The theme statement received today: “The Temple, altar, and worshippers are to be measured.” (Prophesied by Apostle John) This watchman has been led today to browse a number of more often used and quoted Bible references/commentaries showing what the churches had been taught in christian history.
“And there was given me a reed like to a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.” Revelation 11:1
“The measuring implies the protecting of, or the token of a resolve to protect, a portion of the sacred enclosure from desecration. The measuring, like the sealing of Revelation 7, is a sign of preservation during impending dangers.” “…the whole compass of the sacred enclosure, the house of God.” “The gist of the measurement is the preservation of the true, invisible Church, the Church within the Church; and everything necessary to the worship—Temple, altar, worshippers—all are reserved. (Excerpted from Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers)
“God will have a temple and an altar in the world, till the end of time. He looks strictly to his temple.” (Excerpted from Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
“There were, therefore, three things, as indicated by this verse, which John was directed to do, so far as the use of the measuring-rod was concerned:
(a) to take a just estimate of what constitutes the true church, as distinguished from all other associations of people;
(b) to institute a careful examination into the opinions in the church on the subject of sacrifice or atonement – involving the whole question about the method of justification before God; and,
(c) to take a correct estimate of what constitutes true membership in the church; or to investigate with care the prevailing opinions about the qualifications for membership.” (Excerpted from Barnes’ Notes on the Bible)
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary (Excerpts quoted)
CHAPTER 11 Re 11:1-19. Measurement of the Temple. The Two Witnesses’ Testimony: Their Death, Resurrection, and Ascension: The Earthquake: The Third Woe: The Seventh Trumpet Ushers in Christ’s Kingdom. Thanksgiving of the Twenty-four Elders.
This eleventh chapter is a compendious summary of, and introduction to, the more detailed prophecies of the same events to come in the twelfth through twentieth chapters. Hence we find anticipatory allusions to the subsequent prophecies; compare Re 11:7, “the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit” (not mentioned before), with the detailed accounts, Re 13:1, 11; 17:8; also Re 11:8, “the great city,” with Re 14:8; 17:1, 5; 18:10.
“This temple was a type of the church under the New Testament, 1 Corinthians 3:17 2 Corinthians 6:16, and is so to be interpreted generally in this book: for the material temple at Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans more than twenty years before this prophecy, never to be built more; not one stone was left upon another; so that John here was bid to measure the church.
And the altar, and them that worship therein; yet not the whole church, but that part of it which the inner court typified; the altar, and those that worshipped within that space where that was, which of old were only the priests and Levites; and under the New Testament signified those who were to be a holy priesthood, a spiritual house, those that should offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ, 1 Peter 2:5, who could endure a measuring by God’s reed, the word of God.”
Excerpts from: Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible
“And there was given me a reed like unto a rod,…. A measuring reed, which with the Jews was six cubits long, Ezekiel 40:5; with the Greeks and Romans, ten feet long; the Ethiopic version here calls it a “golden reed”, as in Revelation 21:15. This was given unto John very likely by the same angel that gave him the little book, since he afterwards bids him arise and measure with it; and by it seems to be designed the holy Scripture, or the word of God, which is sometimes called a line, a rule, and rod, Psalm 19:4, and which is the rule and measure of doctrine and faith;”
What about my personal revelation?
1. The apostle John was given a specific authority and task.
2. He was given this revelation, prophesy and this personal letter from Jesus Himself.
3. What is the purpose of showing this Bible verse today to this watchman?
My personal observation is that this verse comes before great changes and events that will bring in another era of man’s history on earth. It is like another spiritual door is now being opened and the events thereafter through that door are what human cannot comprehend and expect. The summary I quoted above of Revelation chapter 11 tells us briefly what are happening after 11:1.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary: Measurement of the Temple-The Two Witnesses’ Testimony: Their Death, Resurrection, and Ascension-The Earthquake-The Third Woe-The Seventh Trumpet Ushers in Christ’s Kingdom-Thanksgiving of the Twenty-four Elders. Watch this prophesy:”the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit”.
Coming back to John’s measuring (protective) assignment and authority over the Christian churches. Who has been given the same? We read what Jesus says to affirm my answer.
Matthew 28:18-20 New Living Translation (NLT)
18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations,[a] baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
28:19 Or all peoples.