Revelation 11 The Temple, the Witnesses & the Beast

Bible Study Series: Revealing Jesus in Revelation

Revelation Chapter 11: The Temple, the Witnesses & the Beast

by I Gordon

Revelation 11 Bile Study Lesson Temple, witnesses and the beast

We saw at the end of the last chapter that John was 'recommissioned' to prophesy again concerning peoples, nations and kings. So Revelation 11 before us today is a reset. I'm not going to call it the great reset. The real 'great reset' comes when the Lord returns to this planet! But starting in chapter 11 we are given a glimpse from the very beginning of the Tribulation again, this time concerning some key characters that will be big names in the Tribulation period. This chapter has a number of 'firsts' for Revelation. It is the first mention of the Jewish temple, the first reference to the earthly Jerusalem, the first glimpse of 'the beast' and the first sighting of the Ark of the Covenant. It is also the first that we hear of the 'two witnesses', decked out with their slightly unfashionable 'sackcloth' threads, of whom the whole world will go crazy over. No, not crazy as in 'I'm crazy for you'. More like the reaction of a woke leftist when someone says there are only two genders. That type of crazy... but with the 'crazy meter' turned up several notches. This chapter, as we shall see, has a very Old Testament kind of feel. If you asked Dorothy (from the Wizard of Oz) about this chapter, she'd likely say 'Toto, Tin man, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas, nor the Church age, anymore.' And she would be right! 

So this message will look at the following:

  • Why are we suddenly talking about the temple? And what is its relevance in the coming days?
  • Who are these two witnesses? And what is their mission?
  • Who is this 'beast'? And why does he come from the Abyss? 
  • Why is the world having a second Christmas when the two witnesses are killed? And what does that say about the 'zeitgeist' of this age?
  • And why is the ark of the covenant seen at the 7th trumpet?

And it begins with a long lost temple

Rev 11:1 I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, "Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, and count the worshipers there.

So suddenly, for the first time in Revelation, the temple is introduced. Israel hasn't had a temple since it was destroyed by the Romans under the then future Emperor Titus in 70 AD. That's nearly 2000 years. And yet here we are, living in a day when the preparation for a new temple is all but done. They have the plans, the architectural drawings, the materials, the clothing, the vessels and the skilled laborers. They even, at the time of writing, potentially have the long awaited pure red heifers which are critical for the purification of the Priests1 (Num 19:1-5). But, as they say with any new build, it's all about location, location, location right? And in what location does the temple need to be built? Well, where the previous two were built... in Jerusalem, on the Temple Mount. Which raises a wee problem called the Dome of the Rock in the center of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest Muslim temple that currently occupies this spot. The Temple Mount is also known in the Bible as Mount Moriah where Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son Isaac. But for Muslims, their tradition locates it as the place where Muhammad supposedly went back into heaven. All of this causes a rather large problem, somewhere on the scale of WWIII, were the Jews to build.2

Yet John is prophetically given a vision of a day when the temple will be in operation again and is asked to measure the temple just as Ezekiel (Ezek 40:1-2) and Zechariah (Zech 2:1-2) had in earlier visions. Measuring gives the idea of preparation and preservation of one's possessions. It speaks of God's ownership and future plans for that being measured.

History of the Temple
Throughout scripture various temples are mentioned both in history and future prophecy:

  1. The tabernacle of Moses - the mobile tent used through the Exodus (Ex 25:8)
  2. Solomon's temple - The glorious first temple built in 7 years (1 Kings 6:37)
  3. Zerubbabel/Herod's temple - the 2nd temple as described in the book of Ezra. Herod extended the 2nd temple, mentioned in the gospels (Luke 21:5, John 2:20, Matt 24:1) 
  4. Each individual Christian - The body of the believer is a temple of the Holy Spirit (1Cor 6:19)
  5. The Church - The body of Christ as a whole is a temple for the Lord (Eph 2:21)
  6. The heavenly temple - The earthly temple was copied from the heavenly temple (Heb 8:2,5, 9:11-12, Rev 7:15, 14:15)
  7. Tribulation temple - The temple that the Antichrist will place Himself in as God (Dan 9:27, Matt 24:15, 2 Thess 2:4, Revelation 11:1)
  8. Messianic Kingdom temple - built by the Messiah Jesus and in place in Jerusalem during the Kingdom age (Zech 6:12-13, Ezek chapters 40-43)
  9. Heavenly Jerusalem - We read of this city (in the last mention of a temple) 'I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.' (Rev 21:22) 

