Revelation
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Revelation Chapter 11
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Rev 11:1 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.

Rev 11:2 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.

This measuring reed was about 12 Ĺ feet long. The temple here is no previous temple at Jerusalem because it was destroyed in 70 AD. I donít believe this is the temple described in Ezekiel 20 because that one is the final temple built under the reign of Jesus Christ. This one described here will be destroyed at the end of the tribulation. Sacrifices are again offered at this temple described in chapter 11.

We see from these scriptures that a temple has to be built in order for this prophecy to be fulfilled. As of yet, 2015, this temple has not even started. So does that mean the coming of the Lord is not yet close? Absolutely not. First of all with the Pre-tribulation rapture teaching, He can come at any time even before the building of a literal temple. I would say that the temple would have to be built first before the pre-wrath rapture, the mid-tribulation rapture or the post- tribulation rapture of the church takes place. Again my words are never to be taken as scripture but my speculation on what these things may mean.  Always read the bible for yourself and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the wonderful truths of God's word to you and never fall out with and argue with brothers and sisters in Christ over differences of opinion on things yet to be understood and discerned as we get closer to the literal coming of the Lord. 

The apostles even thought the Lord would return in their day. If we get our eyes off that goal, we usually get careless and think He delays His coming and began to fight our fellow servants.

In this day of modern technology a temple can be built quickly. We can see also why there are so many people hindering this temple from being build. The devil doesnít want it built and as soon as it is built, the anti-christ will defile it like his forerunner did under the Grecian Empire. Daniel chapter 11 tells of this one who breaks the covenant and sets up the abomination that makes desolate. Many times the Old Testament parallels something that happens in the latter days. That same thing happens under the anti-christ. One will enter into the temple and set up another abomination that makes desolate.

This would be during the last three and one half years into the tribulation. Previous to this Jerusalem was in the hands of Israel but in the tribulation period the anti-christ will have taken over and the Gentiles will tread underfoot the whole city and perhaps all of Israel. So the time of the Gentiles does not end until the end of the tribulation although the age of the church has already ended by this time. This is leading to the great time when Christ will return and restore Jerusalem and the country of Israel back to the Jews when they discover that Jesus (Yeshua) is truly the Messiah (Christ) their ancestors rejected. Christ alone will save the Jews from the armies of the anti-christ. All the armies that come against Jerusalem will be destroyed.

Probably when this siege of Jerusalem takes place the enemies of Israel will think they have won. They will think that they are so powerful that no one can stop them. They may even be so stupid as to think they are doing God a service. Then again the anti-christ thinks he is God anyway so we see that these will think they have arrived to completely thwart God's purpose and destroy God's people. They will try to kill every Jew or all Israel for itís is clear from scripture that the other tribes of Israel will be present.

Rev 11:3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. For this same period of three and one half years the two witnesses will prophecy.

They probably will preach again the gospel and and give very strong warning concerning further judgments to come. Notice it is about the same time period that Jesusí preaching ministry lasted. These preach the last 3 Ĺ years of the tribulation.

Rev 11:4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.

Here is the verse that tells of these witnesses as far back as Zechariah's prophecy.

Zechariah 4:11 Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof?

Zec 4:12 And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves?

Zec 4:13 And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.

Zec 4:14 Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.

Yes truly these are appointed by God to prophecy in these latter days. Their identity. Some believe these to be either Moses and Elijah, John and Enoch, and Enoch and Elijah.

Some pick John and Enoch because they represent the Old and New Testaments and that Elijah has already came in the spirit of John the Baptist. Some pick Elijah and Moses because they were seen on the mount of transfiguration with Jesus, thereby being a witness to His being the Son of God. I believe whoever they are, it will be someone who has not previously died for this scripture says:

Hebrew 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

We know that Moses died because the scripture bears this out. So the ones that choose to believe that Enoch and Elijah are the two witnesses believe the apostle John died a natural death and so did Moses so that leaves the only two that were translated, Enoch and Elijah.

Yet the bible also says that Enoch was translated that he not see death so some believe he was changed already without dying and given a new body but if that was the case, Jesus would not be the first fruits of the resurrection, Enoch would be.

God may have preserved them in their natural bodies until they come back for this purpose of prophesying during the tribulation. They were seen as two olive sticks in Zechariah and we know John didnít exist at that time so that would point to Moses,  Elijah and Enoch. John the Baptist came in the spirit and power of Elijah and was not really Elijah himself. Again these things are fascinating things to study and ponder over, not argue over.  Allow the scriptures to draw you to the Lord, not cause stress and division over different scenarios.  Also, never allow confusion and fear to cause one to avoid the book of Revelation because we are to seek, study and understand. I remind everyone again that the very first chapter promises a blessing to those that read and keep the words of this prophecy.  We are supposed to read and study this book. 

John was told that he must prophesy against before many people, tongues and nations and also when Peter asked Jesus about John saying, "And what shall this man do?" Jesus answered and said, "If I will that he tarry til I come, what is that to thee, follow thou me."   A rumor went about saying that that disciple shall not die but that is not what Jesus said.  Many take this to mean that John will die but it will be as one of the witnesses during the tribulation.  This is not a common belief among most Christians though. 

The fact that two Old Testament men were talking with Jesus on the mount where He was transfigured does show us that there is no soul sleep for Peter, James and John saw Moses and Elijah. Moses previously died and Elijah was translated similar to what happens when the church is raptured. One represented those that died in the Lord and the other may represent the ones who are caught up to be with the Lord just after the dead in Christ have risen. 

1Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

1Th 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

I would say that if Moses did not die a natural death, he certainly would be one of the two witnesses.

Now back to the two witnesses and their works during the last three and one half years of the 7 year tribulation.

Rev 11:5 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.

This shows us that they had power given to them by God and no one could harm them until it was the proper time.

Rev 11:6 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.

Elijah had this power and so did Moses. This may be another reason why some think Moses and Elijah are the two witnesses but I do not hold to that view because Moses literally died and I don't think he will be required to die again. Again that is only my speculation.  I can't really limit God to my thinking.

Rev 11:7 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.

The beast here is the one who comes out of the abyss before the tribulation starts and cause the rise of the anti-christ out of the ten kingdoms that will form from the same area as the Old Roman Empire. He will make a seven year covenant with Israel and break it in the middle of the tribulation. Iím thinking the seven year covenant will allow them to build the temple mentioned in previous verses. So the temple may be built during the tribulation rather than before it but it could happen before it starts. Notice that the beast cannot kill the two witnesses until God allows it to happen.

The two witnesses will protect Israel during the last 3 Ĺ years until they are slain. They are probably the ones to lead them into the wilderness as they run from the armies of the anti-christ. They cannot be killed until they finish their testimony.

In the book of Daniel we see that all nations have one who is behind their leadership. One of the princes or fallen angels was behind the kings of Persia so I assume that they also are behind the evil rulers of all ages. Here is one of God's angels talking with Daniel:

Daniel 10:12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.

Dan 10:13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.

So we see from the above that there are angelic beings in charge of kingdoms. Michael is the angel that fights for Israel.

Rev 11:8 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.

We see that God had to allow the witnesses to be killed or else no one could kill them. This city was completely taken over by wicked men. Egypt represents the world or world powers that oppose everything holy. Sodom represents wicked men who defiantly do according to their own will whether or not what they do is the direct opposite of God's will for His creation. In these latter days we see an increase in sexual immorality and fornication. We see men with men and women with women coming out of the closet and defying the word of God. They have become very bold and defiant. This is occurring in the area around Jerusalem also. To oppose this kind of thing is frowned upon by those in authority already. If we quote the bible and try to warn against this lifestyle we are called bigots and hate-mongers. This is going to get worse before the end. Rape against adults and children will become the norm. If we try to stop it, we could be arrested for hate crimes.

They call good evil and evil, good. This bad enough now but it will get worse during this time of great tribulation.

Rev 11:9 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.

They will be so depraved that they forbid their bodies to be buried so they can rejoice and triumph over these servants of God. They will think they have won.

Rev 11:10 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.

Here we see an something resembling the Christmas celebration where they send gifts to each other because of the death of these men.

Rev 11:11 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.

Rev 11:12 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.

Wow, they will see the witness of God's power of resurrection right before their eyes. This will probably be broadcast all over the world by way of Internet and Television instantly.

Rev 11:13 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.

Here we see a remnant probably of the citizens of Israel who fear God and recognize who is behind all these things.

Rev 11:14 The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.

Rev 11:15 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 forever and ever.

It is about to be all over. Christ is ready to return with His saints (faithful believers) and rule the earth.

Rev 11:16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshiped God,

Rev 11:17 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.

While all these things are going on in the nation of Israel, the host of heaven sees everything and they rejoice causing them to fall upon their faces and worship God just like they did at the beginning of this prophecy.

Rev 11:18 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.

This probably is not the white throne judgment but the judgment of the nations that came against Israel during the great tribulation. We see Jesus describe this:

Matthew 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

Mat 25:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

Mat 25:33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

Mat 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

Mat 25:35 For I was hungry, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

Mat 25:36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

Mat 25:37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungry, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

Mat 25:38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

Mat 25:39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

Mat 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Mat 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

Mat 25:42 For I was hungry, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

Mat 25:43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

Mat 25:44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungry, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

Mat 25:45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

Mat 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Notice that verse 41 of Matthew 25 says insomuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren. This seems to indicate that nations will be judged by their treatment of Israel. The natural brethren of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The resurrected saints will be rewarded sometime between the rapture and the when Christ comes to set up His kingdom. It will be sometime during the tribulation, at what point we do not know for sure, saints are rewarded for their deeds.

There is something I heard a preacher say the other day that I've not heard before and that is, the rapture is not a way of salvation but a reward for faithfulness.  They may have had a point because Jesus did say to pray that we be able to escape all these things and stand before the Son of man. 

Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

Interesting things to ponder.

Rev 11:19 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.

This appears to be the end right when Jesus returns but we shall see in chapter 12 that it backs up a little and describes more detail of what transpired previous to all this that is to come to pass. I don't know exactly why God chooses to record things in this manner but I will make a guess. Again I say that my opinions are never to be taken as equal to God's word. In fact there is no comparison. I believe God reminds us of the end in many places so that we are not overwhelmed by what seems to be triumph by the enemy. It seems that He is quick to show us the end in more than one place so that we are comforted when we read of the horror that is to take place.

That is my personal take on this. I don't believe God does this to confuse us. Another thought is that God does it this way to confuse those that are agents of the wicked one so that they read and do not understand thereby dismissing the book as some crazy works of fiction. With all the crazy fiction we have in this day and age, I can see how they would read this and see it that way. In this way the wise shall understand as Daniel says.

Dan 12:10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

God has everything under control. We must believe in His Son and stay faithful to Him and we have no need to fear.

Revelation 12

 

 
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