John of Patmos was given “a reed like unto a rod.” An angel told him to measure the temple, 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…” (Revelation 11: 1-2)
“The Last Judgment occurred in the spiritual world in 1757.” (True Christianity (Vol. 2), by Emanuel Swedenborg, num. 772) Later, on June 19, 1770, the Lord sent out the twelve disciples to the entire spiritual world. (Ibid., num. 791) This mission was to the inner court.
John of Patmos was given “a reed like unto a rod.” Swedenborg has it as “a reed like unto a staff.” The reed signifies feeble power, such as one has from themselves. A staff signifies great power such as received from the Almighty. That a reed denotes feeble power is seen, for example, in Isaiah 36: 6 – “Behold, you are relying on Egypt, that broken reed of a staff, which will pierce the hand of any man who leans on it. Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who rely on him.” That a staff denotes great power is seen, for example, with Moses, whose staff or rod divided the Red Sea. (Exodus 14: 16)
John of Patmos was given “a reed like unto a rod” with which to measure. “To measure” signifies to know and scrutinize the quality of. The temple, altar, and those worshiping therein were keenly scrutinized by John of Patmos, who had been given power “to measure.”
The outer court means us, we here on earth. The “New Jerusalem” established circa 1757 has not yet manifested here in “the outer court.” This is why, in his vision which took place circa 90 Anno Domini, John of Patmos is told not to “measure” (scrutinize) the “outer court.” Foreseen in the vision is the creation, in the spiritual world, of the New Jerusalem. “But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not, signifies, that the state of the church on earth, such as it is at present [circa 1770], is to be removed, and not to be known.” (The Apocalypse Revealed, by Emanuel Swedenborg, num. 487)