The Temple that John was familiar with in Jerusalem had already been destroyed in 70 A.D. The Greek word (naos) is not the actual temple in Jerusalem but here it is symbolic of the spiritual temple or the church (Rev_3:12; 2Th_2:4; 1Co_3:16.; 2Co_6:16; Eph_2:19.) The word for measure (met-reh'-o) may also mean take account or number
The outer court referred to those who had access to the temple but were not true worshippers. This situation existed as a state of things in the church required it to became necessary to draw a line between those who properly constituted the church and those who did not. When those who appeared to be His true church but were actually divided off as not belonging to it. The interpretation would demand that they should sustain some relation to the church, or that they would seem to belong to it-as the court did to the temple; but still that this was in appearance only, and that in estimating the true church it was necessary to leave them out altogether.
The word rendered witnesses-μαρτυς (martus, mar'-toos) is that from which we have derived the word martyr. It means properly one who bears testimony, either in a judicial sense, (Matthew 18:16, 26:65) or one who can in any way testify to the truth of what he has seen and known. Then it came to be employed in the sense in which the word martyr is now-to denote one who, amidst great sufferings, or by his death, bears witness to the truth;
It is not uncommon in the Scriptures to represent the righteous as witnesses for God. Isaiah 43:10, Isaiah 43:12; Isaiah 44:8. The law of Moses required that there should be two witnesses on a trial, and this, under that law, was deemed a competent number. The language of Rev 11 pictures those who would herald the gospel in spite of severe punishment. These Christians were the perpetual objects of bitter and relentless persecution. History shows that during the period of the "Dark Ages," about twelve and a half centuries, there were about fifty million of these Christians who died martyr deaths. (J.M. Carroll Trail of blood)
Ended 1510 with Martian Luther 1260 Years of persecution Began 250 A.D. Infant Baptism
42 Months 30 x 42 = 1260 Prophetic Timeline 1 Day = 1 Year 1260 Years of Persecution
The Dark Ages was a period of religious struggle. Christians regard this time as a period of Catholic corruption; they repudiated the ways of the Catholic Church with its papal doctrines and hierarchy. Many within the Catholic Church strove to recreate a pure Christianity, void of these “dark” Catholic ways. The term "catholic" is derived from a Greek word which means "general" or "universal."
Many changes began to take place in the church and the Roman Empire in the first centuries. Pagan forms and ceremonies began to creep into the worship. Images of saints and martyrs began to appear. The Lord's Supper was changing from a memorial to a sacrifice. The adoration of the Virgin Mary was substituted for the worship of Venus and Diana. Rather than Christianity changing the world, the world began to dominate the church Holy water. (120 A.D.) Water which has been especially blessed and sanctified by the priests. Infant Baptism. (250 A.D.) Sign of the Cross. (250 A.D.)
By the beginning of the year A.D. 313, Christianity has won a mighty victory over paganism. A new emperor has come to the throne of the Roman Empire. He evidently recognized something of the mysterious power of this religion that continued to grow in spite of persecution. History says that this new emperor who was none other than Constantine had a wonderful realistic vision. He saw in the skies a fiery red cross and on that cross written in fiery letters these words-- "By this thou shalt conquer." He interpreted it to mean that he should become a Christian. And that by giving up paganism and that by attaching the spiritual power of the Christian religion onto the temporal power of the Roman Empire the world could be easily conquered. Thus the Christian religion would in fact become a whole world religion, and the Roman Empire a whole world empire.
Under the leadership of Emperor Constantine there comes a truce, a courtship and a proposal of marriage. The Roman Empire through its emperor seeks a marriage with Christianity. Give us your spiritual power and we will give you of our temporal power. To effectually bring about and consummate this unholy union, a council was called. In A. D. 313, a call was made for a coming together of the Christian churches or their representatives. Many but not all came. The alliance was consummated. A Hierarchy was formed. In the organization of the Hierarchy, Christ was dethroned as head of the churches and Emperor Constantine enthroned (only temporarily, however) as head of the church. The Hierarchy was the definite beginning of a development which finally resulted into what is now known as the Catholic, or "universal" church.
In A.D. 251, Many loyal churches declared non- fellowship with those churches which accepted and practiced the errors of the Roman Churches. Thus came about the first real official separation among the churches.
Disputation of Doctor Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences - by Dr. Martin Luther (1517) Luther’s 95 thesis was a list of 95 protests of corruption within the Catholic Church. Mainly protesting the sell of indulgences or the right to sin and pay the priests for forgiveness. One thing we'd have to say about Luther, he broke the bar that had the door locked and enabled us to have the beginning of religious liberty… the world for the first time had the liberty to worship and serve God after the dictation of their own hearts. So it brought liberty, and it ended the dark ages. (W.T. Russell)
Dan 7:23 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. The Beast is now seen as rising out of the pit as being the image of the one who should kill the witness of God.
1. Christ, the author of this religion, organized His followers or disciples into a Church. And the disciples were to organize other churches as this religion spread. 2. This organization or church, according to the Scriptures and according to the practice of the Apostles and early churches, was given two kinds of officers and only two -- pastors and deacons. 3. Churches were to be entirely separate and independent of each other, Jerusalem to have no authority over Antioch -- nor Antioch over Ephesus; nor Ephesus over Corinth, and so forth. And their government to be congregational, democratic. 4. To the church were given two ordinances and only two, Baptism and the Lord's Supper. These to be perpetual and memorial. 5. Only the "saved" were to be received as members of the church (Acts 2:47). Lord’s Supper, and the supper to be celebrated only by the church, in church capacity.
6. The inspired scriptures, and they only, in fact, the New Testament and that only, to be the rule and guide of faith and life. 7. Christ Jesus, the founder of this organization and the savior of its members, to be their only priest and king, their only Lord and Lawgiver, and the only head of the churches. 8. This religion of Christ to be individual, personal, and purely voluntary or through persuasion. No physical or governmental compulsion. A matter of distinct individual and personal choice. 9. Mark well! That neither Christ nor His apostles, ever gave to His followers, what is know today as a denominational name. 10. Complete separation of Church and State. No combination, no mixture of this spiritual religion with a temporal power. "Religious Liberty," for everybody. (J.M. Carroll; Trail of Blood)