Now that we have seen the first half of the tribulation detailed somewhat, and then entered into the second half of the tribulation in chapter 9, and we were introduced to the seven thunders in chapter 10, we will now be told about antichrist and the two witnesses. We are still in the second half of the tribulation, as we were in the two previous chapters, but this will give us a clearer picture of the signs and prophecies we will want to know at that time.
(Rev 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.
John was given a scepter, or rod, to see how things measure up with the state of the “Temple of God,” and those on the Temple Mount who profess the name of Christ.
In these end days, just as it has been throughout Christian history, there are those who sincerely have accepted Christ, and there are those who claim to be Christians, but have not truly made that change in their hearts.
As we are in the second half of the tribulation, antichrist will sit on the throne and those around him will be worshiping him as if he was God. By this point, the Temple Mount will have been covertly put under the control of heathen, specifically the kenites, claiming to be the children of God and the children of Israel. Many Christians will therefore be led away from Christ, and they will unknowingly commit apostasy by following another christ, a false one.
(Rev 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.
The outer parts of the temple are given over to the gentiles, and just as they were allowed to enter into it, regardless of their faith, in the Old Testament times, this outer court is filled with people who are Christians in name only, but who are not sincere in their profession of faith. These people put other things before and above Christ. But the inner court is only for the spiritual children of Israel, who are wholly dedicated to serving Christ. However, in the second half of the tribulation, satan will take over this inner sanctuary as antichrist, claiming to be Christ, and many of those who had been dedicated to Christ will commit apostasy, or fall away from their professed faith, because they will be deceived. This is where we are told judgment will first occur, at the pulpit. And, this is where John is told to measure, observe, with this rod.
(2Th 2:2-4) That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
Before the return of Jesus Christ, the son of perdition, satan, must take the supposed throne of God on the Temple Mount, claiming to be God. This must, and will, take place before we ever see the Second Coming of Jesus. Those who claim to be here on behalf of God, but lie, will be judged harshly.
(Rev 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.
Two of God’s most trusted servants will be given miraculous power right at the beginning of the second half of the tribulation, just after the 6th Trumpet, probably about 5-6 days before satan appears as antichrist (we will explain that calculation at a later time). They will be humbly, but boldly, preaching the truth of God, and of the deception of satan, day and night, to urge people to repent and refuse to bow to antichrist.
(Rev 11:4) These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
This is not the first we’ve been told of the two witnesses, but we will now be given much more clarification of their roles, in this chapter of Revelation.
(Zec 4:2-4) And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof: And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof. So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord?
(Zec 4:11-14) Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof? And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.
The two witnesses have stood with God unfailingly throughout time, and would never waiver in their service, which is why God trusts them to do this very vital and honorable job. In this vision, they are represented by two olive trees because of the oil they produce within their berries, and this golden oil is representative of God’s Holy Spirit. They will be charged with allowing the golden oil to flow to God’s elect, in the form of the deepest knowledge and understanding (gold) of what God wants His faithful servants to know.
The seven lamps held on the golden candlestick in the vision of Zechariah in chapter 4, are the 7000 elect (and anyone else who will continue to stand only with Christ), and they are fed the golden oil by the two olive trees, which also appear in John’s vision. These seven lamps are to let their light of God’s truth shine all over the earth.
The disciples of Christ are instructed not to hide their light of God’s truth underneath a bushel, but to project it everywhere they can.
(Mat 5:14-16) Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
(Rev 1:20) The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.
The two witnesses lead two of these candlesticks, meaning that they represent the two churches approved by Jesus, Smyrna and Philadelphia. Smyrna and Philadelphia contain all of God’s elect, both the 7000 and the 144,000 (as well as the kings of the ethnos, who are those sealed, but that are not of the tribes of Israel). In other words, those two churches contain all of God’s faithful servants who will be sealed and will serve only Him. These two churches stand united as one under Christ (the single golden candlestick).
(Rev 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.
Because they will be speaking against the church of the one world religion under satan, whom the world believes to be Christ, they will see only evil in the eyes of the two witnesses. They really don’t know that the two witnesses are true ambassadors of God. But the people of the world will be so dedicated to their messiah that they will hate anyone who would dare speak a word against him.
To anyone who has the gumption to attack these two men in any way, the witnesses will project the consuming fire of God by the words of their mouths, and this would cause those people a spiritual death. Spiritual death means that a person is liable to die in the lake of fire at the end of the Millennium, unless he straightens up his act before that time. God is loving, but His patience can only go so far.
(Rev 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.
During this second half of the tribulation, there will be a famine for hearing the word of God.
(Amo 8:11-13) Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it. In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst.
In the last days, understanding of the Word of God will be shut off for anyone who has not been sealed and who has not made the effort to know Christ through His Word. They will thirst because they will no longer be able to partake in the Water of Life that comes through salvation by the acceptance of Jesus Christ. Therefore, they will wander from person to person, group to group, trying to find this truth (Remember the 5 unwise virgins in the Parable of the Ten Virgins), and they will believe they have gotten it when antichrist arrives, but sadly they will not have anything of the sort. Because they will not be able to quench this thirst, they will fail.
