REVELATION 11

 
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 there. 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 forty-two months. 3 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth." 4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth. 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. 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. 7

 

 

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When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. 8 And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. 9 Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. 10 And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth. 11 Now after the three-and-a-half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. 12 And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up here." And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them. 13 In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven. 14 The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe is coming quickly.

Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there.

There are two temples: one under the Old Covenant, and the other under the New. Under the New Covenant the temple of God becomes metaphoric and spiritual. After Christ there is no longer a need for an earthly temple with its altar for the offering of sacrifices for the cleansing of sins. The price was paid in full on the cross.

God told Moses he would choose a place among all the tribes of Israel to put his name for a dwelling; to provide a central site for all Israel to come and worship before him. (Deut. 12) Under the Old

 

 

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Covenant God says he will dwell in an earthly temple. In the New God says he will put his spirit in those who believe—making them his dwelling place. As Paul says: For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:

I will dwell in them and walk among them.

I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 2 Cor. 6:16 NKJV

The temple spoken of in verse one, this is not the temple destroyed in 70AD by the Romans… rather, the temple made of living stones…being built upon the Rock, Jesus Christ, into a spiritual house—to become a dwelling in which God lives by his spirit. And what we do with Him will determine if we are measured within its walls.

The altar: the golden altar of incense was place next to the curtain before the Most Holy Place. Where fragrant incense was continually offered. In the book of Revelation the incense and its ascending up to God symbolized the prayers of the saints. Rev. 5:8, 8:3

As well, the Levites, the priestly tribe where brought before the tabernacle and the people and set apart to serve the Lord. They themselves were offered up as a wave offering unto God. (Num. 8:11-19) In like manner, those who make Christ Lord offer up themselves to God. A daily-living sacrifice upon the brazen altar. An offering pleasing and holy in God's sight. Rom. 12:1, 1 Cor. 6:19-20

Those who worship there: It is the temple of God whose worship is in spirit. It is to abide as the temple: this is true worship, and this is the temple service God desires.

To be in the sanctuary you cannot help but offer praise; in His presence you cannot help but worship. Singing unto Him a new song; His praise in the assembly of the saints.

Praise Him in his sanctuary;

praise Him in his mighty heavens.

Praise Him for his acts of power;

praise Him for his surpassing greatness.

 

 

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Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Psalms 149, 150

But leave out the outer court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been give to the Gentiles.

The second temple was transformed by Herod from a modest house into grand splendor. With its spacious outer court having seven separate gateways leading into its porticos and walkways. The outer court itself was called "the court of the Gentiles", where religious peoples of all the nations could gather.

While the temple is a picture of the saints; the court without symbolizes nominal Christendom. It takes on the name of the temple complex but itself is not the temple. Its religion is mostly external. Apart from his presence its ecclesiastics are impure and impotent and spiritless. Its walkways and carved stone floors are given unto the Gentiles and it learns their ways. But the temple was for the priesthood alone; who wholly set themselves apart unto God and his service. To bring glory to his name; and to offer sacrifices acceptable in his sight.

The two witnesses we read about in this chapter: who prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth;

who have power to devour with fire anyone who tries to harm them;

and to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and who have power over waters to turn them to blood; and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire—these two witnesses are also of the saints and of the temple. These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth. From the olive tree comes the pure oil for the lampstands and its light. In the temple was the lampstand of pure gold; who's light was to burn continually as an everlasting statute. (Lev. 24:2-4)

 

 

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The seven churches also were seven golden lampstands burning in the midst of one like the Son of Man. (Rev. 1:12-13,20) It is in his midst that the pure oil of His Spirit pours into the bowls of the lamps that the lamps might perpetually shine. Apart from his presence the pure oil ceases; the vessels dry up, and the light goes out.

And I will give power to my two witnesses.

The last words Jesus gave to his disciples were:

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8

Those who stand before Him receive of His Spirit and of His power. And they shall be His witnesses in a world that lies in darkness. And to be a witness is to stand (as God's tabernacle).

