Book of RevelationChapter 11 of the book of Revelation begins and ends with the temple of God. In v. 1 it seems to represent the church in its service to God, but in v. 19, the heavenly habitation of God.

Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.
Revelation 11.19 ESV

It is just this movement that John wishes his readers to see, from the altar where they make their sacrifices of service and from those who worship there (v. 1), to the ark of God’s presence and to the earth-shaking manifestations of his power. It is between these two temples that the two witnesses move.

In the heavenly temple, everything is where it should be, even the ark of the covenant, not seen nor heard of in centuries. Whereas it was hidden from the people’s view while on earth, it is displayed for their comfort and encouragement in the heavenly vision.

The opening of the temple of God in heaven is so that the reader may see up into it and know that God is present and exercising his power (v. 17), evident in the flashes of lightning, roaring, crashes of thunder, an earthquake, and a great hailstorm.

God who shakes the universe for your people, may I not only see the earthly church surrounded by enemies, but the triumphant temple in heaven which awaits my arrival.

Hold this thought: God sets the times and terms of our service and guarantees its completion and success.

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