THE TEMPLE OF GOD
This whole religious system of Israel revolved round the Tabernacle which Moses built in the wilderness, and later the Temple. To them this structure was the very center of their sacrifices and rituals, and in fact, everything that had to do with their relationship to the Lord. As a result Christian scholars have studied its dimensions, and the furniture, to better understand this unique place, where God said He would meet with His chosen people.
The purpose of this study is not to go over the facts and figures of the Mosaic tabernacle, but to explore the TRUE TABERNACLE, which provided the pattern God showed Moses in the Mount. Most informed Christians, are familiar with the material building, Israel built in the wilderness, and the "Glory" which is revealed therein. But for most, the REALITY, which it represents, has become a tantalizing DREAM, which we believe cannot be realized. How true is the word of the Prophet Isaiah, as He looked down the years of time, and saw God’s people, "Robbed and spoiled; They are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses. They are for a prey, and NONE DELIVERETH, or saith RESTORE." However, we are living in a day, when the Lord is taking the scales from our eyes, and we are beginning to see the TRUTH, which modern theology has hid from us.
Beloved, the glorious REALITY, of which the Tabernacle of Moses and the Temple of Solomon, were but a DIM SHADOW, is ordained of God for His people today, and as you read these pages I trust you will touch the same REALITY, which has lifted me out of the Kingdom of DUST, and translated me into the Kingdom of God. I am not sharing some nebulous doctrine about some super spiritual experience, but the TRUTH about YOURSELF, which is to be expressed in a NEW LIFE IN CHRIST, and able to be demonstrated by the very LEAST of the Saints.
Please do not read these pages as some academic treatise, simply seeking to put forward yet another point of view, but seek the true TEACHER from God, the HOLY SPIRIT, who has been given specifically to GUIDE US INTO ALL TRUTH, and allow Him to be your guide. For apart from HIM none of us will ever understand the things He has prepared for us, for they can only be SPIRITUALLY DISCERNED.
THE TEMPLE OF GOD IN THE OLD TESTAMENTIt is most interesting to note that the REASON for the building of a "Temple", was not to fulfill some NEED in man, but TO FULFILL A NEED IN GOD. Ex. 25:8. "And let them make ME a sanctuary that I MAY DWELL AMONG THEM." This is the first mention of such a dwelling place for God to dwell upon the earth. How interesting it is to note that Adam enjoyed the presence of the Lord God in the Garden, which He has made, and in a true sense here is the ultimate purpose envisioned in the heart of God, that MAN should dwell together with HIM in UNITY. But of course, Adam believed he forfeited both that unity, and his right to dwell there, through eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and was cast out into the hostile environment of earth, where the thistles and weeds would sap his energy, in his effort to bring forth enough food to eat. This is true in the lives of millions today, who do not LIVE in that GARDEN, but like ADAM are relegated to THE EARTH consciousness of their being.
In the Garden prepared of the Lord, grew the TREE OF LIFE, but having been denied access to the garden, he now sank into MORTALITY, even as the Lord had said he would. Beloved, this "GARDEN OF EDEN", is not some mythical place, which is the product of the imagination of our mind, but in actual fact, is WITHIN OUR VERY OWN HEART. It is that sanctuary deep within our spiritual being, where God dwells, and where the TREE OF LIFE still flourishes. But in our every day living, just as we are now, we are unable to access that Garden but IT IS STILL THERE, although hidden from our natural eyes.
