Sceptre; Revelation Chp. 11
NOTE: Here we see the claim for ownership and control of the most Holy and Sacred place in the world; at the Jerusalem Temple site.
As is seen in these verses the 'naos' is the subject of measurement and reclaim by Jehovah God. This indicates the importance of His dwelling place for the future Temple (Ezk.), which follows after the Temple of Anti-Christ.
This apparently small beginning is a pivotal moment in the change over from "man’s rule on Earth" (Satan), to that of Jehovah Zebaoth; and isolates this especially Holy spot of land from the 3½ years of Anti-Christ rampage on the Jewish population in Jerusalem.
So we see the start of the physical takeover of the world by Jehovah Zebaoth, and prophesied in many places in the Bible, which 'begins at Jerusalem' (Isa. 31:4-9, 37:35 & Zech. 2, etc.), and its most Sacred place!
And there was given me a (a)reed like to a (b)Sceptre: the (c)angel said, "Rise, and measure the Temple (naos) of God, and the Alter, and them that worship therein".
(a) "Reed"; the measuring "reed", = 6 cubits. The "full reed", = six "great" cubits. The great cubit is "one cubit + one hand breath". 6 hand breadths = one standard cubit, the great cubit = 7 handbreadths. The full reed on the basis of 6 x 7 x 3.575" = thereabouts 12.5' (or 12'6" approx.).
(b) "Sceptre"; the AV says rod, which is diminishing. Str. No. 4464 gives rod, staff etc., but also royal sceptre etc. The giver denotes the difference. Here, the giver is Divine, so the meaning must be a measuring rod which has Divine Power and Authority, as a Divinely Ordained Sceptre! The area to be measured is also unassailable and protected, and cannot be contested by Satan, or his Gentiles.
(c) The order is to measure the "naos", (Grk.) which means the holy place, or holy dwelling place, or simply "to dwell" (Str. No. 3485). The AV's use of the single word "Temple" also diminishes, as the whole complete building and area will be the "Sanctuary", (App. 88), of which only a small part is being marked out, claimed, and protected by Jehovah Zebaoth, at this stage. Also measured for protection will be the alter, "and them that worship therein".
(a)But the court which is outside the Holy Place (a)cast out, and (b)measure it not; for it was (c)given unto the Nations: and the holy city shall they tread under foot (d)forty and two months.
(a) The outside court, cast out. The "cast out", in Greek is a strong term, and whenever the Holy Spirit emphasises, the attention must be particularly focused on the meaning.
(b) "Measure it not"; the "measuring", of course is for Holy purpose of place and area protection; but the original root Greek words also carry an implication of "degree", i.e. a part of (the whole). This leads to the thought of administry of the part, i.e. control or protection; which certainly is strongly implicit in V1 and V2.
(c) "Given unto the Nations; (Gentiles)". So in the yet future the "holy city", shall be abused by foreign Nations, i.e. not Jews!, except for a very small portion "measured" by John, for the Holy Spirit. The big question is where is this "naos", or holy area. From other prophecy (Dan. etc.), we know that a Temple will exist in the time of Antichrist, in the 7 year period known as the 70th week of years (Dan. 9). At the present time it is generally thought by those that pray, read, know and think on these things that the site of the Temple will be where the previous Temples (Solomon's) (Herod's) had been, and where the present foundations still exist. One side of these foundations is known as "the wailing wall", which is much venerated by the Jews, and had been excluded from them for many centuries by various Gentile rulers, until the 1967 war, which united Jerusalem under Jewish rule for the first time for approx. 2000 years.
The Temple that will be built for the 7 year "countdown", Anti-Christ period, may or may not be the same site as that in V.2 "measured", by John. The certainty is that in this visionary state ("in the Spirit", Rev. 1:10) that John is in, the unchangeable facts are shown, "the Holy Place", "the Alter", "them that worship therein", are in a state of Divine protection and control, in the terrible events which are to take place in Jerusalem.
(d) "Forty and two months"; this period of time in years is 3½. The Jewish year (360 days) period is 1,260 days. Usually in Scripture when time periods are given in days relating to the Jews, it indicates turbulent, troubled or persecution periods for the Jewish people. This is no exception, and relates to the second ½ of the 70th week of years of Dan. 9:27, but is also blessedly close to the end of the prophesied period of Dan. 9.
