“And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.” Revelation 11:1, 2
Here we see an angel talking about measuring something; measuring in prophecy refers to judgment. We know that Jesus started a special judgment on October 22, 1844; called the Investigative Judgment.
This verse tells us who was being ‘measured’ or judged here, it is ‘the Temple of God’. What does this mean? It means God’s people. Everybody that has ever claimed to belong to God has his name written in the Book of Life. But not all these people will go to heaven.
Why not? Well, take Cain and Abel, they both claimed to belong to God. Abel was faithful and obedient; but Cain was disobedient, became a murderer and never repented. When Cain’s name was looked at in the Book of Life, unconfessed sin was there, and Cain’s name was blotted out and his sins retained in the book of sin. He won’t be in heaven. So on and on the process goes, judging the dead by the records of their life, and whether or not they had unconfessed and unforsaken sins in their record.
This grand judgment is taking place, and has been going on for some time. The Lord says, measure the temple and the worshipers thereof. Remember when you are walking the streets about your business, God is measuring you; when you are doing your household duties, when you are talking to others, God is measuring you. Remember that your words and actions are being recorded in the books of heaven.
It says that God is not measuring the ‘court’, but it is left to the ‘Gentiles’. This means that in this special judgment that happens before Jesus can come back for His people, the world, described here as the court and the Gentiles are not looked at. These are people who never even claimed to belong to God at all; they were just not interested. They are lost, and will be judged later.
Here next we see another mention of the 1260 days/years of Roman rule and how they would trample underfoot God’s people.
“And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.” Revelation 11:3-6
Then we see something new; ‘Two Witnesses’; and they are ‘prophesying for 1260 day/years dressed in sackcloth’. As you read verses 3-7, you will see clues to know what they are. They are the Holy Scriptures, the Old and the New Testaments.
They are in ‘sackcloth’. Why? Sackcloth is something people would wear when they were very sad. Again we see that 1260 year period mentioned. The message of God’s Holy Word is described as sad and hidden at this time, during which millions of true believers died for their faith. Even to be caught with a Bible meant death. But the Bible still ‘prophesied’, it still had ‘power’. When people would get hold of the Bible and read it, or even be given a few verses written out by hand, they found the saving power of Jesus in it. It was the Bible that gave these people courage to live and die for Jesus’ truth, and it will do the same for us today.
“And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.” Revelation 11:7, 8
Now we come to an amazing story in prophecy; we see the two witnesses ‘finishing’ their testimony in sackcloth; for that is what the words in Greek really tell us. So we know that something happened to the Bible near the close of those 1260 years that ended in 1798. Did something happen then?
Yes, it says a ‘beast’ comes out of the bottomless pit. The bottomless pit refers to the wickedness and spiritual darkness of this world; so out of this wicked world comes a new ‘beast’; a new manifestation of satanic power.
In 1793, Atheism, calling itself ‘Communism’ arose mainly in France, and they passed a law outlawing the Bible. The Roman power had kept the Bible from the common people, but now this new power declared that the Bible was to be destroyed forever. ‘It was ‘killed’; in other words, it was to have no political influence at all.
What city is here shown to us? The Bible says three things; Sodom, Egypt, and where Jesus was crucified. But these are symbols here; Sodom meant the wicked and immoral way they lived, when they also ruled to have no proper marriage anymore. Egypt was where Pharaoh declared he ‘knew not God’, and France now declared the same thing; and Jesus was crucified symbolically, when His people were slain in France in the St. Bartholomew’s Massacre, years before. The city? It was Paris, France.
There happened events so terrible, that they are known as the ‘Reign of Terror’. People were killed by having their heads chopped off by a machine called a Guillotine. So many people were killed that blood flowed down the streets and colored the waters of the river red.
When people refuse the Bible and the authority of God’s Holy Law, it doesn’t take long until terrible things happen. Why? Because when we refuse to obey God, Satan forces us to do his will; there is no other choice.
“And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall 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 shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.” Revelation 11:9-11
The other nations saw the terrible events that happened when France by a decree of her government passed a law doing away with the Bible and all religion and belief in God. For exactly 3 ½ years, as the prophecy says, this went on. Wicked people celebrated; but soon terror took the place of merry-making. No one knew when his head would be the next to come off.
Exactly 3 ½ years later, that same government passed a law putting the Bible, and belief in God, back in their rightful place. All thinking people who saw the events that had happened, were made fearful of ever doing such a wicked thing again. After this time the Bible was held in greater reverence, at least by the Protestant nations, than ever before.
“And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.” Revelation 11:12, 13.
This refers to the fact that a great missionary movement took place after this time. Bible Societies were started, and the True Received Text Bible was carried all over the world to the heathen people by missionaries.
What about the Earthquake? And the ‘tenth part of the city fell’? Well, France was a ‘Tenth’ part of Europe and the ‘Earthquake’, a symbolic one, referred to the terrible French Revolution. Like a real earthquake, it sure shook people up.
“And in the earthquake were slain of men [margin, names of men, or titles of men] seven thousand.” France made war, in her revolution of 1789-98 and onward, on all titles of nobility. It is said, by those who have examined the French records, that actually there were seven thousand hereditary titles of men, abolished in that revolution.
