Let’s turn now in our Bibles to Revelation chapter eleven. John said,
There was given to me a reed like unto a rod: (11:1)
Now a rod was a measuring stick. It was about nine feet long. A rod was six cubits; a cubit is about 17 to 18 inches. A cubit is the distance between your elbow and your middle finger. About 17, 18 inches, and six of those made up a rod. So they would take these bamboo sticks that were straight and they would cut them at the six cubits, which made the measuring rods nine feet. They were used much like our measuring tapes today. But they were just the sticks, and they would lay them out. The rod or the span was the distance between your thumb and little finger. They didn’t have the Stanley rulers in those days, so they made do with what they had. So John was given this reed that was like a rod,
and the angel stood, and said, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the alter, and those that worship therein. (11:1b)
Now, the temple is to be rebuilt in Jerusalem. In the ninth chapter of the Book of Daniel where he prophesied that from the time the commandment would go forth to restore and rebuild Jerusalem to the coming of the Messiah, the Prince, would be 69 weeks of years, or 483 years. But the angel had told Daniel there were 70 sevens that were determined upon the nation of Israel. 69 of them fulfilled from the time the commandment went forth to restore and rebuild Jerusalem to the coming of the Messiah, the Prince. There is one seven-year period that was not fulfilled. It is yet future. Jesus made mention of this in the prophesies concerning His return, Mathew 24. He said when you see the abomination of desolation that was spoken of by Daniel the prophet standing in the holy place, then flee to the wilderness.” Now, He was talking to the disciples about the signs of His coming and the end of the age. So it is still yet future, the seventieth week of Daniel. There has been an interval of time between the end of the 69-week when he said the Messiah would be cut off, the people would be dispersed. And that’s exactly what happened. Jesus was cut off, did not receive the kingdom. The people were dispersed. And so we have now a time gap, which is known as the time of the gentiles. It is the time in which God has opened the door of salvation to the gentiles, and the main thrust of the Spirit is among the gentile nations today. But the times of the gentiles are about fulfilled. God has a seven-year covenant yet to complete with the nation of Israel. And so there in the end of Daniel, chapter 9, he talks about the prince of the people that shall come, the Antichrist, the beast, the man of sin. He will make a covenant with the nation of Israel for the one-week, or the seven-year period. But in the midst of that week, he will break the covenant and he will come to the temple that has been built. He will stand in the holy of holies and he will proclaim that he is God, and he will demand that they worship him as God. That will be in the middle of the final seven-year period. Now this man of sin cannot be revealed until the church is taken out of the way. So looking at the sequence of events when the Lord raptures the church, which is the hindering force that is keeping him from taking over the world right now. When the church is removed, then the man of sin comes on the scene. He will rise up out of the European community and he will begin to gain power over the whole earth. He will be a man of just phenomenal, as far as the powers he is able to demonstrate, because he demonstrates all of the powers of darkness. And during his time there will be, of course, at the beginning a great period of prosperity. He will be able to bring solutions to problems that seemed to be insolvable. The problem of the nation of Israel’s existence with the Arab neighbors, the Moslems. The problem of the desire of the Jews to rebuild their temple but the fact that the Moslems have declared the temple mount a holy site to the Moslems and have built the al Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock monuments there on the temple mount. But the man of sin, the Antichrist, will make a covenant with the nation of Israel. No doubt in that covenant he will bring the solution to the problem of the Jews rebuilding their temple. They would not think of rebuilding their temple anywhere but the temple mount. How can that problem be resolved? Well, interestingly enough, now it seems totally impossible today yet the Bible tells us exactly what’s going to happen. And he makes the covenant with the nation of Israel. No doubt, according to Ezekiel 42:20, he speaks of the wall that is built, and it is to separate, it says, the holy place from the profane.
