THE ANCIENT CUBIT
“And in these hath Solomon been instructed
to build the house of God:
The length in cubits by the former measure*
is sixty cubits, and the breadth twenty cubits”
II CHRONICLES 3:3 (YLT Bible)
We see here that Solomon is to lay the foundation using the measurements of the Ancient Cubit which was first given in the raising up of the Tabernacle. As in all things pertaining to God His divine purpose and idea of the thing HE is after remains unchanged; but in the process of time men lower the standards and the lofty purposes of God to something less, something more easily attained to so that we are made more “comfortable” in the presentation of HIS WORD.
Solomon was to use the cubit of the former measure, the “Sacred Cubit”, as some Hebrew scholars like to translate it. Even in Solomon’s day there had been introduced into Israel’s understanding different cubits which of course was a contrasting measure of the thing God intended *(See note below). How subtle and innocuous is the slow but sure decline from what God decrees and what men devise. A “new” measure is slowly introduced and by the abominable shift in what is taught in each succeeding generation the result is a steady decline until we arrive at the “gospel” of today. God’s standard is set aside while the terms remain the same so as to avoid any alarm. The VALUE of the measurements has been decreased and God is robbed of His Glory and His Majesty.
“Will a man rob God?
Yet ye have robbed me”
In our drifting away from the original desire of all that God has purposed in Christ we have come to such a low state of affairs in the thing we call “Christianity” that what a man does is now irrelevant; as long as a man believes correctly we are satisfied. God’s measurement and ours becomes two separate values yet we retain the correct nomenclature (words and terminology). The power of a lie is based on the amount of truth it contains. Thus we see a religion that soothes the conscience and yet leaves the soul untouched in the misery of sin with all of its consequences.
“Remove not the ancient landmark,
which thy fathers have set”
The ancient landmarks are the standards by which we are to govern our way. In the Book of Acts a living unified Church pulsated with the power and dynamic of the Living God. Let us measure the sad contrast of what we present to the world today and the fruits of the man made “church”. The scribes and the Pharisees of Jesus’ day had Herod’s Temple** (not God’s) built by a heathen ruler to APPEASE the religion of the Jews. A pathetic and telling parallel of where we are today. May God raise up men who are willing to confront the issue of the removed landmarks and the lowering of the measurements of God. May there be a people who can no longer tolerate the Herod’s temple of our day and cry out unto the Lord for the Spirit of Repentance. May we turn from the ways of men, the wisdom of this world and the foolishness of a religion that is devoid of the power of Holiness and Godliness. May HE open our eyes to see what we have allowed to come upon us. It is in returning to the simplicity of Him that we will find the depth and the substance of a living faith that alone can produce Godly expressions. May we be freed from the wisdom and philosophy of a vain religion that has the appearance of good things but lacks the ability to produce men who have convictions and courage to stand in the darkness of this hour. Men and women are needed who are no longer satisfied with the “temperance” and acceptability of a stagnant religion but who are empowered and inflamed by the Holy God to challenge a lukewarm church. Where are those who feel the weight of HIS Glory, HIS Holy standards and their accountability to HIM and HIM alone? Where are those who know the “terror of the Lord” and are moved to persuade men of their ungodliness?
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ;
that every one may receive the things done in his body,
according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men”
2 CORINTHIANS 5:11
How do these scriptures fit into our present day Theology? Not very well. For we have changed the measurement of our God and have presented a Gospel that tells us we are no longer accountable for what we do. The Church is void of men like Paul, James and John and the world is presented with a religion that has neither power nor reality.
LET US RETURN TO THE STANDARD
THAT WE MAY MEASURE OUR LIVES BY THE LIGHT OF HIS WORD
AND HIS PURPOSE IN CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD.
“And there was given to me a reed like to a rod,
and the messenger stood, saying,
‘Rise, and measure the sanctuary of God,
and the altar,
and those worshiping in it”
This was the cubit mentioned by Ezek 40:5 and that of Solomon’s temple, “cubits after the first measure” (2 Ch 3:3), i.e. the ancient cubit. The ordinary cubit of commerce was shorter, and has been variously estimated at between 16 and 18 or more inches, but the evidence of the Siloam inscription and of the tombs in Palestine seems to indicate 17.6 inches as the average length. This was the cubit of six palms, while the longer one was of seven (Ezek 40:5). The cubit mentioned in Jdg 3:16 is from a different word in Hebrew (גֹּמֶד, gōmedh) and was probably shorter, for Ehud girded it on his thigh under his clothing. (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia)
King Herod’s Temple was designed by Architects from Greece, Rome and Egypt and built by the Jewish Priests of that day, an astonishing parallel to today. Using worldly principles to build their own churches. Jesus stilled called it His Father’s House because His people met there. Jesus revealed the Father’s thought of it’s worldly ways by over-turning the money changers and the profiteering of men concerning the things of God. So also in the New Testament the Church has ever been the people not the building.
“Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house“
Nymphas’ house was not the church – the people who assembled in his house was the church. The church is not somewhere God’s people go, it is WHO they are!