Two important points stand out from this for the believer today. The first involves our life today and the second our certain hope for tomorrow:

  1. There are two Greek words for temple. 'Naos' for the Holy of Holies where God's presence is and 'Hieron' for the entire temple ground. The word used for the Christian as a temple is 'Naos' - this is the holy of holies! God's Spirit dwells within the believer. And so what does scripture say because of this?1Co 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.' Glorify God with your body - don't grieve His Spirit for you are a temple of the Holy Spirit.
  2. In the New Jerusalem there is no separation of God from His people. There is no sin and there is no separate temple. He is the temple, as we read, meaning that the New Jerusalem will be like the temple filled with His presence! That is an amazing thought even if our wee brains can only but imagine what that will be like - but it will be unbelievable! 

John is also told to measure the altar which is where the sacrifices were offered. We know from Daniel's incredible prophecy about the 70 weeks (or better 70 'sevens') that during the 70th and final seven, temple sacrifices will occur but 'in the middle of the 'seven' he (the Antichrist) will put an end to sacrifice and offering' (Dan 9:27). Of course Jesus spoke about this event occurring in the last days in Matt 24:15, as did Paul in 2 Thes 2:4. So we know that the temple has to be in play before the mid-point of the tribulation according to these passages. 

So how could a temple be rebuilt? A little clue...

Rev 11:2 But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months. 

A distinction is drawn between the area for the Jews and the Gentiles, again showing that this is not the Church age where no such distinction exists. But we are given a little clue here... our verse says 'don't measure the outer court because it has been given to the Gentiles.' This could well indicate that the Jewish temple and the Muslim Dome of the Rock could live side by side. Some believe that the real location of the Jewish temple is either north (in one theory) or south (in another theory) of the Dome of the Rock. Time will tell how it plays out, but the Jews will get their temple. Notice also that it says that Jerusalem will be trampled down for 42 months. This is the second half of the tribulation period when the people of Israel will flee to the place in the wilderness prepared for them. Jerusalem here is called 'the holy city' but later in the chapter it will be given the not-so-lovely name of 'Sodom and Egypt'. Sodom speaks of sexual sin and Egypt, worldliness. So the first title (the holy city) is God's eternal name for His city in view of His everlasting promise and purposes for it. It is set apart and holy. It is part of the eternal plan of God and His gifts and calling are irrevocable (Rom 11:29). The second title (Sodom and Egypt) however is the reality until those purposes are met at the end of the tribulation. We see that today with a large part of Israel having no time for God and simply wanting to be like the rest of the world. We see it in their 'Pride' parades in opposition to God's word given directly to them. But at the start of the tribulation period the city of Jerusalem is going to get a crazy shake up when two odd-looking strangers, on a God-given mission, come riding into town... argh, albeit probably slowly, like maybe riding on donkeys!  

The Two Witnesses

Rev 11:3-6 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth." (4) These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. (5) If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die. (6) These men have power to shut up the sky so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want.

Here is the second 'first' in this chapter - the first mention of the two special servants of God. Earlier in Revelation we read of 144,000 Jewish evangelists specifically set aside and protected by God. These will likely be throughout the entire world, having an impact on every country. But here there are two special witnesses with a special assignment for a special city - Jerusalem! They prophesy for the same length of time (42 months) but it is called 1260 days and not 42 months because it is talking about the first half of the tribulation and not the end.3 

Break out the sackcloth!

Now these two when they come will stand out. Instead of Levi's and t-shirts it will be sackcloth and, um, sackcloth. Sackcloth is essentially goat's hair4 and it makes for a lovely undergarment right next to the skin. Ok... that's not true. Well, it is normally made from goat's hair but It is not exactly cotton or silk and is terrible next to the skin! As an outward symbol, sackcloth speaks of mourning, grieving and repentance. The first mention of 'sackcloth' in the Bible is with Jacob who tore his clothes and put on sackcloth when he heard that his beloved son Joseph had died (supposedly). Here in Revelation 11 is the last mention of anyone wearing sackcloth in the Bible... which is a good thing! There is no sackcloth in Heaven or the New Jerusalem for all mourning, tears and even repentance are past! 

Who are these two witnesses? 

While the two witnesses are not named there are clues given in the passage. Firstly it says that they are 'the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth.' This is a reference to another two characters in the Old Testament that were said to be the olive trees and lampstands in their day. It's not the easiest question but can you remember who this was? It was Zerubbabel and Joshua: 

Zec 4:11-14 Then I asked the angel, "What are these two olive trees on the right and the left of the lampstand?" (12) Again I asked him, "What are these two olive branches beside the two gold pipes that pour out golden oil?" (13) He replied, "Do you not know what these are?" "No, my lord," I said. (14) So he said, "These are the two who are anointed to serve the Lord of all the earth."

