Revelation 11:1-14 Part 3


1)    Then a reed like a measuring rod was given to me saying, ‘go and measure God’s temple and the altar and the worshippers in it.

2)    And cast out the exterior courtyard of the holy place; you shall not measure it, for it and the holy city have been given to the nations and they shall be trampled forty-two months.

3)    And I will give to my two witnesses and they will prophesy a thousand two hundred and sixty days having been clothed in sackcloth;

4)    these are the two olives and the two lamps standing before the Lord of the earth.

5)    And if anyone wills to harm them, fire goes forth out of their mouth and consumes their adversaries; this is how anyone who wills to harm them is doomed to be destroyed.

6)    The authority to shut the heaven belongs to them in order that it might not rain during the days of their prophecies.  And they have the authority over the waters to turn them into blood and to smite the land in every plague as much as they wish.

7)    And when they have completed their testimony, the beast which is coming up out of the abyss will wage war against them and will overcome them and will kill them,

8)    their bodies on the street of the great city (which is called, spiritually, Sodom and Egypt where also their Lord was crucified),

9)    their bodies being observed for three and a half days from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations suffering not their bodies to be entombed.

10) And those dwelling on the land rejoice and are gladdened; and they will send gifts to one another, for these two prophets did torment those dwelling on the land.’

11) Then after the three and a half days Breath of Life from God did enter in to them, and they stood upon their feet, and great fear fell upon those beholding them.

12) Then they heard a great sound from the heaven saying to them: ‘Come up here!’  And they did go into the heaven in the cloud, and their adversaries beheld them.

13) And in that hour great shaking did arise, and the tenth of the city fell.  And killed in the shaking were names of men… seven thousands.  And the rest became terrified and gave credit to the God of heaven.

14) The woe, the second, did go forth; lo, the woe, the third, comes quickly.


I promised you before that we would get to Daniel’s prophecy, and we’re going to do that this morning before going on to verses three and four.  Since that prophecy is so badly misused, I do want you to see the words and the contexts, and the connections to what we’re hearing here.

But in these first two verses, unbelieving Israel has been excluded (excommunicated) by the protective measuring required of John, for it has been given to the nations; and the Gentiles will trample under foot the courtyard and the holy city for forty-two months… a limited period – half a time.

Our Lord guarantees His protection to the Church (He has already marked them out and rescued them); but Jerusalem has been delivered up to destruction (all here in verses one and two)

 The armies of the abomination of desolation (Luke chapter twenty-one) have already made all the rest of Israel a wilderness.  All the plagues and pestilences prophesied have occurred (and are still ongoing); the prophesied (incredible) array of the military might of all the nations under the headship of the Roman emperor now in view of everyone on Mount Zion.  And the siege will last forty-two months.

Just to continue to make the context vivid in our minds, let’s hear the Luke chapter twenty-one passage again:


20) And when you see Jerusalem surrounded by army encampments, then know that her desolation has come near;

21) then those in Judea, let them flee to the mountains; and those in her midst, let them depart out; and those in the countries, let them not come in to her;

22) because these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all things that have been written.

23) And woe to those with child and to those giving suck in those days; for there shall be great distress on the land, and wrath on this people;

24) and they shall fall by the mouth of the sword, and shall be led captive to all the nations, and Jerusalem shall be trampled by Gentiles till the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

25) And there shall be signs in sun, and moon, and stars, and on the land distress of nations (tribes) bewildered by the roaring sea and billows;

26) men fainting at heart from fear and expectation of the things coming on the world, for the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.

27) And then they shall see the Son of Man coming in the cloud with power and much glory;

28) and these things beginning to happen, bend yourselves back and lift up your heads, because your redemption doth draw nigh.'


“And cast out the exterior courtyard of the holy place; you shall not measure it, for it and the holy city have been given to the nations and they shall be trampled forty two months” (verse two).


Note, please, that the Person Who said what Luke wrote in chapter twenty-one of his Gospel is the same One Who said what John wrote here in verse two of our text.  The prophecy of Jesus, written by Luke, is the same as the prophecy of Jesus in Revelation eleven.

