“And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.”
King James Version (KJV)
Re 11:1 The Two Witnesses SUMMARY OF REVELATION 11: The Temple Measured. The Holy City Trodden Down by the Gentiles. The Two Witnesses. Prophesying in Sackcloth. The Forty-two Months. The Witness Slain. The Witness Exalted. The Fall of the Wicked World. The Seventh Trumpet Blown. The Final Triumph. There was given me a reed like a rod. There are several points that must be noticed: 1. Who measures? 2. The measure used? 3. What is measured? (1) A reed is given to John to be used as a measure. It is not an angel who measures, but an apostle, the sole "representative" of the apostles then living. The apostle is a representative of the apostolic body. It is the apostles who are to measure, or (2) the measure is not a human one. John did not make it, nor did any other apostle, nor any man, or body of men. The reed "was given to him". It is a divine measure. Whatever is measured is to be compared with a divine standard. There is a divine standard for measurement which was given by our Lord to the apostles. This is the New Testament of Jesus Christ. Measure the temple of God. (3) This cannot mean the literal temple. It was not in the part of the world where John was, if it had been standing; nor was it then standing. What is meant is that of which the temple was a symbol; viz., "the Church". See PNT "1Co 3:17". And the altar. In the Jewish temple the altar was the place where the worship centered. Without the altar worship was impossible, and the altar is taken as a symbol of the worship. The sacrifices of the altar were all typical of Christ's atonement. Hence, the measurement has a relation to the death of Christ. And them that worship therein. The measure shall be applied to those who profess to be Christians. It will be seen whether they come up to the standard.