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Revelation tells us that there is a Temple of God in Heaven, and that in that Temple is the Ark of his testament.

Revelation 11:19 KJV

And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

God directed Moses twice to make sure that he built the Tabernacle after the pattern God had shown him on the Mountain.

Exodus 25:9 KJV

According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.

Exodus 25:40 KJV

And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the Mount.

The word translated here as pattern could have just as easily been translated model.

H8403 תַּבנִיתּ tabniyth (tab-neeth') n-f.
1. structure
2. (by implication) a model, resemblance
KJV: figure, form, likeness, pattern, similitude.

Are there any theological suppositions about this?

  • Yes, 'could have', but it wasn't. – Elberich Schneider Oct 27 '13 at 20:18
  • @ Elberich Schneider is that your opinion or do you have something more concrete to back your assertion on? – BYE Oct 27 '13 at 21:03
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    Cecil, sorry, I don't know, I can't tell for sure. It is a difficult matter; but, if any and if I understand the question better, there is to say that Heaven isn't a material or physical 'place' where one can find any objects. And I wrote 'place' in quote because I'm not sure Heaven is a place, that's all. – Elberich Schneider Oct 27 '13 at 21:36
  • Our study this quarter is on the earthly and heavenly sanctuary. Very exciting topic. Video lessons can be found here hopess.hopetv.org Also, the lesson book can be freely acquired here absg.adventist.org/standard.htm – jlaverde Oct 28 '13 at 13:49
  • @ jlaverde Thank you I will most assuredly check them out. – BYE Oct 28 '13 at 14:08
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Hebrews 8:4-5 (NIV)

If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already priests who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”

Hebrews 9:19-23 (NIV)

When Moses had proclaimed every command of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.” In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own.

Moses did not build a Temple with walls and foundations of stone. The tabernacle built by Moses was a movable tent. What the Bible meant by a 'copy' is the design and positioning of the items inside the tabernacle. The tabernacle on earth cannot be equally the same like the one in Heaven but it reflected all the important aspects of the one in Heaven. The design and positioning of the items are same but the material and quality cannot be the same. While the earthly tabernacle was temporary, the heavenly tabernacle is eternal. While the high priest had to offer the blood every year, Jesus offered His eternal blood only once which is for eternity.

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Yes the tabernacle and its furnishings were a copy and shadow of heavenly things (Hebrews 8:5).

For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. (Hebrews 10:1)

Everything in the law was a shadow of things to come, including the tabernacle and its furnishings, holy days, Sabbaths, new moons, food, and drinks. As also shown in Colossians 2:16-17:

“16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ".

They were a shadow reflecting the true light to come, which is Yahuwshuwa HaMashiyach (Jesus Christ).

“That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world" (john 1:9).

Christ himself said " for had you believed Moses, ye would have believed me, FOR HE WROTE OF ME" (John 5:46). Showing us Moses wrote of Him, but the Hebrews didn't even see him in the writings of moses.

So now let’s focus specifically on the tabernacle made in the wilderness through Moses. What heavenly image was this based off?

Exodus 29

44 And I will sanctify the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar: I will sanctify also both Aaron and his sons, to minister to me in the priest's office. 45 And I WILL DWELL AMONG the children of Israel, and will be their God. 46 And they shall know that I am the Lord their God, that brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, THAT I MAY DWELL AMONG THEM: I am the Lord their God.

In context with the chapter it is speaking of Yahuwah (YHWH) dwelling among his people through the tabernacle he instructed Moses to build. That tabernacle dwelt in the midst of the children of Israel and accompanied them on their whole journey in the wilderness. Let’s compare exodus 29:44-46 with John 1:14:

14 And the Word WAS MADE FLESH, AND DWELT AMONG US, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

According to Strong's Concordance, that word "dwelt" in john 1:14 in the Greek literally means “to tabernacle, to encamp, to pitch tent”:

Word: skhnow
Pronounce: skay-no'-o
Strongs Number: G4637
Orig: from 4636; to tent or encamp, i.e. (figuratively) to occupy (as a mansion) or (specially), to reside (as God did in the Tabernacle of old, a symbol of protection and communion):-- dwell. G4636
Use: TDNT-7:385,1040 Verb
Heb Strong: H167 H7931
1) To fix one's tabernacle, have one's tabernacle, abide (or live) in a tabernacle (or tent), tabernacle
2) To dwell

It seems like the Apostle John was making a connection to Exodus 29 when writing the Word taking on flesh and pitching his tent among us. The apostles very frequently referred to their flesh as tents:

"13 Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; 14 Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me." (2 peter 1:13-14)

( 2 Corinthians 5:1)

"5 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."

