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 Revelation Chapter 11 (Part 52) (Verses 1 – 8 )

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PostSubject: Revelation Chapter 11 (Part 52) (Verses 1 – 8 )   Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:14 pm

Revelation Chapter 11 (Part 52) (Verses 1 – 8 )

Revelation 11:1 opens, “I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, ‘Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, and count the worshippers there.’” It is interesting that John was commanded to measure out the temple of God and the altar, and count the worshippers there, but actually did not record the results for us. What temple was John actually measuring? John wrote the book of Revelation sometime around 95 A.D. The Jewish temple that John had known was destroyed in 70 A.D. as Jesus predicted it would be. At the time of John’s writing Revelation, there was no standing temple in existence. This holds true even up to our day (as of August 3, 2017). Nor is John speaking of the Millennial Temple, that is, the Temple that will stand during Jesus’ 1,000 year reign on this Earth (that comes after the Tribulation Period). The Temple that John is referring to here is what the 144,000 Jewish Christians will erect during the Tribulation period, which the Anti-Christ will soon thereafter take over as Jesus predicted: “When you see the Abomination that causes desolation standing where [he] does not belong—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.” Jesus says flee because that is when the 7th Trumpet Judgment sounds—that is, the Great Tribulation. The Anti-Christ will take up headquarters at this temple. So John is told to measure out this Temple, which will not stand for long (less than 7 years).

In John’s command to measure the Temple, he is told in verse 2 to “…exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months.” John is told to not measure the outer court of the Temple. Just as a side note, the Millennium Temple’s outer court will be over 170 feet according to Ezekiel 40:19, which says, “Then he measured the distance from the inside of the lower gateway to the outside of the inner court; it was a hundred cubits [over 170 feet] on the east as well as on the north.” So it will be 170 feet square. The measurements for the original Temple’s outer courts is recorded for us in Exodus 27:9-18. The south side was a 100 cubits long; the north side was a hundred cubits long; the west end was 50 cubits wide; and the east end was 50 cubits wide. [Note that this “original” Temple, although the blueprint was laid out for us in Exodus, was not actually built until Solomon built it around 832 B.C.] But this Tribulation Temple’s courtyard was not [will not be] measured or recorded by God’s prophet. Throughout all of human history, there are 5 Jewish Temples in all: 1. Solomon’s Temple (ended 587 B.C.); 2. Zerubbabel’s Temple (ended 168 B.C.); 3. Herod’s Temple (ended 70 A.D.). Three of the 5 Jewish Temples were built and destroyed already. Two have yet to be built sometime in the future: 4. The Tribulation Temple (most likely built by the 144,000 Jews; and destroyed by the Anti-Christ); and, 5. The Millennium Temple, whose blue print is laid out in the closing chapters of Ezekiel.

Also interesting, is that we were told why God did not want to include the outer court in the measuring census of the Tribulation Temple: it says, “…because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months.” 42 months is three and a half years. As mentioned earlier, the Anti-Christ will take over the Tribulation Temple for 3 and a half years, starting at the middle point of the 7 year Tribulation, A.K.A.: the Great Tribulation period. God will somehow give over (as in, “allow”) the outer court to be run by the Gentiles. This is a Jewish Temple, mind you. And please note that the verse does not say that the “Temple” will be trampled over for 42 months; rather, it says that the Holy City, that is, Jerusalem, will be trampled over by the Gentiles for 42 months, or 3 ½ years. Revelation 13:5 says, “The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies for forty two months.” In Daniel 7:25, of the Anti-Christ, it says, “He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time.” Now what is “a time, times, and half a time?” “A time” = 1. “Times” = 2. “Half a time” = ½. The word “time” here personifies “year”, so a time, times, and half a time = three and a half years. Daniel 12:7 says, “The man clothed in linen (an angel), who was above the waters of the river, lifted his right hand and his left hand toward Heaven and I heard him swear by Him who lives forever saying, ‘It will be for a time, times and half a time. When the power of the holy people has been finally broken, all these things will be completed. Daniel 12:11-12 says, “From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days.” Interesting. Between the 1,290 days and the 1,260 days that we will see in a minute is a difference of 30 days. And between the 1,290 days and the 1,335 days is a difference of 45 days. It says blessed is he who reaches the end of the 1,335 days. Between the 1,335 days and the 1,260 days (that we will see in a moment) is 75 days. The Tribulation is divided into 2 three and a half periods: the Tribulation is the first 3 ½ years; the Great Tribulation is the second 3 ½ years. These numbers do not conflict. For instance, the 1,290 days can start 30 days prior to the Great Tribulation, and these numbers will lay out just fine. However, the 1,335 number goes just outside of the 7 year total of the entire Tribulation, according to this passage in Daniel. My suggestion to that is that there will be a 75 day interval between the entire 7 year Tribulation and the Millennium starts. And, according to a close study of Ezekiel, there will be a 7 year interval between the Millennium and the start of Eternity on the New Earth. No Christian on Earth during the Great Tribulation, except those who return to Earth at the end of the Tribulation will be there to reach 1,335 days. All Christians (except for God’s 2 witnesses) will be raptured off the Earth by the end of Revelation 14, but will return with Christ at the end. Only Christians would be around during a 75 day interval between the Great Tribulation and the Millennium (if indeed I’m correct and there is such an interval).

