Measuring the Temple of God


Measuring the Temple of God

August 19th, 1962 @ 10:50 AM

Revelation 11:12

And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.
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Dr. W. A. Criswell

Revelation 11:12

8-19-62    10:50 a.m.


You are listening to a live service from the First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas.  And this is the pastor bringing the morning message entitled the Measuring of the Temple of God.  In our preaching through the Bible, we have come after many, many years to the Revelation.  In our preaching through the Revelation, we have come to chapter 11.  And the text is verses 1 and 2 [Revelation 11:1-2], and the reading of the passage is verses 1 through 8 [Revelation 11:1-8].  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 like manner be killed.

These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, so 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.

[Revelation 11:1-8]

The sermon this morning is a conclusion of the sermon the introduction to which was preached last Sunday morning.  To my great disappointment I found that last Sunday morning I could but say words of introduction.  But in order for the sermon to be seen I must review briefly last Sunday’s sermon, which is the introduction to an interpretation of this passage we have just read.

Some of our most able expositors like Dean Alford has called this eleventh chapter of the Revelation one of the most difficult, if not the most difficult in all of the Apocalypse.  And when we seek an interpretation of it, you will find in studying that practically all of the students of the Bible will refer everything in the chapter, as well as everything else in the Revelation, to a picture of the church—the church, the church, the church.  For example, one expositor said, “The temple here is figuratively used for the faithful portion of the church.”  Then another one wrote, “The command is given to John to measure the temple of God in order to call attention to the size of the church.”  Then another one, “The altar is the church.”  Then another one, “The outer court signifies a part of the church.”  Then another one, “The holy city is always in the Apocalypse the type of the church.”  Then another one, “The two witnesses represent the elect church.”  Then another one, “The one thousand two hundred and sixty days constitute a period during which the church will not cease to prophesy.”  Then another one, “The whole vision of the war of the beast against the two witnesses is symbolic of the church.”  Then another one, “The death of the witnesses is the fate of the church.”  Then another one, “In the ascension of the witnesses to heaven, the church is vindicated.”  Then another one, “The elders who worship God after the sounding of the seven trumpets are the church.”  And just so on.  This is the church, and this is the church, and this is the church, this is the church.  Whatever the diverse expression or whatever the delineation, or whatever the vision or whatever the meaning, it’s just the church, the church.

Well, that means to me it has no particular prophecy.  It has no particular pertinency.  You just have here a kaleidoscopic presentation of the fact it is of the church.  But what the man said has no particular meaning at all.  Well, I just believe that when God writes something, there is in it a profound, and fundamental and celestial, and heavenly, and earthly meaning.  It has a pertinency for us.  And that’s why God did it like He did.  And these different things mean different things.  So as we looked at it last Sunday morning, just looking at it, there are some things that are very distinctly and pertinently evident in these words.

Now we pick some of them out.  Here’s one.  In this chapter, we are manifestly, openly, on Jewish ground.  Then we looked at some of the things that say that to us.  In the eighth verse of the text out of which I just read, it says that this great city that he is talking about, it is spiritually, it is symbolically Sodom and Egypt.  “But the city I am talking about,” said the seer, “is where our Lord was crucified” [Revelation 11:8].  Now the symbol of it, he says, is Sodom because of its sin.  It is Egypt because of its worldliness.  But it actually is where our Lord was crucified.  Was He crucified in Cairo or Damascus or Beirut or Amman or Askelon or Gaza, or was He crucified in Jerusalem?  He was crucified outside of the Gate of Jerusalem [Hebrews 13:13; John 19:20].  I am on Jewish ground.  I am in Palestine.  We are in the holy city, Jerusalem.