The purpose of these notes is to discover the way back to God’s Garden, to dwell with him in fellowship and communion. For this reason everything that has been recorded in the Scriptures has a vital purpose, in teaching us the WAYS of the Lord. The Old Testament is not just a HISTORY BOOK, filled with facts and figures of a long gone era, but it is HIS STORY, with every word and every number pregnant with meaning. The life of Israel therefore becomes like a PARABLE, which unfolds to us Spiritual truths we could never know in any other way. Remember Jesus said, "If I have told you earthly things, and you do not understand how shall you believe if I tell you of HEAVENLY THINGS." Jn. 3:12
So we will begin to look at the PATTERN God gave to Moses in the Mount, of a DWELLING PLACE for the Lord. It is worth noting, that in Ex. 39 the Lord speaks to the people of Israel, SEVEN TIMES, that they were to build everything ACCORDING AS THE LORD COMMANDED MOSES. Seven, according to Bible numerics, is the number of COMPLETENESS. Nothing was to be added and nothing was to be left out, for it was being built ACCORDING TO A PATTERN. Many Christians have never really considered that God has a PATTERN or a PURPOSE for what He is doing today. Many consider FATE to be the arbiter of circumstances on the earth, and others see SATAN as the master-mind behind many of the things we observe today. But let me assure you God is working ALL THINGS after the counsel of HIS OWN WILL. Eph. 1:11. God has a PLAN, which has never been changed from the beginning, and a PATTERN for His dwelling place on the earth today, and EVERYTHING is going according to that PLAN, and is right on schedule.
Christians down through the ages have spent their lives seeking to BUILD a dwelling place for God. In every country there are great buildings of tremendous value, called CHURCHES or cathedrals, where people go because they think they might find God. Some have built on the foundation of the work of great men of God, such as John Wesley, or Martin Luther, or William Booth. Yet in spite of all the effort and the sincerity of those who built, Paul makes it very clear, God does not dwell today in TEMPLES MADE WITH HANDS.
In order to gain an understanding of God’s dwelling place on the earth today, let us look at the Tabernacle Moses built at the express instruction of the Lord. In Ex. 25, the Tabernacle was to be built out of the OFFERING, which every man gave willingly. To give willingly without any sense of coercion, we must be absolutely convinced that what we are giving is going towards something needed and essential for what ever reason. Is there any profit in a man walking in fellowship with God? For many the answer would be an honest NO, for they accept responsibility for their own lives and make enough money to buy what they need and to do what they want. For them, to GIVE to provide an earthly sanctuary for the Lord is a waste of time, because they feel no desperate need for any such thing.
Unfortunately many "Christians" are so earth-bound, they can only see such a place, in terms of bricks and mortar forming an earthly building. So the building of expensive buildings and calling them churches has turned many Christians off, and they have no desire to become involved in such things. In the last twenty or so years, the teaching of TITHING has been introduced, in the hope of providing some "spiritual" validity to the GIVING of God’s people. If we GIVE under the system of TITHING, it is not OF OUR OWN FREE WILL, but under a LAW, which was set up for Israel. However the OFFERING for the sanctuary of the Lord in Exodus 25, had nothing to do with TITHING, for that law was not yet given to Israel. Secondly, the GIFT was not required in DOLLARS and CENTS, but the actual MATERIAL required to construct the sanctuary of the Lord. There was GOLD, which speaks of DIVINITY, and SILVER connected with redemption, and brass and copper, the BASE metals. These together with BLUE, which is associated with heaven, PURPLE with kingship and authority, and SCARLET with Blood and Life.
It becomes apparent right from the beginning that the MATERIAL TABERNACLE Moses built was not in itself the HEAVENLY TABERNACLE, but was an earthly "replica". We could spend hours studying this earthly structure, but my purpose is to focus on the HEAVENLY REALITY, which is here represented. I want us to consider the Tabernacle, which WAS the PATTERN that was given to Moses on the mount.
This Tabernacle of Moses and the Temple in Jerusalem all share the same principles, and even though the Temple in Jerusalem was magnificent, listen to what Solomon said of that Temple. "But will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth? Behold heaven and the Heaven of Heavens cannot contain Thee; how much less this house which I have built." So the material Temple was only to be a TEMPORARY PLACE for God to dwell. What was designed to be the dwelling place of God? IT IS MAN CREATED IN HIS LIKENESS AND IMAGE, A TEMPLE not made with hands? 1 Cor 6:19 "Don’t you know that your body is the temple of God which is in you, which you have of God, and YOU ARE NOT YOUR OWN."
