Summary: Message 20 in our exposition of Revelation. This message continues exploration of the two witnesses.
The Revelation of Jesus Christ
“Two Witnesses and the last Trumpet” Rev 11
I. PROLOGUE 1:1-20 (Things you have seen)
II. Messages to the Seven churches 2-3 (Things with are)
III. Last Days 4-22 (Things which are about to take place)
A. Heavenly worship around the throne 4-5
B. The Seven seals 6:1-8:1
C. The Seven Trumpets 8-9
1. Earth Shaking Prayer 8:3-5
2. First six trumpets 8:6-9:21
3. Interlude 10-11:14
Just as John included an interlude between the sixth and seventh seal, there is another interlude between the sixth and seventh trumpet. The interlude details simultaneous activity in the same period. In this case, we have a view of things in the heavenly realm and then a closer look at events on earth around the temple in Jerusalem. John again found himself on earth.
a. The mighty angel and the little book 10:1-11
• He came down from heaven.
• He is clothed with a cloud.
• He is crowned with a rainbow
• His face shines
• His feet are fiery
• He holds a “little” scroll.
• He stood with one foot on land and one on the sea.
• He shouted with an intimidating voice like a loud lion’s roar.
• The angel swears an oath
• The angel relinquishes the book to John
• The angel instructed John to eat the book and prophesy.
The words of the book were prophecies concerning the nations of the earth.
Probably judgments about to be unleashed on the unbelieving kings and their kingdoms.
John transitions from eating the scroll and prophesying concerning the remaining kingdoms and peoples of the earth to measuring the earthly rebuilt Jewish temple and observing the ministry of two amazing last day witnesses.
b. The Two witnesses and the temple 11:1-14
The use of “and” or “then” indicates that John continues describing the same vision of earthly activity during this period. Like before, John differentiates between those protected and those about to be punished. He receives instruction from “someone” to measure the temple area.
He was to measure the inner temple, the brazen altar and the worshipers. Measuring in Scripture has to do with evaluation or the assessment of possessions. God instructs John to mark out his territory. It is like a survey before the purchase of property to determine the legal boundary lines.
1 Then there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, "Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it. 2 "Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months. Revelation 11:1-2
Kalamos (measuring rod) refers to a reedlike plant that grew in the Jordan Valley to a height of fifteen to twenty feet. It had a stalk that was hollow and lightweight, yet rigid enough to be used as a walking staff (cf. Ezek. 29:6) or to be shaved down into a pen (3 John 13). The stalks, because they were long and lightweight, were ideal for use as measuring rods. In Ezekiel’s vision, an angel used such a rod to measure the millennial temple (Ezek. 40:3–43:17). (John MacArthur Revelation Commentary)
In this case, God marks out both places and people claimed by Him. God marks His special people and sacred places for protection or special blessing. The worshippers are most likely faithful Jews who continue to faithfully worship the true God with renewed interest and longing for Messiah’s return. Such a marking out was also foretold by Zechariah 13:8-9; 14:1-5
The exclusion of the outer court implies judgment upon the rest. Those who hold to a literal interpretation of Revelation believe this passage requires that a Jewish temple in Jerusalem be built before these events transpire.
This Tribulation temple will most likely be built just before or during the first 3.5 years.
Daniel, Jesus and Paul all reference this final days temple. Daniel assumes resumption of the daily sacrifices in the temple during the last days. As we speak, Jews are preparing for the temple’s rebuilding and resumption of the sacrifices.
The major focus of the Institute is its efforts towards the beginning of the actual rebuilding of the Holy Temple. Towards this end, the Institute has begun to restore and construct the sacred vessels for the service of the Holy Temple. These vessels, which God commanded Israel to create, can be seen today at our headquarters in Jerusalem. They are made according to the exact specifications of the Bible, and have been constructed from the original source materials, such as gold, copper, silver and wood. These are authentic, accurate vessels, not merely replicas or models. All of these items are fit and ready for use in the service of the Holy Temple. Among the many items featured in the exhibition are musical instruments played by the Levitical choir, the golden crown of the High Priest, and gold and silver vessels used in the incense and sacrificial services. After many years of effort and toil, the Institute has completed the three most important and central vessels of the Divine service: the seven-branched candelabra, or Menorah, made of pure gold; the golden Incense Altar, and the golden Table of the Showbread.