Revelation Chapter 11
Israel will become the storm center of the world during the Tribulation Period. Zechariah 12 and 14 reveal some of God's judgments upon Israel and her enemies. We read that God will make Jerusalem a cup that will send all the nations reeling. In Zechariah's them drinking from a cup was a metaphorr similar to the expression, "take your medicine." In this case the nations opposing Jerusalem will be sent reeling when they drink the concoction Jerusalem has prepared for them.
The nations of the earth will gather against Jerusalem. She will be captured and half of her Jews will flee into exile. Remember; Anyone who harms Israel will actually be harming themselves, because they will be setting themselves against God. This struggle over Jerusalem will trigger the Second Coming and the Battle of Armageddon. Israel is God's weapon of battle and he will use her to shatter the nations.
This struggle is already underway. Israel has made Jerusalem its Capitol. the Palestinian Liberation Organization says Jerusalem will be the capitol of their new Palestinian state. And the Pope has asked that it be designated an international city so he can move his headquarters there. All of this is a thorn in the flesh for the united Nations, They will bring certain destruction down on themselves.
The Jews want to rebuild the Temple, the heart and soul of their religion. They want it bebuilt on the same site as their Old Testament Temple. However, the Palestinians want to keep this same site as holy ground for their existing mosque. They do not want their mosque torn down or moved. For the Jews to rebuild their it would be a great insult to their religion and to their god.
The Middle East conflict is really a struggle between two religions - Judaism and Islam. It raises the question, "Whose god is God, and who worships the true God?" Neither side dare give in because the reputations of both their god and their religion are at stake.
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.
None Were Found
John was given a reed and told to measure the Temple, measure the altar, and count the worshipers. This is significant because in the last days the Temple, and one of its two original altars will be rebuilt. The altar that will be rebuilt was called the golden altar, or the altar of incense. It was located inside the Temple. The altar that will not be rebuilt was called the bronze altar. It will not be rebuilt because, as Revelation 11:2 says, it was located outside in the outer court. The Gentiles will rule the outer court.
God will evaluate (count) the worshipers to see how many people on earth are truly worshipping Jesus. He will find none. The Jews will rebuild the Temple so they can re-establish their old way of worship - sacrificial worship. In the Old Testament God accepted animal sacrifices as a temporary atonement for sin. The New Testament, however, teaches thatthose animal sacrifices did not permanently take away the sins of people. These sacrifices were inadequate to truly cover the sins of the people whech is why they had to offer the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year (Hebrews 10:1) . The reason God had the Jews sacrifice those animals was because it was a shadow of the things to come. It reminded the people of their sins and pointed them to the time when Messiah would come to permanently take away their sins through his death on the cross.
Cecause animal sacrifice only brought timporary forgiveness another method was needed for making atonement for sin. A permanent method was required. Christ's sacrifice on the cross is this permanent solution. His death so thoroughly pleased God that it will never need to be repeated. In fact, no other sacrifices will ever be needed again.
Animal sacrifices are no longer acceptable because the death of Jesus is the only sacrifice that God will accept. Jesus even spoke about this when he said, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6) . It is only through Christ's offering of himself for our sins that we can gain eternal life. During the Tribulation Period, when the Jews rebuild the Temple and resume animal sacrifices, there sacrifices will not be accepted which is why God will not find any worshipers in his Temple.
Warning----> Currently the high priest in Jerusalem are practicing for this burnt sacrifie that will happen and a model is currently in process of being built so it will go up in 3 days!!!!
According to (Numbers 19) , the blood of a red heifer, without spot or blemish, must be sprinkeled in front of the Temple before God will accept a service there.
1.) Daniel implied that the Temple will be rebuilt and in us by the middle of the Tribulation Period.
2.) Jesus authenticated Daniel's prophecy in his Olivet Discourse.
3.) Paul verified that this Temple will be rebuilt when he said the Antichrist will defile it.
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.
What About The Wall?
John will be told not to measure the outer court of the Temple. This may signify that only the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies will be rebuilt. Some architects and prophecy experts say these could be rebuilt without disturbing the Dome of the Rock or the Aqsa Mosque. Such an arrangement would allow the various religions to share the Temple Mount. Sharing that religious sight or sharing sovereignty over it could mean there may not be a wall around the outer court. Without the outer court wall the Jews and Moslems would be able to share the Temple Mount.
John is told not to measure the outer court because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months. This coincides with what Jesus taught. Gentiles will control Jerusalem and the Temple during the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation Period.
Something to Think About ----> Ite Islamic religion is dominated by fundamentalists who try to impose the beliefs of Muhammad on the rest of the world. Extremists believe in spreading their religion by conquest. The more radical members deny basic freedoms such as human rights, civil rights, and women's rights. They will kill people fo other religions in the name of their God Allah.
1.) Allah is the same God Christians worship, although he was a moon god in Muhammad's day.
2.) Muhammad received revelations from God which prove that he was a prophet.
3.) Muhammad wrote a book called the Koran (The Moslems Holy Book).
4.) The Koran contains God's latest revelations and supersedes all other revelations.