Zerubbabel and Joshua were faced with many challenges but God's word to them was 'not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit' (Zech 4:6). And interestingly, Zerubbabel and Joshua oversaw the rebuilding of the 2nd temple. It is all a picture of the coming two witnesses, these two olive trees and the lampstands who will stand before the Lord, in Jerusalem, in the 1st half of the Tribulation period. They too will likely be in Jerusalem while the third temple is built. Now concerning their identity, we see the following clues: 

Two Witnesses Identity Clue Points to
If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. Moses - where fire was part of the plagues upon Egypt and in judging the rebels in the rebellion of Korah (Exo 9:23-24, Num 16:28-35)
Elijah - who called down fire upon his enemies (2 Kings 1:10-14)
These men have power to shut up the sky so that it will not rain during the time Elijah - who had the power to shut up the sky so it doesn't rain. And it didn't rain for 3 1/2 years, the exact time of the ministry of these two witnesses (James 5:17)
They have power to turn the waters into blood Moses - The plague of blood was one that Moses brought upon Egypt in Ex 7:17-20
And to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want Moses - points to the variety of plagues that Moses, through God's power and enabling, struck Egypt with

There are other clues as well to consider:

  • Elijah is specifically said to come again before the great and terrible day of the Lord (Mal 4:5)
  • Moses and Elijah were seen with Jesus in a glimpse of His Kingdom (Matt 17:1-13)
  • Moses and Elijah represent the law and the prophets of the Old Testament
  • Both Moses and Elijah had unusual ends to their ministry. Moses died early without losing any strength (Deut 34:7) and Elijah was taken into heaven without seeing death (2Ki 2:11). Maybe their earthly ministry is still to be completed?
  • The days and ministries of both Moses and Elijah point to the last days. Moses' judgments upon Egypt speak to what is to come in the Tribulation. Elijah's 3 1/2 years of drought with no rain points to this period as well.

And you thought things were getting odd today!

It is easy to read over these verses and not take into account how radical these days will be. Let me say it again - these two witnesses will be able to kill their enemies with fire. They will be able to turn water into blood and strike the earth with plagues. Just in case you've been watching too many movies, let me say that these are not normal activities... not in this age anyway! Yet the tribulation period will be a radical time with satanic activity as well as the power of God evident. Everyone will have to make a choice as to who they will follow!

Bullet-proof... until their time is complete

Rev 11:7-10 Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them. (8) Their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. (9) For three and a half days men from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial. (10) The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and will celebrate by sending each other gifts, because these two prophets had tormented those who live on the earth.

We see that these two witnesses will be bulletproof until their testimony is complete. People will try to literally take them out but none will get close. That is important to remember. God knows the number of your days as well, even before you were born, and you too will fulfill the days allotted to you. But when the testimony of these two witnesses is complete, God's hand of invincibility is removed. And so we read that 'the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them.' This is the 1st of 29 mentions of the 'beast' in the book of Revelation. We will learn a lot more about this 'beast' in coming studies5 but for now it is worth noting that this is the Antichrist and you'll see that he has an odd origin. Some people come from England. Some come from Africa. The beast comes from the Abyss. We spoke of the Abyss, this holding pit for demonic spirits, in chapter 9. So this indicates that his power is Satanic as prophesied in 2 Thes 2:8-10. Even more than that, he will be possessed by Satan himself. Just as Satan entered Judas before the Lord was betrayed and killed, so Satan will enter and empower the coming Antichrist. It is no coincidence that these two individuals, and only these two, are called the 'son of destruction (or perdition)' in scripture - Judas (John 17:12) and the Antichrist (2 Thes 2:3). 

And he will kill the two witnesses. As mentioned, no one could touch them until they had finished their testimony but then the beast kills them. People know these are prophets of the Lord and yet the beast overpowers them... so what would the world think when they see this? It will only add to the thought of 'who is like the beast and who is able to make war with him?' (Rev 13:4) And where does this happen? In Jerusalem - they die where their Lord died. Scripture notes that the whole world will see it. Now that didn't used to be possible and for many years Bible prophecy teachers wondered how this could be. Today it is easy-peasy! We can live stream any city that has cameras setup and Jerusalem will be on full live-stream watching these events unfold! And look at the response of the world at the death of God's servants - they are ecstatic! This is the best thing since Christmas. Maybe even better than Christmas. It's present time! Oh how the world loves the message to repent and humble yourself before God!... Not!