Now another thing I see in the text.  The city is called “the holy city” [Revelation 11:2].  And out of all of the cities that are mentioned in the Bible, there is only one that is ever called “the holy city,” and that is Jerusalem.  Time and again, all through the Word of God, that city is called “the holy city,” and no other one is ever so referred to, ever—Jerusalem, large and important.  All of the other cities of the world; there is none like it.  It is the city of the great king.  And out of Zion proceeds the word and the revelation of God.  And Jesus steadfastly set His face to go toward Jerusalem, the holy city [Luke 9:51].  I know where I am in this passage.  We are in Palestine.  We are in Jerusalem.

Then we know where we are in the prophetic chronology of God’s revelation.  “It shall be trodden down”—this Holy City—“forty and two months, and these witnesses, my two, shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days” [Revelation 11:2-3].  Then we looked at chapter 11, chapter 12, and chapter 13—and all through there again and again is that same and identical time period: forty-two months, a thousand two hundred sixty days, three and half years, a time, and times, and half of a time, a time, times, and a dividing of times.  All of those are the same identical links.  They are the same period.  Well, did John use that advantageously, accidentally?  No.  That has a tremendous and a prophetic meaning in the Word of God.  And all we must do is just turn to the Bible and read it, and immediately we see what this thing is that John is speaking of in the eleventh chapter of the Revelation [Revelation 11:1-3].

In the Book of Daniel, that period of time is referred to again and again.  It refers to the last of the seventy sevens—the seventy weeks of years.  In the vision of the ninth chapter of the Book of Daniel for example, Daniel divided all of the time by which God works with His elected people, Israel, into seventy sevens.  You have it translated here in the King James Version, “seventy weeks” [Daniel 9:24]—“seventy weeks of years” would be an actual translation—seventy sevens of years.  And Daniel in the ninth chapter, said between the decree to rebuild Jerusalem—which decree was, went forth in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes, the king—from the day of the decree to rebuild Jerusalem until the cutting off of the Messiah—until His rejection—should be sixty-nine sevens—sixty-nine times seven years [Daniel 9:25-27].  Then Daniel, in the revelation pulled apart and away and off that last and seventieth week [Daniel 9:27].  And between the sixty-ninth week and that last and seventieth week is this vast interlude [Daniel 9:26]—this great intermission in which we now live.  The prophets did not see that intermission.

The apostle Paul in the Ephesian letter and in the Roman letter said that this great intermission in which we now live is a musterion—a secret hid in the heart of God [Ephesians 3:3-6, Romans 11:25-26, 16:25-26]; a thing no man could learn by ferreting it out, by studying.  But it had to be revealed by God [Ephesians 3:1-11].  And that vast intermission is this: the age of the Holy Spirit—the age of the church, in which there is neither bond nor free, male nor female, Greek nor barbarian, Roman nor provincial, alien nor indigenous, but we are all alike in the great brotherhood of the body of Christ [Galatians 3:26-28].  But the Jew never saw that.  The prophet never saw that.  It was a secret hid in the heart of God [Ephesians 3:3-6].  Between that sixty-ninth week and this seventieth week is this vast interlude in which we now live [Daniel 9:26].

But there is coming a great consummation.  There shall be an interdiction of God in the work of sin and death, the grave and Satan.  God shall intervene some day in history, the Book says.  And when that intervention is made, when that judgment day comes, when this thing reaches toward its final and ultimate consummation, that is the seventieth week of Daniel and that is the great Apocalypse [Daniel 9:27].  The Apocalypse is not the unveiling of human history.  It is not a recounting of the story of the church in the earth for the church is not mentioned in it after the third chapter, after it is taken up to heaven [Revelation 4:1-4].  But the Apocalypse is the unveiling of Jesus Christ—when He comes on clouds descending [Revelation 1:7], with ten thousands of His saints [Jude 14; Revelation 19:11-16]; and which history and time and all God’s creation reaches up to its great and final consummation.  That is Daniel’s seventieth week [Daniel 9:27], and that is the Apocalypse.  And when we read the Apocalypse, when we read the Revelation, we read the account God’s unfolding, unveiling of the great and final judgment, the consummation, the end of the age to which all history moves.

