Bible Society of South Africa

God protects his church - 22 June 2023

By Ben Fourie

Bible text(s)

The Two Witnesses

1I was then given a stick that looked like a measuring rod, and was told, “Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, and count those who are worshipping in the temple.

Revelation 11:1GNBOpen in Bible reader

To understand this vision of the two witnesses, we should not understand it in a literal sense. These two witnesses were not two specific persons, but rather the church and the word or message of God to the world. In Deuteronomy 19:15 we read that in any judicial matter, there had to be at least two witnesses before something can be accepted as the truth. God wants the world to know that the gospel is the truth.

This verse about the measuring of the temple reminds us about a similar action in Ezekiel 40. While the measuring act in Ezekiel is to show the grandeur of the visionary temple, the same act in Revelation denotes an act of confining and protection. The vision in Zechariah 2:5, where we also see someone measuring Jerusalem, is the same as in Revelation. “The Lord has promised that he himself will be a wall of fire around the city to protect it and that he will live here in all his glory.”

To strengthen the church in a hostile world, the measuring of the temple and the altar is God’s way to show us that we are separated and protected from the world. It is very clear that it is about a spiritual temple, as the other temple was already demolished in 70 AD, long before Revelation was written. In 1 Corinthians 3:10 and also in Ephesians 2:20, we see that the church is called the building of God. This temple in Revelation can be seen as the church and her members.

The figure of 42 months is calculated by multiplying the perfect number of God, namely, seven and the number of the world, namely, six. This number designates the full period of God’s action in the world. He will, thus, protect and keep his church from beginning to end. We are safe and do not have to fear anything, anywhere.

Prayer: Father, we praise your name and thank you for protecting us against the onslaught of the world. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.16.20
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