In The Temple: Protected or Profaned – Part 2: Don’t Profane What is Holy

In The Temple: Protected or Profaned – Part 2: Don’t Profane What is Holy


Revelation 11:1-2 ESV  Then 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,  (2)  but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months.

We are now in the second week of talking about these two verses…

So John sees this temple and Jerusalem…

And he is given a measuring rod like a staff and told to only measure the inner courts  the holy place and the holy of holy’s.

But he is told NOT to measure the outer courts.

The reason he is told not to measure the outer courts is because they are “Given over to the nations” and they will be “trampled” by the nations.

So this seems pretty simple, so why then take two whole weeks to talk about these two simple verses?

For two reasons, first and foremost God told me to take it slow on this, and I tend to like to listen to Him on these things…

But second because there are a plethora of different interpretations for these verses, and I think two of them hold some kind of credibility.

Quickly, I want to remind you the two fundamental laws of biblical interpretation:

The two laws of Scriptural interpretation are:
1) Whenever possible take scripture literally.
2) Let Scripture interpret scripture.

  • And I am going to go ahead and knock out a lot of the problematic interpretation of these verses about the measuring of the temple by saying “I firmly believe these verses are about a literal temple in literal Jerusalem.”
  • Why do I believe that? Well, first, there is NO REASON to take these verses as anything other than literal. Nothing in them is anything special or hard to understand…
    • There is a temple with inner courts and outer courts… measure just the inner courts.
    • Measuring is something people do everyday, and they certainly measured in John’s time… and measuring buildings is very common, why take this as anything other than literal?
    • So that takes care of the first rule of Biblical interpretation. Whenever possible, take scripture literally.
    • What about the second rule of Biblical interpretation? Let Scripture interpret Scripture?
    • Well we know from a plethora of Scriptures that before the Anti Christ, when he rises to power, will sit in the Temple of God and sit in the Holy of Holies, that is, in the inner courts… one such scripture is 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 ESV  (3)  Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,  (4)  who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.

  • Scripture is VERY clear that the beginning of the revelation, that first horseman, the Anti-Christ must rise to power, and not only claim to be God, he must actually sit in the temple of God.
    • So here in 2 Thessalonians we have a physical man taking a physical seat in a physical temple of God.
      • Therefore, saints, there will FOR SURE be a physical temple for John to physically measure.
  • Daniel 9:26-27, 12:7-12 and Matthew 24:15 are other scriputres make it clear that the Anit Christ must take up residence in the physical temple located in physical Jerusalem before the end happens.
  • But if that is not clear enough, let this final passage put an end to the conversation:
  • As such, when we apply the two laws of Scriptural interpretation, Whenever possible take scripture literally, and, Let Scripture interpret scripture.
    • when we apply those two laws we can safely conclude that here in Revelation, John is measuring a physical temple in the physical city of Jerusalem.
  • Now the question is “WHY”.
    • Why is John measuring the inner courts?
    • Why is John not measuring the outer courts?
  • There are two prevailing theories:
    • Last week I preached on the first theory: that John is measuring the inner courts to protect the people on the inside,
      • According to this theory, the people on the inside must be, the true children of God… This theory says “God measures what He owns and God protects what He owns.
        • And I love that part of this theory, while I think this theory of protection is likely wrong, it is certainly true that God owns us if we are born again, and that as such, God protects us.
  • Now the second theory is the opposite: This theory says that the people on the inside and the outside are all wicked, but that the people on the inside who are profaning God’s Holy temple… these people will face a special kind of wrath from God.
    • I think this second theory is the most likely… for a variety of reasons, but the main reason, as we have seen from scripture, is that the anti-Christ is sitting in the temple.
      • Why would God protect the anti-Christ? Why would God protect the worshipers of the anti-Christ?
    • No, I think it is far more likely that God is measuring out the people inside the inner courts to set them aside for Judgment, so that is what we are going to talk about today.

