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. 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.
What was given to John?
1a Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod.
What is reed like a measuring rod?
It means measuring rod/stick/tape used to measure the house, land, etc.
NTL: Rev 11:1-2 - 1 Then I was given a measuring stick, and I was told, "Go and measure the Temple of God and the altar, and count the number of worshipers. 2 But do not measure the outer courtyard, for it has been turned over to the nations. They will trample the holy city for 42 months.
Who is talking to John?
1b And the angel stood, saying,
Is angel specified in the verse?
Recent Greek Bible does not include "the angel stood" so NASB, NIV, NLT does not have these details.
NASB: Rev 11:1-2 - 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.
NIV: Rev 11:1-2 - 1 I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, "Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, and count the worshipers there. 2 But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months
Who is this angel?
This is the another mighty angel John saw in Rev 10. As we saw in Rev 10 this mighty angel is Jesus Christ himself continue revealing the mystery to John.
What John was requested to do?
1c "Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. 2a But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles.
What temple is this?
Is this temple refers to Church or Church building?
We are spiritually one in Christ and forms the one body called Church. Like temple in Old Testament there is no importance given to the church building because any place can be called Church only if there is group of believers in Christ gathered. Then building in itself is not holy but the believers bring that holiness because God lives within believers. So, a believer in Christ is also called as Temple of God and temple of the Holy Spirit. Also there is no separation between Jews and Gentiles if they both believe in Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:16 - 16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 - 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.
1 Corinthians 12:13 - For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free--and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.
Romans 12:4-5 - 4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another
1 Peter 2:5 - 4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Eph 2:14-22 - 14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. 19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone, 21 in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
NLT: Eph 2:16-22 - 14 For Christ himself has made peace between us Jews and you Gentiles by making us all one people. He has broken down the wall of hostility that used to separate us. 15 By his death he ended the whole system of Jewish law that excluded the Gentiles. His purpose was to make peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new person from the two groups. 16 Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death, and our hostility toward each other was put to death. 17 He has brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and to us Jews who were near. 18 Now all of us, both Jews and Gentiles, may come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us. 19 So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God's holy people. You are members of God's family. 20 We are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. 21 We who believe are carefully joined together, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. 22 Through him you Gentiles are also joined together as part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit.
Here in this passage it clearly says the temple is physically located in holy city, it has altar and Jews/believers/worshipers of our God worshiping inside the temple and Gentiles are outside the temple.
Rev 11:11-2 - 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. 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.
(Warren Wiersbe) To spiritualize Revelation 11:1-2 and make the temple refer to the church creates a number of serious problems. For one thing, how could John measure an invisible body of people even if the church were sill on earth? If the temple is the church, then who are the worshipers and what is the altar? And since the church unites Jess and Gentiles in one body (Eph 2:11ff). Why are the Gentiles segregated in this temple? It seems wisest to interpret this temple as an actual building in the holy city of Jerusalem (Neh 11:1, 18; Dan 9:24).
(David Guzik) The identity of this temple is an important matter of interpretation. Many see this temple as a symbol of the church.
Paul describes the church as a temple: Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. (Ephesians 2:19-21)
Peter describes the church as a temple: You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house. (1 Peter 2:5)
However, if this temple in Revelation 11 is a symbolic representation of the church, why should it be measured? What is the significance of the courts and the altar - and if the church itself is the temple, who are the worshippers (those who worship there)? There is too much specific detail here for this to be using the generalized picture of the church as a temple unto God.
So the temple of God here not refers to Church or Church building. Also we all know that Church as body not exist at this time during the middle of the Great Tribulation, they are rapture (taken up) to heaven just before the 7 year Great Tribulation starts. This we have seen at the beginning of Revelation Chapter 4.
Is this temple refers to the Temple of God existed during Jesus time?
Luke 21:37-38 - 37 And in the daytime He was teaching in the temple, but at night He went out and stayed on the mountain called Olivet. 38 Then early in the morning all the people came to Him in the temple to hear Him.
Matt 21:12-14 - 12 Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 13 And He said to them, "It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer,' but you have made it a 'den of thieves.' " 14 Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them.
Is that during Jesus time temple exist now?
With the Fall of Jerusalem on 70 A.D. this temple also completely destroyed. (Following taken from: http://focusonjerusalem.com/thefallofjerusalem.html)
About 40 years later, (32AD-70AD) and exactly as prophesied by Jesus Christ, the magnificent "Herod's Temple" was completely destroyed, leaving not one stone upon another. It was an event that marked the beginning of the long and arduous Jewish Diaspora. Yet, it was definitely an event foreseen in Bible prophecy. Jesus not only prophesied about the destruction of Jerusalem and its Holy Temple, but added the following statement: (Luke 21:24; and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.)
The Jewish zealots, reacting in opposition to Caligula’s campaign began a revolt against Rome, a revolt which led to Roman legion soldiers from Syria destroying the food stocks of the Zealots and the local Jewish population. The inhabitants of the city of Jerusalem died in great numbers via starvation. (Luke 21:20-23) Roman General Titus encircled the city, (later became Caesar) and began the siege of Jerusalem in April, A.D. 70. He posted his 10th legion on the Mount of Olives, directly east of and overlooking the Temple Mount. The 12th and 15th legions were stationed on Mount Scopus, further to the east and commanding all ways to Jerusalem from east to north. On the 10th of August, in A.D. 70 – (the 9th of Av) -- in Jewish calendar reckoning, the very day when the King of Babylon burned the Temple in 586 B.C., the Temple was burned again. Titus took the city and put it to the torch, burning the Temple, leaving not one stone upon another.
Thus, Jerusalem was totally destroyed and as Jesus had predicted, and not one stone was left upon another. When the Temple was set on fire the Roman soldiers tore apart the stone to get the melted gold. The Menorah and vessels were carried to Rome and the treasury was robbed. But perhaps the most astonishing prophecy about the destruction of Jerusalem by Rome is that it happened just as Daniel had predicted, in that the Temple was destroyed only after the Messiah had come, and not before he had presented himself to Israel! (Daniel 9:26) (Luke 19:41-45)
The modern city of Jerusalem has eleven gates, of which only seven gates are open. In fact the eastern gate has been sealed shut to symbolize the denial of entry to the Messiah into Jerusalem. That fact stands in stark contrast to the Biblical New Jerusalem which will have twelve open gates, gates that will never be shut. When Rome destroyed the ancient Temple of Israel, it left only the outer retaining wall of the Temple Mount platform and complex.. This outer wall shell, is known to Jews as the Kotel ha-Ma'aravi, and to most Westerners as the Western Wall. (wailing wall) Jews have flocked from around the world to pray at the Wailing Wall for centuries. Jews place many scraps of paper (kvitlach) containing prayers into the crevices of the 65-foot high wall, hoping for answers to prayer. Like Israel’s prophets of old, Jews continue today to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Three times a day for thousands of years Jews have prayed "To Jerusalem, thy city, shall we return with joy," and have repeated the Psalmist's oath: "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning."
Matt 24:1-2 - 1 Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. 2 And Jesus said to them, "Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down." 3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?"
Luke 19:41-45 - 41 Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, "If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, 44 and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation."
Luke 19:41-45 - 41 But as they came closer to Jerusalem and Jesus saw the city ahead, he began to cry. 42 "I wish that even today you would find the way of peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from you. 43 Before long your enemies will build ramparts against your walls and encircle you and close in on you. 44 They will crush you to the ground, and your children with you. Your enemies will not leave a single stone in place, because you have rejected the opportunity God offered you." 45 Then Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the merchants from their stalls.
Luke 21:5-7 - 5 Then, as some spoke of the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and donations, He said, 6 "These things which you see--the days will come in which not one stone shall be left upon another that shall not be thrown down." 7 So they asked Him, saying, "Teacher, but when will these things be? And what sign will there be when these things are about to take place?"
NLT: Luke 21:20-24 - 20 "But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. 22 For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. 23 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. 24 And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
Dan 9:26 - 26 "And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined. 27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate."
What exist now were the old temple exist during Jesus time?
There is no temple exist at present. But there is a Muslim Mosque called Dome of the Rock built on top/adjacent to the earlier location of the Temple. It is was erected by the Muslim ruler Abd el-Malik in 688-691AD. Because of its situation on bedrock, the numerous earthquakes over the centuries have not caused significant damage to the structure (unlike its neighbor Al Aqsa mosque). This shrine was covered by a lead dome from 691 until it was replaced with a gold-colored covering in 1965. Because of rust, the anodized aluminum cover was again replaced in 1993 with a gold covering.
Is this temple referred here in Rev 11:1 is a new temple?
Yes, going to build at the beginning for 7 year Great Tribulation period. This temple is the fulfillment of what Daniel, Jesus, and Paul said about the abomination of desolation.
Dan 9:27b - Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate."
Daniel 11:31 - And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation.
Dan 12:11 - And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days.
Matt 24:15 - "Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
Mark 13:14 - "So when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not" (let the reader understand), "then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
2 Thes 2:4 - 1 Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. 5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Revelation 13:5-8 - 5 And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. 6 Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. 7 It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. 8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world
Revelation 13:15 - He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.
(David Guzik) It is more likely that this is the temple that must be on the earth for the fulfillment of what Daniel, Jesus, and Paul said about the abomination of desolation.
The prophet Daniel told us the Antichrist will break his covenant with the Jews and bring sacrifice and offerings to an end; the Antichrist will defile the temple by setting something abominable there (Daniel 9:27, 11:31, and 12:11).
Jesus said to look for an abomination standing in the holy place, which would be the pivotal sign that the season of God’s wrath was upon the earth (Matthew 24:15-16 and 24:21).
Paul told us that the Antichrist would sit in the temple as God (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).
The concept of the abomination of desolation is often spiritualized with explaining it as idolatrous worship established in the hearts of God’s people (His “temple”). But in what sense can people be called God’s temple if they worship the Antichrist - an emissary of Satan himself? Certainly, this isn’t the most plain or straightforward interpretation. The simplest explanation of all these passages is to see a real Jewish temple in Jerusalem, yet to be built – but coming soon.
When this will be built?
We do not know exact date and timing but it will happen once the Church/believers in Christ are Rapture (taken up) to heaven. Once the one world Government starts by Antichrist. Once the 7 year Great Tribulation starts.
Matt 24:36-44 - 36 "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
Who builds this temple?
One world Government leader called Antichrist make covenant with Israel/Jews and come up with plan to build this temple. Israel/Jews build this temple with the support/protection of Antichrist. (Rev 6:2, Dan 9:27a)
(David Guzik) In point of fact, today there are Jews very interested in rebuilding the temple and resuming sacrifice, and are making preparations to do that exact thing even now.