5.) God exists, but his name is Allah not Jehovah.
6.) Jesus existed, but he was a great prophet or messenger, not the Son of God who was crucified.
7.) They are the true inheritors of the covenants of God as descendants of Abraham's son Ishmael, even though the Bible says the Jews are the inheritors of the covenants of God as descendants of Abraham's son Isaac. This one point has sparked a never-ending conflict between the Arabs and the Jews since the days of Abraham.
Jerusalem is considered the Holy City by Christians, Jews, and Moselems. Among other Christians consider it holy because Jesus was crucified there, Jews consider it holy because their Temple was located their, and moslems consider it holy because they believe Muhammad ascended into heaven there.
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.
In the Old Testament the Mosaic Law required two witnesses to validate matters pertaining to Jewish religion. In the same way God will send two witnesses to prophesy and validate the world's sin and blasphemy during the Tribulation Period.
The identities of these witnesses are unknown, but most experst agree that one of them will be Elijah. The main reason for this agreement is verse found in the Old Testament: I will send you the prophet Elijah before that grreat and dreadful day of the Lord comes (Malachi 4:5,6) . Currently, Elijah is in heaven, but he will returen to earth (before) the Tribulation Period. Others say Enoch being he never died and was taken into heaven being raptured 2 times.
The two witnesses will stay and prophesy for 1,260 days or three and one-half years. Experts agree that this will be the first three and one-half years of the Tribulation Period.
The two witnessess will wear sackcloth. This type of attire undoubtedly seems strange to us but can be explained with help from the Old Testament. Old Testament prophets wore sackcloth when they were ministering to people who were deeply involved in sin. Sackcloth, however, is also worn as a garment of mourning. Most likely the Jews of the Tribulation Period will be grieving over their sins and their relationship with God.
Rev. 11:4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
Oil And Light
Each witness is represented by one olive tree and one lampstand. It takes two symbols to represent one person.
To understand this passage we need to know what these symbols mean. The answer to the olive trees is found in (Zecharaih 4:3-6) explains what the lampstands represent - the lampstands hold pots of burning oil that will provide light. The two witnesses will be lampstands because they will provide light to a dark world.
Now, combine the two symbols. Each witness will be one olive tree filled with the Holy Spirit and one lampstand giving off the light of God. They will be two witnesses, filled with the Holy Spirit, conteracting the forces of darkness in the world.
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.
They Speak With Fire
God told Jeremiah, I will make my words in your mouth a fire and these people the wood it consumes (Jeremiah 5:14). Those who reject the Word of God will be like wood when it is consumed by fire.
The two witnesses will be invincible. They will have the supernatural power of the Word of God in their mouths. When their enemies try to harm them they will merely speak to consume their enemies.
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.
I Don't Want To Be Here
These two men will have unlimited power. They will be able to stop the rain from falling, turn water to blood, and smite the earth with many different kinds of plagues. Without rain for the three and half years the ground will be cracked and dry like old leather, and the dust will be ankle deep. When the waters turn to blood, they will be unfit to drink, and uninhabitable for fish. There is no telling what the other plagues will do, but one thing is for sure, this will not be the same planet we know now.
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 two witnesses will be supernaturally protected. Nothing will harm them. However, when they have finished their assignment of providing light to a dark and evil world, they will be killed.
Revelation mentions two beast: the Antichrist and False Prophet. The Antichrist will hate the two witnesses. He will fail to cope with their condemnation of his world government, religion, social principles, and economic system, and will be ifuriated when he hears them preaching about Jesus. He will be jealous of their number of converts, so he will throw all the power of his Satanic government into an attack against them.. The witnesses will be overpowered and killed.
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.
Not Even A Burial Plot
Several cities are called "great cities" in the Bible. This great city, however, is clearly identified as the city where the Lord was crucified, which can only be Jerusalem.
In the days of Isaiah, Jerusalem was a wicked place. Things were so bad that Isaiah compared Jerusalem to the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. That was strong language, considering God destroyed those cities with fire and brimstone.
In the days of Ezekiel, Jerusalem played the harlot and chased after idols and false gods. God said they acquired their adulterous and idolatrougs ways in Egypt. Remember the golden Calf the Isralites built on their way from Egypt to promised land.
In Christ's day, Jerusalem was full of sin again. The leaders falsely accused him; tried him; and had him beaten and crucified. They offered daily sacrifices at the Temple that were not what God wanted.
Jerusalem will be full of sin again in the Tribulation Period. It will become even more sinful after the Temple is rebuilt. Worship of the Antichrist will flourish while worship of Jesus will be condemned. God's two witnesses will be killed in Jerusalem and no one will bother to bury them.
Rev. 11:9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.
Seen By The Whole World
The dead bodies of the witnesses will lie in the street for three and a half days. The whole world will see they are dead. No one will accept their remains. Multitudes frome every people, tribe, and nation will see their corpeses and refuse them burial.
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.
When Jesus was born, wise men traveled from the East to see him. When they arrived, they fell down and worshiped him with great joy, and presented him with extravagant gifts. We, too, celebrate the birth of Jesus by worshiping him and exchanging gifts at Christmas.
