Revelation 11:1-3 ESV
“Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told, ‘Rise and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there, but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months. And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.’”
The temple of God in the Messianic age is not a physical temple in physical Jerusalem. God no longer dwells in temples built by human hands. He dwells in the hearts of those who have surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ, in dying with him to sin and in living to him and to his righteousness.
The physical city of Jerusalem is no longer the Holy City of God. For, physical Jerusalem is now of Hagar, the slave woman, for she is still in slavery with her children, because, as a nation, the Jews have not accepted Jesus Christ as their Messiah, though some individuals have (Gal 4:25-26).
Now We, the body of Christ, are the holy city, a spiritual (holy) nation. For, 1 Peter 2:9 says this:
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
So, if John was told to measure the temple of God, then he was told to measure (to examine) the church, which is the temple of God. He was to assess the altar, which has to do with our surrender and submission to the Lord, and he was told to measure (evaluate) the worshipers, not inside a physical building, but those who are part of the spiritual building of God.
So, if he were to examine the church at large in America today, what would he find? Certainly, he would find that there are true worshipers of God here who worship him in spirit and in truth. He would discover that there are believers in Jesus here whose lives are surrendered to Jesus, that he is the Lord of their lives, and that they are walking in obedience to his commands.
But, what else would he find? Would that be a picture of the majority of the church in America? Sadly, it would not. For, the majority of the church in America has gone the way of the world and of business marketing schemes in order to grow their businesses called “church.” They are not living in close fellowship with their Lord. He is not the Lord of their lives. And, they are not walking in obedience to his commands.
Instead they are busy entertaining themselves and others, and they are busy trying to fit in with their culture rather than to stand out as different in their culture. They don’t want to offend anyone, so they won’t teach them the true gospel of Christ, but a diluted version of the true gospel.
So, basically they have thieved the true gospel and have turned it into something else only having an outward semblance of the true gospel of Jesus. Basically, they removed the truth and they replaced it with a lie. For, they have removed God’s requirements of repentance, obedience, and submission to him as Lord as part of faith which saves.
So, the Lord is sending out his messengers to teach the truth and to dispel the lies so that people will turn from their sins, and so they will walk in obedience to their Lord and so be saved from their sins and have eternal life with God (Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9).
A lot of this thieving of the true gospel and changing the truth to a lie is part of this trampling of the Holy City, which again is not physical Jerusalem, but the Jerusalem that is from above, for we who believe in Jesus are his holy nation.
And, the nations are those who don’t believe in Jesus Christ as Lord of their lives, which also includes many who profess faith in Jesus Christ but who have bought into the lies or who are promoting the lies, and thus their professions of faith are false.
And, the nations are also governments of the people who are all part of this one world order of the beast of Revelation which is working for Satan and thus is coming against those who are truly following the Lord with their lives, and especially they are against those who are exposing their lies.
So, a big part of this trampling of the “holy city,” i.e. of the true church, is the persecution of the saints of God who are holding to the testimony of Jesus and who teaching repentance, obedience and submission to Christ as necessary components of believing faith in Jesus.
There are many thoughts on who these two witnesses are, and if they are to be taken literally or figuratively. Some people feel that they are actually two people, while others not. Also, numbers in the book of Revelation are often more figurative than they are to be taken literally, so there are differences of opinion there on whether this is a literal 1,260 days.
So, what is important here? Is it that we decipher who the two witnesses are or is it that we understand their purpose? I am inclined to see them as either the law and the prophets or the Old Testament and the New Testament. They testify to Jesus Christ, to who he is, and to what he did for us.
And, they teach us the true gospel, not the diluted version that was thieved from the true gospel. They also call out the sins of the people and of the nations, and they warn of divine judgment, and call for repentance and for obedient walks of faith in Jesus Christ.
For, it is the Word of God which is under fire, and which is being trampled, and which is being put to death, but the Word of God will never truly die. It will spring back to life. Right now, the gospel has been so severely diluted it is not recognizable, but it is being revived. I see it happening.
The truth is going out, although it is under fire, and although its messengers are being persecuted for telling the truth. And, people are listening to the truth, and it is making a difference in some people’s hearts and lives. And, as the persecution increases, I believe the truth will spread even further.
And, the truth that is in Christ Jesus is that we must forsake our sins, we must be changed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God, and we must now walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness, if we want to be saved and have eternal life with God (Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9).
Knowing You Jesus
By Graham Kendrick
All I once held dear, built my life upon,
All this world reveres and wars to own;
All I once thought gain I have counted loss,
Spent and worthless now compared to this.
Knowing You, Jesus, knowing You
There is no greater thing.
You’re my all, You’re the best,
You’re my joy, my righteousness,
And I love You Lord.
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