THE TEMPLE OF GOD
IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
"And the angel came in unto her and said, "Hail, thou art MUCH GRACED, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women…Fear not, for thou hast found favor with God, and thou shalt conceive in thy womb and bring forth a son, and shall call his name JESUS…For the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the Power of the Highest shall over shadow thee, therefore that Holy thing which shall be born of thee, shall be called A SON OF GOD." Luke 1:28-35.
In this child, God was preparing a DWELLING PLACE for Himself. Mary realized she was chosen to bring forth the SEED that was promised, who would bruise the serpent’s head, and so like Israel of old, she gave willingly, not of Gold and silver, but OF HERSELF, as she said, "Be it unto me according to Thy Word." It is obvious Jesus knew WHO HE WAS from the Old Testament scriptures, which said, "Sacrifice and offering Thou didst not desire, but a BODY HAST THOU PREPARED ME." His BODY was FATHER’S dwelling place on earth, for "God was IN CHRIST reconciling the world unto Himself." Paul says, "For it pleased the Father, that IN HIM should all FULLNESS dwell." Col. 1:19.
During His ministry in Jerusalem, Jesus said concerning the Temple in Jerusalem, "Behold YOUR HOUSE is left unto you desolate." Luke 13:35. In other words what they had was a building, which they had built according to the pattern Moses was given in the mount, but GOD WAS NOT in residence. Can you imagine the consternation of the people when Jesus told them to, "DESTROY THE TEMPLE, and in THREE DAYS I will raise it up." But He was not speaking about raising up the material temple, but the TEMPLE WHICH IS HIS BODY. The Hebrew word for "pattern" means "JAH HAS PREVAILED." So regardless of all the failure and apostasy in Israel, the Lord has prevailed and now He has His DWELLING PLACE in Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ became the FIRST EXPRESSION of God’s dwelling place on the earth, a TEMPLE NOT MADE WITH HANDS. This is THE LIVING TEMPLE, of which the Tabernacle of Moses was but a dim shadow, and yet it was accurate in its portrayal of Christ. He is the LOGOS spoken of by John, who was in the BEGINNING WITH GOD. The Greek word, LOGOS does not just refer to the WORDS spoken, but is the THOUGHT and INTENT that was in the heart of God when he said, "Let us make MAN."
However, the CHRIST is a MULTI-MEMBERED person all of which would be capable of manifesting God to the whole of mankind. In Rom. 8:29, the Apostle Paul speaks about those, "Whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF HIS SON, that HE might be the FIRSTBORN AMONG MANY BRETHREN." It is interesting to note, that the word "FIRSTBORN" is the Greek word PROTOTOKOS, from which we get our English word "PROTO-TYPE". So we understand Jesus Christ was the FIRST MAN created in Gen 1:26-27, and OUT OF HIM came all of MANKIND, all of whom are THE CHILDREN OF GOD having the same FATHER, and that is GOD.
As a result of these truths, we see JESUS CHRIST as a PATTERN MAN, and the TEMPLE, through whom Christ will reveal Himself to the whole world. In order for Moses to understand this "PATTERN", he was called up into the Mount of God, where it was revealed to him. So TODAY we are being called up to the "Mountain of God", that HIGH realm of the SPIRIT, in order to be able to see Jesus Christ as the PROTO-TYPE of God’s dwelling place, and discover the reflection of ourselves IN HIM. The Apostle John tells us, "AS HE IS (NOW) SO ARE WE IN THIS WORLD."
