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May 11, 2020 1:00 am
As you study the book of Revelation and come to understand what will happen in the end times.
One practical result should be renewed passion to share the gospel. I will be a witness for my Lord, ladies and gentlemen, more than a lyric. It is a lifestyle we can say with great enthusiasm over a thousand times to sing my great Redeemer's praise, but know that technically what that means. Our artist will sing about him in here we will not speak about him out there study Revelation. See both the reward that God has in store for the righteous and the judgment he has in store for the wicked.
Our response to that should be to testify to our generation about the truth today. Stephen comes to Revelation chapter 11 will see a prophecy regarding one of the most disputed issues of our generation Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is considered a holy city by both Jews and Muslims today will see what God has in store for that site and how we should respond to the truth here Stephen with today's message if I were to ask this congregation to question have you ever share the gospel of Jesus Christ of Jesus Christ with the unbeliever work school wherever at any point in your life. I wonder how many could raise her hands and say I have not only that I'm committed to being used in some way to get out the message of the gospel to those around me. We back it up even further on how many people will acknowledge to the world on Monday morning that they were in church on Sunday when you're asked what would you do over the weekend, so I worked in the yard. The little thing here and there and not even own up to that order. Furthermore, they wanted to come with me to church to dressing.
According to one survey I read recently by Tom and Sam Rayner, 82% of the people he surveyed who are unchurched said that they would more than likely attend the service of they were personally invited by a friend. Rayner survey then flipped the question around and discovered the typically less than one in four churchgoers ever invite anybody to come with them to church 82% might come yet.
One in four are only the ones asking Harnack to the great German church historian, wrote that the early mission of Christianity was accomplished by means of what he called the informal missionaries that phrase informal missionaries was actually coined by Justin in the second century church leader was martyred for his faith. He said that the spread of the gospel came because the believers all believe that they were informal missionaries.
So how far have we come from that. Another poster wrote in his book the results of the survey were people who claim to be born again.
That is, they actually accepted and adopted that terminology that they were born again, he asked the question of the survey asked the question, do you believe you have a responsibility to ask.
Explain your religious beliefs and 60% of those people said they did not feel it was their responsibility to be a witness. Imagine that. I fear that for the most part the church today is is growing by transference from one church to the next rather than by conversion people are coming to faith in Jesus Christ because more and more Christians are refusing to believe that it is their responsibility to share their faith with others, rather humorous, read about some time ago to come up with this in excellent words.
It's funny but connecting the same time.
He said he would. He was asked about his religion. He so I'll talk about that people real time and I'll talk about my religion. The people he was then asked what are you and he said well, Jehovah's bystander.
The man said I never heard of such a thing only respond will maybe not. I'm just more comfortable being a bystander than a with while not endorsing the Jehovah's Witnesses. By the way, with that story but I am deeply disturbed about the growing number of Christians who could easily be called Jehovah's bystander's that's not a spiritual called, but I do believe it is a spiritual condition, perhaps, of the church today we can say with great enthusiasm 04 thousand times to sing my great Redeemer's praise, but know that technically what that means. Our artist will sing about him in here we will not speak about him out there.
I will be a witness for my Lord, ladies and gentlemen is more than a lyric. It is a lifestyle not even studying for very long when he threw the last book of the Bible and the revelation of future you can't help but be struck by the faithful witnessing of so many people I want you to know this is convicting the me I'm just preaching to myself like a breach of the infected convicted me that my study. I'm just so glad to be able to finally deliver be done with it right.
This is convicting me to, but we've been we've been marked by the testimony of faithful people.
Whether it's the 144,000 Jewish evangelists who are fearlessly tirelessly delivering the gospel to the world. Or maybe those who come to faith in Christ after the rapture inferred the gospel testimony primarily of these evangelists who are coming to faith in Christ in the millions who will be martyred because they will not be silent about the relationship with Jesus Christ.
Now to the most dramatic witnesses ever do appear I think on the planet surface are about to be introduced before their introduced. We have to go first to where John is asked to actually take part in the unfolding drama of Revelation. So let's start with verse one will be left off a Chapter 11 notice when John is asked to do and eventually will get to these two special witnesses.
Revelation chapter 11 verse one then there was given me a measuring rod like a staff and someone said I believe that someone is God. Get and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship and it John here was given a calamitous the Greek word for a tall hollow cane that could grow as high as 12 feet. It could be whittled down to make quills it can be used as walking canes and a could also be used in its entire length as a surveyors ruler or measuring rod God is asking John to do just that.
