Revelation 21:3 – “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.”
Ezekiel 37:27 – “My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
As you can see, the event described in Revelation 21:3 is a fulfillment of the promise that God gave to His people in Ezekiel 37:27.
There are several different aspects to this promise of God. When He promises that “the tabernacle of God is with men”, He is promising His people that they will possess His eternal presence in their midst.
Keep in mind, one of the greatest aspects of the OT tabernacle was God’s presence abiding within it….
Exodus 25:8 – “And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.”
Exodus 40:34-35 – “Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.”
Nowhere in the Bible does the Lord promise a literal tabernacle, or temple, will be present throughout eternity. There will be no need for them to symbolically reveal Christ to us, because He will be present and revealed clearly to us in His person.
They simply were a shadow and example of what we will experience now throughout eternity…. the very ministry and presence of Christ Himself…
Hebrews 8:5-6 – “Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount. But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.”
God’s presence among them gives His people access to Himself…
Once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the High Priest could enter into the tabernacle’s holy of holies, entering into God’s presence to make intercession for His people. In the OT Jewish mind, the tabernacle was where they went to meet with God and obtain forgiveness for their families and nation.
Leviticus 16:2-3,16 – “And the LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy place within the vail before the mercy seat, which is upon the ark; that he die not: for I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat. Thus shall Aaron come into the holy place: with a young bullock for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering…. And he shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness.”
Also, God’s presence among them gave them a much greater understanding of His person and attributes…
Remember the materials and colors that made up the tent of the tabernacle, along with all the furniture within the tabernacle, clearly declared Christ, His work and His attributes to His people.
Below is a very basic look at how Christ is revealed in the OT Tabernacle. (Christ is revealed in many more ways than is listed below. This is simply a quick glimpse at how we can see Christ in the Tabernacle for those who are unfamiliar with this teaching.)
|Tabernacle Materials / Furnishings||Symbolism|
|Coverings||Deity, Royalty, Humanity and Purity of Christ|
|Altar of Burnt offerings||The death / shed blood of Christ on the cross|
|Laver||Confession / repentance of sin and purification|
|Table of Shewbread||Partaking of Christ’s work, Becoming one with Christ, Christ’s enablement of His people|
|Golden Altar Of Incense||Prayer / Communion / Fellowship with God|
|Golden Lampstand||Christ the light of the world / Christ revealing His truths to His people.|
|Ark Of Covenant||The Deity/Humanity of Christ. Christ as Lawgiver, Christ as Bread of Life, Christ as Enabler of His People.|
|…. And many, many more|
This is why Christ’s eternal presence with His people is pictured as the tabernacle in the midst of His people.
To quote the hymn of old….
“What a day that will be, when my Jesus I shall see. And I will look upon His face, the One who saved me by His grace… And forever I will be with the One who died for me… what a day glorious day that will be!”
(Partial lyrics to “What A Day That Will Be” written by Jim Hill.)
AMEN! Truly the tabernacle of God will be with men and we will enjoy His presence for an eternity!
For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation: