The Heavenly Temple of God Is Opened

PICTURE OF ETERNITY.  GOD WILL DWELL WITH HIS OWN TEMPLE —

IN ALL THE UNIVERSE!

As we get started today we will return to our previous message and finish before we continue with part 117.  Please note the following five points which have several principles to help us as we examine the future.

Note five points of the previous message:

  1. FINAL REBELLION OF THE NATIONS AGAINST THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
  2. THE WRATH OF GOD WILL FALL
  3. THE DEAD WILL BE JUDGED (REVELATION 20:12)
  4. THE GODLY WILL BE REWARDED

Today, we will cover the final fifth point –

  1. The destroyers of human life will have their own lives destroyed.

“And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;”  (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).

“These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the midst of darkness is reserved for ever” (2 Peter 2:17).

“…Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him” (Jude 14-15).

“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.  This IS THE SECOND DEATH.  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:11-15).

Now let’s consider the GOSPEL:  PLEASE THINK ABOUT GOD’S “FREE” GIFT OF ETERNAL LIFE WHICH HE EXTENDS TO YOU TODAY!

NOTE:  This is a strong warning to us all, a warning that must be heeded now or else we shall be eternally doomed.    

LET’S REVIEW FIVE THINGS:

  1. An unsaved person must join those who rebel against God. If he rebels against God, then he must face God as a rebel who stands opposed to God and fights against the kingdom of God.
  2. The wrath of God is going to fall against all who rebel against God.
  3. The dead will face God.  All the dead, every single person who has lived or whoever will live – all shall stand face to face with God. 
  4. The godly will be rewarded. All who fear God’s name will be greatly rewarded.
  5. The ungodly and evil will be destroyed. All who destroy  human life—-their own lives or the lives of others—shall be destroyed.

Pay close attention to John 3:16 and Romans 10:9-13 if you have never accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal savior.  The Bible says that now is the day of salvation!

In our study for today let’s now move to Revelation 11:19 and the Temple of God.  This is scene four and it is very, very interesting.

This is a picture of eternity.  God will dwell with His own in His temple — in all the universe.  His promises will then be known to be true and His majesty will be experienced.

NOTICE SOME FACTS:                                                                     

1. There is a heavenly temple after which the earthly temple and tabernacle were patterned. Scriptures clearly says this.

“And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be” (Exodus 25:20).

“It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these,” (Hebrews 9:23).

This is really a wonderful thing, for it means that our earthly worship is patterned after the heavenly worship.  However, we must never forget that the eternal, the new heavens and earth, will have no temple in them.

Lehman Strauss states this well.

“When the New Jerusalem comes down from Heaven, it is called ‘the holy city’ (Revelation 21:2), and John states expressly, ‘I saw no temple there’ (21:22).  When the scenes in chapter 21 are fulfilled there will be no need for a temple as a place of worship.  If all were holy on earth now, there would be no need for a place of worship.  Jesus said, ‘God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth’ (John 4:24).  True worship is a matter of the heart” (The Book of Revelation, p. 225).

2. There is another interpretation of this passage that needs to be noted.

William Barclay states it well:

“The Temple is opened; but there is more than that.  The Ark of the Covenant is seen.  Now the Ark of the Covenant was in the Holy of Holies, the inside of which no ordinary person had ever   seen, and into which even the High Priest went only on the Day of Atonement.  This vision involves the opening of the Temple and even the opening of the Holy of Holies.

This can have only one meaning; it must mean that now the glory of God is going to be fully displayed to mankind.  That which was secret is going to be revealed; that which no man has seen is going to be opened to the sight of men.  The full glory of God is going to burst upon men.”

Why the special reference to the Ark of the Covenant?   This is to remind people of God’s special covenant with His own people.  Originally that covenant had been with the people of Israel; but the new covenant is the covenant in Jesus Christ with all of every nation who love and who believe in Jesus.

This means that in the full display of God’s glory, in the destruction of God’s enemies, God will remember His covenant and God will be true to His own.  Whatever the terror and whatever the destruction to come, God will not break the covenant that He made with His people and will not be false to His promises.

“So, this is a picture of the coming of the full glory of God, which is a terrifying threat to the enemies of God, but an uplifting promise to the people of God’s covenant” (The Revelation of John, Vol. 2, p. 89f). 

Now let’s move to Revelation 12:1-5, The Central Characters in the Great Tribulation.

(12:1-5)  Introduction: This is one of the most revealing and fascinating chapters in all the Bible.  It rolls back the curtain between earth and heaven and shows what lies behind all the sin and evil and all the conflict and struggle in this world.  It reveals a great spiritual struggle occurring behind the scenes of this world.  And in the last days that spiritual struggle will be more intense than ever.

In the last days, the conflict will be so intense that the struggle waged upon earth is called by our Lord the great tribulationBy great He means that the most intense and terrible tribulation the world has ever seen.