Now in this seventieth week of Daniel, the prophet divides it into two parts—three and a half years on one side, and three and a half years on the other side.  He divides it exactly in the middle [Revelation 2:10].  And the first part in the Revelation is called “the tribulation” [Revelation 2:10] and the second part is called “the great tribulation” [Matthew 24:21] hé thlipsis hé megalé—“the tribulation, the great”.  And when you come in the Book of the Revelation to those forty-two months, that one thousand two hundred sixty days, that time, times, and half of a time, time, times and the dividing of times, the three and one-half years, that is what it refers to [Revelation 11:2-3, 12:6, 14].  The prophet Daniel uses all of those expressions.  And the Book of the Revelation is the unveiling of what was sealed in the Book of Daniel [Daniel 12:9].  Therefore, when I turn to the eleventh chapter of the Book of the Revelation [Revelation 11:2-3] and I see these things with many others that I have not time to refer to, I know that we are standing in the great and final judgment day of God.  We are in the seventieth and last week of Daniel [Daniel 9:27].  We are in the heart of the great tribulation [Revelation 7:14].  And this is the elective purpose of God in purging the earth and bringing in a kingdom in which He shall reign—God forever [Revelation 11:15]—and we shall be fellow princes and fellow heirs at His side [2 Timothy 2:12; Revelation 1:6].

Now  as we interpret the vision, we must see one other thing and that is in the interlude between these septenary series.  There is an interlude between the sixth and the seventh seals [Revelation 6:12, 8:1].  There is an interlude between the sixth and the seventh bowls—the vials of judgment [Revelation 16:12-17].  There is an interlude between the sixth and the seventh trumpets [Revelation 9:21-11:15].  And the largest interlude is this one here between the sixth and the seventh trumpets.  It begins at the first verse of chapter 10 and continues through the thirteenth verse of chapter 11 [Revelation 10:1-11:13].  And in that interlude, this passage we have read this morning is included [Revelation 11:1-8].  Now in our Bibles there is a chapter division in it.  But when John wrote it, he didn’t put a chapter division there.  It is all one great vision and what I read in the eleventh chapter of the book is a continuation of what I have read in the tenth chapter of the book [Revelation 10:1-11:13].

Now the tenth chapter is the vision of the great and mighty angel that came down from heaven.  He put his right foot on the sea, and he put his left foot on the land [Revelation 10:1-2].  He raised his right hand and swore by God that there should be delay no longer [Revelation 10:5-6].  Time should be no longer, but that the hour had come when God shall take to Himself His great creation [Revelation 10:2, 6].  And he had in his left hand a little book open [Revelation 10:2], the same little book that was sealed [Revelation 5:1].  And when the seals were broken, the forfeiture of this earth to Satan was redeemed [Revelation 10:2, 6], and the mortgage lifted.  And God in Christ has taken back to Himself what was robbed from us in our sin and transgression [Romans 8:19, 22].  And he held in his hand the title deed to this universe, and that angel swore by God with his hand raised to heaven not only that there would be no longer delay—that there would be no longer time, but that the mystery of God shall now be finished [Revelation 10:5-7]—the mystery of why God delays, why sin reigns, why the grave is never filled, why tears and death and the bringing of mankind in the dust of the ground, why God delays.  But He delays no longer, for the time of that sounding of that one other trumpet, the great mystery of God shall be finished and the title deed to this universe that mighty angel held in his hand as he claimed it for God [Revelation 11:15-19].

Then he did something with it.  He gave two commandments [Revelation 10:9].  First, he said to John: “You come and take this book and eat it.  The inheritance is yours.”  And John, as a representative of all of us, who look to God in faith, John took the inheritance which was sweet, which is sweet to us, what God shall do for us, giving us life everlasting [John 3:16, 10:27-30], raising us from the dead if He tarries and we die [1 Thessalonians 4;16-17] giving us an inheritance in heaven [1 Peter 1:4].  And the book was sweet.