“And the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.” Their God-dishonoring and Heaven-defying work filled France with such scenes of blood, carnage, and horror, as made even the infidels themselves tremble, and stand aghast; and the “remnant” that escaped the horrors of that hour “gave glory to God”, perhaps not willingly, but the God of heaven caused this “wrath of man to praise Him,” by showing all the world that those who make war on heaven make graves for themselves.
“The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly. And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.” Revelation 11:14-17
The Seventh Trumpet, which includes the Third Woe, covers a lot of ground. Many people get mixed up on it and think weird things, but if we remember that it is full of symbols, and what these symbols mean in other texts, then we can see the word pictures God has put here for us. The other two Woes were attacks on the armies of Rome, and now here is a third Woe; what does it tell us is going to happen to Rome?
Well, This Seventh Trumpet begins in 1844, and we see here the time of the Investigative Judgment. What are the ‘great voices’? It is the message of the Investigative Judgment being preached in the world. The Elders are happy that this ‘Time’ has finally come.
Why are they so happy about this? Because this is the time that Jesus is in the process of receiving His Kingdom. In some of the parables of Jesus we see more about this. In one He says He goes away to receive a kingdom; (Luke 19:12) in another, He goes into the Marriage; Matthew 25:1-13) in another the King (Heavenly Father) makes a marriage for His Son; (Matthew 22:1-14) Did you know that most of Jesus’ parables are also prophecies? Yes, indeed they are, and they give us clues to understand the prophets.
As we read about this Trumpet, it sounds like Jesus is reigning through the whole thing, but this is a process that is taking place. The books are opened; the life-records of all the people who have ever claimed to belong to God, are looked at. They are not there in person, but their records are all there in detail, and the angels are the eye-witnesses.
For those who claimed belief in the Redeemer and remained faithful, Jesus represents them before the Father. Those who did not remain faithful or who claimed to be God’s people, while following their own ways, have no one to represent them. They are blotted out of the Book of Life.
We are living in this time of the Seventh Trumpet, when Jesus is receiving His kingdom. Soon the process will be finished for both the dead and then the living, and He’ll come to take His people home.
“And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.” Revelation 11:18,19
We see that this ‘woe’ contains something that makes the nations angry; what would do that? In the first two ‘woes’ we see the forces of Islam striking suddenly, without warning, and in the 2nd woe they had explosives and were led by their ‘heads and their tails’. (see chapter 9) On Sept. 11, 2001, we saw Islam strike suddenly, without warning, with explosives, and still led by their ‘heads’ and their ‘tails’, this time against America. Why America? Well, America has made secret alliances with Papal Rome, and worked together with her secretly to bring down the communist nation of the Soviet Union in 1989, and thus they had become the modern ‘armies of Rome’. These sudden strikes are continuing, and the nations are indeed angry.
This is not the only way that this is a ‘Woe’ to ‘Rome’. These verses show us; the dead are being judged; the saints and prophets are honored by their names being kept in the Book of Life as part of Jesus’ Kingdom. Think of the hundreds of thousands of people, tortured to death and massacred in the Dark Ages. They are placed in the list to receive their reward; Eternal Life with Jesus.
But what about those who killed them? What about those haughty church leaders who pretended to be God’s agents? This is when the hidden things of darkness are made plain. Luke 12:2 “For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.”
Evil men have done many horrible deeds, and they thought that because the people who knew about it were all killed, that nobody could find out what they had really done. But this Woe is the time when all the records are opened on those who have pretended to be Christians, and their wicked deeds are all written there.
This writer has a photo of three skeletons that were found buried beneath the hall floor of a Cathedral in Russia. They were found when the authorities demolished this old building to build a nuclear power plant. It looks like it was a young boy and his parents laid out there. There were hundreds of hidden skeletons in this old church. Who were they? Who killed them? We don’t know; but the ‘Watcher and the Holy One’ who wrote on Belshazzar’s wall knows, and it is all coming out in the Investigative Judgment.
Indeed it is a Woe on all who have done evil, while professing to belong to God. Nothing is overlooked; not even one little child who loved Jesus, and was killed by wicked people, is forgotten. All the true and faithful will receive reward, and all the false will be blotted from the Book of Life.
‘And the Temple of God was opened in Heaven’ and there was seen the ‘Ark of His Testament’. What is this? It shows that since 1844, the message about the Sanctuary and God’s Law, including the True Sabbath, has been being preached in the world. As the Judgment moves on to the living, these things will be preached with a ‘Loud Cry’. Then people will choose to obey God and be sealed for His kingdom, or they will obey man’s laws, honor Rome, accept the Mark of the Roman Beast, and so be blotted out of the Book of Life.
Thunderings: the loud preaching of a warning message from God.
Earthquake: a great time of war and persecution just before Jesus’ return.
Great Hail: the final of the Seven last plagues.
So you see that this Woe leads to the end of the Roman power forever, and the Second Coming of Jesus to ‘gather His children home’. Do you see why this is such an important time? Soon, we don’t know how soon, the living will be judged. It is right upon us even now! Let us all choose to be faithful, so Jesus will be given each one of us, to be part of His Kingdom.