The hatred of God
It is strange to think of the utter joy the world will get when the two witnesses from God are killed. Why such pleasure when truth is struck down in the street? But we see it in our own day. Christianity, which was the foundation of much of the Western world, is becoming despised today. Many beliefs that are core to a Christian's faith are not only disliked but bordering on being banned or prosecuted. Consider just a few beliefs common and straightforward to a Christian:
  • That salvation is found in Jesus alone and He is the only way to God
  • That God only created two genders, male and female
  • That human life is precious, starting right from the womb
  • That God created marriage and that is to be between a man and a woman

These things are seen as hate-speech in some circles now. Ultimately they come from a hatred of God and His authority over all lives. So when God sends two men to witness to the truth in the tribulation they will be hated, despised and killed. And their death will cause jubilant celebration world-wide... until God vindicates their message, His name, and indirectly, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 3 days later!

The parallels between the witnesses and their Lord

Rev 11:11-13 But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them. (12) Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up here." And they went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies looked on. (13) At that very hour there was a severe earthquake and a tenth of the city collapsed. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.

But a mere three days later the celebrations of the world turn sour and the gifts are returned. Well, the celebration turn to fear actually! It was that way with the world, and the fallen unseen world, when the Lord Jesus rose and conquered death after three days as well! You can only imagine their reaction as they are raptured, caught up, to heaven!6 There are several parallels between the life and ministry of the two witnesses and their Lord:

The Two Witnesses The Lord Jesus
Their Ministry- On a God-given mission to witness to God's truth Was the Light, Truth and witness from God
Response to their ministry - Were hated by the world though they spoke the truth from God Was hated by the religious authorities though He only spoke what was true!
Ministry Length - After a 3 1/2 year ministry, they were put to death by a Satanically possessed Antichrist Was put the death by Satan working through evil men after a 3 1/2 year ministry
Response to their death - The world celebrates as they think they have seen the end of the witnesses The enemies of Jesus rejoiced as they thought their plan was accomplished
Life after death - After 3 days their life was restored as they rose from the dead!  After 3 days the Lord Jesus rose from the dead!
Physical bodily ascension - In the sight of those around they ascended up into heaven Jesus ascended into heaven in front of His disciples

At that very same hour, with all the world watching on, a severe earthquake hits Jerusalem, a tenth of the city collapses and seven thousand people are killed. And in one of the very few positive reactions to a judgement given in Revelation, we read that 'the survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.' This will be survivors in Jerusalem. It will be Jews. They will recognize that the God of Israel is in this. He was the One who sent these two witnesses. He was the One that raised them from the dead. He was the One who caught them up by His power, into Heaven. And He was the One who sent the earthquake as a sign that He is not impressed with the treatment of His servants. Those who saw all this in Jerusalem were terrified... and gave glory to the God of Heaven. Like I said, people acknowledging God is a good way after a judgement is a rare event in Revelation. But there will be a remnant of Jewish believers who come to see their need for their Messiah Yeshua, and cry out for Him. And this event will be one that starts making them sit up and take notice! 

Woe, woe, woe

Rev 11:14-17 The second woe has passed; the third woe is coming soon. (15) The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever." (16) And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, (17) saying: "We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign. 

Now this part has confused some readers. The passage goes straight from the earthquake in Jerusalem when the two witnesses are raised to saying 'the second woe is past'. It makes it sound like the second woe is related to the earthquake where in fact it relates back to the 6th trumpet in Rev 9:14-21 where 1/3 of the world's population are killed by demonic beings. That is why I said previously that Rev 10:1-11:13 is a parenthesis, an interlude between the sixth and seventh trumpets. So having discussed the two witnesses we now find ourselves back with the final trumpet and the third 'woe'7

With the announcement of the 7th trumpet we read there are loud voices in heaven... heaven is excited! They are yelling this out! The time has finally come! This takes us to the end when the Kingdom of this world has (past tense) become the King of the Lord and Jesus Christ. Christ is seen as having taken power and His reign has begun. Most commentators tend to overlook this thinking it points to a soon coming reign when all the bowls are over. But the language is all in the present and past tense. At the blowing of the 7th trumpet, Christ's reign on earth begins! Now I like what McGee writes on this: 