That is typical of the prophets, for the prophets acted out their prophesies.  In the twenty-eighth chapter of Jeremiah, Jeremiah is described as going around Jerusalem with a yoke on his neck, bearing a heavy yoke on his neck.  He was prophesying that Judah should go into Babylonian captivity, and he carried a yoke on his neck [Jeremiah 28:10-14].  Hosea was commanded to marry a harlot, showing the harlotry, the idolatry, of the nation Judah [Hosea 1:2-3].  Isaiah, for example, was commanded of God to name his little boy that was to be born Mahershalalhashbaz [Isaiah 8:1-4].  What a name—Mahershalalhashbaz.  Called him “Hash” for short I guess, depicting Babylonia coming for the prey.  That is what his name means.  The prophet here, begins to act out for the first time the prophecy that is made.  And he took the inheritance, he took what God intends for us, and he ate it [Revelation 10:10].  And it was sweet as honey.  But it made his stomach bitter as gall for, said the angel, “Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings” [Revelation 10:11].  And the things that you are to reveal are bitter.  What God has in store for us is sweet, but between us and that inheritance is a dark, deep stream.  And the things that are revealed are bitter [Revelation 10:10-11].

Then the eleventh chapter: that bitterness—what lies ahead, dark and tragic: “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” [Revelation 11:1].  Now what temple is that, this temple of God?  There are five temples in the Bible; five of them.  First, Solomon’s which was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 587 BC [Jeremiah 39:1-10, 52:4-30].  Second, Zerubbabel’s which was built after the captivity, which was desecrated and pillaged and consecrated to Jupiter, the Greek god [Zeus], by Antiochus Epiphanes in 168 BC.  Third, Herod’s who rebuilt the temple in lavish and glorious splendor—beginning in 20 BC; [it was] destroyed by Titus in 70 AD.  The fourth temple—this one.  And the fifth temple—the one I cannot understand—is the millennial temple described by Ezekiel—in chapters 40 through 43 of his prophecy [Ezekiel 40:1-43:27].

“Arise, measure the temple of God, the altar, the worship therein” [Revelation 11:1].  That is the temple referred to in Daniel 9 when “that prince” [Daniel 9:25]—that man of sin, that ultimate antichrist—makes a covenant with the Jewish people, and they rebuild their city and they rebuild their temple.  And in the midst of that covenant, in the midst of that week, he breaks his promise; and those who befriended Israel glut themselves in vengeance upon the people, and it is tramped down for forty-two months—the Great Tribulation [Daniel 9:27].  That is the temple.  It is the same temple Paul refers to in the second Thessalonian letter and the second chapter: “There will come this ultimate time after the apostasy when that man of sin is revealed, the son of damnation, the son of perdition, the great and final Antichrist, who opposeth and exalted 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].  “Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and the worship therein” [Revelation 11:1].  That is the rebuilt temple of the Jew in Jerusalem.

God says the Jew is going back in unbelief [Ezekiel 36:24-28].  We could spend a day here reading the prophecies.  God’s people, Israel, shall return to Palestine in unbelief.  For two thousand years, when there were no Jews in Palestine, God’s prophet had said—thousands of years before—he shall go back.  He shall go back.  The Jew will go back to Palestine.  The Jew will rebuild Jerusalem.  And the Jew when he seizes Jerusalem, finally, will rebuild his temple.  And if you have been there and stood and looked on the Mosque of Omar—the Dome of the Rock, the Mohammedan edifice of worship there—every stone of it, every piece of it, every mosaic of it, every part of it will be cast down.  And in its place, in that sacred spot where Solomon built his temple [Ezekiel 40:2], where Abraham offered up Isaac on Mount Moriah [Genesis 22:1-11]—in that place the Jew shall rebuild a glorious temple unto God.  The Lord called that reprobate’s temple—Herod’s—He called it: “My Father’s house” [John 2:16]—that Edomite, that Esau-man.  This shall be a temple erected in the name of Jehovah God.  And the institutions of Moses will be reenacted, re-instituted [Ezekiel 40-48].