Show title slide

  • In The Temple: Protected or Profaned – Part 1: Stay Holy and Stay Protected


Revelation 11:1-2 ESV  Then 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,  (2)  but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months.

  • The first point this morning is “Do  not profane the Holy THINGS of God.
    • I underlines things on purpose, because I want you to understand that physical, tangible, real things are important to God.
    • Sometimes we as Christians get in our head that the only things that matter are non-tangible.
      • That God only cares about your heart, your emotions, your will, how you feel toward other people.
      • That God doesn’t care about how you dress, or what kind of home you live in, or the things you own.
      • That God doesn’t care about church buildings, he only cares about the people in the church buildings.
      • That God doesn’t care about anything physical.
    • But this idea is an unbiblical principal.
      • For starters, God created physical things… Genesis chapter 1 is full of all the PHYSICAL things God created.

Genesis 1:1 ESV  In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

  • The earth, the trees, the oceans, the land, the animals, the people…
    • All physical things. Tree’s don’t have feelings, but God cares about them.
    • Mountains don’t have feelings, but God cares about them.
      • Yes God created the heavens, and spiritual beings, and yes God gave us a mind will and emotions, those things are important to God too!
    • But God made these physical things.
    • God put man in a physical garden.
    • Then God told man to take care of the physical Garden.

Genesis 2:15 ESV  The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.

  • The very first thing God does with man is put Him in a physical place and gave him physical work to do!
    • God did not say “Just sit around and meditate all day”
    • He did not tell Adam “Go and think happy thoughts”
    • No, God told Adam “Work the land, keep it under control”. A physical task in a physical place.
  • Throughout Scripture this theme continues.

Zechariah 8:3 ESV  Thus says the LORD: I have returned to Zion and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem, and Jerusalem shall be called the faithful city, and the mountain of the LORD of hosts, the holy mountain.

  • There is a physical mountain that is considered more holy than other places, Mount Zion.
    • Why, does that mountain pray more than other mountains? Of course not, mountains can’t pray… yet God calls this place Holy.
    • There is a physical city and a physical nation considered more holy than other places, Jerusalem in Israel.
      • Why, because the people there are morally superior, this certainly isn’t true.
      • The people of Israel have been messing things up since the nation was created… generally as much as other people do.
    • There was a physical box, that contained tablets of stone and physical mana, that was called the Ark of the Covenant.
      • It was built to exact specifications, because God CARED about it.
    • The Tabernacle, a tent for God and Moses to meet, was a holy place, built to very exact specifications.
    • The Temple, was a physical place that God really cared about. It was so Holy in parts that God will kill you if you entered into the holiest parts if you had sin in your life.
      • And I KNOW that the veil was torn when Jesus died.
      • And I KNOW that the temple was destroyed in 70 AD.
      • And I KNOW that you and I are now the Temple of God.
      • But just because God stopped honoring that particular temple does not mean that God stopped caring about real physical things.
  • I believe that God was FURIOUS that there were people worshiping the Anti-Christ in the Temple and because of that God told John to measure the temple for their judgment.
    • They profaned what is holy, and they will be punished.
  • Let me beg you church… DO NOT PROFAINE WHAT IS HOLY!
    • The word Holy means “Set apart, different, or uncommon”.
      • Something that is Holy is set apart from sin, it is different than the rest of the sin filled world, it is uncommon in a world that prefers sin over righteousness.
      • Holy, set apart, different, uncommon.
  • *Hold up Bible*
  • THIS BOOK IS HOLY! It is different from every other book ever written, it is entirely pure and free from the influence of sin, it is uncommon, so much so that it is the only book in the existence of books to accurately claim to be the very WORD OF GOD.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV  All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,  (17)  that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