In Germany a lowly monk ignited the fires of Reformation when he posted his 95 theses to the north door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. Luther took his stand. He publicly burned the papal bull which demanded him to recant. When he was promised safe passage to and from the Imperial Diet of Worms in 1521 he stood before Emperor and Papal authority. He was called once again to recant. His words still ring out to the church today

Your Imperial Majesty and your Lordships demand a simple answer. Here it is, plain and unvarnished. Unless I am convicted of error by the testimony of Scripture or (since I put no trust in the unsupported authority of pope or of councils, since it is plain that they have often erred and often contradicted themselves) by manifest reasoning I stand convicted by the Scriptures to which I have appealed, and my conscience is taken captive by God's word, I cannot and will not recant anything. For to act against our conscience is neither safe for us, nor open to us. On this I take my stand, I can do no other, God help me. Amen…

 

 

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400 years later in Hitler's Germany the churches had become shipwrecked. The body of Christ, the pillar of truth had lost its way, its foundation, its purpose, its power, its witness. The church elections in 1933 would find 70% of the pro-Hitler German Christians winning ecclesiastical positions. The Wittenberg National Synod would see Ludwig Muller, a fervent Nazi, elected as Reich-bishop over all provincial protestant churches. The Wittenberg assembly came to be known as the Brown Synod because of all the brown shirts of the SA storm troopers (as well as the swastika arm bands) worn by the delegates.

Before the end of 1933 two resolutions would be added to church law: The Arian Clause (which was already state policy) outlawing Jews or persons married to Jews from church office; and a ruling requiring all pastors take a loyalty oath to Hitler and his government. Such doctrine so alarmed many Protestants that they broke off from such heresy altogether to form a new church body, the Confessing Church. As Dietrich Bonoeffer, for one, had pleaded with Protestants…church, remain a church…confess! confess! confess!

Temple of God…remain God's dwelling place!

Many are the enemies of the temple. Evil forces who would try to destroy it; to rob it of its power and its witness. But like the two witnesses, the true temple of God cannot be destroyed; it can only be transformed into a far more and exceeding and surpassing tabernacle; with greater measurements—the Crystal City—New Jerusalem. (read the end of the story-Rev.21,22)

Worldwide persecution is coming on the church. The beast will make war against the saints and overcome them. Judgment must first begin with God's household. We will be brought through the furnace and the fires will reveal who is of the temple, and who is of the outer court; who will choose to stand, and who will bow down to the beast

 

 

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and his image. Many will come to the temple and embrace the living God; and many hearts will grow cold and follow the way of the multitudes; but those who endure to the end will be saved.

Great revival is coming in the last days. The church age will close out as it opened—with Holy Ghost fire and power, with signs and wonders—the first and the latter rain.

And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out my spirit on all flesh;

Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams.

And on my menservants and on my maidservants I will pour out my Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy.

I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: blood and fire and vapor of smoke.

The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.

And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Acts 2:16-21, Joel 2:28-32)

The two witnesses who are given such great power by God:

        To prophecy for 1260 days

        To devour their enemies with fire

        To shut heaven so it rains not

        Power over waters to turn them to blood

        And to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire

It is just a manifestation of God's outpouring of His Spirit on the menservants and maidservants, on His sons and His daughters in the last days.

And they (the Gentiles) will tread the holy city (Jerusalem) underfoot for forty-two months.

Some feel this corresponds to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Yes, the Romans did tread down Jerusalem at that time…but not

 

 

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for 42 months. It would not be until 1967, almost 1000 years later, after the 6 Day War that the Jewish people could once again claim control of their beloved city and assert sovereignty over it. (apart from a very brief period under the Bar Kochba revolt).

