The Two Witnesses
Verse 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.
In order for John to measure the temple on earth, that is presently not built, a third temple in Jerusalem is going to have to be built and this is proof that it will happen.
Verse 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.
Some architects and prophecy experts say the third temple can be built without disturbing the “Dome of the Rock” or the “Aqsa Mosque.” That means the Muslims and the Jews will have to share the Temple Mount.
John is told “not” to measure the outer court because it has been given to the Gentiles. (Muslims are Gentiles.)
They will trample on the holy city, Jerusalem, 42 months, the last three and one half years of the Tribulation Period.
The Islamic religion is dominated by fundamentalists who try to impose the beliefs of Muhammad on the rest of the world through force. Extremists believe in spreading their religion by conquest. The more radical members deny basic freedoms such as human rights, civil rights and women’s rights. They will kill people of other religions all under the name of Allah their god.
This is what they believe: Allah is the same god as the Christian’s God, although their god was a “moon-god” in Muhammad’s day. Not the same as Christian’s God. They believe Muhammad received revelations from God which made him a great prophet. (Bull) Muhammad wrote their holy book which is called the Koran (which is full of lies and hatred). They believe that the Koran is our God’s latest revelation and supersedes all other revelations.
Allah is not Jehovah. They believe Jesus was only a prophet not the Son of God or the Messiah that was crucified for the sins of the world.
They believe they are descendants of Abraham’s, so Ishmael, which is the true inheritors of God’s covenant, belongs to them, not Isaac. And there lies the conflict that has taken place between the Jews and the Muslims for thousands of years.
Jerusalem is considered the Holy City by Christians, Jews and Muslims, but the reasons are very different. Christians believe it holy because of Jesus’ crucifixion and God says it is. Jews consider it holy because their Temple was located there. Muslims consider it holy because they say that is where Muhammad ascended into heaven there, which didn’t happen, I might add.
Verse 3 – “And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.”
Much speculation about who these two witnesses are have been argued over the years. I’m going to tell you who I think they are, and why.
One has power to shut heaven up from rain. I believe this is Elijah who was said by Malachi 4:5, 6, to come again before the “Great and Terrible Day of the Lord.” He will shut up the heavens for 42 months, or three and one half years, which is exactly the time they had no rain in the days of Ahab.
The other witness will have power over the waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with plagues as often as he will. The only one person mentioned in Scripture who had such power was Moses. I thought for a long time it might be Enoch, but more study has me convinced they are these two.
Verse 4 – These are to the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before God of the earth.
Each witness is represented by one olive tree and one lampstand. It is two symbols to represent one person.
The representation of the olive tress are found in Zechariah 4:3-6 – two olive trees stand by a lampstand and provide oil to the lampstand. This oil represents the Holy Spirit. These two witnesses will be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Zechariah 4:11-14 explains what the lampstands represent – the lampstands hold pots of burning oil that provide light. These two witnesses will provide light to a darkened world.
Verse 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.
Oh, there will be plenty who want these two dead. Keep in mind; people have went through all that was written before this chapter and still rejected Jesus; they are miserable and hate God now more than ever; they certainly don’t want the love of God preached by these two; and the Antichrist certainly doesn’t want them preaching, because some might follow God instead of him.
Some will come after them to kill them, but for the three and one-half years nothing that mankind can throw at them will harm them. Those who try will be consumed with fire that spews out of their mouths!
Verse 6 – They 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.
Can you imagine what he earth will look like with no rain for three and one-half years? We go two months with no rain and everything turns brown or dies. Then try to imagine every basin of water, every river, stream, ocean and sea, turning to blood, and then sickness and disease comes and runs from house to house. Who in their right mind want to live through that ? (But some will survive.)
Verse 7 – Now when they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them.
When the two witnesses have finished their assignment of giving light, preaching warnings and salvation, then the “beast,” the Antichrist, will over-power them and kill them. This does not happen until God says they are finished preaching.
Verse 8 – And their bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
This “great city” is clearly identified as the city where Christ died – Jerusalem. Isaiah called this city Sodom because of its wickedness. Jerusalem will be full of sin again during the Tribulation Period. It will become even more so after the third temple is built. Worship of the Antichrist will flourish while worship of Jesus will be condemned. The two witnesses will lie in the street because no one will bother to bury them.
Verse 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.
Up until the last couple of decades or so, would this have even been possible? Everyone around the world, at the same time, will see these two bodies laying in the street to rot and decay.
Verse 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.
This will be the first “Anti-Christmas.”
Verse 11 – Now after the three and one-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.
This incredible scene is beyond human comprehension. Television cameras will broadcast their deaths and pictures of their dead bodies will be seen by the whole world. Celebrating and gift-giving will be taking place all over the world. Then they stand to their feet. Great fear sets in for all those who watch. I’m sure there will be some “fake” explanation of what is taking place from the Antichrist.
Verse 12 – And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” and they ascend to heaven in a cloud and their enemies saw them.
When Jesus ascended into heaven many did not believer. When the Church is raptured, the world will not believe. Excuses will abound to save people from the harsh reality of the truth. But when these two witnesses ascend to heaven, many will no doubt change their minds about Jesus and the Rapture.
Verse 13 – In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand men were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God in heaven.
When Jesus died, the earth shook (Matthew 27:51, 52). When Jesus arose there was a violent earthquake (Matthew 28:2).
Verse 14 – The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe is coming quickly.
This earthquake in Jerusalem will mark the end of the second woe or the sixth trumpet. The seventh trumpet will sound soon and bring the third woe.
Verse 15 – Then the seventh angel sounded: and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!”
The seventh trumpet sounded, announcing the arrival of the King. There is no turning back. The coming judgments are no longer partial, but complete in their destruction. God is in control and He unleashes HI full wrath on the evil world that refuses to turn to Him. When this wrath begins, there is no turning back.
Verse 16 – And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God,
Verse 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.
From this point on Satan’s days will be drawing quickly to a close. Jesus will begin to exercise the authority over the nations that became His when He died on the cross. He will go forth to conquer the forces of evil and usher in the Millennium.
Verse 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.”
Angry nations against the gospel and whom it represents, can be seen even today around the world. Satan will unite the nations against Jesus and this great conflict will be called the Battle of Armageddon.
Everyone will be accountable to God for the deeds done in this life, no one escapes that.
Verse 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.
Do you remember when God gave detailed instructions to Moses on how the Temple was to be built? Moses had to follow the exact pattern of the one that exists in heaven. Now this temple in heaven is opened and the Ark of the Covenant is exposed. Also, keep in mind that there is a Mercy Seat on top of this Ark, where the blood of goats was sprinkled for the sins of God’s people.
Satan and the nations come against Israel, but God has and always will always show mercy to His people.