Segment 22 - 11.01 - The two witnesses
Well he goes on then in chapter 11, still on this interlude, we haven’t gotten to the seventh trumpet yet. In this interlude the writer is given a measuring rod and he’s told to measure the temple. He’s told to measure the temple. And he talks here about two witnesses who are to prophecy for 1,260 days. Okay, they’re to prophecy for 1,260 days. And they are likened to two olive trees and two lampstands. And then the witnesses, these two witnesses, are to be killed by a beast from the bottomless pit. Don’t forget that bottomless pit, beast is gonna come up out of there and kill these two witnesses. And then after the corpses are to lie unburied in the streets of Jerusalem. This is all in the story, their corpses are to lie unburied. And then after three and a half days they are to be restored to life and taken on a cloud into heaven.
All right, so he’s given a measuring rod, told to go out and measure, then brings in the idea of these two witnesses who are going to prophecy for 1,260 days and then all the rest evolves. Let’s just take a look at this for a moment. Look at chapter 11, the first couple of verses and follow them with me. 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. Rise and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there. That has to do with the inner court. And this relates to the faithful. The faithful are to be measured and to be saved. Okay, the faithful.
Then in verse two he says, but do not measure the court outside the temple. That refers to the outer court of the temple. And this is the way it was constructed, the temple. And that refers to the unfaithful. Those who are kept outside the inner sanctum. Okay leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, okay. And they will trample over the Holy City for 42 months. You see how he’s very specific with his dates and times?
So first of all these first two verses refer the inner court means the faithful are gonna be safe. The outer court he says don’t measure that, that’s the unfaithful. And what’s gonna happen to them? They will trample over the Holy City for 42 months and I will grant my two witnesses power to prophecy 1,260 days. 1,260 days is how many months? Can you figure it out real quick? You know it’s close to three and a half months. All right, what’s all this business about 42 months, 1,260 days, three and a half months and that sort of thing?
Three and a half years, right, which makes it all the better okay, three and a half years. If you would compare all of that business about 42 months, three and a half years, 1,260 days to the seventh chapter of Daniel, you’ll see that the same reference is given. Why? Because that infamous Antiochus Epiphanes back there, the Greek general, descended from the Greeks, who was persecuting the Jews during that time, persecuted the Jews from about 168 to 165 BC. Approximately three and a half years or 42 months. And it’s brought out in the Book of Daniel, the seventh chapter makes a reference to a time, two times and a half. And it’s the descriptive way of saying a year plus two years and a half a year.
So all of this with the 42 months and the 1,260 days and so forth, all of this is simply a tie-in to what? To Daniel the seventh chapter because these Jewish Christians would know what he was talking about because they knew their scripture and they could tie it in to their own Bible if you will, okay. So it’s simply an attempt to tie it all in to The Book Of Daniel, something that the people would understand. And in this way he was better able to get his message across.
The two olive trees and the two lampstands, look at The Book Of Zechariah, the fourth chapter. This refers to Jeshua and Zerubbabel, oh boy. When King Cyrus of Persia came along and defeated the Babylonians and released the people of Judah from exile in Babylon, the first major contingent of exiles that went on back to Judah and the promised land. The first major contingent was led by two gentlemen name Jeshua and Zerubbabel. And they started to rebuild the Holy Land. From that time on, Israel never rose again as a nation, from 586 BC on, it never rose again as a nation, until when? Does anyone know? Some of the Bible class might. 1948 and Harry Truman had a lot to do with that. So that was a long spell of time wasn’t it? But, in 538 BC when the people began to come back as a result of Cyrus the Persian defeating the Babylonians, the first major contingent was led by Jeshua and Zerubbabel. And the book of Zechariah has to do with those two gentlemen.
Actually, Haggai and Zechariah were two prophets who appeared and helped Jeshua and Zerubbabel at a certain time during the rebuilding of the Holy Land. And we have books by Haggai and Zechariah. But in the Book of Zechariah, Jeshua and Zerubbabel are referred to as olive trees and lampstands and also as the branch. So this is a reference once again, to our Old Testament but to the Jewish scriptures so that people would understand, okay, the people would understand.
