Continued from previous post…
Now we are ready to read what John was shown.
“Then there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, “Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it. 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.” Rev. 11:1, 2
Since 70 CE, when Titus and his army destroyed Jerusalem and the temple, no other temple has been built to replace it, and the New Jerusalem does not have a temple (Rev. 21:22), so we can eliminate both of these as the holy city that will be trod on for forty-two months (1260 years, see Appendix 2).
In the previous chapter of this book we saw that a woman stands for a city, which stands for a group of people that have something in common. In 1 Cor. 3:16 Paul says that Christians are the temple of God. So what we learn here is that true believers will be safe spiritually even though they may be harmed physically (trod under foot). Jesus said, “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matt. 10:28
“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 lamp stands that stand before the Lord of the earth.” Rev. 11:3, 4
We saw in Revelation Chapter 1 that the seven churches are represented by the seven lamp stands surrounding Jesus– one lamp stand for each successive church. So why are only two lamp stands mentioned in Rev. 11? What happened to the other five? There are only two lamp stands in this vision because the events that are being described apply to only two of the churches – Thyatira and Sardis. These two churches existed during the 42 months, the 1260 years, mentioned above in Rev. 11. This time span lasted from the time the Bishop of Rome achieved undisputed authority in 538 CE until the Pope was put in prison in 1798 CE.
The two olive trees are the Holy Spirit and Jesus (see Appendix 2) and they are with the churches throughout their experiences. Even though they have the power to “…devour their enemies…to shut up the sky…and to strike the earth with every plague…” (Rev. 11: 5. 6) they do not do so during this time. Why? Because whenever true believers were brought to trial and forced to defend themselves, they became powerful “witnesses” for God’s truth. Some who saw their bravery and heard the truth in their words became believers themselves.