Zerubbabel, Joshua, & the Latter House of Glory
For, who are Zerubbabel and Joshua anyway? If historical Zerubbabel and Joshua were in real time what prophecy said about them, then in their days there was a Shaking (Hag. 2:5-9, 21-23; Ezek. 38:19-23, Isa. 2:10-22, 13:13, 24:18-20, 34:4, 54:10, Joel 3:9-16, Heb. 12:25-29), a Wilderness Experience (Ezek. 20:33-38), a Measuring Reed for the Rebuilding of the Temple and the Return of the Glory of God (Jer. 31:38-40, Ezek. 37:11-14, Ezek. 40:2-8, Zech. 1:16, 2:1-2, Rev. 11:1-2), and accordingly there were Two Anointed Ones for the accomplishing of these things (Zech. 4:3-5, 11-14, Rev. 11:3-4). Did it happen? No. At least not in full, it didn’t. Otherwise, why are the Christians of the Last Days foretold of future events that involve a Shaking (Heb. 12:25-29, Rev. 16:17-21), a Wilderness Experience (Rev. 12:6, 14), a Measuring Reed alongside Two Anointed Ones (Rev. 11:1-12) to wit the Glory of God Returns to the People of God (Rev. 14:1-7), all for the fulfillment of the unfulfilled mysteries of God that were written of old, reinterpreted, and reapplied anew (Rev. 10:7, 11:19, 15:5)? This being the case, there must be a Last Days fulfillment of the doctrines that were and are inextricably connected to Zerubbabel, Joshua, and the Latter House of Glory. So, let’s revisit our question: who are Zerubbabel and Joshua? Are they shortcoming historical figures of the past doomed to be forgotten and irrelevant to the future?
I propose to the reader a more suitable interpretation: Zerubbabel is “the Seed of Babylon” and Joshua is Jesus of Nazareth! Jesus of Nazareth is named Joshua, you know (Heb. 4:8, Acts 7:45). Literally, that’s His name! Accordingly, also, the Christians who live within the governmental jurisdiction of future Babylon will effectively become “the Seed of Babylon”, like Zerubbabel was so called. Zerubbabel’s name literally means, “the Seed of Babylon”. Harmoniously, Babylon arose via the trumpeted events of Revelation Chapters 8 & 9, and now we’re at Chapter 10. Zerubbabel was named by his parents and chosen by God as a Governor to commemorate the Jews of the Restoration Generation. Therefore, Zerubbabel is a figurehead of the purified generation of Jews that is worthy to be regathered and restored unto glory. According to the prophecies, these people were supposed to be a people of no more fear or weeping (Jer. 23:4, 46:27-28, Ezek. 36:15, Isa. 30:19), no more uncleanness or defilement (Isa. 52:1, Zech. 14:21, Ezek. 36:29, 33, Ezek. 11:18, 37:23, 43:7), no more straying from God or idolatry (Ezek. 14:11, Zech. 13:2, Ezek. 20:37-42, 36:25, Hos. 14:8), and therefore there would be no more divine anger or war (Ezek. 16:42, Isa. 54:9-10, Ezek. 39:29, Hos. 13:14, 14:4, Jer. 23:4-6, Hos. 2:18, Isa. 60:18, Mic. 4:3-4, Ps. 46:9) and the people would never again leave the Holy Land (Amos 9:11-15, Jer. 31:40)! Did it happen? No.
As we have already observed, the Restoration Generation of this time sinned greatly and thereby fell short of the vision; because of this, it was necessary that the prophetic words were recasted to the Last Days. So, the events of the future are encased in the word spoken to this specific generation. For us, this effectively means that the Last Generation will be Christians / Jews effectively judged and purified by God through Babylon, hereby becoming Zerubbabel. Furthermore, like the first Restoration Generation, the Zerubbabel of God will seek the restoration of all things heretofore reckoned according to the Gentiles and the Jews. First, however, this means that the backsliding of the Gentile Church will warrant God’s judgment through Babylon and, hereby, being corrected from backsliding, they will become unsatisfied with the status quo apostasy of the Church – in so being, I mean, they will violently seek after the performance of the word of God via the restoration! So, what is the word of God to a generation such as this; one called, the Zerubbabel of God?
Firstly, we must understand the divinely appointed task that Zerubbabel labored to accomplish: the building of the Temple. Being interpreted, the Last Generation – the Zerubbabel of God – will seek the restoration of all things pertaining to the Gentiles and the Jews respectively: a spiritual and physical rebuilding of the Temple in all its foretold glory! In both cases, I mean, this speaks to the rebuilding of the Temple of God: only one is exclusively spiritual and the other is both spiritual and physical. Speaking of this, it was written of Zerubbabel,
“The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this House; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you. For who hath despised the day of small things? For they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.” – Zech. 4:9-10
Again, I say, this is the hard-to-accomplish “work” for which both the Zerubbabel of God and Jesus (Joshua) are joined to accomplish (Hag. 1:8, 14, 2:2-9). Viewing this from the situational perspective of Revelation Chapters 10-11, what’s the great difficulty? What great impediment stands in Zerubbabel’s way so as to hinder the Church and squelch the restoration (“Who art thou, O Great Mountain?” – Zech. 4:7)? If you haven’t made the connection yet, my reader, let me remind you: By Revelation Chapter 10 and going into Chapter 11 (after the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, & 6th Trumpets), the Kingdom of Babylon rules the world with the antichrist at the helm. Speaking of the antichrist’s rule at the throne of Babylon, it was written, “And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them…” (Rev. 13:7). This is a profoundly great obstacle to the Church, is it not? The Beast, which is the antichrist piloting Babylon (Rev. 9:1-12, 11:7, 13:1-10), is the greatest and otherwise undefeatable opponent of the Zerubbabel of God. So, what is the word of God to such a generation as this? The angel told Zechariah, “This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel…” (Zech. 4:6)! Two Anointed Ones.
