In our reading I believe that it is a vision specifically to comfort the Church. It was a measuring of the inner sanctuary, the altar, and the people who had come to worship. The process of measuring was not only to separate the holy from the common, but also to protect. The thought here is one of protection and holiness of God’s people. An unholy force could not attack the inner sanctuary because it had been declared holy. The outer court of the temple was not measured because it had been given to the Gentiles to trod underfoot for 42 months. The Gentiles would attack the Church of the Lord, but they would not be able to attack her heart. God would permit persecution for a period, but He would not permit annihilation. The next vision was about two strong and powerful witnesses and the conflict. The two witnesses would prophesy for 1,260 days which is 42 months. This is the same time period that the Holy City was going to be trodden underfoot. That was the reason the witnesses were prophesying in sack cloth. I suggest the identity of both the witnesses is the Church. What is the lesson of the two witnesses? Keep on preaching! Keep on telling! Keep on witnessing the power of God! One day, even though it may take a while, one day God will make it known that the Kingdom belongs to His children. Even though His children may have to wear sack cloth for a period of time, one day the enemy will be defeated. When the children of God know that God is in control, they can truly face whatever they have to face in this spiritual marathon!