And after that I looked
That is, after John had seen the above vision, he looked again, and saw what follows:
and behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven
this does not refer to heaven itself, the antitype of the holy of holies, which is opened by the blood of Christ, by which he himself has entered, and his people have boldness to enter now by faith, and where their souls always enter upon their departure from their bodies; for of this temple cannot be said what is in ( Revelation 15:8 ) nor to the Jerusalem state, or the most glorious state of the church on earth, during the thousand years' reign; for in that there will be no temple, ( Revelation 21:22 ) much less to any material temple on earth; the temple at Jerusalem was destroyed before this vision was, and is never to be rebuilt; nor will there be any third temple, as the Jews vainly expect: but to the church of God in the spiritual reign of Christ, under the blowing of the seventh trumpet; and designs the same thing as in ( Revelation 11:19 ) and this is to be understood as what will be, not before, but after the seven angels have poured out their vials; for till they have fulfilled the seven plagues, there is no entering into the temple for smoke, ( Revelation 15:8 ) and besides, it was after these things; after John had seen the seven angels, with the seven last plagues, ( Revelation 15:1 ) that he beheld the temple opened. The church is called "the temple", in allusion to Solomon's temple, because of its builder, materials, situation, magnificence, strength, holiness, and use; (See Gill on 2 Corinthians 6:16) and the tabernacle, in allusion to the tabernacle of Moses, which was before the temple, because God dwells in it, as he did in that; and because like that it is movable, and but for a while; and points at this church state, which will not always be so, but change and sink into the Laodicean state: and it is called "the tabernacle of the testimony", as that was; the testimony was the law, or the two tables of stone, so called, because they testified what was the good, and perfect, and acceptable will of God; and these being put into the ark, were a testimony of the covenant between God and the people of Israel, and were a witness against them, when they transgressed them, ( Deuteronomy 31:26 Deuteronomy 31:27 ) and over these were the mercy seat, and cherubim, as a testimony of the divine Presence; and the law being put into the ark, hence the ark was called the ark of the testimony, and that being placed in the tabernacle, that was called the tabernacle of the testimony, or of witness, ( Numbers 1:50 ) ( Acts 7:44 ) and all these were types of, and came to signify Christ, and the covenant of grace, the Gospel, and the mysteries of it: so that by the opening of the temple is meant a free exercise of the true religion, a setting up of Gospel churches according to the original plan, a keeping of the ordinances, as they were first delivered, and a more clear discovery of Gospel truths: it is the same with the open door in the Philadelphian church state, ( Revelation 3:8 ) as well as that at this time there will be a full manifestation of the judgments of God upon antichrist: the Alexandrian copy leaves out the word "behold".