The Body of Jesus was formed in the womb of a virgin from a BODY of a virgin who was ordained of God. Jesus did not come out of some religious organization, nor was He born of the will of MAN, but He was birthed through the "Seed" of God" through the anointing of the Spirit of God. In exactly the same way, Christ will be manifested to this world today through a people, such as you and I, who are THE CHURCH, which is HIS BODY. In Luke 2:34, Simeon held the Baby Jesus in his arms and prophesied in the Spirit, "Behold, this child is set for the FALL and RISING again of many in Israel; and for a SIGN which shall be spoken against." Perhaps a clearer translation is, "He shall be a sign which will be MUCH DEBATED…that many will talk against…. which is being constantly refused-…. And which many will attack." In 2 Timothy 3:12 Paul says, "Yea and all who will live Godly in Christ SHALL suffer persecution." So when your life fits the SIGN, you are going to be "talked about, debated, and come under attack", just as the Word declares.
Having established our identity according to the PATTERN, Jesus Christ, Paul speaks to the saints in Corinth. First he covers the many problems in the church there, from sectarianism, and divisions, through to incest and immorality, all were present here, so it was obvious they had not yet ascended the mount of the Lord, and discovered the "TRUE PATTERN". So Paul concludes this section of his letter with this startling question, "What? Know ye not that your BODY is the TEMPLE of the Holy Ghost which IS IN YOU, which ye have of God, and YE ARE NOT YOUR OWN"?
Until this revelation has touched our hearts we will live as MEN, totally absorbed by the appearance realm, and operating out of the five senses. How few Christians today live their lives on the basis, that their BODY is THE TEMPLE OF GOD. I am not speaking here of simple knowledge, for most taught Christians would be able to quote the above verse, and so would KNOW IT. BUT there is a KNOWING which we need, that is translated into reality, affecting not only the MIND, but also the SPIRIT. Today the Holy Spirit is not just telling us WORDS, as in verses, but He is opening our EYES TO SEE CHRIST, not in some ethereal heaven up above the blue sky, BUT IN YOU, so constituting your body HIS TEMPLE.
"Wherefore, henceforth know we NO MAN after the flesh; yea though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet NOW henceforth know we Him NO MORE, (in that way)"
2 Cor. 5:16. Here Paul is telling us, that God is taking a people BEYOND HUMAN THINKING in their PERCEPTIONS, beyond every other realm, into a GOD CONSCIOUS REALM. Theology today, has separated US from CHRIST, by putting Him in some IMAGINARY HEAVEN up in the sky, but God is bringing us into UNION with the one who DWELLS WITHIN US. Religion is waiting for Christ to COME BACK out of the sky, as a drowning man seeks for some one to rescue him, but beloved, the CHRIST is right NOW dwelling within his people! He that has ears to hear let him hear what the Spirit is saying to His people.
In 1 Cor. 15:46 Paul gives us the divine order, first the NATURAL, and then afterwards that which is SPIRITUAL. First came Adam the natural man, but then came the LAST ADAM, the SPIRITUAL MAN, who is a LIFE GIVING SPIRIT. The natural Adam cannot be a part of the Temple of God, because of his disobedience in the Garden, and also because he cannot impart LIFE. Therefore God is lifting us out of the realm of what is NATURAL, by His Spirit, into the SPIRITUAL REALM, which is the Kingdom of God, so that we become ONE WITH HIM. In this way the earthly temple has given way to the TEMPLE, which is from HEAVEN, as the DWELLING PLACE OF GOD.
THE HEAVENLY TEMPLE
"And the TEMPLE OF GOD was opened in Heaven, and
there was seen in His Temple the ARK of the Covenant.
The book of Revelation is, according to the introduction given by the Apostle John, a "REVELATION OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST", and not some prophecy of the destruction of the world. With this in mind, we come to chapter 11, and John is told to "Rise and measure the Temple of God", and for this purpose he was given a ROD. This "Rod" was to be the standard of measurement for everything connected with the Temple, the dwelling place of God. This is the ROD David spoke of when he said, "THY ROD and THY STAFF they comfort me". This ROD is a wonderful picture of Christ, who cares for us and guides us, yes, and even corrects us. Everything to do with the Temple must measure up to this "ROD", which is the standard of Christ, for we are all to be "CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF HIS SON".