When the bodies of the two witnesses are lying in the street the inhavitants of the earth will gloat. They will be proud of their Antichrist, proud they are following him, and proud of his great power because no one else could harm the two witnesses. They will praise his victory, worship him, and exchange gifts. The celebration will be like an Antichrist Christmas. Call it the first "Antichristmas".
Rev. 11:11 And after three days and an 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.
Let There Be Life
This incredible scene is beyond human comprehension: The two witnesses will be killed. Television cameras (or something similar) will broadcast pictures of their bodies lying in the street around the world. No one will move them. The cameras will remain focused on the corpses while the whole world begins to celebrate. Food will probably be scarce, but parties will abound. Festivities will continue for three days or more. Then God will suddenly step in. He will breathe life into the two witnesses, causing them to move. The partying will stop; the revelry will end. The whole world will watch in terror as the two witnesses stand to their feet.
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.
Believe What You See
Following the death, burial, and resurrection Of Jesus, skeptics tried to explain away his resurrection by blaming his disciples for carrying out an elaborate hoax. However, the world will not be able to claim a hoax when the two witnesses rise from the dead and disappear into heaven. Everyone will know they died because their bodies will lie in the street for three and a half days. Everyone will also know the witnesses were raised from the dead when they stood up.
Then, while some are wondering what to do, a great voice from heaven will call the two witnesses to heaven. None of their enemies will be able to harm them as they disappear into heaven in a cloud. They will only be able to look on in amazement.
When Jesus ascended into heaven, many did not believe. When the Church is raptured, the world will not believe. Excuses will abound to save people from the harsh reality of the truth. But when the two witnesses ascend to heaven many will change their mind about Jesus and the Rapture.
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.
Finally Some Will Believe
When the two witnesses stand to their feet, panic will spread around the world. Then as people are wondering what will happen next, the two witnesses will ascend to heaven. They will still be staring at the sky when the ground will begin to shake. Ten percent of the buildings in Jerusalem will collapse, killing seven thousand people. The fear of God will enter the hearts of the survivors. Many will change their minds about the two witnesses, prase God of heaven, and begind a Jewish Revival.
Something to Ponder ----> When Jesus died, the earth shook (Matthew 27:51'52).
When Jesus arose, there was a violent earthquake (Matthew 28:2).
Rev. 11:14 The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.
This earthquake in Jerusalem will mark the end of the second woe or the sixth trumpet. The seventh trumpet will sound soon and bring the third woe.
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 for ever and ever.
The Seventh Trumphet
When the seventh trumpet sounds there will be a heavenly declaration that God and his Son, Jesus, will be taking over. The Apostle Paul talked about this when he said, the end will come, when he (Jesus) hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority, and power (I Corinthians15:24).
Satan is the head of those dominions, authorities, and powers. They are organized and influenced the nations to do evil. However, before the Tribulation Period ends, God and his Son will do away with them.
Rev. 11:16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped 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.
Fall On Your Knees
The announcement that God and Jesus will be taking over will cause a tremendous reaction in heaven. The Church will fall down on their faces and worship God. They will thank him because he is alive and will be exercising his great power by starting his earthly reign.
From this point on Satan's days will be drawing quickly to a close. Jesus will begin to exercise the authority over nations that became his when he died on the cross. He will go forth to conquer the forces of evil and usher in the Millennium.
The Twenty-four elders represent the Church from Pentecost to the Rapture.
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.
The Time Has Come
Satan will know his day will soon end, so he will stir the anger of the nations. At the same time he does that, God's wrath will burn brighter, which will put Satan and Jesus on a collision course. Satan will unite the nations against Jesus. The ensuing conflict is refered to as the Battle of Armageddon.
Everyone is accountable to God. no one will escape his judgment. Even the dead will be judged. But the righteous will be rewarded for reverenceing the name of Jesus, and the wicked will be destroyed for their unrepented sin.
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.
Following the heavenly worship service (described in the three preceding verses), when the elders declare that Satan will stir the nations against God's people, God will open his heavenly temple. He has a temple similar to the tavernacle Moses constructed in the wilderness.
Gods' heavenly temple houses the Ark of the Covenant. The mercy seat rests on top of the Ark where the blood of sacrificial goats was sprinkled for the sins of God's people. The Ark, with its mercy seat, will be a reminder that God has always shown mercy to his people.
Satan will stir the nations against Israel. The lightening, rumbling, thunder, earthquakes, and hailstorms will be signs of God's wrath to come, but God will show mercy by protecting Israel.
Remember This ---> The Ark of the Covenant was a rectangular shaped box made of acacia wood and overlaid with gold. It had two rings on each side so that staves could be inserted to carry it. It had a gold lid on top called the mercy seat. On the gold lid were two cherubim with their wingsspread over the mercy seat and looking down at the box which contained the earthly presence of God. The Ark was kept in the Holy of Holies inside the Temple. The High Priest would go in there, pour blood of sacrificial animals on the mercy seat as an atonement for sin, and God would communicate with him. The Ark was a symbol of God's presence with his people, his protection of them, his mercy, and his forgiveness.