Rev Chapter 11 Preface 

Chapter 11 notes are written in two parts.  The first part is an explanation of the signs in chapter 11 and includes the following sections:

          1.  Rev. 11.1               2.  Rev. 11.2               3.  Rev. 11.3-6               4.  Rev. 11.7

The second part of the notes is a narrative explanation of the entire chapter and includes the following sections:

          1.  Rev. 11- Narrative Part 1               2.  Rev. 11- Narrative  Part 2

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.         

Revelation chapter 11 begins with the apostle John being told to measure some things (temple of God, the altar, and them that worship therein).  He was given a measuring reed in which to perform his task.  In the book of Ezekiel chapters 40-48 there are quite a number of things measured in the house of Ezekiels vision.  They were measured by a measuring reed.  The size of this measuring reed is given to us in Eze. 40: 5  “And behold a wall on the outside of the house round about, and in the man's hand a measuring reed of six cubits long by the cubit and an hand breadth: so he measured the breadth of the building, one reed; and the height, one reed.”  The length of this measuring reed was 6 cubits and a hand breadth.  This might seem to be an odd size for a measuring instrument until you notice that a hand breadth is approximately 6 inches long.  This makes the measuring reed 6 cubits and 6 inches.  This makes for a 6x6 measuring instrument.  We see also an example of something 6x6 in the setting of the 12 loaves of shew bread on the table in the tabernacle.  These 12 loaves were arranged in 2 rows with 6 loaves in a row.  Thus they were so configured to be 6x6.  The loaves represented spiritual food for God’s people.  They were symbolic of the scriptures which are given to us in 66 books.  Likewise, as we will see, the scriptures are our perfect measuring instrument.  We read in

2 Cor. 10: 12  “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.13  But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you. 14  For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached not unto you: for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the gospel of Christ: 15  Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men's labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly.” 

To measure ourselves among ourselves we are told is not wise.  However, we have a perfect measure as the above scriptures teach us by which we are to measure all things.  This measure is the word of God.  By this measure we are to “prove all things,” and “hold fast that which is good.” 

(Other references to thing measured in the new testament, see Matt. 7:2; 23:32; Mk. 6:51; Lk. 6:38; Rom. 12:3; 2 Cor. 10:12-15; Eph. 4:7, 13, 16; Rev. 6:6) 

Next, we notice that this measuring reed was “like unto a rod.”  The rod is often used in the scriptures to represent the authority of God.  (See Ex. 4:17; 7:9, 10, 12, 15, 17, 19, 20; 8:5, 16, 17; 9:23; 10:13; 14:16; 17:59; Num. 17:2-10; 20:8-11; 2 Sam. 7:14; Job 9:34; 21:9; Ps. 2:9; 23:4; 89:32; 110:2; Prov. 22:15; Rev. 2:27; 12:5; 19:15).   

Thus we see that the things that are to be measured are there by the authority of God and have their measurements according to God’s authority.  Thus they aren’t to be changed by man! 

The first of the three things to be measured was the “temple of God.”  The temple is where God is worshipped.  During the old testament days the temple of God was located at Jerusalem and was built by Solomon and the children of Israel.  The dimensions of this temple and the furnishings of this temple are given to us in I Kings.  

Jesus spoke of the temple of his body as he said, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up again.  This spoke he of the temple of his body.”  Jesus body is different from our body in that he was born of a virgin who was overshadowed by the Holy Ghost and his body was holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners.  He worshipped and served God in that body.  Thus it was a temple.  In the new testament, the church is referred to as the temple of God.  Eph. 2: 20  “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21  In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22  In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”  (See also 1 Cor. 3:16, 17; 6:19; 2 Cor. 6:16) 

