I was given a measuring rod like a staff and I was told, “Rise and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there”. (Revelation 11:1 ESV)
Does the measuring of the Temple, the altar and those who worship there indicate a couple of perspectives?
The first could be to cast a critical eye over the dimensions to discern whether or not all is according to plan; pre-set dimensions and the components of the building are according to code.
The second could be to confirm ownership of the Temple and all within it, including all who worship there. All those within the measured perimeter are recognized and protected and owned by God which in itself suggests that the Temple itself symbolizes the saints, as is affirmed elsewhere in the New Testament. The references of 1 Corinthians 2:12-13; Ephesians 2:20-22; 1 Peter 2:4-10 are of the believers, the saints, being built up into the Holy Temple with Jesus as the cornerstone.
However, does the measuring rod also remind us that the parameters do need to be met? Each component, brick or stone must meet certain standards to be a part of the building – no counterfeit or unworthy items will be accepted.
In the measuring there is the setting and staking out of boundaries – as each component is measured it is noted and recorded. The Lord knows each one of us as we take our place in the building up of the spiritual temple of God. No one need feel un-needed or insignificant, we are all equal in the sight of God and equally precious in his sight.
Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. (1 Corinthians 3:16-17 ESV)
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:19-22 ESV)
As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For it stands in Scripture:
“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone,
a cornerstone chosen and precious,
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”
7 So the honor is for you who believe ,… (1 Peter 2:4-10 ESV)
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. (John 6:47 ESV)
For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” (1 Peter 2:6 ESV)