So I would envision that he will offer the solution that just north of the Dome of the Rock mosque they put up a wall of separation that will separate the southern portion of the temple mount area and will give the Jews the northern area of the temple mount area to build their temple. Actually the Moslem Dome of the Rock is about the middle of the temple mount, and of course, the al Aqsa is on the southern end of the temple mount area. It leaves a large area, probably 12 acres or so north of the Dome of the Rock mount, plenty of room to rebuild the temple on which many scholars believe is the original temple site. There is right now on that northern portion a little cupola, which is called the Dome of the Spirits, also known as the Dome of the Tablets. It’s built over a flat bedrock area, and there are many who believe that that is where the holy of holies existed in the temple of Solomon and also the temple that was rebuilt by the Jews and completed by Herod, the great temple that Herod built. It is directly in from the east gate of the old wall. It lines up with where the temple once stood. That is in the area that is north. It’s about 322 feet north of the Dome of the Rock mosque. So that they could rebuild their temple there. The only thing, there would not be room for the outer court. Now, you actually had the outer court of the temple where the gentiles could come. It was known as the court of the gentiles. Within that was the court of the women. The gentiles were not allowed to go beyond the court of the gentiles. There was a balustrade and into the next court only the Jews could come. It was called the court of the women. Within that was the court of the men, and the women could not come into that. And within that was the holy place where only the priests could go. And of course within the holy place was the holy of holies where only the high priest could go. So in the rebuilding of the temple on this site, the Dome of the Rock would stand in what would be the outer court. So it is interesting that when John is given this rod to measure the temple. He is commanded,
The court, which is without [or the outer court of the temple] leave out, don’t measure it; because it’s been given to the Gentiles: and the holy city they shall tread under foot for forty-two months. (11:2)
Interesting that the Lord tells John don’t measure the outer court. And in Ezekiel he speaks of the wall to separate the holy place from the profane. And the Lord said,
I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. (11:3)
The prophesies in the Bible are predicated on the Babylonian calendar which was a 360-day year calendar. The prophecies are in accord with the Babylonian calendar; so three-and-a-half years would be 1, 260 days on the Babylonian calendar. These two witnesses prophesy for 1,260 days clothed in sackcloth, the time that Jerusalem is given over to the gentiles.
These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. (11:4)
Now, this takes you back to the book of Zachariah when the Jews came back to rebuild the temple. Two of the leaders were Zachariah and Joshua, the priest. They were leading the people in the rebuilding of the temple. There was great discouragement because the walls of the city were still in rubble, and as they would build at night, the enemies would come in and tear down what they were building. It was a very demoralizing experience. The rubble was so great from the temple of Solomon, which was a huge edifice. When the Babylonians destroyed it, it was such a huge pile of rubble that with the people that they had, it just seemed like it was a mountain of rubble and they would never be able to put the temple together again. So there was the dream that Zachariah had. It was a dream of sort of a contraption where there was the candle with the cups that were daily filled with oil by the priests in order that there might be light within the holy place. And he saw these olive trees and pipes were coming out of the olive trees and filling the cups automatically with oil, directly from the olive trees. So it was sort of an interesting looking kind of a contraption. And the Lord said what are these? Zachariah didn’t know. This is the word of the Lord to Zachariah, It is not by might nor by power but by my Spirit, saith the Lord. This mountain shall be moved, [the mountain of rubble] the temple will be built but not by the might or power of man but by the help of the Spirit of God. So these are the two witnesses that stood before the earth. It is a reference to Zachariah and to Joshua. These are the two olive trees, he said. So that takes you back to that. But who are the two witnesses?
Now, back in Malachi the last book of the Old Testament, in fact just about the last word of God before the four hundred years of silence. The Lord said in the very end of the Old Testament, behold I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and awesome Day of the Lord. And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children and the heart of the children to their fathers lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. So the promise that Elijah would return before the great Day of the Lord.
Now, the Jews today even to the present time when they observe pass over always set an extra place at the table, and it is for Elijah. They keep the door open, and they are hoping that this will be the year that Elijah comes to prepare the way for the Messiah. Elijah will no doubt be one of the two witnesses.
When John the Baptist came as the forerunner of Jesus, the angel who announced to his father, Zacharias, that he was to have a son told Zachariah that he would go in the Spirit and in the power of Elijah to turn the hearts of the children to their fathers. When John the Baptist began his ministry, they asked him who are you? Are you the Messiah? John said no. They said are you Elijah? And John said no. They said who are you then? And he said I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness prepare ye the ways of the Lord, make straight his paths. In other words I’m preparing for the king to come. Later on Jesus said to his disciples after the martyrdom, or the death, of John the Baptist by Herod, Jesus said of all of the men born of women, there has not been a greater than John the Baptist. Yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he! The privileges that we have as the church, greater than any of the privileges that the Old Testament saints enjoyed! The disciples said how is it then that the scriptures say that Elijah must first come? Because he was considered one of the great men of the Old Testament. And Jesus said Elijah shall first come. In other words John the Baptist was already dead, but he predicted that Elijah would first come. But if you’re able to receive it, this was Elijah, if you’re able to grasp this. But he affirmed that Elijah would again first come before he would come back again.