Well, we are told of the latter rain in Joel, and this is the knowledge and understanding, through the Holy Spirit, that comes in the second half of the tribulation:
(Joe 2:23) Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.
The true servants of God are given moderate understanding in the last generation leading into the tribulation, but the latter rain, which allows for the blossoming of the fruit of God, will come in the spring. This is when God’s elect will be at their best, and will be showing what they are made of. But, when the two witnesses are in place, they will be able to shut off God’s understanding from anyone who is not worthy of it, through their own doing, and ultimately for their own good.
(Rev 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.
As we will find our in chapter 13, this beast, which is the second beast of revelation (the fourth beast of Daniel 7), is none other than satan the antichrist. He is the one who comes out of the bottomless pit in Revelation 9, and unleashes all hell. He will finally have enough of God’s two right-hand men and will literally kill them, which tells us that the two witnesses are in flesh bodies at this time. This is a big no-no as satan and his angels have been instructed not to harm any of God’s servants, which includes the two witnesses.
(Rev 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.
They will lie there on the ground in the middle of Jerusalem, right where they are killed. This city, having been overrun by heathen serving satan, is spiritually equated with Sodom (of Sodom and Gomorrah fame) and Egypt, which has seen its share of heathenism as well, but is reminiscent of the oppressive system of ancient Egypt in which Moses lived. Just as most of the Hebrews fleeing Egypt in the Exodus wished to go back to their captors out of fear, the people of the world will wish to remain enslaved by the world system of antichrist because they don’t even realize how horrible it is.
(Rev 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.
No one will even bother to give these two bodies the respect normally associated with the corpses of the dead. They don’t even care, and they are even glad that the witnesses are dead. But, as most Christians are aware, their souls will no longer be within those broken clay vessels.
(Rev 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.
Not only is the world glad to hear of the deaths of these two, but they rejoice and even give gifts to one-another. The way they see it, these two horrible people would not leave them alone and constantly attacked the god that they love.
(Rev 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.
However, something unexpected is about to happen to these bodies as they lie in the streets, and it will throw the world for a loop. After all, God is all powerful and should have control over his enemies, and He does, but this false messiah, antichrist, is not truly God on earth yet. Suddenly, after three and a half days lying dead of flesh, the spirits of the two witnesses will re-enter into their flesh bodies and they will rise up, alive. This is going to be a shocking site. Is antichrist about to begin to lose control? Will people begin to doubt his power? They should, but at least most won’t.
(Rev 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.
Almost as soon as they are reanimated, the two witnesses are called up into Heaven, and are translated into the spirit just as Enoch and Elijah were, long before. The world can only watch in wonderment.
(Rev 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.
Just as soon as the two witnesses are witnessed heading to Heaven, there is a massive earthquake, in which 7000 men, the evil counterpart to God’s 7000 predestinated elect, are killed. These are the satan’s most trusted confidants. Because of this destruction and death, suddenly those remaining ecstatic followers of antichrist have a change of tone. However, the Remnant of God may be startled, but their faith is affirmed with all these recent events, and they continue giving glory to God for it.
(Rev 11:14) The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.
If you remember, we’ve already discussed the first two woes, the first half of the tribulation (5th trump) and the second half of the tribulation (6th trump). Each woe is progressively worse for those who do not reside in the Ark of Truth. We will now enter into the third, and final woe, the 7th Trumpet.
(Rev 11:15) 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.
The reign of satan is coming to an end, and Jesus is about to return to earth to take His rightful place upon the throne of God on Mount Zion. He will never leave this place as our sovereign King.
As Jesus returns, He will send His consuming fire to burn away all that offends Him from the earth, and this fire of God will consume all the flesh that remains in order to cleanse the earth of evil imperfection.
(2Pe 3:5-7) For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
You can read a very detailed account of His return in the entire chapter of Zechariah 14.
(Rev 11:16) And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,
We see again the twenty four elders, mentioned earlier in Revelation, sitting on thrones before God as patriarchs. Just as all of God’s faithful do, they rejoice that the flesh age is finally at an end, and we can move into the final stage of the test to determine who is loyal to God and who is not, the Millennium.
(Rev 11:17) Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.
(Rev 11:18) 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.
Everyone who has been faithful is praising God and His plan because it is for the good of everyone that it be completed, but there is still one more phase that will last one thousand years.
(Rev 11:19) And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.
This is the final destruction of the flesh age on earth and the cleansing of the land, so that we can finally live according to God’s pure ways. The earth will be renewed and clean and purified and we will have complete memory of what happened before man was placed on earth in these flesh bodies.
Those who have passed the prior tests, which God has given us, will be safe for eternity, but those who failed both times will have one last chance, and will be in danger of being blotted out of the Book of Life in the lake of fire. Which category would you prefer?