  • This passage shows us the great spiritual warfare that is waged behind the scenes of this world.
  • The spiritual warfare that is being fought for the souls of men.
  • Don’t forget that according to the Bible this spiritual battle also exists in the age of Grace for the souls of lost men, women and children (Ephesians 6:10-20).
  • Remember God sends out His warriors [Christians] to do battle on His behalf to win souls for eternity (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8).  This battle is being fought in the Age of Grace, as well in the end days,

As co-workers of Christ, Christians are to be engaged in battle.  (I Corinthians 3:9; 2 Corinthians 6:1; Ephesians 6:20-22; Colossians 3:22-4:1).

Also, remember that in the Age of Grace, we are ambassadors for the Lord Jesus Christ in the World (2 Corinthians 5:17-21).

  • So, it is plain that God expects His people to be involved in this spiritual battle, even in the age of Grace, for the souls of men, (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8).
  • This is the problem with the great apostasy that Paul points out (2 Thessalonians 2:3).
  • Paul points out that Christians will become lazy, forgetful and ignore God’s Word, tending to ignore God’s commands to their own peril.  There will no doubt be a great loss of reward at the judgment seat of Christ!

Bakers Dictionary of Theology, pages 461-462 has a good clarifying statement on the Christian’s reward:

For the Christian, rewards have an eschatological significance.  Paul teaches that every man [or woman] shall appear before the judgment seat of Christ for the judgment of his works (Romans 14:12; 2 Corinthians 5:10).

This must be kept distinct in our thinking from judgment of sin. For this, as far as the believer is concerned, was forever settled in the past (Romans 5:1).  Salvation is a gift (Ephesians 2:8-9) whereas rewards are earned (I Corinthians 3:14).

The word reward, if all of its related forms are included is found one hundred and one times in our English Bible (AV).

Four Greek words and several Hebrew words are rendered by this one word, “Reward.”

In the present-day usage, a reward is a gift given in recognition for some service rendered, either good or evil.   Its biblical usage, however, is quite varied, including such ideas as a bribe (Psalm 103:10), punishment (Psalm 91:8), and gift (I Kings 13:7).

It includes therefore, the punishment one experiences in this life for evil deeds (Matthew 6:5), as well as future retribution (Psalm 91:8).  Several times the word is used of evil done to a person where good was expected (Genesis 44:4; Psalm 35:12).

Christ often used rewards as an incentive for service.  This has been a disturbing thought to some.  One need not be troubled by this if he understands the scriptural nature of rewards and dismisses any though of materialism.

Rewards are the result of human effort, to be sure, but as Weiss says:  “As the servants of God in the Israelis theocracy were entitled by reason of the covenant relationship, to look for the fulfillment of the promise as a reward for their fulfillment of their covenant obligations, so the disciple of Jesus is entitled to look for the completion of salvation as a reward for the fulfillment of the demands which are made upon him in virtue of his being a disciple” (B. Weiss, Biblical Theology of the New Testament, Vol. I T. & T Clark, Edinburgh, 1885, p. 144).

For the Christian, rewards have an eschatological significance.  Paul teaches that every man shall appear before the judgment seat of Christ of the judgment of his works (Romans 14:12; II Corinthians 5:10).  Again, this must be kept distinct in our thinking from judgment for sin, for this, as far as the believer is concerned, is forever past (Romans 5:1).  Salvation is a gift Ephesians 2:8-9, John 3:16; Romans 10:9-13) WHEREAS REWARDS ARE EARNED (I Corinthians 4:1-5).

The two chief passages of Scripture that discuss rewards at length are I Corinthians 3:9-15 and I Corinthians 9:16-27).  Additional information can be found by studying the various passages where rewards for service are depicted as crowns (I Corinthians 9:25; Philippians 4:1; I Thessalonians 2:19; II Timothy 4:8; James 1:12; I Peter 5:4; Revelation 2:10; 3:11).

Now let’s think the various types of service, for the Lord Jesus Christ, that can merit rewards such as:

  • enduring temptation (James 1:12),
  • diligently seeking God (Hebrews 11:6),
  • dying for Christ (Revelation 2:10),
  • faithful pastoral work (I Peter 5:4),
  • faithfully doing God’s will and loving his appearing (I Timothy 4:8),
  • soul winning (Matt. 28:18-20; I Thessalonians 2:19-20),
  • faithful stewardship (I Corinthians 4:1-5,
  • acts of kindness (Galatians 6:10), and
  • hospitality (Matthew 10:40-42),

Rewards can be lost (Revelation 2:10; II John 8; I Corinthians 3:11-14).

  • Then too it is possible to be busy in the Lord’s service and receive no rewards at all (I Corinthians 3:15; 9:27),
  • or to received little when one should receive much (II John 8).

It is important, when thinking about rewards that one think honestly about their own life as the Apostle Paul directs in II Corinthians 13:5:  “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your OWN SELVES.  Know ye not our own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”

Finally, the ability to make sure you are in the faith comes only one way, that is to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior (John 3:16).  Check out the path to heaven found in Romans 10:9-13 and make sure that you are traveling the only road to heaven (Matthew 7:13-14).  Be sure to be with us next time as we pick up our study in Revelation 12:1 with “a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.”  Remember, if you have questions please drop us a line at: openbibleministriestn@gmail.com or call 931-707-2728.

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