we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby
we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
Have grace and serve God acceptably
with reverence and godly fear. We must be established with grace. Grace
must be our only foundation. Mount Zion speaks of Grace.
Throughout the Book of Revelation
there is repeated implication of a heavenly temple. We know the temple of
God today is the Church. God will never again consider a physical building
made by man as His temple, regardless of whether the mid-east nation of Israel
builds one. The Church is the Temple. The Church is the House which Jesus
built on the Rock, Zion. And this Rock, Zion, speaks to us of the Grace
of God, the foundation of the temple.
Let us go through the Book of
Revelation and glean from the truths concerning the Heavenly Temple, the
Church, that are found there.
JESUS AND THE TEMPLE
In Revelation Chapter 1, John
saw seven golden candlesticks and Christ in their midst. He saw Jesus who
wore a golden girdle upon His upper torso with His feet like brass.
Revelation 1:12-15 And I turned to see
the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man,
clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden
girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and
his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if
they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
The One upon the chariot which
Ezekiel saw was identically clad.
Ezekiel 1:26-27 And above the firmament
that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance
of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness
as the appearance of a man above upon it. And I saw as the colour of amber
(GOLD), as the appearance
of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward,
and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the
appearance of fire (BRASS), and it had brightness
This is temple and tabernacle
imagery. The appearance of Jesus Christ as seen by John is similar to the
layout of the tabernacle furniture. The following reference links you to
a diagram on this site that shows how that a potrayal of Jesus Christ superimposed
over the Tabernacle reveals how the golden girdle and the brazen feet coincide
with the placement of the golden furniture and the brazen furniture within
Jesus is seen to have seven
stars in His right hand that coincides with the placement of the seven golden
candlesticks in the Tabernacle. These seven stars are the seven angels of
the seven churches.
This is the beginning of the
Temple imagery found throughout Revelation. What is God trying to tell
us with this repeated temple imagery? Well, we have already noted that the
Church is the Temple of today. And this a great part of the reason. Revelation
is about the temple of the Church.
In Revelation Chapter 4, John
saw the throne of God with twenty-fourseats with twenty-four elders upon
them around the throne. Four beasts were also seen around the throne having
the likeness of cherubims -- the faces of an ox, lion, eagle and man. Seven
lamps stood around the throne, also, They were the seven spirits of God.
A crystal sea of glass was before the throne. And when John saw the four
beasts worship God, he saw how that inspired the 24 elders to fall down and
praise God for creation.
The picture of a throne is an
aspect of temple imagery, since the Ark of the Covenant was situated in the
holiest of holies with a lid called the Mercy Seat. This Seat depicted God's
throne. Mercy is connected with the Throne of God today.
Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore draw
near with boldness unto the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and
may find grace to help us in time of need.
The note of worship of the elders
due to the praise of the 4 beasts who had the likeness of earthly creatures,
reveals that the temple of Revelation is highlighted with references to
God's purpose for creation. The creatures partly depict earthly creation.
Their faces are those of earthly creatures, particularly the heads of "kings"
of the four earthly, animal Kingdoms which Adam named. The lion is king
of the beasts, the eagle is king of the fowl and the ox is king of the cattle.
With the head of a man, these four heads were seen on the four beasts. And
when the twenty-four elders hear them praise God, these elders thank God
specifically fro creation.
Revelation 4:11 Worthy art thou, our
Lord and our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power: for thou
didst create all things, and because of thy will they were, and were created.
All these little thoughts must
be considered in understanding the significance of the temple sitting in
prominence throughout Revelation.
Since the Church is the Temple,
we can take this reference to the creation and see how that the Church/Temple
fulfills God's purpose for creation. This is so since God sought for Himself
a Bride with whom He would be made One and upon Whom he would endow His very
life. God made the world and He made mankind in the world to become one
with Him. Adam failed, but the Church is the goal that God planned to achieve
when he originally created the earth with mankind as its ruler. The Church
is the goal God set out to accomplish by having created this earth.
THRONE, ARK AND TREE OF LIFE
The Reading of Revelation Chapter
5 continues and we read of a little book in the right hand of the One on
the throne. It is a book that is remarkably similar to the tablets of commandments
ministered to Israel by Moses. Recall that these tablets of Moses were placed
in the Ark of the covenant. The picture of the ark and its mercy Seat in
the midst of the tabernacle's holiest of holies coincides with the placement
of the throne of God in the midst of Heaven. The throne was surrounded by
the four cherubimic beasts, as the ark of the covenant was barred from human
access by the veil that was embroidered with images of cherubims. Nobody
could enter the holiest of holies due to the veil. Therefore, with the adjoining
characteristic of being what was barricaded by cherubims, the Throne of God
and the Ark of God are to be viewed as symbols of the same truth. There
is also the aspect of the Tree of life in the Garden that was also barred
from human access by cherubims. All three of these symbols speak the same
single message to us. This is the goal of this study. What is the message
God is telling us?