It is hard for us to believe the deep, undying thousands of years devotion of the Orthodox Jew to the Mosaic institutions.  I was in Jerusalem a year after they had captured a little spur of Mount Zion which they possess today—the only part of the old city in Jewish hands.  They had turned that little space on Mount Zion, which contains David’s tomb—they had made of it a synagogue.  I stood for a long time in that synagogue and watched those Orthodox Jews worship.  Their devotion to the Torah, the Word of God, is beyond what you could imagine—those colorful old patriarchs with their long beards, their headdress, their robes.  After the worship was over, they took the Moses scroll, the Torah, the Law of Moses and they rolled it up.  They kissed the pages as they rolled it up.  And when it was rolled, when the scroll was rolled, they kissed the clasp.  And when they had placed the clasp in place, they kissed the tassels.  Then they kissed the containers that holds it.  Then they kissed all of it again.  Then reverently and tenderly they laid it in the ark.

Those people have never been able to be digested by all of the Gentile nations in which they have lived.  One of the great proofs that God lives, and that what the prophet says is what God says, is the Jew in the world today.  And God says he goes back to Palestine.  And God says he will rebuild that temple [Ezekiel 41:1].  And in the rebuilding of that temple, he makes friends with the political ruler of the world—the great and ultimate man of sin, who reveals himself in the midst of that final week, when he breaks his covenant, and when the Jewish people are trampled underfoot for those final three and half years [Daniel 9:27].  And that is a part of the bitterness that John felt when he took the inheritance—its title deed, and it was sweet like honey, and it was precious like heaven itself [Revelation 10:10].  But when he looked upon his people, ground in blood and in tears and in death, and the whole Gentile world a sea of blasphemy, it was bitter [Revelation 10:10].

“There was given me a reed like unto a rod…saying, measure the temple of God” [Revelation 11:1].  Oh, in the twenty-first chapter of the Book of Revelation in the fifteenth verse, John sees heaven measured with a golden reed, a golden measuring stick [Revelation 21:15].  But ah.  “There was given me a reed like unto a rod” [Revelation 11:1].  Wherever in that book it uses—that word “rod,” it uses it for chastisement, for correction, for judgment.  “There was given me a reed like a rod” [Revelation 11:1].  And with that rod, he was commanded to measure the temple and the people [Revelation 11:1].  .

Now, when you read the Old Testament prophecies, many times you will find that “measuring” commanded of God, and it means two different altogether two different things.  First, to measure was to claim for God—“Measure this; this belongs to the Lord.  He acknowledges this.  “Measure it, this is Mine.”  Then again, to measure for God refers to a devotion of God to these that are measured to correction, and to judgment, and to destruction.  In the eighth chapter of 2 Samuel, for example, God said, “Measure Moab for destruction” [2 Samuel 8:2].  In the Lamentations the second chapter, for example, God says, “Measure Jerusalem for destruction” [Lamentations 2:1-22].  And in Amos—do you remember that famous prophecy?  He saw a plumbline: “Measure Judah and Israel for destruction” [Amos 7:7-9].  Both of those ideas are here.  “And there was given unto me a reed like unto a rod—these are the people of God—and measure them, for judgment and for correction” [Revelation 11:1-2].   When the Jew turns his face toward the homeland and he rebuilds his great capital city Jerusalem, and he rebuilds his temple, and he reinstitutes the Mosaic institutions and rituals, he does it with great hope and great anticipation.  But John, in his vision, saw beyond those days of gladness and brightness.  John saw the rod of the anger of God because of their unbelief, because of their rejection, because of their blasphemy against Christ, their Lord and Messiah, our Savior and King.  “There was given me a reed like unto a rod [Revelation 11:1] . . . and the city shall be trampled down forty and two months—the Holy City” [Revelation 11:2].