The scene now is set for Jerusalem to be once again overrun and trodden underfoot by the Gentiles; to fulfill end-time Bible prophecy just as it had been prophesied some hundreds, and some thousand plus years ago. Turn your eyes toward Jerusalem—the city of peace; that has only known war and destruction—for it plays a central role in the prophetic picture of the last days.

Remember in the Olivet Discourse Jesus said that immediately after a time of trouble the Son of Man would appear in the clouds and send forth his angels to gather the elect. (Matt. 24:29-31) Jesus actually said that there would be a time of great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be—but—that there would be a sign signaling its beginning!

Therefore when you see the ' abomination of desolation' spoken of by Daniel the prophet standing in the holy place (whoever reads, let him understand)…then there will be great tribulation… Matt. 24:15,21

Just before the appearing of the Son of Man to gather his elect from the four corners of the earth there will be a time of great trouble; and one of the most important, and clear signs of the end times to be watching for is the abomination of desolation to be set up, or standing in the holy place that will signal its beginning!

And the holy place where the abomination is set up is the temple; and the temple mount is in the city of Jerusalem! (study carefully Matt. 24:15-31)

In the latter part of Daniel chapter 11 a leader makes his appearance who is both cunning and contemptible. His heart is for

 

 

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war, but he rises to power talking peace. His forces eventually invade Jerusalem and put an end to the daily sacrifice, defile the sanctuary, and place there the abomination of desolation. (Dan. 11:21-31) Here's the abomination of desolation that Jesus said Daniel the prophet spoke about!

The contemptible person seems consistent with the Syrian king of the Seleucid Dynasty, Antiochus Epiphanes, and his exploits in the second century B.C. His wars and campaigns against Egypt; his rage and persecution of the Jewish nation, and the defilement of the holy sanctuary. Yet many admit that the details in the last verses of Daniel 11 do not fit Epiphanes. And that he is merely a prefigure of the ultimate fulfillment in an even more sinister and contemptible person to come.

And think about it…the prophecy in Daniel 11 verse 31 talking about the abomination of desolation could not apply to the desecration of the temple by Antiochus Epiphanes in approximately 167B.C. If the prophecy was already fulfilled Jesus, some 200 years later, would not be saying to his followers, keep an eye out for it…watch for it to be set up, in the future, in the holy place!

But some say then, that the abomination of desolation being placed in the holy place has its fulfillment in the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple by the Romans in 70A.D. Yes but, the invasion of Jerusalem by Rome is nowhere to be seen in Daniel 11. The context in Daniel 11, and into chapter 12, is the Grecian Empire. In particular, the divisions of the northern, Seleucid Kingdom, and the Ptolemy Kingdom of the south after the death of Alexander the Great. In the prophecy the last king of the north (north of Israel) his forces enter Jerusalem, stop the daily sacrifice, defile the temple, and place there the abomination of desolation. The regions north of Israel would apply to Syria, Turkey, Iran, perhaps Iraq or Russia of today. The king of Rome would be from the west…thus would be identified as the king of the west.

 

 

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Besides the time frame of this revelation is clear. Twice Daniel is told to shut up and seal the words of the prophecy until the time of the end! (Once in 12:4 and again in 12:9) And why would this be? It should be obvious…it is shut up and to be opened only at the time of the end because the end times is its time! It is time then for it to be fulfilled!

So does Daniel's vision and Jesus' prophecy line up? What they are saying about the setting up of the abomination of desolation and what proceeds it should correspond precisely. They are separate passages, but are prophesying of the exact same event and time.

