The earthly tabernacle (and later the two temples) are a shadow of what happens in Heaven.
Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer. For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount. But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
- Hebrews 8:1-6 (KJV)
In Heaven, Jesus is our high priest.
I was also shown a sanctuary upon the earth containing two apartments. It resembled the one in heaven, and I was told that it was a figure of the heavenly. The furniture of the first apartment of the earthly sanctuary was like that in the first apartment of the heavenly. The veil was lifted, and I looked into the holy of holies and saw that the furniture was the same as in the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary. The priest ministered in both apartments of the earthly. He went daily into the first apartment, but entered the most holy only once a year, to cleanse it from the sins which had been conveyed there. I saw that Jesus ministered in both apartments of the heavenly sanctuary. The priests entered into the earthly with the blood of an animal as an offering for sin. Christ entered into the heavenly sanctuary by the offering of His own blood. The earthly priests were removed by death; therefore they could not continue long; but Jesus was a priest forever. Through the sacrifices and offerings brought to the earthly sanctuary, the children of Israel were to lay hold of the merits of a Saviour to come. And in the wisdom of God the particulars of this work were given us that we might, by looking to them, understand the work of Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary.
- Ellen White, Early Writings, p. 252/253
The earthly tabernacle was a portable temple as described in the book of Exodus.
- By Ruk7 / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
There are three main areas:
- The court yard (accessable to all)
- The Holy Place (accessable to the priests only)
- The Most Holy Place (accessable to the high priest only)
The Ark of the Covenant, which contains the Ten Commandments, is in the Most Holy Place.
- By Ron Wyatt / CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
The things that matter most to God are the Ten Commandments.
I think most people miss this completely.
Check out this website for an explanation of what a tabernacle is and what it contains.
Check out this YouTube video for a tour around the tabernacle (with commentary).
Check out this YouTube video for a tour around the tabernacle (without commentary).
Check out this YouTube video for another tour around the tabernacle (with commentary).
There are many other tours of the tabernacle, but these ones stood out for me.
For Ellen White's version, please click here.