May I conclude with that word of the fierce chastisement of God?  And I am not speaking now of the fierce judgment of God upon the alien and the heathen.  I am speaking now from the Book of the fierce chastisement of God upon His people—that rod that lies by which He measures [Revelation 11:2].  Isaiah, the incomparable prophet, the court preacher—Isaiah saw in his day, in his time—Isaiah saw a sure battlefield.  Sargon, Sennacherib, Tiglath-Pileser—Isaiah saw them sweep down from the north, from Assyria, from Nineveh.  And they swept away Israel like a man would wipe a dish and turn it upside down in his language.  Isaiah saw the destruction of Samaria.  And Isaiah saw the wasting of the northern ten tribes.  And Isaiah also saw the bitterness, and the mercilessness, and the cruelty, and the heathenism and the blasphemy of those awful and bitter winged bulls of Asshur.  And cried to the Lord God, Lord, how is it?  However Thine inheritance may be in Israel and however they may have blasphemed, yet are they not as vile and as villainous, they are not as wicked, as wayward, as these from Assyria?  Lord, why?  And Lord said to Isaiah, and I read, “Assyria is the rod of Mine anger, and the staff of Mine indignation” [Isaiah 10:5].  They may be vile, and they are; they may be heathen, and they are; they may be blasphemous, and they are; but I have raised them up as the rod of Mine anger, and the staff of Mine indignation for the correction and the judgment of My people Israel [Isaiah 10:5-6]].

Nor is that unique.  Long after the death of Isaiah, there stood up another prophet by the name of Habakkuk.  And Habakkuk described in the first chapter of his prophecy the coming of the Babylonians, those bitter and hasty Chaldeans [Habakkuk 1:6].  And they came terrible and dreadful.  And the whole nation of Judah shall be destroyed before them, and God’s temple razed, and God’s holy city destroyed and plowed under.  And Habakkuk, when he saw it by prophecy, cried unto the Lord and said, O God—“Thou art of purer eyes than to look upon evil, and Thou canst not bear iniquity: then why, Lord, do You look upon them that deal treacherously and holdest Thy tongue when the wicked devoureth a man that is more righteous than he?” [Habakkuk 1:12-13].  “We may be sinful,” said Habakkuk, “and Judah and Israel and Jerusalem and our holy temple may have been profaned, but O God, are we as vile and are we as evil as those Chaldeans who come to destroy us, and to carry us into captivity to waste our people?  Lord!  Lord!”  And then the Lord answered Habakkuk—O Lord, when the answer came—“Thou hast ordained them for judgment; and Thou hast established them for correction” [Habakkuk 1:12].  The Babylonian may be more vile than the Judean, and their temples may be dedicated to a thousand unnameable, unspeakable gods when this temple is dedicated to the Lord Jehovah Himself.  “But I have raised them up because of the iniquities of My people.  They are ordained for judgment; and I have established them for correction” [Habakkuk 1:12].

[It] makes a man tremble in the presence of the mighty God.  The Lord of the Revelation, of the Apocalypse, the Lord of Isaiah, the Lord of Habakkuk, the Lord of yesterday is the Lord of today.  And however God may have blessed and favored our beautiful land, yet if America does not turn to God, and if there is not among our people the spirit of repentance and of faith and of prayer and of holy worship, God can raise out of the heart of the vast expanse of Siberia and Asia, and God can raise out of the five hundred millions of a Red China, a rod of correction, and a staff of indignation.  And out of our very sky, so beautiful above us, can fall lurid death.  O, God!  O, God!  And it was then that Habakkuk cried, “O Lord, I have heard Thy speech and was afraid” [Habakkuk 3:2].  “The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord” [Proverbs 9:10], to tremble in the imponderables in His mighty hand.  “O Lord, O Lord, I have heard Thy speech, and was afraid: O Lord, revive Thy works in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy” [Habakkuk 3:2].  If there was any salvation for his people, it lay in a great turning back to God.