It is also interesting to notice that there are TWO Greek words that are translated as "Temple", the word "Hieron", referring to the building, and the word, "NAOS", referring to the Most Holy Place. Since the CROSS and the rending of the veil, the Temple in Jerusalem ceased to be a "NAOS" in God’s eyes, and was simply a "Hieron", a building, BUT IN CONTRAST, Paul says, "Ye are the Temple (NAOS) OF THE living God, as He hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them, and I will be their God and they shall be my people". 2 Cor. 6:16 Today we are HIS INNER SANCTUARY, and so we are being measured and qualified to become His habitation.
Hear the words of Jesus in Luke 6:38, "For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again". Jesus Christ is the MEASURE, and because He is opening our eyes and understanding to see our true identity as CHRIST, we now see ourselves as a NEW CREATION MAN restored into his fullness and perfection.
Notice in Rev. 11:2 John is told not to measure the court outside the Most Holy Place, because God is dealing with the INNER MAN, or the "Hidden man of the heart". Unlike religion, which concerns itself with the outward and the physical, and the self worth, God looks upon the HEART. Therefore when the prophet Samuel was sent to anoint Israel’s king, it is most interesting to note what the Lord Said to him. "Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature, for the Lord seeth NOT AS MAN SEETH; for man looketh on the OUTWARD appearance, but the Lord looketh ON THE HEART". 1 Sam. 16:7
After the dealings of God in our lives, and the foundation of Jesus Christ has been laid in our inner being, then the TEMPLE is OPENED IN HEAVEN which is within us. Because of our religious teaching, whenever we hear the word HEAVEN mentioned, we activate our I-magination and call up a picture of some ethereal place up in the sky. Beloved, it is time to grow up and put away childish thinking, for the Lord is at hand. The "HEAVEN" where the Temple of God was OPENED, IS WITHIN US, in the REALITY OF OUR INNER BEING. Paul had already declared, "Your body is the Temple of God", so therefore we must see that there is an analogy between the TEMPLE and our BODY. The "outer court" relates to our BODY, with the Holy Place indicating the area of SOUL, while the Most Holy Place represents the area of SPIRIT within us. It is here WITHIN US, where God dwells, and if this is so, then we MUST BE HIS TEMPLE.
The DUALITY OF OUR MIND has prevented us from knowing who we really are, for we have retained the concept of… God up in heaven, but we are on the earth. We often speak of the Spirit of God, and also and OUR SPIRIT, or as we express it, the Spirit of MAN. However I want you to know, beloved, that YOUR SPIRIT is THE LORD. There are not two spirits, totally distinct and separate dwelling within you. That is what MAN has taught us. YOU are the "LIVING NAOS" or the INNER SANCTUARY of God. He dwells within you bringing His refining process to bear upon our lives, until Christ is all. Our concept of "DUALITY" denies the purpose of God in making us ONE WITH HIMSELF. John 17:21.
But like Moses, we must ascend the "Mount of the Lord" to receive a revelation of the PATTERN, and that pattern is CHIRST. You will not "SEE" that pattern just from reading books, good though they may be, or by listening to sermons, but this is a ministry of the Spirit of God, deep within our being, opening to our understanding a REVELATION of CHRIST. The Apostle John in his first letter, makes this profound statement, 1 John 3:2-3. "Beloved NOW, (that is at this precise moment in time) ARE WE the SONS OF GOD, and it doth not yet appear, (or become apparent) what we SHALL BE; (at another time). BUT WE KNOW (with absolute certainty) that WHEN HE SHALL APPEAR, WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM, for we shall SEE HIM AS HE IS".