(c)And I will add power to (a)My two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, (b)clothed in sackcloth."
(a) “My two witnesses"; (Zech. 4). Who these two blessed witnesses are is not known. Some say Moses and Elijah, which may have veracity, as it is certain that Elijah will return to Earth prior to the "Day of the Lord", (Jehovah Zebaoth), (Malachi 4:5).
It is noteworthy that in the same breath as that promise (Mal. 4:4), Israel is exhorted to remember "the Law of Moses My servant"; so the possibility is distinct.
In Matt. 11 Jesus discusses John the Baptist, His own Evidential Miracles prophesied in Isa. 35:5-6, 61:1; and in V.10, the promise of Jehovah to send His Messenger (Mal 3:1). In V. 14 Jesus shows that had the Jewish Hierarchy accepted Him as Messiah, John would have been Elijah! Matt. 11:13, states "For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John"; meaning that John and his Baptism was a terminal point and a change; but was not accepted by the Sanhedrin; as also was the rejection of Jesus as Messiah finally at Acts 28:25-28. Because of these facts, prophecies concerning the Jews are delayed until after the Gentile Age; and that Grace period are complete in the future, (2014).
Jesus showed that He was that change, but it had to be accepted by the Nation of Israel! The offer of the Jer. 31:31 New Covenant was not withdrawn until Acts 28:28. The two witnesses will represent the same offer, together with the Kingdom, so the possibility is that Moses is one to represent the Law and Elijah the second representing the offer of Jer. 31:31. The fact of their rejection of Jesus as Messiah, may be the reason as we know from Ezekiel, that during the Millennial Reign the Jews will perform the rituals of the Law, other than the symbols of Messiah (incense alter etc.).
Scripture says they "are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord (Adon) of all the Earth", (Zech. 4:14). Their purpose is to faithfully pronounce "the Kingdom", as did our Lord during His Earthly ministry (Rev. 1:5). They will also witness to the fact that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah the Jews rejected! They will have special powers of survival and miracle, which will anger and unsettle the followers of Antichrist (Satan's people) on Earth, especially as they cannot be killed until their mission is complete; their witness time period is exactly the same as the Nations control of Jerusalem!
(b) Sackcloth; camel hair cloth, worn by mourners, and a symbol of sorrow and mourning; and a sign of rejection of all the world's wealth, pleasure and power; which is 'Mystery Babylon', and under Satan's control!
(c) Here again the Almighty Jehovah Zebaoth, shows measured empowerment for the Purpose! In this case, so that the "witnesses" may without any hindrance continue to give the Message of Jehovah God to the Jews and the world. It has to be remembered that the "Message" will include the fact of Jesus of Nazareth as Messiah! Jews will not want to hear this"! So, they with the help of non - Jews will try to kill the witnesses! They will not be able to do it for 3½ Jewish years, (1,260 days) due to God's Protection and Empowering; this fact will make all the world's anti-God people very angry; but also afraid!
(a)These are the two olive trees and the two candlesticks, standing before the (b)God of the Earth.
(a) Zech. 4:1-14. This reference the "olive trees" are closely related to Zerubbabal, who is the key person in the building of the second Temple, (Ezk. 5:2). He was a descendent of King David, and in Zech. 4, the olive trees are shown to stand next to "Zerubbabal", and that the next Temple of Jehovah will be completed by him! This is certain to be the Temple of Ezk 40, as the olive trees are also the two "Witnesses" of V3, and the time is close to the end of the "Great Tribulation". Zerubbabal will be "Empowered" in the rebuilding of the next Temple of Jehovah Zebaoth (as opposed to the Tribulation Temple) by the Spirit of Jehovah (Zech. 4:6)!
Jesus when discussing Elijah, spoke of John the Baptist, as the manifestation of Elijah, V.12 having "come already"! He had already stated that "the Law and the prophets were to John the Baptist" (Matt. 11:13 & Luke 16:16), and that he was the start of a change FOR THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL, in the context of Jeremiah 31:31. The reference in Luke 16:16, showed that "the Kingdom" was to be that change.
The remarkable events of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit empowered the JEWS for the "Kingdom message", was the start of the fulfilling of Joel 2:28-31, and that empowering did not cease until Israel rejected finally Paul's Jesus Christ Message at Acts 28:28! The empowering by the Holy Spirit to the Jews then ceased; and does not show a continuation until Revelation, when they need help again against Satan and men, (see first 3 Chapters of Revelation).
