11:1,2 MEASURING THE TEMPLE
“And there was given me a reed like a staff, and the angel stood, saying, ‘Rise and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and those who worship therein” (Revelation 11:1,2). What temple was John to measure, and what is the significance of measuring it? As usual in the Book of Revelation, we cannot understand the meaning without understanding the underlying reference passages in the Old Testament.
The parallel Old Testament passage is Ezekiel 40-48 where there is also a man with “a measuring reed in his hand” (Ezekiel 40:3), who measured a temple and its surroundings. The prophet was told, “Declare to the house of
The key verses are in Ezekiel 43. “And He said to me, ‘Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of
This message was given to the children of
The temple was the building in which sacrificial ceremonies were carried out, a “shadow” of the heavenly reality. When Ezekiel was told to measure the temple, there was no temple on earth to measure, because it had been destroyed by the Babylonians. Nor did his measurement match the temple that was rebuilt by the Jews. He measured the heavenly temple, which is the original and model for all of the earthly temples, a symbolic picture of God’s plan of salvation.
By the time John wrote Revelation there was again no physical temple—it had been destroyed by the Romans in AD 70. Paul and Peter made it clear that the church, “the body of Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:27), is the New Testament temple. But just as Ezekiel was not to measure the earthly temple but the heavenly, so John was not to measure the imperfect earthly church, but the perfect heavenly Body, Christ Himself. The measuring of the temple is a "Revelation of Jesus Christ".
In order to understand what this passage is saying we need to keep in mind the context. Chapter 11 is a continuation of chapter 10, which began by presenting the seven thunders, prophetic messages that were sealed until the last days. At the end of time they will be unsealed—God's final messengers will understand them and share them with the world. In 10:7 The Mystery of God we saw that the final messages will be given to the “Gentiles,” people who have been deeply deceived by false concepts about God. As a result a great “mystery” will be accomplished—Gentiles, who have not known God and have been slaves of sin, will through God’s grace become His holy people, and their transformation will be a witness to the whole universe.
In 10:8-11 Eating the Little Book John was given a little book to eat. Comparing with Ezekiel chapters 2 and 3 and Daniel 12, we saw that God's final messengers will understand the prophecies that expose the lies of
The same context continues in chapter 11. The angel told John to “measure the
The great need of the world is to know God as He really is. “Behold, God is great, and we do not know Him” (Job 36:26). This is particularly true of those who are Christ’s but are caught in the confusion of
 The Greek Septuagint version uses the same word, kalamos, for rod in Ezekiel and reed in Revelation.
 “The Spirit took me…into Chaldea, to those in captivity…so I spoke to those in captivity of all the things the Lord had shown me” Ezekiel 12:24,25.
 See Hebrews 8:1-5, 9:11, 24.
 See Hebrews 9: 1-28.
 2 Corinthians 6:16, Ephesians 2:21, 1 Peter 2:4,5.
 Jesus insisted that His body was the temple of God, both before and after the resurrection ("destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up" John 2:29) His insistence that He was the temple was one of the main accusations against Him at His trial (Matthew 26:1, Mark 14:58).
 “David brought the ark to
 The Hebrew word for “know” is yada, the same word used in Genesis 4:1 “Adam knew his wife and she conceived”, referring to the most intimate relationship possible.