Accordingly, Revelation Chapter 11 is a prophetic record of this future battle between the antichrist and the Church as if it was written after the fact as a historical account. God is well pleased to unveil the throes of this battle between darkness and light, the likes of which this world has never seen, because this is 3 ½ year Great Tribulation through which the backslidden Gentile Church will be purified, perfected, and restored (Rev. 7:14, Dan. 11:32-35, 12:3-4)! How? The Zerubbabel of God will be glad to know that it’s because of Joshua’s Two Anointed Ones.
“And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep, And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof: And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof.
So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord? Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. Then he answered and spake unto me, saying,
This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it. Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you. For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.
Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof? And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. Then said he, These are the Two Anointed Ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.” – Zech. 4:1-14
Being distinctly interpreted for the Gentile Church Age, it is prophesied that a small remnant of the Gentile Church, the Zerubbabel of God, with the help of the Two Anointed Ones, the Two Olive Branches, will see the restorational performance of all things pertaining to the Gentile Church Age (an integral prelude to the performance of all things to the Jews)! How? The Zerubbabel of God has no physical power or carnal might against the likes of Babylon! Hence, according to Revelation 11:1-14, the Two Witnesses will be an undefeatable and undying force of righteousness tormenting the whole world during the 3 ½ year Great Tribulation, “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the LORD of Hosts” (Zech. 4:6)! In other words, the Two Witnesses are the word of the LORD to the Zerubbabel of God! My reader, what is recorded in Revelation Chapters 10-11 is of inestimable significance: it is the unveiling and fulfilling of the highest crescendo of truth in the unfulfilled mysteries of God!
“What seest thou?”, the angel asked (Zech. 4:2).
“What are these, my lord?”, Zechariah asked (Zech. 4:4).
“Knowest thou not what these be?”, the angel asked (Zech. 4:5).
“What are these two olive trees…?”, Zerubbabel asked (Zech. 4:11).
“What be these two olive branches…?”, Zerubbabel asked yet again (Zech. 4:12)!
“Knowest thou not what these be?”, the angel answered (Zech. 4:13).
Ah, this impregnated exchange of questions! My reader, this exchange is woven throughout the prophecies of Zechariah Chapter 4 commemorating the countless inquiries of praying prophets made for millennia concerning the restoration of all things in the Church! The impregnated answer invoked by the repeated questioning speaks to the performance of all things in one generation – the Zerubbabel of God – the most targeted and fought-against generation of all time, and the object of the antichrist’s diabolical fury (“the Dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed” – Rev. 12:17)!
“Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. Who art thou, O Great Mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.” – Zech. 4:6-7
My reader, look closely at the victorious declaration prophesied over Zerubbabel’s present-continuous labors, in the saying, “he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it” (Zech. 4:7). Nothing but sovereign grace through the ministry of the Two Anointed Ones could accomplish this feat, this we know, but what is “the headstone” and what are the implications of it being brought forth? Before answering this, a contextual overview of the historical situation at hand is necessary.
The 1st Restoration Generation
You see, according to Nehemiah and Ezra, Babylon and the prosperity of the heathen in general was a hindrance to Zerubbabel building the Temple (Hag. 1:8, 14, 2:2-9). The status of Babylon was spoken of in Zechariah 1:9-11 to wit, we learn that God was very sore displeased with unjudged Babylon (Zech. 1:9-11, 15). Being sorely displeased, the word of the Lord promised the judgment of God upon Babylon (Zech. 1:18-21) and in so doing, namely upon the implementation of these judgments, a Measuring Reed would be stretched upon Jerusalem (Zech. 1:16-17, 2:1-5). This Measuring Line or Reed speaks to the work of God in the rebuilding of the City of Jerusalem (Zech. 1:16-17, 2:1-5, Jer. 31:38-40, Ezek. 37:11-14, Ezek. 47:13-48:35) and the Temple of God for the Return of the Glory of God (Ezek. 40:2-8, 43:2-6, 44:4-8, 8-16, Hag. 2:3-9) while, simultaneously, it speaks as a unified voice with the Plummet (Zech. 4:10, Amos 7:7-9, Lam. 2:8, 2 Kings 21:13). What do all three of these have in common? In a fluid reading of Zechariah 1:9-2:14, it is apparent that the judgment of God upon Babylon does effectually remove every obstacle that hinders the building of Jerusalem and the Temple. These are two simultaneous acts of God that are related to one another, in the past and in the future. Accordingly, the Plummet has been used in prophetic terminology to convey a measured and calculated execution of judgment in proportion to what is justly required (Zech. 4:10, Amos 7:7-9, Lam. 2:8, 2 Kings 21:13, 2 Sam. 8:2, Isa. 28:17). Seeing that judgment is hastening upon Babylon, the people of God are called to flee from her lest they are destroyed with her (Zech. 2:6, 9:8-17, Rev. 18:4-5). So, what is “the headstone” being brought forth in Zechariah 4:7?
Well, it is true that Zerubbabel had already laid the foundation of the Temple during this time, therefore as the work continued we know that it was necessary for Zerubbabel to lay a headstone for the building of the structure of the Temple upon the foundation, but that’s not the profoundly victorious fulfillment of Zech. 4:6-7! For, in retrospect, this Temple did not amount to the Latter House of Glory! Upon reading Haggai 2:3-9, do you disagree?