Today you can visit the Temple Institute in the Jewish Quarter of the old city in Jerusalem. There, a group of Jews absolutely dedicated to rebuilding the temple attempt to educate the public and raise awareness for a new temple. They are trying to replicate everything they can for a new temple, down to the specific pots and pans used for sacrifice.
Israel is a nation again, and efforts to rebuild the temple are for real. The main Jewish group leading the charge to rebuild the temple is an organization called Faithful of the Temple Mount, who say they will continue their efforts to re-establish the Jewish temple on the Mount. One leader in the group said, “We shall continue our struggle until the Israeli flag is flying from the Dome of the Rock.” In Israel, there are students being trained for the priesthood, learning how to conduct animal sacrifices in the rebuilt temple.
It is important to understand that most Jews – religious or secular – do not care one bit about building a temple. And if there were one rebuilt, sacrifice would be difficult in a day of aggressive animal rights activists! Yet, there is a small, strong, highly dedicated group who live to see a rebuilt temple – a temple which will fulfill prophecy.
Rightly, Christians get excited when they see efforts to rebuild the temple. At the same time, we should understand that the basic impulse behind rebuilding the temple is not of God at all – the desire to have a place to sacrifice for sin. Christians believe that all sacrifice for sin was finished at the cross, and any further sacrifice for sin is an offense to God, because it denies the finished work of Jesus on the cross.
Orthodox Jews consider that the Messiah will rebuild the temple; however, the man they may initially embrace as their Messiah may in fact be the Antichrist:
John 5:43 - I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive.
Where this temple will be built?
In the holy city i.e. Jerusalem in Israel. Read What is the holy city here refers to? notes for more details.
Is this God's temple or God ordained temple?
Even though here in this passage says temple of God but this Temple generally called Temple during the Great Tribulation. It is also called Antichrist's Temple because he will defile it by setting up his image in the Holy of Holies. This blasphemous act is known in the Bible as "the abomination of desolation". Since God gathers these Israelites now and God might bless this temple to use this to bring them to saving knowledge and save them through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and seal them as referred in Rev 7.
Why Jews are so eager to build the temple of God?
Since they didn't believe Jesus is the atonement sacrifice so they still believe they need scarifies to wash away their sins.
Also they know that the Messiah will build the temple as prophesized in Ezekiel 40-44.
They are trying to fulfill that God's prophesy in Ezekiel 40-44 on their own time...
But this God's temple will come during Lord's Millennial reign after 2nd coming of our Lord Jesus.
Application: We also try to fulfill God's Prophesy towards us in our own timing instead of waiting upon Him and allow God to fulfill in own time.
Gal 4:22-23 - 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. 23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise,
Who worships in this temple?
144,000 Jews/Israel might have worshiping before they are sealed and now after they have sealed in Rev 7 for initial 3.5 years of 7 year Great Tribulation.
Rev 7:3-4 - 3 saying, "Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads." 4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed:
After 3.5 years they will be persecuted by Satan/Antichrist and God will provide them a safe place until they come to heaven at Rev 14.
Rev 13:13-17 - 13 Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. 14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. 15 So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. 16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Rev 14:1-2 - 1 Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father's name written on their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps.
Where Gentiles worship?
2a But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles.
The entire Temple compound was considered holy, but it became increasingly more holy as one entered farther in, from east to west. King Herod had enclosed the outer court with colonnades and it was referred to as the Court of the Gentiles because the "gentiles" (non-Jews) were permitted to enter the Temple area. They could walk within in it but they were forbidden to go any further than the outer court. They were excluded from entering into any of the inner courts, and warning signs in Greek and Latin were placed that gave warning that the penalty for such trespass was death. The Romans permitted the Jewish authorities to carry out the death penalty for this offence, even if the offender were a Roman citizen. It was for this alleged crime that Paul was attacked and nearly beaten to death by an angry crowd during his last visit to Jerusalem (Acts 21:27-32).
Acts 21:27-32 - 27 Now when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews from Asia, seeing him in the temple, stirred up the whole crowd and laid hands on him, 28 crying out, "Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against the people, the law, and this place; and furthermore he also brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place." 29 (For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian with him in the city, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.) 30 And all the city was disturbed; and the people ran together, seized Paul, and dragged him out of the temple; and immediately the doors were shut. 31 Now as they were seeking to kill him, news came to the commander of the garrison that all Jerusalem was in an uproar. 32 He immediately took soldiers and centurions, and ran down to them. And when they saw the commander and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul
The Temple precincts was divided into 4 courts:
The Court of the Priests
The Court of Israel
The Court of the Women
The Court of the Gentiles
What Gentiles do and How long?
2b And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months.
What is the holy city here refers to?
Jerusalem in Israel. Always temple of God is located in Jerusalem and it is also called holy city.
Nehemiah 11:1 - 1 Now the leaders of the people dwelt at Jerusalem; the rest of the people cast lots to bring one out of ten to dwell in Jerusalem, the holy city, and nine-tenths were to dwell in other cities. 2 And the people blessed all the men who willingly offered themselves to dwell at Jerusalem. 3 These are the heads of the province who dwelt in Jerusalem. (But in the cities of Judah everyone dwelt in his own possession in their cities--Israelites, priests, Levites, Nethinim, and descendants of Solomon's servants.)
Matthew 4:5 - Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple,
Matthew 27:53 - and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.
Rev 11:8 - 7 When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. 8 And 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.
What it means that Gentiles will tread the holy city underfoot? and How long?
The Gentiles or all other Nations will take over Israel and trample the city as they want.
We are in the middle of the 7 year Great Tribulation. So, rest of the 3.5 years (42 months) are given completely to Gentiles or all other Nations.
(Warren Wiersbe) Jerusalem is then overrun by the Gentiles for forty-two months, the last half of the Tribulation.
The outer court need not be measured because it has been given to the Gentiles. Perhaps this is because the outer courts of this rebuilt temple include the Islamic Dome of the Rock shrine, which currently stands on the temple mount and is a point of great contention between Jews and Muslims.
When the city of Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 a.d. by the Romans, they destroyed the city so completely that the foundations of the old temple are not easily found. Most have long assumed that the Dome of the Rock shrine stands on the place of the old temple. But new research gives some evidence that the temple may have stood to the north where the Dome of the Rock shrine is today, and that if the temple were to be rebuilt at its old place, the Dome of the Rock shrine would be in its outer courts. If this is the case (and the research is by no means settled), then it would explain why the angel told John leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles.
The holy city (Jerusalem) will be tread underfoot for a period of forty-two months, which equals 1260 days (three and one-half years). This “trampling” by Gentiles probably takes place in the last half of the final seven year period described by Daniel 11:26-27 - when the Antichrist pours out his fury on the people of Israel (as described in Revelation 12:13-17 and Matthew 24:15-28).
Greek scholar A.T. Robertson says that to tread underfoot means “to trample with contempt.” (contempt means 1. the feeling with which a person regards anything considered mean, vile, or worthless; disdain; scorn. 2. the state of being despised; dishonor; disgrace.)
Luke 21:20-24 - 20 "But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. 22 For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. 23 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. 24 And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
Rom 11:25-26 - 25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
Why John was requested to measure?
(David Guzik) Sometimes in the Old Testament, the idea of measuring communicates ownership, protection, and preservation.
When Habakkuk prophesies, He stood and measured the earth (Habakkuk 3:6), the idea is that the Lord owns the earth and can do with it as He pleases. When this temple is measured, it shows that God knows its every dimension, and He is in charge.
In Ezekiel 40-43, there is an extended passage where a temple is measured. The temple in Ezekiel is the temple of the millennial earth, but this temple seems to be before that temple. The temple in Ezekiel is measured extensively, including the outer courts (Ezekiel 40:17-19)
There are a few other Biblical examples of measuring. In Zechariah 2, a man measures Jerusalem, a scene that evidently shows God’s coming judgment on the city. In Revelation 21, the New Jerusalem is measured.
(Warren Wiersbe) John's measurement of the temple is a symbolic action. To measure something means to claim it for yourself. When we sold our house in Chicago, the new owners brought in an architect to measure various areas and recommend possible changes. Had the architect shown up previous to the buyers' commitment, we would have thrown him out. The Lord was saying through John, " I own this city and this temple, and I claim both for Myself!" The Old Testament background is found in Ezekiel 40-41 and Zechariah 2:1-3.
Zechariah 2:1-5 - 1 Then I raised my eyes and looked, and behold, a man with a measuring line in his hand. 2 So I said, "Where are you going?" And he said to me, "To measure Jerusalem, to see what is its width and what is its length." 3 And there was the angel who talked with me, going out; and another angel was coming out to meet him, 4 who said to him, "Run, speak to this young man, saying: 'Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls, because of the multitude of men and livestock in it. 5 For I,' says the Lord, 'will be a wall of fire all around her, and I will be the glory in her midst.' "
Does this measuring means anything significant?
Antichrist trample this place Jerusalem in Israel and claim himself as God and do whatever he likes until The LORD Comes and Reigns
Zech 14:1-4 - 1 Behold, the day of the Lord is coming, And your spoil will be divided in your midst. 2 For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; The city shall be taken, The houses rifled, And the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, But the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3 Then the Lord will go forth And fight against those nations, As He fights in the day of battle. 4 And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south.
(Warren Wiersbe) What John did was especially significant because the Gentiles had taken over Jerusalem. Antichrist had broken his agreement with Israel (Dan 9:27) and now he was about to use the temple for his own diabolical purposes (2 Thes 2:3-4). All of this will be elaborated in Revelation 13. "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles," said Jesus, "until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled" (Luke 21:24). The "times of the Gentiles" began to devastate Judah and Jerusalem, and it will continue until Jesus Christ returns to deliver the Holy City and redeem Israel (Zech. 14).
Even though it seams that Antichrist has taken over that place but it belongs to God and He will soon come and take over that place and He asking John to do that by measuring this temple. That is the reason on the beginning of the 3rd woe elders are singing like this. This reminds that He is Almighty God.
Rev 11:15 - Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!"
David Guzik) God is in charge. This is one of the glorious, mighty themes of the Book of Revelation. Revelation 11:17 again uses the title Almighty for God. The Greek word for Almighty is pantokrater, and it describes “the one who has his hand on everything.” Nine out of the ten times this word is used in the New Testament, it is used in Revelation. This temple will be the scene of great horror and great glory, but God is in charge of it all!
Application: Satan can try to crush us in all that we do but God already judged him and He will put him under our feet. The trials we go through are temporary.
Rom 16:20 - And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
1 Peter 1:6-9 - 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 receiving the end of your faith--the salvation of your souls.
Finally.... Pray that before we see this temple we should have taken up (rapture) to heaven. Make sure that your salvation is on the firm foundation and you are growing in the grace of God:
1 John 5:13 - These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.
2 Cor 13:5-6 - 5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?--unless indeed you are disqualified. 6 But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified.
