Temple Baptist Church - 2-14-2021
A. We are now officially at the middle of the Tribulation Period of Jacob’s Trouble in this chapter. The middle will be marked by the Abomination of Desolation mentioned in Daniel, chapter 12.
B. A short breakdown of this chapter:
1. The first half of the Tribulation Period is now over. We have seen just how terrible that these years were for the people of earth. It was a wakeup call for those on earth.
2. An untold number of Gentiles and Jews have been saved and martyred and are now found under the altar in heaven. These are those who had never heard a clear presentation of the Gospel prior to the Rapture of the Church.
3. Most of the people of earth have rejected the Gospel and continued in unrepentance.
4. Verse 1-2. The Third Temple was built in “troublous times” (Daniel 9:25) and, evidently, the Abomination of Desolation committed as now the outer court is trampled under the feet of the unsaved for the rest of the 7-year period.
5. Verse 2. Now God turns to the Nation of Israel specifically. “Jacob’s Trouble” is for the restoration of the Nation of Israel to God.
6. Verse 3. The Lord begins with His two witnesses preaching the Word of God in the streets of the “holy city,” which in verse 7 is called “Sodom and Egypt.” Totally apostate at this time as their rejection of the Lord Jesus Christ in John 1:11 has led to national apostasy.
Vs. 4 – their purpose
Vs 5 – their protection
Vs. 6 – their power
Vs 7. – their death
Vs. 8-11 – their observation
Vs. 12 – their ascension
Vs. 13 – the great earthquake
Vs. 14 – The Second Woe is past and the Third Woe to come.
7. These protected witnesses will preach for 3 ½ years before the Lord allows their martyrdom to take place. They will lie in the streets for 3 days and a half and then be caught up to heaven in the sight of the people of earth.
C. Verse 3. “And I will give power unto my two witnesses”
1. Throughout the Bible, both under the Law in the Old Testament and under Grace in the New Testament, God has established that truthfulness must be verified by 2 or three witnesses. What these “witnesses” prophesy or preach is absolute truth.
Deuteronomy 17:6-7 At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death. (7) The hands of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. So thou shalt put the evil away from among you.
Deuteronomy 19:15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.
Matthew 18:16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
2 Corinthians 13:1 This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.
D. “a thousand two hundred and three score days,” three-and-one-half years or “forty-two months” as spoken of in verse 2. In the second half of the Tribulation Period, the gentiles will trod under foot the outer court of the Temple. As they do so, there will be two witnesses send from God to prophesy against their sinfulness.
E. “clothed in sackcloth.” Israelites, when in mourning, often sat in sackcloth and ashes. Sackcloth was a plain cloth used to make sacks to carry grain in. In America, poor people have used sackcloth to make clothes for their children because the parents were too poor to buy nice fabric. Ashes spoke of destruction and hopelessness as the mourner was in a state of utter destruction and helplessness. These two witnesses will prophesy with the spirit of mourning for those on earth. How much more should we mourn for those around us who are blinded by their sin.
F. In these “two witnesses,” I see both the grace of God and the judgment of God pronounced. Throughout the Tribulation Period, we see the longsuffering of God to those who walk on this earth but also see the holiness and judgment of God upon the unrepentant.
G. verse 4. “11:4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.” They were prophesied in the Book of Zechariah:
Zechariah 4:2-3 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: (3) And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof.
Candlestick – the light of witness. The two olive trees are not found in either the Tabernacle of the Wilderness or the first 2 temples. There are found in the 3rd temple of the end-time.
1. “the two olive trees.” Jacob’s Trouble is Daniel’s 70th Week, a time of judgment and restoration of the Nation of Israel. In Romans 11:5-26, we see Israel’s rejection of the Messiah and spiritual blindness until “the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.” The age of the Church, a mixture of Jew and Gentile.
God broke off the “natural branch” of Israel, the Good Olive Tree, and grafted in the unnatural branch” for the Wild Olive Tree. At the end of the Church Age, when the fullness of the Gentiles is come in, God will graft the “natural branch,” Israel back in when they look on Him whom they pierced and turn to Christ as their Messiah.
Olive Trees were a source of both food and oil. Food is also a type of spiritual food while oil is a type of the Spirit in the bible.
2. “the two candlesticks.” The Candlestick gave light to the Jewish priests as they ministered before the Lord in the Holy Place. It was the “beaten oil” that gave the Candlestick its light. The Olive Oil, or the product of the Olive Tree, was to be both pure and beaten. The oil was to cause the lamp to burn always.
Exodus 27:20 And thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always.
The candlestick is also a New Testament type of the church, a continual source of light to the world, made up of individual lights of the believers who place their lights there.
Matthew 5:15-16 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.
Revelation 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 light of the believers in the local church also give light to those without the local church.
Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
3. I believe these two witnesses to be a type of Old Testament Israel (The Olive Tree) and the New Testament Church (Candlestick).
4. “standing before the God of the earth.” These two messengers will stand before God in Jerusalem in the end-time as they prophesy. Prophesying can be either “forth telling” or “forth telling.” I believe that theirs will be both grace for saving faith to the unsaved and the impending judgment of God upon the unrepentant.
H. Who are these two witnesses? There has been much speculation concerning their identification so I wand to look at them for a few minutes.
1. Enoch. Enoch is one of the two men in the Bible that went to heaven without dying.
Genesis 5:22-24 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: (23) And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: (24) And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.
Those who believe that Enoch was one of them reference this verse in the New Testament.
Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
I personally rule Enoch out because God can overrule in matters of life and death. Lazarus, a friend of Jesus in the New Testament, died and was brought back to life so he had to die twice!
Enoch is a type of the Rapture of the Church and, therefore, will never die. If the Lord comes before our death, we will be “caught up” to heaven without death.
Hebrews 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
2. Elijah. Elijah is the other man who went to heaven without dying.
2 Kings 2:11 And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
I find this man more interesting because it was Elijah and Moses that met with Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration.
Matthew 17:3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.
Elijah had power to call down fire from heaven and also to make the rain cease, making him a good candidate according to Revelation 11:5-6.
3. Moses. The only man buried by God in the wilderness. Satan disputed with Michael the Archangel over Moses’ body in Jude 9.
Moses also appeared in the transfiguration with Elijah in Matthew 17:4. God did not allow Moses to go into Canaan because he “spake unadvisedly with his lips” and smote the Rock instead of speaking to it as God had commanded. A type of re-crucifixion of Christ.
Hebrews 6:6, “If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.”
Moses was given power in the Book of Exodus to turn the water into blood as well as smite Egypt with a myriad of plagues. Jerusalem is referred to “Egypt” in verse 8.
J. Verse 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.”