Over the past few months, the Nugget has featured three studies on temples in the Bible. These include: Wilderness Instructions, a series looking at the significance of the tabernacle in the wilderness; Lessons From Ezekiel’s Temple, a series based on the elaborate temple instructions given in the last 9 chapters of Ezekiel; and Building Solomon’s Temple, a series based on what we can learn from the building of Solomon’s temple.
The book of Hebrews teaches us that each piece of the earthly tabernacle and temples was patterned after the temple in Heaven: “They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven.” (Heb 8:5, NIV2).
What is this Heavenly temple, and what can we learn from it?
The upcoming 9 part series will be looking at this Heavenly structure in more detail in order to ascertain what this means for our heart-temples today.
Our first glimpse of the Heavenly sanctuary comes to us from Revelation 4:
“At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it…A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne…In front of the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back.” (Rev 4:2-6, NIV2)
When you look carefully through these 5 verses of Rev. 4, you will see several references to things we have previously studied in previous temple studies. First of all, there is the throne itself: The place where God sits. Is this not what the Ark of the Covenant and its cover and mercy seat were to have represented? “You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark…And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat…” (Exod 25:21-22, NKJV)
Secondly, we see lamps, Remember back in Exodus? The lampstand was to contain seven lamps that were to be kept continually burning: “Then make its seven lamps and set them up on it so that they light the space in front of it…See that you make them according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” (Exod 25:37-40, NIV2)
Thirdly, we see a “sea of glass.” In the construction of Solomon’s temple, we see that the washbasin is often called “the sea”: “He made the Sea of cast metal, circular in shape, measuring ten cubits from rim to rim and five cubits high. It took a line of thirty cubits to measure around it.” (2 Chr 4:2, NIV2)
As we move on through the book of Revelation, we get glimpses of the altars:
“Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.” (Rev 8:3, NKJV);
“When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held.” (Rev 6:9, NKJV)
And finally, we get a glimpse of the Earth-made-new, of the holy City, and we see that there is…No temple there! “But I saw no temple in it…” (Rev 21:22, NKJV)
There is just one piece of furniture that appeared in the Tabernacle in the wilderness that is not mentioned at all in the book of Revelation: The Table of Shewbread!
What does all of this mean? What can we learn from this in regards to our heart-temples?
Please join us on Saturdays over the next 8 weeks as we further explore the Heavenly Temple. As we do, please join me in making a commitment to God to allow His Spirit to clean out our heart-temples and make way for His glory to shine through us!
In His love,
Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
(To access the entire “The Heavenly Temple” mini-series, please click here.)