Bible, Revelation Chapter 11. Who are the Two Witnesses and What is the Third Temple of Revelation Chapter 11?
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What is the Third Temple and who are the Two Witnesses of Revelation 11?

The Third Temple and Two Witnesses Resurrected by God

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Understanding Revelation Chapter 11

The Third Temple and Two Prophets of the Tribulation Period

August 19, 2012

"... but the wise shall understand" (Daniel12:10 KJV)

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    Revelation Chapter 11 covers several events of the Tribulation Period.  We will discuss the most significant events of chapter 11; that of the Third Temple and the Two Witnesses. The events are mainly covered from a Earthly perspective.  Some have tried to allegorize the story, but if we leave it in its context and balance Scripture with Scripture, the meaning becomes quite clear.  The story has quite a few surprises in store for everyone involved.

   As with most of Revelation, much of the language is symbolic, requiring an enlightened view of all Scripture and the knowledge of Jesus Christ as God's Chosen Messiah; a knowledge only revealed to and available to a believer (2nd Corinthians 4:4).  Therefore, the Book of Revelation, also known as The Apocalypse or Revelation of Jesus Christ, is a perpetual mystery to unbelievers.  For this reason, early Christians could copy and repeat the mysteries found in Revelation without fear of the Roman government realizing it was Gospel literature.

Revelation Chapter 11:1-2 (KJV) - The Third Temple of God in Jerusalem

A model of the Second Temple to God in Jerusalem, Israel

"... Rise, and measure the Temple of God, and the altar ..." (Revelation11:1 KJV)

Revelation 11:1-2 Here we are very clearly shown that the Jews will build the Third and final Earthly Temple to God in the city of Jerusalem.  The First Temple (Solomon's) was destroyed by the Babylonians during the siege of Jerusalem in 586 B.C.  The Second Temple (Herod's) was destroyed by the Romans during the siege of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.  The Future?  A Third Temple will be built and desecrated just before the forthcoming siege of Jerusalem by the Antichrist during the Tribulation Period as described in Zechariah 14.

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.
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.

    When Jesus spoke of the forthcoming destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans, He made it clear that Israel will eventually have total control of Jerusalem, though not during the first 1/2 of the Tribulation as is clearly seen in Revelation 11:2above.  Jesus also prophesied of the 500,000 Jews killed during this siege and the forthcoming Diaspora which scattered the Jew from his homeland to all the nations of the Earth:

Luke 21:24 KJV 24And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

    The Apostle Paul reiterated Jesus' statement approximately 30+ years later, from his prison cell as he wrote the Book of Romans, prior to the Roman siege of Jerusalem in 70A.D.  Paul admonishes the Christian believer to respect the Jew even though he may appear to be in unbelief.  The "fulness of the Gentiles be come in" is a reference to the Church Age which will have its end prior to the Tribulation.  From the destruction of Jerusalem by the Antichrist shall come a remnant of Israel, 1/3 of their population not killed during the siege (Zechariah 12:2-3 KJV) will be Saved as described in verse 26 below:

Romans 11:25-29 KJV 25For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
26
And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion (Zion) the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: 
27
Forth is is My covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. 
28
As concerning the Gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the Father's sakes. 
29
For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

Revelation Chapter 11:3-13 (KJV) - The Two Witnesses

"... Come up here ..." (Revelation11:12 NASB)

Revelation 11:3-4 Here we are introduced to the Two Witnesses (other names for them are also given) and their brief but powerful Earthly ministry is described.  They wear the traditional sackcloth of prophets, signifying repentance.  The duration of their ministry is 42 lunar months (30 days) clearly explaining that their ministry will cover 1/2 of the 7-year Tribulation period (Daniel 9:27) ... the first 1/2:

3 And I will grant authority to my Two Witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.
4 These are the Two Olive Trees and the Two Lampstands
that stand before the Lord of the Earth.

Revelation 11:5 As with all of God's prophets, special protection for the Two Witnesses has been provided.  As described here, the supernatural powers of self-defense they have been given are quick and powerful:

5 And if anyone wants to harm them, fire flows out of their mouth and devours their enemies; so if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this way.

Revelation 11:6 Though their true identity will not be known until their arrival, the Two Witnesses have the same powers demonstrated by Moses and Elijah.   Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration representing the summation of the Law and the Prophets, respectively.   Moses turned the waters of Egypt into blood and called down multiple plagues.   Elijah withheld rain from Israel.  After the Church Age of Grace, God will manifest the Law and the Prophets once again.  In the Old Testament, the Law and the Prophets spoke mainly to Israel ... Here, they will speak to the entire Earth:

6 These have the power to shut up the sky, so that rain will not fall during the days of their prophesying; and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood, and to strike the Earth with every plague, as often as they desire.

Revelation 11:7-8 When their ministry is finished (after 1,260 days) God allows Satan via the First Beast to attack and defeat the Two Witnesses but the story still has surprises to come soon.  For now, their deaths are visibly confirmed by their corpses lying in a street of Jerusalem, identified metaphorically in verse 8:

7 When they have finished their testimony, the Beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them.
8 And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified.

Revelation 11:9-10 For 84 hours, the world is so happy that these Two Witnesses are dead that they won't allow them to be buried!  Rather, the world throws a celebration of their deaths and exchanges presents with each other. Viewing their dead bodies is a focal point of the party:

9Those from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and will not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb.
10 And those who dwell on the Earth will rejoice over them and celebrate; and they will send gifts to one another, because these Two Prophets tormented those who dwell on the Earth.

Revelation 11:11-12 One nagging thing about a party ... there's always a party spoiler! ... This time it's God ... as part of His surprise, He decides to bring the Two Witnesses back from the dead (probably the ultimate party trick!) right in front of the world ... and it's just when the party had really got going!  This really kills the spirit (unearthly that is!) of the party and scares all of the partygoers to death (God did the same thing to the Chaldean King Belshazzar in Chapter 5 of the Book of Daniel) ... For more party fun, God then Raptures the Two Witnesses directly into Heaven, right in front of everyone:

11 But after the three and a half days, the breath of life from God came into them, and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who were watching them.
12 And they heard a loud voice from Heaven saying to them, "Come up here", Then they went up into Heaven in the cloud, and their enemies watched them.

Revelation 11:13 God has a little surprise party of His own ... to break up the world's party, He sends a big earthquake upon the city of Jerusalem ... 10% of the city is destroyed ... 7,000 people are killed... but surprise! ... the remaining partygoers decide to worship God!:

13And in that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell; seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of Heaven.

An artist's rendering of Solomon's Temple (First Temple to God in Jerusalem, Israel)

Be sure and R.S.V.P. your regrets to this world party!  Besides, the only proper attire is sackcloth!

Come Up Here image 1999 Duncan Long - Used by Permission

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