Summary: This sermon introduces the 2 Witnesses of Tribulation and encourages us to be witnesses for Jesus now!
Are You A Witness For Jesus?
1 Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, "Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there.
2But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months.
3And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth."
4These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth.
5And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner.
6These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire.
7When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. 8And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
9Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves.
10And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.
11Now after the three-and-a-half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them.
12And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up
here." And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them.
Last week we covered Revelation chapter 10.
The strong angel announced the end of God’s "delay"
in punishing the living earth-dwellers
responsible for the death of His faithful followers.
Chapter 11 will explain that God’s suspension of His "delay"
comes at God’s precisely intended time.
In addition, chapter 11 will explain why John must prophesy
against nations, tongues, peoples and kings.
Verse 1 Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, "Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there.
The temple of God is a clear reference to an earthly temple.
The Roman army destroyed the temple in 70 A.D.
or about 40 years after Jesus’ birth.
So there was no temple when John wrote Revelation,
but he sees one in the future.
That means a temple will stand again in Jerusalem,
built before or shortly after the Rapture.
The Dome of the Rock presently sits on this temple site.
Muslims believe this was where Mohammed ascended to heaven.
The Jews will have to take this site away from the Muslims
and build their temple.
The Antichrist will give them protection from the Muslims.
The Bible prophecies say during the first half of the tribulation
there will finally be peace in the Middle East.
The Antichrist will establish a covenant with the Jews
and the Jews will be allowed to rebuild the temple.
John is told to measure the altar.
The Jews at this time will still be rejecting Jesus as Messiah.
Yet, there will be some who have accepted Him.
To measure something means setting a number of something,
Jews were the only people allowed at the temple altar.
So this is a symbol of God separating His chosen people
and then protecting them from judgments to come.
Verse 2 But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months.
John is told to not measure the outer court.
The phrase “for it has been given to the Gentiles” explains the reason.
A Gentile is any person who is not a Jew.
God has ordained by His sovereign choice
to allow the outer court to be dishonored by Gentiles.
The phrase “and they will tread the holy city under foot”
explains what the Gentiles will do.
To tread under foot means "to mistreat or abuse."
The pagan worship of the Gentiles will defile the outer court.
The words "the holy city" refers to Jerusalem.
Jerusalem was referred to as a "holy city" in the Old Testament.
Gentiles will dishonor God’s place of worship and abuse the city.