And in the days of the sounding of the seventh trumpeter, the mystery of God will be fully accomplished!

The new Holy Place, the body of Christ, is measured out and all its worshippers secure and fully protected from the wrath to come; but all else is to be trampled down by Gentiles for forty-two months – three and a half years, time, times and a half.

Before we move on now, we need to look at that Daniel prophecy for a few minutes; for that’s where the “mystery of God” is first revealed to be accomplished in the last days.  And the reference to the three and a half years also occurs there… and much more.

The Word of the Lord to Daniel was spoken to him during the Babylonian captivity at about the same time as that spoken to Ezekiel.

And the opening prophecy was heard by Daniel and spoken by Daniel to Nebuchadnezzar (the ruler of the world).  And thereafter something very strange to the ears of most readers took place (as recorded by Daniel).  A gross transformation occurred.  The king took on the appearance and the conduct of an animal.  And that continued until there was acknowledgment of Daniel’s God… at which time the king was restored to his throne.

But through much of the captivity (which lasted for seventy years) Daniel was the one through whom the kings of the Babylonian empire and the Medo-Persian empire received the Word of God concerning the Christ – the coming King of Kings – and His people (the holy ones of the Most High).

The prophecies are most fascinating; they are imperative for your reading and contemplation; for not only do they perfectly fit what the apostle John sees and hears, but you need to be prepared to refute those who misuse them.

Although the prophecies are set in the context of four preceding kingdoms; and although the prophecies are explanations of visions that were shown to the kings; and although the prophecies are of the nature of brevity (since they were answers to the kings’ specific inquiries to Daniel) and even though the prophecies don’t focus on the atonement wrought by the incarnate Son of God, they have a unique and pertinent disposition regarding the fifth, and eternal, Kingdom that God will establish during the time of the fourth world-wide kingdom… the ferocious, wicked and tyrannous Roman empire!

And even though there is that “brevity”; and even though the prophecies are “kingdom oriented” and exhibit profound affirmation of Yahveh’s supreme government of all His creation, the words are there; the connections are there; the contexts are there, and there is an exegetical correspondence with the Revelation of Jesus Christ that can’t be avoided without ripping and tearing at the very fabric of God’s Word and reflecting negatively on His character and His integrity.

Along with some explanation of the historical setting, I’m going to read certain portions of Daniel for you, in order that you can hear words and phrases and connections for yourselves.  And hopefully it will motivate you to further reading of this prophecy… and then reading his fellow prophet in captivity, Ezekiel… (they should be read together).

Both of these prophets were captives in Babylon along with all the rest of Israel; they received their prophecies at approximately the same time; and, of course, their prophecies had to do with the same time period, i.e. the last days… Daniel’s having to do with the kingdom; and God’s Word to Ezekiel mainly about the temple – the man-made one with all its idolatries, and the new Holy Temple with all its perfections in the coming High Priest of God… Jesus, The Christ.  Daniel, too, hears of the Anointed One Who is to be “cut off”; but the heart of his prophecy is “kingdom”.

Now.  The first of the Daniel passages I’ll read is from chapter two.  King Nebuchadnezzar dreamt (at inspiration of Holy Spirit), and didn’t understand the mighty things of God that were to occur.  And he required of all the magi in the kingdom, on pain of death, that somebody was to tell him what he dreamed and what the dream meant!

Of course nobody could do that… except Daniel, who prayed and received the dream and its meaning.  The passage to be read is the part regarding the explanation to Nebuchadnezzar about his dream:


39) after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to you; and another – a third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.

40) And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron, forasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and subdues all things; and as iron that crushes all these, shall it break in pieces and crush.

41) And whereas you saw the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as you saw the iron mixed with miry clay.

42) And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.

43) And whereas you saw the iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men; but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron doth not mingle with clay.

44) And during the days of those kings (i.e. the series of rulers of the fourth kingdom) shall the God of the heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, nor shall the sovereignty thereof be left to another people; but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

45) Forasmuch as you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God has made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the explanation sure.


That’s the first reading… important because of Daniel’s fifth kingdom being set up during the kings of the fourth kingdom; and because the “stone was cut out of the mountain, without hands” is the prophecy of Christ’s Kingdom, which breaks the fourth kingdom into pieces and scatters it!