So all of that has to do with this and the whole ideas is that after three and a half days are to be restored, it says they will be killed, their corpses will lie in the streets. Then after three and a half days, like three and a half years, you see the tie-in? The reign of Antiochus Epiphanes, it will be restored. Life will be breathed back into them. Is there any Old Testament identification with that? Somewhere along the line where God breathed life back into something or someone that was dead.
Valley Of The Bones, the 37th chapter of Ezekiel. The Valley Of Dry Bones, you all know that song, dry bones, dry bones, them dry bones, you know? All right, the 37th chapter of Ezekiel, the dry bones represent Israel. And Ezekiel is simply saying that although Israel is in captivity now in Babylon, she’s like a valley of dry bones. But those dry bones are going to come to life once again, Ezekiel is saying because God is gonna breathe life back into the dry bones. And when Cyrus the Persian comes along, defeats the Babylonians and they go back home and rebuild, then in effect God breathe life, back into them dry bones. And here he revives these two witnesses and its simply a take off on Ezekiel the 37th chapter, The Valley Of Dry Bones.
You might recall the first hour we said that he draws heavily on The Old Testament. And he does, so that the people can make the identification with something with which they are familiar. In other words, they had that frame of reference to work out of. They knew their scripture. And when he can put it in that same context then there’s a better chance that people are going to listen to what he has to say.
Segment 23 - 11.15 - 7th angel
Okay, this is Chapter 11 and then in chapter... Still in Chapter 11, we go on down and Verse 14 it says that the second woe has passed, I believe. Is that correct, somewhere there? Yeah, Verse 14. Remember the three woes that were announced back there with the eagle flying, woe, woe, woe. Here’s the second woe has passed, and behold the third woe is soon to come, okay, the third woe is soon to come, but now something very different happens. The seventh angel then blows his trumpet, okay, and there’s no silence like after the seventh seal that was broken and that sort of thing. What happens here is this, that something very positive happens. When the first six trumpets were blown we had negative results, but with the blowing of the seventh trumpet, we have something very positive happen. This heralds the coming of the kingdom of the Christ. Look at Verse 15. Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and He shall reign forever and forever.”
The 24 elders, remember them back there in Chapter 4, who sit on their thrones before God, fell on their faces, and worshiped God, and then they go on praising God. With the blowing of the seventh trumpet, we have something very positive happen, and that is the announcing of the coming of the kingdom of the Christ. It looks like we’re just about ready for salvation, okay? The end is near in a very positive way, but we’re only in Chapter 11. We got a long way to go, because he’s going to build this whole thing up once again. He makes this announcement, all right, but then also it heralds the coming of the third woe. Remember it said here the second woe had just passed. We got one more to go, and the third woe is really found in I suppose all of Chapters 12 and 13. All of Chapters 12 and 13, so in this section here, with the blowing of the seventh trumpet, once again, we’ve sort of got that good news, bad news. The good news is, the kingdom of the Christ is coming, but we’ve also got the third woe to deal with, and that means more terrible things that are going to happen in the eyes of the writer.
Look at Verse 19 for just a moment, the very last verse in Chapter 11. This is also a tie-in to the Old Testament. It said, “Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the arc of His covenant was seen within His temple, and there were flashes of lightning, loud noises, peals of thunder, and earthquake and heavy hail,” all symbolic of the manifestation of God. All right. They looked up in heaven and saw God’s temple in heaven, right, and the arc of the covenant. There was also a temple on Earth, the Jewish temple. They had a couple of temples that they built. Solomon built the first temple, then Jeshua, and Zerubbabel, and Haggai, and Zachariah had built the second temple, and that one’s going to be destroyed about 70 A.D. It has been destroyed when we come to the writer’s time, but what he’s making the comparison of here is the earthly arc of the covenant. The arc is a little box that was built. You can see the instructions for this back in the book of Exodus, and this was placed in the temple, okay? He talks about the earthly arc, but this is the heavenly arc, the heavenly arc which supersedes in importance the earthly temple and the earthly arc.
The connection once again is made between the Old Testament and the New. The earthly arc was the witness of God’s covenant with Israel on Earth. The heavenly arc is the witness of God’s covenant with true Israel, which is the Christian church, in the eyes of the writer. Though the old temple and the old arc, the earthly arc, had to do with Israel as it was known, but when Jesus came, He was supposed to be the Messiah, and now the heavenly temple and the heavenly arc represent true Israel, which is the Christian community, and there you have the blowing of the seventh trumpet.