And there was given me a reed like to a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar…
The Church of God will be greatly reduced in its apparent numbers by the open desertion of the powers of the world. This desertion will begin in a professed indifference to any particular form of Christianity, under the pretence of universal toleration; which toleration will proceed from no true spirit of charity The pretended toleration will go far beyond a just toleration, even as it regards the different sects of Christians. For governments will pretend an indifference to all, and will give a protection in preference to none. All establishments will be set aside. From the toleration of the most pestilent heresies, they will proceed to the toleration of Mahometanism, atheism, and at last proceed to the positive persecution of the truth of Christianity. In these times the temple of God will be reduced almost to the holy place, i.e., to the small number of real Christians who worship the Father in spirit, and regulate their doctrine, and their worship, and their whole conduct strictly by the Word of God. The merely nominal Christians will all desert the profession of the truth when the powers of the world desert it. And this tragic event I take to be typified by the order to St. John to measure the temple and the altar, etc.
Parallel VersesKJV: And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.