To take the survey errors read and go and measure the temple. The Greek word for Temple's Neos that will be significant later on. This is the inner part of the temple. This is the place where were we refer to as the holy place, which includes the smaller compartment of the holy of holies Gordon asked does not refer to the entire temple complex know what we tend to miss as we read that one little verse is the proverbial elephant in the room. The obvious thing that we just lost right over. John has just been asked to make sure the temple there is no temple standing in Jerusalem when John writes the book of Revelation. It has been destroyed. In fact, it was destroyed 25 years earlier. The history fact of the temple is a rather sad tale of the unfaithfulness of God's people in the ongoing commitment of God to his people in the temple eventually will be rebuilt as a data moment with the first temple.
As you may remember, was built in all of his magnificent glory bite by Solomon. It it was destroyed. The second Temple was reconstructed by Zerubbabel after the exile, but that was destroyed the third Temple that was built was built by Herod as a gift to the Jews that he wanted to win favor with that was the temple that Christ was at as a 12-year-old boy questioning the Jewish leaders. This is the temple of the apostles as they stood on the portal.
They pending us and deliver the gospel.
This is the temple we most often think of but Jesus Christ predicted in Matthew 24 verse two that that temple would be destroyed.
Herod's Temple, not one stone left upon another. That prediction came true. In A.D. 70. During the lifetime of John is Titus the Roman general Kaman the siege of Jerusalem and overran rebellious Jerusalem burning the temple to the ground. Tradition informs us that the flames were so intense that the golden silver adorning of the temple melted and ran between the cracks. The only thing left standing in Jerusalem, dating back as a portion of the Western Wall most often referred to as of the Wailing Wall where Orthodox Jews come to this day by day after day after day, especially on the Sabbath and they stand before that wall and they pray this, and I quote may be the design will that the temple be speedily rebuilt in our time that temple has not been rebuilt. John's being told to go measure the temple is been rebuilt. We know from Revelation is will look later that there is a millennial temple in it, all of its glory not just in Laos but the temple courtyard is built in, so what we have that is in between Harrods and the millennial kingdom's Temple, 1/4 temple.
John sees a temple that was reconstructed in Jerusalem perhaps just prior to and certainly now lasting through the tribulation. In fact, we know that the antichrist is the one who initiates the rebuilding of this in Laos.
This holy place in the holy of holies it's his desire to be viewed as God. He sets the Jewish nation with his false peace rebuilds this portion of the temple, but then as we know, in a fit of rage and jealousy and blasphemy. He will desecrate the temple much like Antiochus epiphanies that centuries early by sacrificing a pig on that altar, thus making that temple null and void can never be used again. In fact, Paul clearly speaks of the antichrists blasphemy in his the idolatry built around them and to the Thessalonians in second Thessalonians 2 and I read the man of lawlessness will be revealed, the son of destruction, that is the antichrist who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship. And he takes his seat in the new Laos, the temple of God, displaying himself as being God hear you fine. John being commanded to measure the tribulation temple which will have a very short lifespan. He is literally to measure the holy place the Neos which included the holy of holies not. Evidently, this wasn't an effort to determine its physical dimensions because were not even given them. This is an act that signified ownership God is measuring out this spot and the worshiping was predominantly Jews we would believe with in its Neos within this property. If you have any doubt you do this yourself. If you have any doubt about your property line. You're concerned that your neighbor is cutting more grass than he should write you call the survey. Ernie comes out any measures your property and drives down the stakes had been lost in your able to tell your neighbor you're taking care of way too much lawn let me do that.
That's actually my prop he what's happening here is the same thing.
This is ownership. God is saying this really is my property designated for my people for a special purpose yet to be seen now what you notice something very interesting. Obviously this is stunning news to John, there is a temple.
He sees that he had seen the other wood destroying now is told to go and measure this one God's promises are certainly going to come through with this tribulation in his own revelation of the tribulation.
But there is obviously didn't get any Jewish people that still care. There's the implication of a Jewish state, literal temple will be marked out here with a literal measuring read in a literal city of Jerusalem as we'll see in a little bit but now I want you to notice even more significantly, and omission by John God tells John not to measure something else.
