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July 24, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“They are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple.”—Revelation 7:15 (NKJV)
Yesterday we saw that heaven includes a great multitude of people from all over the earth who will be saved during the Great Tribulation. As the passage above describes them, we see that they will be “before the throne of God” and that they will also serve Him “in His temple.”
This is an important detail, because it shows us that on top of all we’ve already seen concerning heaven, it also includes a temple before God’s throne. Incidentally, this heavenly temple shows up several more times through the Book of Revelation (11:19, 14:15–17, 15:5–6, 15:8, 16:1, 16:17).
But before we go any further, we need to remember that as God led the children of Israel through the wilderness, He instructed them to build a tent-like structure known as the tabernacle. This was to be the place where the priests would present sacrifices and offerings to God, and where He would center His presence among them. The Israelites brought the tabernacle into the Promised Land and was eventually replaced by the temple.
Both the tabernacle and temple represented God’s unique covenant and connection with Israel. But in the Book of Hebrews we’re told that they are actually a copy of something that exists in heaven: “There are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle” (Hebrews 8:4–5 NKJV).
God gave His people a structure on earth that is also in heaven. The significance of its various features and functions can’t be fully unpacked here. But suffice it to say, a part of heaven was on display each time God’s people would draw near to this place of sacred sacrifice.
This speaks to God’s desire to communicate and reveal Himself to His people. Consider this: God “pulled back the curtain” on His heavenly abode. He allowed Israel to see a reflection of the splendid glories before His throne. His heart to make heaven known to earth is the basis of all hope, including our own. Because it was that same heart which also moved Him to reveal the greatest glory of all . . . His only begotten Son!
DIG: What structure exists in heaven before God’s throne?
DISCOVER: How was this structure forecasted? What insight does it give us into God’s heart?
DISPLAY: Search the Old Testament passages that discuss the tabernacle and the temple, and reflect on everything that God instructed regarding them.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.