The Judgment is Sure
Introduction to the Seven Trumpets
The trumpets of history sounded to alert people of the final judgments,
to call them back into covenant relationship.
They were designed to call people to repent but "they repented not of their sins."
The Book of Revelation reveals Christ working out the provisions of God’s Covenant in the Last Days. It also reveals Christianity's Response to that Covenant
Between Sixth and Seventh Trumpets
11:1 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.
We already discussed the meaning of these first two verses in chapter ten. However, we will look at them in more detail here.
Measuring Rod = A major sign of false religion is that it cannot show its effectiveness in the lives of men before standard of the Bible and God's law, but God can and does validate true religion. He produces evidence of His righteousness, power, purpose, which reveals itself in the changed lives of common men and women. God has performed a miracle and calls upon all to take the measuring rod and take note of that miracle. God will measure and test the spirituality, morality, and genuineness of the people against His standard. The test answers the question, "Are they really God's people?" God makes it known if they are exhibiting His characteristics.
God's law is a revelation of His nature; it defines how He lives. If we want to be in His Kingdom and live as He does, we must obey His law. Yet obeying God's law in no way minimizes grace. God first gives us the Redeemer and then asks us to walk in His commands. He frees His people from their slavery to sin, then says "go and sin no more" live according to the standard of His law. Grace precedes law, but obedience will result if true religion has taken root in the life.
1 Cor. 10:12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
"Through the miscalculations of man, the church today is so misshapen that it can not be accepted by the great Builder. The temple that He is building after the pattern of things in the heavens must have the exact proportions assigned it by the Architect, whose pattern is without a flaw. He has brought the measuring rod from heaven. His church is to be a temple built after the divine standards, every living stone hewed and squared by the divine measurement, and polished to shine as an emblem of heaven, radiating in all directions the bright, clear beams of the Sun of Righteousness."
The command to measure has a special application to Christ's judgment ministry in the heavenly sanctuary. It is the investigative judgment which prepares God's people for the final struggle in the last days.
Triple measuring =
Those that worship are not literal Jews worshiping in a literal temple, but those who direct their worship to the heavenly temple, where Christ ministers in behalf of His children (see Heb. 8)
11:2 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 they tread under foot forty [and] two months.
This is the court of the temple in which stood the altar of sacrifice and the laver. It represents the earth in contrast with "the temple of God" in heaven. The court typified Christ's work upon earth; His baptism and His sacrifice upon the cross.
Luke 21:24 also speaks of the time of the Gentiles:
There are three terms worth looking at in these texts:
Both Revelation 11:2-3 and Luke 21:24 speak of the "TEMPLE" as well as of "JERUSALEM". When John wrote the book of Revelation the earthly temple and the earthly Jerusalem lay in ruins and could not be literally measured. We already concluded that the measuring in Revelation 11:2 refers to a spiritual measuring. Even if Gentiles inhabited the earthly Jerusalem, there was no temple there. So this must be speaking of the heavenly temple.
If we turn to Daniel we see a lot of TRAMPLING going on. [7:7,19; 8:7,10] The connection points to the trampling of the holy place and its host in Daniel. The agent doing the trampling is an extension of the Roman Empire which reveals itself as both a religious and political power that causes desolation [7:21,25; 8:11-13; 11;21-25; 12:11] It attempts to reach into heaven itself, usurping Christ's daily ministry and casting truth to the ground. It reaches into heaven -- the true PLACE of the sanctuary, and casts the "place" of the sanctuary to the ground, claiming power over it, and trampling on it.
This oppressive power is given a set TIME in prophecy during which the saints suffer under its "trampling". "A time, times, and half time" or 3 1/2 years. (Daniel 7:25; 12:7) This time period equals 42 months and thus establishes a specific link between Daniel 7 and Rev. 11. To make it even clearer, Rev. 11 defines that time in two different ways. 42 months in 11:2 and 1260 days in 11:3 Forth-two prophetic months of 30 days yield 1260 days. This in turn links this time of trampling with Rev. 12:6 and 14 as well. This shows this "trampling" by the "Gentiles" is the trampling of God's true church in the wilderness.
The "Gentiles" would thus be the little horn arising out of the Roman [Gentile] beast. It is a Gentile religious power, who is the one persecuting God's people who are in the wilderness during this "time" and presumptuously claiming the power over Christ's mediatorial work in the sanctuary.
The symbolic significance of Jerusalem represents God's chosen, faithful ones, in spiritual "Zion".
"The church of God upon the earth are one with the church of God above." (6T 366)
As Galatians 4:26 implies: The Jerusalem which is above, is the mother of all true believers.
11:3 And I will give [power] unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred [and] threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
Who are the two witnesses?
There are TWO, and in scripture in order to establish something to be true, two witnesses had to have agreeing testimonies (see Matt. 18:16, John 8:17).
The foundational witnesses for truth are the Old and New Testament. Both are witnesses to plan of salvation. Both are important testimonies to the origin and perpetuity of the law of God. Both witness to the covenant of promise. One points forward to the promised Savior, the other reveals His life, death and resurrection. Both witness to great battle between good and evil and the final restitution of all things.
Some will say that "people" or the "church" are the witnesses, however, though people are to witness, yet they could not be witnesses without the sure WORD OF PROPHECY found within the Old and New Testament Scriptures. To John was given a measuring reed. Men have as many standards for measuring as there are different individuals, but the one absolute rule by which men's actions are measured for eternity, is an infinitely perfect and unvarying standard. Thus the two witnesses could never be people, but only the SURE WORD of God contained in the Old and New Testament, which alone gives people something worthwhile to witness about!
Prophecying in sackcloth
Later when the early reformers worked to translate the Bible into the language of the common people, many, like Tyndale were burned at the stake.
Tyndale had been forced to flee England, because inquisitors were constantly on Tyndale's trail to arrest him and prevent his project. God foiled their plans, and in 1525-1526 the Tyndale New Testament became the first printed edition of the scripture in the English language.
The church now plays down the brutality, the inquisitions, etc. but the truth is they did NOT want the common people studying the Bible on their own for it would lessen their control over the people.
Scripture says THE TWO WITNESSES prophecied in sackcloth.
11:5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.
11:6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.
11:7 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.
11:8 And their dead bodies [shall lie] in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
11:9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.
11:10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.
11:11 And after three days and an 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.
11:12 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.
11:13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the 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 the God of heaven.
11:14 The second woe is past; [and], behold, the third woe cometh quickly.