Morning Bible Study
I want to offer this public service announcement for all today’s Football
John found himself caught up into heaven before the throne of God.
He saw Jesus
take a scroll from the hand of God that had been sealed with seven seals. As Jesus broke each seal
and unrolled the scroll a little further, events begin to take place on the
earth and the time that we call the Tribulation begins to unfold.
The Tribulation is a time when God’s wrath is poured out on an unbelieving
world and God begins to make right all the things that have been so wrong.
the seventh seal are seven trumpets.
We are now in a break between the sixth and seventh trumpets.
:1 Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood,
saying, “Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship
:1 measure the
temple of God
Though John is told to measure the temple, he doesn’t record the measurements
of the temple.
in Babylon after the destruction of the first temple, and he was given a vision of
a rebuilt temple (Eze. 40). He too was given a measuring rod, but Ezekiel
actually writes down the measurements of the temple he sees.
Though I do not
believe that Ezekiel’s temple is the same as John’s, it might actually be
something that the Jews will consider when they rebuild their temple. Ezekiel’s temple is HUGE compared to the
The Temple problem
There have been several Jewish Temples in Jerusalem.
the first Temple.
The Second Temple
was built by Zerubbabel and refurbished and expanded by King Herod.
That Temple was
destroyed by the Romans in AD 70, and there has not been a Jewish Temple since.
The next Temple
will be known as the “Third Temple”.
The Bible tells us that there will be a Temple in Jerusalem in the last
days, but this presents a problem.
Israel took over all of Jerusalem
after the 1967 war, Moshe Dayan met with a council of Muslim clerics and gave them control of the
entire temple mount, as a way of making peace with the Islamic residents of
There are two important Islamic structures on the mount – the al-Aqsa Mosque is a functioning
mosque that holds regular services. The Dome of the Rock is
important because it sits on top of the rock that the Muslims claim that Abraham
sacrificed Ishmael, which is also the place where the Bible tells us that Abraham
The Temple Mount is considered the third holiest site in Islam. They are not going to give it up without
either a fight or without some incredible supernatural diplomatic efforts by a
strong world leader.
It is possible that the antichrist’s treaty with Israel at the beginning of
the Tribulation (Dan. 9:27)
will pave the way for their temple to be rebuilt.
When the Jews rebuild
their Temple, they will do it on wherever they finally decide is the ancient
location of the holy of holies.
The common theory is that the Dome of the Rock is also on top of what used to be the Holy of
There is a
square indentation on the Rock that some suggest was the place that the Ark of
the Covenant once sat.
is that the Holy of Holies might have been on a spot 330 feet north of the Dome
of the Rock.
Play “The Dome
of the spirits” clip of Miriam.
Why is it
important that the Holy of Holies be lined up with the Eastern Gate?
Because in Ezekiel’s description of the Temple, there is a straight line
from the Eastern Gate through all the inner Temple gates straight into the Holy
I think it’s very possible that Ezekiel’s vision might be
the one used by the Jews to built support for rebuilding the Temple on the
We are close
There is an organization
called “The Temple Institute” that has been working for years towards the goal
of rebuilding the Temple.
The Temple items like the Menorah, the Altar of Incense, and the Table of Showbread and
lots more have all been constructed.
A few weeks ago the Temple Institute released their blueprints for the
portion of the Temple where the Sanhedrin will meet.
We are very, very
close. Are you ready for Jesus’
All that’s left is for someone to figure out how to allow the Jews to
rebuild their Temple, and that can happen after we’re gone in the Rapture.
:2 But leave out
the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given
to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for
:2 the court
– aule – the courtyard around the
:2 leave out
– ekballo – to cast out, drive out,
to send out
What’s interesting the use of this word is that it’s the word that’s often
associated with casting out demons:
evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word…
:2 tread the holy
city underfoot for forty-two months
The idea is that Jerusalem will be ruled by Gentiles for 3 ½ years
I think it’s possible
that these forty-two months are the last three and a half years of the
is a period of seven years. It’s the
last “week” of Daniel’s “Seventy Weeks” (Dan. 9:24-27). We
have learned that these “weeks” are groups of seven years.