THE LITTLE BOOK
Let us look at more comparative
elements in these pictures. As God sat upon the Throne in the midst of
the heavenly temple and held a little book written on both sides in his
Right Hand, the ark of the covenant contained the tables of Law that were
written on the front and backside. With the thought of the ark and throne
speaking a single message, it is more than coincidence that both items also
involve the thought of a set of writings displayed on the inside and outside
of a material.
Revelation 5:1 And I saw in the right
hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the back, close sealed with
Exodus 32:15 And Moses turned, and
went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his
hand: the tables were written on both their sides; on the
one side and on the other were they written.
Deuteronomy 10:5 And I turned and came
down from the mount, and put the tables in the ark which I had made; and
there they are as Jehovah commanded me.
The tablets were engraved on
the back and the front. Ezekiel's roll was also written within and without.
Ezekiel 2:10 And he spread it before
me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein
lamentations, and mourning, and woe.
So we see the tablets of Law
locked away in the Ark of the Covenant and inaccessible by man due to the
veil that barred man away. Now, Israel did know what that Law dictated.
So it is not as though it was hidden truth. But there is still that aspect
of it being locked away in the single room where the common man could not
We read in the New Testament
that the Law is placed within our hearts by the ministry of the New Testament
and Spirit. It was only engraved upon stones in the Old Testament. And
incidentally, Jesus commented about the hardness of the people's hearts during
Moses time, which moved God to demand certain laws in that time. But now
things are different.
Matthew 19:7-8 They say unto him, Why
then did Moses command to give a bill of divorcement, and to put her away?
He saith unto them, Moses for your hardness of heart suffered you to put
away your wives: but from the beginning it hath not been so.
The stone tablets depict the
hard hearts of the people before Christ's ministry. Their hearts could not
be anything but hard, after sin had infected mankind in the Garden, and Christ
had not yet come to remit sins.
Moses and the law and hard hearts
seem to be hinted at in the putting of Laws onto stone tablets. But now,
in the New testament times, the Law is placed in a contrasting place of the
fleshly tables of the heart.
2 Corinthians 3:3 being made manifest
that ye are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink,
but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in tables
that are hearts of flesh.
Since the Law was not placed
within the human heart before Christ, we see that the people really did
not know the Law, although it was read to them often. Their minds knew
it, but it was not yet in their hearts. And until it was placed into their
hearts, they could not really know it. So it stands that the aspect of
the law being locked away from access to man, behind the veil in the Ark,
represents something that mankind had not been able to truly receive in more
than just "head-memory."
It is interesting that John
later was told to eat the little book which Jesus retrieved from God on
the throne, as though symbolizing that the Law is placed into our hearts
rather than secluded away from mankind in an ark barricaded by cherubims.
Recall that John saw the throne
with God and the little book barred away from him by cherubims. And when
one was called upon who was worthy to come and take the book, nobody could
come. Law, in other words, could not be placed within our hearts as of that
time. Nobody could come and take it and eat it up, placing it within themselves.
Jesus only appeared in the holiest and took the book and gave it to John
to eat in Rev. 10 after He died and resurrected. The Lamb stood in the holiest
as having been slain. That implies resurrection from the dead.
John saw the slain Lamb stand
between the 4 beasts and the throne to retrieve the book that no man was
worthy to retrieve. This depicted how that Christ carried His own blood
as High Priest to the Father so mankind be redeemed to God so that man might
approach God. Man could enter the holiest -- the Garden -- due to Christ's
resurrection. As the High Priest had to have blood when entering the holiest
where the ark of the covenant held the Law, Jesus had to die and be resurrected.
He had to have BLOOD. Possessing blood indicates the price required for
mankind's sin -- death -- to allow Him to pass into the holiest to take that
book and give to man to eat.
THE LITTLE BOOK IS UNSEALED
Let us return to the thought
of the Garden of Eden. This is reminiscent of the fruit of life which mankind
could not pluck from the tree of life. As the fruit that hung from the
branches of the tree of life became inaccessible to Adam due to sin, the
little book in the right hand of God on the throne could not be taken by
any man. Jesus alone walked into the Garden, as it was, and plucked the
fruit of life for mankind to come and take.