"The blowing of the seventh trumpet is of utmost significance, and it is of special relevance in the understanding of the remainder of this book. In the program of God, it brings us chronologically to the breathtaking entrance of eternity where the mystery of God is finally unraveled... It is not kingdoms (plural) but Kingdom (singular) which denotes the fact that the kingdoms of this world are at present under Satan, to whom there is no distinction of nations, no East or West, no Iron Curtain—all are his; both sides are included in his domain. A great many people think that Satan is controlling Russia but that the Lord is controlling the United States and angels are hovering over the capitol at Washington, D.C. May I say that those angels may not be God's angels who are hovering over Washington today—it certainly doesn't look like they are. Actually, all of the kingdoms of this world are Satan's. It is therefore called the Kingdom—not kingdoms—of the world. It is the totality of a civilization and society of which men boast of self-improvement but which becomes more godless and wicked each day. It is a condemned civilization that is moving toward judgment."
J. Vernon McGee

Now McGee would have written this in the 70's or 80's but it speaks directly to today. Many see Russia as evil and the US as the good guy, without seeing that both are controlled by their own interests and the One who is currently 'the god of this world'. Oh how I long for the day when Jesus will rule all the nations! 

What happens at the 7th trumpet?

Rev 11:18-19 The nations were angry; and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great-- and for destroying those who destroy the earth." (19) Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a great hailstorm.

So as well as seeing that Jesus will begin His reign on earth at this time, we see other key events that occur. In order they will be:

  • The nations were angry - Leading up to and including the second coming anger, violence and rage will increase. People will be shaking their fist at God. We see that growing today as many can't put up with sound truth or even common sense anymore! Ultimately this leads to a greater wrath - one from God! 
  • Destroy those that are said to 'destroy the earth' - Oh what man has done with this beautiful creation God gave us! Humanity, often in the ever increasing search for profits, put poisons in our soils and on our crops, genetically modified our foods, sprayed chemicals and particles into the atmosphere, played God with our immune systems and filled our airways with EMF's... Humanity has literally thought it knows better than God with our food and environment. And it should also be stated that this word for 'destroy' also means to corrupt and defile. Do you think we live in a corrupted and defiled world? Man in his corrupted wisdom corrupts everything and God will repay them!
  • The servants are rewarded - The saints who died during the tribulation are raised and rewarded. This includes Old Testament saints as well. The day that many have longed for, going back thousands of years, will be seen. All of God's people from every age will rejoice in the long-awaited Kingdom age where Jesus will fulfill His prophesied name of 'Immanuel - God with us!'
  • The dead are judged - This takes us forward to the Great White Throne of Judgment that will be prominent in our study on Revelation 20. All of us will ultimately come before God in one of two judgements - either the bema (Judgment) seat of Christ or the Great White Throne of Judgement. And you do not want to stand before the latter!

And the Ark of the Covenant is revealed

The final thing that John saw at this time is an opening of the temple in heaven, revealing the Ark of the Covenant8. This is interesting. 

The Ark of the Covenant

The Ark was a sign of God's presence, power and purity. It was at the Ark that men, on the day of Atonement, could find forgiveness for their sins. But also judgment if they would not heed God's command to find forgiveness. The Ark itself was made of shittim wood, overlaid both within and without, of pure gold. Thus it is a wonderful pointer to the One who had both humanity (the wood) and divinity (the gold) - Jesus Christ. The Ark contained the following items:

  • The law of God - unlike the 10 commandments which Moses broke, this was the second stone set written by God and pointing to Jesus as the One who didn't break the commandments!
  • The manna from God - this was the provision of God for His people and points to Jesus as 'the bread of heaven' who came down to fill and sustain humanity.
  • The rod that budded - this was a sign of God's power where that which was dead could still bring forth life and fruit! This is a pointer to resurrection and new life in Jesus Christ!

So why is the temple in heaven opened at this dramatic stage, revealing the Ark of the covenant? Because when the 7th trumpet sounds, the  presence, power and purity of the real Ark, Jesus Christ, will be manifest. His presence will be seen because He will come and every eye will see Him! His power will be revealed because Jesus, amongst lightning, thunder and an earthquake9, will take this world by force. And His purity will be revealed for unlike humanity, the One coming is called 'Faithful and True'. The Ark points to God's ability and faithfulness in keeping His covenant and that is what Jesus does when He comes at the 7th trumpet blast!  


