Apocalypse Revealed (Coulsons) n. 486

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486. 'And the angel stood by, saying, Arise and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and those adoring therein' signifies the Lord's presence and His command, that He might see and get to know the state of the Church in the New Heaven. By 'the angel' is understood the Lord (here as n. 5, 415, and elsewhere), since an angel does nothing of himself but of the Lord. He therefore says, 'I will give unto My two witnesses' (verse 3), and these were the Lord's witnesses. By 'stood by' is signified the Lord's presence, and by His 'saying' is signified His command. By `Arise and measures is signified to see and get to know; that 'to measure' signifies to get to know and to explore the quality of a state will be seen below. By 'the temple, the altar and those adoring therein' is signified the state of the Church in the New Heaven; by 'the temple' the Church as to truth of doctrine (n. 191); by 'the altar' the Church as to good of love (n. 392); and by 'those adoring' is signified the Church as to worship derived from these two. By 'those adoring' here is signified the adoration that is of worship, for the spiritual sense is abstracted from persons (n. 78, 79, 96), and this also is plain here from the fact that it is said 'to measure those adoring'. There are indeed these three things that make the Church, truth of doctrine, good of love, and worship derived from them. [2] That it is the Church in the New Heaven that is understood is plain from the last verse of this chapter where it is said that:-

The temple of God in heaven was opened, and the ark of the covenant was seen in the temple verse 19.

Measuring the temple is spoken of at the beginning of this chapter so that the state of the Church in heaven might be seen and become known before that had been conjoined to the Church in the world. The Church in the world is understood by 'the court outside the temple', which should not be measured because it was 'given to the nations' (verse 2); and then it is described by 'the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt' (vers. 7, 8); but afterwards that great city 'fell' (verse 13). It follows that the Church 'became the Lord's' (vers. 15 seq.). It should be known that there is a Church in the heavens as well as on earth (in terris), and that they make one just as the internal and external with men; and therefore a Church is first provided by the Lord in the heavens, and out of this or by means of this a Church on earth. Consequently it is said that the New Jerusalem comes down from God out of the New Heaven (chap. xxi 1, 2). By 'the New Heaven' is understood the New Heaven [formed] out of Christians, of which it treats frequently in the things following. [3] 'To measure' signifies to get to know and to explore the quality because by the 'measure' is signified the quality of a thing or state. This is signified by all the measurements of the New Jerusalem (chap. xxi), and by these statements there:-

That the angel having the golden reed measured the city and the gates thereof; and that he measured the wall 144 cubits, the measure of a man, that is, of an angel (vers. 15, 17);

and because by 'the New Jerusalem' is signified the New Church, it is plain that by 'to measure' it and the things thereof is signified to get to know the quality. The like is signified by 'to measure' in Ezekiel, where it is said:-

That the angel measured the house of God, the temple, the altar, the court, the chambers Ezek. xl 3-17 xli 1-5, 13, 14, 22; chaps. xlii and xliii.

Also that 'he measured the waters' (Ezek. xlvii 3-5, 9). Therefore it is said:-

Show the house* to the house of Israel, and let them be ashamed of their iniquities; and they shall measure the form and its exit and its entrance and all the forms thereof that they may keep all the form Ezek. xliii 10, 11.

The like is signified by 'to measure' in these places:-

I lifted up mine eyes, and behold a man, in whose hand was a measuring line, and I said, Whither goest thou? and he said, To measure Jerusalem Zech. iii, 2, 4 [H.B. 5, 6, 8].

He stood and measured the land Hab. iii 6.

The Lord Jehovih has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and meted out the heavens with the span, and weighed the mountains in a scale, and the hills in a balance Isa. xl 12.

Where wast thou when I was founding the land? Who set out its measurements? and who stretched out the line upon it? Job xxxviii 4-6.

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