And that was the preaching of Jeremiah the prophet.  “Return,” said Jeremiah.  “Return, return” [Jeremiah 3:12-14].  They did not turn and Nebuchadnezzar came in 605 BC [Daniel 1:3-6]. and Jeremiah cried, saying, “O return, repent.”  They did not repent [Jeremiah 25:1-7].  Nebuchadnezzar came in 598 BC.  And Jeremiah preached, “Oh, let us turn back to God.”  They did not turn [Jeremiah 29:1-14].  And Nebuchadnezzar came in 587 BC [Jeremiah 39:1-10, 52:4-30; 2 Chronicles 36:17-21], and he did not need to come back anymore, for Judah was wasted.  Their women were ravished.  Their children were sold into captivity.  Their holy city was destroyed and the temple lay in ruins.  “O Lord, 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].  If there is a destiny for our people, it lies in the imponderables of the Lord God.

I close.  But He will not keep His anger forever.  Forty-two months—but just forty-two.  “In wrath remember mercy” [Habakkuk 3:2]—God is the salvation of His people.  God is the hope of those who trust in Him [Psalm 9:10]. and according to the Book, dark days lie ahead.  Tears lie ahead.  Sorrows lie ahead.  But beyond them, is the glorious sunrising of the presence of our coming and living and reigning Lord [Revelation 19:11-16].  Blessed are they who place their trust in Him [Psalm 34:8].  And not only do we save ourselves when we turn to God, but it is God’s people who save the nation, whose arms are shielding the homes of this beautiful land.  Ah, why would a man debate in himself whether he gave himself to Jesus or not?  Why would a man even discuss whether or not he would lead his family to God?  Oh, the infinite blessedness, the infinite hallowed holiness of the open door, to come, to bow, to look up in the face of the great God our Savior and to ask His blessings upon house and home, and child, and family, and people, and nation!

All God hath given us in this life.  And the holy inheritance He hath promised us in the life that is yet to come [1 Peter 1:3-5].  That is why we preach.  That is why we assemble.  That is why we gather.  That is why we make appeal.  You, somebody you turning to God [Romans 10:8-13]; somebody you putting your life with us in the fellowship of the service of our great Savior [Hebrews 10:24-25]; while we sing the song of appeal, if you are in the balcony round, there is a stairway at the back and at the front, come.  There is time and to spare, come.  If you are on this lower floor into the aisle and down here to the front, “Here I am pastor.  This is my wife, these are our children.  All of us are coming today.”  As God shall say the word, as the Spirit of Jesus shall open the door, would you make it now?  On the first note of the first stanza, “Here I come, preacher, and here I am.  I give you my hand.  I give my heart to God” [Ephesians 2:8].    Will you?  Will you?

We are still on this radio.  Are you driving through the country in a car?  Have you heard this appeal?  Pull to the side of the road, bow your head over a steering wheel.  Give your heart to the Lord [Romans 10:8-13].  Ask Him to save you.  Are you at home?  Are you sitting in a chair?  Kneel down by the side of that chair.  Give your heart to God.  Ask God to forgive us our sin [1 John 1:9], to save us now and forever [John 3:16, 10:27-30].  So many listening on this radio have spoken words to me and written letters—listening, “I gave my heart to God.”  One young fellow, who was a pastor, said, “I am now preaching the gospel of the Son of God.  I listened to you on the radio, in my car.  I stopped, I gave my life to God and now I am a preacher of the gospel.”  Have you heard this message on the radio?  Has the Spirit spoken to your soul?  Turn, give your life to God.  And in the great throng of the people who are here this morning, the appeal to your heart, make it now.  Bring your family with you.  Or one somebody you, come, “And here I am.  Here I am,” while we stand and while we sing.