THE TWO WITNESSES OR THE TRIBULATION WITNESSES
AND THE SOUNDING OF THE SEVENTH TRUMPET
The more I research from other source the more I find out this reality that chapter 11 here in Revelation is undoubtedly one of the most difficult chapter in interpreting the coming events in the whole apocalypse. The apostle John writes here in this chapter about the two witnesses and the sounding of the seventh trumpet.
One very important element we need to bring out is the element of these two witnesses’ message for they have a strong prophetic word and there is no opposition that can overcome their strong message in the appointed time that God has given them. Because of these two witnesses and their strong message I believe that it is about the law of God, the gospel of Christ, as well as a reminder of God’s word in both the Old Testament and the New Testament to them that trample the holy city. As I search for a deeper meaning of Revelation 11 and the two witnesses in verses one through fourteen the one thing I clearly see is the supernatural ministry of these two witnesses.
In addition, by no stretch of our imagination can we regard these two witnesses are not human for I believe we have to say that they can be heard, they can be touched, and they are hated. Finally, they will be martyred after they fulfill their mission for God. Nevertheless, there is yet another thing we must take into consideration about these two witnesses and the coming days that the message they will bring will have to be heard on a worldwide ministry to fulfill the prophetic revelation of God and Christ Jesus.
As I write about the subjects of God’s command for John to measure the temple, and not to measure the outer court, the two witnesses and finally the sounding of the seventh trumpet here in Revelation 11. Please remember that is what I interpret comes by what I have gained through my own personal research to find a full understanding about the two witnesses that come from God to proclaim God’s message to the nations for 1,260 days. There are many interpreters of the Holy Scriptures who may proclaim otherwise regarding these all of the subject found here in Revelation 11.
In addition, it is also well to remember that there much discourse over whom these two witnesses are, therefore, for the purpose of writing of this chapter will be the two witnesses of God. It is because of this wide diversity or different points of view regarding Revelation 11 over the temple, the two witnesses as well as the events portrayed here in Revelation 11. I state this because these subjects are heavily discussed throughout the whole Body of Christ about who the two witnesses are, and why God has commissioned them with His words of prophecy between the sixth trumpet and the seventh trumpet. Another way of addressing this subject regarding the two witnesses is what are they going to speak? The prophecy of their message I believe will be for the nations or people to make ready the return of Christ and the rest of the events to come. In addition, they will be warning people of the remaining days to come, also as well as proclaiming the entire Bible which relates to the coming days.
The important thing to keep in mind here in Revelation 11 of John’s prophetic word from his vision I believe falls in these two thoughts the first the ministry of the two witnesses, and the second is that it falls in the second half of the tribulation period, and finally the spiritual condition that will exist during this time period.
Furthermore, the purpose of this study and writing is about how the two witnesses are part of the coming days and why we should take heed of how God is going to use them regarding the prophetic word given in the Old Testament concerning the coming days. For I find much of the same prophecy in the Old Testament which has already been prophecies in the book of Daniel.
“Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told “Rise and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there, 2 but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given to nations, and they will trample over the city for forty-two months. 3 And I will grant my two witnesses power to prophesy for one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” (Revelation 11:1-3 RSV)
In Revelation 11 we find that it is another significant chapter regarding the coming days of where the two witnesses come and they proclaim God’s message for 1,260 days to the nations in the courtyard who trample the city for 42 months. Yes, again there is a lot of different opinions on who these two witnesses are however, I am not writing about who they are but about what they proclaim and why they proclaim their message in those days to come. In addition, the question therefore, is this if the church is gone then why does God need to send His messenger to proclaim the terms of God to the nations? The first concept we need to address is from the Old Testament when God stated in the book of Deuteronomy that there are to be two witnesses to judge if a person had sinned Deuteronomy 17:2-7. The purpose for this chapter is to establish the principles and the principles of their ministry for God and the ministry of proclaiming the transgression of God’s judgment that will come.
IS THE COURT THE EARTH, THE NATIONS OF THE EARTH, OR THE CHURCH?
You can find reference for the temple sanctuary in Revelation 7:15 and elsewhere in the New Testament are 1 Corinthians 3:16; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:21.
