The Revelation - A Book With 7 Seals ?
/ Ewald Frank
12. Chapter 11 - The second intermediate vision, The measuring of the temple and the ministry of the two witnesses
- Chapter 1 - Introduction, The Day of the Lord, Origin and significance of the prophetic word
- Chapter 2 - The seven messages of the resurrected Lord, First message, Keep the first love
- Chapter 3 - The fifth message, The Reformation Age, Strengthening the weak in faith
- Chapter 4 - A glimpse into heaven
- Chapter 5 - The mysterious book with the seven seals
- Chapter 6 - The opening of the seals, The unveiling of the power of the antichrist, A general view
- Chapter 7 - The sealed from the Jews
- Chapter 8 - The seventh seal, The silence in heaven, Mercy seat becomes judgement seat, Introduction to the seven trumpet judgements, The first four trumpets
- Chapter 9 - The incomparable torment, The fifth trumpet the first woe
- Chapter 10 - An intermediate vision The open book, The Lord as the Angel of the covenant
- Chapter 11 - The second intermediate vision, The measuring of the temple and the ministry of the two witnesses
- Chapter 12 - The woman clothed with the sun, Christ and His Own, Satan the red dragon and his followers
- Chapter 13 - The visions of Daniel in review of and in connection with the Revelation
- Chapter 14 - The Lamb and the sealed 144,000
- Chapter 15 - The seven bowl judgements and the multitude at the crystal sea
- Chapter 16 - The seven bowls of wrath, The final judgements of Gods indignation
- Chapter 17 - The woman riding on the beast
- Chapter 18 - The destruction of the great Babylon
- Chapter 19 - The rejoicing in heaven over the destruction of Babylon, The marriage of the Lamb
- Chapter 20 - Binding of Satan, Completion of the first resurrection by the martyrs, The Millennial Kingdom
- Chapter 21 - Announcing of the new heaven and the new earth, The glory of the New Jerusalem, The terrible fate of the lost
- Chapter 22 - The river of life and the trees of life, The paradise-like condition during the Millennial Reign
- Appendix - The 70 weeks of Daniel and the current events with Israel in the light of Bible prophecy
In chapter 11 we are first given a very important hint, of what will take place during the last three and a half years after the temple is rebuilt. International agreement assures the right that all religious buildings are protected, not the space beyond. Therefore, the Scripture says that during the three and a half years of the great tribulation the outer-court is given to the Gentiles.
"And there was given me a reed like a rod; and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship in it.
But the court, which is outside the temple, leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the nations, and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months." (11: 1-2).
These forty-two months of the great tribulation and persecution follow after the three and a half years of the ministry of the two prophets during which the temple is rebuilt. That is a perfect timing and a perfect description. Even the altar was measured. That reminds us directly of Dan. 9: 27, where we are told that in the middle of the last week the sacrifice and the oblation will cease.
In Ezekiel 40-47 the prophet saw the temple and also all the particulars concerning the same. The description is very clear and speaks of the future Millennial temple which will be built. The third temple, the house of God in Jerusalem will be put up at its original place and remain through the 1,000 year period. The following Bible references testify of this fact: Isa. 2: 2-3; Isa. 56: 7; Ezek. 47; Hag. 2: 9; Zech. 14: 20-21; Rev. 7: 15 a. o. The Temple Mountain is part of Mount Zion, therefore, the 144,000 are shown on Mount Zion.
The time allotted and the description of all the events surrounding this last part are very clear to all who can see. What concerns the ministry of the two witnesses will last three and a half years: "And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth." (11: 3).
When Scripture speaks about the time space of forty and two months or one thousand two hundred and sixty days or about one time, times and a dividing of time or of one year, two years and half a year, the concern is always about one h a l f of the seventieth week of Daniel. But it is very essential to understand into which h a l f the event spoken of needs to be placed.
The two prophets are the anointed ones, also called the two olive trees. The Prophet Zechariah saw them in chapter 4: 11-14 standing at the right and the left of the golden lampstand. That they were shown standing beside the lampstand signifies that they have their ministry outside the church age. Only after the taking away of the New Testament Bride will Israel be saved (Acts 15: 14+16; Rom. 11: 25 a. o.)