Now.  Here’s the second reading….  This vision to Daniel took place later on in the captivity.  King Nebuchadnezzar had passed away; and his son Belshazzar had ascended the throne of history’s first world-wide kingdom.

Daniel is given brief descriptions of the first three kingdoms arising, as the “four winds of the heaven” strove over the great sea of humanity.  All four of the kingdoms are described as “beasts” being called up from the sea.

Where I pick up reading for you is at verse seven of chapter seven, at which point Daniel sees the fourth beast (i.e. kingdom) arise.


7)    After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and trampled the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.

8)    I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before which there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.

9)    I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.

10) A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.

11) I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.

12) As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.

13) I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

14) And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.


As you heard, the Lord Jesus Christ is seen by Daniel receiving dominion lasting forever, and all peoples, nations and languages would serve Him.  His dominion was given to Him during the reign of the fourth beast and its series of rulers; and His was a dominion in history, for there are different peoples, different nations and different languages that would serve Him.

Daniel then sought explanation of the vision; and he was given some clarification which included the period of “time, times and a half” during which the fourth beast “wore out”, or trampled, the covenant people (which is exactly the context and words as in our text here in chapter eleven).

And at the completion of the time, times and a half, Daniel hears this:


27) and the kingdom, and the dominion, even the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heavens, is given to the people -- the saints of the Most High; His kingdom [is] a kingdom age-enduring, and all dominions serve and obey Him.


Another vision to Daniel confirms the forty-two months (the three and a half years) of trampling and desolation of the city, the destruction of the idolatrous temple, and the anointing of the new and perfect Holy Place of God.  After the calling up of the Medo-Persian empire to defeat and replace the Babylonian empire, the covenant people are still in captivity, now under Darius the Mede; and the angel/messenger Gabriel is sent to Daniel in order to reveal what is to happen in the latter days.  And it is revealed in “sevens”, with a broken seven at the consummation.

Listen to it carefully from Daniel chapter nine:


24) "Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to the sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place.

25) Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and wall, but in a troubled time.

26) And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the ruler who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war.  Desolations are decreed;

27) and he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week (seven years); and for half of the week (three and a half years – a broken seven) he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate; even to the full, determined end, wrath is poured out on the desolate."


So, Daniel hears of the “cutting off” of Messiah in the last days; the anointing of a new Holy Place, the complete end of all sacrifices and oblations at the “mid-point” of the last seven years, and the final destruction of Jerusalem and the sanctuary.

The last reading comes from the last chapter, chapter twelve.  And listen to the precise language of the pre-incarnate Son of God as He speaks the words written by Daniel:


7)    And I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the flood, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that lives for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and a half; and at the completion of the scattering of the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.

8)    And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my lord, what shall be the issue of these things?

9)    And he said, Go your way, Daniel; for the words are hidden and sealed till the time of the end.

As you can hear, the prophecies of Daniel are concerning the great mystery of God, the fullness of which reach their glorious eminence in John’s Revelation.  Included is the prophecy of our Lord opening the seals, and then raising His hand into the heaven and swearing that there will be no more delay.

And as our Lord commanded, it must all be kept intact and inviolate; for it is His Word.  And it must not be subjected to additions or subtractions.  And it must not be circumscribed or manipulated.

Now.  Having done what we needed to do with the first two verses, it’s time to move a little further into the text.  Here is what our Lord says to John, recorded in verses three and four:


3)    And I will give to my two witnesses and they will prophesy a thousand two hundred and sixty days having been clothed in sackcloth;

4)    these are the two olives….. and the two lamps standing before the Lord of the earth.


The “bar” has been raised.  The level of difficulty has been elevated.  I mentioned before we began this chapter that it is complex.  That’s not because of the translation; and it’s not because of the Theology; and it’s not due to a paradox or a quandary or a dilemma.