Let me ask you beloved, "DO YOU KNOW that you are A SON OF GOD and not someone who is an out-cast from God, because GOD IS YOUR FATHER. If Christ lives IN YOU then whatever He is, THAT IS WHAT YOU ARE. Do not be diverted by the religious world, who will say that you are a sinner and God is angry with you and if you do not repent he will burn you forever in hell. Of course this is a lie and has driven more people from God than it could ever draw people to him. Such ideas totally destroy the character of God making him to be a monster, but the word declares GOD IS LOVE. The truth staggers the human imagination, and yet it is TRUE, but it can only be grasped by the SPIRIT. How then can we be LIKE HIM, is the question asked by most sincere Christians. Thousands of books have been written on this subject, preachers have preached multitudes of sermons about it, yet the reality eludes the people of God. Most people want some "secret" key, like a particular behavior pattern, or some "spiritual" activity, but this is not the answer. Let me tell you the answer.
YOU MUST SEE HIM, THEN YOU WILL BE LIKE HIM.
But this is not a natural SEEING, but a SEEING or REVELATION by the Spirit, as HE opens the EYES OF OUR UNDERSTANDING. The people of Jesus day, could not agree as to who He really was, even though they could see Him and He had lived among them. But some said He was John the Baptist, others that He was Elias, and others that He was Jeremiah, but Peter said, "Thou art the CHRIST, the Son of the living God". Matt. 16:16. How did Peter know the truth, but the rest were ignorant? Because "Flesh and blood did not reveal it to him, but FATHER in HEAVEN". Did God speak to Peter from above the blue sky…. NO… The REVELATION WAS WITHIN HIM.
The ONE WHO DWELLS WITHIN YOU TODAY, is just the same, and quite capable of revealing HIMSELF to you also. Listen to the word of God. "Say not in this heart, who shall ascend into heaven?, (that is to bring Christ down from above;) Or, who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The WORD is nigh thee, even IN THY MOUTH, and IN THY HEART; that is, the Word of
Faith, which we preach". Rom. 10:6-8.
Jesus said, "In my Father’s House are many mansions". John 14:2 As a result the carnal mind imagines streets filled with beautiful homes which are waiting in "heaven" for all the Christians, after they die. YOU beloved, are ONE of those many mansions, NOW, the dwelling place of God. Heb. 6:6 speaks of "Christ as a Son over HIS OWN HOUSE, WHOSE HOUSE ARE WE". We are God’s dwelling place, His Temple, and His Throne.
Moses going up on the mountain, speaks to us of ascending in our minds, beyond the natural realm, into the realm of SPIRIT, "for the natural man, receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned". 1 Cor. 2:14. Only on that level of Spirit, can we receive the things that be of God. So it is today, that the Lord is "OPENING HEAVEN" to us, BY THE SPIRIT, in other words, He is revealing the TEMPLE WITHIN YOU, opening it up to your "SPIRITUAL" understanding. Until we have access to this Spiritual realm called Heaven, we will remain earth bound, and our lives can only be lived on the natural plane, through the five senses.
HEAVEN IS NOT A GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION BUT A HIGHER REALM OF CONSCIOUSNESS. IT IS THE REAM OF SPIRIT.
But now let us continue with Rev. 11:19. As soon as Heaven was "UNVEILED" we were able to SEE the ARK OF THE COVENANT. This majestic box overlaid with God having on top the Mercy Seat with the Cherubim, is a glorious picture of Christ, who is the center of our testimony and victory, our LIFE and our SALVATION. If ever there was a day when we needed this revelation of Christ within, it is TODAY. Not the old symbols and shadows of a former dispensation, or some shrine to be visited, nor some ritual to be carried out, but the LIVING CHRIST, enthroned in Glory within our very being. Not in some "Tent" or BUILDING we call a "church", but enthroned in HIS BELOVED, a people who have become the DWELLING PLACE OF GOD in reality.
This is not some "theory" or doctrine I am sharing with you, but a glorious reality, which I want YOU to enter into. You may know the Jesus of Nazareth, who went about doing good, and performed miracles, who died and was raised from the dead, and now ascended into the glory, but that knowledge will not change you, or bring the reality of God into your life. It is not until you KNOW by the SPIRIT, THAT SAME ONE who IS CHRIST, RISEN AND GLORIFIED, and who dwells WITHIN YOU, living His life and functioning as an integral part of YOUR VERY BEING, that God can become the reality of your life. Religion cannot help you to find this reality; this is the sovereign work of the Spirit of the Lord.
