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Measuring the Temple - The Book of Revelation
Week 34, 2017
“Then there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, "Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it.
“Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months” (Revelation 11:1-2).
Last week we addressed what it could mean to measure the altar—or the cross—and the people who worshipped in the temple. This week we will examine what it could mean to measure the temple.
In the timing of this unfolding revelation, we should expect a major movement with Christian leaders considering the awesome purpose and potential of the church. This would include comparing what it is to what it was designed to be, which would lead to a great movement to see the church become what God designed it to be. There have always been some who have done this, but it accelerated dramatically in 1948.
First, we should consider that even in its weakened and divided state, probably operating at less than 10% of what it is called to be, the church is the most powerful entity on the planet for social and cultural influence. It may have lost much influence in the U.S. and Europe in recent times, but it has grown dramatically in almost every other part of the world. What would happen if the church recovered just 20% of what it’s called to be and moved relentlessly to become all that God intended? We would experience a worldwide revival called “the harvest.”
Understand it or not, like it or not, the church is the vehicle through which the Lord will do His work on the earth in this age and the age to come. He called the church His “body”—we are His appendages on the earth. There is no other vehicle named in Scripture that He will use. Like King David learned the hard way, we may think that our new ox cart will be what brings the glory of God back to His people, but that is a dangerous presumption. His glory must be carried on the shoulders (authority) of the priests that He appointed to carry it.
We can expect a great movement to evaluate the temple, the church, and see her restored to all she was created to be. The seeds of such a movement have been sown by great teachers, beginning with the Latter Rain Revival of 1948. Some from that movement veered off into the extremes of various doctrines, but that has happened with many revivals or moves of God. This seems to be the case particularly when a revival or movement is being used to restore an important truth to the church, which this Latter Rain Revival did.
The core teachings of this revival were about what the New Covenant church was called to be, especially in the operation of all of the gifts and ministries of the Holy Spirit. Powerful prophets and teachers were raised up in the revival that impacted the whole body of Christ for decades to come. These set the stage for many of the powerful movements that have impacted the church since.
Again, the church is called the Lord’s body because it is the vessel He is found in and works through. He could do anything He wanted without the church, but He chose not to. The church is also called His bride, His wife. The maturing of His church into the bride that He deserves is a main purpose for this age. The Lord redeemed the earth with His blood and could have taken His authority over it immediately after His resurrection. Yet, He waited this long to use this age as “training for reigning” for His bride.
True friends of the Bridegroom will have a main devotion of seeing the bride made ready for the King. We can expect this measuring of the church to increase and become a main devotion of His people. As this happens, we will see the church become what she is called to be.
The forty-two months given to the nations adds up to 1,260 days, a number repeated in Revelation. In Ezekiel 4:6, the Lord said that He had given a year for a day. Often in prophetic symbolism, days stand for years. As we touched on before, it was exactly 1,260 years between the decree of the Roman emperor that gave the Bishop of Rome authority over the church an a decree through Napoleon that ended it.
Around the time of Napoleon’s decree, many movements began to restore the government of the church to its original design. With almost every recovery of the ecclesia, or structure and order of the church, a major advancement of the church was created, and ingathering into it. Indeed, the contrast between the false church, “Mystery Babylon,” and God’s true church and temple, the New Jerusalem, is a major theme of Revelation, as we will continue to see.
next week 35