Daniel's vision adds details of the leader of these times which Jesus doesn’t mention. And after the abominable thing is set up in the sanctuary…not only do we see the same typical characteristics that were manifested in the beast of Revelation 13, and the little horn of Daniel 7 in this leader:

  • God's holy people will fall by the sword and flame and by captivity and spoil for many days—vers. 32-35
  • The contemptible king of the north exalts and magnifies himself above every god. And speaks blasphemies against the god of gods—vers. 36-37
  • With great fury he goes out to destroy and annihilate many—ver. 44

Not only is the end-time antichrist regime portrayed here; but the angel who is giving this angelic revelation to Daniel concurs completely with Jesus that there will then be a time of great tribulation followed by the saving of the elect:

And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time (immediately after the trouble) your people shall be delivered,

 

 

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everyone who is found written in the book (deliverance of the elect at Christ's second coming)! (12:1)

Next the question is asked in Daniel 12,"how long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be"? (12:6) That is, the final fulfillment of the prophecy; the time of great trouble and persecution of the holy people…how long until it's all over?

We then see a mighty angel above the waters lifting up his hands to heaven and swearing by Him who lives forever that it shall be for a time (one year) and times (two years) and half a time (1/2 a year); and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished. (12:7)

It's going to seem as though the dragon and the beast win. Their cruel campaign, their insanity of wrath and war; after 3 years the world will be groaning in desolation. All opposition and the holy people will have been crushed. What will be left is the system of 666. All bowing down in unison to the beast and his image…it will seem for many that God is dead. Yet the darkest hour is just before the dawn.

When the 5th seal is opened in Revelation chapter 6 we see under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the witness they bore to the word of God crying with a loud voice, How long O Lord, holy and true, until you judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on earth?…And it was said unto them that they should rest a little while longer until the number of their fellow servants and bothers who were to be killed as they have been was completed. Rev. 6:11

If God knows every number, and every name; and the perfect sum of the martyrs, He is not dead. He knows…it is us earthlings who know him not. His ways surpass the heavens; his thoughts are not our thoughts.

 

 

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Again Jesus said of the times of the end, that unless those days were not cut short no flesh would be saved (the devils desire will be to kill and destroy everything) but for the elects sake those days shall be shortened. (Matt. 24:22) It is for the elect that Jesus returns! At that time, after the time of trouble such as never was! Everyone who is found written in the book shall be delivered! They are known, each individually by name! Their names are all written in the book!

And it appears that the two witnesses in Revelation 11 may well be the last of those killed for the word of God; filling up the number of the martyrs; opening the way for Christ's return. Let's look again at the passage in chapter 11 where the two witnesses finish their testimony

When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.

Now after the three-and-a-half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up here." And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them. In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven. The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe is coming quickly.

 

 

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This is an intriguing passage for a couple of reasons. For one: if it says the two witnesses lay dead in the street of the great city, and those from the peoples, tribes, tongues and nations see their dead bodies and begin to celebrate…this prophecy, if literal, would have to take place in an age of instant, worldwide tele-vision; in an age of computers and monitoring screens! If the two witnesses were martyred in any time period prior to say, the mid-1950s, those who dwell on the earth would not have been actually able to see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days!

Of course today it makes perfect sense. Today, demonstrations in the streets of Myanmar/Burma—even with its military rule—is instant, worldwide news. In the 21st Century the peoples of the nations can see it as it happens!

Also: since the two witnesses are killed at the end of the

3 years by the beast; after they finish their 1260 days of prophetic testimony, thus: Just as the abomination of desolation is a sign which signals the commencement of the great tribulation, so the deaths of the two witnesses: broadcast live, worldwide on the AC Network will be a sign signaling the end, and Christ's immanent return.

It says the breath of life of God entered into them after

3 days and they were raised up in a cloud to heaven—bringing the second woe to an end, and behold the third woe is coming quickly. If you read Revelation 8:13 and into chapter 9, the second woe is the sixth trumpet, and the third woe is the seventh and last trumpet. So it could just as easily be stated: the sixth trumpet is past and behold the seventh and last trumpet is coming quickly. We have already discussed what happens when the seventh trumpet is blown—it’s the end! The kingdoms of this world are now become the kingdoms of Jesus the Christ! It's the second coming!

