1. Chapter 11 picks up within the same parenthesis we spoke of beginning in Chapter 10. John is told to measure a temple. Since the destruction of the second temple in 70AD by Rome, the Jews have longed for the temple to be rebuilt to resume their form of sacrifice and worship since they rejected Jesus as the Messiah. Since they depend on animal sacrifice for forgiveness, what is sad is that they cannot recognize that for almost 2000 years, they have been unable to atone for their sins! We know that a 3rd temple is raised at some time before the mid-way point of the tribulation when the Antichrist will go in and defile it. In the first verse, interestingly John is told to measure the temple and those that worship within. The problem lies in that they are not worshipping Jesus and their form of worship to God with animal sacrifice and the like were done away with when Jesus died on the Cross and rose again. The veil being torn from top to bottom was a major sign of this.
2. John is told not to measure the outer court as it is given over to the Gentiles. When you look at the temple mount today, you see a shrine, not a mosque, called the Dome of the Rock. It is a shrine for Muslims because that is where they believe that Mohammed road a magical horse named Barrack to Heaven to receive revelation and then returned on that horse as well. Anyone reading this that thinks Islam worships the God of the Bible just in a different way, please go to my site and read the two articles on Islam at the bottom of the main pageÖ.you are extremely wrong! For years, it was thought this lied directly where the temple should be, and since nobody thought it would be possible for them to move it, they were unsure when they would ever be able to build. New evidence shows that the shrine is actually in the outer courts, and an area away from it is the true temple mount. This opens up a whole new avenue! Levitical priests are being found by DNA, their clothes and the furnishings within are being made. There is some discussion also as to the new temple being built in modules and stored for quick assembly (within less than a month) or even using a tent as the original one was in the days of Moses. In either case, the way is being cleared for the temple to be rebuilt in short fashion and be back in use. We are told the gentiles will tread the holy city under foot for 42 months, which will be the last 3-1/2 years of the tribulation.
3. We then have our focus shifted to two witnesses clothed in sackcloth. First, sackcloth is the traditional wear for Godís prophets, and symbolizes mourning, confession, and repentance. They are going to prophesy 1,260 days, or 3-1/2 years. There are two of them because in matters concerning the Jews, it took two witnesses to validate something, and they will validate the worldís sin and blasphemy during this time and for its need to follow Jesus Christ. Many wonder who these two will be, and the truth is we do no know for certain, anything is just a guess. Some say Moses and Elijah, to represent the Law and the Prophets, and some say Enoch and Elijah since their deaths are not recorded in the Bible. Though either may be true, the fact is, none of these could be them, we just donít know. But, to focus on the translation of Enoch and Elijah, the Bible states they were taken to heaven. This does not have to mean Godís abode, as we talked of earlier in Chapter 8 section 6, could simply mean the sky. Some then speak of the scripture that says it is appointed to all men to die once, (Hebrews 9:27). Understand, that means it is appointed, but appointments can be missed, as will be the case for millions of Christians in the rapture. If you take the stance that everyone has to die, then you would make Jesus have to kill the church that are living when He comes for us, and that just isnít true. Remember, the dead rise first, then those that are living are next. (1st Thessalonians 4:15-17). The verse in Hebrews was Paul combating those who believed in reincarnation and spirits of people walking around. You only have one death, not several, and after that, judgment looms.
4. We are told they are two olive trees and lamp-stands standing before God. In Zechariah 4:2-6 we see two olive trees that provide oil to lamp-stands. The oil is symbolic of the Holy Spirit, and these two witnesses will be filled with the Holy Spirit. In Zechariah 4:11-14 we see the lamp-stands have pots that hold the burning oil and provide light in darkness. So we see the significance of verse 4 here in that the two witnesses will be filled with the Holy Spirit and provide light to a world full of darkness from its sin.
5. These two witnesses will be convicting the world, and directly Israel, of its sin with their prophecy and will be hated. They have power through God to stop it from raining during this time, turning water into blood, and to afflict the earth with plagues at any time they wish. These two will have the seal of God on them and will be invincible and anyone trying to hurt them will be destroyed by fire that proceeds out of their mouths! This is as a sign that their message is divine as they preach that Jesus is the Messiah and that He is ruler of all.
6. At the end of the three and a half years, as the Antichrist rises to power, he will slay them. Their bodies are then left in the streets for 3-1/2 days and the world rejoices sending gifts and acclamation around the world. Just as the world shuns Jesus today, so it will with the message given by these witnesses, and they will be happy to be rid of the truth spoken to them so they can wallow in their sins as they begin the worship of the Antichrist. We are told the whole world will se them, and with todayís technology, we know that is absolutely possible. There is a reference also made to the great city where our Lord was crucified, which is of course Jerusalem. It is said it is now spiritually Sodom and Egypt. Sodom signifies it being immoral and unclean, and Egypt symbolizing its bondage to false gods and idols just as it has been before in the past. Also, it is interesting that the beast is spoken of in this Chapter, when he does not appear until chapter 13 of Revelation. This means that their witnessing is sufficient to cover the entire Great Tribulation period, so none will be without excuse.
7. An awesome sight then takes place as they are brought back to life after 3-1/2 days. This is significant because Jewish beliefs have held that people are not truly dead unless they have been in that state for three days. Anyone brought back alive would have not been considered to be dead, so there is no real miracle as they see it. This is why Lazarus was in the tomb 4 days before Jesus raised him, and why Jesus was in the tomb 3 days before He arose. The entire world watching their dead bodies in the street will see them be raised up as well and as God commands them to come up hither, will see them rise to Heaven. This gives proof that these men were from God and that Jesus is the Messiah as He said He was. A great earthquake takes place and kills 7000 men and the remnant of those in Israel give glory to God and repent. This is an interesting comparison to when Christ died and the tombs opened and the dead saints walked the earth testifying for Jesus. That is found in Matthew 27:51-53.
8. Finally we see the second woe is past and the third comes quickly. The 7th trumpet is sounding and we will read about all it entails in Chapter 16. As with the 7th seal which contained 7 trumpet judgments, the 7th trumpet contains 7 vial or bowl judgments, in that they will be poured out quickly. Heaven rejoices at this announcement, it is time. The millennial kingdom is coming, gentile nations will become subject to Jesus, the wrath of God will take vengeance on His enemies, and the dead over all time will be judged at the Great White Throne judgment. The chapter ends showing the Ark of the Covenant in Heaven symbolizing Godís promises and mercy to Israel and His faithfulness in fulfilling them.
9. We are now half-way through the Book of Revelation!
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