frequently asked questions

QUESTION:
blue bullet   What is the meaning of Revelation Chapter 11

ANSWER:

blue bullet                     Revelation Chapter 11
                 excerpts from: Revelation Expounded by Finnis Jennings Dake

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 (Rev.11:1).  

When John was given the rod to measure the temple he was standing in the literal presence and location of Heaven. 

           
After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in
            heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were
            of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither,
            and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter (Rev.4:1).

[reed like unto a rod] A measuring reed was about 12 1/2 feet long (Rev. 21:15-16).  It was like a rod or sceptre as in Rev. 2:27; Rev. 12:5; Rev. 19:15.

[Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein] This is a measuring for chastening, not building, as in 2 Samuel 7:14; Psalm 2:9; Psalm 89:32; Isaiah 11:4; Lament. 2:8; Ezekiel 20:37; 1 Cor. 4:21.

[temple] There are five temples in history and prophecy:
1.   Solomon's temple (1 Kings 5-8)
2.   Zerubbabel's temple (Haggai 1-2; Ezra 3:4-13; Ezra 6:1-22)
3.   Herod's temple (John 2:19-20; Matthew 24)
4.   The future Jewish temple in the days of Antichrist (Daniel 9:27; Daniel
      11:45; Daniel 12:7; Matthew 24:15; 2 Thes. 2:3-4; Rev.11:1-2)
5.   The Millennial temple (Ezekiel 40-48; Zech.6:12-13; see Ezekiel 45:7)

This temple is not Herod’s temple for that one was destroyed some twenty-five years before John’s vision at the destruction of Jerusalem, 70 A.D.  This temple cannot be the Millennial temple as described in Ezek.40-48, because that temple will not be built until Christ returns to earth, Zech.6:12-13.

Therefore, this temple in which John measures is the one to be rebuilt by the Jews before Daniel’s Seventieth Week.  It will be destroyed at the end of the tribulation period, either by the earthquake under the seventh vial (Rev.16:18-19), or by the Antichrist at the taking of Jerusalem (Zech.14:1-5).  Both Testaments, Old and New, reveal there is to be such a temple where sacrifices will be offered for at least three and one-half years.  Then it will be made desolate for three and one-half years and will be polluted by the Antichrist and the Gentiles (Dan.9:27, 12:7-12, Matt.24:15, Thess.2:2-4).

It should be noted that the temple, alter, and worshippers of the temple are all that were measured, showing that everything about the Jewish part of the temple and the worship of the Jews will pass under the rod of judgment and desolation for the purpose of breaking the spirit of Israel. Why would God want to break the spirit of the Jews? 

What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded [8] (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. [9] And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them: [10] Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway. [11] I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. [12] Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? [13] For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: [14] If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. [15] For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? [16] For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. [17] And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; [18] Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. [19] Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. [20] Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: [21] For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. [22] Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. [23] And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. [24] For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree? [25] For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. [26] And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: [27] For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. [28] As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes. [29] For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. [30] For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: [31] Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. [32] For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all (Romans 11:7-32).

The court is to be cast out in the sense that there will be no more worship there by the Gentiles, who will have worshipped in this place before entering into the temple itself to worship the Antichrist and his image. Not only will the temple be given to the Gentiles to trod underfoot, but the city of Jerusalem itself will be in their possession for forty-two literal months. The word “Gentiles” is from the Greek ethos which occurs twenty-three times in the book of Revelations and is translated “nations” except here.

The treading down of Jerusalem by the Gentiles for forty-two months proves that the “Times of the Gentiles” will not end until the return of Christ at the end of the forty-two literal months. This Gentile period will continue through the rise of the ten kingdoms and the Revision of the Roman Empire.

The phrases “forty and two months,” “a thousand two hundred and three score days,” and “a time, times and one-half time” all refer to a definite period of time, the last three and one-half years of Daniels Seventieth Week when the Antichrist reigns supreme (Rev.11:2-3, 12:6-14, 13:5; Dan.7:25; 12:7). 

The Two Witnesses of Revelation 11:3

[The two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred       and threescore days (three an one-half years, a time, times, and one-half a time) clothed in sackcloth]