“Who is left among you that saw this House in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing? Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the LORD; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the High Priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts: According to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not. For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this House with glory, saith the LORD of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts. The glory of this Latter House shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts.” – Hag. 2:3-9
God spoke this to Zerubbabel in the regathering after 70-year Babylonian Captivity because the Temple that he was building was supposed to become the Latter House of Glory according to Ezekiel’s prophecies (Ezek. 40:2-8, 43:2-6, 44:4-8, 8-16, etc.). Ezekiel spoke of a prophetic signal that marks the beginning of the construction of this Temple, saying,
“…behold, there was a man, whose appearance was like the appearance of brass, with a Line of Flax in his hand, and a Measuring Reed; and he stood in the Gate.” – Ezek. 40:3
This is the first mention of the Doctrine of the Measuring Reed or Line, and certainly not the last. Ezekiel’s prophetic vision of the man with a Measuring Reed & Line carried on to reveal a Temple far superior in Glory than any other ever built. With the Measuring Reed the man measured the Temple (Ezek. 40:1-47:12) and with the Measuring Line he determined and divided the borders and inheritances of the Promised Land (Ezek. 47:13-48:35). Undoubtedly, this was the Latter House of Glory that Haggai spoke of, the one being assembled at the hands of Zerubbabel. Haggai’s contemporary, the prophet Zachariah, explicitly confirmed this to be the case when he had a vision in which, he said,
“I lifted up mine eyes again, and looked, and behold a man with a Measuring Line in his hand.” – Zech. 2:1
At the combined testimony of Haggai and Zechariah, God was in the process of building Ezekiel’s Temple and rebuilding Jerusalem according to the Glory of God that all the prophets spoke of for generations (Jer. 31:38-40, Ezek. 37:11-14). Moreover, Ezekiel’s Temple had to be an Old Testament structure seeing that: the offering of animal sacrifices for atonement was still in practice (Ezek. 40:38-43, 42:13-14) being officiated by the Aaronic Priesthood (Ezek. 40:45-46, 43:19, 44:15-16, 48:11), and the Prince, like any other redeemed man, was in need of atonement for his own sins committed against God (Ezek. 46:4-15); moreover, other evidences include the fact that the Prince has physical sons (Ezek. 46:16-18) and the Sabbath is still in observation (Ezek. 46:1, 3). In conclusion, seeing that historical Zerubbabel’s original building that became the House of 2nd Temple Judaism didn’t amount to the Latter House Glory prophesied by Haggai, Zechariah, and Ezekiel, it is apparent that this generation fell short of the promises and prophecies directed to them as the Restoration Generation. Hence, the prophesied regathering and restoration was recasted to the Last Days in relationship to the Latter House of Glory.
The 2nd Restoration Generation
Having understood the historical situation of old in that Babylon was at enmity with Zerubbabel’s mission of building the Temple, and seeing that Zerubbabel fell short of the glorious victory foretold in the ultimate completion of the Temple (signified by the establishment of the headstone), we are ready to comprehend the significance of “the headstone” of the Temple being successfully brought forth in another Restoration Generation (Zech. 4:7). To do so, we must look to the Restoration Generation of the 1st century when the Jews dwelt in the hostile environment of typological Babylon, then called Rome. Of course, “the headstone” is none other than Jesus Christ the Righteous (Zech. 4:9, Ps. 118:22, Isa. 28:16, Matt. 21:42, Mk. 12:10, Lk. 20:17, Acts 4:11, Eph. 2:20, 1 Pet. 2:7) and the Temple is purely spiritual (John 4:20-24, 17:21, 18:36, Matt. 27:51, Matt. 16:18, Heb. 3:6, 10:19-23). Lo and behold, it was through this generation (a typological Zerubbabel of God) that God brought forth “the headstone” of the Temple, a glorious victory over Rome! Albeit, knowing that this generation is both inferiorly and yet legitimately the Zerubbabel of God, we can understand that Zerubbabel’s hands have hereby, through the bringing forth of the headstone, successfully “laid the foundation of this House” and its “headstone” (Zech. 4:9; 1 Cor. 3:11, Matt. 16:15-19); and, equally as important, what remains is that “his hands shall also finish it” (Zech. 4:9)! Because the former is accomplished and the latter unfulfilled, this begs for another Zerubbabel of God amidst the hostility of superior Babylon for the full restoration of what was prophesied of old (“his hands shall also finish it” - Zech. 4:9)! This means a finishing of what was started in the building of this glorious Temple.
My reader, the laying of the foundation and headstone of the Spiritual Temple of the Gentile Church Age in the 1st century was glorious, wasn’t it? Speaking of them, Christ said, “I am glorified in them” (John 17:10). My reader, this is none other than the Latter House of Glory that Haggai and Zechariah spoke of, only spiritually speaking! Even so, the “faith” of the 1st century Church was “spoken of throughout the whole world” (Rom. 1:8)! They, as a people, were framed and compacted together in perfection as a Church to wit their influence amounted to “the fullness of the stature of Christ” (Eph. 4:13)! Such a feat was unmistakable to the world and undeniable to skeptics (Acts 4:13)! In a flurry of depraved emotion at the sight of Christian Missionaries advancing upon the countryside, the people cried, “These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also” (Acts 17:6)! Today, however, cross-burdened Christians are quick to admit that “the Glory has departed” from 21st century Christianity (1 Sam. 4:21-22, Ezek. 11:22-25) while skeptics humorously reflect on the present estate of things, thinking, “Where is their God?” (Joel 2:17, Ps. 42:3, 10, 79:10, Ps. 115:2). This provocative question should cause us to marvel, shouldn’t it?
