Measuring the Temple of God
August 19th, 1962 @ 8:15 AM
MEASURING THE TEMPLE OF GOD
Dr. W. A. Criswell
Revelation 11:1 – 8
8-19-62 8:15 a.m.
On the radio you are sharing the early morning service of the First Baptist Church in Dallas. This is the pastor bringing the message entitled Measuring the Temple of God. In your Bible, if you will turn to the eleventh chapter of the Book of the Revelation, you can follow the text and the message. We shall read the first eight verses. Revelation chapter 11:
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.
But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.
And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.
These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.
And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
And their [dead] bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
The sermon this morning is the conclusion of the sermon last Sunday morning. It is all one piece. It is one presentation. In order therefore that we be able to put it all together, I am briefly going to summarize last Sunday’s message as an introduction to the conclusion of the sermon which is delivered today.
Last Sunday morning I pointed out to you that this has been called by interpreters one of the most difficult, if not the most difficult chapter in the Apocalypse. And so many, many, many, so greatly are they in number, that I took out of their words how they make everything in the chapter mean the same thing. For example, I quoted from one: “The temple is here figuratively used of the faithful portion of the church.” Again, another one I copied from, “The command is given to John to measure the temple of God in order to call attention to the size of the church.” Another one said, “The altar is the church.” Another one said, “The outer court signifies a part of the church.” Another one said, “The Holy City is always, in the Apocalypse, the type of the church.” Another one said, “The two witnesses represent the elect church of God.” Another one: “The one thousand two hundred sixty days constitute a period during which the church, although trodden under foot, will not cease to prophesy.” Another one said, “The whole vision of the war of the beast against the two witnesses is symbolical, and the intention is to convey the idea that the church and her witness for God will experience opposition.” Another one said: “The death of the witnesses is the fate of the church.” Another one said: “In the ascension of the witnesses to heaven, the church is triumphantly vindicated.” Another one said, “The elders who worship God after the sounding of the seventh trumpet are the church.”
Every delineation, every diverse expression, every vision is forced to mean the same thing: it’s the church, it’s the church, it’s the church; a kaleidoscopic picture of the same thing. Well, that greatly doesn’t appeal to me. Surely, John has something here to say. Surely, there is a revelation here. Surely, there is a meaning here other than just the church, the church, the church—every little detail, every piece, every part, that’s the church.
Well, for one thing, as we know who’ve been studying this book, the church is mentioned so much, so much through the third chapter, but from the third chapter to the nineteenth chapter, it is never even referred to, it is not named. We’re in a different world. We’re a different age. It’s dealing with something else. So, as I said last Sunday morning, we’re going to look at this thing and see if John has some kind of a meaning by which God reveals to us an intention, a purpose, an unveiling, and what could it be.
All right, then we said, just looking at the chapter, for one thing: we are very definitely, and distinctly, and decidedly, and certainly, we’re on Jewish ground, we’re in a Jewish world. Now we pointed out that in that eighth verse he uses a symbol for the city. “Spiritually,” symbolically, “it is called Sodom and Egypt” [Revelation 11:8]. Because of its sin it’s called symbolically, Sodom. And because of its worldliness, it’s called symbolically Egypt. But actually, John says, we’re talking about the city where the Lord was crucified [Revelation 11:8]. Well, that pinpoints it exactly. Our Lord was crucified outside the wall of Jerusalem [John 19:20; Hebrews 13:12].
Then we looked at another thing. It is the Holy City that is to be trodden down [Luke 21:24; Revelation 11:2]. And out of all of the cities in the world, there is only one called holy and that is Jerusalem. In all the Word of God, among all the cities that are mentioned, there is never but one city that is ever called the Holy City, and it is called the Holy City from beginning to end in the Word of God. So I know we’re talking about Jerusalem.
Then we looked at another thing. There is a time period in here: “Forty-two months” in verse 2 [Revelation 11:2]; in verse 3, “a thousand two hundred and threescore days” [Revelation 11:3]. Then, in the twelfth chapter and in the thirteenth chapter of the Book of the Revelation we find those same time periods – identical – those same identical time periods. “Three and a half years,” “time, times, and half a time,” “time, times, and the dividing of time,” “forty-two months,” “one thousand two hundred sixty days” [Revelation 12:6, 14; 13:5]. An identical time period; well, that must mean something.
