Next John says he was given a reed, like a ruler or metric stick, used for measuring. He was told to “Go and measure the temple of God and the alter, and count the worshippers there. But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it had been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for forty-two months (1260 years). And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1260 days (1260 years), clothed in sackcloth (mourning)” (REV 11:1-3).
There has been a great deal of speculation concerning who these two witnesses who John’s messenger refers to in this Scripture actually are. Some claim that they are Moses and Elijah, claiming that since they were the ones who met Jesus at the time of the transfiguration (MAT 17:3;MAR9:4) it is only proper that they be the ones to play this final role of witnessing. Others claim them to be Elijah and Enoch since neither of them have ever seen physical death recorded in any way. “But,” as Anderson points out, “the whole language is figurative” (UTR pg 108).
To understand who these two olive trees and two lampstands represent takes a considerable amount of patience if one demands evidence. If all of the prophetic definitions had been as clearly defined as is the word “lampstands” or “candlesticks” there would have never been a mystery after Christ revealed it while on Earth; thus no reason for this book. But few of the prophetic words are defined as clearly as the “candlesticks ARE the…churches” as can be found in The Revelation (1:29). But which churches are referred to in Chapter Eleven remains uncertain without more study.
In order to understand which churches are considered as standing “before the Lord of the earth” (REV 11:4) it is necessary to go back to the book of Zechariah, Chapter 4 where the prophet there had a very similar vision. But at this time, instead of two olive trees and two candlesticks being present, one of the lampstands are missing. Logic demands that if the title of the one present lampstand, or the one missing one can be determined then the other should be able to be found more easily. However, after Zechariah had inquired several times as to whom the olive trees and the candlestick were referring in his vision, the angel repeatedly refused to answer the questions with a somewhat curt, “Do you not know?” Finally, in reply to a question concerning the olive branches, the angel told Zechariah, “These are the two who are anointed to serve the Lord of all the earth.” (ZEC 4:1-14)
This doesn’t seem to be of much help. However, by recognizing that the two olive branches were, at the time of Zechariah’s vision, both by the same candlestick or “church,” then it is obvious that after the first advent of Christ something occurred which caused there to be another “church” to be placed alongside the first one.
Paul presented a parable to the Roman Christians which can lend some help. In it he says that the Christians were as “a wild olive shoot” which sprang up from the original tree and drew strength from it. He went on to explain how it was eventually grafted into the original tree after some of the first tree’s limbs had been broken off. But beyond the fact that here the original olive tree is identified as the Old Testament Hebrews (the Jews) and the second olive tree became the Christian Church, the rest of Paul’s parable carries little importance at this time. (ROM 11:13, 17)
Now, at the time John had his vision, evidently the true grafting of the Christian Church of believers that Jesus was the Messiah into the Hebraic believers that the Messiah was yet to come had not occurred. And well it would not have been so represented as having already been completed, for out of the roots of the Hebrew faith sprung up a branch who, though it looked like the original olive tree in many ways was a “wild olive” tree not yet part of that tree from which it drew its source. Israel was spiritually blinded at the first coming of his Lord and has since been blinded by a hardening of their hearts, at least in part; for some Jews do, and have since the days Jesus walked on Earth, accept the Messiahship of Jesus.
But it is promised that, in the future, the Israelites will sometime see where they have been blinded for the Gentile’s sake, and accept Jesus for who he really is if they accept Jesus’ Messiahship (ROM 11:23-24). It seems inevitable that this most probably won’t occur until the Lord returns when the majority of the Jews shall recognize that the one that their ancestors had pierced had truly been the one whom they had hoped to lead them into an eternal kingdom. And perhaps, it will be because when Jesus returns it will be as a conqueror, not a servant, that it will then be easier for the Jews to accept their Messiah; for that is what they sought, and still seek, but did not find in Jesus.
Regardless the reasons, there is finally an explanation concerning the figurative language of the two olive trees and two candlesticks; that being the Jews and their synagogues which embody their believers and the Christians and their churches which encloses their faithful. It is these two groups of people who “stand before the Lord of the earth” (REV 11:4) in prayer and service.
During the 1260 years of prophesying when many Gentiles, with little respect for the temple of God, trampled the outer court underfoot. The two “churches” of true believers witnessed to the fact that soon Israel would regain his rightful place in the promised land. Miracles followed believers as never before. If anyone tried to harm their message, they were protected by the ministry of the Word which, when they spoke, ended in the destruction of their enemies. They could spiritually control the weather as did Elijah physically (and spiritually alike) by controlling when and where true doctrine would be espoused. And they could reportedly raise those dead in sins and introduce them to eternal life. They even caused catastrophes in various parts of the planet by their simple presence in the world.