Before eating the book in Revelation
10, Revelation Chapter 6 shows the Lamb opening the seven seals. And John
was invited by the beasts to come and see the scroll's contents. John came
The first events John saw in
visionary symbol involved the riding of horses and riders. We must recognize
that these "troubles" were actually the tribulations that Jesus foretold
would come upon Jerusalem due to the rejection of her King, Jesus Christ.
Let us go to the Gospels at
THE REJECTION OF JESUS CHRIST
Jesus Christ rode into the City
to be accepted as the promised King that He might enter the Temple and receive
the fruit of praise from the people.
Matthew 21:5 Tell ye the daughter
of Zion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, Meek, and riding upon an ass,
And upon a colt the foal of an ass.
Matthew 21:8-9 And the most part of
the multitude spread their garments in the way; and others cut branches
from the trees, and spread them in the way. And the multitudes that went
before him, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David:
Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.
He was rejected rather than praised.
Luke 19:39-40 And some of the Pharisees
from the multitude said unto him, Teacher, rebuke thy disciples. And he answered
and said, I tell you that, if these shall hold their peace, the stones will
Mark 11:11 And he entered into
Jerusalem, into the temple; and when he had looked round about upon all things,
it being now eventide, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve.
Instead of finding fruit of praise,
He found nothing in the temple. To symbolize this, He walked from the temple
and approached a fig tree that bore no fruit. Jesus cursed the fig tree
because He found no fruit on it. He was representing the praise he desired
from Jerusalem but found not, and how He would curse the City due to its
rejection of Him.
Mark 11:13-14 And seeing a fig tree
afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find anything thereon:
and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for it was not the season
of figs. And he answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit from thee henceforward
for ever. And his disciples heard it.
That rejection is the entire
reason there is Church today. We will find in this study that it is the
entire reason for the theme of the New temple that stands as a constant symbol
throughout the Book of Revelation.
I cannot stress enough how that
the Temple of the Church came about all because the Israeli temple was destroyed
due to Christ's rejection. This rejection of Christ must be understood
to be the catalyst that moved Christ to raise up a temple of lively stones.
Since that is the case, the book of Revelation must be read with this great
aspect of history in mind. The thought of a temple rejected by Jesus and
another temple built by Himself, called the church, is to be kept in mind
throughout the Book of Revelation. When we see a reference to the temple,
we are meant to think of this great Church.
The Temple of the Church was
erected because it was foreordained from the beginning. But the manner in
which it came about was due to the rejection of Jesus by Jerusalem. The
Old Temple of Jerusalem, in which Christ found no fruit of praise, would
be destroyed and replaced by a living temple of lively stones instead. The
Church is the group of rocks that will surely cry out. The Temple of Jerusalem
was built of stones quarried without the city. The new temple, however,
would be built of living stones -- people. And these stones of this temple
would worship Jesus all because Jerusalem held their peace.
He warned the people of Jerusalem
that a new temple that would replace the old temple of Jerusalem, though
they understood Him not. His rejection by Jerusalem moved Him to curse the
city and the temple and to go about building the CHURCH as the New City and
Matthew 23:37-38 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem,
thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee,
how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth
her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto
Matthew 24:1-2 And Jesus went out,
and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him
the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these
things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon
another, that shall not be thrown down.
Jerusalem's house was the temple.
Their house was to be left to them desolate!
After having spoken of the temple
destruction, Jesus began to relate how certain troubles would come. He addressed
the Jerusalem rejection and the temple destruction. Then he told the disciples
the words that are understood by all prophecy students to regard the events
in the Book of Revelation. We must recognize that these troubles are linked
to the rejection of Christ by Jerusalem. They are linked with the thought
of His plan to erect a new temple of lively stones, called the church. And
since these troubles are found in the Book of Revelation, and the aspect
of the new Temple is also found in that book, we can more readily see the
intention God had in giving us this book of Revelation. And this will unlock
some of the hard-to-be-understood messages in that book of symbols.
If we miss the implications
of the troubles of Matthew 24 being linked to the rejection of Jesus and
the creation of a new temple of lively stones, we will miss the implications
we are intended to understand in the Book of Revelation. We will have an
incorrect interpretation of the book. We will miss the meaning behind these
very troubles as found in the Book of Revelation itself, which comprises
most of that book! The reason there is so much temple imagery in Revelation
is that of the rejection of Jerusalem and the subsequent replacement of its
temple with the new temple of the Church! It all is linked to the rejection
of Christ by Jerusalem as we shall clearly see as we continue in this study.