Had he adventitiously used it, had he just accidentally used it —but to use that same time period again and again, it has a meaning. Well, we looked at the meaning and found it to be a very simple thing. That is the time period used by the prophet Daniel. And he uses it several times. And that is the time period that he refers to when he speaks of the last, the seventieth week, which brings to mankind and to Israel the consummation of the age. He divides the seventy sevens of years that are to bring the end, that are bringing the consummation, he divides that seventy sevens – you have it translated “weeks” – that seventy sevens, seventy sevens of years, he divides it into two parts: sixty-nine until the Messiah comes and is cut off, then one last week that he separates to itself [Daniel 9:20-27].
And according to the prophecy of Daniel, in the ninth chapter between the time of the founding of Jerusalem—I’ve always said that word “founding”—between the time of the rebuilding, of the decree to rebuild Jerusalem in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes until Jesus Christ was cut off, was sixty-nine sevens—sixty-nine times seven years [Daniel 9:25-26].
Then that seventieth seven gets pulled away [Daniel 9:27]. There was a great hiatus, a great interlude, a great interruption, interposition, that the prophets didn’t see. But, Paul, in the third chapter of Ephesians [Ephesians 3:3-6], and in the Book of Romans [Romans 16:25-26], Paul refers to this great interlude in which we now live as a mustērion, a secret hid in the heart of God, that a man could never know, he could never search it out and find it. It was something that had to be revealed. And God revealed it to His holy apostles [Ephesians 3:4-7].
So the age in which we live, this age, this day of grace, the day of the church, the day of the one body of Christ where there is neither Jew nor Gentile, bond nor free, male nor female [Galatians 3:27-28], but we’re all one in the body of our Lord, this day of grace, the prophets never saw [Ephesians 3:5]. It was a mustērion hidden in the heart of God and was revealed to His holy apostles [Ephesians 3:1-11]. And this is the great interruption, the great interlude, the great hiatus in which we now live.
But there is to be a consummation of the age. And that consummation is Daniel’s seventieth seven [Daniel 9:27]. That consummation is the Book of the Apocalypse. That consummation is the unveiling of Jesus Christ [Revelation 1:1-2]. Now, that seventieth week, Daniel says, is divided into two parts [Daniel 9:27]. That final seven, those final seven years, are divided into two parts: three and a half on one side, three and a half on the other side. And that’s where you get the forty-two months, the one thousand two hundred sixty days, the time, times and half a time, the time, times and dividing of time, the three and a half years [Revelation 12:6, 14, 13:5]—the dividing of that final week [Daniel 9:27], which we call in the Revelation, the tribulation and the great tribulation [Revelation 7:14]. The last half of it, the last three and a half years constitute the great tribulation [Mark 13:19].
We live in a different age, in a different dispensation you’d call it, in a different era. We live in the day of the Holy Spirit, in the day of the church, in the day of the preaching of the gospel of the Son of God [Matthew 24:14]. But there is coming a time, this final consummation, when the church is taken away, when it is raptured, when it is snatched out of this world, when it goes up to God in heaven, when the dead in Christ are raised, when all of us shall be changed [1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52]. Then shall God, according to the Revelation, and according to the prophets, and according to the word of Christ, and according to the apostle Paul, then shall God bring the consummation of this whole universe in this seventieth week [Daniel 9:27]. And He deals again with Jerusalem, and with His chosen people in Palestine, and with the subject matter that constitutes the sermon of this morning.
Now that’s what we said last Sunday morning. That’s the introduction to an interpretation of this chapter 11; now, to turn our hearts to the chapter itself [Revelation 11:1-19]. For one thing, when I look at it, I see that they have put a chapter division here in one of the interludes between the septenary series. Between the sixth and the seventh seals, there’s an interlude [Revelation 6:12, 8:1]. Between the sixth and the seventh trumpets, there’s an interlude [Revelation 9:13, 11:15]. Between the sixth and the seventh bowls, the vials of wrath, there is an interlude [Revelation 16:12, 17]. Now the longest interlude is this one between the sixth and the seventh trumpets. It starts at the first verse of chapter 10 and goes through the thirteenth verse of chapter 11 [Revelation 10:1-11:13]. It’s all one piece. But they have divided it with a chapter division here, chapter 11 [Revelation 11]. Now let’s disregard the chapter division. John didn’t put that chapter division there. A man put that there.