There is a specific
time marker in the middle of this last seven years known as the “Abomination of
Desolation”. Daniel wrote,
(Da 9:27 NKJV) Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the
middle of the week
He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one
who makes desolate,
Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the
In the middle of this seven year period, the Antichrist will do
something so horrible (abominable) that he will bring a sort of “desolation”.
We believe this is when the Antichrist reveals himself as
the evil person he really is, and will declare himself to be “god”.
Jesus said of this event:
(Mt 24:15–16 NKJV) —15
“Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by
Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him
“then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
The Jews fleeing will leave Jerusalem to the Gentiles.
:2 leave out the
Why is John told to not include the outer court as he measures the Temple?
It has been
given to the Gentiles.
Ezekiel describes his Temple as having a wall around it to separate the
holy from the “profane” or “common”
42:20 NKJV) He measured it on the four sides; it had a wall all around, five
hundred cubits long and five hundred wide, to separate the holy areas
from the common.
That makes some
of us think that there might be some sort of solution created one day to have
the Dome of the Rock standing in what would be the outer court of the Jewish
Temple with a wall between the two.
:3 And I will
give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two
hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.”
:3 clothed in
wearing clothing made out of gunny sacks. Why?
This is a
traditional thing to wear when you are in “mourning”.
It would be like making underwear out of the scratchiest roughest material
you could find – not very comfortable and it reminds you of how miserable you
These two witnesses aren’t here to
announce a big party. It would seem more likely that they’re here weeping and
mourning over the judgment that’s around the corner for those who won’t believe
… something like what Jeremiah
NKJV) For this,
clothe yourself with sackcloth, Lament and wail. For the fierce anger of the Lord— Has not turned back from us.
the bad news
On one hand, the message we have for
people is “good news”.
word “gospel” means “good news”.
We have the good news that God wants
people to be right with Him, and that He has made it possible by sending His Son to earth
in order to die and pay the penalty for our sins.
The good news is that all we need to do
is to turn to God and receive His gift of eternal life by faith.
But “good news” isn’t all that good
unless it is contrasted with the “bad news”.
bad news is that a person without
Christ is going to stand before God in judgment one day.
The really bad news is that they will
be facing an eternity
away from God in hell unless they do something about their sin.
Sometimes there is a place for weeping and grief when we
witness. The truth about sin and hell ought be break our hearts concerning those
that don’t know the Lord.
What does this all look like?
Also He said to them, “Is a lamp brought to be put under a
basket or under a bed? Is it not to be set on a lampstand? 22For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor
has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light.
:3 one thousand two
hundred and sixty days
It seems since the time that Daniel was in Babylon, that much of Bible
prophecy is based on a Babylonian calendar, which consists of 360 day years.
That means this is also a period of 3 ½ years.
I believe this
3 ½ years is the FIRST half of the Tribulation.
These individuals are allowed to speak until the Antichrist is given
permission to kill them.
That fits best as taking place at the mid-point of the Tribulation, when the
Antichrist reveals himself as pure evil.
:4 These are the
two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth.
:4 two olive trees
In John’s day, olive
trees were not valued as a source of olives to eat, but olives to make olive oil.
Olive oil was what drove the lighting industry. Olive
oil brought light.
Olive oil is
also a picture in the Bible of the Holy Spirit.
:4 two lampstands
These witnesses are describes as “lampstands”, the same word used by Jesus to describe us as
being lights (Mat. 5:14-15)
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a
hill cannot be hidden. 15
We’ll talk more about the trees and lamps in a minute …
:5 And if anyone
wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies.
And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner.
:5 fire proceeds
from their mouth
This may be
talking about really, really bad breath.
It may be something
more like what happened with Elijah, the ability to “speak” and call down fire
(lightning) from heaven.