Verse 3 says, “And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.” Now we are introduced to God’s 2 witnesses. They will prophesy for 1,260 days, which is another way of saying 3 ½ years. Actually, 1,260 days is exactly three and a half years according to the Jewish calendar. There are 360 days in a Jewish calendar year. Throughout the bible, God refers to the Jewish calendar, not our 365 day calendar. 1,260 divided by 360 is 3.5 [years]. These two witnesses are endowed by power from on High and they are called olive trees and lampstands in verse 4, which reads, “These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the Earth.” We will come back to this designation of “olive trees” and “lampstands” later. But who exactly are these 2 witnesses? I’ve heard preachers preach this passage and try to be extremely modest and say that they don’t know who these 2 witnesses are because the bible does not identify them. That’s not exactly true. The bible does not name them, but it does identify them. These modest preachers often go on to say who most people say they are. Here, I fall into the “most people” category because the bible does identify them. If I were to say, “I know of a man who was an astronaut, engineer and professor. He served in the US Army and fought in the Korean War. He was the first to walk on the Moon.” I have identified this fellow without saying his name. All knows that I am referring to Neil Armstrong. It is likewise in this passage. Verses 5 and 6 identify who these 2 witnesses are. Verse 5 says, “If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die.” Verse 6 says, “These men have power to shut up the sky so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the Earth with every kind of plague as often as they want.” Who in the bible was given power to call down fire from Heaven and shut up the sky so that it will not rain? That would be Elijah. Regarding the fire coming from their mouths to devour their enemies (verse 5), let us confer with 2 Kings 1:10, which reads, “Elijah answered the captain, ‘If I am a man of God, may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!’ Then fire fell from heaven and consumed the captain and his men.” And, who in the bible was given power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the Earth with every kind of plague? That would be Moses. Elijah did the first half of Revelation 11:6; Moses did the second half of that verse.

This would not be the first time Moses and Elijah show up together. During Jesus’ Transfiguration, Matthew 17:3 says, “Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.” Luke 9:29 says, “…They spoke about His departure, which He was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem.” Another connection between Moses and Elijah is that both had peculiar, similar “deaths”. God took both of their bodies. Elijah, of course, didn’t die, but was raptured to Heaven. God literally “took” Elijah’s body to Heaven (2 Kings 2:11). Moses, the bible says, God buried and no one knows the location but God (Deuteronomy 34:5-6). God “took” Moses body. So deep this was, that in the book of Jude, the Arch Angel Michael and Satan get in an argument about what God did with Moses’ body. Still, another obvious connection between Moses and Elijah is that both were able to perform miracles. One interesting thing in our passage in Revelation is that Moses and Elijah share their abilities with each other, as the passage says that both men will have power to shoot fire from their mouths to devour their enemies; and, both men will have power to shut up the sky and both will have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the Earth with every kind of plague as often as they want. Yes, this will be just like the Left Behind movies, where the armies of men will surround these 2 men with their machine guns, shoot, and nothing will happen to these 2 witnesses because God will protect them; then, these 2 witnesses will look at the military people surrounding them with their weapons of men, glance at each other, wink and smile, then look back at the military people, open their mouths and a stream of fire will shoot out their mouths, killing all of the military people who are trying to kill them. It says they will be able to perform every kind of plague that they want as often as they want. The bible has a long list of plagues they can choose from including, but not limited to turning water into blood, sending a ton of frogs upon the land (which, as a quick aside, many frogs are going extinct around the world these days), sending a plague of gnats, a plague of flies, sending a plague upon the livestock, killing the food supply; sending a plague of painful boils upon their enemies; sending a plague of large hail; a plague of locusts; a plague of darkness upon the land that lasts for days; and a plague of death upon the firstborn children of their enemies. That’s just the 10 plagues of Egypt. There are other plagues of the bible they will have at their disposal as well, including plagues of famine, disease, and sword (well, the sword is in their mouths). Finally, Moses and Elijah both represent God’s First Covenant (the Old Testament concerning Jews), not the Second Covenant, the Day of Grace with the Church.