It’s all one vision. The angel, the great and mighty angel that stood with his foot on the sea and on the land, that speaks to John in chapter 10 [Revelation 10:1-3] is the same mighty angel that is addressing John in chapter 10 [Revelation 11:1-10]. Now, this angel has two commands to the apostle John [Revelation 10:9]. And for the first time John himself becomes an actor in the vision, in the drama [Revelation 10:10]. That’s in keeping with the prophets of old who acted out their prophecies.
For example, Jeremiah went around with a yoke hanging on his neck [Jeremiah 27:2]. That was the prophecy that Judah shall certainly go into Babylonian captivity [Jeremiah 25:8-11]. So he walked through the streets with a yoke on his neck. Hosea was commanded of God to marry a harlot [Hosea 1:2-3]. That was God’s emphatic portrayal of the terrible infidelity of His people Israel, His chosen family. Isaiah was commanded to name a boy that should be born to him Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz [Isaiah 8:3]. I guess they called him “Hash” for short. Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz—what a name—which was a description that the Chaldeans were coming for the fray [Isaiah 8:4].
Well, this is the same kind of a thing. The apostle John now becomes an actor in the drama itself. And that great angel, and in the name of the Lord Christ, is possessing heaven and earth in the name of God [Revelation 10:1-7]. He has in his hand a title deed. The mortgage has been lifted. The forfeiture has been recovered. Redemption has been made [Revelation 5:9]. And he has in his hand the little book that signifies that ownership, that possession [Revelation 10:2]. And he commands John to take that little book [Revelation 10:8]. He’s a typical one of us; the inheritance is for us [Acts 20:32]. God hath redeemed all creation for us [Romans 8:22-24; Ephesians 1:14]. We shall reign—kings in the earth [2 Timothy 2:12; Revelation 20:6]. John takes the little book in the name of all of us, and he is commanded to eat it [Revelation 10:9]. And he eats it. And it is sweet. It tastes like honey, but after he had eaten, it was in his stomach bitter as gall [Revelation 10:9-10]. Then the angel said, “That means you must prophesy before peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings the awful things that lie ahead” [Revelation 10:11].
Now, that’s true with us, as it is true with John. The inheritance of God’s people is precious indeed. But oh, the tears, and the sorrow, and the tragedies, and the hurt, and the bitterness between now and the coming end of the age! Take this little book, the inheritance of God’s saints, and it is sweet to think of it, the prospect of it, to possess it, what God will do for us. But oh, the sorrows that lie in between!
Then he begins to outline some of those sorrows and that is chapter 11. It should not be disassociated from chapter 10; it is all the same vision [Revelation 10-11]. Now we’re going to look upon these sorrows that are going to intervene between the time the angel spake here to John and the great final consummation of the end. All right, this is one of them:
There was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court . . . . leave out . . . it is given to the Gentiles: the holy city shall they tread under foot forty-two months. And I will give power unto my two witnesses that forty-two months . . . but they will be clothed in sackcloth.
It is a time of tragedy. It is a time of infinite sorrow.
Now in order for us to understand what this is, we’ve got to understand what temple this refers to. “Measure the temple of God” [Revelation 11:1]. There are five temples mentioned in the Book; five of them. The first one is Solomon’s [2 Chronicles 2:1] that was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 587 BC [2 Chronicles 36:19]. The second one is Zerubbabel’s. It was built after the Babylonian captivity, beginning about 500 BC, when they returned in about 500 [Ezra 5:2]. And that temple was desecrated, and pillaged, and dedicated to the Greek God Jupiter by Antiochus Epiphanes in 168 BC. The third temple was Herod’s which was begun by that monarch in about 20 BC [John 2:20] and embellished and beautified beyond anything the world had ever seen. That was the temple, the third one, that was destroyed by Titus in 70 AD. The fourth temple is this one [Revelation 11:1]. It is the temple that will be rebuilt by the Jews when they return to Jerusalem and when they reinstitute the Mosaic institution. The fifth temple is one that I do not understand and I don’t know what to say. I’ll just call it the millennial temple of Ezekiel, which is described in Ezekiel 40 through chapter 43 [Ezekiel 40:1-43:27].