The second thing to be measured was the altar.  In the old testament the dimension of the brazen altar was given to us in the book of Exodus.  Upon this altar the animal sacrifices were made.  The scriptures speak of another altar in this new testament church age in Heb. 13: 10  “We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.”  The altar is the place where something is sacrificed.  In the old testament animals were sacrificed on the brazen altar.  Similarly we read of spiritual sacrifices in the new testament.  1 Pet. 2:5 reads, “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”  The following verses tell us of some of those spiritual sacrifices: 

          1.  Rom. 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 

          2.  Phil. 2: 17 Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all. 

          3.  Phil 4: 18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God. 

          4.  Heb. 13: 15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. 

It is to be noted that when something is sacrificed then something is given up.  To present our bodies a living sacrifice is to give up living after the flesh, but to live after the inner man and the word of God.  The sacrifice of faith means that we are to give up walking after the sight of the flesh, to walk after the leadership of God and his word.  Likewise the other sacrifices listed involve giving up the natural desires of the flesh to do spiritual things.  Thus it appears that the altar on which fleshly things are sacrificed for spiritual things is the altar of our bodies. 

The third thing to be measured was the worshippers in the temple.  Certainly within this measurement would be the fact that these are born-again, repentant, baptized believers in the gospel of the grace of Christ.

Rev 11:2  Part I   “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.” 

In the scriptures the court is the gathering place of the people.  (See Lev. 6:16, 26; Jer. 19:14; 26:2; 36:10; 2 Chr. 6:13; 20:5)  Also in the court the king spoke to the people (See 2 Chr. 6:13; 20:5)  In addition, the court was the place that the priests were to eat the meat offering (Lev. 6:14-18) and the sin offering (Lev. 6:25, 26).  Sometimes the prophets spake to the people in the court (Jer. 19:14; 26:2; 36:10).  God’s glory filled the court (Ezek. 10:3-5).  The people worshipped in the court (Jer. 26:2; Ezek. 8:16).  Offerings were made in the court (2 Chr. 7:7).  The gate of the court had hangings of blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twined linen, and pillars and sockets of silver and brass (Ex. 27:16).  The dimensions of the court of the tabernacle were 100 cubits by 50 cubits, the same as the dimensions of the king’s house (Ex. 27:9-19; 1 Ki. 17:2).  The dimensions of the court in Ezekiel’s vision were 100 cubits by 100 cubits, the same dimensions of the house of the Lord (Ezek. 40:19, 23, 27, 47; 41:13-15).   

There are a great number of similarities between the court and the new testament church.  For instance, the church is the gathering of the Lord’s people (not the building, but the people themselves).  (See Matt. 13:2, 47, 48; 18:20; 22:10; 23:37; Lk. 24:33; Acts 12:12; 14:27; 15:30; 20:8; 1 Cor. 5:4).  Thru the preaching of the gospel King Jesus speaks to the people: 1 Thes. 2: 13  “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.”  The Lord has made his people kings and priests unto God: Rev. 1: 6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”  As priests unto God  according to 1 Pet. 2: 5  “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” 

Thus as in the court, we are to offer up spiritual sacrifices in the church.  As we have already seen the Lord speaks to his people in the church and he does this thru the gospel ministry.  As the people worshipped in the court, today we worship God in the church (Eph. 2:20-22).  The gate of the court was the place of entrance to the court.  The colors of the hangings all have significance.  For instance the color blue is associated with the law.  The color scarlet is associated with the blood of Christ.  The color purple is associated with royalty.  The color white is associated with righteousness.  Brass is associated with suffering and affliction.  Silver is associated with redemption.   By taking these things all together, we can see that, Christ, the righteous one (white) kept the law (blue) to a jot and tittle and became the perfect sacrifice for his people (scarlet), thus thru his sufferings on the cross (brass) and his shed blood (scarlet), he redeemed (silver) his people from their sins, thus making them righteous (white).  He also made them kings and priests unto God (purple). 

This is in perfect harmony with Rev. 1:5  “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”  It can also be noted that the church is the King’s house which is the house of God: 1 Tim. 3: 15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.