“But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall be tread under foot forty and two months.” (Revelation 11:2 KJV)
In verse two I find to be a vital element regarding the coming days which I believe relates to the church or what the Holy Scriptures state the time of the Gentiles. For John is told to measure the temple, however, he is also told not to measure the court outside the temple which means it is the time that nations will trample the court under their feet. It is well to note here that when you consider this text of scripture that it does not state anything about that it is the time of salvation. Therefore, we must also consider what is stated in the gospel of Luke chapter 21 verse 24 where it states that the Gentiles shall trodden down the city of Jerusalem. The reason for using the gospel of Luke is that it records other events of perplexity which will take place before the return of Christ. For example, men’s hearts failing them because of fear of the things coming upon the earth Luke 21:25. In addition, I believe it is well to note that the Lord Jesus makes it very clear in Luke 21:32-36 and His warning about worldliness. However, if one is not watching and praying then all these things shall come upon them Luke 21:36.
In these first three verses of scriptures the apostle John is telling us what God commanded him to do and what not to do in regards to the message of prophecy that these two witnesses are to bring in addition, to them who trample underfoot the holy city or Jerusalem. According to the Holy Scriptures what do we know about the purpose of the two witnesses? Now according to some interpreters of the scriptures state that this might be the new temple rebuilt in Jerusalem during the period of the tribulation and this is when Satan stands in the temple and proclaims he is God.
And I will grant my two witnesses power to prophesy for one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” (Revelation 11:3 RSV)
God makes it very clear that these are His two witnesses and that He gives them power and they will prophesy 1,260 days. Again, as to their identity there has been much discussion some say Moses and Elijah, however, this I feel is not the important issue the important fact is that they will prophesy. Furthermore, it is not a prophecy that the people will want to hear for I believe that it will be a message of gloom and doom of what is coming after their days of prophesying.
“These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands which stand before the Lord of the earth.” (Revelation 11:4 RSV)
Note you will fi nd that the prophet Zechariah prophesy about these two witnesses in Zechariah chapters four and five of two individuals Joshua and Zerubbabel, men who proclaim the word of God the way God told them to give to the people. One might interpret that by the apostle John stating olive trees that these two have been anointed by God to prophesy His Divine warning before “the Lord of the earth.”
“And if any man will hurt them, fi re proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.” (Revelation 11:5 KJV)
They are protected from harm for the time they are to fulfill with their prophecy for three and half years. I believe that this is the supernatural power of God which He has given them to protect themselves by sending forth fire out of their mouth. One might also interpret that because they are God’s witnesses, they are immortal until their prophetic message is done. Furthermore, the whole earth will be against God’s two witnesses, however, they will continue until proclaim God’s message and to display the power that God has given unto them to hold back the rain, to turn the water to blood, and to smite the earth with plagues Revelation 11:6. There is yet another thing we must consider about the message of these two witnesses is that their message is so strong in the Lord God that it is a consuming fire.
“And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. 8 And their bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. 9 And they the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and a half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. 10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts to one another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. 11 And after three days and a half the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. 12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. 13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and a tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to God in heaven. 14 The second woe is past and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.” (Revelation 11:7-14 KJV)
It is well to note that the Lord God has set an appointed time of their testimony of these two witnesses and the Lord protects them until this time of their testimony is fulfilled. One of the important facts that needs to be brought out is that nothing can harm them until their testimony is finished Revelation 11:7. Then the beast come up out of the pit to make war with them and overcomes them and kills them. In addition, we also need to remember that these two witnesses accomplished their divine mission for the Lord and their work bears record of their testimony. Yet another key element we need to consider about the coming days and that is how does our testimony of the Lord and the word of God bears witness and has it been a successful witness for the Lord? My reason for stating this kind of word is to point out how the Lord Jesus Christ was faithful by bearing the testimony of His Father word all the way to the cross.
THE THIRD WOE
It is well to note that this third woe comes quickly and that the seventh trumpet might be sounded. Now it is very important at this point for us to consider from our human point of understanding which is still to take place after the sounding of this trumpet. From a personal standpoint I believe that each and every Christian is waiting for this trumpet to sound for it is a time where the Body of Christ will see more clearly the time of the Lord to return is near. In order to help your understanding here is a list of what is still to take place after the sounding of the seventh trumpet.
All of the seven Bowl Judgments
The complete destruction of Antichrist’s capitol, economic, political and religious system
The annihilation of Antichrist’s armies at the battle of Armageddon
The casting of Antichrist and his False Prophet into the Lake of Fire
The Second Coming of Christ
The resurrection and restoration of Israel to their land
The judgment of the nations
The one thousand year reign of Christ on Earth
The final battle of Gog and Magog at the end of the Millennium
The consignment of Satan to the Lake of Fire
The resurrection and judgment of all wicked people at the Great White Throne judgment.