So surely one of the two witnesses is Elijah. John the Baptist came in the spirit and the power of Elijah. They were similar in character. They were rugged men. They were rough men. They were a man’s man. A man of the out doors–just really a man’s man, tough, rugged, similar in nature, similar in spirit. They didn’t mince words. They told it straight. John the Baptist came in the Spirit and the power. When they said are you Elijah and he answered no, he was actually declaring I’m not the fulfillment of Malachi 4. That is future, but I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare the ways of the Lord. So in a sense he was. In a sense he wasn’t. That’s what Jesus meant when he said, if you’re able to receive this, this was Elijah of whom the prophet spoke but it wasn’t the complete fulfillment. That remains to when Elijah returns with another witness.
But who is the other witness? I think if the Lord wanted us to know, he would have told us. But there has been a lot of speculation, and it is interesting to speculate as to who the other might be. A lot of people believe it will be Enoch for the reason that Enoch did not die, and the Bible says it is appointed unto man once to die and after that the judgment. And Enoch indeed was a prophet. Jude quotes from the prophesy of Enoch concerning the Lord’s coming. And so Enoch makes a great candidate. Elijah and Enoch were two men of the Old Testament that did not die natural deaths, and thus he makes a good candidate. However, by this time the church will have been raptured, and thus as Paul said, I’ll tell you a mystery, not all are going to die but we’re all going to be changed in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye. So it doesn’t Enoch exclusive in not dying because the whole church will have been raptured by this time.
Others have surmised that it will be Moses because it was Moses that appeared with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. And it seems like they’re sort of buddies and many look at Moses as a possible second witness. That would be very interesting because in the Old Testament it’s really divided between the law and the prophets. And when you think of the law, you think of Moses. In the minds of the Jews, he is representative of God’s word to man. And thus Moses makes a very likely candidate because you would have the law and the prophets who are coming. Elijah is sort of the head of the prophets, Moses, the head of the law. So you have the great lawgiver and you have Elijah the head of the prophets. And they would make a great combination to the Jew as the representatives of the law and the prophets. Jesus, when He showed Himself to be the Messiah and how He would have to suffer, He went through the law and He went through the prophets showing them all of the scriptures that referred to the suffering and the death of the Messiah. So they would be great representatives, the representative of the law, the representative of the prophets coming to the people in these last days prior to the return of the Messiah.
There is another feature with Moses in that the two witnesses bring the plagues upon the people. And, of course, it was through Moses that the plagues were brought upon the Egyptians. There are others who believe that it is John the Baptist. As I said, these two guys were so similar in character they would make a powerful dynamic duo. You get the two together, and that would dynamite. So there are those who believe that it could be John the Baptist.
Others who believe that it could be Zachariah because of the statement that these are the two witnesses than stand before the Lord before the whole earth. And going back to the Book of Zachariah. While others believe that it will be John the beloved, the writer of the Book of Revelation because in the last verse of chapter ten, the Lord said to John, “You must prophesy again before many people and nations and tongues and kings.” So those are the various people who are suggested, but again if God wanted us to know for certain He would have told us. So you can take your pick. We really don’t know.
Now, we are told, though, concerning their ministry,
If any man will hurt them, fire proceeds out of their mouth, and devours their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. (11:5)
Now, this takes you back to Elijah when the king had ordered a captain with a hundred men to go and bring Elijah as a captive. When the man came to Elijah where he was sitting there in the hillside, he said oh, thou man of God, the king has sent me here to arrest you. He said, if I am a man of God, let fire come from heaven and consume you and your men. And fire came from heaven and consumed him with his men. So the king sent out another captain with a hundred men and he said oh, man of God, the king has ordered me to arrest you. He said, if I am a man of God, let fire come from heaven and consume you and your men. And it did. The third fellow was sent out to bring him in, and he said have mercy upon me, I have a wife and children and they need me. I’ve been dispatched, but would you mind, please, you know?. And Elijah went with him. But the calling down fire to consume the enemy. And so you have this identity with Elijah and his ministry in the Old Testament.
