We pick up our journey through the last days between the sixth and the seventh trumpet of Judgment from God. The Last three trumpets were preceded by an angel announcing these trumpets were going to bring calamity so much worse than what they have seen thus far—they would be called the three woes. This is a chilling proclamation when we see the horrible things that have already occurred on the earth to this point with the world's population now at one half what it was just less than three years prior [think on that – 4 billion gone in 3 1/2 years]. The first woe was five months’ agony and torture as an untold number of literal demons in the grotesque form of some hybrid cross between locusts/scorpions brought pain, torment and suffering to the entire world. The second woe was the mobilization of an enormous army from the East [200 million strong—very possibly Red China], slaughtering millions seemingly with tanks, artillery, missiles and other weapons of mass destruction. Then a pause as a mighty angel stood before John in a vision and proclaimed there would, "Be no more delay." But God's Plan of Salvation of taking back what had been won by Jesus' sacrifice was about to be accomplished. And now we are about to see the seventh trumpet sound and the third and final woe come to earth. This seventh trumpet begins the third and final series of Judgments which started with Seven Seals, then these Seven Trumpets and ending with Seven Bowls or vials of pure wrath.
But first John continues this break in the current Judgment of earth to step backwards to the beginning of the Tribulation for a short time and give details of other events which have occurred during these past three years of Judgments as well. John seems to take this moment to retell of these events because the pinnacle of these events is about to take place now (at the halfway point) because we are now just about to enter the halfway mark of the tribulation. And from here, everything changes greatly. The intensity of rebellion and evil exponentially explodes. The leadership of the entire world falls under A One World Government for the first time in human history. The status or position of Satan and his fallen angels in God's Kingdom and on earth is completely altered—with an incomprehensible war of wars in heaven, and the pure outright hatred of and attempts to totally annihilate the Jews and Christians from the planet are initiated.
Let's join John again now as he gives us priceless information which will set the stage for these things we just mentioned: Revelation 11:1. John is first told to go and measure the Temple which God is showing him in a vision. The third temple... which must be built very soon! The first temple was built by Solomon (Son of David) in 1000 BC and destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC. The second temple was built by Zerubbabel when the Medes and Persians defeated the Babylonians, and King Cyrus of Persia gave the Jews permission to return to their land and encouraged them to rebuild the Temple (Ezra 1:1-4) which was completed in 515 BC. One of the most astounding prophecies of Scripture is from Isaiah concerning this event (over 200 years prior, when God literally foretells this—even calling "Cyrus" by his very name: Isaiah 45:1, 3-5, 13. And history shows us this is exactly what happened—and King Cyrus of Persia was the King who made it happen. This second temple was later greatly enlarged and improved by King Herod under Roman Rule in 37 BC, only to be completely destroyed by the Romans later (in AD 70—40 yrs after Jesus’ Crucifixion). NOW... This third temple (yet to be built) at this midway stage in our walk through the tribulation is already built and in use. We know this because God says to measure the Temple, it's articles of worship and to see the number of people "who worship there." This is written in Greek in the "Present Participle Active" Tense, meaning an action in the present; a that given time, that will continue. We also know this Temple must already be completed by this time in the Tribulation because in just a matter of weeks or months from this point, at best, the antichrist will go into the Temple to desecrate it, proclaiming to be God. In order to be in use at this time of the Tribulation, this Temple construction must have begun at the very beginning of the seven-year period at the latest—very possibly as a part of the "Peace Agreement" between Israel and the surrounding nations. How close are we to fulfilled Scriptures once again? There is an organization in Israel today which has only one goal: to rebuild this Temple—and soon. They are called the Temple Institute. The Orthodox Jews are emphatic about this goal because they believe the world cannot be redeemed until it is completed; and they have already constructed every vessel, altar, table and piece of clothing necessary for conducting sacrifices, caring for the Temple, and for proper sanctification and dressing of the priests which carry out these duties—with the exception of one thing: the Ark of the Covenant. Most believe that it was removed and hidden away when the Babylonians took Jerusalem in 586 BC. I feel that, if the Jews did not believe this today—maybe even have a clue to its whereabouts—they would not be so ready and eager to build now. In 1987, the Temple Movement began and since this time they have 1) revived the Sanhedrin, the religious ruling body over the Temple, who now preside over the preparations and restoration 2) completed the articles necessary to furnish the Temple 3) built the cornerstone to be laid when construction begins 4) planted the Biblical Temple Forest to meet the agricultural needs of the Temple 5) have created a project to restore the sacred red heifer used for purifying Jews before serving in the Temple (employing frozen embryo implant science). There have been 9 sacred red heifers used in all of Israel's past according to Jewish tradition, the 10th one will be used by the Messiah. The Sanhedrin are conducting special training to prepare priests for service in the New Temple 6) recaptured the science of producing biblical crimson used in the High Priest's garments and the curtain separating the Holy of Holies. The only thing preventing this Temple from becoming a reality is the current presence of an Islamic structure known as "Dome of the Rock". This is the 2nd most holy site to Muslims, next to Mecca itself. Most believe this structure is standing on the precise location of the First and Second Temples—the single most sacred location in the world to Orthodox Jews, thus the constant battle between them. This structure is not a mosque, but a Muslim shrine where tradition holds that the prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven on a winged horse—but this proclamation was only made 100yrs ago. There are recent studies which suggest that the First and Second Temples were located not on the Dome's location, but very near. Personally I strongly disagree. If it is found to be near, the antichrist may allow both to coexist in his "Peace Treaty." If it is indeed on the same location, the antichrist will assuredly allow the Temple to be rebuilt regardless, because he wants to proclaim himself God and stand in the Temple to be worshiped—as a blaspheme against the True God. Listen to God's very next Command to John as he is told to measure the Temple [very interesting]: Revelation 11:2. God says do not measure the Outer Courts of the Temple because they have been given over to nonbelievers for 3 1/2 years. Does this not perfectly describe today’s exact sharing of the Temple Mount with the people of Islam? We are the first generation to see the Jews in their Homeland since Jesus was crucified. And everything at this very moment is set to build this Temple right now—which is seen in the early days of Tribulation on a Temple Mount shared by unbelievers. How close must we be right now?