The 3rd Restoration Generation
My reader, where is the glory of the 1st century Church, the Latter House of Glory? “Where is the LORD…” (Jer. 2:6)? The absence of God’s Glory warrants the need for yet another Restoration Generation that will be called the Zerubbabel of God amidst the tyrannical brutality of a future Babylon. The truth be told, the 1st century Elders were building rightly and we’ve been building wrongly with respect to the Spiritual Temple of the Gentile Church Age. We haven’t given heed to the warning, “But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon” (1 Cor. 3:10), nor to the threat, “If any man defile the Temple of God, him shall God destroy” (1 Cor. 3:17)! My reader, did you know that you can defile the Temple of God? This offence in the Old Testament resulted in the departure of the Glory of God from the Church and the same rules apply in the New Testament (2 Cor. 6:14-7:1)! Since the foundation and headstone of the Spiritual Temple were laid by the Zerubbabel of God in the 1st century, men of God have joined in the assembly of this Temple for many centuries spanning two millennia (1 Cor. 3:9-17), but now it must be that another Zerubbabel of God would arise for the consummation of this Spiritual Temple! “His hands shall also finish it” (Zech. 4:9)! My reader, let me explain.
To be fair, since the dawn of the New Covenant the Christians of the Gentile Church Age are elect and precious stones (1 Pet. 2:4-8) of gold, silver, and gems (2 Tim. 2:19-22, 1 Cor. 3:10-20) joined to and built upon the foundation and chief cornerstone (Eph. 2:19-20) to wit they are “framed together” into a “Holy Temple in the Lord” (Eph. 2:21-22), but the Temple has been defiled! Consequentially, the Glory has Departed in a New Testament sense that is applicable to the Gentile Church Age, just as the apostles forewarned and Christ foretold (2 Cor. 6:14-7:1, Rom. 11:18-23, Jn. 15:1-7, Matthew 24:42-25:46). Heretofore, and as long as the Glory of God remains departed from the Gentile Church, we have hereby fallen short of the promises and prophecies delivered to the Zerubbabel of God speaking of the Glory of God in the Church. This being the case, there must be a restoration! Effectively, a chosen generation must come: the final and ultimate Zerubbabel of God facing off with a future Babylon unto the restitution of all things (Acts 3:21)!
With respect to the Christians of the Spiritual Temple in the Gentile Church Age, a restoration would mean that individual Christians and congregated Churches are filled up to the fullness of God in Christ, both of which aren’t happening today (individuals: Eph. 1:23, 3:19, 5:18; congregations: Eph. 4:10-13). Hereby, through the fulness of Christ, all true Christians would be “made perfect in one” (John 17:21-23), which means, “in the unity of the faith…unto a perfect man” (Eph. 4:12-13), and consequentially they would become “a Glorious Church” that is endowed with “the fulness of the stature of Christ” for all the world to behold (John 17:21-23, Eph. 4:12-13)! Speaking of the fulfillment of this, Christ said, “And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me” (John 17:22-23). My reader, is it becoming clear to you that “the glory” has departed from the Church as in Samuel and Ezekiel’s day (1 Sam. 4:21-22, Ezek. 11:22-25)? And, are you beginning to reckon with the implications of this?
“And what agreement hath the Temple of God with idols? for ye are the Temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
A Salvific Glory Exclusive to “The Church”
“for ye are the Temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”
The special and immediate presence of God in the midst of and among Israel warrants the following charges of necessary conduct. Emphasizing this, Paul said, “Wherefore…”
Charges of Conduct which Belong to and are Imperative for “The Church”
“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing;”
Because The Church is in the special and immediate presence of God, they must be inviting and acceptable to God who is holy and separated from all uncleanness!
The Salvific Glory Exclusive to “The Church” Rephrased into a Legal Identity
“and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”
When God said, “I will be their God, and they shall be My people”, namely by dwelling among and in the people of Israel, The Church, it meant that the people became the Family of God individually and collectively. Rephrasing this salvific reality which is exclusive to The Church, the Lord said, “I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters”! Understandably so, “the people of God” are “the Family of God”, but according to Paul’s application drawn from the Old Testament this glory can be forfeited upon certain conditions (Ex. 4:22, Deut. 32:5-6, 18-21, Isa. 63:16).
The Continuance of this Exclusive Communion and Legal Identity with God is
Conditional upon the Keeping of Peculiar Charges of Conduct
“Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
The Inspired Text is careful to articulate that this glorious communion is fit for those who are legally identified as God’s Family, a status which is conditionally dependent upon the charges of conduct which were shared beforehand (2 Cor. 6:17) and here again, reiterated (2 Cor. 7:1), lest anyone be mistaken to think that “these promises” have no conditions!
Sadly, the Father’s love for the Church being manifested in this glorious way has been frustrated (2 Cor. 6:17-7:1) because of unlawful builders defiling the Spiritual Temple of God by unclean and imperfect Christians being added thereto. For, if God the Father is going to love the 21st century Church, collectively speaking, like as He loved Jesus Christ (“that the world may know that Thou…hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me”), the result would be “GLORY” (John 17:22-23); but if this “glory” has departed then we can be sure that God the Father’s love for The Church has been frustrated from its full volume! This, of course, is in accordance with the express conditions given in Holy Scripture whereby the Father-to-son relationship of God and the Church can be frustrated. Therefore, the building of the Spiritual Temple in “the fulness of the Gentiles” has not yet been accomplished and this calls for a restoration: God is sending Babylon for the purification of the Church to wit they become the Zerubbabel of God in a final and ultimate victory lap of the promises and prophecies of old being fulfilled!
Furthermore, while it may appear that these applications speak to the restoration of the Spiritual Temple in the Gentile Church Age while leaving the Jews unspoken for, this isn’t the case. The restoration of the one is directly related to the restoration of the other. It is God’s will that the Jews would come to faith in Christ through the mercy that God bestows upon the Gentile Church, “that through [the Gentile’s] mercy [the Jews] also may obtain mercy” (Rom. 11:31), and for this cause the Gentile Church must be restored unto glory; only then can they be an effectual witness to the Jews! Therefore, as I stated before, the restoration will come to the Gentiles first and then the Jews (“for to provoke them to jealousy” “until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in” - Rom. 11:11, 25). Furthermore, we know how this restoration will take place! According to the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel (Zech. 4:1-14), God will raise up Two Anointed Ones that will be used of God for the rebuilding of the Spiritual Temple of the Gentile Church Age – begun in the first century and finished in the last! – and, consequentially, all things will be set in order for the rebuilding of the literal and physical Temple that Ezekiel saw during the Millennial Reign of Christ!