Once the two witnesses are martyred by the beast, and their dead bodies lie in the street of the great city, it will be the last hours for

 

 

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those on earth. The last chance to repent and choose the God of heaven. But once the last trumpet sounds our chance to choose will have expired; the door is shut, and our fate and our eternity is sealed. Hopefully many will turn to God at this time for it says at the end of the sixth trumpet that the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven.

For those who believe and have endured to the end, and remain alive, and see or hear rumors that their two brothers lie dead in the street…they will fall on their knees. They will realize it's all but over now. They fought the fight. They kept the faith. Now soon they will see their Savior coming in the clouds to take them away. And the crown of righteousness, which is stored up for all those who long for his appearing, will soon be placed on their heads. (2 Tim. 4:7-8)

And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

So we come back to Jerusalem. Even the blood of the two witnesses will stain her streets. Turmoil swells over the great city; and a city divided cannot stand. Israel now claims it as their "united" "eternal capital". The Palestinians insist East Jerusalem will be the capital of their future Palestinian State. In the true messianic age the nations will say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; for he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths". For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. ( Isaiah 2:2-4) It will be Jerusalem that will be the capital city of the soon coming King of Kings. But first the great city must be trodden down by the dragon and the beast; be desecrated, and come into desolation one last time. In Daniel 11:45 it says, He (the contemptible king) will pitch his royal tents between the seas at the beautiful holy mountain. Yet he will

 

 

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come to his end, and no one will help him. The antichrist will assume and scorn the true Christ and will rule from Jerusalem.

Remember in 2 Thessalonians chapter two, just before Christ's return, the man of sin, the lawless one will sit in the temple exalting himself, and proclaiming to the world that he is god.

Second Thessalonians was one of Paul's earliest epistles. Written in approximately AD 52. That would be just 18 years from the time Titus and the Romans would besiege Jerusalem and level the temple to the ground—never to again be rebuilt to this day!

So if there is no temple: how can the man of sin set himself up in it (manifesting himself to the world as the antichrist)? So end-time Bible prophecy can be fulfilled? So Jesus can return a second time?

It's not that the Jewish people don't have a passion for rebuilding the temple. In their formal prayers, especially the Orthodox Jews; whether in the Holy Land or the Diaspora, still turn towards Jerusalem and pray daily that the temple might be speedily rebuilt in their time. Plans, blueprints, materials for its construction; the Levitical Priesthood, much of the articles for the temple and priests are already set aside just waiting for the day.

Of course the two great obstacles for that day not being yesterday are the two Muslim Shrines now standing on the holy ground where the temple must stand. The Doom of the Rock, sometimes called the Mosque of Omar, is one of Jerusalem's most recognizable architectural landmarks. With its brilliant golden dome. When seen from a distance its rich mosaic exterior walls fade into a bluish hue. First built in the late 600's when Jerusalem was under Muslim rule, as a martyrium over the spot where it is believed Mohammad ascended in his night journey to heaven.

 

 

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After the 6-Day War the Israeli government, in an effort for peace, granted management of the temple mount compound to a Muslim Council. And promised that "no harm whatsoever shall come to places sacred to all religions".

So we stand today. The temple mount in Jerusalem is the most volatile, hotly contested religious site on earth. In 2000, the then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's mere visit to the temple mount sparked clashed between stone-throwing Palestinians and Israeli troops.

In 1990, rumors that Jewish extremists planned to start rebuilding the temple ignited riots in which 17 Palestinians were killed and scores wounded.

In 1996 when the Israeli government opened an archaeological tunnel just outside the temple compound it touched off riots in which 80 were killed, mostly Palestinians.

But the antichrist will stand in the temple in the last days proclaiming himself to be god. The 3rd temple will be raised up on the holy mount. But since this cannot be brought about in times of peace, there must be war. Possible WWIII!

Also in Daniel 11, when the forces of the contemptible one defile the sanctuary and set up the abomination of desolation it says that they shall take away the daily sacrifice. And what is the daily sacrifice?