So... how do we conclude this chapter? There are some strange days coming in the tribulation period. God will be doing radical things through two men straight from the Old Testament, complete with sackcloth and judgements. And it all happens in Jerusalem. As Larry Norman used to sing 'The world is closely watching as we near the battle line. But if you're truly wise, you'll keep your eyes on Palestine.' God has big plans for the city of Jerusalem and for the nation of Israel in general. And they all involve His Son, their Messiah, Jesus. God does not forget a promise or go back on His word. Not for Jerusalem, the nation of Israel, the Church or for the promises He has made to you. So these are amazing days in which to be alive! Saints from all generations going right back to the day that Jesus left have literally longed to see this day. 

So don't be fearful, but hopeful. Don't be sleepy but alert. For all these things that we see taking place around us, remind us, that it is nearly home time. 

God Bless!     


  1. See here for more on the red heifers and the preparation of the Temple. According to various claims I have seen, it is expected that the rebuilding of the temple will take 1-3 years. Solomon build the first temple in 7 years and we've got better technology and access to resources today. As a side note there are some who try to see this temple as symbolizing the Church... which doesn't make any sense. As mentioned there are multiple prophetic verses that say there will be a Jewish temple in the last days. As David Guzik writes:

     The identity of this temple is an important matter of interpretation.  Many see this temple as a symbol of the church...However, if this temple in Revelation 11 is a symbolic representation of the church, why should it be measured?  What is the significance of the courts and the altar - and if the church itself is the temple, who are the worshippers (those who worship there)?  There is too much specific detail here for this to be using the generalized picture of the church as a temple unto God.
    Pastor David Guzik

  2. So basically, outside of the Jews trying to build a temple in Mecca or Medina, Saudi Arabia, building it on their own Temple Mount is almost the next most difficult and controversial location in the world! At the moment anyway, as it would lead to a massive war with the Muslim world. But things will change as we see in Revelation 11 and other prophetic verses. It could be that after the Gog and Magog war (Ezek 38) and the agreement/covenant with the Antichrist, Israel is in a far stronger position to forge ahead with their long desired temple.  

  3. There is more information on why I believe the two witnesses are in the first half of the Tribulation here. It also goes into who these witnesses are likely to be... although it is basically what I have written here as well : )

  4. Cloth made of black goats' hair, coarse, rough, and thick, used for sacks, and also worn by mourners (Gen_37:34; Gen_42:25; 2Sa_3:31; Est_4:1, Est_4:2; Psa_30:11, etc.), and as a sign of repentance (Mat_11:21). It was put upon animals by the people of Nineveh (Jon_3:8).
    Easton's Bible Commentary

  5. Chapter 13 will focus a lot more on this where we see that there are two specific 'beasts' in the tribulation period. The last mention is very conclusive: Rev 20:10 'And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.' The beast is otherwise known as the Antichrist (a term not actually found in Revelation but 1 John).

  6. J. Vernon McGee writes (in the 1980's) "While the world is celebrating in jubilation the death of these witnesses and while the television cameras are focused upon them, the witnesses will stand on their feet. And all of the networks will regret that they had their cameras pointed to them, because they will not really want to give the news as it is. The scriptural word for resurrection is used here—the Greek word histeme—"they stood upon their feet." These witnesses are among the Tribulation saints who have part in the first resurrection (see Rev_20:4-6). Any news like this would be a scoop, but I am sure that all of the networks will have their cameras on it. By that time they may well have some new gadget which will make television, as we know it, look very much antiquated and out of place." -

    Yep, it's called the internet and permanent live streaming!

  7. So, what's a woe, Joe?

    As a refresher, you may remember the last verse from chapter 8 said:

    Rev 8:13 As I watched, I heard an eagle that was flying in midair call out in a loud voice: "Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels!"

    So - what's a woe? The Greek word means an 'interjection of grief or indignation... Of denouncing misery and pitying. Woe, alas!' This triple announcement of woe comes from the heavens declaring misery and alarm for those on earth. The 5th, 6th and 7th trumpets are known collectively as the three 'woes'.

    • 1st woe: Fifth trumpet blast - Abyss opened - demonic torment Rev 9:1-12
    • 2nd woe: 6th trumpet blast - Four fallen angelic beings release to kill 1/3 of mankind Rev 9:13-21
    • 3rd woe: 7th trumpet blast - Final judgement of fallen mankind at the 2nd coming Rev 11:15-18

  8. More on this here if interested:

  9. Just as a side note we see 'flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a great hailstorm' at this same time. This could be the same scene as the 6th seal and also the 7th bowl (Rev 16:17-18). I personally believe that the seals, trumpets and bowls all end at the Revelation of Jesus Christ at His second coming. And the language to describe these events is very similar.

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