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…
Jesus Christ in what He has done as the way in which God dwells with us, and we with God, is the temple that we are thus to measure.
I. First, this is a temple that ENDURETH FOR EVER; a temple of eternity, a house, as the apostle calls it, not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Blessed are they that dwell in this temple. And who are they that take such account of it as to understand the eternity of it, the certainty of it, that Christ is indeed a house not made with hands, that He is indeed eternal in the heavens.
II. A temple of PLENTY. "We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Thy house, even of Thy holy temple." Ah, God the Father is well pleased, Christ is satisfied with the travail of His soul; and "we," poor sinners saved by mercy, brought out of eternal privation into this eternal plenty, "shall be satisfied with the goodness of Thy house, even of Thy holy temple"; a temple from which sin and death are for ever excluded; a temple into which sin and death cannot enter.
III. A temple of GOVERNMENT, as you may see in the last verse of this chapter: "The temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament." Now heaven here means the New Testament dispensation, and there will never be another dispensation after the one we have now. But will there not be glorification? That will not be another dispensation; that will only be a continuation of the present. It is true preaching will end, the ordinances of the present dispensation will end; but we shall always have the same Jesus Christ, and the same God, and the same covenant, and the same life, and the same sanctification. Christ's kingdom shall reign through all ages, and never be moved; and everything must be subservient to the government of Christ's kingdom. And hence it is said that when this temple was opened "there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and a great hail." What are the lightnings? Why, God's Word. His arrows shall go forth as lightning, whether it be to strike an Ananias and Sapphira dead, or to pierce the hearts of three thousand sinners, and make them cry, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" whether it be for judgment or for mercy. These lightnings are God's Word; and when the temple is opened, that is when Christ is revealed, then these lightnings come. And there were "voices." There is the voice of salvation: there is the voice of "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." There is the voice of the deep soul trouble; there are the various voices of all the experiences of the people of God: glorious voices of exaltation, triumph, victory, and satisfaction. And then there are thunderings: and what are they? Why, God's Word. The child of God sometimes gets rather sleepy, some thundering Scripture will come into his mind, create fears, and doubts, and tremblings. This is what one calls being called into the secret place of thunder — but it does the soul good. And an earthquake. Why, regeneration is an earthquake. It swallows up what you were before; swallows up your former hope, and makes you feel that you yourself will be swallowed up in hell. Many a sinner, when God begins His work in this earthquake-like way, has exclaimed with the Psalmist, "Let not the pit shut her mouth upon me." "And a great hail." What is that? Storms of persecution and tribulation. If the lightning seem to be against you, yet your God holds the lightnings in His hand, and though the thunderings may seem to be against you, yet the Lord governs those thunderings, and though revolutions alarm you, yet the Lord governs these changes, and though you may be persecuted, and storms and persecutions may fall upon you, yet the Lord hath His way in the whirlwind and the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet.
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.