It is simply a passage requiring greater effort due to the amount of material involved.  Seeing things the way God sees them isn’t easy for us.  The images of Triune God and His throne-room are difficult for us sometime because we aren’t used to thinking His thoughts after Him.  And we lock ourselves into thinking about things based on our own senses while, at the same time, the apostle tells us that we ought to raise our minds up into the heavenlies.

What he means by that is, that all of what God has made is somewhat in the likeness of Him and His throne-room; and we ought to be able to see the pattern – the original – from what he has made.

So when He reveals what’s happening in the final three and a half years of Israel and Jerusalem’s existence in terms such as “olives”, or olive trees, or olive branches… or olive oil that fuels the “lamps” that stand on the golden altar before His throne, we should know, automatically, what’s being revealed!

But since the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ is somewhat short-sighted of late, and has little “grounding” in the older prophetic Scripture, we have to struggle a bit in order to put it all together.

And to bring that down to “how should we then live”, the lack of that grounding in the Scripture affects our apprehension of the glory of God and His great salvation; and it affects our obedience!

To put that in terms of this text, the oil for the fuel for the lamp dries up; and, first thing you know, we start thinking things, and considering things, and doing things that aren’t obedient.

It’s very “dark” where that rebellion begins.

And when the “light” is once again shone on the rebellion, sometimes it just gets a lot worse… as it’s revealed in the text of Revelation eleven.  The defiance brings chaos, death and destruction (and animalistic behavior).

But for those who belong to Him, the Light is the glory of God and His Word; and it brings a broken spirit and repentance; it brings worship, and thanksgiving for His grace and mercy; and it brings an obedient heart and mind.

We don’t have a lot of time left this morning, but let’s begin with the lamps and the source of the light.  It’s been a long time since we read from Revelation chapter one; but here’s a portion of that.  And it’s obvious from the first chapter that the lamps before the throne in the heaven have great importance in all that John sees and hears.


10) I came to be in spirit in the Lord’s Day, and I heard a great voice as a trumpet behind me

11) saying, “write what you see in a scroll and send to the seven Churches, into Ephesus and into Smyrna and into Pergamum and into Thyatira and into Sardis and into Philadelphia and into Laodicea”.

12) And I turned around to see the voice that was speaking with me; and when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands,

13) and in midst of the lampstands like a son of man, having been clothed upon to the feet and having been wrapped at the chest with a golden girdle:

14) His head and hair white as wool, white as snow, and His eyes as flaming fire,

15) and His feet like burnished brass as in having been fired in a furnace, and His voice as a sound of many waters,

16) and having seven stars in His right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword proceeding out of His mouth, and His face as the sun shines in its power.


The seven golden “lamps”… each of them on a lampstand, all on a golden “base”, one in the middle and three on each side; a total of “seven”, and all fed with olive oil by tubes to each lamp; and standing on the golden altar in the holy place in the tabernacle.

Listen to Yahveh’s instructions to Moses from Exodus chapter twenty-five (and when you hear the word “calyx”, it’s the outer covering.  The plural is “calyces”).


31) "You shall make a lampstand of pure gold. The lampstand shall be made of hammered work: its base, its stem, its cups, its calyxes, and its flowers shall be of one piece with it.

32) And there shall be six branches going out of its sides, three branches of the lampstand out of one side of it and three branches of the lampstand out of the other side of it;

33) three cups made like almond blossoms, each with calyx and flower, on one branch, and three cups made like almond blossoms, each with calyx and flower, on the other branch—so for the six branches going out of the lampstand.

34) And on the lampstand itself there shall be four cups made like almond blossoms, with their calyxes and flowers,

35) and a calyx of one piece with it under each pair of the six branches going out from the lampstand.


36) Their calyxes and their branches shall be of one piece with it, the whole of it a single piece of hammered work of pure gold.

37) You shall make seven lamps for it. And the lamps shall be set up so as to give light on the space in front of it.

38) Its tongs and their trays shall be of pure gold.

39) It shall be made, with all these utensils, out of a talent of pure gold.

40) And see to it that you make them after the pattern for them, which is being shown you on the mountain.


So Moses, in the glory cloud on Mt Sinai, saw the original; and he was to have the man-made one fashioned like it!  The lampstand with its seven lamps was to rest on a golden altar; and, as the text says, the “light” was to be shown “outward”.