They also have power to shut up the heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy, [which is three-and-a-half years, 1,260 days.] (11:6a)
You remember that when Elijah was ministering and he said, “Let it not rain again until I say it. And God shut up the heavens during the time that Elijah was prophesying so that there came a tremendous drought during that time.” And James tells us that, “Elijah was a man of like passions like we are, yet he prayed and it rained not for the space of three years. And he prayed again and it did rain.” So surely the finger points to Elijah as one of the two. The power to shut up heavens that it rains not.
and he hath power over the waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all the plagues, as often as they will. (11:6b)
One of the plagues of Egypt was the waters were turned to blood, the Nile River, and it began to smell. And so they have power as Moses with the plagues. So that is one of the reasons why some people do believe that Moses is the other witness. And then we have an interesting statement.
When then shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit [that is the anti-Christ] will make war against them, and will overcome them, and kill them. (11:7)
So when they have finished their testimony, but notice, until they have finished their testimony, they’re indestructible! God preserves them! I believe that God has a purpose for each of our lives. And I believe as we are pursuing that purpose of God for our lives that God is going to watch over, protect, and keep us until we have completed God’s purposes for our lives. And once we have completed God’s purposes for our lives, I believe the Lord is going to take us home. Why would he want to leave us here on this rotten earth any longer than necessary to fulfill the purposes that he has for us? It’s interesting to me that until they had finished their witness, they were indestructible. But once their ministry was complete, then God gave power to the Anti-Christ, to the beast, who ascends out of the abusso. We’ll get to that when we get to the 17th chapter of the Book of Revelation, how that the beast comes out of the abusso and he goes into Gehenna. So he makes war against them and over comes them and kills them.
And their dead bodies will lie in the streets of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom [that’s a reference to Jerusalem in the Old Testament by one of the prophets] and Egypt, [the place of the flesh, and to identity it fully as Jerusalem,] where also our Lord would you say crucified. (11:8)
So the anti-Christ kills them and their bodies lie in the streets of Jerusalem.
And they of the people and the families and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies for three days and a half, and they will not allow their dead bodies to be put in graves. (11:9)
Interesting isn’t it? The world will see their bodies lying there in the streets of Jerusalem. Tell me, how could that be possible prior to satellite television? You see, this passage could not have been fulfilled fifty years ago. Two men lying dead in the streets of Jerusalem and the whole world looking at them. Dan Rather and CBS and ABC and NBC, there with their cameras, and, of course, Ted Turner with CNN. And there they are showing their bodies on television, and around the world people see their bodies lying there. It will be quite a show, quite a spectacle.
Now, in Israel when a person dies, they bury them the same day that they die. It’s just a tradition and custom. They don’t embalm the bodies. But they immediately bury them when they die; the same day that they die, they are buried. Not so, these two. They leave the bodies just lying there as the whole world looks on. And they of the people and the families and tongues and nations will see the dead bodies for three and a half days will not allow them to be buried or put into graves.
And they that dwell on the earth shall rejoice over them. (11:10a)
You see, the earth has been suffering. They have shut up heaven that it did not rain. They have brought plagues upon the earth. They’ve turned the water to blood. And thus these men will be public enemies, number one. And when they see their bodies lying there dead, they’re going to just rejoice and it’s going to be party time. It will be like a Christmas celebration or the Mardi Gras.
For they that dwell on the earth shall rejoice over them, and will make merry, [big parties] they will send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. But after three-and-a-half days the Spirit of life from God enters into them, and they stand on their feet; and great fear falls upon them which saw them. 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. (11:10, 11, 12)
I’m sure that they’ll be saying, “Cut the cameras. Cut the cameras”! They won’t want the world to see this. The news is always trying to just hide a lot of truth from you. They show you only parts of the story. But the media today is designed to frame opinions and to control people by distorting the news and only telling you a part of the story in order to cause you to be upset and to have a certain opinion on particular things. And so there is this spin by the media and the controlling of the news. And only telling you what they want you to hear to cause you to get strong opinions on did I have subjects. And thus, though it will be too late, the world will watch as their bodies ascend up into a cloud and God receives them into heaven. The voice saying come up hither. Those are the same words that were said to John back in chapter four when he was taken into the heavenly scene.
