Rev. 11:1 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.
By Richard Lodwick
We see in our verse that an angel, as seen by John, is told to give to John a reed and he is to measure the temple, and the altar, and them that worship therein. This reed is a measuring stick. But notice, the temple is… the temple of God. Remember, too, John (approx. 90AD) is seeing things that will go on in the end of time, so there is still going to be a temple and an altar, and worshipers. But where? Is this in Heaven… in space… or on earth?
THIS is not the Heavenly temple! It’s not the one referred to in Rev. 8. This is another one. (The one in Rev. 8 is referred to in Rev. 11:19) THIS one… the one he is measuring… is on earth, in the end of time and my, oh my, there is an altar in the place of worship! God is telling John to measure something, that at the time John was on earth (90AD), did not exist! Yet it was as real as if it did! Here is an end time temple and an altar. An altar? For what? What was done on altars? What were they for? Sacrificing to God! A place to meet with Him properly. Worship, sacrifice, forgiveness, cleansing, obedience.
Israel is going to rebuild the temple… in the end times. Some of you know about this, but some do not, the Jews have already got things ready to go, on rebuilding the temple, right in Jerusalem.. now! Priests are trained, clothes are hanging in closets, and a whole lot more. Notice also the mention of Gentiles in the outer court! There will be an invitation to the world, to come to Jerusalem, God’s city, (Ps. 46:4 & 87:3) and worship Him in His temple. There will be a literal city, on this earth, that the Gentiles will “tread under foot” BUT this temple will be built. (Jesus speaks of this time in Matt. 24) Jesus was NOT speaking only about Titus in 70A.D. He was speaking of the end of the world, because that is what they ASKED Him about! (For fun look at Zech. 14:4 & Mt. 24:3! My, my, my!)
We cannot close this series without looking at something that will hopefully tie things together and give us a sense of the importance of the subject. PLEASE stay with me on these last passages to look up. IF YOU MISS them, you will miss the ribbon on the package of this study! DO NOT miss this, please!!!!!
Look at Ex. 25:9 & Heb. 9:23. That which God had Moses build on this earth, was a pattern of that which is in heaven, and both have an altar, as specified by God Himself. Now look at these verses: Rev. 7:15, 11:19, 14:15-18, 15:5-8 (whoa!), 16:1-7 & 16:17. Now, finally, go and read Is. 6:1-8 again! See anything in one of these verses (V6)? That thing is alive brother! A LIVE coal! What was taking place in the life of Isaiah was his calling and commission, and the very altar that is in Heaven, that we read about in Revelation, that John saw, was a part of that commission and cleansing.
I wish I had the words to describe what the Bible has just shown us! It is my sincere prayer that the Lord will take these scriptures and this study and impress on ALL our hearts the importance of altars in God’s economy and work.
Altars have always been important to God, and should be to us. They are a place of sacrifice for sin, worship, and cleansing. Oh yes, final judgment will come out from one in Heaven, too!!! Do I see a smile on your face? More importantly, do I see a deep understanding of their importance in the life of a man or woman, boy or girl, that will give his or her altar the importance God does?
HOW is your altar? Is it maintained? Is there one at all? Remember the altar at Bethel? Remember when Jacob got away from it God called him back TO it? He still works the same way and He still calls you and I back there, where HE is, and where He can bless and cleanse, forgive, and commune with us. My, my, my. What a study and what a gift from God, that we can have a place to meet with Him for all these things!!! If you missed one or more of these studies or misplaced them, or the ones on Beth-el, let me know and I will get you copies for your library and so that if you need to, you can go back and review them!
Getting away from them is always bad. Keeping one, is always good! Tho not of stone, or such, still there needs to be one! Have an altar… a personal altar; a family altar; a time and place given solely to God? EVERY TIME God’s people got away from them they got into trouble… or died! I want you to close by reading Rom. 12:1 & Heb. 13:15. Let’s maintain an altar to the true and Living God. God ALWAYS wants you there and He will ALWAYS bless you as you seek Him. NEVER give up; NEVER quit; NEVER give in to the world. Let’s ALL get back to Beth-el and the altar of the Living God!