I find it interesting that in this time when I’m taking some hits because certain people don’t like my “un-scriptural” lingo of late, that I would be led now to do a “Bible Study” – a commentary on Revelation chapter 11. This is certainly an indication that there are NO BOXES which can contain the way that God will USE US, and that we need to ALWAYS be extremely open and tenderhearted toward Him so that WE CAN JUST FLOW in whatever that is. — D
Rev. 11:1-2: “And there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, “Rise and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and those who worship in it. And leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months.”
In a vision, a measuring rod was given to John to measure things AS GOD SEES THEM and not as they are viewed by carnal minded men. This rod is indicative of righteous judgment, judgment made according to DIVINE TRUTH and from the very perspective OF CHRIST. The measurements that are taken are of the “temple of God and the altar” which is IN the hearts of men. These are the SACRIFICES that men have made in their service to God, their WORSHIP of Him, and the general LOSS OF THEIR SELF-LIFE through their surrender to Him.
The “outer court” here is not measured at all, for it primarily represents people who have not progressed much further than the most basic faith and therefore much of their carnal adamic life yet remains. It is given for much to fall on these, for they must be “trampled underfoot” in order that they experience what is needed to bring them to the end of themselves and deeper into God.
Rev. 11: 3-5: “And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. And if anyone desires to harm them, fire proceeds out of their mouth and devours their enemies; and if anyone would desire to harm them, in this manner he must be killed.”
John describes for us here a manifestation of tried and true temple worshippers, an earthly witness that is in UNION with their Head, the Lord Jesus Christ. These witnesses are “clothed in sackcloth,” which means that they have a plain unnoticed appearance and have hearts which have been profoundly changed through deep repentance and which do not require (or desire) any recognition from men.
Beloved, God brings men (and women) such as this through a process of almost unbearable heart-rending and heartache so that they can be STRIPPED OF SELF to the extent that He can speak through them FREELY. We see little of this type of ministry today, men and women through whom God can speak through freely and work through in a relatively unhindered way, but such as these are now ARISING. Yes, these are “the friends of the Bridegroom” who are ordained by God to minister to the Bride of Christ in her GETTING READY for her soon coming Marriage to the Lamb.
The work before these is tremendous, in that they will often be MISUNDERSTOOD and will even be PERSECUTED BY THOSE TO WHOM THEY ARE SENT TO MINISTER, but because of their love for God, their love for people and their great faith, they will overcome. It seems that even when these are attacked (verbally or otherwise) they will often be given words to speak which at times will render their opponents speechless.
Rev. 11: 6:“These have t he power to shut up the sky, in order that rain may not fall during the days of their prophesying; and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood, and to smite the earth with every plague, as often as they desire.”
From reading this, it might seem that these prophets have power to effect the natural elements (and that could well be so), but I believe that when it says that these have power “to shut heaven” (in one way) it is referring to the ability of these to stop the rain of COMFORT AND BLESSING from falling on those in whom God’s grace must work out adamic death.
There is no doubt that these “witnesses” will be greatly empowered FROM ON HIGH and this in order to prove the truth that they announce. Take note though that God gives them this power only AFTER THEY HAVE BEEN BROUGHT TO NOTHING. These are not wannabe “church leaders.” No, these are nobodies who live as sacrifices for others, nobodies who have been brought to the top of God’s Mountain through the laying down of their lives, and because of this they greatly influence the world all around them.
Rev. 11:7-8: “And when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified.”
With regard to this, as soon as the Lord Jesus had finished His earthly witness to the truth, the beast from the pit was allowed to stir religious men to the extent that they killed the King of Glory. For these godly “witnesses,” they too may die physically for their faith, but I think that there is a practical application of this for us and this is that these WILL BE KILLED IN THE MINDS AND HEARTS OF MEN because these are so easily and so often MISUNDERSTOOD. It says that these will then “lie in the streets of the great city,” which I think means that in their humility they will expose the cruelty and the corruption of the world (even the religious world) and of the men who are moved by the spirit(s) of the world. Again, there could be something much more literal to this too.
Rev. 11:9-13: “And those from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and will not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and make merry; and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth. And after the three and a half days the breath of life from God came into them, and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who were beholding them. And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies beheld them. And in that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell; and seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.”
Now, though these prophets may seem defeated for a season, and though many people DESPISE THEM and even leave them for dead, that will only be for a short time. Yea, after three and a half (mystical) days (though there may also be a more literal application) the Spirit of LIFE and STRENGTH will enter into THE WITNESS again and even more powerfully than before! After this reviving, these will be received INTO GOD HIMSELF; a remnant brought into a place of divine authority and power to the extent that they can rule the nations (peoples) of the earth in TRUTH and in RIGHTEOUSNESS and in LOVE.
Might it be that these witnesses are also a demonstration in the Earth of human beings who have attained to a state of INCORRUPTION in Christ? Maybe. Whether that is true or not, it seems pretty clear (to me anyway) that the ministry of the “two witnesses” or of “Elijah” must eventually be swallowed up by the GREATER MINISTRY of manifested Sons. These witnesses are A FORERUNNER of that ministry, and even quite possibly (in some sense) A ROD OF IRON by which the unclean carnal things of the Church and the world will be dashed to pieces like pottery so that the things of God’s Kingdom (and of SONS) can then be BUILT UP and firmly established.