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13 In speaking of a “new” covenant, he has made the first one obsolete, and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.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 lamp stands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lamp stands 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.
“Who Really Is the Faithful and Wise Servant?” Matthew 24:45
What is required?
Whom has measured up so far?
This servant or ‘steward’ can only be approved (confirmed) after being both trained in priestly service and then thoroughly tested. Jesus has said approval will occur when he returns.
While it is possible to be born in a priestly lineage, one cannot be born a ‘priest’ of God.
To become a priest, a man would have been subjected to thorough instruction and rigorous training by the High Priest.
He must learn and understand the purpose and function of the priesthood, the duties of a priest, and how to carry them out precisely according to directives given by the High Priest.
All Temple priest underwent such training when God established the priesthood in ancient Israel. That Temple arrangement is but a pattern of the one in Heaven. Hebrews 8:25
That all cannot happen in a short period of time. It takes many years of growth and development; development especially of character. It takes many years for a human to become disciplined to strictly adhere to what is required and not be self-willed or arbitrary.
During their training, there is ongoing testing to identify strengths as well as areas in which that priest in training needs to exert more effort.
God does not test with evil. But He did permit Jesus to be exposed to the devil’s test. So too for those who follow.
That is how they are proven “faithful and true” as Jesus was declared at the end of his earthly life.
Since a priest can be called on at any time to perform any of the services in the house, he must be acquainted with all the duties and all of their requirements.
As you consider the question Jesus’ question quoted at Matthew 24, imagine working in a large mansion with many floors, each floor with many rooms.
Ask yourself, to the master of this house who among his servants would be of greatest value in service to him?
It would be the servant who has become the most familiar with the house. The one who knew what should be and what should not be present in the house, exactly where is was located, the various task, and how the various systems function. The most valued house servant is the one most versatile and useful to his master.
Clearly the servant who began his service at the lowest level perhaps even sweeping the basement floor and then over time successively moving up floor by floor while taking on more responsibilities would be of most value.
This servant would have obtained a comprehensive, thorough knowledge and would be more versatile and useful to his master. This one shows proof that they have lent themselves to the masters training and preparation program. They will have also exhibited due diligence and reliability….that they can be trusted.
This servant would have obtained a comprehensive, thorough knowledge and would be more versatile and useful to his master.
No one wants a leader who has never done the job! This kind of leader speaks about what he does not know by experience. Granted, there are many of such so-called leaders in this world. They are not leaders; they are mere taskmasters pushing someone else to do labor.
This is not the example Christ set. There are no such positions in Heaven.
Everyone works in Heaven because our Father and our Lord are workers who continue to keep working and the rest of the House follows their example.
Shaking someone else like a tree and then gathering their fruit is not an offering of your own. We must bear fruit of our own and bring it forth as an offering. We must produce.
Even Christ was not a ‘born’ leader. His father felt it good that He should groom and prepare him to be the Leader of all creation. His role as High Priest is the most critical to the house of God.
High Priest is the Chief Steward of God’s House.
Jesus stressed, “He, who would be greatest in the house of God, would least”, or would be ‘lessor’ before. Luke 9:46-49
At the time of Passover just hours before he was crucified, the Bible states, “He then took a towel, wrapped it around his waist and took a lowly position washing his disciple’s feet”, here setting an example of what he meant. John 13:3-8
Jesus Christ is God’s only approved ‘Faithful and Wise Servant’ who has been consecrated up to this moment and as Head of House he has set this example for any who will to be approved in His Order
He came from the highest possible station under God of his own free will to assume a role in the lowest order of intelligent beings…human and die.
It was a dirty task in the worst of conditions and there was no possibility of coming home alive.
He humbled himself in honor of his father willingly.
His ‘house servants’ that follow must show the same love for God and His house. Jesus said, “If you want to be my disciple, you must disown yourself and pick up your cross and follow me. Remember, that that earthly journey ended at Calvary in death.
As Jesus was fulfilling his earthly ministry, he was attentive as well as patient and did not deviate from faithfully following the course God mapped out for him to follow.
He withstood torment from the devil himself and yet he maintained his integrity even to death. His servants also have been being tested by the devil who attempts to break their integrity and they as well may have to die doing so.
It was only after Jesus had completed his earthly ministry and after he had been resurrected that he received the full value of the stewardship God entrusted upon him.
While it is true that he has been blessed with God’s holy spirit from his begetting and he was again at his water baptism. Yet he had to go through a training and confirmation process created and arranged God.
Who really is the “faithful steward” to whom God as entrusted ALL of his belongings?
That is Jesus Christ, for whom God made ALL things as a gift of inheritance and has given him authority over ALL things.
No one lesser than Christ has been given all-encompassing authority over Creation (all of God’s possessions).
The priestly under class of priest who will serve Christ in Heaven will have had to meet the same requirements, be thoroughly tested out over his or her lifetime, and await until after his death on Earth for confirmation as occurred with Jesus our High Priest.