  • Are you keeping this book Holy?
    • Is it set apart, different, uncommon?
    • Or has it become common?
    • Is it like every other book in your home, just sitting on a bookshelf, never read?
      • Or maybe you read a lot of books, do you read this one more? Do you study this one more? Is this one more important in your life?
    • Do you set apart time from your day to be in the Word of God, do you get away from distractions to read the Word?
    • Or is reading the Bible “Just another thing you do?” because that’s a common attitude.
    • Please keep the Bible Holy!
      • Don’t profane the Bible by neglecting it.
      • Worse yet, don’t LIE about the Holy Bible!
        • I see this all the time, people say things like “I HAVE READ THE WHOLE BIBLE SO I KNOW WHAT IT SAYS” when clearly they haven’t.
        • One man, in a midst of a debate at college, told me he had read the entire Old Testament in it’s original Greek.
        • “That’s great!” I said “But the Old Testament was written in Hebrew”.
          • Moreover, if you HAD read the Old Testament you would likely fear God enough to not LIE about His Holy Word!
    • Keep the Bible Holy, How? Open it daily, read it, and do what it says. OPEN YOUR BIBLE, READ IT, AND DO WHAT IT SAYS.
  • *Hold Up Bible*
  • And this BUILDING is HOLY!
    • This building is unlike any other. It was constructed with the purpose of pleasing God, worshiping Him, and loving Him.
    • It is not like an apartment building where all sorts of things happen good and bad, it is a place of RIGHTEOUSNESS and HOLINESS!
    • When people see this building, when they see the cross lit up at night, it should remind them there is a God, and HE IS HOLY.
    • It should be a visual reminder of the reality of God to all who see it.
    • It should be a tool the Holy Spirit uses to convict men of their sin and bring them to repentance.
      • Do not profane this building by cussing out your wife in the parking lot.
      • Or by throwing your trash on the ground.
      • Or by watching filth on your phone while sitting in the life room.
  • Not just this building, but this room is Holy!
    • It is unlike any other room in any other building. This room is called a SANCTUARY and it is a Holy Place.
    • It has a lot of similarities to a movie theater, it has a projector, and a big screen, and a sound system and lots of seats.
      • But it is not a movie theater… it is not like a place where movies some good but most filthy are shown.
    • No, this is not a room where people go to get entertained…
      • In this room diseases are healed.
      • In this room sins are forgiven.
      • In this room relationships are restored.
      • In this room God is worshiped.
      • In this room supernatural gifts are imparted
    • That’s not to say God can’t show up in a common building. Some churches have church in a movie theater. We had church in a Library that was full of filth, and God showed up. That was our tabernacle phase.
      • But we now have a promised land, a building built for God, and a sanctuary meant for worship.
        • Do not profane this room by sleeping during service.
        • Or taking phone calls during worship.
        • Or eating donuts in here when you should be on your face at the altar.
          • Not that phone calls or donuts are bad… we have donuts downstairs from time to time.
  • Not just this room, but this pulpit, this peace of wooden furniture, it Holy.
    • It is from here that the man of God preaches God’s word.
    • It is from here that the shepherd of this house feeds the sheep.
    • It is from here that eternal truths are revealed to God’s people.
      • I will not allow this pulpit to be profaned…
      • I will not make crude jokes from this pulpit.
      • I will not reference filthy secular media, at least not in a positive light, from this pulpit.
      • I will not cuss from this pulpit… ok so I said c-r-a-p last week from here, and I even feel bad about that, forgive me… because I don’t want to profane this pulpit.
  • And guy’s I am not talking about vain religion…
    • I have had many men (and a few women) cuss around me and then after learn I was a pastor and apologize because they thought they offended me…
    • That’s nonsense… don’t be worried about offending me…
    • I am not talking about vain religion like that…
      • I am talking about FEARING THE LORD! Because the Lord Judges those who profane what He has proposed to be Holy.
  • And that brings me to my second point, STOP PROFANIN YOURSELF AND OTHERS!


Revelation 11:1-2 ESV  Then 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,  (2)  but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months.

  • The language there in the beginning is very specific “A measuring rod” or measuring read, that was like a staff.
    • Biblically speaking, both rods and reads, as well as staffs, are all used for judgment or discipline.

Proverbs 22:15 ESV  Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.