Of course, Satan wants to be God, and as such, Satan also has his version of his 2 witnesses: that is, the Anti-Christ and the False Prophet. We will be studying more of the Anti-Christ (A.K.A. “The Beast”) and the False Prophet when the text leads us there. The verse before the last that Malachi wrote (Mal 4:5), says, “See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes.” An angel appears to Zechariah, John the Baptist’s father, and says regarding John in Luke 1:17, “And he (John the Baptist) will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Jesus says in Matthew 11:12-14, “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of Heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it. For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come.” Jesus here alludes to Malachi 4:5 and says that John the Baptist was Elijah who was to come. John the Baptist himself didn’t hold to Jesus’ appellation of himself being Elijah. In John 1:19-21a it reads, “Now this was John’s testimony when the Jews of Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, ‘I am not the Christ.’ They asked him, ‘Then who are you? Are you Elijah?’ He said, ‘I am not.’”. I won’t use Malachi 4:5 to conclude from that verse that the bible predicts that Elijah will return during the Tribulation days simply because that is not how Jesus applied that verse. But then again, Malachi 4:5 is not necessary to realize and conclude that Elijah actually does return along with Moses during the Tribulation period yet to come.

Revelation 11:7 says, “Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them.” Those who have been following this series should know who this beast is that comes from the Abyss. Does this beast refer to Satan? No. Satan never comes from the Abyss, as he has always been given free rein by God to roam the Earth as he pleases. Satan was never imprisoned. We did study a demon that does come from the Abyss that Revelation mentioned. In Revelation 9:11 we learned of such a beast, whose name is Abaddon in Hebrew, or Apollyon in Greek; both terms mean “Destroyer” in their respective languages. We learned that Satan was given the key to the Abyss, which is a prison for bad angels, and he opened the Abyss and let out his buddy Abaddon, who he hasn’t seen in ages. We also learned that Abaddon, along with Satan possesses the Anti-Christ. So where it says, “…the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them,” that can refer either to Abaddon himself as a standalone antagonist, or it can equally refer to the Anti-Christ, who is possessed by Abaddon. It is not difficult to imagine how the Anti-Christ, if he is the one who is able to kill God’s 2 witnesses, how he would be celebrated and venerated by his wicked subjects and underlings. Just like when Babylon conquered Jerusalem, and also the Philistines defeated the Israelites, how Babylon and the Philistines attributed their gods to their victory, not realizing that God allowed them to have a temporary victory, so too the wicked people of the Tribulation period will feel vindicated and believe that they have overcome the true God of the Universe and praise their leader and their god, the Anti-Christ for their (temporary) victory. The verse tells us that it is only after the 2 witnesses “finish” their testimony that they became vulnerable to be killed. God protects His own (including us) as long as it takes for His will for us to be accomplished through us.

Verse 8 says, “Their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified.” This is a confusing verse. To understand it, we need to talk this through. “The Great City” usually refers to Jerusalem throughout the bible. Jerusalem is God’s Capital City. From Jerusalem, David reigned. Jesus will rule from Jerusalem for 1,000 years. When God completely destroys this Earth and replaces it with the New Earth, the New Earth will have a world kingdom capital city named the New Jerusalem. The peculiar thing about this verse is the part that says, “where also their Lord was crucified.” “Their” Lord. Who is “their”? “Their” refers to the 2 witnesses. We know who the Lord of the 2 Witnesses is: Jesus Christ. So the confusing thing that arises is that we know that Jesus was not crucified in Egypt, nor was He crucified in Sodom. Jesus was not even crucified in Jerusalem—well, yes and no: Golgotha, where Jesus was crucified, was located just outside the walls of Jerusalem. So, yes, we say that Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem. Thus “the great city” here, does refer to Jerusalem. John, the writer of Revelation knows where Jesus was crucified. But what about this Sodom and Egypt reference? This is easy to reconcile: the passage says it is “called” Sodom and Egypt. Jerusalem is not currently called Sodom or Egypt, nor has been in the past. But everything we are reading is describing what will happen in our future. Jews wouldn’t call Jerusalem Sodom or Egypt. The people of the Tribulation period will hate Jerusalem and its people, and they will derogatorily call Jerusalem “Sodom” and also “Egypt”. Even today, to not bury a person, but to let their dead bodies lie in the street is to express hatred and disgrace the person. It is certainly a disgrace to Jews, as Jews bury their dead and would be disgraced if their bodies are trophied in the streets. Jews in biblical times would bury even their worst criminals. As we will soon see, these Tribulation people will wish that they had buried the bodies of the 2 witnesses because God is going to resurrect them.

[There is still a lot to cover in this chapter, so I’ll end this post here.]


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Revelation Chapter 11 (Part 52) (Verses 1 – 8 )
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