The ministry of the Two Anointed Ones will flourish in the restoration of the Gentile Church (Spiritual Temple) in the 3 ½ year Great Tribulation (Rev. 7:14), and in turn this will work to the ultimate and complete salvation of the Jews (“All Israel shall be saved” – Rom. 11:26). Signifying this, at the start of the 3 ½ year ministry of the Two Anointed Ones during the Great Tribulation, the apostle John said,
“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.” – Rev. 11:1-2
Now, upon hearing a prophecy like this the Jews will be thinking of a full restoration of the City of Jerusalem and the Temple of God, as the prophets foretold by the Doctrine of the Measuring Reed & Line. However, upon a closer look at the prophecy, the apostle John was given a Measuring Reed and not a Measuring Line. Remember, the Measuring Reed was used for measurements in the construction of the Temple while the Measuring Line was used for the City and Lands. This signifies that the Spiritual Temple is going to be built unto perfection during the 3 ½ year ministry of the Two Anointed Ones, rather than the City of Jerusalem and its physical Temple, seeing that the unsaved and heathen Gentiles are going to tread the City under foot during this time period. This is why John was forbidden to Measure anything beyond the Spiritual Temple and them that worship therein, unlike the man in Ezekiel’s vision (Ezekiel Ch. 40-48) in fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecies (Zech. 1:16, 2:1-2). John, and not an angel (Ezek. 40:3, Zech. 2:1-2), is the one who measures the Spiritual Temple of the Gentile Church Age in Revelation 11:1-2 because he, as a representative of the prophetic ministry of the Two Anointed Ones (Rev. 11:3), ate the little book of prophecy in Revelation 10:8-11 – hereby, God is signifying how the Two Anointed Ones will be the fundamental difference that brings the Spiritual Temple into the foretold perfection of Glory!
3-Stage, Multi-Sensed, Synergistic Prophecies
You see, there is a turning point at which God is finished with the Gentiles and turns to the Jews, and in finishing with the Gentiles He instrumentally employs them to take part in the winning of the Jews. This is the Age-Ending Revival of the Gentile Church, in other words, and with the end of the age the Lord officiates a dispensational shift in turning to the Jews for the End of the World (“life from the dead” – Rom. 11:15). Climactically, the winning of the Jews will take place at the 2nd Coming of Christ (Zech. 12:10)! Before this, however, two thirds of the Jews will die in the 3 ½ year Great Tribulation (Zech. 13:8-9). So, firstly, there will be a restoration of the Gentile Church in the Age-Ending Revival and, in turn, secondarily, the total conversion of every living Jew (Rom. 11:26) at the 2nd Coming of Christ to wit, thirdly, the City of Jerusalem will be rebuilt and Ezekiel’s Temple constructed during the Millennial Reign of Christ (Zech. 14:1-21, Rev. 20:1-6)! Gloriously, this is the 3-Stage Restoration Cycle of increasingly superior fulfilments of the same ancient prophecies! Hence, this brings us to reckon upon the meaning of this rebuilding as it overlappingly and distinctively relates to the Gentile Church Age and the Jews, because the ministry of the Two Anointed Ones is inextricably connected to the Measuring Reed or Line, which are tools necessary for the rebuilding of the Temple and the City of Jerusalem.
While endeavoring a study of the 3-Stage Restoration Cycle of increasingly superior fulfillments of the Measuring Reed or Line in relationship to the ministry of the Two Anointed Ones and thereafter (the spiritual and physical building of the Latter House of Glory and the Eternal City of Jerusalem via the Restoration Generation of Zerubbabel), we have need of some pause. For the unfolding of harmonious complexities of prophetic mystery, I say, let’s pause. In accordance with the ancient prophecies in their 3-Stage fulfillments, the Measuring Reed or Line and the Two Anointed Ones are inextricably connected to the Plummet, and these three are inextricably connected to the Shaking, and these four are inextricably connected to the Wilderness Experience. In summation, all four of these doctrines of ancient prophecy aim for the 3rd and final restoration cycle via the Millennial Reign of Christ and nothing less (the Measuring Reed & Line: Jer. 31:38-40, Ezek. 37:11-14 (many more verses on rebuilding), Ezek. 40:1-48:35, Isa. 34:17, Zech. 1:1-2:13 [For the surveying of a completely rebuilt & restored estate of things, see: the Land of Israel & Judah, the Kingdom of God, the City of Jerusalem, Mount Zion, & the Temple of God.]; the Shaking: Hag. 2:5-9, 21-23; Ezek. 38:19-23, Isa. 2:10-22, 13:13, 24:18-20, 34:4, 54:10, Jer. 50:46, Joel 3:9-16, Heb. 12:25-29, Mk. 13:24-27, Lk. 21:25-27, Matt. 24:29-31, Rev. 6:12-17, 16:17-21; the Wilderness Experience: Song 8:5-7, Hos. 2:3, 14-23, Ezek. 16:37-39, 20:33-38), but interwoven throughout the annunciation of these prophecies are provisional references of inferior and progressively maturing redemptive operations powered by the same words. Therefore, we must be careful to discern the three distinct stages or cyclical performances in which these prophecies are manifest while embracing the ultimate fulfillment thereof being the Millennial Reign of Christ.