In Matt. 17:20, 21:21 and Mark 11:23, Jesus shows what a Jew with faith and empowerment from God can do, move mountains, (Matt. 17:20)! In Matt. 8:10, Jesus marvelled at the faith of the Gentile Centurion, comparing it with that of the lack in Israel! This is the empowerment that is alluded to in Zech. 4:7, when Zerubbabal shall be so empowered in his building of the Millennial Temple for Jehovah Zebaoth! It is depicted in Zerubbabal's case, in Zech. 4, showing the "olive trees" on each side of him feeding empowerment "oil", for his purpose!
The remarkable fact is that the "two witnesses" are also the "golden pipes", through which "oil" the Spirit is channelled. There is clearly an interrelationship between the "seven Churches" (Ekklesia), the "Witnesses", and all the spiritual needs of the travailing people of God, the Jews, and the supply of "oil" (Spirit) that they need to "overcome" the whiles and assaults of Satan!
(b) Jehovah Zebaoth. This title used by the Holy Spirit when God deals with all the Earth's peoples.
(a)And if anyone will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devours their enemies; and if anyone will hurt them, they must in that manner be killed.
(a) This power to destroy by Divine fire (Jer. 5:14), etc., should not be just taken as a metaphor for powerful words, but just literally as Scripture gives it; as their enemies and opposers will be many and powerful, and do not want to hear the Truth of Jehovah God, His Christ and His Kingdom about to begin. Their enemies will be killed in the way they planned for the witnesses!
(a)These have power to shut Heaven, that it rain not the days of their prophecy: and have power over the waters to turn them into blood, and to smite the Earth with all plagues, as often as they will.
(a) These powers over rain, water, plagues will not be used sadistically, but in an attempt to turn the proud, stubborn and defiant people away from the wiles, charm and persuasion of Antichrist and his, Satan’s powers. This will entail contest after contest of evil against righteousness, in similar vein to Elijah's contests with the priests of Baal (1 Kings 18), and Moses and Aaron with Pharaoh. The major difference on this occasion is that Jehovah Zebaoth is no longer forbearing (Rev. 10:6), the Jews are under terrible persecution, and the forces of Satan are rampant on Earth to a greater degree than at any time previously, and the Jewish remnant must be saved to secure the unbreakable promises of Jehovah.
And when they shall have (a)finished their testimony, (b)the wild beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and (c)shall overcome them, and kill them.
(a) Finished their testimony; not until the 1,260 days are completed, and their testimony has been heard, and contests with evil won, will they be defenceless against him who can kill the flesh (Matt. 10:28).
(b) See notes Rev. 4:6(b) and Chapter 13.
(c) They then are allowed to be killed, by "the wild beast", against whom they had been working.
(a)And their dead bodies shall lie in the broad place of the great city, which (b)spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their (c)Lord was crucified.
(a) The corpses will lie in an open and prominent place of Jerusalem.
(b) Spiritually Jerusalem is as Sodom and Egypt, which are repeatedly used in Scripture to illustrate the worst case of degradation and Satanic servitude, (Psm. 9:9, 10:1 and 79), (Isa. 1:9-10), (Ezk. 16:46-53) & (Ezk. 23:3,8,19 &27).
(c) Leaves no room for speculation, this is Jerusalem.
And they of the people and kindred and tongues and Nations shall (a)see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.
And they that dwell upon the Earth (a)rejoice over them, and (a)make merry, and shall (a)send gifts to one another; because these two prophets (b)tormented tem that dwelt on the Earth.
(a) "See", "rejoice", "make merry", "send gifts"; the relief of the people is very unusual. The witnesses had clearly affected the peoples of Earth greatly, but they still would not turn to God and His Christ, but are happy to associate fully with the Beast!
(b) They had found the message of God's Kingdom and His Christ, "tormenting"! That to some extent is already the case with many people on Earth!
And after the three days and a half (a)the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood on their feet; and (b)great fear fell on them which saw them.
(a) "The spirit of life"; only God Almighty gives life, and in this case is proving the point, as did Our Lord with Lazarus!
(b) "Great fear"; in the people who see it. This further demonstration of God's power should at least draw awe from the onlookers, but because they back Antichrist, they know only fear.