The four horsemen of Revelation
6, which comprise the contents of the first four seals of the little book,
opened by Jesus, the slain lamb, were (1) false doctrine, (2) wars, (3) famine
and (4) death. Jesus Himself said that these tribulations occur until the
sixth seal, if we care to compare Matthew 24 with Revelation 6.
Seal One: White horse -- False
Revelation 6:2 And I saw, and behold
a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto
him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
First sign given by Jesus of
Matthew 24:4-5 And Jesus answered and
said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in
my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
Seal Two: Red Horse -- warfare
Revelation 6:3-4 And when he had opened
the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. And there went
out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon
to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and
there was given unto him a great sword.
Second sign given by Jesus:
Matthew 24:6-7 And ye shall hear of
wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things
must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against
nation, and kingdom against kingdom: ...
Seal Three: Black Horse -- famine
Revelation 6:5-6 And when he had opened
the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld,
and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his
hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure
of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou
hurt not the oil and the wine.
Third sign given by Jesus
Matthew 24:7b-8 ...and there shall be
famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are
the beginning of sorrows.
Fourth Seal: Pale Horse -- death
Revelation 6:7-8 And when he had opened
the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.
And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death,
and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth
part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and
with the beasts of the earth.
Fourth sign given by Jesus:
Matthew 24:9 Then shall they deliver
you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all
nations for my name's sake.
The fifth Seal would naturally
follow the fourth seal of death because the fifth seal speaks of martyrs
Fifth Seal: Martyrs slain and
under the altar as blood flowed under the altar after a sacrifice.
Fifth Sign given by Jesus:
Matthew 24:21-22 For then shall be great
tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time,
no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should
no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
Then we read Jesus words regarding
elements found in the sixth seal of revelation.
Matthew 24:29 Immediately after the
tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not
give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the
heavens shall be shaken:
This is found under the sixth
Revelation 6:12-14 And I beheld when he
had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the
sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And
the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely
figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll
when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out
of their places.
Jesus said these events occurred
"after the tribulation" of the days involving the events of the first five
seals. Then heaven and earth are shaken during the days of the church on
Mount Zion. A great earthquake occurs while the heavens shake in the sixth
seal! The earthquake depicts earth being shaken. The stars falling, the
sun turning black, and the moons becoming blood represent the Heavens being
shaken. Hence, heaven and earth are shaken in the sixth seal. The first
five seals show humanity being attacked. But the sixth seal affects heaven
HEAVEN AND EARTH SHALL BE
Hebrews chapter 12 reads of the
days of grace in the church.
Hebrews 12:28 Wherefore we receiving
a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve
God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
During these days, all is shaking
and we must be established with grace so that we will not fall.
Hebrews 12:26-27 Whose voice then shook
the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the
earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the
removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that
those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
This is notably connectable to
the thoughts of the heavens and earth shaking after the temple was cursed
to destruction and desolation and during the days of the church age. The
Book of Hebrews places the shaking of heaven and earth, mentioned by Jesus
in Matthew 24, as occurring during the church age to remove all that is on
a faulty foundation so that the Church on the Rock of the Kingdom can remain.
The Kingdom cannot be removed. The Kingdom is Mount Zion.
Hebrews 12:27-28 And this word, Yet once
more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things
that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore
we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby
we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
It is the House of the Wise man
built upon the Rock that stands while the House of the fool on sand falls.
With all this in mind, we can see that Revelation 6, and the opening of
the seals, is associated wit the new temple of the Church. All the events
of Matthew 24, which clearly parallel those in the sixth seals of the little
book, in Revelation 6, were associated with the temple destruction and the
erection of a new temple called the church.
Notice the reason Jesus gave
Matthew 24:1-3 And Jesus went out from
the temple, and was going on his way; and his disciples came to him to show
him the buildings of the temple. But he answered and said unto them, See
ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here
one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. And as he sat on the
mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us,
when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and
of the end of the world?
After referring to the temple
destruction in particular, the disciples asked him two questions.
When would this destruction
What will be the sign of His
coming and of the end of the world?
Jesus answered the questions
in the order they were asked. Could Christ have meant that there will be
destruction of the temple, as the great event of the church age, and as a
general shaking of all other error? Jesus said the reason the temple was
destroyed in 70 A.D. was His rejection. Their ERROR moved them to reject
Him. And He commenced to curse their temple and erect a new temple. The
shaking of this error and its doom having been sealed in 70 A.D. as the temple
indeed was destroyed, are what Christ referred to in speaking about shaking
all remaining error.