Using human reasoning, one would interpret the Measuring & the Plummet as a building, the Wilderness as a slaying, and the Shaking as a breaking. These are valid, real, and truthful interpretations of these doctrines according to prophecy. Simultaneously, however, the Measuring & Plummet is a demolition-breaking, the Wilderness is a love-wooing, and the Shaking is a constructive-building! This is holy ground, my reader. Divine Wisdom speaks in the genius of unsearchable mysteries and paradoxical complexities to the paralyzing of human reasoning!
When reading of the Measuring & the Plummet for the rebuilding of the City & Temple according to Zechariah (Zech. 1:16, 2:1-2, 4:7-10), we see that this is inextricably connected to the “carpenters” or builders fraying / casting out the horns of the Gentiles (Zech. 1:18-21). On the same point, the rebuilding of Jerusalem (Zech. 2:1-5) is inextricably connected to the divine shaking of God’s hand over Babylon to wit she is judged (Zech. 2:6-13, Jer. 50:46); all of this, of course, is the removal of the “Great Mountain” of Babylon from before Zerubbabel to the successful building / restoring of the Temple (Zech. 4:7-10)!
The entirety of this work – the breaking and the building – can be reckoned as the divine work of the Measuring & the Plummet (Lam. 2:8, 2 Kings 21:13, Amos 7:7-9) depending on which way you look at it, because the Measuring & the Plummet represent the totality of things necessary for demolition & construction. Speaking of demolition, it’s the removal of things which must be destroyed: the measured and calculated execution of divine judgment in a justly proportionate destruction. Indicative of this, we read that the building and restoration of the Latter House of Glory will take nothing less than the Shaking of the heavens and the earth (Hag. 2:3-9) to wit the thrones and kingdoms of the heathen are overthrown and destroyed (Hag. 2:21-23)! These two acts, the breaking and the building, amount to the accomplishment of the same objective of restoration: Babylon must be demolished by a divine shaking so that the foundation is cleared and settled, as it were, for the rebuilding of the City & Temple.
Moreover, and harmoniously, the Shaking is employed by God to shake, break, and destroy everything that can and must be shaken and destroyed so that, in turn, progress is made in the building and expanding of those things which cannot be shaken, broken, or destroyed (Dan. 2:45, Heb. 12:25-29, Matt. 13:31-33, 1 Cor. 15:35-58)! This speaks of the spiritually built Gentile Church expanding through a transfer of dimensional significance: the spiritual Kingdom is transferred into a physical Kingdom at the rapture to wit the Gentiles join the Jews for the Millennial Reign at the 2nd Coming of Christ. In confirmation of this glorious end, the Measuring represents the rebuilding of the City of Jerusalem wherein all things shall be holy (Jer. 31:38-40); necessarily so, this means the resurrection of the dead for the regathering and restoration of the redeemed (deceased spiritual & physical Jews) to inhabit the City (Ezek. 37:11-14) and worship in the rebuilt physical Temple within the City (Ezek. 40-48). The process leading into this glorious end, of course, is harmoniously one with the multi-sensed happenings of the Wilderness Experience of old and anew: the Man-Slaying, Glory-Restoring, & Love-Wooing Wilderness is a place were the people of God were and will be driven for their destruction & restoration!
Vital Themes & Chapter Summaries
My reader, you may be wondering: “How exactly is all of this going to take place?” To this, I’d say, the Book of Revelation provides the answers. Heretofore, we’re only at Chapters 10:1-11:14. For some elementary observations of how to understand the testimony of the Book of Revelation thematically, consider the following:
The 3 ½ year time period in which the restoration of the Gentile Church will climactically take place is repeatedly referenced in Rev. 11:2 (42 months), Rev. 11:3 (1,260 days), Rev. 12:6 (1,260 days), Rev. 12:12 (“a short time”), Rev. 12:14 & Dan. 12:7 (“a time, and times, and a half a time”), Rev. 13:5 (42 months), & Rev. 17:10 (“a short space”). This restoration is spoken of in the saying, “These are they which came out of Great Tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Rev. 7:14), for, “Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand” (Dan. 12:10). This great company of Gentiles are the 144,000 Israelites that were or will be sealed for the Tribulation Period (Rev. 7:1-17), and they are the same ones who are depicted in Revelation 14:1-5. Distinctively, the full restoration of the Jews doesn’t take place until after this 3 ½ year Great Tribulation period is accomplished; according to the angel that spoke to Daniel, there is an appendix of time added to the 3 ½ year countdown leading to the End of the World totaling to 75 days of Great & Terrible Glory (Dan. 12:11-12)! According to Revelation 11:1-19, the appendix of 75 days will begin upon the sounding of the 7th Trumpet.
The restoration of the Gentile Church is her extraction from Spiritual Babylon to wit she is holy and separated unto God, like she supposed to be (a Spiritual Temple built / framed and perfected as a habitation of God’s Glorious Presence - Eph. 2:19-22, Rev. 11:1-2). Physically speaking, however, in terms of the Church being separated from Spiritual Babylon, let it be understood that she remains within the sovereign territory of Babylon the entire time. Therefore, her restoration does not mean a physical extraction from Babylon; it’s a purely spiritual extraction evidenced by “having [the] Father’s Name written in their foreheads” (Rev. 14:1) instead of the contrary, “the mark, or the name of the Beast, or the number of his name” (Rev. 13:16-18). Note: the purpose of God in the Age-Ending Revival is the extraction of the Church from Babylon’s World.
