Critics of the validity of scripture sometimes cite seemingly contradictory statements to support atheistic petitions to omit any references to God in our public/national pledges/documents–or to simply support their belief that there is no God. An example of this is Rev. 21:22 “No temple could be seen in the city for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.”
Those of us who read the Bible with the simple wish to “know God” better and better, cannot help but be fascinated with the beginning and development of the earthly sanctuary services and their significance in our present spiritual life. No, we’re not observing Jewish ceremonial laws, but because those sacrifices ALL pointed toward our Savior, they become an integral part of our understanding of God.
In the book of Exodus, when God told Moses to build a dwelling place for the Most High God, He showed Moses the “real” temple in heaven to use as a pattern. Heb. 9:24says: “For Christ has entered into heaven itself to appear now before God as our Advocate. He did not go into the earthly place of worship, FOR THAT WAS MERELY A COPY OF THE REAL TEMPLE IN HEAVEN.” (See Heb. 8:1,2)
In Revelation, John is shown the temple in heaven (Rev. 11:19; 15:5,8). Chapter 16 follows each angel leaving the temple to dispense the plagues. He also sees the Ark of the Covenant in the heavenly sanctuary!
So why would Rev. 21 say that there is no temple in heaven! Let’s look at this issue closely. The sanctuary was where sins were confessed and atonement made. And on the Day of Atonement once a year all the sins for that year were symbolically placed on the head of a goat (symbolizing Satan) who was sent into the wilderness to die. Each year the sanctuary was cleansed of the sins for the previous year. But it was a process that happened over and over and….. Paul says in many texts that Christ’s sacrifice was sufficient to cover not only the years following the cross, but also all previous years as well.
In Chapter 21 of Revelation, John is shown “the New Jerusalem” where no sinners have been admitted (vs 7,8). Only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life are allowed to reside there (vs 27).
So when we get to the final judgment day when sin and sinners are no more, there is no more need for prayers of confession and repentance (symbolized by the smoke of the incense), no more need for the blood of sheep and goats to be sprinkled. BECAUSE there is to be no more sin!! Ever!! Hallelujah!
In stead of a temple with a Holy and Most Holy place in heaven, or on the earth made new, we will simply come to the Father and the Son (Isa 66:22,23) and worship them: “As surely as my new heavens and earth will remain, so will you always be my people, with a name that will never disappear. All humanity will come to worship Me from week to week and from month to month.” (NLT) It makes the statement in Revelation that the Father and the Son ARE the temple.
May God give us discernment to enable us to share biblical truth as it flashes into our minds. Perhaps it isn’t “new” but it helps us to experience new dimensions in our knowledge of and love for God which we must share. See Rev. 12:11 “And they (the righteous) have defeated him (the Dragon) because of the blood of the Lamb AND BECAUSE OF THEIR TESTIMONY!…”
I thank God for the privilege of blogging my testimony! And I pray that many will be motivated to share their thoughts through the contacts available on my website on the “Contact Us” page. The email addresses found there are not functional, but will be operational again – and I will let you know when they can be used. For right now, feel free to respond to any of these blogs through the following email address: email@example.com