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. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.
In the previous chapter, we saw John receiving a little book from Christ. This book would answer the question “Why will God send His wrath against sinful man at His second coming?”.
In our text for this morning, we see the first reason why God’s wrath falls upon lost mankind… It is because they have rejected the true worship of God, treading it under foot.
The one of the keys to understanding this Revelation text, and the entire Old Testament is to understand the Biblical symbolism of Jews and Gentiles… In the New Testament we find that both the Jews are representative of those who are saved (Romans 2:28-29; Philippians 3:1-3; Colossians 2:10-12; 1 Peter 2:9-10). On the other hand, we find that Gentiles represent unrepentant, lost mankind who are separated from the Lord, due to their sins (Ephesians 2:11-13; Romans 11:1-6).
What a wonderful truth this is for all of us! Even the Old Testament historical accounts of God’s dealings with Jews and Gentiles can be applied to us today!
When we see Christ separating out the physical Jew for His own purpose and use, it is a visible representation of our Lord choosing to save us out of this sinful world that we might serve and glorify Him…. When we see the Lord faithfully loving and caring for the Jews, it is a wonderful presentation of God’s love and concern for those who are saved.
Likewise, when we see Gentiles restricted from the worship of Jehovah, it is a clear display showing us that lost men and women are not accepted by God due to their sinful unclean condition. They are in great need of Christ’s intervention in their lives, being unable to do anything of their own ability to merit acceptance by Him.
However, always keep in mind, there were Gentiles in the Old Testament who were worshippers of Jehovah. Some of them include: All those who were saved prior to the birth of Jacob’s sons; Rahab the Harlot; Ruth the Moabitess; perhaps, King Nebuchadnezzar; the entire city of Ninevah; etc etc. All of these examples show us that those who are lost, if they turn to Christ in repentance and faith can be saved and accepted by God.
May we all come to understand the truths of God’s love, election, grace and mercy by looking at the Old Testament accounts of His dealings with Israel. Likewise, may we come to understand the lost man’s horrible condition without Christ, clearly revealed to us by God’s dealings with the Old Testament Gentiles.
For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation