testimony.
And they did not love their lives so much
that they were afraid to die.
12 Therefore, rejoice, O heavens!
And you who live in the heavens, rejoice!
But terror will come on the earth and the sea,
for the devil has come down to you in great anger,
knowing that he has little time.”
How did they overcome? By the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony.
Our testimony is powerful, His blood is his great grace and love for us but our testimony is our decision.
When Satan is released here he pours out his anger on the earth during this tribulation period.
Let me jump here for a moment to Romans 11:25
I want you to understand this mystery, dear brothers and sisters, so that you will not feel proud about yourselves. Some of the people of Israel have hard hearts, but this will last only until the full number of Gentiles comes to Christ.
Paul is telling us that God has a counter in heaven, he has a number in his heart of people that He knows will come to Christ and when that number is full, the rapture takes place and the tribulation begins. Satan knows God has a number and knows that the tribulation period leads to his end, so every time someone comes to Christ and that counter turns one more click in heaven, Satan jerks like he his shocked wonder if this is the beginning of his end.
So if you are here today and you don’t have a relationship with Jesus you could be holding all of us up!
13,14 When the dragon realized that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14 But she was given two wings like those of a great eagle so she could fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness. There she would be cared for and protected from the dragon for a time, times, and half a time.
God will allow the nation of Israel to escape to a wilderness area, and even Edom, Moab and Ammon will escape with them Daniel 11:41 tells us and all of those with the seal of God. Not sure why that is unless they will be there to help Israel in someway escape and live during this 42 month period.
15,16 Then the dragon tried to drown the woman with a flood of water that flowed from his mouth. 16 But the earth helped her by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that gushed out from the mouth of the dragon. 17 And the dragon was angry at the woman and declared war against the rest of her children—all who keep God’s commandments and maintain their testimony for Jesus.
We see in other places that the earth opened up and swallowed those who were going to hurt God’s children and we see Satan officially declaring war against the remnant of Israel who have come to Christ.
Next week the anti-Christ…is he alive today the anti-christ is actually two people