If you are not sure then commit your life to Jesus Christ and allow Him to come into your heart:
John 3:16-18 - 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Romans 10:9-11 - 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame."
Two Witness from Heaven:
3 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth." 4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth. 5 And 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. 6 These 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. 7 When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. 8 And 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. 9 Then 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. 10 And 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. 11 Now 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. 12 And 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. 13 In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven. 14 The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe is coming quickly.
What more revelation John received after he requested to measure the temple and worshipers?
3 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth." 4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth. 5 And 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. 6 These 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.
Whose witness are they? Who will give power to them? Is "I" and "my" here represent Angel, Jesus or God the Father?
3a And I will give power to my two witnesses ... 4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth.
There is no doubt these are witnesses of our God not the angels's witness:
Is 43:10,12 - 9 Let all the nations be gathered together, And let the people be assembled. Who among them can declare this, And show us former things? Let them bring out their witnesses, that they may be justified; Or let them hear and say, "It is truth." 10 "You are My witnesses," says the Lord, "And My servant whom I have chosen, That you may know and believe Me, And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, Nor shall there be after Me. 11 I, even I, am the Lord, And besides Me there is no savior. 12 I have declared and saved, I have proclaimed, And there was no foreign god among you; Therefore you are My witnesses," Says the Lord, "that I am God.
Whose witnesses are we?
We are always testimonies or witnesses to our Almighty God the Father, Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
We are never considered to be the witnesses to the apostles, any disciples, pastors, any big preachers, bishops, pops, or to any Christian leaders, even to any angels...
Acts 1:8 - But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."
1 Cor 11:1 - Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.
NIV: 1 Cor 11:1 - Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
NLT: 1 Cor 11:1 - And you should follow my example, just as I follow Christ's.
Here "I" and "My" definitely points to Jesus or the God the Father. There is no prefix added by this angel saying "sound from heaven", "Seven thunders uttered", "Thus says the Lord" or "Says the Lord", etc... Rev 11:1 starts with "And the angel stood, saying" and Rev11:3 continues with "And I will give power to my two witnesses".
Based on this the mighty angel whom John saw in Revelation 10 is Jesus Christ.
Rev 11:1-3 - 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. 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. 3 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth."
Like in Revelation chapter 1 here Jesus didn't reveal His glory fully so John might have not identified explicitly that this angel as our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Similar thing happened to believers on the way to Emmaus in Luke 24:13-35.
Luke 24:16,31 - 16 But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him. .... .... ... 30 Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight. 32 And they said to one another, "Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?"
What do they do? How do they testify God or serve our God?
3 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth." .... 5 And 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. 6 These 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.
The character of their ministry is prophetic (they will prophesy); they preach and demonstrate repentance (clothed in sackcloth), and they have an effective ministry (I will give power).
The two witnesses indeed ministry with power. “Such power, in fact, that they are able to witness for 1,260 days in spite of the antagonism of the world.” (Walvoord)
The two witnesses have special protection from God, similar to Elijah’s in 2 Kings 1.
The two witnesses have the power to bring both drought and plague, similar to the power Elijah (James 5:17-18) and Moses (Exodus 7-12) had.
(Warren Wiersbe) Their witness is related to Israel and the temple. How tragic that the power of God and temple. How tragic that the power of God and the Word of God will be outside the temple and not within as in former ages. Like the temple that Jesus left, that new house will be desolate (see matt 23:38). These two men are specifically called prophets (Rev 11:3,6), and I take this to mean prophetic ministry in the Old Testament sense, calling the nations to repent and return to the true God of Israel.
Does God limit them to do only certain tasks?
No, God has given complete liberty to them but surely and truly they will do anything as per the God's plan and will.
Application: What about us? Does God limit us to do only certain tasks?
He has freed us and given us liberty and expects us to do greater things than Him but He will grant as per His plan:
John 14:12-14 - 12 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.
1 John 5:14 - 14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
Who are these two witnesses?
3 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth." 4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth.
Is there any clue it is given hear in this passage?
Who are they?, Is it men or women? Where they came from?, Where they born?, or etc.
(David Guzik) In the ancient Greek grammar, all the nouns used to speak of the two witnesses in this passage are in the masculine gender. The two witnesses are definitely two men.
One simple easy way is just assume that they are two followers of God from Israel since they are in holy city Jerusalem.
But the real approach is to find some clue or details from the rest of the scriptures in the Bible.
Application: For this reason whether you understand or not we need to read through the Bible without skipping any portion of the Bible. Deep Bible study is must at the same time shallow reading also must. By doing this we will grow in the grace of God and we will become mature enough to connect the dots by ourselves without fully dependent on preacher or commentaries.
2 Timothy 4:3-4 - 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
2 Tim 3:16-17 - 16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Eph 4:14 - 11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head--Christ-- 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
Acts 17:11 - 10 Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. 12 Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men.
Following few scriptures provides more details:
John 1:21 - And they asked him (John the Baptist), "What then? Are you Elijah?" He said, "I am not." "Are you the Prophet?" And he answered, "No."
Same thing others said and disciples asked Jesus in
Matt 16:14 - 13 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?" 14 So they said, "Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." 15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" 16 Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." 17 Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
Matt 17:10-13 - 10 And His disciples asked Him, saying, "Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?"
Why they are asking or relating John the Baptist and Jesus to Elijah?
Malachi 4:5 - (The Day of the LORD) 1 "For behold, the day is coming, Burning like an oven, And all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up," Says the Lord of hosts, "That will leave them neither root nor branch. 2 But to you who fear My name The Sun of Righteousness shall arise With healing in His wings; And you shall go out And grow fat like stall-fed calves. 3 You shall trample the wicked, For they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet On the day that I do this," Says the Lord of hosts. 4 "Remember the Law of Moses, My servant, Which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, With the statutes and judgments. 5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. 6 And he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse."
Did Elijah already come?
John 1:21,24 - 21 And they asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" He said, "I am not." "Are you the Prophet?" And he answered, "No." 22 Then they said to him, "Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?" 23 He said: "I am 'The voice of one crying in the wilderness: "Make straight the way of the Lord," ' as the prophet Isaiah said." 24 Now those who were sent were from the Pharisees. 25 And they asked him, saying, "Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?" 26 John answered them, saying, "I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know. 27 It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose."
Elijah will come in future just before the Jesus 2nd coming. Same way Elijah has already come in Spirit form as said in Luke 1:17 through John the Baptist just before the Jesus 1st coming as Jesus said in Matt 11:14; 17:10-13.
Luke 1:17 -12 And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. 13 But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. 15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, 'to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,' and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."
Matt 17:10-13 - 10 And His disciples asked Him, saying, "Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?" 11 Jesus answered and said to them, "Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things. 12 But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished. Likewise the Son of Man is also about to suffer at their hands." 13 Then the disciples understood that He spoke to them of John the Baptist.
Matt 11:14 - 13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 14 And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come. 15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
It is clear one of the two witnesses here is Elijah.
Who is the 2nd witness of God?
Is anyone in History not died but taken up (raptured) to heaven before Jesus Christ?
Enoch and Elijah not died but has taken up (raptured) to heaven.
Genesis 5:24 - 21 Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Methuselah. 22 After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. 23 So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. 24 And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.
Hebrews 11:5 - By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, "and was not found, because God had taken him"; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
Jude 14 - Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints,
2 Kings 2:1, 11 - 1 And it came to pass, when the Lord was about to take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. .... 11 Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
What about Moses? Did he died or taken up to heaven? If he died where is his grave?
Matt 17:1-8 - (The Transfiguration) 1 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; 2 and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. 3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. 4 Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." 5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!" 6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. 7 But Jesus came and touched them and said, "Arise, and do not be afraid." 8 When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.
Deut 34:5 - 1 Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is across from Jericho. And the Lord showed him all the land of Gilead as far as Dan, 22 all Naphtali and the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Western Sea, 3 the South, and the plain of the Valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, as far as Zoar. 4 Then the Lord said to him, "This is the land of which I swore to give Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, 'I will give it to your descendants.' I have caused you to see it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there." 5 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 valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth Peor; but no one knows his grave to this day. 7 Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died. His eyes were not dim nor his natural vigor diminished.
Jude 9 - Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses,, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!"
The enemies of Moses were destroyed by fire (Numbers 16:35)
(David Guzik) Some believe the two witnesses must be Enoch and Elijah, because neither of them died a natural death and were instead carried to heaven, and Hebrews 9:27 says that it is appointed for men to die once - so Enoch and Elijah must return to die on the earth. This is a misunderstanding of Hebrews 9:27, which is a principle rather than an absolute, immutable law. For example, Lazarus and others were raised from the dead and apparently died twice - yet this does not disprove Hebrews 9:27. The entire church on earth at the time of the rapture will not die, but be carried to heaven. Hebrews 9:27 stands as a principle, and there are a few notable exceptions which ultimately serve to prove the rule, not deny it. There may be good reasons for considering Enoch and Elijah the two witnesses, but the principle of Hebrews 9:27 is not among those good reasons.
(Warren Wiersbe) Not only do these witnesses declare God's words, but they also do God's works and perform miracles of judgment, reminding us of both Moses and Elijah (Ex. 7:14-18; 1 Kings 17:1ff; 2 Kings 1:1-12). Some students cite Malachi 4:5-6 as evidence that one of the witnesses may be Elijah, but Jesus applied that prophecy to John the Baptist (Matt 17:10-13). John the Baptist, however, denied that he was Elijah returned to earth (John 1:21,25; see also Luke 1:16-17). This confusion may be explained in part by realizing that through out Israel's history, God sent special messengers - "Elijahs"- to call His people to repentance; so in this sense, Malachi's prophecy will be fulfilled by the witnesses.
Why these witnesses related or referred to olive trees and the lamp stands?
In Revelation 11:3 it clearly says that these are the two witnesses are anointed by God and they were sent to earth to testify God, These two witness are similar to Jesus and the Apostles. We can see the similar scene in Zechariah 4.
Zechariah 4(:1-14) -1 Now the angel who talked with me came back and wakened me, as a man who is wakened out of his sleep. 2 And he said to me, "What do you see?" So I said, "I am looking, and there is a lampstand of solid gold with a bowl on top of it, and on the stand seven lamps with seven pipes to the seven lamps. 3 Two olive trees are by it, one at the right of the bowl and the other at its left." 4 So I answered and spoke to the angel who talked with me, saying, "What are these, my lord?" 5 Then the angel who talked with me answered and said to me, "Do you not know what these are?" And I said, "No, my lord." 6 So he answered and said to me: "This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' Says the Lord of hosts. 7 'Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone With shouts of "Grace, grace to it!" ' " 8 Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying: 9 "The hands of Zerubbabel Have laid the foundation of this temple; His hands shall also finish it. Then you will know That the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you. 10 For who has despised the day of small things? For these seven rejoice to see The plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. They are the eyes of the Lord, Which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth." 11 Then I answered and said to him, "What are these two olive trees--at the right of the lampstand and at its left?" 12 And I further answered and said to him, "What are these two olive branches that drip into the receptacles of the two gold pipes from which the golden oil drains?" 13 Then he answered me and said, "Do you not know what these are?" And I said, "No, my lord." 14 So he said, "These are the two anointed ones, who stand beside the Lord of the whole earth.""
