Summary: Our search to understand the book of Revelation brings us to chapter 11, concerning the two witnesses and the third woe.
In our ongoing review of the book of Revelation, we now offer chapter 11.
There is the story of an elderly lady who attended every church service for over 50-years. She always enjoyed the teaching of the Lord. Her favorite events were the fellowship dinners. She loved to serve others and was always found in the kitchen acting as a chef, or in the dining hall, acting as a waitress.
And her favorite thing of all was serving desert. She said that brought more smiles to peoples faces than anything else.
One day, she missed church service and after the service, the pastor called her to check on her. She said she had some good news and some bad news, and for him to come over right away and she would explain.
He hurried over and found her as pleasant as always with a gentle smile on her face and a gracious manner about her. She served him coffee and began to speak:
"I have not been feeling very well lately, so I went to my doctor and he ordered a series of tests. Those tests came back Friday. The good news is I am dying, and they have only given me about another month to live. The bad news is, I will not be serving at any more fellowship dinners."
She went on to say that she always looked forward to serving desert at those dinners because that was the best part of a meal. And she asked the pastor that, at her funeral, she would have a fork in her hand as she lay in her casket. The pastor asked why, and she said, "Because it will remind everyone that the best always comes at the end, and just as desert follows a meal, heaven will follow my life."
And so, we find that in the book of Revelation, we are seeing what life on this earth really consists of and what God does to bring about His good life - given at the end of this worldly life.
In VERSE 1, we read,
“Then I was given a measuring reed like a rod, with these words: “Go and measure God’s sanctuary and the altar, and count those who worship there.”
A rod was a stick about 10 feet long that was used for measuring. The reed given to John would have, therefore, been the same length. He was told to measure temple’s sanctuary and to count the number of people in it.
This would make clear that there would be a temple at the time of John’s vision. The temple has always played a very important role in God’s dealing with the Jewish Nation. Many scholars believe that since everyone would already know the exact dimensions of the temple, John was to measure the character of the temple. In other words, did it really represent a place that truly worshiped the Lord God, or was it a place that only represented yet another line of traditions that meant nothing spiritually to the Jewish people?
And to measure the number of people in it, is thought to represent the measuring of the people’s character. That is similar to our churches today in that many people may come through our doors, but not all of them are true believers. Just as many people come to church for a variety of reasons, many will go to the temple for various reasons, too – and not all are for Godly reasons.