Verse two leave out the court which is outside the temple do not measure that for it has been given to the nations, and they will tread under foot the holy city that is Jerusalem for 42 months or literally 3 1/2 years now this court outside the temple represents the court of the Gentiles of the court to which Gentiles have access and the command of God to John is not to measure this outer court.
In fact, it is designated in the Greek language is something outside of God's favor.
You can understand it, literally, to have been abandoned by God. Even though it's still on the Temple Mount. This omission has become even more fascinating in light of the findings of archaeologists in our lifetime that just in the last few decades. Let me explain.
Have you ever wondered how the tribulation temple could be rebuilt on the Temple Mount. If you were to visit the temple mount what you would find is anything but a Jewish temple right you would find Islam's one of Islam's most famous and most sacred sites to their religion Muslim mosque in a shrine called the dome of the rock that all of the postcards and all of the pictures with its shiny dome. Muslims believe this is the cornerstone of creation.
They believe under that dome is the place where Abraham offered or nearly offered up his son. Although they believe it was Ishmael and Isaac and they also believe that from that very spot. There prophet Mohammed ascended to heaven without dying so that is to them a most sacred spot infections since 691 A.D. this dome of the rock with now it's golden brain sort of just shining in the Middle Eastern son has stood on the Temple Mount, which is the sacred place for the Jews. This 35 acre plot of ground.
Now John sees a reconstructed temple for Jewish worship on the Temple Mount and furthermore its claim to legitimacy is all of the previous temples its claim to legitimacy is that the holy of holies is on the very spot of Solomon's holy of holies that original temple will how do you get Jews to rebuild the sanctuary on the Temple Mount without World War III taking place for 2000 years, Jews and Muslims and Christians have been slaughtered in their attempts to control the little plot of land. Even today, that's the most famous 35 acres on the planet, and world attention is still focused on it is you don't mess with that land. That's a political hot potato. If there ever was one.
How the antichrist ever bring about peace and allow the Jews to rebuild this temporary sanctuary. Well, with the help of archaeologists and surveyors. There is good reason to believe that the Muslims dome of the rock is not only actual spot of the Neos sanctuary, which housed the holy of holies that spot. According to one engineer and many others. This one particular one is really passionately pursue this by the name of Asher Kaufman and others with him says that that actual spot is is literally 100 yards north of the dome still on the Temple Mount, but not where the dome of the rock six. There are numerous scholarly find a bag.
I spent time this week researching the drawings of Kaufman and his topographical maps to see what he and his teams, and other teams and engineers have have accomplished as faithful Jews committed to Jerusalem. There are now numerous scholarly findings to give serious doubt to the fact that the dome of the rock is actually sitting on the site of the original holy of holies. And if this research is correct, you could easily see your way to a Middle Eastern solution or lease a partial solution right the Jews could have their sanctuary rebuilt the holy place in the holy of holies without having to tear down the Muslims sacred site you see the bumper stickers coexist and that's what the world is rushing toward and that will be the message of the antichrist and he will make it happen there on the Temple Mount but but even with that in mind, there is still a problem. If the reconstructed temple would have the ability to build out those courtyards. The courtyard surrounding the temple would encompass the dome of the rock in your back to the same problem. How interesting it is here that John in Revelation 11 is told.
You don't have to measure the area outside the Navy's.
You don't have to measure the courtyard because verse two says that his been dedicated to the Gentiles that's already been given to the unbeliever so the tribulation temple, which houses the holy of holies, which John will measure isn't going to measure anything else built beyond that that will be part of the antichrist strategy to bring peace to the Middle East.
Although it will be temporary. Today, committed Jews are involved in organizations such as the Temple Institute.
In fact, even as we speak there involved in weaving clothing for priest aware jewelers and artisans are our re-crafting 1/4, according to the specifications given in the Old Testament the vessels of silver and gold for that day. When temple worship is to begin you may remember reading about a year ago the hubbub when somebody tried to lay the cornerstone for the Neos time a World War III. It'll happen until this day, probably with the revelation or at least the belief that in fact the Neos isn't where the dome of the rock is currently located right now, ladies and gentlemen. Men are being trained in Levitical rituals. According the Old Testament systems of sacrifice and worship. It's interesting to me to think that were living in a generation where plans and preparations for a functioning Jewish temple. Although temporary Albion and not you know the temple that we would consider the Temple of of course, of the millennial kingdom, but here they are preparing and planning awaiting as it were, the world's permission. The world's permission to build and we know from Scripture that that permission will be given to them by an amazing peacemaker. The antichrist who will make it happen.
