A Pattern Of Heaven
Hebrews 8:1-13 ISV
1 Now the main point in what we are saying is this: we do have this kind of high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven
2 and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tent set up by the Lord and not by any human.
3 For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore, this high priest had to offer something, too.
4 Now if he were on earth, he would not even be a priest, because other men offer the gifts prescribed by the Law.
5 They serve in a sanctuary that is a copy, a shadow of the heavenly one. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tent: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.”
6 However, Jesus has now obtained a more superior ministry, since the covenant he mediates is founded on better promises.
7 If the first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need to look for a second one,
8 but God found something wrong with his people when he said, “Look! The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.
9 It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors at the time when I took them by the hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt. Because they did not remain loyal to my covenant, I ignored them, declares the Lord.
10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord: I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
11 Never again will everyone teach his neighbor or his brother by saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because all of them will know me, from the least important to the most important.
12 For I will be merciful regarding their wrong deeds, and I will never again remember their sins.”
13 In speaking of a “new” covenant, he has made the first one obsolete, and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.
It is good to carefully examine the patterns God gave us and particularly anyone who entertains the hope of serving above the firmament in Heaven as a priest, the pattern of the Temple/Tabernacle in particular.
We learn about the order, function, and manner of our role by studying this pattern. Hebrews chapter 8.
Moses served as a faithful steward in constructing the Tabernacle exacting according to God’s instruction and conducted Tabernacle functions ritually correct according to God’s instruction.
All Temple priest have the obligation to do so. They are highly conscious of the need of due diligence in handling their duties. To do all things “according to the pattern” God has given.
All these things being just a pattern or copy, point to something real and that reality exist in high Heaven above the firmament.
They point to the Firstborn, the only-begotten son of God, for whom all of this (creation) was created as a gift and as an inheritance.
Nevertheless, his Father required him to prove himself worthy. And he proved himself so as Hebrews 3:6 tells us he “obtained” this “special” ministry.
He was also as High Priest required to present a sacrifice. The High Priest in ancient Israel first presented a sacrifice in his own behalf and then for others. Our Lord presented one sacrifice at one time for all.
This Tabernacle and it’s sanctuary is formed of spirit creatures; Christ and the bride of the High Priest.
When John is shown a “great crowd” worshiping in the “sanctuary’, it could not have been a vision pertaining to human beings as this “great crowd” is seen “in the sanctuary” which is above the firmament in Heaven.
I have been to religious assemblies of over 70,000 attendees. I found crowds much smaller than 70,000 that I could not personally count. There were 70,288 in attendance at the Super Bowl football championship played in 2015. Imagine beholding that number of people together in one place at one time. Would you consider it to be a ‘great crowd’? Would you be able to count them?
144,000 is a number of individual persons that no one man could count alone. A city with a population of 144,000 would be considered a fairly large city. This “great crowd” is the assembly of Temple workers (the under priest class) standing in sanctuary praising God and Christ and rendering the sacred service exclusive to the priesthood.
That is why “they do not go out” (Revelation 3:12). They now reside in the sanctuary with Christ (the empty upper room until Jesus’ was resurrected to Heaven). Jesus said, “My Father has prepared a place for me and I must go a prepare a place for you”. The sanctuary (the Holy compartment) has become their permanent abode.
At both the Lord’s evening meal and at Pentecost, the Lord chose to use an empty (unoccupied) upper room. There is significance in why he did so.
Our testing is in preparation for a most honored role of service. God in His wisdom chose to have His sons that He also selectively chose be tested to prove their worthiness of such honor. His only-begotten Son led the Way.
Jesus In The Sanctuary-John’s Vision
In the Revelation to John, he is seeing Christ standing in the Holy compartment of the Temple of God in Heaven. Before Him at a distance are seven golden lamp stands which He says represent the complete congregation of those to whom He is addressing.
They are out before Him because they are human beings made of flesh and as of yet are not where He is, which is in Heaven in the Sanctuary.
However, He is seen in the Sanctuary holding seven stars.
Note that these stars are in His right hand. His right hand would have to be connected to His right arm. His right arm would then have to be connected to His body. And His body while He is addressing John is standing with His feet planted in the Temple Sanctuary while holding these stars.
These must be existing spirit creatures as they are already with Christ while He is addressing the complete congregation represented by the lamp stands before Him.
Jesus actually says they are angels.
20 Here is the secret meaning of the seven stars that you see in my right hand, and of the seven gold lampstands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
Yet many do not believe Him. Some have the teaching that Jesus is calling human men ‘angels’. But nowhere in the Bible are men referred to as ‘angels’.
These angels minister where the lamp stands are. Therefore they as mortal beings are exposed to possible corruption or failure just as human beings are. They are not incorruptible. So He also warns them of the consequences of any deviation.
There have been Holy angels serving before God’s throne for eons of time. They have a share in priestly service (as the seven in the Revelation to John) and have not been forgotten or discarded. They now answer to Christ as their Master.
As you study the Temple references in Revelation realize that it’s pattern does not fit any of those of made by human hands in the past.
The pattern of the Temple in the Book of Revelation is according to the pattern shown to Ezekiel down to the thick walls between each compartment. These various functional compartment are within the Sanctuary. All Temple functions are carried out from within the Holy and not as before All Holy attendants and utensils are all assembled in the Sanctuary before the Most Holy. These ‘compartments’ are the residing place of the chosen children of God (the elect).
God’s family at that time will have brought under His roof and into His Tent literally. His son and bride together will exist there. Their going out will be as God ‘goes out’ and that is by His Spirit. They will have inherited the attributes of the Son and the Father.
This is the Great City, New Jerusalem, seen coming down out of Heaven. The City exist within the Temple Sanctuary from which blessings will flow throughout all Creation.