PMT 2014-008 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
Rev. 11:1–2: “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.’”
Here in Rev 11 a voice commands John to measure the inner temple in the “holy city,” which must be Jerusalem (Isa 48:2; 52:1; Neh. 11:1–18; Mt 4:5; 27:53). This is the place where the Lord “was crucified” (Rev 11:8; cp. Lk 9:22; 13:32; 17:11; 19:28). In Rev 1:7 John states his theme (see earlier article) which is the judgment-coming of Christ against those who pierced him, i.e., the first-century Jews.
This vision in Rev 11 underscores that theme of judgment against the Jews, showing the destruction of their beloved physical temple while sparing the new temple of God, the worshiping church of Jesus Christ.
This measuring signifies the preservation (cf. Zec 2:1–5; Rev 21:15) of the inner court of the temple. But the outer temple court is left unmeasured, and is, thus, destined for destruction (Rev 11:1, 2).
A two-message consideration of Satan.
Actually one of the messages exposes a misunderstanding about Satan (he is not Lucifer), while the other demonstrates that Satan was bound by Christ in the first century.
The inner temple represents the temple’s true essence that continues in Christianity. The New Testament calls Christians “temples” by employing this very Greek term, naos (1Co 3:16–17; 2Co 6:16; Eph 2:19ff; 1Pe 2:5). As in the Epistle to the Hebrews, the sacrificial system here receives a heavenly replacement (Rev 11:19). The outer court speaks of the physical temple, which the Romans will soon destroy (Mt 24:1–2, 16, 34).
The Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus, records that Jerusalem’s wall: “was so thoroughly laid even with the ground by those that dug it up to the foundation, that there was left nothing to make those that came thither believe it had ever been inhabited. This was the end which Jerusalem came to” (Josephus, J.W. 7:1:1).
The “forty-two months” (Rev 11:2) or “1260 days” (v 3) indicates the period of the Jewish War with Rome from its formal engagement until the temple was destroyed.
As church historian F. F. Bruce writes: “When Vespasian arrived the following Spring [AD 67] to take charge of operations, he steadily reduced Galilee, Peraea . . . . Titus [Vespasian’s son] began the siege of Jerusalem in April, 70. . . . By the end of August the Temple area was occupied and the holy house burned down” (Bruce, New Testament History, 381–382). From Spring AD 67 to August/September AD 70 is a period of nearly forty-two months.
Paedocommunion Debate: Gentry v. Rayburn (2 CDs)
Full formal, two-hour public debate before 600 people at
Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Spring, 2004.