John now continues to tell of other events that have unfolded through these passed three years of the Tribulation which will now come to a closure: Revelation 11:3-8. God will send down two prophets to the earth in what seems to be the first 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation. They will "prophesy" of God's Redemption and His Wrath on earth to the whole world for 1260 days—or 3 1/2 years—and they will show the world the reality of God by the signs and wonders they perform. They will be untouchable by men—anyone trying to harm them, being destroyed themselves. And they will perform miracles of Judgment from God, stopping the rains, turning water to blood, and bringing plagues at will. Who are these two prophets?
Verse 4 calls them the "Two olive trees and lampstands standing before the God of the earth." This exact description is used in Zechariah 4:11-14. They are two anointed ones who stand beside God—the Light—and are used as oil (Spirit) to light the testimony of His soon coming to a fallen world. One of these prophets must be Elijah, from the Old Testament: Malachi 4:1, 5. 2400 years ago, God predicted Elijah would come to announce Jesus’ soon return. Jesus even compared John the Baptist to Elijah because John preceded Him in His First Coming to earth: Matthew 17:10-13 [John died like Elijah as well]. Just as John the Baptist announced His First Coming, the rea Elijah will come to announce His Final Coming. Is it not simply astounding how all of God's Word fits beautifully together? Because this antichrist—who will be reaching peak popularity and world power at this time—will be the one to kill these prophets, no doubt, further advancing his place as a mighty and supernatural ruler (Hebrews 9:27), these poor men will die a second time—or will they? If you remember, Elijah was taken into Heaven on a Flaming Chariot—alive (2 Kings 2:11). Elijah has not experienced death to this day—yet. That unexplained event in Scriptures so long ago comes into perfect focus and understanding, 2500 years later. That leaves us to ask “who is the second prophet?” Many say Moses because he appeared with Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus before the three disciples (Peter, James, John)—but there is one other prophet in all of Scriptures who never experienced death just as Elijah: Genesis 5:23-24. Could it be, these two prophets were taken away to Heaven—both completely without Scriptural reason or explanation—to return in the Last Days and prophesy unto their death? After the antichrist kills them, they let their bodies lay in the streets in disrespect and humiliation because the world is rejoicing in their defeat since they brought so much suffering and Words of Judgment against them. The next verses of Scripture give us an inexplicable and powerful proof of the Truth of God's Word: Revelation 11:9-10. John makes it a big point to say that people from every tribe, tongue and nation will see their dead bodies in the street and that the entire earth will hear the news and rejoice. How long do they lay in the streets? 3 1/2 days. In the 1st century, why would John make a claim such as this? We, today, are the first generation in which this prophecy could ever come true (satellites)—not even one generation ago could we have accomplished this: Revelation 11:11-13. Try and imagine a celebration of people in the streets around these swelling, smelling bodies, and someone in the crowd notices a bit of movement. The crowd grows still and quiet as the two prophets stand up [Tell me this isn't a Great Book—Zombie Apocalypse For Real]. Then they hear the Thundering Voice of God Himself, calling them Home and they literally ascend into the city sky. The panicked crowd begins to rise in volume again as fear and unbelief are vented. Then rumblings from under the earth begin and a powerful earthquake erupts, destroying buildings and causing pandemonium. God knows better than anyone how and when to exact vengeance. John seems to ties these last events back into the present timeline of the story as if it ends back at our point in the Journey by saying: Revelation 11:14.
Just these two events alone reveal so much to an open and honest mind. John wrote of the Third Temple completed and functioning in the Tribulation after He'd witnessed the destruction of his known Temple, and after the complete destruction and scattering of his nation and people. Not only have his people returned to their own land after 2000 yrs of exile and persecution—against every possible chance of logic and previous examples in history—but this Temple which must begin in construction by the art of this Tribulation at the latest—is now once again owned by the Jews. And every article needed to operate it is already built right now. The Counsel of Leaders needed to run it, are existent today. The priests needed to serve in it are chosen and trained. The very cornerstone to start the construction is built, washed, and ready to be laid down at any moment. And the chance for peace in the Middle East hinges on its beginning. All not only in our own single generation of history, but in this very moment. Place this incredible evidence, with the subtle but irrefutable evidence of the whole world—every nation and tongue for the first time having the ability to see the two dead prophets in the streets of Jerusalem in one moment, and hear of their death within 3 1/2 days—and you have a Book (a God) that has already shown Himself to be true and unlike any other. How long will you wait until you accept This Truth? Accept Him? How long will Christian brothers and sisters wait until they rise up in seriousness and passionate resolve?
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