Even the Messiah Himself referred to his own body as a temple: "But he spake of the temple of his body." (John 2:21)

What I am trying to show here is this, that the earthly Tabernacle in the wilderness was a representation and foreshadow of the Word that would take on flesh and dwell among them. Then all the furnishings, priesthood, sacrificial system, and worship connected to the tabernacle show the redemptive work that their Messiah Yahuwshuwa would do. Let’s look at some of these connections.

1) The pattern of this tabernacle came from heaven (exodus 26:30, Hebrews 8:5) Just like Yahuwshuwa came down from heaven (John 6:38)

2) Moses started receiving the instructions for the tabernacle in the 3rd month of the 1st year (Exodus 19:1), and finished building it on the 1st day of the first month of the 2nd year (Exodus 40;17). This equals 9 months, which represents the incarnation of the Word who was prophesied to be the "seed of the woman" (genesis 3:15) and to be born of a virgin ( Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23). It represents the 9 months in the womb to birth/build his fleshly Tabernacle.

3) the main one in charge of building most of the tabernacle was Bezaleel from the tribe of Judah ( Exodus 31:1-6, 35:30-35, 38:22). This represented that the Messiah would be birthed through the line of Judah.

4) After this Tabernacle was built, it was anointed by specially made " Holy anointing oil" ( Exodus 30:25-26, 37:29, 40:9). This literally represented the very title Messiah. The word " Messiah" comes from the Hebrew word " Mashiyach" which according the Strong's concordance Hebrew #4899 means " anointed one". So this represents that Yahuwshuwa would be the anointed one. But unlike the tabernacle, which was a shadow anointed with physical oil, the true Messiah was be anointed with the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:38)

5) According to Exodus 29:42 and Leviticus 1:1 Yahuwah would speak to the children of Israel through this tabernacle. Represents the Messiah being "the Word", that Yahuwah would speak through His Son (Hebrews 1:2). According to the prophecy in Deuteronomy 18:18 Yahuwah would put his words in the coming Prophet after the manner of Moses. And John 12:49 shows us that Yahuwshuwa didn't speak his own words, he spoke the words His Father commanded him to speak.

6) The sacrificial system connected to the Tabernacle represented the sacrificial atoning work the coming Messiah would do. The sin offering described in Leviticus 4 perfectly describes the redemptive work the Messiah would do, taking our sins upon himself. Along with all the other sacrifices and offerings done in the tabernacle. Especially the day of atonement and the feast days, which were commanded to be done before Yahuwah at his Tabernacle ( exodus 23:14, Leviticus 16) The Book of Hebrews explains all this in great detail. Which brings us to the first of the furnishings, which is the brass alter used to sacrifice the animals. This alter was made of shit-tim wood (exodus 27:1), and young unblemished animals were offered upon it for the atonement of souls. This represented our savior hung upon the wooden cross.

7) The Laver of water was the next furnishing, which the priests used to clean themselves. This represented His cleansing Word (John 15:3, Ephesians 5:26). It also very likely represented baptism.

8) After the brass alter and laver, you know walked inside the tabernacle. Where you would see the golden candle stick, the table of showbread, the alter of incense, and the veil that covered the Most Holy Place. All these represent different aspects of the Messiah and his work. The Golden candle stick with the 7 lamps on it can represent the 7 Spirits of God before his Throne ( Revelation 4:5), which can be the 7 fold Spirit that rested of Yahuwshuwa Mashiyach (Isaiah 11:2-3). In John 8:12 Yahuwshuwa said “I am the Light of the world”. The candlestick can also represent the Church (revelation 1:20), which is the very body of Yahuwshuwa.

