“Then I was given a measuring rod by the angel who said:
“Arise! Measure the Temple of God and the Altar of Sacrifice, and number those who worship there. But exclude the outer court of the Temple. Do not measure it! For it is given over to the Nations, and they will tread the Holy City underfoot for forty two months.’”
In a previous blog we mentioned that R. H. Charles considered these verses concerning the Jerusalem Temple to be apocalyptic pamphlets inserted here by the prophet John for some inscrutable reason known only to him. In Charles’ opinion they are introduced here as a “digression” from the Antichrist at Rome in order to get Jerusalem out of the way in the narrative. But this machination is far too calculating for John, and the suggestion is an unworthy one.
The real problem, as we mentioned earlier, is the “essential Jewishness” of the passage. Because the Jews have no place in Dr. Charles’ allegorical interpretation, he is forced to denounce the Text critically and then dismiss the importance of the Jerusalem Temple theologically. Let me state categorically that the idea that Jewishness is foreign to the flow of Christianity during this present age is a false one, no matter who proclaims it. The eventual repentance of the people of Israel during the last days is a fundamental Biblical truth, and this event was a clearly expressed hope among the early churches.
Based upon these “facts” R. H. Charles concludes, “no literal interpretation is here possible.”
As you can see the belief system of these expositors precluded their interpretation. When one considers the period in which most of these scholars lived, it becomes easier to understand their frustration with the Jewish elements in the Text. They could not explain the passages literally and were forced to use fanciful allegories and dubious textual criticism to interpret the Visions. Let me say that these conditions no longer exist. Israel has been a nation since 1948 and currently occupies a prominent place in the affairs of the world, and the Jews have been discussing the rebuilding of the Temple since they returned to Palestine. The Text, taken as it stands, is a prophecy of the chastisement of Jerusalem, and of its repentance, during the final days of the present age. I suggest that we have every reason to believe that we are living in this time.
The never-ending war between Israel and the Palestinian authority has dominated the news cycle for the past several weeks. But this conflict has never taken on the aura of self-destruction exhibited during this period. The players openly speak of nuclear exchanges as though they were conventional weapons. But the really frightening aspect of this attitude of America’s leadership, which reflect a lack of morals, ethics, and mores that is truly terrifying.
If the Prophet John were to summaries his thought in a single line he would admonish us to LISTEN, for;