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Lampstand Summary

 

We have seen how lampstands are used in prophecy. In Zechariah’s day, there was one lampstand with seven lampstands on it that stood before the Lord. The lampstand represented the nation of Israel, the chosen agent or trustee of God’s Word. In John’s day, there were seven lampstands, each lampstand representing a church – the chosen agent or trustee of God’s Word. Then, the seven lampstands disappeared. Now, we ask, who are the two lampstands in Revelation 11? God’s law is His chosen agent at the end of the Age. God has proven with Jews and Christians alike that human beings cannot be trusted as agents of His law. One lampstand represents the first tablet of stone and the other represents the second tablet of stone. The law of the Lord is changeless, a perfect light of displacing darkness. The law of God is the plumb line of Truth. The law is found and explained in the Word of God and it testifies about the actions of the living. Our actions during the Great Tribulation will be measured by the law’s definition of true vertical (the Truth).

 

One last point. When we studied the seven seals, we learned that the second seal was opened in 1800. The rider on the red horse went throughout Earth with a large sword. That sword represents the Word of God that has been widely translated and distributed throughout the world. God raised up numerous Bible Societies at the beginning of the nineteenth century for the purpose of distributing His Word. In Revelation 11, the purpose for distributing the Bibles becomes self-evident. The Word of God (or portions of it) has been distributed throughout the world. When the Great Tribulation begins, the Holy Spirit will empower 144,000 to proclaim God’s law. The 144,000 will present the law of God with clarity and with great power, and sincere people will be “cut to the heart” through the power of the Holy Spirit. The wicked will be enraged by the law of God and they will persecute those who obey the gospel of Christ. To take this one step further, Jesus Himself will speak through the 144,000. The testimony of Jesus will be heard and this will cause people to give God’s law due consideration. Make no mistake about this, the gospel of Jesus will be preached, as a witness to all nations, and then the end shall come. (Matthew 24:14)

 

Two Olive Trees: Early Rain / Latter Rain

 

There were two major harvests each year in ancient Israel. The first harvest came from winter crops that were harvested in the spring. First fruits from the winter crops were presented to the Lord at the Feast of Weeks (also called the Feast of Pentecost) The second harvest came with the summer crops that were harvested in the fall. First fruits from the fall harvest were presented to the Lord at the Feast of Ingathering (the Feast of Tabernacles). (Exodus 23:16; 34:22) Given Israel’s latitude in the northern hemisphere, the fall harvest was the largest and most abundant. Generally speaking, these were two cycles of rain per crop. They were called “the early rain” and “the latter rain.” (Joel 2:23) It is important to note that the names of the two rains were relative to their harvest, not the time of the year. This topic is important because the Holy Spirit is represented as Two Trees in Revelation 11. The work of the Holy Spirit can be described as two rains. (James 5:7) The first “rain” of the Holy Spirit is to engage us spiritually.

The Holy Spirit ‘rains down” on everyone at birth and this gift from God demonstrates His great compassion for fallen man – long before we could even know or want to know Him.

 

Gods want every sinner to become a spiritual being. He wants us to overcome sin and live victorious lives. He is not willing that any person should be lost. (2 Peter 3:9) The problem is that fallen man does not naturally feel any need for a Savior, but our need of a Savior is far greater than that of having a “warm fuzzy.” We need a Savior to give us power to do what is right when the price of righteousness is great. We need a Savior who empowers us to forgive our debtors and love the unlovely. We need a Savior who will comfort us for doing right – even though the heavens may fall. Most of all, we need a Savior who has died in our place and paid the penalty for our sins. There is great peace and joy in having a Savior.

 

The Holy Spirit is anxious that we hear the gospel of Jesus because the truth about Jesus and our need for a Savior comes from hearing the Word of God. (Romans 10:17; 1 Corinthians 1:18-21) After hearing the terms and conditions of the gospel, the Holy Spirit is sometimes able to bring a person to repentance. The Spirit enables us to see ourselves as God sees us and this view is rather shocking. Suddenly, our need for a Savior becomes uppermost.

 

Once a person totally surrenders his will to Jesus and His teachings, the Holy Spirit causes the “born again experience” to occur. The born again experience is like the early rain in ancient Israel. Just before the early rain came, seeds were planted, and of course, the early rain and the sunshine that followed caused the seeds to germinate and grow. In a few days, the bare ground produced new life! Once the seed of truth is planted in good soil, the Holy Spirit will ”rain down” on the thirsty soul and overnight, signs of new life will appear. This is the “early rain” experience.

 

Whether it is a summer crop (representing early in life) or a winter crop (representing late in life), the rain that produces the harvest is the latter rain. The world has never experienced the latter rain of the Holy Spirit, but it will only occur during the Great Tribulation. For 1,260 days, the law of God will be presented with power and clarity, and the Holy Spirit will pound on every heart. The contest will be difficult and painful. Those who submit to the law of God will suffer the penalties of Babylon. Those who submit to the laws of Babylon will receive the seven bowls and lose eternal life. Each person’s decision will be thoroughly tested. When a person passes his test of faith, the righteousness of Christ will be imparted to that person. The Holy Spirit will remove the carnal nature and seal that “faith-full” person with a sinless nature like that of Adam and Eve before they fell. (Genesis 3:7; Colossians 1:27; Romans 1:17; Revelation 7:1-4; 10:7) The sealing will be caused by the latter rain experience. This experience is also called “receiving the seal of the living God.” (Revelation 7:2) When Jesus concludes the sealing of His people, the saints will no longer need an intercessor or mediator in Heaven. The sins of the righteous will have been transferred to the scapegoat and God’s children will have sinless natures “sealed” within them. Jesus will then declare the end of His judgment bar with this declaration:

“Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue to be vile; let him who does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy.” (Revelation 22:11) These words declare the latter rain has fallen and the harvest is finished.

 

Review

 

We have examined the following:

 

1.      John saw Jesus descend from Heaven to take control of Earth and select the 144,000.

 

2.      John, representing one of the 144,000, is given a little book to eat. This book, like the book given to Ezekiel, contains the words that the 144,000 will speak during the Great Tribulation.

 

3.      Jesus will take an oath, promising the Father that He will carry out the plans given to Him. Jesus then declares there will be no more delay. The censer comes down. The first four trumpets begin.

 

4.      John, as one of the 144,000, is told to prophesy again (preach a true gospel). The 144,000 will notify the world that the judgment bar of Christ is underway.

 

5.      John was given a measuring rod and told to count the inner court and to ignore the outer court. The inner court will consist of sheep. The outer court will be filled with goats.

 

6.      Jesus will empower His Two Witnesses for 1,260days.

 

7.      The Two Witnesses are the two lampstands and the two olive trees that stand before Him in Heaven’s temple. The two olive trees represent the two “rains” of the Holy Spirit. The two lampstands represent the two tablets of the Ten Commandments.

 

8.      The power given to the Two Witnesses will flow through the 144,000. In other words, the Two Witnesses will speak and work through the 144,000 to save as many souls as possible.

 

Now that we have a basic understanding of John’s experience as one of the 144,000, as well as the identity and the role of the Two Witnesses, the rest of the story in Revelation 11 is not difficult to understand.    




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