And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightning…
I. THE VISION OF THE HEAVENLY TEMPLE. "The temple of God was opened in heaven."
1. A spectacle of surpassing grandeur. Its revealing splendour drinks up the mists of ages, and solves enigmas that have puzzled the wisest.
2. A spectacle of Divine government. Our God and King is enshrined in the heavenly temple; from thence He governs all things in the interest of His Church, contending with and defeating her enemies. The unexplained procedures of His government will soon be made clear.
3. A spectacle of loftiest worship. There is no true worship without thanksgiving and praise.
II. THE SUGGESTIVE DISCLOSURE OF THE HEAVENLY VISION. There was seen in His temple the ark of the Testament. We regard the ark disclosed in this vision as a symbol of God's faithfulness.
1. In carrying out the covenant of redemption. He selected the Jews as the nation through which He intended to reveal His saving purposes to the world. The work of atonement was conceived, developed, and carried out in harmony with all the attributes of the Divine character.
2. In rewarding the faithful. Designated in three different grades — ver. 18.
(1) His servants, the prophets — men prominently active in His cause.
(2) The saints — eminent for piety.
(3) Them that fear Thy name, small and great — men of varying degrees of attachment to God. All rewarded according to their works.
3. In taking vengeance on His enemies. These enemies are described in ver. 18 as those who destroy or corrupt the earth. This done by wars and desolations, by abuse of secular and spiritual powers, by evil doctrines, by flagrant sins, which cry for vengeance. All such enemies God will "punish with everlasting destruction."Lessons:
1. The most imposing revelation in the heavenly temple will be that of God's faithfulness.
2. The contemplation of that faithfulness, while it stimulates the righteous, may well alarm the wicked.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.