When the king
of Israel sent soldiers to have Elijah arrested, Elijah called down fire from
heaven and they all died (2Ki.
Elijah was a dangerous man.
:6 These have power
to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they
have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all
plagues, as often as they desire.
:6 power to shut
This too was
something that Elijah was known for.
(1 Ki 17:1
NKJV) And Elijah
the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I
stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word.”
How long was it before Elijah ended the drought and commanded rain to come?
3 ½ years. (James 5:17)
:6 waters … to
That sounds like Moses
when he challenged Pharaoh, turning the Nile into blood (Ex. 7:20)
And Moses and Aaron
did so, just as the Lord
commanded. So he lifted up the rod and struck the waters that were in
the river, in the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants. And all
the waters that were in the river were turned to blood.
:6 to strike the
earth with all plagues
That too sounds
The book of Exodus records the ten plagues that God brought through Moses
in order to bring the Israelites out of slavery.
Who are the witnesses?
There have been lots of suggestions through the years.
It’s possible that they are simply two individuals who will show up on the
earth at this point of time.
2. Enoch …
One of these two are often paired with Elijah (we’ll talk about him later)
Enoch was unique in that he didn’t die.
NKJV) And Enoch
walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.
The suggestion is that this qualifies him to come back, be
a witness, and then die.
Zerubbabel is the focus of a lamp and olives prophecy in Zechariah
NKJV) …“This is
the word of the Lord to
3. Moses and Elijah
These are my personal favorites.
die – he was taken to heaven in a chariot.
Moses died, but his body was never found.
These fellows do
the miracles that were unique to Moses and Elijah.
already appeared together when they appeared with Jesus on the Mount of
They are often
talked about together as symbolic of the Old Testament, representing the “Law
and the Prophets”.
Malachi tells us that Elijah will one day return:
(Mal 4:5 NKJV) Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the
great and dreadful day of the Lord.
:4 the two olive
The image comes from a vision of Zechariah where he sees a lampstand that
is able to keep burning continuously because it is connected directly to a pair
of olive trees.
(Zec 4:6–7 NKJV) —6 So he
answered and said to me: “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by
power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the Lord
of hosts. 7 ‘Who are
you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And
he shall bring forth the capstone With shouts of “Grace, grace to it!” ’ ”
The mountain in
Zerubbabel’s life was the huge task of rebuilding the second Temple. Yet God promised
that when it was finished, people would be amazed at the “grace” that God had given
in completing the project.
promising to be Zerubbabel’s supply of strength.
God will supply
Zerubbabel would be able to finish the project, not because he had enough
strength of his own, but because God would supply the strength through His
A pastor named Kyle writes, “When I started a new church in Los Angeles County, California, I
found that I was overwhelmed with pressure and stress. I was working more than
seventy hours a week. My wife would ask me to take a day off, and I would say, “I
can’t.” I wasn’t sleeping at night, and I started to take sleeping pills. When
the church was about a year old, I woke up in the night, and I had this strange
sense that God was laughing at me. As I lay in bed, I wondered, Why is God
laughing at me?
“It would take five years before I finally got an answer to that question.
Here’s how it happened: when we moved into our current house, I saved the heaviest
piece of furniture for last—the desk from my office. As I was pushing and
pulling the desk with all my might, my four-year-old son came over and asked if he could help. So
together we started sliding it across the floor. He was pushing and grunting as
we inched our way along. After a few minutes, my son stopped pushing, looked up
at me, and said, “Dad, you’re in my way.” And then he tried to push the desk by
himself. Of course it didn’t budge. Then I realized that he thought he was
actually doing all the work, instead of me. I couldn’t help but laugh.
“The moment I started
laughing at my son’s comment, I recalled that middle-of-the-night incident and
I realized why God was laughing at me. I thought I was pushing the desk. I know
that’s ridiculous, but instead of recognizing God’s power and strength, I
started to think it all depended on me.