And they heard a great (a)voice from Heaven saying to them, (a)"Come up hither". And they (a)ascended up to Heaven in a cloud; and their enemies (a)beheld them.
(a) “Voice from Heaven", "Come up", "they ascended", "they see it". Such wonders still do not impress those people dead to God and Christ; who have given their lives, bodies and loyalty to Satan!
And in (a)that hour came a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell, and the quake killed (b)7000 named people: the remainder were terrified, and gave glory to the God of Heaven.
(a) I.e. the same hour that the witnesses are resurrected and ascend to Heaven! No longer any delay! A tenth of Jerusalem fell.
(b) "7000 named people"; the implications that "known" people here are beyond any redemption, and their deaths are demonstration to the remainder, which has the correct effect, who for the first time, acknowledge the true God Jehovah! The number exactly 7000, marked out by God to be seen to die, and their protector, (Antichrist) cannot help them!
As Dr. Bullinger notes, "they acknowledge the God of Heaven, not a Covenant God known and loved"! However, it is the same reluctant acknowledgement as those that rebel against all authentic authority!
(a)The second woe is past; behold the (b)3rd woe comes quickly.
(a) Now almost continuous pressure on the peoples.
(b) However; there are clear definitions between the "woes"!
And (a)the 7th angel sounded; and there were great voices in Heaven, saying, "the world's Kingdoms and the reign of it is become our Lord's, and of His Christ; and He shall reign to the(b)Age and Ages".
(c)And the four and twenty elders, which sit before God on their thrones, fell on their faces and worshipped God.
(a) The 7th angel of the 7th seal released by the Lamb of God. This is the last trumpet angel, who on sounding releases the last 7 plagues (or vials), which are the 3rd woe. At last, man’s rule is ending and Jehovah Zebaoth's in Christ is about to begin. The Lord’s enemies are about to be made His footstool.
(b) The Authorised translates “for ever and ever”. Str. no. 165 gives the Greek word “AION” from a root “AEI” (Str. 104). The root gives the meaning, “continued duration”, “ever”, “earnestly”, "always”, “ever”. The manuscript word “AION”, gives; “an Age”, “perpetuity”, “course”, “eternal,” “forevermore”, “world without end”. However; this word “AION” has a special meaning in the Jewish context, which is “A MESSIANIC PERIOD”!! As the Lord’s (CHRIST’S) reign on Earth is also the Messiah’s reign (as Christ is Greek for Messiah) it is one and the same. As Revelation is about restoring Israel (Jeshurun), defeating and vanquishing Satan, Jehovah Zebaoth’s wrath on the evil Nations, and re-establishing the Jewish order in Jerusalem outwards, it is clear which translated meaning applies.
(c) The great, long awaited time has arrived, and the elders release their feelings in worship, which also witnesses their understanding of the enormity of the events on Earth to Heavenly creation!
Saying, "We give thee thanks Lord God the Almighty, Which art and wast; because Thou hast (a)taken Thy great power, and reignth.
And the Nations have been full of wrath, (b)now your wrath is come, and the time of the (c)dead to be judged, and to give the (d)recompense to thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and to those that fear Thy name, small and great; and to (e)destroy those that destroy the Earth".
(a) "Taken Thy great power to reign"; this power has only been withheld because of timing on the main events, which progress toward the completion of the "mystery of God," (Rev. 10:7), (see notes Rev. 5:13 (b).
(b) "Now your wrath is come"; this is the wrath of God against all evil force on Earth in human, demonic and Antichrist forms. It will vanquish all forms of anti-God and anti-Christ forces in whatever form. It has been long withheld to allow all events and methods of Satan to reach the maximum permissible within the scope of the Ages. Its ending, with the Almighty's contending Wrath against the Nations, coincides with the rescue of the remnant of Israel (Isa. 11), which redeems His promise, that Israel will never cease to be a people on the Earth (Gen. 12:2), (Gen. 15:18), (Ex. 6:4-8), (Deut. 11:21), (Deut. 32:9), (Deut. 32:43), (Psm. 105), (Isa. 66:22) & (Jer. 31:35-37).
There are many commentators that say this "wrath" is aimed at Israel! When one takes into account Isa. 13, (which is related directly to Revelation in prophecy), and particularly verse 11, " the world" is mentioned specifically! Also, verse 4 and 13 state "the Lord of Hosts", correctly translated "Jehovah Zebaoth", (God of all the World, and its peoples!), not just the God of Israel!