And here’s the instruction for the source of the “fuel” for the lamps, from Exodus chapter twenty-seven:


20) "You shall command the people of Israel that they bring to you pure beaten olive oil for the light, that a lamp may regularly be set up to burn.

21) In the tent of meeting, outside the veil that is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall tend it from evening to morning before Yahveh. It shall be a statute forever to be observed throughout their generations by the people of Israel.


I won’t read it all to you, but God gave Moses the instructions for the container for the olive oil and the tubes running to each of the lamps.

Now listen to God’s Word concerning David’s son and David’s Lord.  First from First Kings chapter fifteen:


4)    but for David's sake hath Yahveh his God given to him a lamp in Jerusalem, to raise up his son after him….


And from Second Kings chapter eight:


19) Yet Yahveh was not willing to destroy Judah, for the sake of David his servant, since he promised to give a lamp to him and to his sons forever.


And David himself, in the great Psalm one hundred and nineteen (which is all about the Word of Yahveh).  And please remember that our Lord is the Word of God Made Flesh:


105)       Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.


These are all the very same word as found in the original instructions God gave to Moses for the fashioning of the lamps (seven of them – the perfect number).

The same language is found in the Proverbs.  I’ll give you a couple of those before we come to the glorious prophecy of Zechariah.  And then we’ll be through for the morning.  Here’s Proverbs chapter six:


23) For the commandment is a lamp and the instruction a light,
   and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life….


And from Proverbs thirteen:


9)    The light of the righteous rejoices, but the lamp of the wicked will be put out.


And now to the fourth chapter of the prophecy of Zechariah where we find the further Old Testament foreshadowing of the fullness seen here in John’s Revelation.

This is how God sees it; the coming King of the nations and High Priest of His new Holy Place, the Word of God made flesh (and dwelt among us).  He is prophesied by God raising up, after the captivity, a great king of Israel, Zerubbabel, and a holy high priest of Israel, Joshua; and all in the setting of the olives and lamps prescribed by Yahveh at Sinai.  Listen:


2)    and (the messenger) says to me, `What are you seeing?' And I say, `I have looked, and lo, a lampstand of gold - all of it, and its bowl on its top, and its seven lamps upon it, and seven pipes to the lights on its top,

3)    and two olive-branches by it, one on the right of the bowl, and one on its left.'

4)    And I answer to the messenger who is speaking with me, saying, `What are these, my lord?'

5)    And the messenger who is speaking with me answers and says unto me, `Have you not known what these are?' And I say, `No, my lord.'

6)    And he answers and speaks to me, saying: `This [is] a word of Yahveh unto Zerubbabel, saying: Not by force, nor by power, But by My Spirit, said Yahveh of Hosts.

7)    Who are you, O great mountain before Zerubbabel; you will become a plain!  And he has brought forth the capstone accompanied by shouts of “Grace, Grace” to it.'

8)    Then there is a word of Yahveh to me, saying,

9)    Hands of Zerubbabel did found this house, and his hands complete it, And you will know that Yahveh of Hosts has sent me unto you.

10) For who despised the day of small things? These seven are the eyes of Yahveh; they are going to and fro in all the land; and they shall see the plumb-line in the hands of Zerubbabel and rejoice;

11) Then I say unto him, `What are these two olive-branches on the right of the lampstand and on its left?'

12) And I spoke a second time and said to him, `What are the two branches of the olive trees that, through the two golden pipes, empty the oil out of themselves?'

13) And he speaks to me, saying, `Have you not known what these are?' And I say, `No, my lord.'

14) And he says, `These are the two sons of oil (i.e. anointed ones), who are standing by the Lord of the whole earth.'


We’ll stop right here and continue next Lord’s Day with God’s perception of this forty two months as He fills up His Own prophetic Word, and in preparation for the sounding of the seventh trumpeter.

But I will give you one thing to think about during the week:  God’s Law-Word, Deuteronomy chapter seventeen, verse six says:


“On the evidence of two witnesses, or of three witnesses, the one who is to die shall be put to death; a person shall not be put to death on the evidence of one witness.”