Introduction: Last week we studied God’s temple in heaven. We learned
about God’s throne, His advisors and the control center of the
universe. This week we study copies. On the face of it, what we
learned about last week seems nothing like what we will read about
this week. Let’s plunge into our study of the Bible and see why God
had us create “copies” of the temple, His sanctuary in heaven, how
many He made, and what all of this means!

  1. Building Copy

    1. Read Exodus 25:1-8. God solicits offerings from His people
      to build His sanctuary on earth. Why? (He wants us to be a
      part of this work.)

    2. Read Exodus 25:9 and Hebrews 8:4-5. What do we learn about
      the sanctuary on earth and the sanctuary in heaven? (The
      one on earth is patterned after the one in heaven.)

    3. Read Hebrews 8:5-6. Which one is better? Which one came
      first? (This tells us that what is going on in heaven is
      better! The fact that the sanctuary on earth was patterned
      after the one in heaven shows that the heavenly sanctuary
      came first. Notice that Hebrews 8:5 calls the sanctuary on
      earth a “shadow” of the one in heaven – it represents in
      some way the original.)

      1. “Shadow” is an interesting word. What can someone
        learn about you from your shadow?

        1. What cannot be learned about you from your

  2. Jesus Copy

    1. Read John 2:13-16. How does Jesus describe the sanctuary
      on earth? (“My Father’s house.”)

      1. What claim did Jesus make about His relationship with
        God? (Jesus is the Father’s Son. “My Father’s

      2. What is Jesus’ claim to authority over His Father’s
        house? (He is the Son.)

    2. Read John 2:17-18. Notice that the Jewish leaders did not
      laugh at this, but rather demanded some proof that He was
      the Son of God. What proof do they require? (A sign.)

    3. Read John 2:19-20. What do you think about Jesus’ offered
      sign? (Oddly, the people don’t seem to question that this
      proof requires the destruction of the temple. Instead,
      they think it absurd to believe it can be rebuilt in three

    4. Read John 2:21-22. What did Jesus actually mean? (That He
      would rise from the grave in three days.)

      1. Is Jesus referring to His body as God’s temple? Does
        this mean a second copy of the temple was now on
        earth? Were there two, the physical building and

      2. How can we consider both the building and Jesus as
        “copies” of the temple in heaven? (The sanctuary in
        heaven is where God dwells. God told Moses (Exodus
        25:8) to make a sanctuary on earth “and I will dwell
        among them.” Jesus is God. In all three, the temple
        in heaven, the temple in Jerusalem, and Jesus, we
        have the presence of God.)

  3. Church Copy

    1. Read 1 Corinthians 3:5-9. Paul ends this discussion of
      cooperative work with the statement that teachers are
      God’s “fellow workers,” and the church is God’s “field”
      and “building.” How are we a field and a building?

    2. Read 1 Corinthians 3:10-13. What building are we seeing
      here? (The group that makes up the church.)

      1. Who are the builders? (The Bible teachers.)

        1. Are some Bible teachers better than others?
          (Some build with “straw.”)

    3. Read 1 Corinthians 3:16-17. What temple is being referred
      to here? (Kristofor Westermeyer, who coordinates the
      translators for these lessons, pointed out an error I made
      several months ago when writing about this text. I thought
      it referred to individuals, but Kris thought it referred
      to the church. This gives me a chance to correct the
      error. Paul here refers to the church as a temple.)

      1. How is the church a temple?

      2. If the church is a temple, is it yet another copy of
        the one in heaven?

    4. Let’s consider this a moment. We have the temple in
      heaven. We have the temple on earth. We have Jesus and we
      have the church. They are all temples. Read Matthew 27:50-52. What does this suggest about the temple on earth?
      (The rending of the curtain suggests that temple is no
      longer viable. The work in the earthly temple pointed to
      the coming work of Jesus. When Jesus died as the Lamb for
      our sins, the temple on earth lost its significance.)

      1. Has the church taken over the role of being God’s
        temple on earth?

      2. Should the church be concerned about retaining its

  4. You Copy

    1. Read 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 and 2 Corinthians 6:16. What is
      the temple here? (We are God’s temple.)

      1. In one respect this seems very odd: Jesus, the temple
        in Jerusalem, the Church, and now you and I are
        temples. What is the common denominator that makes
        all of these temples? (God is in them.)

    2. Have you ever heard about patterns in the Bible? When I
      hear of such things, my general reaction is “so what?” The
      only thing I consider valuable about arguments over
      patterns is that our God is a complex and sophisticated
      God. Is this idea that we have many temples on earth a “so

      1. What does the knowledge of God being in the temple in
        heaven do for us? (At least two things. It tells us
        that God is in control! The parallel between the
        temple on earth and the temple in heaven tells us
        that God died to save us and is mediating for us in
        heaven right now. God designed His home to reflect
        His work for us.)

      2. What does the knowledge of the church being a temple
        do for us? (God desires to be with us in an organized
        way. The church should reflect God’s will.)

      3. What does the knowledge that we are temples do for
        us? ( 2 Corinthians 6:17 tells us that we should
        reflect God’s will. We should be separate from evil.)

      4. Is there some overarching lesson we can learn about
        these temples? (God wants to live with us. His house
        is designed with us in mind. He had us create a place
        for Him to live with us. He came to earth in human
        form to live with us. He sent His Holy Spirit to live
        in us. God’s desire to be with you and me gives me
        comfort and courage in a world full of challenges.)

  5. Copies Merged

    1. Read Revelation 7:9-10. Where is this? (Before the throne
      of God in the temple in heaven.)

      1. What is the future of the “copies?” (They are here!
        We are there. The “church” is there. Jesus is there.
        By the way, I wince at referring to Jesus as “copy.”)

    2. Read Revelation 7:11-12. When the original and the copies
      merge, what happens? (They praise God! They give glory to

    3. Read Revelation 7:15-16. What are we doing in the temple
      in heaven? (We get to serve God! We are like the priests
      in the temple on earth.)

    4. Read Revelation 7:17. Where is Jesus? (“At the center of
      the throne!”)

      1. What is our relationship to Jesus? (He leads us to
        life and joy. Revelation 7:15 tells us that He will
        “spread His tent” over us.)

    5. Friend, the sanctuary in heaven and the copies on earth
      show that God desires to be with us. He desires to live in
      us. Ultimately, He desires to have us live with Him in the
      temple in heaven. Do you want that? Why not, right now,
      ask Jesus to live in you, to make you a temple on earth?

  6. Next week: Sacrifices.