(Jon Courson) These two represent
Historically: Joshua the high priest and Zerubbabel.
Propheticaly: Two witnesses raised up during the Great Tribulation as in Revelation 11:3-14
Symbolically: Since these are anointed ones so they are Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit. Because anointed one means Christ/Messiah.
(Warren Wiersbe) Instead of relating the ministry of the witnesses to Moses and Elijah, the angel who spoke to John connected their ministry with Zerubbabel and Joshua the high priest (Zech 4). These two men helped to reestablish Israel in Palestine and to rebuild the temple. It was a discouraging task, and the Gentiles made it even more difficult; but God provided the special power they needed to get the work done. This truth is an encouragement to God's servants in all ages, for the work of the Lord is never easy.
Same way God might have used these two witnesses to rebuild this Great Tribulation period temple of God.
(David Guzik) The witnesses have an unique, continual empowering from the Holy Spirit, as shown in Zechariah’s olive trees and oil lamps picture (Zechariah 4:2-3, 4:14).
The passage from Zechariah had its first application to two men in Zechariah’s day: Joshua (high priest - Zech 3) and Zerubbabel. “Just as these two witnesses were raised up to be lampstands or witnesses for God and were empowered by olive oil representing the power of the Holy Spirit, so the two witnesses of Revelation 11 will likewise execute their prophetic office.” (Walvoord)
In the picture from Zechariah, oil lamps are filled directly from olive trees which “pipe” oil right to the lamps. This is a picture of continual, abundant supply. If we will be witnesses, we must first have something to witness – our own personal encounter with Jesus Christ. Then, we must have the power of the Holy Spirit to bring forth the story of what we have witnessed effectively.
“In this book of the Revelation the Holy Ghost borrows all the elegancies and flowers in the story of the Old Testament, thereby to set out the story of the New in succeeding ages.” (Trapp)
Church in Rev 1:12,13,20 symbolize lampstands and lamps of fire in these lampstands represent the Holy Spirit or Spirit of God as in Rev 4:5. Same way here these two witnesses are the lampstands and olive trees (which provides oil/power via Holy Spirit). From the day one of their ministry/mission they were anointed by the power the Holy Spirit.
Rev 1:12,13,20 - 12 Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands 13 and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band........... 20 The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.
Rev 4:5 - An And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
How long do they live, and be witnesses/testify our God?
3 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth."
They will be killed as said in Rev 11:7 before the 3rd woe starts in Rev 11:15 i.e. they will be killed at the middle of the 7 year Great Tribulation period.
So these two witness will show up or start they ministry at the beginning of 7 year Great Tribulation period with their support the temple of God might have built.
What happen when they finish their testimony?
7 When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. 8 And 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. 9 Then 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. 10 And 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.
How and Why the two witness lost in this war? Don't they have power given by God to devour/kill their enemies as said in Rev 11:5?
7a When they finish their testimony,
Rev 11:5 - And 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.
Yes, they had power and authority to protect themselves until they finish their testimony or ministry in this earth.
God appoints their time and when it comes to an end He allows the beast to kill or win. From this point on God given more power and authority to the Satan and Antichrist who is the beast from the bottomless pit.
(Warren Wiersbe) This comes only when they have finished their testimony. God's obedient servants are immortal until their work is done.
Who make war against them?
7b the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them,
Who is this the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit?
Rev 9:11 - 2 And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. So the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit. ............... 11 And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon.
Rev 13:1-2 - 1 Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. 2 Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.
Rev 17:8 - 8 The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. 9 Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. 10 There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time. 11 And the beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition. 12 The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast.
It is clear that Satan (dragon in Rev 9,12,13) through Antichrist (the beast Rev 13,17,19) does all these things.
Who wins the war? and What is the outcome?
7c overcome them, and kill them.
When the beast war against them? How the beast kill them?
Rev 13:3-7 - 3 And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. 4 So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?" 5 And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. 6 Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. 7 I It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.
(Warren Wiersbe) "The beast" (Antichrist) is now in power and wants to take over the temple; but he cannot succeed until the two witnesses are out of the way. God will permit him to slay them, for not one will be able to make war against "the beast" and win (Rev 13:4).
(David Guzik) The two witnesses are killed by the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit (first introduced in Revelation 9:11, most likely Satan himself) but their ministry is not cut short. They fully accomplish their task (when they finish their testimony).
Praise God, we cannot be taken off of this earth until we finish our testimony. The devil does not have power over our lives. We are witnesses of the Lord, and He will protect us until our testimony is finished.
This passage illustrates the difference between being a witness and giving testimony. Witness is not something we do; it is something we are. Giving testimony is what a witness does.
Application: Read the topic God given life is Purpose Driven Life in Rev 3:2 notes.
Same way God created us for a purpose and saved us for a purpose that uniquely prepared for us before the foundation of this earth.
Jer 29:11 - For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 In those days when you pray, I will listen
Eph 2:10 - 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
2Tim 1:9 - who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,
God expect us to put efforts to complete the task or fulfill the purpose that he prepared for:
NIV: Revelation 3:2 - Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God
Luke 9:23 - Then He said to them all, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
Mat 6:33 - 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Col 4:12 - Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete (Gk: pleroo) in all the will of God.
God also work on our behalf and help us to complete the work:
Heb 13:20-21 - 20 Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
2 Thes 1:11 - Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill (Gk: pleroo) all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power,
Phil 1:6 - being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ
Rom 8:28 - And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Where their dead bodies lie?
8 And 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.
Which is this city?
No doubt this great city is Jerusalem in Israel.
Why this city is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt?
They both represent the worldly sinful city not Godly city.
It is similar to identify/represent Las Vegas as Sin city.
(Warren Wiersbe) Jerusalem is called a "great city" (Rev 11:8); and from a human viewpoint, this is a true statement. But God looks at men and nations from a spiritual viewpoint. To Him, Jerusalem will be considered as polluted and worldly as Sodom and as rebellious and proud as Egypt.
(David Guzik) The two witnesses are killed in the city of Jerusalem, which is described in three illustrative terms.
As Sodom, speaking of immorality
As Egypt, speaking of oppression and slavery
As the great city, a term often applied to “Babylon,” the headquarters of Antichrist (Revelation 16:19, 17:18, 18:10, 18:16, 18:18, 18:19, 18:21)
If, during the first three and one-half years, Jerusalem’s leadership is in league with the Antichrist, it is easy to see how these titles apply. Any city in love with the Antichrist, or entering into a covenant with him, could be called Sodom, Egypt, and Babylon.
How long their dead bodies lie in the street? Who not allowed their dead bodies to be put into graves?
9 Then 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.
Are we to interpret the three-and-a-half days literally? Or does the phrase simply mean "after a short time"?
(Warren Wiersbe) It seems too specific to mean that. does it symbolize a longer period, say three-and-a-half years? It is not likely that tow dead bodies would be kept lying in a city street for more than three years. These days appear to be literal days, just as the forty-two months in Revelation 11;2 are literal months. The Bible does not explain why this length of time was chosen and it is useless for us to speculate.
What did the people who dwell on the earth do while their dead bodies in the street?
10a And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another,
(David Guzik) The earth sees and rejoices over the deaths of the two witnesses. The fact that this is seen by all people, tribes, tongues, and nations is perhaps an oblique prophecy of modern mass media.
It is amazing – and not far-fetched at all – to think of a live, worldwide broadcast on CNN, “Live from Jerusalem,” and seeing the amazing scene described here taking place.
Make merry, and send gifts to one another: Donald Grey Barnhouse tells of a Christmas card with Revelation 11:10 on its cover - a terrible misquoting of the Scriptures!
Why they did this? Why they didn't allow their dead bodies to bury in the grave?
10a because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.
(David Guzik) The preaching of these two witnesses and their call to repentance was a torment for many, because they could not stand to hear the truth while they loved their lie.
(Johnson) The idea is also that the world treats these two witnesses in a humiliating manner. “To have his dead body lie in view of all was the worst humiliation a person could suffer from his enemies.”
(Warren Wiersbe) The witnesses will not even be permitted decent burial (see Ps. 79:1-3). But even this indecency will be used by God to bear witness to mankind. No doubt the TV cameras in Jerusalem will transmit the scene to people around the world, and the news analysts will discuss its significance. The earth-dwellers will rejoice at their enemies' removal and will celebrate a "satanic Christmas" by sending gifts to one another. It thus would appear that the power of the two witnesses will not be limited to Jerusalem, but that they will be able to cause things to happen in other parts of the world.
Psalm 79:1-6 - 1 A Psalm of Asaph. O God, the nations have come into Your inheritance; Your holy temple they have defiled; They have laid Jerusalem in heaps. 2 The dead bodies of Your servants They have given as food for the birds of the heavens, The flesh of Your saints to the beasts of the earth. 3 Their blood they have shed like water all around Jerusalem, And there was no one to bury them. 4 We have become a reproach to our neighbors, A scorn and derision to those who are around us. 5 How long, Lord? Will You be angry forever? Will Your jealousy burn like fire? 6 Pour out Your wrath on the nations that do not know You, And on the kingdoms that do not call on Your name
Even after they have died they are taking revenge. They are not satisfied with their victory.
On seeing their bodies through TV, internet, satellite dish networks, radio, etc. they are enjoying this moment (their victory) bit by bit.
This shows that how long they were waiting and longing for this to happen.
Antichrist the beast who killed them might have left their body purposefully so that it reminds his power to the people. So he is the talk of the show. He is the man of the match.
In future every year they may celebrate this like Christmas instead of mourning like how we mourn every year for the 9/11 Twin Tower terrorist attach incident.
(Warren Wiersbe) These tow prophets will definitely have a relationship with Israel; and the world, for the most part, has not approved of the nation Israel. In the middle of the Tribulation, "the beast" will turn against Israel and begin to persecute the Jews. the two witnesses will not be around to protect the nation and a frightening anti-Semitic movement will ensue (to follow as a consequence;)
What happened after three-and-a-half days?
11 Now 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. 12 And 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. 13 In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven.
What happened first after three-and-a-half days?