(c) "Dead to be Judged"; does this statement refer to all the dead who have ever lived? Almost certainly not. The culmination described above relates to timing linked to Israel and the Nations (Gentiles). The judgement is certainly that of the dead Jews (Ezk. 37), who have been resurrected (Dan. 12:2) & (Dan. 12:13), and probably the raising of "the just", (Luke 14:14), which probably includes Jew and Gentile, and would seem to accord with Rev. 20: 4-6. This resurrection is the one to hope for by people not of the Body of Christ, as the blessings in Millennial are great, and the Second Death "has no power over them", (Rev. 20:6).
(d) "Recompense"; this word has the flavour of "reward", which is the word used by the Interlinear. Recompense has also "compensation", in its meaning. Those listed, the "prophets", "the saints", "those that fear (revere) thy name, small and great", covers many peoples and the categories are known in truth only by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
(e) "Destroy those that destroy the Earth"; this, and many other hard and firm statements in Scripture are not easily accepted by Christendom currently, because of the many false teachings around the world propagating the "gentle Jesus", myth. There is no doubt that our Lord is the most gentle Saviour, but Christ (The Anointed of Jehovah) has to deal with the evil of which most people are unaware, and in the timing of Jehovah (Rev. 6), that dealing leading to the ultimate conquering of Satan is underway. In that context, Satan expected the victory when Christ died on the accursed tree, but instead Christ gained victory over death, and became the first fruit of propitiation (the saved) to the Father, (Jehovah God). In this knowledge, Satan, who knows The Word, laid plans, and has the freedom to attempt to eliminate Israel. If this attempt succeeds he has the victory. Satan's strategy is:-
1) To obtain the knowledge of Creation (Jer. 31:35-37), (this has been sought avidly by Science since approx. AD 1850).
2) To destroy the Earth by degradation of all means. (This has accelerated since the start of the Industrial revolution).
3) To destroy Israel. (This increased in intensity during the 2nd. world war, and despite those horrors, anti-Semitism is increasing very fast worldwide)!
4) To destroy faith in God/ Christ. (Satan has permit to do his best/worst, to kill or prevent belief, faith, or love in Christ!
It has been recognised since the 1800s that one of the most effective tools for Satan's propaganda is the Pulpit. In modern times read leaders, pastors, etc., who preach a false message. One of the most powerful at this date 2010 also 2014, is in the Charismatic Movement advocating the same powers as was manifest in the Acts period for the benefit of the Jews. It is undoubtedly the case that the fastest growing Group in Christendom are the Charismatics, and their leaders when challenged re their so called miraculous powers usually respond by attacking the questioner, to the effect that they are of Satan! A further very suspicious and dubious grouping are under the joint heading of the "Ecumenical Movement". This grouping is discreetly led by Rome, and has the purpose of drawing large groups of Christian Dominations together. That in itself is a worthy object if it was under the banner of Truth; Acts 4:12; however, as the criterion is not to concentrate on the differences in theology, with the distinct stipulation of Salvation in Christ only (Acts 4:12) is neglected or eliminated! It is not the intention in this comment to imply or state that the people involved are not Christians. That is a question only the Lord Himself knows, as only He knows the heart of every person. What is intended, is to throw suspicion on the motives of the leadership of these groupings.
It is the opinion of the writers that these powerful groupings will be used by the Beast/Antichrist for his purposes on a world-wide scale.
All of these are in progress at present, and in V.18 all the destroying agencies, people, demons and methods are destroyed, (Zech. 13:2).
This must take place, together with Satan's binding, prior to the regeneration of the Earth by Jehovah Zebaoth, and the 1000 year reign of Jehovah / Christ.
And the Temple of God in the Heaven was opened, and the (a)ark of His Covenant was seen in His Temple: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunders, and an earthquake and great hail.
(a) "Ark of His Covenant"; holy confirmation of the Covenants and promises of Jehovah to His people Israel, which also confirms His future actions shown in all Revelation. The "lightnings", "voices", "thunders", "earthquake", "hail", all confirm the events about to happen on Earth, and indicate the powerful feelings of God Almighty, (Jehovah Zebaoth), in the confirmation of His promises Covenants) to Israel and all mankind. The so called “lost Ark” of human myth is clearly not so; and is in safe keeping, awaiting the stage of Israel’s “Ammi” restoration.