“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, THE KINGDOMS OF THIS WORLD ARE BECOME THE KINGDOMS OF OUR LORD, AND OF HIS CHRIST; AND HE SHALL REIGN FOR EVER AND EVER. 16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshiped God. 17 Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee great power, and hast reigned. 18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great: and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. 19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in the temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightings, and voices, and thundering, and an earthquake, and great hail.” (Revelation 11:15-19 KJV)
THE SEVENTH TRUMPET
Now this I believe is a time instead of there being silence in heaven, out of which before the sounding of the trumpets there was silence there are loud voices in heaven. Therefore, we must look closely at verse 15 for it is the loud voices now declaring that the kingdom of God has now been established and that God shall now have eternal reign. When we look back at the prophet Daniel predicted that the day would come when God would utterly destroy all of the kingdoms of this world Daniel 2:31-45. In addition, the prophet Zechariah also predicted when God would be “king over all the earth” Zechariah 14:9.
You find in verse 18 where the apostle John makes it clear that the nations were angry with God, because I believe that they understood that the wrath of God has come. Yet another way of addressing this subject is the nations and rules of this world were at rage and took counsel against God for the time of judgment had come. The point of logic I am trying to establish is that when we get angry with God then we must remember the fierce assault which will come against us by the power of God. Furthermore, it is only fitting to say that there comes a decisive time or point of which God has reached for wrath, judgment, rewards to be given as well as a time of destruction.
This verse of scripture brings out many things regarding the temple of God or God’s sanctuary which has now been opened. You will find in the book of Revelation in its unveiling seven things which are pictured elsewhere in the scriptures of Revelation, of what has been opened “the temple of God was opened in heaven”.
Consider these references carefully as you study:
In Revelation 4:1: A door is opened in heaven
In Revelation 6:1-8: The seven seals are opened
In Revelation 9:2: The abyss is opened
In Revelation 11:19: The temple of God is opened
In Revelation 15:5: The tabernacle of testimony is opened
In Revelation 19:11: The heaven is opened
In Revelation 20:12: The books of judgment are opened
You will find in these seven to be significant key factors concerning the things that the Lord God has opened up to our understanding as Christians regarding the coming days. These texts of scriptures stress the importance of truth that the Lord God does reveal things unto His servants. Therefore, let us the members of the Body of Christ take into account what the Lord God has revealed.
One thing I see coming to past is here in Revelation 11 in this key element here regarding that John see the temple and the ark I believe indicates that Israel is about to be renewed by God. From my research and studies from other writers or interpreters of the Holy Scriptures regarding the ark it is recorded five different ways the first is “the ark of the covenant” the second is “the ark of testimony” and the third it is called “the ark of God” then the fourth is “the ark of God’s strength” and the fifth it is called “the holy ark”. However, the one that is most taught is Noah’s ark.
Now in Exodus 25:22 it states about the ark of testimony: “And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim’s which [are] upon the ark of testimony, of all [things] which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.” “Exodus 25:22 KJV)
Now in the book of Jeremiah it state about the ark of the covenant: “And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the Lord, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the Lord: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit [it]; neither shall [that] be done any more.” (Jeremiah 3:16 KJV)
You will find in the book of 2 Samuel where it states the ark of God: “And it was told king David, saying, The Lord hath blessed the house of Obededom, and all that [pertaineth] unto him, because of the ark of God. So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obededom into the city of David with gladness.” (2 Samuel 6:12-16 KJV)
When you look at the Psalms of David in David’s prayed a prayer for blessing upon the sanctuary David states: “Arise, O Lord, into thy rest; thou, and the ark of thy strength.” (Psalm 132:8 KJV)
In the book of 2 Chronicles 35 it is recorded where Josiah keeps the Passover: “And said unto the Levites that taught all Israel, which were holy unto the Lord, Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son of David king of Israel did build; it shall not be a burden upon your shoulders: serve now the Lord your God, and his people Israel,” (2 Chronicles 35:3 KJV)
I have written out each of the scriptures which relates to all five arks recorded in the Old Testament and all five hast to do with God and Israel. Chapter Ten