Now, in the same hour as they are taken into heaven, there is a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city of Jerusalem falls, and in the earthquake there were slain seven thousand men and the remnant were frightened, and they gave glory to the God of heaven. And the second woe is past; [Now, remember there were three woes that were to come. This is the end of the second woe, or of the sixth trumpet.] and behold the thirty woe cometh quickly. (11:13)
Now the seventh angel sounded;
Now during the time of this seventh angel will be the third woe. But it’s woe to the inhabitants of the earth who have rebelled against the authority of God. And within the seventh trumpet will bring the final culmination of the rule of man, and it will bring the establishing of the Kingdom of God which will be a definite woe to the men and women who are not a part of that Kingdom! They are to be cut off and thus a great woe when Jesus returns.
Now, some have made the mistake of identifying this seventh trumpet with the trump of God that signals the rapture of the church in 1 Thessalonians 4. And also the last trump in 1 Corinthians 15 where we will all be changed in a moment in a twinkling of an eye. But this is the second coming. This is not the rapture of the church, but this signals the Second Coming of Jesus and the establishing of God’s kingdom upon the earth.
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 forever and ever. (11:15)
That takes you on through. It’s taking you on out to the glorious time when Jesus returns to establish the kingdom. There are still other events that will transpire between this and the 19th chapter when He comes to claim that which He purchased by His death upon the cross. But this is now covering in the sounding of the days, it said, of the seventh trumpet. So it takes place over a period of time. “And he shall reign for ever and ever.”
And the twenty four elders which sat before God on their thrones, fell upon their faces, and they worshiped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, which wast, and art to come, because you have taken to thee thy great power, and have reigned. (11:16, 17)
Jesus came to redeem the world back to God. The world originally belonged to God. He created it. When God created man and placed him on the earth he gave the earth to man to have dominion over the earth, the fish of the sea, the fowl of the air. Adam, in turn, forfeited the earth over to Satan. So that at the present time Satan is the ruler over the earth. Notice it isn’t the kingdoms of this world. It’s the kingdom. This is Satan’s kingdom now. It was forfeited to Satan by Adam. But Jesus came to redeem the earth back to God. That was the purpose of His coming.
He said, I’ve come to seek and to save that which was lost. He spoke about how that the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man going through a field and discovering a treasure. And who for the joy thereof sells everything in order to buy the field so he can have the treasure. In the parables, Jesus said, now, the field is the world and the church has been called His peculiar treasure. Who is it that gave everything to buy the world? Jesus gave His life to redeem the world from the power of sin and the power of darkness in order that He might take the treasure, that is you, His church, out of this world.
When Jesus came after His baptism at the beginning of His ministry, Satan came to Him after His forty-day fast in the wilderness and he suggested that He use now His divine powers to satisfy His own lust or desire for food. He was hungry after fort days of fasting. Turn this stone into bread, Satan suggested. And Jesus responded, “It is written that man doesn’t live by bread alone.”
Then Satan took Him up to a high mountain and he showed Him all of the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them. And Satan boasted to Jesus. All of these are mine. I can give them to whomever I will, and I’ll give them to You if You’ll just bow down and worship me.
Now Jesus had come to redeem the world back to God, but the price of redemption was His blood. We are redeemed not with corruptible things such as silver and gold from the empty lives we once lived but with the precious blood of Jesus Christ who was slain as a lamb without spot and blemish. Satan is basically suggesting the cross is not necessary. God’s path is not necessary. We can short cut that. All You have to do is bow down and worship me. I’ll give You the kingdoms now. Jesus answered and said, it is written thou shalt worship the Lord thy God and Him only. But Satan bragging that the kingdom was his. Jesus acknowledged it. He called him the prince of this world. Paul calls him the God of this world.
But in the seventh trumpet the kingdom, not plural, kingdom of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His, Christ’s. He shall reign for ever and ever. And in response the elders on these 24 on these thrones fall and they worship God giving thanks saying, O Lord God Almighty, which art which wast, and art to come; because You have taken to Thee thy great power and has reigned. The time has come for Him to claim His purchased possession. He purchased the world almost two thousand years ago and yet He hasn’t yet laid claim. In the Book of Hebrews it tells us concerning Jesus that He was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death. As God, He could not die. So He was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death. In other words He took upon Himself the human nature. He did remain God but took on the human nature that that side might die. For the suffering of death. But we see Him crowned with glory and honor. And God has put all things in subjection unto Him. But the writer went on to say; we do not yet see all things in subjection to Him. Satan is still the ruler of this dark world in which we live. But this is the time when Jesus comes to claim that which He purchased.