To comprehend how the restoration of the Gentile Church is going to take place practically speaking, one would have to know the content of the prophecies that the Two Anointed Ones will utter for the entire duration of the 3 ½ year Great Tribulation. Hence, there are mysteries that are yet to be revealed and expounded, and until then the mystery of God is incomplete in that it is to-be-disclosed in future prophecies (Rev. 10:7-11); we are told that all unknown mysteries will be completely revealed by the sounding of the 7th Trumpet; this is just after the completion of the 3 ½ year prophetic ministry of the Two Anointed Ones (Rev. 10:7, 11:15-19). However, judging by the Tribulation Periods of old, we know that the Two Anointed Ones will prophesy concerning the seal or mark of God (Rev. 7:1-3, 9:4, Ezek. 9:1-11) in how it practically excludes the righteous from God’s judgment through Babylon and God’s judgment upon Babylon to wit all of God’s people will spiritually come out of Babylon! Seeing that Babylon was spiritual, celestial, and invisible before it was physical, terrestrial, and visible (Rev. 9:1-11, 11:7, 17:8, 13:1-10), we can understand how the celestial operation physically inflicts and kills targeted peoples via the use of a celestially administered mark / name that is invisible to the human eye, whether we’re speaking of the name of the Beast or the name of the Father (Rev. 13:16-14:1, Ezek. 9:1-11). In beholding this process, saints will be encouraged to own God as their refuge, strength, and fortress against the otherwise inescapable onslaught of both spiritual and physical plagues on every side!
The Wilderness Experience is the restoration experience of the Gentile Church, otherwise known as the 3 ½ year Great Tribulation, and herein the people of God aren’t driven to a barren wasteland of some sort. Rather, they are forced into the tyrannical reign of Babylon’s antichrist and his armies who successfully war against them according to God’s present-progressive allowance and disallowance in that Heaven Rules Hell. Speaking of the restorational ministry of the Two Anointed Ones during this time, it was written, “And the woman fled into the Wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there…”, which is, “into her place, where she is nourished” (Rev. 12:6, 14). Salvation through Babylon and not without it, or salvation through tribulation and not without it (“Jacob’s Trouble”), is a salvation through the Wilderness Experience and not without it!
The 75-day period in which the restoration of the Jews will climactically take place is repeatedly referenced in Rev. 11:15 (“are become”), Rev. 11:17 (“hast reigned”), Rev. 11:18 (“Thy wrath is come”), Rev. 14:7 (“is come”), Rev. 14:8 (“is fallen”), Rev. 14:15 (“is ripe”), Rev. 15:4 (“are made manifest”), Rev. 16:5 (“Thou hast judged thus”), Rev. 16:17 (“it is done”), Rev. 18:2 (“is fallen”), Rev. 18:8 (“judgeth”), Rev. 18:10 (“in one hour thy judgment is come”), Rev. 18:20 (“God hath avenged you on her”), Rev. 19:2 (“He hath judged”), Rev. 19:11 (“He doth judge and make war”). Very specifically, the sounding of this last Trumpet marks the End of the World in that it is the judgment of Babylon’s World via the Day of the LORD which is the 2nd Advent of Christ, when the former 3 ½ year period was the Day of the LORD in that it was God’s judgment of the Church through Babylon. It is necessary that justice is reciprocated in this order: First, God’s judgment through Babylon and, second, God’s judgment upon Babylon. Hereby, in judging Babylon, the Jews will be gloriously converted!
Upon understanding the glorious interconnectedness of these events in general, we are prepared to mark the layout of these thematic revelations in the immediate sequence of Chapters contained in the Book of Revelation.
Chapter 11 contains a plain account of futurity revealing the prophetic ministry of the Two Anointed Ones amidst the warring of Babylon’s World: the ministerial acts of the Measuring Reed for the restoration of the Spiritual Temple. The apostle John, instead of an angel (Ezek. 40:3), is seen measuring the Temple to indicate what God would do in restoration and glorification via a completed Spiritual Temple in the Gentile Church Age – namely, what God would do through the ministry of the Two Anointed Ones seeing that John, in Rev. 10:8-11, ate the to-be-revealed scroll of prophecies which, no doubt, represents the prophecies that the Two Witnesses will utter. Hereby, through these prophecies, the Spiritual Temple will come to completion even as John demonstrates in Revelation 11:1-2. From the very beginning, the building of this Spiritual Temple is the primary way that God has forged the prophetic significance of the Gentile Church Age as it relates to the prophecies that belong to the Jews, Jesus Christ being the headstone of Zerubbabel (Zech. 4:7), and now at last we see the ending: “His hands shall also finish it” (Zech. 4:9)!
Chapter 12 is the beginning of a helpful series of parables / wonders that ultimately aim to interpret the 3 ½ year Great Tribulation in the grand scheme of things: we behold the dawning of substantial redemption in the bringing forth of a Child whose significance is to-be-realized in that He is the one and only undying God-incarnate; all of this, despite the amassed powers of the Dragon who of old drew away a third of the angels to wit they all stood ready to devour the Child as soon as He was born. Victoriously, the sinless and undying One was caught up into heaven! And, meanwhile, the battle between the Dragon and the Church continues unto the present and beyond for the making of a Wilderness Experience for the Last Days Church (the Wilderness Doctrine). Despite the ongoing war, Christ successfully performed redemption for mankind in heaven and thereby disannulled any veracity in the Devil’s accusations of redeemed man (“the accuser of our brethren is cast down” – Rev. 12:10)! Even so, the Devil’s fury is the more aggravated in that he knows his time is short and his power is limited in that redemption for man has been accomplished in heaven and it is soon to be accomplished on the earth in its fullness. Nevertheless, the legally defeated and mentally deranged foe of redeemed man madly continues to wreak as much havoc as he can upon the earth for a short time, not knowing that he is being used by God for the making of a Wilderness Experience that is redemptive for the Church in the Last Days.