THE LORD WHOM YOU SEEK, SHALL
SUDDENLY TO THIS TEMPLE.
The prophet Malachi prophesied concerning the Lord coming to His Temple. Mal. 3:1. This prophecy was fulfilled for natural Israel, when Jesus entered the Temple in Jerusalem, at a time when they were being governed by a foreign power. He came without prior warning, Israel having endured some four hundred years when the voice of God had not been heard. The priests never anticipated any challenge to their authority over the functioning of the TEMPLE. However, His coming declared the apostasy that had invaded the whole temple system. Listen to what Jesus said, "MY HOUSE shall be called a house of prayer; but YE have made it a DEN OF THIEVES". Matt 21:13. The word HOUSE in the Greek is "OIKOS" which is a family home where people live. Then He demonstrated the difference when THE LORD was IN RESIDENCE, as the blind received their sight, and the lame were made to walk. When the people saw the TEMPLE functioning is reality, they cried out, HOSANNA to the Son of David.
Beloved, if the Lord came suddenly to YOU His Temple, I wonder what He would find. Society today has conditioned us to believe, that our BODY belongs to US, and we can do as we like with it. But remember, when Paul told us our Body is HIS TEMPLE, he qualified it by saying, "For YOU ARE NOT YOUR OWN, you have been BOUGHT with a price".
In this regard, Jesus told the parable of a man who "FOUND" a TREASURE in a FIELD". Matt. 13:44. In the parable, YOU ARE THE FIELD that contains the treasure. Notice what the man did in this situation. He HID the treasure, which is CHRIST, out of sight IN THE FIELD, and went and SOLD ALL THAT HE HAD, then he BOUGHT THE FIELD. Why did he not just TAKE THE TREASURE, and forget about the FIELD? Because
GOD WANTED THE TREASURE TO REMAIN IN THE FIELD WHICH IS YOU,
SO HE PURCHASED IT.
The world has little time for the people of God today, seeing in them no real value, but little do they know we contain a TREASURE far above rubies. It is interesting that the "Rulers of the Temple" were greatly displeased at the reaction of the people, and sought to suppress them, but Jesus simply repeated the words of the psalmist spoken so long ago, "Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings THOU hast perfected PRAISE". Psalm 8:2 This praise was not generated by a great choir, or beautiful music, or some talented song leader, but simply BY THE LORD COMING TO HIS TEMPLE.
Beloved, if such a result could be generated in the confines of the bricks and mortar of a physical building, what do you suppose could result from The LORD COMING TO HIS LIVING TEMPLE, which is YOU. Do you not see the perfect analogy here, for the temple was under the authority of MEN, the Chief Priests and Scribes, and the ONE WHOSE HOUSE IT IS really had no say in its function. Now let us look at OURSELVES, or whom Paul says YE ARE THE TEMPLE OF THE LIVING GOD. 2 Cor. 6:16.
What is the situation in "OUR" Temple as we contemplate the coming of the LORD? Who has authority over the function of "your" body, which is HIS TEMPLE? Is there some one who sits "AS GOD" in His Temple, and yet it is NOT THE LORD? Is HIS TEMPLE filled with unrighteous activity, and filthy habits which are unbecoming in the Temple of the Lord? It is most important to note the Lord did not wait for the TEMPLE to be "cleaned up" before HE CAME. He came "SUDDENLY" without any warning, not to discover its condition, for that is already known to Him, but to MANIFEST HIS PRESENCE, thus CHANGING the TEMPLE, from being a mere "building", to HIS DWELLING PLACE, filled with His glory. Malachi says, "WHO shall abide the DAY OF HIS COMING? And WHO shall STAND when He APPEARETH? For….