Under the temple/tabernacle service was the continual daily offering by fire on the brazen altar of two lambs of one year. Offered unto the Lord once in the morning and again at twilight. (Ex. 29:38-42)

Orthodox Judaism is not only intent on rebuilding the temple, but that the korbano—the sacrificial system of worship—also be reinstituted.

Not only must the temple be rebuilt, but the continual daily sacrifice offered up upon the brazen altar—that all that is written of the last days come to pass; that the Word of God be fulfilled.

 

 

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In Daniel 8 we see the leader who is of fierce countenance, who possesses powers not his own rising up and becoming exceedingly great. Who understands dark riddles, and is a master of deceit. He destroys extra-ordinarily, prospering in all he puts his hands to. He exalts himself, and comes against the Prince of princes. He invades the Glorious Land, stops the daily sacrifice, and tramples down the temple and the holy people.

Then the question is asked

How long will the vision be concerning the daily sacrifice and the transgression of desolation, the giving of both the sanctuary and the host (the holy people, the saints) to be trampled underfoot?

And the answer

For two thousand three hundred days: then the sanctuary shall be cleansed. Dan. 8:13-14

In Daniel 8 we see a male goat coming from the west across the whole surface of the earth without touching the ground. Who had a large horn between his eyes. But when the male goat became very strong the large horn was broken and four notable horns rose up in its place. Again the setting in Daniel 8, as in Daniel 11 is the Grecian Empire. The male goat coming from the west symbolizes the kingdom of Greece conquering the earth. The large horn is Alexander the Great. Who at the height of his rule suddenly takes ill and dies: causing the Empire to be divided up into four notable kingdoms.

And in the later times, out of one of these realms will rise up another little horn which grew exceeding great towards the south, towards the east, and towards the Glorious Land.

The little horn again fits Antiochus Epiphanes to a measure. He did extend his kingdom into the south and east and invaded the Glorious Land. When Epiphanes tried to expand southward and rule Egypt

 

 

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however, Rome stepped in and ordered him out. It was after this humiliating retreat that Epiphanes unleashed one of the first known religious persecutions on a peoples group—taking out his rage on the Jewish nation. Decrees were issued forbidding circumcision and the celebrating of Sabbath. Copies of the Law were desecrated and burned. If anyone was found in possession of a copy of the Torah they were put to death. Altars were built in each city and sacrifices to pagan gods were enforced. The sanctuary was defiled when Antiochus sacrificed swine on the brazen altar; and erected a statue of Zeus in the holy place.

But if Antiochus Epiphanes grew and was so exceedingly great how come, with his vast and arrayed army and cavalry, along with his war elephants; how come he could not hold back a small band of ill-trained, ill-equipped insurgent Jews lead by Judas, called Maccabees? Within three years the Maccabees entered Jerusalem in triumph; ritually cleansed and re-dedicated the temple, and reestablished traditional Jewish worship.

1 Maccabees 6 gives an account of the last days of the great king.

As King Antiochus was traversing the inland provinces, he heard that in Persia there was a city called Elymais, famous for its wealth in silver and gold, and that its temple was very rich, containing gold helmets, breastplates, and weapons left there by Alexander, son of Philip, king of Macedon, the first king of the Greeks. He went therefore and tried to capture and pillage the city. But he could not do so, because his plan became known to the people of the city who rose up in battle against him. So he retreated and in great dismay withdrew from there to return to Babylon.

While he was in Persia, a messenger brought him news that the armies sent into the land of Judah had been put to flight; that Lysias had gone at first with a strong army and been driven back

 

 

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by the Israelites; that they had grown strong by reason of the arms, men, and abundant possessions taken from the armies they had destroyed; that they had pulled down the Abomination which he had built upon the altar in Jerusalem; and that they had surrounded with high walls both the sanctuary, as it had been before, and his city of Beth-zur.