11a Now after the three-and-a-half days the breath of life from God entered them,
Who gave this breath of life?
11b from God entered them
Breath of Life always comes from God!
What is Breath of Life?
Breath of life means breath need to live in this earth. God breathed on Adam and gave life and made us as a living being.
Gen 2:7 - And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
Ezekiel 37:9,10 - 6 I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord." ' " 7 So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them. 9 Also He said to me, "Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, 'Thus says the Lord God: "Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live." ' " 10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army. 11 Then He said to me, "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, 'Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!'
On their first sin they lost their privilege of having relationship with God or stops their free access to God.
When sin entered death entered the world.
Because of God's grace and mercy God provided covering of our sin and exempted from our physical death.
Adam (we) introduced the animal sacrifice first.
Gen 3:21 - Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.
Gen 3:7-11 - 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. 8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, "Where are you?" 10 So he said, "I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself." 11 And He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?"
Rom 6:23 - For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Jesus came and restored that back again through His death and resurrection.
John 20:22 - And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.
1 Cor 15:45 - 45 And so it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being." The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man. 50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption.
This is the reason Jesus said it is not just our normal physical birth is enough but we need to born again in His Holy Spirit.
John 3:3-6 - 1 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him." 3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." 4 Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" 5 Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
What did they do when they received their life back?
11c and they stood on their feet,
Did everyone rejoiced and Praise God on seeing this resurrection? Absolutely NO.
11c and great fear fell on those who saw them.
What happened after they resurrected from their death?
12a And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up here."
Who heard the loud voice "Come up here"?
11c and great fear fell on those who saw them. 12a And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up here."
Both two resurrected God's witnesses and those who saw these incident.
Whose voice is this?
This voice belongs to our God or Jesus Christ.
Rev 4:1 - After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, "Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this."
Rev 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last," and, "What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea."
What did the people who dwell on the earth see?
12b And they ascended to heaven in a cloud,
Does this scene resembles any other incidents, events or passage in the Bible?
Lord Jesus Christ was taken up to heaven from earth after the death and Resurrection.
Acts 1:9-11 - 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." 9 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven."
After Jesus resurrection many old testament saints resurrected and appeared to many in Jerusalem:
Matt 27:52-53 - 50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. 51 Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, 52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.
Enoch and Elijah not died has taken up to heaven:
Believers in Christ (Church) will be taken up to heaven similar to this before this 7 year Great Tribulation starts.
1 Thes 4:17 - 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up (raptus in latin and Rapture in English) together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
Jesus raised Lazarus from dead:
John 11:14,23-26,36-44 - 14 Then Jesus said to them plainly, "Lazarus is dead..............23 Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again." 24 Martha said to Him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day." 25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?" 27 She said to Him, "Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world."................. 39 Jesus said, "Take away the stone." Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, "Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days." 40 Jesus said to her, "Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?" 41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, "Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me." 43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth!" 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Loose him, and let him go."
What is the difference between Jesus' resurrection and Lazarus raised from dead?
Jesus is the first one to resurrected from dead to live forever and ever.
None above Him or Greater than Him.
Rom 8:29 - 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
He is pre-eminent among all those who are or will be resurrected.
Rev 1:5 - 4 John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, 5a and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,
Col 1:18 - And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
1 Cor 15:20-25 - 20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming. 24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.
Lazarus is not resurrected like Jesus did in John 20. Greek word used of resurrection is anastasis - 386
Lazarus resuscitated (re·sus·ci·tate - to revive, esp. from apparent death or from unconsciousness) to die again.
(David Guzik) Why did He wait four days? Jesus did this in light of the Jewish superstition of that day that said a soul stays near the grave for three days, hoping to return to the body. Therefore, it was accepted that after four days there was absolutely no hope of resuscitation.
And he who had died came out: Jesus fought death at Lazarus’ tomb, and plundered the grave, serving it notice that shortly He would completely conquer it. This was "coming attraction" for what would happen at the empty tomb of Jesus.
His face was wrapped with a cloth: Lazarus was not resurrected, but resuscitated. He arose bound in grave-clothes, for he would need them again; Jesus left His grave-clothes behind in His tomb, never again having need of them.
Jesus said to them, "Loose him, and let him go." Jesus did not miraculously whisk the grave-clothes off of Lazarus, but He asked attendants to do so. He did what only God could do, and looked for men’s cooperation for the completion of Lazarus’ deliverance.
Lazarus didn't metamorph/change/transformed from immortal body to mortal body like Jesus or believers in Christ. Greek word used to came forth is exerchomai - 1831 not the same word used for resurrection.
When believers are taken up (raptured) or resurrect they will be instantly changed from mortal body to immortal body.
1 Cor 15:40,41-45, 51-55 - 40 There are also celestial (heavenly) bodies and terrestrial (earthly) bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory. 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being." The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man. 50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed-- 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory." 55 "O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?" 56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
Lazarus died again later after 30 years of ministry for the Lord as a Bishop. Following taken from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lazarus_of_Bethany)
The Tomb of Lazarus is a traditional pilgrimage destination in the West Bank town of al-Eizariya near Jerusalem, traditionally identified as the biblical village of Bethany. The tomb is the purported site of the miracle recorded in the Gospel of John in which Jesus raises Lazarus of Bethany from the dead.
Later Lazarus became a Bishop of Kittim: Church of Ayios Lazaros in Larnaca, Cyprus, built over the reputed (second) tomb of Lazarus.According to Eastern Orthodox Church tradition, sometime after the Resurrection of Christ, Lazarus was forced to flee Judea because of rumoured plots on his life and came to Cyprus. There was appointed by Paul and Barnabas as the first bishop of Kittim (present-day Larnaka). He lived there for thirty more years and on his death was buried there for the second and last time.
According to tradition, Lazarus never smiled during the thirty years after his resurrection, worried by the sight of unredeemed souls he had seen during his four-day stay in Hades. The only exception was, when he saw someone stealing a pot, he smilingly said: "the clay steals the clay."
Who saw these?
12c and their enemies saw them.
What happened while the two witnesses ascended to heaven?
13a In the same hour there was a great earthquake,
What damage this earthquake caused?
13b and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed,
What did the people who dwell on the earth do while they experience this great earthquake, the city fell and people killed due to this disaster?
13c and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven.
Miraculously, the two witnesses are not only raised from the dead, but caught up into heaven! God rescues them from their enemies and gives a solemn witness to the watching world. The world's great joy suddenly becomes great fear. (Note the word great in Rev. 11, repeated eight times.)
Our Lord's friends watched Him ascend to heaven (Acts 1:9-12), but the witnesses' enemies will see them resurrected and will be shaken with fear. Their fear will increase when a great earthquake occurs, killing 7,000 men and destroying a tenth part of Jerusalem.
Who are these glorified the God of heaven?
Rev 11:9,10,12 - 9 Then 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. 10 And 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. ..... 12 And 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.
Are these 144,000 sealed by angels in Rev 7:3-8?
These are remaining Israelites in addition to those 144,000 sealed. Because those 144,000 sealed were go through the trumpet judgments but protects them especially the locust sting in Rev 9:4. Hopefully God used the two witness and those 144,000 sealed to reach out the remnant Israelites. So, that all Israel must have saved as it says in Romans 11:26a.
Rom 11:1,26a - 1 I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin........ 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; 27 For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins."
Did they get saved?
(David Guzik) An earthquake brings judgment, and moves many to give glory to God. But it remains to be seen if this will become true repentance unto salvation.
The Parable of the Sower Matt 13:2-23; Mark 4:1-20; Luke 8:4-15pp
What woe is past? When this woe started?
14 The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe is coming quickly.
Second Woe: Rev. 9:13-11:14
Read Rev 8:13 topic In which portion of Revelation these three woes are explained/covered?
Seventh Trumpet / Third and Final Woe:
15 Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!" 16 And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying: "We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come, Because You have taken Your great power and reigned. 18 The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, And the time of the dead, that they should be judged, And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, And those who fear Your name, small and great, And should destroy those who destroy the earth." 19 Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.
What happened when the seventh angel sounded the trumpet?
Proclamation (a public and official announcement) of victory (v 15).
Elders worshiped God (v16)
Elders thanking God for God's Supreme reign (v16, 17)
Elders thanking God for God's wrath has come to judge this world (v18a)
Elders thanking God for the dead non-believers judgment (v18b)
Elders thanking God for the believers rewarding ceremony (v18c)
Elders thanking God for the non-believers destruction who live at that time (v18d)
Effects/Outcome when God started to reign this world
In heaven (V. 19a)
In earth (V. 19b)
What victory proclaimed? What is the first main reason Elders thanking God for?
15 Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!"
17 saying: "We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come, Because You have taken Your great power and reigned.
NIV: Rev 11:17 - saying: "We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign.
From where the loud voices coming from?
1b And there were loud voices in heaven, saying
Whose voices are these?
We do not know. May be voices of martyrs, elders or angels.
(Warren Wiersbe) These "great voices" were probably the choirs of heaven.
Rev 12:10-12 - 10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. 12 Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time."
What they are proclaiming and thanking?
Here Jesus has started his mission by pouring out God's wrath and wipe out those who destroy this earth and start to rule and reign this earth at the end of this last 3.5 years.
In other words the day of the Lord starts with God's wrath poured out on His enemies and destroy them completely. Then after Jesus 2nd coming (Rev 19) He will physically start to rule and reign this earth.
Rev 11:18c - And should destroy those who destroy the earth."
Is 61:1,2 - 1 "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn
Is 13:6 - Wail, for the day of the Lord is at hand! It will come as destruction from the Almighty.
Joe 1:15 - Alas for the day! For the day of the Lord is at hand; It shall come as destruction from the Almighty.
Joel 2:(1-)11 - The LORD gives voice before His army, For His camp is very great; For strong is the One who executes His word. For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; Who can endure it?
In heaven the they proclaiming this victory. God is taking action towards unrighteous and rebellious who is raging against Him. This is the reason Jesus asked John to measure the temple in the beginning of this chapter.
Rev 11:1-2 - 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. 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.
(Warren Wiersbe) However, we must not incorrectly assume that our Lord is not reigning today, because He is...
According to Hebrews 7:1-2, Jesus Christ is "King of Righteousness" and "King of Peace."
He is enthroned with the Father (Rev 3:21), and
He will reign until He defeats all His foes (1 Cor 15:25). Today,
He rules over a spiritual kingdom; but in that future day, He will reign over the nations of the world and rule with a rod of iron.
No matter how difficult the circumstances might be, or how defeated God's people may think they are, Jesus Christ is still King of kings and Lord of Lords, and He is in control. One day, we shall triumph!
Application: Read Kingdom of this World Vs Kingdom of God topic to understand better by getting answers to questions such as
To Whom this kingdom of world belongs to now?
