“Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, “Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. 2 “But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months.”
Chapter eleven continues the parenthesis, beginning in chapter ten. Since this section of Revelation is a parenthesis, there is no advance in chronology in chapters ten and eleven. The seventh and last trumpet will sound in verse fifteen.
The theme of chapters ten and eleven are the heralds of Christ’s Second Coming. The chapter presented ten the angelic heralds, and now we turn to human heralds.
Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, “Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there.
John was to take a measuring instrument and measure the temple, altar, and those that worship there. This was a measurement of the Holy of Holies of the Tribulation temple, not the outer courtyard. God is measuring out the things pertaining to the Jews, not Gentiles. They are in unbelief about the Messiah whom the temple represents. They stubbornly reject the Messiah. The outer courtyard was the court of the Gentiles. God is not interested in measuring the Gentiles at his point.
The “temple” represents Israel’s religion, and the people of Israel at the time of the Tribulation. Unbelieving Jews will build the Tribulation temple. This has nothing to do with God’s original temple’s true purpose, which is to reveal Jesus Christ and His work. The false prophet will sponsor the Tribulation temple. In addition, the dictator of the Revived Roman Empire will place a gold statue of himself in the Holy of Holies as part of a peace treaty. This statue will not be erected until the alliance is made. This is the “abomination of desolation” (Da 9:27; 11:31; 12:11; Mt 24:15; 2 Th 2:4; Re 13:14-15).
Two dictators worship in this temple: 1) the Gentile political leader of the Revived Roman Empire and head of ecumenical religion during the Tribulation (13:1-9). 2) The false prophet, a Jew, is the dictator of Palestine (13:10f). Jesus has two witnesses, and the Devil has his two witnesses.
“Those who worship” are not true believers. True believers ran to the mountains. Although these religious Jews had an altar, it was a meaningless ornament. Much of Christianity, even today, does not understand the meaning of the cross. Symbolism supersedes the finished work of Christ in their minds.
Israel will not truly believe until they “look on Him whom they pierced” (Ze 12:10). That will also be the point of their national salvation (Ro 11:26). Nevertheless, the Father watches over the Jews, even as Hosea watched over his adulterous wife. Even in apostasy, God watches over His people. He marks them off for judgment if they do not repent.
“But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles.
John was not to measure the courtyard (the outer court). Gentiles were allowed to go into the outer court but not into the temple proper. The Gentiles will trample the outer court for forty-two months. God gives John specific instructions not to measure the court outside the temple. This is not a Gentile issue at this point.
“And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months.
The idea of 1,260 days comes from Daniel 7:25, “time, two times, and a half a time.” The 42-month length of the Great Tribulation is literal (11:3; forty-two months of 30 days each). Gentiles will control the temple for this period. The Tribulation will last seven years, but the Great Tribulation will only last for the last half of the Tribulation, the 42-month period. It is the later period to which the book of Revelation gives the most attention. This period will end with the Second Coming of Christ.
The Tribulation divides into two 3 ½ years. The later 3 ½ years is the Great Tribulation. A world ruler will desecrate the temple at the beginning of the forty-two month (3 ½ years) Great Tribulation and will establish a shrine of idolatry to himself. He will proclaim himself to be God (Da 9:27; 12:11; 2 Th 2:4; Re 13:14-15). The “times of the Gentiles” will end at the Second Coming of Christ (Lu 21:24) to establish His Millennial kingdom.
Religion blinds people to the truth.
The Great Tribulation will be the greatest period of religion the world has ever known. Religion has always been the worst blinder to the truth. Satan will use religion as the basis for his counter revival.
Rome will have a world dictator who will be in charge of a world-wide ecumenical religion during the Tribulation.