  • I don’t think it is a coincidence that they are used here.
    • I believe that God is going to discipline, or pour out His wrath, on the false worshipers in the Temple who are worshiping the anti-Christ.
    • As I believe God does to those who profane churches, and sanctuaries, and pulpits, and Bibles, and other Holy things…
    • But there is another side to this.
    • Because the way God treats His physical temple is the same way that God treats us. Why? Because we are His temple now, He dwells in us.
  • Like the temple, you were beautifully and wonderfully made… you were made with excellence, but not by man, but by an almighty God…

Psalms 139:14 ESV  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

  • You are not some accident… you are not the descendant of a monkey.
    • You were made in a way that man can only wonder and even fear…
      • What kind of God can make something as AMAZING as you?
  • And like the temple, we are the dwelling place of God. God dwells in us. And God doesn’t like it when people mess with His living space…

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 ESV  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.

  • You see that, God destroys those who profane His temple.
    • Therefore you better be careful about what you say and do to other believers.

Proverbs 6:16-19 ESV  There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him:  (17)  haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,  (18)  a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil,  (19)  a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.

  • How many of these things have to do with destroying, or profaning innocent people?
    • Murder, Gossip, Stiff, lying, stirring up trouble…
      • Because you could be profaning the very place God choses to dwell.
      • Don’t talk bad about other believers… don’t talk bad about anyone… but ESPECIALLY NOT OTHER BELIVERS… FEAR THE LORD.

1 Corinthians 6:18-20 ESV  Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.  (19)  Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,  (20)  for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

  • Guy’s I am so tired of dealing with sexual sin and the results of sexual sin.
    • And don’t get me wrong, there is grace and forgiveness… where sin abounds, grace abounds.
    • But please, we as God’s people have got to stop watching porn.
    • We have got to stop having sex outside of marriage.
    • We have got to stop cheating on our spouses.
    • We have got to stop watching filthy and sexualized tv shows and movies.
  • Single women, you are beautiful. You are loved.
    • You don’t need a man to sleep with you to know that, God tells you that.
    • The second you start standing up to men and saying “No, we are not married so we are not sleeping together” is the second that God is going to start bringing the RIGHT man into your life.
  • Men: God did not design your body to need sexual release every 48 hours.
    • That is a LIE from the pit of hell. You may have a sexual addiction, but it is not healthy and you are PROFAINING your temple.
    • Have some self-control men, be the Man God created you to be.
    • And watch how God blesses you for it!
  • Single people, set in your mind right now that you are not going to have sex until you are married, and if that never comes then you are ok not having sex. Because your GOD is more important then a few minutes between the bedsheets.
  • Married people. You must CONVINCE yourself that the only person who can provide sexual pleasure is your spouse. Don’t seek sexual pleasure elsewhere.
  • Again, to all people, if you have an addiction to sexual sin… reach out… we have help for men and women, young and old, married and single.
    • I was addicted for more than a decade and God set me free, he can set you free too!
  • Ok… enough beating y’all up…
    • I mean it when I say you are beautiful… men and women, God did not make a mistake when He made you.
    • You are His holy temple, if you are born again… and as such you are masterpieces painted by the brush of an all powerful and eternal God.
      • Treat yourself, and others, like you believe that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made.


Revelation 11:1-2 ESV  Then 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,  (2)  but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months.

  • Again there are two main theories about what this means, if you take it to be a literal temple in literal Jerusalem, as I do…
    • Last week we talked about the first one, that God is measuring the inner courts for their protection.
    • This week we talked about the theory I find more likely to be true, that God is measuring these inner courts for judgment or destruction.
  • But either way we know this to be true…
    • If you are saved, you are owned by God, you are His! And you are His TEMPLE!
    • As such, God protects what He owns, so long as you stay Holy.
    • And if you are saved, you are God’s Holy temple, and as such you must be diligent to keep yourself holy, not profaning what God call’s holy.
  • But before you can stay Holy, you must be made Holy, and that is what the Gospel is for…
  • Gospel Call


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