The nations were angry, and your wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that you should give reward to your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and should destroy them which destroy the earth. (11:18)
Turn back to Mathew’s gospel, chapter 25. Mathew speaks of when Jesus comes again. Jesus is actually speaking. Mathew is telling us what Jesus said. In verse 31, when the Son of Man shall come in His glory. We have it here in Revelation 11. And all the holy angels with Him then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory and before Him shall be gathered all of the nations. And He shall separate them one from another as the shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on His left. And then shall the king say unto them on His right hand, come ye blessed of my father. Inherit the kingdom that was prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave Me meat. I was thirsty, you gave Me to drink. I was a stranger, you took Me in. I was naked and you clothed Me. I was sick, you visited Me. I was in prison and you came unto Me. And then shall the righteous answer him saying Lord when did we see You hungry and fed You and thirsty and gave You to drink and saw You as a stranger and took You in or naked and we clothed You. And when saw we You sick or in prison and came unto Thee? And the king shall answer and say unto them, verily I say unto you, in as much as you have done it unto the least of these My brethren, you’ve done it unto Me. And then shall He say unto them on the left hand, depart from Me ye cursed into ever lasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels for I was hungry and you gave Me no meat. I was thirsty, you gave Me no drink. I was a stranger, you did not take Me in. I was naked, you didn’t clothe Me. I was sick and in prison, you didn’t visit Me. And they shall answer and say Lord when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison and did not minister unto You? And then shall He answer them saying verily I say unto you in as much as you did it not to one of the least of these you did it not to Me. And these shall go away into ever lasting punishment but the righteous into life eternal.
These are the two destinies. Life eternal or ever lasting punishment. You are in one of the two crowds. “Now, they are declaring the day of your judgment has come. They should be judged and that you should give a reward to your servants, the prophets, and to the saints and to those that fear your name, small and great; and you should destroy them which destroy the earth.”
As we saw a couple of weeks ago, one of the names of Satan is destroyer. He has destroyed the earth. He is destroying lives. As you look at the world today you see how many people’s lives are being destroyed by sin. Satan is the destroyer. You see how man is destroying the earth. But it’s not going to be saved by Gore or the other tree huggers. The Lord is going to step in and save things.
And the temple of God was opened in heaven,
Now, you remember the earthly temple was a model. God gave the design; the dimensions to Moses, and God instructed him to be sure that you make it exactly as you were instructed. For we are told in the Book of Hebrews that these things are all a model of the heavenly. The throne of God in heaven. The earthly tabernacle was a model of that. So there is the temple in heaven. John sees it open.
And there was seen in the temple the Ark of the Covenant.
Now this is not the Ark of the Covenant that was the model that Moses had made and put in the tabernacle and was later placed in the temple built by Solomon. Where that ark is, we don’t know. There are Jews that say they know where it is and that at the proper time, they’ll bring it forth when they rebuild their temple. The Falashas in Ethiopia claim that they have the Ark of the Covenant there. That Jeremiah brought it to them before Nebuchadnezzar came back to destroy the temple. It never was put in the rebuilt temple by Ezra and the building of the temple there nor was it in the temple that was built by Herod the Great. But the true Ark of the Covenant is in heaven. He saw the Ark of the Covenant:
And there were lightnings, voices, thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail. (11:19)
So we still have these aspects of judgment. He’s given you sort of a brief kind of an over view of the whole thing. And now we’re going to come back and we’re going to be filling in some details as we begin with chapter 12. This is going to be sort of amplifying some of the territory that we have covered, and this will be so on through to chapter 20. We’ll be sort of going back and amplifying some of the things that have to do with the seventh trumpet and the return of the Lord and His reigning over the kingdom for ever and ever.
So next week chapter twelve. Fascinating chapter as we deal with event that is will be taking place in the last half of the three and a half years of the great tribulation period.
Father, again we’re so grateful for the insight that You have given to us, that You have not left us Lord without a plan, without a map. And You have mapped out for us what the future holds. And Lord, we realize that we are all headed into these last days. The scene has been set. All of the props are in place. We wait, Lord, for You to come and to take us home to be with You in the kingdom of heaven that You might begin the final seven-year period upon the earth as You cleanse it and purge it for the return of our Lord. Father, we realize that our destinies are either with You in the kingdom of light or with Satan in the kingdom of darkness and that You have given to us the invitation to come and to receive life. Lord, may we respond to that invitation. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #8250