Jesus is Sovereign over the Future (Revelation 4-22), cont’d.
Revelation 10-13 Information about the Tribulation, cont’d.
Revelation 11 The Temple measured, 2 Witnesses, and 7th trumpet (Content Chapter)
Revelation 11:1-2-The Temple Measured
John is told to measure the Temple. This is the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem that will be built during the first part of the Tribulation. John says that for 3½ years the Temple will be under the authority of human government. This takes place during the second 3½ years of the Tribulation. But…the point of measuring the Temple was to demonstrate that God knew its exact dimensions…referring not just to its size, but its status. He knows everything that is going on in reference to the Temple and it’s people. God is in control. Sovereignty.
- Rise and measure the temple of God: Sometimes in the Old Testament, the idea of measuring communicates ownership, protection, and preservation. When Habakkuk prophesies, He stood and measured the earth (Habakkuk 3:6), the idea is that the Lord owns the earth and can do with it as He pleases. When this temple is measured, it shows that God knows its every dimension, and He is in charge.
- God is in charge. This is one of the glorious, mighty themes of the Book of Revelation. Revelation 11:17 again uses the title Almighty for God. The Greek word for Almighty is pantokrater, and it describes "the one who has his hand on everything." Nine out of the ten times this word is used in the New Testament, it is used in Revelation. This temple will be the scene of great horror and great glory, but God is in charge of it all!...
- It is more likely that this is the temple that must be on the earth for the fulfillment of what Daniel, Jesus, and Paul said about the abomination of desolation.
- The prophet Daniel told us the Antichrist will break his covenant with the Jews and bring sacrifice and offerings to an end; the Antichrist will defile the temple by setting something abominable there (Daniel 9:27, 11:31, and 12:11).
- Jesus said to look for an abomination standing in the holy place, which would be the pivotal sign that the season of God's wrath was upon the earth (Matthew 24:15-16 and 24:21).
iii. Paul told us that the Antichrist would sit in the temple as God (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).
- The concept of the abomination of desolation is often spiritualized with explaining it as idolatrous worship established in the hearts of God's people (His "temple"). But in what sense can people be called God's temple if they worship the Antichrist - an emissary of Satan himself? Certainly, this isn't the most plain or straightforward interpretation. The simplest explanation of all these passages is to see a real Jewish temple in Jerusalem, yet to be built - but coming soon.
- In point of fact, today there are Jews very interested in rebuilding the temple and resuming sacrifice, and are making preparations to do that exact thing even now.
- Today you can visit the Temple Institute in the Jewish Quarter of the old city in Jerusalem. There, a group of Jews absolutely dedicated to rebuilding the temple attempt to educate the public and raise awareness for a new temple. They are trying to replicate everything they can for a new temple, down to the specific pots and pans used for sacrifice.
- Israel is a nation again, and efforts to rebuild the temple are for real. The main Jewish group leading the charge to rebuild the temple is an organization called Faithful of the Temple Mount, who say they will continue their efforts to re-establish the Jewish temple on the Mount. One leader in the group said, "We shall continue our struggle until the Israeli flag is flying from the Dome of the Rock." In Israel, there are students being trained for the priesthood, learning how to conduct animal sacrifices in the rebuilt temple.
iii. It is important to understand that most Jews - religious or secular - do not care one bit about building a temple. And if there were one rebuilt, sacrifice would be difficult in a day of aggressive animal rights activists! Yet, there is a small, strong, highly dedicated group who live to see a rebuilt temple - a temple which will fulfill prophecy.
- Rightly, Christians get excited when they see efforts to rebuild the temple. At the same time, we should understand that the basic impulse behind rebuilding the temple is not of God at all - the desire to have a place to sacrifice for sin. Christians believe that all sacrifice for sin was finished at the cross, and any further sacrifice for sin is an offense to God, because it denies the finished work of Jesus on the cross.
- Orthodox Jews consider that the Messiah will rebuild the temple; however, the man they may initially embrace as their Messiah may in fact be the Antichrist: I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive. (John 5:43).
David Guzik :: Study Guide for Revelation 11,
For additional information on the rebuilding of the Temple see:
Revelation 11:3-13-The Two Witnesses Martyred
"Two witnesses" are identified who will minister in Jerusalem (:8) for 3½ years (this is during the early months of the second half of the Tribulation period). They are referred to as “two olive trees” (meaning that they were anointed by God to do this work), and “two lampstands” (meaning that they will be lights of God). God substantiates that they are His representatives by giving them supernatural powers (:5-6). Their powers are similar to those of Elijah and Moses (cf. Exodus 7:20; 8:1-12:29; 1 Kings 17:1; 18:41-45; 2 Kings 1:10-12). Notice carefully that they will not be defeated…but that they will complete the task that God has given them…”And when they have finished their testimony…” (:7). Then the "beast that comes up out of the abyss" (Antichrist) will kill them. Satan thinks that he has won, that he has defeated the witnesses of God. Their bodies will lie in the street of Jerusalem for 3½ days and their enemies will rejoice over their deaths. Then, "the breath of life from God" will come into them and they will rise to their feet...causing great fear in their enemies. God will then take them to Heaven...right in front of their enemies. At that moment there will be an earthquake and 7,000 people will be killed...and the rest will recognize that this was a work of God.
This concludes the Woe #2 (see 8:13; 9:12).
Revelation 11:15-19 (Trumpet #7, Woe #3)
There are "loud voices" in Heaven that begin to proclaim that the kingdom of the world has become God's. In other words, God’s redemptive plan for the salvation of mankind is about to conclude. The 24 elders began to give praise to God that the time has come for Him to reward His bondservants. The Temple in Heaven opens up and the ark of His covenant is visible.
Prayer: Father, please give me the courage and boldness of these two witnesses. Don't let me be deterred by anything.