Now it is that fourth temple that we have to do with here. “Rise,” said the angel to John, “and measure the temple of God” [Revelation 11:1]. This is the temple rebuilt by the Jewish people in their repossession of Palestine. You see that today as the Jew goes back, according to the prophets, the prophets, the prophets, the prophets, everywhere outline the return of Israel to the homeland in unbelief, in rejection of their Lord and Savior [Ezekiel 36:24-28]. You could spend a day reading the passages in the Old Testament that prophesy that. The Jew is going back to Palestine. And the Jew is going to possess Palestine [Ezekiel 37:21]. They are going to rebuild Jerusalem. Someday they will repossess Jerusalem [Luke 21:24]. And that Mosque of Omar, that Dome of the Rock, that you see there now, will be cast down utterly and completely. And in that place where Solomon’s temple stood, where Zerubbabel’s temple stood, in that place where Herod’s temple stood, the temple that Jesus called “My Father’s house” [John 2:16], even though it was built by a reprobate, and even though it was filled with money-changers, and every excess and corruption, yet Jesus called it “My Father’s house”; in that place, there will be built this fourth temple [Revelation 11:1].
What we must realize is, the devotion of the Orthodox Jew to those Mosaic institutions is beyond anything that mind could imagine. And God looks upon it, and God sees it. For example, I remember in 1950, which was a year after they had won part of Palestine, I remember visiting Mt. Zion and the temple of David. That’s the only part of the old part of Jerusalem that the Jews won, just the spur of Mount Zion, on which is located the tomb of David. They had taken that tomb of David and made a synagogue out of it.
And I was in there; I tell you the devotion of those Orthodox Jews in their worship moved my soul. After they had finished their service, they took the Torah, the law of Moses, and as those rabbis—so colorful with their long beards, and their turbans, and dressed in their flowing robes—as they rolled up that Torah, they kissed every page as they rolled it up. They kissed the words on the page as they rolled it up. They kissed the tassels of the scrolls, they kissed the clasp of the container, they kissed the container, and they reverently and tenderly deposited it back in the ark above David’s tomb.
Those are the people that are going to rebuild this temple. And those are the people that are going to reinstitute these Mosaic institutions, rituals, sacrifices, altars, all that you read here in the Bible. Now this is the temple [Daniel 9:26], that Daniel refers to in that seventieth week when he says, the prince, the Antichrist, the final, ultimate man of sin, he shall make a covenant with those Jewish people [Daniel 9:27], and they will rebuild with his blessing all of these marvelous things.
But in the midst of that week he’s going to turn. He’s going to break that covenant, and he’s going to cause the operation to cease in the middle of that week, after the first three and a half years [Daniel 9:27]. That also is the temple that is referred to by Paul in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 when he says that end time is going to come after the great apostasy and after the church, the true church, has been taken away. And the man of sin, the final Antichrist, is revealed, the son of damnation, “who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God” [2 Thessalonians 2:3-4].
What temple of God? This temple! The temple that is rebuilt by the Jewish people in Jerusalem. He shall sit in that temple and say that he is God [2 Thessalonians 2:4]. “Remember ye not, when I was with you, I told you all of these things?” [2 Thessalonians 2:5]. Then you have the revelation here in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 by the apostle Paul what is going to become of that man of sin whom the Lord shall destroy with the brightness of His coming and the glory of His appearance [2 Thessalonians 2:8]. That is the temple that is mentioned here in the eleventh chapter of the Book of the Revelation that John is to measure [Revelation 11:1].
Now as hurriedly as we can, what does it mean here when he says, “There was given me a reed like unto a rod; and the angel said, Measure the temple” [Revelation 11:1]; measure that temple? What is this? Well, when I look at it carefully, “There was given me a reed,” a measuring stick, “like unto a rod,” a rod [Revelation 11:1]. In the twenty-first chapter of the Book of the Revelation, John is commanded to measure the city with a golden reed [Revelation 21:15]. And the angel, and John looking, measure the city with a golden reed; a golden measuring stick [Revelation 21:15-16]; but here, commanded to measure with a measuring stick like a rod [Revelation 11:1].