Chapter 13 shows the interdimensional life of Babylon, the Beast, in how it is the vehicle through which the Devil will bewitch and dominate all sinners from a celestial perspective (as proven at length in Revelation 7-9), and through Babylon’s armies he will make war against the saints from a terrestrial perspective seeing that the Devil has no power to bewitch those who are marked by God and unmarked by the Beast. Those who are not spiritually deceived by the Beast, celestially, will be physically attacked by the Beast, terrestrially. Note: the 2nd Beast of Revelation 13:11-18 is insignificant except to bring glory to the 1st Beast; this being the case, it is understandable that the 2nd Beast is in fact the False Prophet (so called in Revelation 19:20).
Chapter 14 is an alternate perspective, a picturesque metaphor exactly contrary to the glory of the Beast and the spiritual doom of the Beast-worshippers, for in it we see the vehicle through which God will be glorified over the Beast during the Great Tribulation because those who are marked / sealed by God are unmarked and spiritually unharmed by Celestial Babylon, and thus this company of suffering saints will be proclaimers of the imminent fall of Babylon, here reckoned, and at last to be fulfilled at sounding of the 7th Trumpet by Him who treads the Winepress of the Wrath of God!
Chapter 15 revisits and reiterates the glorious declarations made upon the sounding of the 7th Trumpet (Rev. 11:15-19) only this time with another audience in view; I mean, one besides the Elders of Heaven. Lo and behold, the Raptured saints of all ages are caught-up in earth’s sky with Jesus Christ when He appeared upon the sounding of the Last Trump! Just as it was written of old, Jesus appears in flaming fire with holy angels (2 Thess. 1:7-10), and the saints, standing as it were on “a sea of glass mingled with fire” (Rev. 15:2), watch-on with loud praises and heavenly songs while, hereafter, the prophetic storyline presents the next step of real time chronology in the acts of judgment that the Lord will inflict upon Babylon: the Seven Vials. Lo and behold, God’s Judgment upon Babylon’s World for what Babylon did to the Church!
Chapter 16 is a continuation of the prophetic chronology resumed in Chapter 15 to wit, all seven Vials are poured out by Heaven’s angels and descriptively portrayed in calamities on the earth to the glory of the Lamb of God! Albeit, the deception is strong (Rev. 16:12-16). Shockingly, the nations are angry and unyielding (Rev. 11:18)! Moreover, they are gathering for war against the Lamb who is clearly seen by all on Earth’s Skyline (Joel 3:1-16, Rev. 16:12-16)! Hence, the subduction of Babylon will not be accomplished by the accompanied signs (Matt. 24:29-31) of Christ’s 2nd Coming on Earth’s Skyline: this requires WAR (Rev. 14:13-20, 19:11-21; Isa. 63:1-10, 34:5-7, Ezek. 39:17-21, Matt. 24:28, Lam. 1:15)! Thereafter, upon the Lamb of God going forth to WAR, the renowned, fearless, and undefeated armies of Babylon will know the fear of God (Rev. 6:12-17, Lk. 23:30, Isa. 2:10-22, 24:21-23, Jer. 50:43-44, 49:19)!
From the vantage point of what has been covered heretofore, I propose a progression of study in the following order. Firstly, we must fully realize the meaning of Revelation 11:1-14, 12:1-17, 13:1-14:5, & 17:1-18 and then, secondarily, we will be enabled to comprehend Revelation 11:15-19, 14:6-16:21, 18:1-20:6. The above commentary, addressing Revelation 10:1-11:14, incorporates all that has been covered heretofore enabling the student of prophecy to look into the future with pronounced insight. However, one observation shapes the contours of things revealed above everything else: the 7th Trumpet.
This event is a hinge-point that bears importance above all other observations that are worthy of note concerning the remaining Chapters of the Book of Revelation. If you didn’t know already, the 7th Trumpet sounds in Revelation 11:15-19. Fearfully, the passage is often read without any significant pause! The book-altering significance of this final Trumpet is easily overlooked by readers because the following Chapters (Rev. 12, 13, & 14) do not elaborate upon the events of the future in the chronology of what will unfold directly following the sounding of the 7th Trumpet. God is pleased to hide the significance of the 7th Trumpet in that the Book of Revelation proceeds non-chronologically. Yes, the Father takes pleasure in making the events of futurity indecipherable by confounding unstudied onlookers through the shear complexity of what they’re seeing! Nevertheless, what is confounding to some is the more beautiful to the trained eye.
All things considered, my reader, a chronological account of the events of futurity proceed seamlessly from Revelation 11:15-19 à Revelation 15:1-16:21 while, on the contrary, Revelation 12, 13, & 14 do elaborate upon events of the past (things prior to the sounding of the 7th Trumpet). Herein, it becomes the more evident how prophetic chronology is essential to rightly interpreting the Book of Revelation. Do you agree? Discerning which prophecies reveal the past and which reveal the future in respect to the 7th Trumpet is of vital importance. For, from the 7th Trumpet onward the prophecies reveal the 2nd Coming of Christ and the 2nd Advent War, which is God’s judgment upon Babylon’s World for the saving of the Jews. Understandably, therefore, before we pivot our gaze to these events of futurity – following the hinge-point of the 7th Trumpet – it is needful for us to fully grasp what God will do through Babylon upon the Church of the Gentile Church Age as it relates to the Jews. It is needful for us to understand things in order: what God is going to do to the Church through the Beast and, in turn, what God will do to the Beast through the Church (the Day of the LORD through Babylon & the Day of the LORD upon Babylon). Understanding these two categories of futurity clarifies the announcement of the 7th Trumpet the loudest, longest, and greatest Trumpet Blast! In this pursuit, speaking in terms of the Book of Revelation, we need to understand Revelation 11:1-14, 12:1-17, 13:1-14:5, & 17:1-18, and then, Revelation 11:15-19, 14:6-16:21, 18:1-20:6.