The table of showbread had 12 breads to represent the 12 tribes of Israel. Represents when the Messiah said “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35), in John 6 he also says the bread is his body that he offers. We must eat of that flesh for eternal life.

The golden alter of incense right outside the Most Holy place represents Yahuwshuwa’s intercession for us. Revelation 8:3 shows us incense represents prayer.

The Veil that hid the Most Holy Place and the Ark of the Covenant represented the flesh of the Messiah (Hebrews 10:20). This represented that the way to the Most Holy was not yet made available (Hebrews 9:8), until Yahuwshuwa tore his flesh for the sins of man. This is why the veil tore at his crucifixion. This Veil (His flesh) was held up by 4 wooden pillars (Exodus 26:32). So in the very design we can see the crucifixion of the Flesh of the Messiah, the 4 pillars also prophesied the 4 gospels which are the pillars of our faith. Even the 4 materials of the veil had symbolic meaning, which were blue, scarlet, purple, and fine linen. The blue and scarlet represent the blood and water poured out his flesh. The purple represents royalty, also when he was given a purple robe and mocked with a crown of thorns. Then the white linen represents his burial that was the very material he was buried in according to the gospels.

9) The Ark of the Covenant represents the Throne room of the Most High (revelation 5), that we only have access to him through the torn flesh of His Son. But remember this tabernacle represents the Word in the Flesh, so it represents that the Most High would be in his Son.

10) The Priesthood itself in the tabernacle represented the work of the Messiah who now is our High Priest

It would take pages and pages to describe all these connections in detail, so I gave a quick summary. There is also so much more. Like the one door representing Yahuwshuwa who said “ I am the door” showing he is the one way, and on and on I could keep going.

In conclusion: The Tabernacle was a copy and image of the heavenly things manifested through the Son Himself. It foretold the Word Himself would take on flesh and dwell among his people. All the furnishings told the story of what he would do for our salvation. The Son is the true Tabernacle of The Father. Revelation 21:3 " Behold The TABERNACLE OF GOD IS WITH MEN AND HE WILL DWELL WITH THEM"

Leviticus 26 :11-13 " 11 And I set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you.

12 And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people."

They verses were prophetic that the Word would take on flesh and walk among his people

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The Scriptures cited above show that the earthly Temple and before that the Tabernacle was a copy of a heavenly Temple. And that a liturgical type of worship goes on in heaven, Revelation 4:8-11 and "And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne." Revelation 8:3.

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    Welcome to Christianity.SE. For a quick overview, please take the Site Tour. In particular, this is a Q&A site rather than a discussion site. Answers must focus on the specific question asked, which in this case is whether and how the Tabernacle relates to things in heaven. Though you say a few things about this, most of your answer goes off into issues and controversies that do not answer the question asked. See: What makes a good supported answer? – Lee Woofenden Apr 4 '17 at 16:01
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    Welcome Christine! To correct a common misconception, this isn't a discussion forum – it's a Q&A site with a specific format, which means that answers need to focus on addressing the question asked. This post doesn't do that, so I've edited out the parts that weren't relevant to the question. Hope this makes sense; if you have questions feel free to comment here. Thanks! – Nathaniel Apr 4 '17 at 18:26
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The Tabernacle of Testimony that The LORD commanded Moses to build in the wilderness, is the biblical type of creation. Hell, earth, the 1'st, 2nd, and 3rd heavens and what they contain. There are multiple scriptures to reference each of the individual pieces of earthly tabernacle furniture and vessels to their heavenly types.

Paul speaks about this in Hebrews ch. 9... Re read that whole chapter. He is speaking about the Tabernacle of Witness specifically and not the temple. They are the patterns of the true.

Google "Tabernacle Earth" ...

  • Welcome to Christianity.SE. For a quick overview, please take the Site Tour. For some tips on writing good answers here, see: What makes a good supported answer? Meanwhile, I hope you'll browse some of the other questions and answers on this site. – Lee Woofenden Jul 8 '17 at 0:38

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