Immediately, wherever that word “rod” is used in the Book of the Revelation, it is used with reference to an instrument of chastisement. You have the proverb, you spare the rod and you spoil the child [Proverbs 22:15]. To measure with an instrument like a rod [Revelation 11:1]; well, then I go back into the Old Testament, and we read there what this thing means. To measure, in the Old Testament, to measure meant two things. First, it meant: this is marked off for God, this belongs to the Lord. Measure it off. This is God’s. He acknowledges this. He appropriates this. That’s one thing. Measuring—it’s an appropriation of a thing to God, it belongs to Him [Isaiah 40:12]. All right, a second thing: that word, “to measure,” refers in the Old Testament also to devote a thing to chastisement, and to punishment, and to destruction [Jeremiah 13:25]. For example, in 2 Samuel, God said “measure Moab devoted to destruction” [2 Samuel 8:2]. In Lamentations, Jerusalem was measured to destruction [Lamentations 3:47]. In Amos, with a plumbline, Israel was measured for destruction [Amos 7:7-9].
So when he says here, “There was given me a reed like unto a rod, and I am to measure the temple of God” [Revelation 11:1], then I can see that as God measures these people that are called by His name, in His elect family [Revelation 1:1], I can see that when that Jew returns to Palestine, when he builds Jerusalem, and when he builds that temple [Daniel 9:26], he’s going to build it in blood, and in agony, and in suffering, and in tears, for he is still rejecting the Lord his Christ. “Measure with a reed like a rod” [Revelation 11:1]. There is chastisement. There is correction. There is judgment coming.
You see, that’s what the vision is. “It tasted sweet but in my stomach it was bitter as gall” [Revelation 10:10]. These things that reach toward the consummation, oh, how glorious that God shall reign! But, also, how bitter these things are that lie between now and the great time when the Lord shall return to consummate all history [1 Peter 4:7]—a reed like a rod.
“Then the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months, a thousand two hundred and threescore days” [Revelation 11:2-3]. Blood, tears, and as we enter into the chapter we shall see these things.
Now I want to talk just for a moment about this rod of God and the chastisement of the people of God [Revelation 11:1]. Oh, how you tremble, how you tremble! In the days of Isaiah, in the days of that great Solomonic temple and the capital city of Jerusalem and Judah, Isaiah saw and prophesied the destruction by the fierce coming of the Chaldeans [Isaiah 8:6-9]. And Isaiah had seen with his own eyes the destruction of Samaria and the destruction of the northern ten tribes by Assyria [2 Kings 17:6]. And Isaiah carried it to God and cried, “Oh, why? Why? We may sin, but, oh how they have sinned! We may be unrighteous but how unrighteous they are! Why, O God? Why?” And the Lord answered in Isaiah 10:5, “O Assyria, he is the rod of Mine anger and the staff of Mine indignation.” God raised Assyria to chasten the northern ten tribes and to destroy them because of their sin.
That same and identical thing is in Habakkuk. In the first part of the first chapter of Habakkuk, there does Habakkuk prophesy the coming of the Chaldeans to destroy Jerusalem, and to destroy the temple, and to take the people into captivity [Habakkuk 1:1-9]. And he cries, “O God, Thou art of purer eyes than to look upon evil. Why do You look upon this? Why do You allow a man who is more unrighteous than we to destroy us? Why?” And then he answered the question, “O Lord, Thou hast ordained them for judgment, and Thou hast established them for correction” [Habakkuk 1:12-13].
That same thing is all through the Word of God. And that same thing operates today. There’s no difference today and any other time than in the consummation. America may be favored of God, but if America doesn’t honor the Lord, God will raise up vicious, and merciless, and ruthless nations, who, with the rod of God’s anger and the staff of God’s indignation, will chasten America. Could be in the hands of a Soviet Union. Could be in the hands of a bitter and ruthless Oriental Red empire. God has His own imponderables, but, oh! these things bring us to our knees, bring us to our knees.
