Summary: Charles Dickens described the days in France just before the French Revolution in Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the ep
THE TWO WITNESSES
Charles Dickens described the days in France just before the French Revolution in Tale of Two Cities:
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.”
The same adjectives can be used to describe the age about to be opened up in Revelation. It will be the worst of times, such as man has never seen, while at the same time appearing to be the best age to those who worship the Antichrist, the beast.
The Temple Rebuilt vs 1-2
Several passages in scripture refer to the temple of the end time. Ever since the jews have been returning to the Israel the last fifty years, rumors have circulated concerning the accumulation of materials for the eventual rebuilding of the temple.
Only one thing stops them. The Dome of the rock (photo 1). The second most holy shrine in the Moslem world. Second only to Mecca, the birthplace of Mohammed.
The Dome of the Rock is build on Mount Moriah, the place considered to be the site of Abraham’s willingness to offer Isaac as a sacrifice to God. (Photo 2)
This is the place where Solomon’s Temple was (Photo 5) built. It was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C. Seventy years later under the direction of Zerubbabel and Joshua, the high priest, the second Temple was build. Not as large as Solomon’s.
This temple served the Jews until it was desecrated by Antiochus Epiphanes, a Greek-Syrian king, in 163 B.C.
Some forty years before Jesus, Herod the Great had this whole temple destroyed and rebuilt. That temple was known in Jesus’ day as Herod’s Temple. That temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D.
As believers we are not taught to build a Temple, for we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Israel though, will rebuild the Temple. This act will correspond with the start of the Tribulation period marked by the signing of a covenant (peace agreement) with the Antichrist. It may be that one of the first earthquakes mentioned will destroy the Dome of the Rock and open the door for the Temple to be rebuilt.
The reinstitution of the temple worship will reawaken interest on the part of many Jews in the Messiah. Many will realize that it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins Hebrews 10:4.
John is now told to measure the temple and count those who worship there. Obviously, this was not an effort to determine its physical dimensions, since none are given. I believe it is conveying something far beyond architecture, God’s ownership. God is marking the line of His possessions. The prophecies to follow will distinguish between God’s favor toward Israel and His wrath on the pagan world.
(Show photos 3 & 4)
The Two Messengers vs 3-14
A variety of suggestions has been offered as to the identity of these two witnesses. God did not tells, so we don’t know. We can, thought, speculate. The strongest argument is for Moses and Elijah. They were with Jesus on the Mountain of Transfiguration.
God has given them authority to prophesy for 1,260, three and a half years. They will call the people to repentance. Their preaching will be while Antichrist’s forces oppress the city of Jerusalem.
These two witnesses will put on sackcloth as an object lesson to express their great sorrow for the wretched and unbelieving world. They will also mourn because of the desecration of the temple.
These witnesses will fearlessly proclaim God’s judgment wrath, vengeance, and the need for repentance. Because of their message they will be universally hated and many will try to kill them. Fire will flow from their mouth and devour their enemies.
They will bring drought and turn the water into blood.
God will protect His witnesses until their work is done. Then the Beast (Antichrist) that comes from the Abyss will kill them. Their bodies will lie openly on the city street for everyone to see. The world will rejoice at their death.
The world’s party will quickly end as God breaths life into their dead bodies. Great fear falls upon all who see what is happening. Just like God resurrected Jesus from the dead he will bring the two witnesses back to life.
God then calls them home and they immediately go to Heaven.