1. This evening we come back to our study of the book of Revelation. As we have seen all along, there are various views on the meaning of many passages and events. I have limited my studies on writings that present the Reformed point of view. Not just because we are reformed but I sincerely believe that this view is most consistent and faithful to Scripture.
2. Recently someone mentioned to me a book by Herman Hoeksema which I obtained. I have found this book to be excellent ands while I will continue to study the other sources, much of what I teach on the remainder of Revelation will be drawn from this wonderful book, "Behold, He Cometh" I recommend it to anyone wishing to study Revelation.
1. This evening we begin our study of chapter 11. Considered by some to be one of the most important chapters in Revelation. And key to understanding the remainder of the book.
2. Hoeksema says that we "have in this portion a general picture of the church as she exists in the present age (between Christ’s 1st and 2nd coming), a general description of what will occur in the future (remainder of book of Revelation), a general outline of the battle that the church is called upon to fight in this age, but especially toward the end."
3. We notice in verse 1 that John is again given a task within the vision. Hhe is told to measure the temple.
4. There are three different areas that are mentioned.
a. 1st - there is the building of the temple, the actual sanctuary. This includes holy place, the holy of holies, the altar and the people who gather there to worship
b. 2nd - is the outer court, the open area that surrounds the temple.
c. The 3rd area mentioned is the holy city itself, the city of Jerusalem.
5. John is told to only measure the temple itself and those who worship there. The outer court and the city are excluded because they are defiled. Both will be trampled by the Gentiles. Why? Because they will be given over to the Gentiles.
6. The big question is what the temple and city represents. Some would say that it literally means the actual temple and city. And many prophetic books you can buy today follow this view, placing a great deal of importance on this physical location in connection with the end times - Jerusalem and the temple.
7. But we need to consider what is meant by temple in the New Testament.
1 Cor 3:16 Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?
Eph 2:19-22 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
Rev 21:2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
Rev 21:10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.
Rev 21:22 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.
8. From these passages we should see how in the New Testament the temple refers to the church, to the people of God. The temple and the holy city are the dwelling place of God.
9. Throughout history the dwelling place of God are in the making, in process of being completed. And I ask you to consider three stages of the process in the building of God’s dwelling place.
10. First we consider what the final or completed stage of this building project will look like. It is seen in the verses we just read from Revelation. John sees the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. John did not see a temple in the city. Why? Because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. But what does this mean? In the state of perfection or completion, the temple and the city are one. God dwells in His temple. As long as there is a temple in the city it shows that God does not yet dwell in the entire city, but only in the particular building called the temple. But in the state of perfection, God fills the entire city. He is at home in all of it. In other words, He is in the heart of every citizen. When one would enter this holy city, one would not ask "where is the temple or the house of God." In fact in the new earth, the Holy City will be the new earth. For all who dwell therein will be the dwelling place of God.