Is it not the kingdoms of this world now belongs to our Lord?
Is it not Jesus Christ now reign this world forever and ever?
To Whom God delivered this world?
When and Who delivered this world to Satan?
What is God's plan to redeem this Kingdom of this world from Satan?
When God started to redeem the Kingdom of this world from Satan?
What is our responsibility?
What are the main reasons here the twenty-four elders worshiping by thanking our Lord God Almighty?
16 And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying: "We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come, Because You have taken Your great power and reigned. 18 The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, And the time of the dead, that they should be judged, And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, And those who fear Your name, small and great, And should destroy those who destroy the earth."
Here are the list of items the elders are thanking for:
You have taken Your great power and reigned (v17)
The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come (v18)
And the time of the dead, that they should be judged (v18)
And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, And those who fear Your name, small and great (v18)
And should destroy those who destroy the earth (v18)
They gave thanks for three special blessings (Warren Wiersbe)
the Christ's reign supremely (Rev 11:17),
that He Judges righteously (Rev 11:18), and
Christ not only reigns supremely, but He judges righteously (Rev 11:18), The Lamb is also the Lion!
He rewards graciously (Rev 11: 18)
Compare Elders worship in Rev 4 & 5 with this one:
In Rev 4:10 -11, the elders praised the creator and
In Rev 5:9-14, they worshiped the redeemer.
Here in Rev 11:17-18, the emphasis is on the Conqueror and the King.
Keep in mind that in John's day the church on earth looks as though it were defeated, for Rome was the Conqueror and the King. John was reminding the saints that they were "a Kingdom of priests" reigning with the Savior (Rev 1;5-6). (Warren Wiersbe)
It may seem at times the Throne of Heaven is empty, but it is not. Jesus Christ has both power and authority- in fact, all authority (Matt 28;18 where the word 'power' means authority). " Thou ... hast begun to reign" is a good translation.
In Rev 11:18, we have a "table of contents" for the reminder of the Book of Revelation. These events did not take place the instant the angel blew his trumpet; he simply signaled the beginning of the process, and now these events would take place as planned. (Warren Wiersbe)
This thanksgiving isn’t to thank God that He has already done this; but that the hour has come for it to take place, and that these things are permanently set in motion. (David Guzik)
“In their praise, impending events are set forth, to be more fully described later.” (Morgan)
Now comes the fitting time for judgment, reward, and destruction.
Is God really have taken great power and reigned? or What is the first main reason here the twenty-four elders thanking our Lord God Almighty?
17 saying: "We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come, Because You have taken Your great power and reigned.
NIV: Rev 11:17 - saying: "We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign.
Yes, from this time on our Lord God Almighty "have taken great power and have begun to reign"
This shows that He had power to overthrow Satan/enemies but He didn't use His power until His appointed time has come.
Read notes in Rev 11:15 for more details.
What this anger and wrath all about?
18a The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come,
Did God do any harm to the nations to be angry?
What God did to all nations?
Certainly the Lord has been good and gracious to them. (Warren Wiersbe)
He has provided their needs,
Acts 14:15-17 - 8 And in Lystra a certain man without strength in his feet was sitting, a cripple from his mother's womb, who had never walked. 9 This man heard Paul speaking. Paul, observing him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed, 10 said with a loud voice, "Stand up straight on your feet!" And he leaped and walked. 11 Now when the people saw what Paul had done, they raised their voices, saying in the Lycaonian language, "The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!" 12 And Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13 Then the priest of Zeus, whose temple was in front of their city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, intending to sacrifice with the multitudes. 14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard this, they tore their clothes and ran in among the multitude, crying out 15 and saying, "Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men with the same nature as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them, 16 who in bygone generations allowed all nations to walk in their own ways. 17 Nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness." 18 And with these sayings they could scarcely restrain the multitudes from sacrificing to them.
assigned their territories,
Acts 17:24-31 - 24 God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25 Nor is He worshiped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. 26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, 'For we are also His offspring.' 29 Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man's devising. 30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead."
and graciously postponed their judgment to give them opportunity to be saved.
Even more, He Sent His Son to be the Savior of the World.
Today God offers forgiveness to the nations! what more could He do for them?
Then why the nations were angry?
'Because they want to have their own way' "Why do the heathen (the nations) rage, and against His anointed (Christ), saying "Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away Their cords from us (Ps 2;1-3) They want to worship the Creature instead of the Creator (Rom 1: 25) Like adolescent children, the nations want to cast off all restraint and 'God will permit them to do so' The result will be another "Babylon" (Rev 17-18) man's last attempt to build his Utopia, a "Heaven on Earth". (Warren Wiersbe)
Note the change in attitude shown by the nations of the world (Warren Wiersbe)
In Rev 11:1-2, the nations ruthlessly take over Jerusalem.
In Rev 11: 9, they rejoice at the death of the two witnesses.
But now they are angry; their arrogance and joy did not last very long, this belligerent attitude finally will cause the nations to unite to fight God at the great battle of Armageddon.
God’s punishment fits the crime; there is nothing arbitrary about it. The nations are angry with God and He responds with wrath; those that destroy the earth are themselves destroyed. (David Guzik)
The world is angry because God comes to rule.
The world wants anything but the reign of God! As it says in a parable in Jesus, We will not have this man to reign over us (Luke 19:14).
“Religion is decent, but surrender to God is intolerable to the nations of this world.” (Newell)
Whose wrath has come?
Is it God's wrath or Lamb's wrath?
They are thanking God in 11:16 so it is God's Wrath.
From this point on wrath has been switched from Lamb's wrath to God's wrath. So the intensity of punishment will be increasing in 2nd 3.5 years comparing to first 3.5 years of last 7 year period before Jesus 2nd coming.
(Warren Wiersbe) There was intense suffering in the first half of the tribulation, but only the last half will reveal the wrath of God (Rev 11:18; 14:10; 16:19; 19:15).
The word translated "angry" (The nations were angry) in Rev 11:18 is the verb form of the word translated "wrath" (Your wrath has come). But man's wrath can never equal the wrath of The Lamb (Rev 6:16-17) even Satan's wrath (Rev 12:17) as cruel as it is, is no match for God's wrath. (Warren Wiersbe)
There are no Greek words for anger: thymos, which means "rage, passionate, anger," and Orge, used here which means "indignation, a settled attitude of wrath." God's anger is not an outburst of temper; it is a holy indignation against sin. Both of these Greek words are used in revelation to describe God's anger: Orge used only four times; thymos, seven (Rev 14:10, 19 ;15:1, 7; 16:1, 19; 19:15). God's anger is not dispassionate, for He hates sin and love righteousness and Justice; neither is it temperamental and unpredictable. (Warren Wiersbe)
Rev 6:16-17 - 16 and said to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath(orge) of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of His wrath(orge) has come, and who is able to stand?"
Rev 14:10 - he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath (thymos) of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation (orge). He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.
Rev 14:19 - So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.
Rev 15:1 - Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete.
Rev 15:7 - Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God who lives forever and ever.
Rev 16:1,19 - Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, "Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth." .... 19 Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness (thymous) of His wrath (Orge).
Rev 19:15 - Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness (thymous) of His wrath (Orge) of Almighty God.
For more details read The Wrath of God article.
The wrath of men is impotent, but the wrath of God is omnipotent. (David Guzik)
The wrath of men is wicked, but the wrath of God is holy. (David Guzik)
Why the Wrath of God has come?
18d And should destroy those who destroy the earth."
18b And the time of the dead, that they should be judged,
The Wrath of God has come to destroy those who destroy the earth till all His enemies/unrighteous/non-believers are judged. And to judge the dead non-believers. That is why these elders continue to thank God.
Who is this who destroys the earth?
"Them that destroy the earth" refers to the rebellious earth dwellers who will not submit to God. (Warren Wiersbe)
How ironic that these people live for the earth and its pleasures, yet at the same time are destroying the very earth they worship?
When man forgets that the God is the creator and he is the Creature, he begins to exploit his God given resources, and this brings destruction.
Man is the steward of the creation, not the owner.
When God will pour out His wrath to these angry nation and judge or destroy them?
He start His reign by slowly and steadily pouring out His wrath for the remaining and last 3.5 years before He comes to this earth.
At the same time Satan and his team Antichrist and false Prophet feed the nations anger and gather these angry nations to fight against God at the great battle of Armageddon.
Here the human army are possessed by evil spirits (demons). As in Eph 2:2 they will obey like slave to Satan.
Rev 16:12-16 - 12 Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared. 13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14 For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. 15 "Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame." 16 And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.
Once Jesus enters this earth in His 2nd coming Satan and his team try to fight against our Almighty God Jesus Christ. But Jesus destroy them by His word that proceeds from His mouth.
Rev 19:17-21 - 17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, "Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, 18 that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great." 19 And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. 20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21 And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.
How and When God judge the dead?
18b And the time of the dead, that they should be judged,
The Greek word used here for judged is Krino (Strong's 2919). It also means condemnation. That means eternal punishment. In other words judgment that defines the degree of punishment based on their deeds. So this dead judgment never determine their destiny Heaven or Hell but based on their works in this earth they get degree of eternal punishment. Our God is righteous God and He judges righteously.
John 3:17-18 - 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation (GK krisis - 2920), that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
When this happens?
This happens after Jesus 2nd coming to this earth Rev 19:11, and after 1000 year Millennial reign of Jesus Christ in this earth Rev 20 4-10.
How this judgment happens?
This judgment happen is described as Rev 20 :11-15.
Rev 20:11-15 - 11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged (Krino, Strong's 2919), each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
Who are these dead?
It is clear that these are
not the part of the 1000 year Millennial reign with Jesus Christ ie not part of First Resurrection,
they come back to life after 1000 year Millennial reign of Jesus Christ and they are part of Second Resurrection,
they are condemned for their works and receive everlasting punishment in the lake of fire.
Why these dead are condemned for everlasting punishment? Why they are not part of the 1000 year Millennial reign with Jesus Christ? Where, When and Who will determine our future destiny Heaven or Hell?
They are not part of the 1000 year Millennial reign with Jesus Christ because while they live in this earth they suppress the truth and ignored the Creator Jesus Christ utterly till their death. They may be lived a good moral life and gained this earth but lost their eternal life.
Every person's eligibility to enter the heaven (Kingdom of God or Kingdom of Heaven) which is called Salvation is determined by the individual choice while they live in this earth.
John 3:16-18,36 - 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God........36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."
John 5:22,24 - 22 For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, 23 that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. 24 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment (KJV - condemnation - GK krisis - 2920), but has passed from death into life. 25 Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, 27 and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. 28 Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 and come forth--those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. 30 I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.
