Reinstating of the Jew
The Reinstating of the Jew (11:1-2)
This chapter is a continuation of chapter 10. In 10:9, John ate the little book and was told he must prophesy again. In 11:1, John is given a reed. The measuring of the temple takes place during the Judgment of the Sixth Trumpet.
The history of the Jewish people is a message to the church first of warning and then of comfort:
The warning is that no one will escape Divine judgment if they take for granted His blessing and count it as their inherent privilege instead of being conditional on a covenant relationship. The Jews so proudly boasted in Jesus' day "we are Abraham's Children" while their hearts were FAR from God (Isaiah 29:13). They backslide from being a covenant people to a people of entitlement.
<li>Comfort</li> <p>The comfort is that God is specializes RESTORATIONS! The Jews like an unfruitful branch were cut off and the Gentiles grafted in, but God has always had a mind to restore a repentant Israel. God's prophets have warned both of the dispersion of the Jews and their eventual reinstatement. This reinstatement includes their re-establishment in Palestine, but most importantly includes their restored relationship with God.</p>
The Instrument Given
The instrument of judgment given to John is "A Reed" (Kalamos). This is not a "frail reed" as in Matthew 11:7, but is an instrument of measurement as in Isaiah 44:13, Amos 7:7 and Ezekial 40:5.
This reed is a "canon", "Law" or "rule". 3rd century church leader Origen used the word canon to refer to the "rule of faith". We can find the greek word "kanon" used five times in the N.T. (2 Corinthians 10:13,15,16; Galatians 6:16; Philippians 3:16).
Philippians 3:16 -- Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
Note that this is "A Reed" and not "The Reed". It is "A Law/Rule" and not "The Law/Rule". God is not instructing John to measure according to the Old Testament Law and Forms, but the standard of measurement is the New Covenant which God has written on hearts and not tables of stone. (Hebrews 8:8-13; Jeremiah 31:31-34 )
2 Corinthians 3:3 -- Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.
Like Unto a Rod
This measuring reed is "like unto a rod" (Rhabdos) meaning a stick or wand, scepter (Matthew 27:9) or an instrument of chastisement (Matthew 27:30). Both Christ (Isaiah 11:4; Revelation 19:15) and the Overcomer (Revelation 2:27; 12:5) are described as ruling with a "rod of iron".
Although John is witnessing a fuller office of rule for the Overcomer, in one sense the rulership of the saints in the world is already evident. A look at the laws of America alone reveals the great influence of God, His Word and His people in the creation of these laws.
The Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, our currency, all 50 state constitutions and the Pledge of Allegiance all affirm the sovereign authority of God. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution both are premised on the need of the authority of law and not the authority of a man which is a Scriptural principle (Isaiah 8:19,20). For further study on Biblical influence on government consider: http://www.faithfacts.org/christ-and-the-culture/the-bible-and-government.
For more on "Judgment by believers" see Psalm 149:5-9 and I Corinthians 6:2.
The Instrument's Purpose
In 11:1, The angel commands John to "rise and measure". "Rise" (eqeiro) means to awaken, rouse or raise.
To Set A Standard.
Measuring indicates limits and the laying down of borders, dimensions, or boundaries. The "reed" is the standard of comparison or measurement. There are no gray areas or guesses here. Absolute determination and inspection is made.
The primary purpose of the measuring is to answer the question how does the temple compare to the standard? Such inspection reveals changes if there are any. The command to measure suggests important changes have been made. The old has been done away and a new is coming into view. Jews had been cast off for their backslidings, but now God will bring them back (Romans 11:11-27). (Note: The Jews trapped in Judaism are confident in their bondage because they measure with an old/expired reed.)
To Declare Ownership.
Measuring also indicates appropriation. As when a person purchases a property and detailed surveying is made so here what is measured is claimed or owned (Joshua 1:3). God is marking His territory!
Hebrews 8:10 -- …I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
The Articles Measured (vs. 1)
"The Temple of God"
I Peter 4:17 -- For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
There is both an earthly and spiritual Jerusalem or "City of God". (Nehemiah 11:1,18; Isaiah 52:1; Matthew 4:5; 27:52-53)
It is the earthly temple being measured here. No human judgement is needed for the heavenly temple. In Revelation 21:15 we see a "Golden Reed" is used to measure the New Jerusalem. This Golden Reed is a Divine measurement. As it is built by God according to His own blueprint, the measuring in 21:15 reveals its perfection. The measuring in chapter 11 results in judgement.
This temple in Revelation 11:1,2 will be judged and given to the Gentiles for a 3-1/2 years. (New Jerusalem will never be given to be trodden under foot.)
"The Altar "
The Measuring reminds Israel of The demands and commands of God in regard to the "Altar."
Temple worship restored, vs. 1.
Sacrifice Restored. Dan.8:11-13; 11:31; 12:11.
The Jew will return to worship. "That worship there"
The Jew will turn to God. Rom. 11:21-25.
That Which Is Not Measured.
vs. 2 "The court which is without the temple leave out" "Measure it not "