Eighteen Facts Identifying the Two Witnesses:
1.   They are two men, not covenants, dispensations, etc. (Rev.11:3, 7-12).
2.   They are Christ's witnesses (Rev.11:3).
3.   They will be given power in the future when they come to earth (Rev.11:3).
4.   They will be prophets (Rev.11:3, 10).
5.   They will prophesy the last 42 months, 1260 days, 3 1/2 years of this age
      (Rev.11:2-3; Rev. 12:6,14; Rev. 13:5; Daniel 7:25; Daniel 12:7).
6.   They will be clothed in sackcloth (Rev. 11:3).
7.   They are symbolized by two olive trees and two candlesticks which stand
       before God (Rev.11:4; Zech. 4:11-14).
8.   They were already in heaven when Zechariah prophesied, about 500 years
       before Christ (Zech. 4:11-14).
9.   John saw them in heaven about 96 A.D., so whoever they are they were
      two men translated to reside in heaven at least 500 years before Christ
      (Rev.11:4; Zech. 4:11-14; Malachi 4:5-6).  This will exclude John the
      Baptist, John the Apostle, and every other man living after 500 B.C.
10. They will be invincible for the 3 1/2 years of their ministry (Rev.11:5-7).
11. They will have power to destroy their enemies the same way their enemies
       seek to destroy them (Rev. 11:5).
12. They will be able to cause fire to come out of their mouths (Word of God)
       to devour their enemies (Rev.11:5).
13. They will have power to stop rain all the days of their prophecy (Rev. 11:6).
14. They will have power to turn the water into blood and smite the earth with
       plagues as often as they will (Rev.11:6).
15. When the 1260-days, (time, times, and one-halftimes, three and one-half
      years)  ministry is finished the supernatural angelic spirit out of the abyss will
      kill them (Rev.11:7).
16. Since it is appointed unto man once to die (Hebrews 9:27), it is certain that
      they are two men who have never died or seen corruption, so that they can
      die at the hands of the Antichrist in the future.
17. They will remain dead for 3 1/2 days and then be resurrected
      (Rev.11:8-11).  This further proves that they are two men who have never
      died or seen corruption and that they will not be resurrected, immortal men
      with glorified bodies, when they come from heaven to begin their ministry.

18. There would seem to be only three men in the Bible who could fulfill these facts about the two witnesses.  They are Enoch, Elijah and Moses.  It appears that Elijah will be one of them as clearly predicted in Malachi 4:5-6.  John the Baptist was never Elijah, fulfilling this prophecy.  He said that he was not Elijah (John 1:21).  He only came in the same spirit and power of Elijah to prepare the hearts of the people for the Messiah's first coming in the way that Elijah will prepare their hearts for the second coming of the Messiah (Luke 1:17)

And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead. [10] And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? [11] And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. [12] But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. [13] Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist (Matt.17:9-13).

Enoch also was transported so that he would not experience death in his lifetime on earth (Genesis 5:21-24; Hebrews 11:5; 2 Kings 2).  All three were prophets of judgment (Jude 1:14-15; 1 Kings 17-18).  Both must come back and die their own appointed death on earth, as all men must who live before the rapture (Hebrews 9:27; 1 Cor.15:51-58).  If either Enoch, Elijah, or Moses had been transported in immortal, glorified bodies, they would have been the firstfruits of the resurrection instead of Christ (1 Cor.15:20-23).  This proves they are in heaven in their natural bodies.  They will continue there until their return to fulfill Rev.11.  The lives of Enoch, Elijah and Moses are parallel in every sense, so their cases rise or fall together as to being potentially the two witnesses.

How could Moses be one of the two witnesses and not contradict the Scriptures of Heb.9:27 and 1Cor.15:20?  In order to understand these passages we must first understand the actual meaning behind Heb.9:27 and 1Cor.15:20.

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the  judgement:

But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

With this in mind, how do we qualify all those who have been raised  from the dead by  Jesus as well as the Prophets?  For example, Lazarus was raised from the dead by Jesus.

These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend  Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. [12] Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. [13] Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had  spoken of taking of rest  in sleep (John 11:11-13).

And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth (John 11:43).

Jesus even tarried until the forth day to prove to all the Jews who witnessed this wonder of power that Lazarus was indeed dead.  The Jewish Rabbis held to an idea that the spirit wandered about the sepulchre for three days, called days of weeping, seeking an opportunity to return to the body.  When decomposition set in on the fourth day, the spirit left the grave and the people beat their breasts in loud lamentations four days, making seven days of mourning (Genesis 27:41).

Be advised however, Lazarus’ raising from the dead must be in accordance with 1Cor.15:20.  To this end, Lazarus’ spirit of life had to be placed back into his existing natural body.  As such, Lazarus was to die again.

            But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus
            also to  death;
(John 12:10)

Therefore, how must we then define death?  Death becomes a three part process.
1. A person dies as a result of a malfunction of the physical body or God
    requires the individuals soul and spirit as that of the rich man (Luke 12:20).
2. The spirit of life and soul separate and depart from the natural physical body
    never to return to it.
3. The physical body then sees corruption or decay.

It is at the destruction of the physical body in point number three, where any individual raised from the dead must receive a glorified body.

How does this relate to Moses?  The Scriptures teach us:

So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according, to the word of the Lord. [6] And he buried him in a alley in the land of Moab, over against Beth-peor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day (Deut. 34:5-6).

Then we must ask the question, did God preserve the natural body of Moses to be used by Himself at a later time.  We find in the New Testament book of Jude that Satan fought for the body of Moses.

Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed  about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing  accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke the (Jude 1:19).

Thus, we have already determined that death must be a process and therefore if Moses’ body did not see corruption, decay, would there be any difference in raising him from the dead as Lazarus or others who were returned to life by Jesus and the Prophets?  We find in the Scriptures, that many years after the death of Moses he once again makes an appearance with Elijah to confer with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration.

And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. [4] Then answered Peter, and said  unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias (Matt.17:3-4).

In summary, we are left with three realistic possibilities in trying to determine who has the potential of becoming the final two witnesses of the gospel to His chosen people Israel.