When the king heard this news, he was struck with fear and very much shaken. Sick with grief because his designs had failed, he took to his bed. There he remained many days, overwhelmed with sorrow, for he knew he was going to die.

I don't see Antiochus Epiphanes as the great military man some like to make him out to be. The one who grew exceedingly great. Who destroys fearfully, prospering in all he does. (vers. 9, 12, 24)

And again, the time frame of this prophecy, like Daniel 11-12 is clear…the first thing Gabriel says to Daniel is: Understand, son of man, that the vision refers to the time of the end. (vers. 17, 19, 26)

And then there is this odd number, 2300 days. Which does not fit anything of Antiochus' time. Some like to apply it to the time Antiochus Epiphanes defiled the temple, to the time it was rededicated. But the book of 1 Maccabees, the authority on these times and its events, says it was on the 3rd anniversary of its defilement that the temple was rededicated. (1 Macc. 1.54, 4:52-54) That would be exactly 3 years—1095 days (or 1080 days if using lunar years).

Then some like to divide the 2300 days making it 1150 because in the original Hebrew it literally says, two thousand three hundred evening-mornings. Yet even using this method there still would be a discrepancy of 55 to 70 days.

The Protestant Reformers spiritualized the 2300 days, and as was previously stated, tended to use the year-for-a-day principle (in which

 

 

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a day in apocalyptic prophecy was to represent a year in actual time).

William Miller took the 2300 days, used the year-for-a-day method; applied it to the second coming; and putting its beginning at 457 B.C. (the supposed date of the decree given to rebuild the second temple) calculated Christ's return to be either in 1843 or 1844. This was during the Great Awakening, the great revival that was sweeping North America in the 1830's. The Millerite movement grew to some 100,000 strong. Many abandoned their farms, sold their possessions, and left their jobs to propagate the

 

message and wait for the day. When it didn't happen it was

dubbed "The Great Disappointment".

In an effort to save the movement Miller readjusted his teaching to say, Jesus wasn't to appear physically at this time, but rather his advent was in heaven. It was at this time that he entered the Holy of Holies in the Heavenly Sanctuary. Eventually Miller withdrew from leadership and the Millerite movement largely disbanded. But the Seventh-day Adventists, though not directly connected to William Miller, were an offshoot of the Millerites. And to this day hold that Miller's second teaching on the 2300 days to be correct. Referring to it as the day investigative judgment began (though Miller himself, before his death admitted his error, and even denounced the new doctrine that he had developed).

Most commentators don't even deal with the 2300 days. It doesn't fit into any eschatology they know. But if put in its proper place, the end times, the 2300 days can fit perfectly.

Let's look at the 2300 days passage again

Then I heard a holy one speaking; and another holy one said to that certain one who was speaking," How long will the vision be, concerning the daily sacrifices and the transgression of

 

 

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desolation, the giving of both the sanctuary and the host (the saints) to be trampled underfoot?"

And he said to me," For two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed."

There are actually two units to be counted to reach the total sum: 1—How long will be the daily sacrifice, and 2—How long will be the transgression of desolation, the giving of both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled underfoot.

Of course there is no daily sacrifice at the present because there is no temple. But once the temple is rebuilt the daily sacrifice can commence. But when the forces of the AC defile the sanctuary they again stop the daily sacrifice, set up the abomination of desolation, and the sanctuary and the host will be trodden underfoot (for 3 years—1260 days! This also parallels the trampling of Jerusalem by the Gentiles for 42 months-Rev.11:2).

. We already know how long the sanctuary and host will be trampled down—therefore—all we have to do is divide the total, 2300 days into 1260 days to get how long the daily sacrifice will be (1040 days! See illustration).

 

 


1040 days for the daily sacrifice + 1260 days for the transgression of desolation: the giving of both the sanctuary and host to be trampled = 2300 days!

But now one big question remaining is the rebuilding of the temple. Let's go to Daniel 9 to end this discourse on the 3 years.

 

 

 

 

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