The rest of the book of Exodus describes in detail the portable Tent of Meeting in which God’s presence would come down to His representatives. We know this Tent as the Tabernacle. As for his representatives, God established the priesthood. The Ark of the Testimony (the Ark of the Covenant), upon which was the mercy seat, would contain a new set of tablets bearing the Ten Commandments, a jar of manna, and Aaron’s rod—all foreshadows of God’s faithful Word. A pillar of smoke by day and a pillar of fire by night would lead the Israelites throughout the remainder of their journey.
The Chronos Lesson: It’s important to understand that the Tabernacle in the wilderness and the “hard copy” of the Temple in Jerusalem, both represent the Person and work of Christ. Hebrews 9:23-24 tells us that such earthly things are merely representative copies of the things in Heaven. So when Jesus ascended to Heaven in order to secure our eternal redemption, He did not enter an actual temple in Heaven, but the presence of God. “For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into Heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us” (Heb. 9:24).
That means that the Holy of Holies in the earthly Temple, wherein we find the Ark of the Covenant and the Cherubim covering the Mercy Seat, merely represents the throne of God in Heaven. That is where He dwells. It is the secret place of His presence. The heavenly Jerusalem does not require a physical temple, for He is the Temple!
With this in mind, we can understand how the earthly things connected to Israel relate to the kingdom of Heaven. The Promised Land, together with it hills and mountains, foreshadow the heavenly paradise of Heaven. The earthly Mt. Zion, upon which the present-day city of Jerusalem sits, symbolizes the Mountain of God, the heavenly Mt. Zion, upon which the heavenly Jerusalem sits. This is the “City set on a hill that cannot be hidden” (Matt. 5:14). In terms of the symbolism portrayed by the Great Pyramid of Giza, this heavenly City is the Capstone that will descend from Heaven at the end of the Days.
Since the focal point of the earthly Jerusalem was the Temple (or house of God), located on the Temple Mount, perhaps now you can see why, when John saw the holy City coming down from Heaven, that he heard a loud voice saying, “Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God” (Rev. 21:2-3).
Perhaps now you can also understand why Zechariah prophesied, “And He shall bring forth the Capstone with shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it.’” (Zech. 4:7). The descending capstone represents the heavenly Jerusalem. The City is also called the Bride, the Lamb’s wife. The heavenly “City” is being brought forth with shouts of grace, for every time a new “stone” is added to its “living Temple,” that stone is being fitted (saved) by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8).
We can now understand the greater mystery contained in Isaiah’s prophecy: “Now it shall come to pass in the latter Days that the Mountain [kingdom] of the Lord’s House [the ruling household of the firstborn] shall be exalted above the hills [the kingdoms of this world]. And all nations shall flow to it” (Is. 2:2).
This explains why the sacred symbolism of a capstone hovering above the unfinished pyramid on our dollar bill is only half of the picture. The symbol is not complete without the corresponding image of an eagle, representing those who will overcome death through resurrection in order to rule with Christ. Like the mythical Phoenix, we will rise from the ashes with new life to reign with Him. “For you died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory” (Col. 3:3-4). More on this symbolism to come.