Revelation 10-12

The Temple and Witnesses

In Chapter 11 John is given a rod which he will use to measure the Temple that is apparently under construction during the first half of the Great Tribulation. Many believe that one of the things that brought the antichrist to power was a peace treaty in the Middle East that allowed for the rebuilding of the Temple that was destroyed in 70 AD by Rome.

During the construction of the Temple the two witnesses we read of in this chapter will be ministering and causing problems with their abilities to turn water into blood and withhold rain etc. These two witnesses will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days.  We read that when they are finished with their testimony they will be overcome by the beast who will kill them and leave their bodies in the street for three and one half days while the whole world looks on and celebrates. It is only in my life time that we have developed the technology that would allow the whole world to look on this event at the same time. How could John have known that we would have this technology some nineteen centuries earlier? Only God could know this and reveal it to John.

The murder of these two witnesses is very similar to what took place when Antiochus Epiphanes who was the Greek ruler over Syria which included Jerusalem, put an end to the Temple worship of the Jews. He ordered the Jews to worship Zeus and set up an altar in the temple to offer sacrifices of pigs to Zeus. He also set up a statue of Jupiter Olympus in the Holy of Holies. He killed some forty thousand Jews and sold another forty thousand into slavery. Priests were also killed and Jews were ordered to offer sacrifices of pig flesh to pagan gods. Anyone who attempted to follow Jewish customs or offer sacrifices to God were put to death. Jesus warned in Matthew 24:15 of the abomination that causes desolation that Daniel wrote about in Daniel 9:27 and 11:31.  The murder of these two witnesses by the beast who will proclaim himself to be god is very likely the abomination that Jesus said to watch for.

Verses 8-13 makes it clear that while the world is watching, these witnesses lying in the street the unthinkable happens. The two witnesses come to life and a voice is heard from Heaven that tells the witnesses to come up to Heaven while their enemies looked on. Following that there was a great earthquake with seven thousand people killed and many giving glory to God in Heaven. In Matthew 24:14 we read, “And the gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come.” NASB

Given the technology available, the interest in the death of these two witnesses, the celebration, and then their resurrection and ascension into Heaven, this verse could easily be fulfilled.

At the very least there can be no sacrifice that could be offered in the Temple that could atone for sin since Jesus made that atonement with his sacrifice on the cross. Therefore it is likely that the Temple will be destroyed by the earthquake.

Chapter 12 gives us a broader view of the history leading up to and beyond the more focused view in Chapter 11. The woman is Israel and the child she gives birth to is Jesus. The dragon is Satan. He has recruited one third of the angels who are now demons and sent them to earth. Jesus said that when you see the abomination that caused desolation in Matthew 24, Israel is to flee. In verse 6, of Chapter 13, we read that the woman will flee to the wilderness to a place God prepared for her protection for three and half years, the remainder of the Great Tribulation.

There will be war in Heaven and Satan will be cast to Earth. Satan will then know his time is short so he will pour out his wrath.

While in Heaven Satan is the accuser of the brethren. In reality his power is limited to deception. He deceives man and causes him to sin and then stands before God and brings his charges and accusations. Job 1:6-12, 2:1-6

He also does everything he can to make Christians think they are failures and that God is mad at them and is going to judge them.   Paul tells us in Romans 8:31-39 that there is no one including Satan, who can condemn us or bring a charge against us. Revelation 13:11 tells us why. We are no match for Satan and it is true that we are sinners, but Jesus has disarmed him Paul tells us in Colossians 2:13-15. Whenever Satan attempts to bring a charge and condemnation against you I urge you to run to these verses just as the woman Israel is to flee to the place that God prepared for her as a place of refuge. By faith run to these verses and you will find that God has prepared a place of refuge for you where you can find hope, peace, and victory. Here they are again.

Romans 8:31-39; Colossians 2:13-15; Revelation 13:10&11

Live by faith.

Pastor Dave