How do these miracles fit into the historical application of prophecy? First it is necessary to know the exact time frame during which this part of the prophecy predicts. This can be determined by the fact that John reported that “when (these witnesses)—have finished their testimony, the beast that come up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them” (REV 11:7). Since the beast herein mentioned has already been identified as the Othman or Ottoman Empire when it was first spoken of in Chapter Eight of The Revelation, then it is only logical to expect it to be the beast of the same identity here also. However the Ottoman Empire had since fallen in to the arms of Europe as a weak nation called Turkey until, at last in 1917, its last sultans could no longer be found within its borders (UTR pg. 93).
Although the fall of Turkey took place over a period of several years it was between the years of 1914-1915, towards the beginning of World War I, that the Turkish Empire lead by the sultans had become a slaughter ground for Armenians. So much that American Ambassador to Turkey, Henry Morgenthau, felt forced to leave because “Turkey for me (had become) a place of horror” (STB pg 253).
Germany, the last of the Holy Roman Empire and the homeland of the Armenians had taken the role of the scourge of the earth. By an agreement with Turkey it soon took over its seat in the spiritual world and, while defeated amongst the political powers it had become great amongst the powers of darkness controlled by Satan and his demons on the planet.
One man, who as a boy had been orphaned and had lived as a man who lived from one flop-house to the next while he tried to sell his art through a mendicant, began dabbling in the occult sciences based in the Armenian faith. He made a pact with Satan according to Walter Stein, who witnessed the things which Adolf Hitler did. Houston Steward Chamberlain proclaimed Hitler to be the German “Messiah”. Ones like Denis de Rougement who was considered by Trevor Rvencroft, author of The Spear of Destiny, as being quite rational, was said to have quoted some people as “having experienced in his (Hitler’s) presence a feeling of horror and an impression of supernatural power… by which Saint Paul meant those hierarchical spirits which can descend into any ordinary mortal and occupy him like a garrison…. What I am saying would be the cheapest form of romantic nonsense were it not that what has been established by this man or rather—through him—is a reality that is one of the wonders of the (twentieth) century.” (SOD pg. 65)
The destruction which followed the Hitler regime has become renown now. It is well known how it ended in a World War such as has never before nor since been known.
Throughout the time of his political power, Hitler and his regime became the whip which scourged the two churches which stood before God to serve him. He rejected the passive resistance of Jesus and the early Christians by statements as, “he who resigns has lost the right to live” (SOD pg.25). His hatred for the Jews, who he claimed to be the cause of all evil upon Earth, would be climaxed by the slaughter of millions of them throughout Europe. Truly the bodies of the two witnesses, at least in Europe, were as dead; and in Jerusalem the Mosque still stood proclaiming the Mohammedans spiritual strength though the Jew’s nation had been defeated.
Hitler, though professing a form of warped Armenian Christianity wherein Jesus somehow had actually come from Armenean blood and not Jewish (SOD pg. 120), had a true affinity with the Mohammedan faith. Speaking on Mohammedanism, and mourning the fact that the Islamic Arabs had lost at the Battle of Tours during the eighth century, Hitler said:
On May 1, 1945, the New Commander in chief of the armed forces, Doenitz, and Ernst Busch, Field Marshal of Hitler’s Nazi regime wanted to attack the British forces which were advancing toward Hamburg. Though Doenitz was initially against it, he finally agreed (ITB pg. 583). It was inevitable that Great Britain had been pulled into the fighting in order to protect its own borders from the approaching tyrant. By doing so it might just save itself and thousands of Jews which stood in Hitler’s way. Without some superior force’s intervention it looked as though the dead bodies of the Jews who were being slaughtered, and the Christians who’s pure religion was being corrupted, would remain in the streets unburied as the demonic powers of the Nazis continued to overwhelm all who stood in their way. But later that same month Germany surrendered to the Allied forces (FWE pg. 4007).
