“Measure the Temple of God” v1, To John, there is only one Temple, the Churches of Christ, 1st Cor. 3:16-17, Eph. 2:19-22 & Rom. 16:16. The altar being holy, means that our prayers are sanctified. The worshippers are measured within the NAOS (inner temple) therefore they are priests, 1st Pt. 2:9. The purpose of measuring is to designate what is holy and whatever is not measured is profane, Ezk. 40:3-5, 42:20. What is the consequence? Relief from the nations trampling underfoot God’s holy people, the church. Though the church will suffer abuse & martyrdom, they will not be profaned. But everyone outside the church suffering hardship from the Roman Empire falling, will be punished as profane and in the next life too.
“42 Months…1260 days” v2-3 are two different ways of expressing the same thing. This is why we know that the identity of the Two Witnesses is identical to the Temple. The numbers correspond to 3½ years but in the context of the Two Witnesses so that it relates to the resurrection of Jesus, his 3½ days, v9. This number, be it days, weeks or years, as in 1260, 42 or 3½, always means “LIMITED TEMPORARY SUFFERING”. It’s equivalent occurs in Dan. 7:25 as the “little horn” temporarily persecuting the saints, it occurs in Rev. 12:6 & 12:14 where the Woman is suffering in the wilderness but nourished and it occurs in 13:5 where the Beast temporarily exercises authority over the saints but is eventually destroyed, Rev. 19:20-21.
“Two Witnesses” v3, The Church can be seen as mournful prophets, witnessing His judgments against their persecutors and prophesying God’s deliverance and Jesus’ return. Why “two”? So that God’s message and meaning of the olive trees and lampstands (v4) delivers strength to them in their suffering. Zechariah helps us understand the meaning, Zec. 4:11-14, where we see two olive trees providing the candlestick with oil, they are two anointed ones before the Lord, whose eyes go throughout the whole earth. Without light, Zerubbabel can’t build and use his plumbline, the enemy can’t be seen and the victorious presence of God isn’t witnessed. So the olive trees and candlestick are essential for God’s work of judgment and spreading of His good news, building His Temple, the church. Two is used to bring the meaning of King Zerubbabel and the High Priest Joshua son of Jozedek inside the olive tree and candlestick Witnesses. Both Royalty and Priesthood are seen in the church, 1st Pt. 2:9. Therefore if the church lived noble lives like Royalty and holy lives like Priests, therein lay the avenues of God’s power to endure the hardship, preach the word and experience the deliverance of God into salvation. His Temple will be built no matter what opposition halted it.
“If anyone wants to harm them…” v5, The Church’s altar (prayers) are measured, sanctified and heard for a response, God will punish the Beast, v7, which is Rome for it’s persecution against the church in Asia Minor and anywhere else.
“Their Dead Bodies” v8-9, The witnesses resurrection is coming, their humiliation and suffering is temporary. This sin against the church is not only committed by Rome, but also by leaders of Judaism in Jerusalem, v8, symbolized as Egypt, for it’s oppressive power over God’s people, and also symbolized as Sodom for it’s degenerate morals which lured people away from Christ.
“They Stood on their Feet” v11, After both Jerusalem & Rome fell, the church was alive & growing. The surviving unbelieving world would indeed by amazed to see such a persecuted religion win despite all the odds. The resurrection of Jesus which the church was within, was what they experienced, we are now surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, Heb. 12:1.
“The 7th Trumpet” v15. Here is the most significant division in Revelation’s text. The end of the Roman Empire is finalized in this trumpet we see the triumph of Christ, and within this Trumpet is the 7 bowls outpouring His entire wrath on the enemy. From here on, there are no more series of sevens. Therefore Christ’s reign is celebrated & established completely over all the earth and although we don’t completely understand why Jesus tolerates the chaos of world powers today, nevertheless, He is King of kings, NOW, 1:5, 19:16.