John 12:47,48 - 47 And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him--the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. 49 For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. 50 And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak."
Once we die either we go to Heaven or Hades.
Based on the above verses each individuals choice determine their destiny. God will validate our hearts decision.
Once we die we do not have choice to change our destiny by changing our decision. Jesus clearly demonstrated that in the following parable:
Luke 16:19-31 - 19 "There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. 20 But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, 21 desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 Then he cried and said, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.' 25 But Abraham said, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.' 27 Then he said, 'I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father's house, 28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.' 29 Abraham said to him, 'They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.' 30 And he said, 'No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' 31 But he said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.' "
These proves that these dead judged are Non Believers, Unsaved or Unrighteous who were not part of God's kingdom.
This is a Non Believers Judgment and it is also called White Thrown Judgment or Final Judgment.
(Warren Wiersbe) "And the time of the dead that they should have been judged" takes us to the very end of God's prophetic program. In the sense, everyday is a "Day of the Lord" because God is always judging righteously. God is long suffering towards lost sinners and often postpones judgment, that there will be a final judgment of and none will escape..
Do God judge (condemn) believers in Christ like non-believers?
NO. God never condemns believers in Christ.
Romans 8:1 - There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
John 5:24 - "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment (KJV - condemnation - GK krisis - 2920), but has passed from death into life.
1 Thes 5:9 - For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
How, When and Why God judge the righteous the Believers in Christ?
18b And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, And those who fear Your name, small and great,
This Believers Judgment called Believers rewarding ceremony, The Judgment Seat of Christ, The Bema seat judgment.
The Judgment Seat is called Bema in Greek (Strong's 968). So it is called Bema seat judgment.
Rom 14:10-13 - 10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 11 For it is written: "As I live, says the Lord, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God." 12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. 13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother's way.
2 Cor 5:9-11 - 9 Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 11 Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences.
The Greek word used for reward is misthos (Strong's 3408) means wages (2), hire (3), reward(24).
Rev 22:12 - "And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.
Matt 5:11-12 - 11 "Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Matt 6:1-5 - 1 "Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly
Matt 6:16-18 - 16 "Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
Matt 10:41-42 - 40 "He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. 41 He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward. 42 And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward."
(Warren Wiersbe) There will also be a judgment for God's children, known as the "Judgment Seat of Christ" (Rom 14:10-13 ; 1 Cor 3:9-15; 2 Cor 5:9-11).
God will reward His faithful servants (Mat 25:21) and their sufferings they experienced on earth will be forgotten in the glory of His presence.
Though God's children will not be judged for their sins (that judgment took place on the cross), they will be judged for their works and rewarded generously by the master.
When believers in Christ will be judged?
The day we raptured to heaven (Rev 4:10). This will continue till 2nd coming of Jesus Christ to this earth (Rev 11:18). We will come with Him to rule and reign with Him. Before the start of the Millennial reign we are given authority to judge, rule and reign this earth (Rev 20:4-6).
(Warren Wiersbe) The judgment seat of Christ will take place in heaven after Christ has called His people Home. When He returns to earth to establish His kingdom the saints will be ready to reign, with every blemish of the church removed (Eph 5:25 -27; Rev 19:7-8). Today, we groan as we serve God, because we know only too well are handicaps and blemishes; but one day, we shall serve Him perfectly!
How believers in Christ will be Judged?
1 Cor 3:9-15 - 9 For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, you are God's building. 10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
As a summary there are two major future judgments are there. They are Believers Judgment or rewarding ceremony and Non Believers Judgment called White Thrown Judgment or Final Judgment.
For detail study about future Judgment and Rewards read Believer Vs Non-Believer Judgments OR Bema Seat Vs White Throne Judgments
(Warren Wiersbe) As mention before Rev 11:18, is the summary statements of the event yet to come. It is heaven's song of praise for the Lord's faithfulness to accomplish His purposes in the world. Again, it appears strange to us that heavenly beings can sing about judgment. Perhaps if we had more of the throne perspective, we would be able to join their praises.
What is the effect in heaven when God started to reign this world? What first thing happened in heaven when His reign starts?
19a Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple.
As an initial step of God's reign Temple of God in heaven was opened.
Is there physical temple in heaven?
Moses made tabernacle, altars are all copies of the heavenly pattern.
Heb 8:5 - 1 Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, 2 a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man. 3 For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this One also have something to offer. 4 For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; 5 who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, "See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain." 6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.
NLT: Heb 8:5 - 1 Here is the main point: Our High Priest sat down in the place of highest honor in heaven, at God's right hand. 2 There he ministers in the sacred tent, the true place of worship that was built by the Lord and not by human hands. 3 And since every high priest is required to offer gifts and sacrifices, our High Priest must make an offering, too. 4 If he were here on earth, he would not even be a priest, since there already are priests who offer the gifts required by the law of Moses. 5 They serve in a place of worship that is only a copy, a shadow of the real one in heaven. For when Moses was getting ready to build the Tabernacle, God gave him this warning: "Be sure that you make everything according to the design I have shown you here on the mountain." 6 But our High Priest has been given a ministry that is far superior to the ministry of those who serve under the old laws, for he is the one who guarantees for us a better covenant with God, based on better promises.
What is the Ark of the Covenant and what is another name for it?
It is a box of 3.75'L x 2.25'W x 2.25'H made of wood and covered by pure gold. It is initially called the ark the Testimony.
Exodus 25:10-16 - 10 "And they shall make an ark of acacia wood; two and a half cubits shall be its length, a cubit and a half its width, and a cubit and a half its height. 11 And you shall overlay it with pure gold, inside and out you shall overlay it, and shall make on it a molding of gold all around. 12 You shall cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in its four corners; two rings shall be on one side, and two rings on the other side. 13 And you shall make poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold. 14 You shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark, that the ark may be carried by them. 15 The poles shall be in the rings of the ark; they shall not be taken from it. 16 And you shall put into the ark the Testimony which I will give you.
What is on top of this Ark of Testimony/Covenant?
Two Cherubim on both ends facing the mercy seat on the middle.
Exodus 25:17-22 - 17 You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold; two and a half cubits shall be its length and a cubit and a half its width. 18 And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work you shall make them at the two ends of the mercy seat. 19 Make one cherub at one end, and the other cherub at the other end; you shall make the cherubim at the two ends of it of one piece with the mercy seat. 20 And the cherubim shall stretch out their wings above, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and they shall face one another; the faces of the cherubim shall be toward the mercy seat. 21 You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the Testimony that I will give you.
What are all stuffs in the Ark of the Covenant? Why it is called the ark of the Testimony?
It contains 3 testimonies that reminds and proves what God has done to Israelites.
Exodus 25:16 - And you shall put into the ark the Testimony which I will give you.
Heb 9:4 - 1 Then indeed, even the first covenant had ordinances of divine service and the earthly sanctuary. 2 For a tabernacle was prepared: the first part, in which was the lampstand, the table, and the showbread, which is called the sanctuary; 3 and behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of All, 4 which had the golden censer and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were the golden pot that had the manna, Aaron's rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant; 5 and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail.
Numbers 17:1-11 - (Korah, Dathan and Abiram opposing Moses and Aaron - Num 16) 1 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2 "Speak to the children of Israel, and get from them a rod from each father's house, all their leaders according to their fathers' houses--twelve rods. Write each man's name on his rod. 3 And you shall write Aaron's name on the rod of Levi. For there shall be one rod for the head of each father's house. 4 Then you shall place them in the tabernacle of meeting before the Testimony, where I meet with you. 5 And it shall be that the rod of the man whom I choose will blossom; thus I will rid Myself of the complaints of the children of Israel, which they make against you." 6 So Moses spoke to the children of Israel, and each of their leaders gave him a rod apiece, for each leader according to their fathers' houses, twelve rods; and the rod of Aaron was among their rods. 7 And Moses placed the rods before the Lord in the tabernacle of witness. 8 Now it came to pass on the next day that Moses went into the tabernacle of witness, and behold, the rod of Aaron, of the house of Levi, had sprouted and put forth buds, had produced blossoms and yielded ripe almonds. 9 Then Moses brought out all the rods from before the Lord to all the children of Israel; and they looked, and each man took his rod. 10 And the Lord said to Moses, "Bring Aaron's rod back before the Testimony, to be kept as a sign against the rebels, that you may put their complaints away from Me, lest they die." 11 Thus did Moses; just as the Lord had commanded him, so he did.
Where the Ark of the Covenant is placed?
It is placed at the Holy of Holies or Most holy place of the Tabernacle/Temple of God.
Exodus 26:28-37 - 28 The middle bar shall pass through the midst of the boards from end to end. 29 You shall overlay the boards with gold, make their rings of gold as holders for the bars, and overlay the bars with gold. 30 And you shall raise up the tabernacle according to its pattern which you were shown on the mountain. 31 "You shall make a veil woven of blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen. It shall be woven with an artistic design of cherubim. 32 You shall hang it upon the four pillars of acacia wood overlaid with gold. Their hooks shall be gold, upon four sockets of silver. 33 And you shall hang the veil from the clasps. Then you shall bring the ark of the Testimony in there, behind the veil. The veil shall be a divider for you between the holy place and the Most Holy. 34 You shall put the mercy seat upon the ark of the Testimony in the Most Holy. 35 You shall set the table outside the veil, and the lampstand across from the table on the side of the tabernacle toward the south; and you shall put the table on the north side. 36 "You shall make a screen for the door of the tabernacle, woven of blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen, made by a weaver. 37 And you shall make for the screen five pillars of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold; their hooks shall be of gold, and you shall cast five sockets of bronze for them.
What are all the major roles of the ark of the Covenant? What really happens hear in the mercy seat?
God reveals His Glory through His presence and meets with people on the earth through the High Priest.
Exodus 25:22 - And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony, about everything which I will give you in commandment to the children of Israel.
Blood was sprinkled in the mercy seat on the day of atonement (yearly once special prayer for Israel nation for their sin to be purged).
Lev 16:15-17 - 14 He shall take some of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his finger on the mercy seat on the east side; and before the mercy seat he shall sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times. 15 "Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering, which is for the people, bring its blood inside the veil, do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat and before the mercy seat. 16 So he shall make atonement for the Holy Place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions, for all their sins; and so he shall do for the tabernacle of meeting which remains among them in the midst of their uncleanness. 17 There shall be no man in the tabernacle of meeting when he goes in to make atonement in the Holy Place, until he comes out, that he may make atonement for himself, for his household, and for all the assembly of Israel. 18 And he shall go out to the altar that is before the Lord, and make atonement for it, and shall take some of the blood of the bull and some of the blood of the goat, and put it on the horns of the altar all around. 19 Then he shall sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times, cleanse it, and consecrate it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel. 20 "And when he has made an end of atoning for the Holy Place, the tabernacle of meeting, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat. 21 Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man. 22 The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness.