Verses nine and ten of this chapter (11) of The Revelation has been greatly misunderstood by commentators. Though most believe that the citizens of the world mentioned here are rejoicing over the death of the two witnesses; actually quite the opposite is true as can be seen in history. By looking in Strong’s Concordance, in the Greek Dictionary which he has provided in the back of his concordance, one can find that the words “τὰ πτώματα” which are commonly interpreted as meaning “dead bodies” could also mean “ruins”; that the words “οὐκ ἀφίουσιν” which are usually interpreted “they will not suffer” could mean, “they will not forsake”; and that the Greek word “οὐκ” is interpreted to mean “not” could mean “no longer” (ECB—gndt #86#;#4430;#3765;#3756). By making these allowable interpretative changes in verse nine it reads:
“For 3 ½ years men from every…nation will gaze on their ruins and will no longer forsake their ruins to be appointed to the grave.”
This is precisely what occurred. The Judaic-Christian nations outside of the Nazi regime “stood up on their feet” after it looked as though they had been defeated and decided to “no longer forsake” those who were being slaughtered so mercilessly. Those who saw them overcome this powerful, maniacal power stood in awe of them; and since the slaughter had been ended they rejoice and made merry sending gifts to one another. “V-Day” had arrived!
Three and one-half years later, on December 11, 1948, the United Nations General Assembly appointed a three member Conciliation Commission of France, Turkey, and the United States to take the necessary steps for the “protection of the Holy Places in Jerusalem and free access to them through arrangements under the United Nations supervision” (EUN pg 73).
This occurred exactly 1260 years after the Arabs began construction on the Dome of the Rock mosque in 688 Q.E, only eight months after the U.N. General Assembly had passed a resolution, to the fury of the Arabic Islamic nations, that gave the Jews the right to a portion of their homeland which John said equaled one-tenth of its total original area. This instantly caused war to break out in the Palestinian are and thousands were slaughtered. But, true to the prophecies, God was beginning the process of calling his people back to their homeland (DEU 30:1-6).
4.11.1 The Last+ Trumpet
The seventh angel gave his warning and suddenly a multitude of voices begin proclaiming that “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and his Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever” (REV 11:15—KJV). But, one might say, surely this has not yet occurred. The world is still armed with weapons even more powerful than those thought of during World War II. Sin, is indeed rampant.
True. This trumpet’s warning has not yet been sounded. One knows this because Paul describes certain things which will occur during this time which would surely have made the news headlines if they had already occurred. First, he told the Corinthians that “we shall not all sleep (die), but we shall all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (ICR 15:51-52—NIV)
Most assuredly, if people begin coming out of the graves and begin walking around in bodies which are incorruptible, that is which cannot be killed, the news media would have a hey-day. So likewise would they report an event like:
The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (ITH 4:16-17-NIV)
That is, they would report it unless they were numbered with those who had been “taken” or simply didn’t have the presence of mind to do so. In any case it goes without saying that people began floating off into the skies, into “clouds,” or disappearing into the thin air in a “Star Trek” fashion with no prior notice it would most certainly be news worthy even in the Twenty-First Century. As of yet it has not happened. But it will.
When this occurs the citizens of Earth will become angry, fearing that they have been invaded from outer space. But those who meet the Lord in the air will begin receiving their reward as they, so long ago, have been promised. For many centuries there have been countless hours and dollars spent on the search for the “Ark of His Testament” which the Israelites carried through the wilderness after they had escaped from Egypt. None have found it; nor will they. But when the heavens seem to open those who meet the Lord in the air will realize that the ones who went with Jesus at his first advent had taken it with them.
Then, in order to keep these alien invaders from taking over Earth, those left on the planet will turn their “sophisticated” weaponry upon these strangers; “and there (will be ) chariots, and voices and proofs of wickedness, and a shaking at the presence of God and the great Jesus” (REV 11:19-LAV).
Navigation (Table of Contents)
Table of Contents
What the Righteous Desire to See
Chapter 1 – John Receives His Instructions+
Chapter 2 – Christ’s Letters to the Churches+
Chapter 3 – The Last Three Churches
Chapter 4 – The Throne in Heaven
Chapter 5 – The Scroll and the Lamb
Chapter 8 – The Seventh Seal and the Golden Censer
Chapter 9 – More Trumpets are Blown+
Chapter 10 – The Angel and the Little Scroll
Chapter 11 – The Two Witnesses
Chapter 12 – The Women and the Dragon
Chapter 14 – The End of an Age+
Chapter 15 – Seven Angels with Seven Plagues
Chapter 16 – The Seven Bowls of God’s Wrath
Chapter 17 – The Woman on the Beast
Chapter 18 – The Fall of Babylon
Chapter 20 – The Thousand Years
Chapter 21 – The New Jerusalem
Chapter 22 – The River of Life