O God, that there might be among us the spirit of repentance, and of drawing nigh to the Lord, and of honoring the great God and our Savior! For the rod of correction is in His hands, and He bestows it upon those whom He raises up to chasten His own people. “O Lord, in wrath, remember mercy!” [Habakkuk 3:2].
I wish I had time to preach these things. That’s why Habakkuk cried, “O God I have heard Thy speech, and was afraid: O Lord, revive Thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy” [Habakkuk 3:2]. “Lord, if we are saved, we must have revival,” cried Habakkuk, as he heard the word and the prophecy from God of the coming of those bitter Chaldeans, the rod of God’s anger [Isaiah 10:5].
Now, as we sing our song of appeal, on the first note of the first invitation, come and stand by me. “Preacher this morning, we’re coming into the fellowship of the church, and here we stand.” Or, “Pastor, today we’re trusting Jesus as Savior [Romans 10:9-10], and here I come.” As God shall say the word and lead in the way, make it now, make it this morning, while we stand and while we sing.
MEASURING THE TEMPLE OF GOD
Dr. W. A. Criswell
A. This chapter one of the most difficult in the Apocalypse
B. The tendency to identify everything as “the church”
C. Some things are distinctly evident
1. We are on Jewish ground(Revelation 11:2, 8)
2. We know where we are in prophetic chronology of God’s revelation (Revelation 11:2-3, 12:6, 14, 13:5)
a. Daniel’s seventy weeks of years(Daniel 9:27)
b. The Apocalypse an account of the seventieth week
i. Interlude between sixty-ninth and seventieth week is the age of grace in which we now live – a musterion
c. Seventieth week divided into two parts, three and a half years each
D. The interlude between sixth and seventh trumpets is broken by a chapter division, but the vision is one (Revelation 10:1 – 11:13)
1. Glorious angel claims universe in name of Christ; holds in his hand the title deed
2. John called upon to be an actor in the vision
a. Typical of prophets(Jeremiah 28:10-14, Hosea 1:2-3, Isaiah 8:1-4)
3. Two commands
a. Take the book, eat and prophesy – inheritance of the saints sweet, but bitter things yet to come(Revelation 10:8)
b. Measure the temple of God, altar and them that worship therein (Revelation 11:1)II. What temple is this temple of God?(Revelation 11:1)
A. Five temples in the Bible
1. Solomon’s temple, destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 587 BC
2. Zerubbabel’s temple, built after captivity; desecrated, pillaged and dedicated to Jupiter by Antiochus Epiphanes in 168 BC
3. Herod’s temple – rebuilt in lavish splendor, began in 20 BC; destroyed by Titus in 70 AD
4. This one in our text
5. Millennial temple of Ezekiel (Ezekiel 40, 41, 42, 43)
B. This is the temple referred to in Daniel when the antichrist makes a covenant with Jewish people, and they rebuild their city and temple(Daniel 9:25-27, 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4)
1. The Jew returns to homeland in unbelief
2. Jerusalem rebuilt
3. Temple rebuilt – Mosque of Omar cast down
4. Mosaic institutions re-established
a. The undying love of the Orthodox Jew to Mosaic institutions
C. In the final week, Jewish people trampled underfoot – part of the bitterness John felt when he took the inheritance(Jeremiah 30:7, Revelation 10:10, 11:1)
A. Wherever uses word “rod” it is for chastisement, correction, judgment (Revelation 2:27, 11:1, 12:5, 19:15)
1. In measuring the New Jerusalem there is used a golden reed, but here it is a “reed like unto a rod”(Revelation 21:13)
B. Measuring frequently mentioned by the prophets – two distinct thoughts
1. To measure was to claim for God
2. To measure for God refers to a devotion of God to these that are measured to correction, judgment, destruction(2 Samuel 8:2, Lamentations 2:1-11, Amos 7:7-8, 17)
3. Both ideas here (Revelation 11:1-2)
C. The rod of anger, chastisement
1. Heartache of Isaiah (Isaiah 10:5)
2. Terror of Habakkuk (Habakkuk 1:6-9, 12-13)
D. He will not keep His anger forever – a definite set limit, 42 months(Habakkuk 3:2, Psalm 103:9)