Anyone watching their ministry closely must think about Moses and Elijah, upon their word of authority God acted. Terrible plagues came over Egypt (Ex. 7-12) and water was turned into blood through the ministry of Moses. In the days of Elijah the heaven was shut for three and a half years and fire fell from the sky (2 Ki. 1). Both things repeat in the ministry of the two witnesses. In the life of Enoch nothing points to the things which are to happen in the ministry of the two witnesses. He was the seventh from Adam (Gen. 5: 19-24; Jude 14; Heb. 11: 5-6). He was a perfect type of those who live in the last, the seventh church age. They will not see death, but will experience the changing of their bodies and the taking away into Glory (1 Cor. 15: 51-57; 1 Th. 4: 13-17 a. o.). Moses and Elijah also came down on Mount Transfiguration speaking with our Lord about what would come to pass at that time (Mt. 17 a. o.). They are mentioned in the three last verses of the Old Testament in the Prophet Malachi. Moses who wrote the five books of the Thorah is the greatest prophet for the Jews, and Elijah is the most essential prophet whom the Jews expect according to their scriptural belief to appear just before the Messiah comes.
The Prophet Isaiah describes the heroes as sent ones who beg for peace. Directly in the following verse we are informed about the breaking of the covenant: "Behold, their valiant ones shall cry outside; the ambassadors of peace shall weep bitterly.
The highways lie waste, the wayfaring man ceaseth; he hath broken the covenant, he hath despised the cities, he regardeth no man." (Isa. 33: 7-8).
"Now will I rise, saith the Lord, now will I be exalted, now will I lift up myself
The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?
Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty; they shall behold the land that is very far off." (Isa. 33: 10 + 14 + 17)
"And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplications; and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn." (Zech. 12: 10)
The anointed ones are spoken of as gallant men of God, they do have absolute authority, whatever they say in the name of the Lord happens. Their duty is firstly to call out the 144,000 and secondly to pronounce judgements upon the nations as predicted at the end of chapter 10.
They are killed after the accomplishment of their duty. "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." (Rev. 11: 10).
People from all nations and languages will see their carcasses. Until now, those who criticised the Bible were actually shaking their heads when referring to this verse and were asking, how can this be possible. Today all have to acknowledge that it has become possible to show their carcasses to all the world via television. The whole earth can now be informed of what happened, and therefore, the Bible will always be true to the end, yes, right throughout all eternity.
"And after three days and a half the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet, and great fear fell upon them who saw them.
And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up here. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies beheld them.
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 terrified, and gave glory to the God of heaven." (11: 11-13).
After John saw what took place in connection with the ministry of the two prophets, he looked to the very end of that last epoch and gives the announcement which is contained in the seventh angel's trumpet as follows:
"And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdom of this world is become the kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever.
And the four and twenty elders, who sat before God in their thrones, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,
Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, who art, and wast, and art to come, because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned." (11: 15-17).
As announced at that time the mystery of God in Christ will be finished and the Lord will commence His reign. Also we are informed of a preliminary judgement between the nations and also a justifying judgement of those who raise from the dead before the Millennial Reign commences. He will justify His servants and prophets and also will commend and praise all the holy ones who feared His name and remained faithful unto death in the time of tribulation.
"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 (not sons and daughters), the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great, and shouldest destroy them who destroy the earth." (11: 18). For this subject with various judgements, which will take place before and after the Kingdom Reign, many Scripture references can be given: Isa. 2: 2-4; Mic. 4: 1-5; Mt. 25: 31; Dan. 7: 9-14; Rev. 20: 4-6 a. o.
The judgements before the Millennial Reign and the one after are spoken of in detail. All those who participate in the Rapture must first appear before the judgement seat of Christ. They must be judged before they can judge the world and reign with Christ. Paul writes, "For we shall all stand before the judgement seat of Christ
So, then, every one of us shall give account of himself to God." (Rom. 14: 10-12).
He further writes, "For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." (2 Cor. 5: 10).
"Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight, but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do." (Heb. 4: 13).
The apostle was sure with God, but he also saw the Lord as Judge Who would pronounce righteous judgement upon all. He testified before going to be with the Lord: "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." (2 Tim. 4: 8).
Before a king commences his reign on a throne, he must be crowned. When the Lord descends after the Marriage Supper to decide the last battle and to start His reign as King, we are told, "on his head were many crowns." All those who will reign with Him in His Kingdom will also be crowned before sitting with Him on His throne.
If all believers would be aware of the fact that they must appear before the judgement seat of Christ, the whole situation within the Bride Church would quickly look different. The fear of God would return and common decency into the conversations and the lives. "But I say unto you that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account of it in the day of judgement.
For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." (Mt. 12: 36-37).
