Summary: This is a study of chapter 11 in the book of Revelation. This is a controversial subject but takes a conservative approach to understanding the book.
Note: I used many sources to study this book, one of my favorites is Revelation: God’s Word for the Biblically-Inept by Daymond Duck and some out of different study bibles.
Text: Revelation 11
What was the last thing John was told to do in Revelation in 10? To prophesy to all the nations, tongues. This is what he will do.
Now we see there is no longer a delay but the wrath of God will begin to come. We know of a few things from the OT that will happen to Israel.
1) They will be a place of persecution and war with all nations and God will win. Zech 12:1-3,14:1-3, Jer 51:19-23
2) They will rebuild their temple. Dan 9:27-28
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.
rod-rod of correction and rod of comfort Ps 23:4
This is more than likely referring to Israel.
And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. (Luke 21:24 AV)
It is the only nation that would be considered here. But where is the temple today?
We know that the temple will be rebuilt in Israel. It seems that a great political leader will rise up around the time of the rapture and Israel will make a covenant with them for protection. During this time they will rebuild the temple. This is the temple that was first given to Moses for the pattern Ex25. We know it was enlarged and built by Solomon 1 Kings 7-8. This temple was destroyed in 586 BC by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. After a good many years under Zerubbel it was rebuilt under the guidance of the prophets Haggi an Zechariah close to the end of the sixth century BC. We also know that during the reign of Herod under the Romans the Temple was renovated. But it was destroyed in 70 BC.
So what does the Jews worship in now? They worship in synagogues.
Where are the worshipers? What should they be worshiping?
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.
Here we see that God is measuring the temple. He is showing his ownership.
God is going to deal with the Israelite nation. We see this also in Jer 31 and Zech 2.
temple-Holy place and holy of Holies
altar-golden altar of prayer
the worshipers are measured-they are judged, disciplined and comforted
Why do you think he said to leave the outer court alone? What was it used for? It was the court of the gentiles and we will see their plight as they deceive the Jews and then take over.
How long is forty two months? Three and one half years of the great tribulation
Jesus speaks of this in Matthew 24,25 in the Olivet discourse. But the temple will be defiled as shown in 2 Thes 2:4
3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
So for 1260 days the two witnesses will come. They will be a threat to the antichrist who we will see in chapter 13 he has great power. Speaking of the antichrist in ch 13 it reads
Why two witnesses? To validate matters pertaining to Jewish religion Dt 17:6,19:15
Some ask who are these witnesses? Again we are not told who they are. Many have speculated. Some say they are Enoch and Elijah because they never have experienced death.
2) Others say Moses and Elijah (which seems to be the majority opinion)
Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: (Malachi 4:4-5 AV)
Elijah Mal 4:5, Mt 17:11
3) Some even say it is just a representation of more but two is just needed to be a witness. this is very questionable
Maybe John the Baptist and Elijah
And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. (Revelation 13:13-14 AV)