Sabbath Meditation #15 – The Gates of Heaven
By Kelly McDonald, Jr
“The LORD says: ‘The gate of the inner court that looks toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the Sabbath day it shall be opened, and on the day of the new moon it shall be opened…The people of the land shall worship at the door of that gate before [paniym] The LORD on the Sabbaths and on the new moons'” (Ezekiel 46:1, 3).
“For if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, seeing there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law, who serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, even as Moses was warned by God when he was about to make the tabernacle, for he said, ‘See, you shall make everything according to the pattern that was shown to you on the mountain'” (Hebrews 8:4-5).
In the Old Testament, the Tabernacle/Temple structures were built to pattern heavenly things. As we survey the entire Bible, we understand this even more. For instance, three of the furniture pieces from the earthly structures are also mentioned as having Heavenly counterparts: the menorah, the altar of incense, and the Ark of the Covenant (Rev. 4:5, 8:1-5, 11:19).
As discussed in the last Sabbath Meditation, there is one earthly Temple structure that will be built in the future. It is described in the book of Ezekiel. We learn that this Temple will have a gate which is only open on the seventh-day Sabbath and the New Moon.
This allows us to learn yet another reason why we rest from labors and other activities on the Sabbath. By following God’s instructions concerning the Sabbath, we are positioning ourselves to receive from Heavenly Temple.
Recall that not even physical manna fell from Heaven on the Sabbath (Exodus 16). There was a greater revelation than Manna to be received. It cannot come by work or selfish ambition. It can only be received through the blessed Sabbath rest.
Our body is also called God’s Temple (I Cor. 3:16-17). The gate to the Heavenly temple is open every Sabbath; is your temple prepared and open to receive its blessing?
Kelly McDonald, Jr
BSA President, www.biblesabbath.org