"The Lord shall judge his people." (Heb. 10: 30). In the preceding verses we are told who these believers are and what they did.
Nothing will remain unknown, no question unanswered, no problem unsolved. "Therefore, judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts; and then shall every man have praise of God." (1 Cor. 4: 5).
The apostle has therefore very correctly placed these timely separated different judgements. He writes to his co-worker Timothy, "I charge thee, therefore, before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the living and the dead at «his appearing» and «his kingdom»." (2 Tim. 4: 1).
Paul referred to the appearing of Christ, when speaking about the righteous Judge, Who would give him the crown of victory, not only to him but to all who love His appearing. This includes the whole Bride Church. He also refers to the judging of the living and the dead at His Kingdom, that is just when the Millennial Reign commences.
The work of every believer and the labour within the Kingdom of God will also be put through the test on that day. "Every man's work shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall test every man's work of what sort it is." (1 Cor. 3: 13).
At that time, just before the reign, after the Wedding Supper, the Lord comes and fulfils both parts of 2 Th. 1: 7-10. One refers to the unbelieving, the other concerns the believers.
"And to you who are troubled, rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power,
When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day."
Because of false teaching in reference to John 5: 24 and similar utterances many believers live under the impression that they will never have to appear before the judgement, and therefore do as they please. The utterances of our Lord are most definitely in connection with the last judgement in which the true believers who partake in the first resurrection certainly must not appear. Verse 24 must be seen in connection with verse 29 and the given context. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into judgement, but is passed from death unto life." The judgement meant here is the last White Throne Judgement.
"Marvel not at this; for the hour is coming, in which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
And shall come forth: they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." (Jn. 5: 24-29). The first resurrection is spoken of by our Lord as the resurrection of life, and the second as one of damnation. At this final judgement the first-born group certainly does not appear.
The Prophet Isaiah further saw in the Spirit what would happen to the host of the air who had fallen with Satan before the Millennial Reign commences:
"And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth.
And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited - sentenced.
Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously." (24: 21-23).
Those angels who have fallen away from God together with Lucifer and all man who have rejected and withstood God in connection with His plan and purpose will in this preliminary judgement receive their sentence, and together they will be locked up, as the Scripture saith, and receive their final sentence after a long time, that is to say after the one thousand year reign. Also Satan will be locked up, as he is going to be bound first and then thrown into the bottomless pit for the one thousand years (Rev. 20: 1-2).
The prophet said in connection with those martyrs who participate in the first resurrection, "Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust (see also Dan. 12: 2)
For, behold, the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain." (Isa. 26: 19 + 21). Here the key-word is "slain". The same word is used for Christ, the Lamb of God, Who was "slain" (Acts 2: 23; Rev. 5: 9; Rev. 13: 8). We need to notice that this is said in reference to the martyrs of the past and of the future (Rev. 6: 9-11; 13: 14; 18: 24; 20: 4).
Here we are not dealing with those who died a natural death and were buried, here no graves open up. This text in chapter 11 does not concern the general resurrection of the dead, as the connection shows, no graves open up; but rather deals with the martyrs who gave their life remaining faithful to the end. Whoever became guilty of putting hands on them, will be judged by the Lord. From the way the question is placed, "Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise", the answer is actually clear. Those spoken of belong to God. The souls under the altar in the fifth seal were told to be patient for a while until their brethren and fellow servants have died as martyrs the same way they did.
Also the Prophet Ezekiel referred to this event in chapter 37: 1-10, when he prophesied about the dead bones coming together, " And ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon those slain, that they may live " This is still in the future and concerns them who will be slain in the open valley (v. 2).
The second part, verses 11-14, is already in the past, as it speaks repeatedly about the graves being opened and the Israelites returning to their own land. "O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel
And (I) shall put my Spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land (Israel); then shall ye know that I, the Lord, have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord." (Ezek. 37: 12+14).
This happened at the resurrection of our Lord according to Mt. 27: 51-56 and concerned all the saints from the Old Testament period who participate in the first resurrection. "And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints that slept were raised,
And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many."
According to Rev. 20: 4 the martyrs from the great tribulation are the slain ones who do not come out of the graves, but will live again and partake in the Millennial Reign.
At the end of this chapter the covenant with Israel is once again being emphasised. In chapter 10 the Angel of the covenant was shown as He came down. Here we see heaven open and the ark of the covenant coming into view.
"And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his covenant; and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderclaps, and an earthquake, and great hail." (11: 19).