Summary: John is instructed to take a rod and measure the temple, its altar, and the people who worship there. Why are these being measured?
Read verses 1 & 2. We could get very deep in the study of just these 2 verses but again a lot of it is speculation. So let’s look at what we know. John is instructed to take a rod and measure the temple, its altar, and the people who worship there. Why are these being measured?
Scripture says that the antichrist is to actually walk into the temple and demand that the world give their first loyalty to him and the state. Jesus Christ said that the antichrist would actually stand in the holy place of the Jews and make this proclamation. In Mat. 24:15 Jesus said, “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand—“
II Thessalonians says that the antichrist will set himself up in God’s temple declaring that he is god, that is, that he and the state can meet the needs of man and bring utopia to the world. In 2 Thess. 2: 3-4 Paul says, “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.”
So these Scriptures say that the antichrist is going to appear in the temple. Here is a list of the five temples mentioned in Scripture.
1. Solomon’s temple; destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 587 B.C.
2. Zerubbabel’s temple. He rebuilt the temple after the Babylonian captivity, but it was desecrated and dedicated to the god of Jupiter by Antiochus Epiphanes in 168-179 B.C.
3. Herod’s temple: this was the temple that existed in the days of Jesus. It was destroyed in 70 A.D.
4. There are then the two temples yet to be built.
a. The temple of tribulation, the one to be rebuilt during the first 3 ½ years of the antichrist.
b. The temple of the millennium, the temple of our Lord.
John is instructed to take the rod and measure the temple, the altar, and the worshippers. There are differing opinions of why he is to measure this but the general consensus seems to agree that God is telling John to measure them for judgment and correction. The Jews are just as guilty as the Gentiles in rejecting Jesus Christ. God shows no partiality. All the ungodly and evil are to be judged in the last days.
In verse 2 there is the trampling underfoot or destruction of Jerusalem and the Jews for 3 ½ years. Why is John told not to measure the outer court of the Gentiles and the city of Jerusalem? Because they will already be under the antichrist and his government.
This passage in 1-2 is a prophecy: the temple will be destroyed and Jewish worshipers will be persecuted. The antichrist is going to attack them with a vengeance never before seen in the history of the world.
This 42 month period will take us through Rev. 13:5. This 42 months is when the antichrist and his persecutions will be unleashed on the world.