The Ark of the Covenant lead Israelites the way to the promise land from Egypt.
Numbers 10:36 - 33 So they departed from the mountain of the Lord on a journey of three days; and the ark of the covenant of the Lord went before them for the three days' journey, to search out a resting place for them. 34 And the cloud of the Lord was above them by day when they went out from the camp. 35 So it was, whenever the ark set out, that Moses said: "Rise up, O Lord! Let Your enemies be scattered, And let those who hate You flee before You." 36 And when it rested, he said: "Return, O Lord, To the many thousands of Israel."
It was the ark of God that lead Israel through the Jordan and into their inheritance.
Josh 3:11-17 - 11 Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is crossing over before you into the Jordan. 12 Now therefore, take for yourselves twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one man from every tribe. 13 And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, that the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off, the waters that come down from upstream, and they shall stand as a heap." 14 So it was, when the people set out from their camp to cross over the Jordan, with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people, 15 and as those who bore the ark came to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests who bore the ark dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks during the whole time of harvest), 16 that the waters which came down from upstream stood still, and rose in a heap very far away at Adam, the city that is beside Zaretan. So the waters that went down into the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, failed, and were cut off; and the people crossed over opposite Jericho. 17 Then the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan; and all Israel crossed over on dry ground, until all the people had crossed completely over the Jordan.
(Warren Wiersbe) In the old testament tabernacle and temple, the ark stood behind the veil, in the Holy of Holies. God's glory rested on the ark, and God's law was with in the ark, beautifully illustrating that the two must never be separated.
He is the Holy God and must deal righteously with sin.
But He is also the Faithful God who keeps, His promise to His people.
Where is this ark found now?
Let us examine from the scriptures.
What we read about the ark last in the Bible?
During 621 BC good king Josiah...
2 Chronicle 35:1-3 - 1 Now Josiah kept a Passover to the Lord in Jerusalem, and they slaughtered the Passover lambs on the fourteenth day of the first month. 2 And he set the priests in their duties and encouraged them for the service of the house of the Lord. 3 Then he said to the Levites who taught all Israel, who were holy to the Lord: "Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son of David, king of Israel, built. It shall no longer be a burden on your shoulders. Now serve the Lord your God and His people Israel.
After 10 to 15 years later Babylonians took everything from the The Temple...
2 Chronicles 36:18-19 - 17 Therefore He brought against them the king of the Chaldeans, who killed their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion on young man or virgin, on the aged or the weak; He gave them all into his hand. 18 And all the articles from the house of God, great and small, the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king and of his leaders, all these he took to Babylon. 19 Then they burned the house of God, broke down the wall of Jerusalem, burned all its palaces with fire, and destroyed all its precious possessions.
70 years later God Restored the Ark of the Covenant back in the new Temple build by Ezra, Joshua, Zerubbabel.
Jer 27:21-22 - 21 yes, thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning the vessels that remain in the house of the Lord, and in the house of the king of Judah and of Jerusalem: 22 'They shall be carried to Babylon, and there they shall be until the day that I visit them,' says the Lord. 'Then I will bring them up and restore them to this place.' "
Hebrew word used for vessels is kĕliy - translated as vessel 166, instrument 39, weapon 21, jewel 21, armourbearer 18, stuff 14, thing 11, armour 10, furniture 7, carriage 3, bag 2, ...
ves·sel - Spelled [es-uhl] – noun
a craft for traveling on water, now usually one larger than an ordinary rowboat; a ship or boat, or container
a hollow or concave utensil, as a cup, bowl, pitcher, or vase, used for holding liquids or other contents.
(Following points taken from Jon Courson 2003 Revelation 11:19 message)
Some believe that Hitler want this ark to use as a power we can see this in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" movie.
Some believe that it is in Ireland - British captured from a cave hidden by Jeremiah
2 Maccabeus 163 BC - The ark is hidden on the mount where God showed Moses the inheritance/promise land.
Some believe that the ark in Ethiopia - May be Queen of Sheba, Sheba & Salmon's son or Metalocia took this over there.
Some believe that the ark is in Rome under the control of Pope taken by General Titus.
Wendell Jones an archeologist & Baptist believes that the ark is in Qumran where they found the scroll.
Some believe and provide archeological evidence saying that the ark is still under the temple mount cave.
Ron White claim to find chariot wheel of Red sea. He believes that the ark is underneath the Calvary (Golgotha). Once the earth quake happen when Jesus died the blood goes 60 feet down and fall on the ark.
Is this is the ark of His covenant moved from the earth? Is this is the reason that the ark of the covenant is missing here in this earth?
The Tree of Life was in Garden of Eden when God created this earth.
Gen 2:9 - And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Initially God permitted to eat the fruit form The Tree of Life
Gen 2:16-17 - 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."
After the sin of Eve & Adam it was protected by Cherubim.
Gen 3:22-24 - 22 Then the Lord God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever"-- 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. 24 So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.
Where is the tree of life now?
It is introduced in Genesis and then referred finally in Revelation. After Adam & Eve's sin God didn't permit to eat anyone in the earth but God provides this privilege/blessing to eat this fruit in heaven for the Believers in Christ. In earth we do not know where it is but it is in heaven.
Rev 2:7 - (Ephesus Church) He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God."
Rev 22:2 - In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
Same way God
either taken away, hidden or destroyed The Ark of the Covenant here in this earth
or taken up (raptured) The Ark of the Covenant to heaven.
John may be
either seeing the same Ark of the Covenant which was on the earth once.
or seeing from a long distance view i.e. seeing from outside the temple of God. Once the Temple door opened John may be seeing the real Ark of His Covenant on top of that God's thrown surrounded by the Cherubim.
Because Moses was instructed to do as the pattern showed in heaven. So, the mercy seat on the ark of the Covenant is the copy/shadow of God's thrown in heaven
Heb 8:5 who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, "See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain."
Ezekiel 1:22,23,26 - 22 The likeness of the firmament above the heads of the living creatures was like the color of an awesome crystal, stretched out over their heads. 23 And under the firmament their wings spread out straight, one toward another. Each one had two which covered one side, and each one had two which covered the other side of the body. 24 When they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of many waters, like the voice of the Almighty, a tumult like the noise of an army; and when they stood still, they let down their wings. 25 A voice came from above the firmament that was over their heads; whenever they stood, they let down their wings. 26 And above the firmament over their heads was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like a sapphire stone; on the likeness of the throne was a likeness with the appearance of a man high above it
Ezekiel 10:1 - And I looked, and there in the firmament that was above the head of the cherubim, there appeared something like a sapphire stone, having the appearance of the likeness of a throne
Do we need this Ark of the Covenant here in this earth now?
NO. God gave the following prophesy 100 years before the Israelites moved to Babylon.
Jer 3:16 - 14 "Return, O backsliding children," says the Lord; "for I am married to you. I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion. 15 And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. Then it shall come to pass, when you are multiplied and increased in the land in those days," says the Lord, "that they will say no more, 'The ark of the covenant of the Lord.' It shall not come to mind, nor shall they remember it, nor shall they visit it, nor shall it be made anymore. 17 At that time Jerusalem shall be called The Throne of the Lord, and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem. No more shall they follow the dictates of their evil hearts. 18 In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given as an inheritance to your fathers.
Is this prophesy fulfilled?
At present this prophesy fulfilled partly. Because after Jesus Christ 1st coming believers in Christ are tasting and seeing God's kingdom and experience His presence in Spirit.
Later after Jesus 2nd coming we will really enjoy His physical presence and at that time this prophesy will be completely fulfilled.
Who replaces the Ark of the Covenant?
JESUS and Believers in Christ.
Jesus fulfilled this through His death and Resurrection
Heb 9:11-15,21-24 - 6 Now when these things had been thus prepared, the priests always went into the first part of the tabernacle, performing the services. 7 But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people's sins committed in ignorance; 8 the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing. 9 It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience-- 10 concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation. 11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. 16 For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 17 For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives. 18 Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood. 19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20 saying, "This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you." 21 Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. 22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. 23 Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us;
Jesus Death on the Cross on our behalf breaks our separation from our God and provides us the free access to God. By Faith in Jesus and through the God given righteousness we can access God freely.
God demonstrated this clearly by permanently by tearing the 6 ply thick screen from top to bottom and provided access to the thrown of Grace.
Mat 27:51 - 50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. 51 Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split
2 Cor 5:21 - 20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Rom 5:1-2 - 1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Heb 4:16 - Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
But now God lives within each believers heart.
John 14:21,23 - 21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him." 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, "Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?" 23 Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.
This is the reason we need to live righteous or holy life by offering up our body as a living sacrifice:
Romans 12:1-2 - 1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God
(Warren Wiersbe) The chapter opened with the temple on earth, but now we see the temple in Heaven, the focus of attention is in the ark of God the symbol of God's presence with His people.
This vision of the ark would greatly encouraged God's suffering people to whom John sent this book. "God will fulfill His promises." John was saying to them. "He will reveal His glory! Trust Him"
(Alford) The ark of the covenant is “The symbol of God’s faithfulness in bestowing grace on His people, and inflicting vengeance on His people’s enemies.”
For more details read Heaven Vs Tabernacle/Temple of God in Earth topic.
What is the effect in earth when God started to reign this world? What is the effect in earth to their proclamation and worship?
19b And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.
God is saying AMEN to their proclamation.
(David Guzik) The great and awesome phenomenon at the opening of the temple and the revelation of the ark show that the presence of the Lord is there; it is reminiscent of God’s manifested presence at Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:16-19).
(Warren Wiersbe) Once again John saw and heard the portents of the storm (see Rev 4:5; 8:5) greater judgment is about to fall on the rebellious people of the earth! But God's people need not fear the storm for He is in Control. The ark reminds them of His presence and the Faithfulness of His promises and in the ark was the mercy seat in which the blood was sprinkled each day of the atonement (Lev 16:15-17) even in wrath, God remembers His mercy (Hab 3:2)
The stage is now set for dramatic appearance of "the beast," Satan's masterpiece, the false Christ who will control the world.
Is the 3rd woe completed here?
No, this is just the introduction of the 3rd woe.
It starts when devil is thrown out of heaven:
Rev 12:12 - Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time."
It goes to the peak when God's wrath is poured during the bowl judgment in Rev 15-18;
Partly ends when Jesus destroys those who destroy the earth after His 2nd coming as in Rev 19:17-21
It continue after 1000 year Millennial reign by Jesus Christ and ends after the dead Non Believers or the Final judgment as in Rev 20:7-15.
Read Rev 8:13 topic In which portion of Revelation these three woes are explained/covered?