Now in John's season. Revelation 11. This temple sanctuary and he measures it.
By this time it is already been desecrated by the antichrist. It's a place where Jews are gathering, no doubt, but it is without the potential of genuine and true sacrifice. Certainly because it is been desecrated by the anticrisis fit of rage and jealousy. And so, in this latter three and have your. God stations to rather unusual witnesses and these witnesses are going to testify to the gospel of God, the antichrist's coming due and the doom of the world that dares to follow this false Messiah so that is an introduction let's look at verse three and I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1260 days were literally 3 1/2 years, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth that the same symbolic terminology appears in Zechariah 4 were olive trees are dipping their oil as if there is a continual flow into a lamp stand as a witness to Israel in Zechariah's day. Oil is a consistent reference in the Bible of the spirit of God, and since the oil here is directly connected to the lampstand.
In Zechariah in Revelation, the testimony of the witnesses have great spirit power and it will not go out until their time is up. In fact, it is the often quoted text in Zechariah related to this particular image were given here Revelation that refers to Spirit empowered witnessing and being a testimony course in our day to what we know as the gospel of Jesus Christ in this is the text that often quoted is related to this context, not by might nor by power but by my what spirit, saith the Lord of host Zechariah 4, six, never will that be more clearly implied. Then in the lives of these two indestructible witnesses empowered uniquely by God spirit.
So who are the we don't know there's not a versa tells us which gives us good reason. Spent a lot of time guessing right well really we can put together some clues to come up with these two men.
I believe personally that they are Elijah and Moses simply because of what God will have them do some believe it might be Elijah, and in it because those two men never died. Although we know from Scripture that many people who never die at her the eternal state coming from the tribulation and that the kingdom and from the kingdom into the eternal state. I think there Elijah and Moses like Moses will see they have the power to turn water into blood. God gives them this power to touch the earth with plagues like Elijah, they have the ability to to call down fire as it were, in fact, here's literally coming from their mouths and that sounds a lot like Elijah. You may remember back in and the Kings and Chronicles were that delegation came from a rebellious king, they found Elijah sitting up on a hill in the delegation of soldiers came up to him and the leader said.the king wants to see you it will godly men and Elijah's as well, godly man with fire content and incinerate you and fire comes down and incinerates them so the king sent another delegation, the second delegation comes the leader goes up the hill and he says Elijah man of God.
The king wants to see you come now, and Elijah's is about Amanda Bennett fire heaven and incinerate and their incinerate 1/3 delegation because by now you're thinking how slow is this King of third delegation comes and that leader crawls up the hill and says oh Elijah, man of God I know is having before.
Please don't go to me.
God tells Elijah to go with them. What here you have these witnesses. In fact, look at verse five. The description if anyone wants to harm them, fire flows out of their mouth and devours their enemies as ever witnessing technique. If anyone wants to harm them. He will be killed in this way. These have the power to shut up the skies and the rain will not fall during the days of their prophesying, which were told was literally they have power over the waters to turn them in the blood strike the earth with every plague as often as you can only imagine how they will be hated by the will come back tomorrow and learn more about these witnesses and Stephen will further challenge us regarding the fact that just as God sends those two witnesses to that future generation. He sent us to our present generation to share the light and life of the gospel. Thanks for joining us today here on wisdom for the hearts are Bible teacher is Stephen Davey, if you'd like to learn more about our ministry visit wisdom online.org on that site. We have the complete archive of Stephen's 30+ years of Bible teaching. You can listen to the audio lessons or read his printed manuscripts. Those resources are free of charge. Be sure to like our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter or Instagram and subscribe to our YouTube channel. All of those are a great way to keep current with our ministry and share our ministry with others. If you'd like to correspond with us. Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to hear from you. Our phone number here in the Cary, North Carolina office is 86 648 Bible if you don't receive our monthly magazine heart to heart we be happy to send you the next three issues as our gift to you. Just call our office at 86 648 Bible or 866-482-4253 will take down enough information to be able to get this out to you and send you the next three issues of heart-to-heart magazine as our gift to you when we come back tomorrow. Stephen will bring you the conclusions of this lesson you'll hear powerful testimony that will challenge you regarding your witness. Join us for that here on wisdom for the heart