"HE IS LIKE A REFINER’S FIRE, AND LIKE FULLER’S
SOAP. And HE shall sit as a REFINER and a PURIFIER of
SILVER; and He shall purify the Sons of LEVI, and purge them
as GOLD and SILVER, that they may offer unto the Lord an
OFFERING IN RIGHTEOUSNESS." Mal. 3:2-3.
The first stage of the "Coming of the Lord" to His Temple is to bring cleansing. This is spoken of in Rev. 12:7 as "WAR IN HEAVEN", not in some ethereal place above the blue sky, but in the midst of our very being! This WAR is not some religious exercise involving small changes in our behavior, but a "LIFE THREATENING" PROCESS, to cast out that "FALSE AUTHORITY" which claims the right to SIT IN THE TEMPLE, as GOD. The battle is led by MICHAEL, whose name means, "WHO IS LIKE GOD", and who challenges every counterfeit. The ENEMY is, "that DRAGON, that old SERPENT (who deceived Eve in the Garden) called the DEVIL, and SATAN
WHICH DECEIVETH THE WHOLE WORLD.
The scripture tells us that in the BEGINNING God said, "Let us make MAN, IN OUR IMAGE and after OUR LIKENESS". Gen. 1:26. The very next verse confirms that God did just what He said, and that a race of people had begun, fulfilling the desire of the Father. That IMAGE and LIKENESS is not declared in the realm of appearance, that is, in the outward FORM of man, but is DECLARED in the SPIRIT, PLACED IN MAN, as the Lord God BREATHED into ADAM the BREATH OF LIVES. Gen. 2:7
In the GARDEN of EDEN Adam lived out of that SPIRIT of LIFE WHICH WAS GOD, IN THE MIDST OF HIM. The carnal mind sees Adam literally walking in a garden, hand in hand with a beautiful person dressed in white, who is "God"! BUT GOD IS A SPIRIT and not in the same form as He had made Adam. Beloved, let us rise in our thinking into the realm of SPIRIT, to see that this relationship was WITHIN ADAM, and NOT EXTERNAL TO HIM.
When we come to the TEMPTATION in the Garden, this again was not simply Eve TALKING TO A "SNAKE". Beloved, this battle for supremacy over man, was not fought on the green lawns of some beautiful GARDEN, with trees and flowers all round!!
BUT IT WAS FOUGHT WITHIN HER BEING.
The moment of Adam’s disobedience was the IMAGE and LIKENESS of GOD (that is GOD HIMSELF) BURIED DEEP WITHIN the "FIELD" that is, in the VERY CENTER OF HIS BEING, beyond the reach of his now darkened mind, YET NEVER REMOVED. His NATURAL MIND now elevated, IN HIS PLACE the "I" or EGO of Adam, who sat in the Temple of God, AS GOD, and this "I" or ADAM is called SATAN.
Beloved, the tragedy of modern theology, is that they have put GOD OUTSIDE OF US, and also the one they call SATAN, so we can never really locate either, in order to be able to deal with them.
Much of the teaching of the church, has compounded our problem, by telling us all we need is to ask Jesus into our hearts, and repent of our sins, and we will be "saved", and go to heaven when we die. None of which actually deals with the problem. We need a revelation of the "MAN OF SIN". HE is the reason we LIVE as we do, and THINK as we do, and ACT as we do. This is ADAM, i.e., what we are BY NATURAL BIRTH having inherited the same MIND as he had, after loosing the battle for GOD’S supremacy to HIS OWN EGO, in the Garden. What then is the ANSWER?!!!
God’s judgment upon Adam was, "IN DYING YOU SHALL DIE". Here God is speaking about MORTALITY, which is the DYING PROCESS, which ends in DEATH. Once any man is separated, even though ONLY IN HI MIND from GOD, who is the SOURCE AND SUSTAINER OF ALL LIFE, HE IS MORTAL. God said, "From dust you came and to DUST you shall return". While ADAM usurps God’s place in His Temple, all he can expect is MORTALITY and an appointment with the grave, because
HE HAS LOST ACCESS TO THE TREE OF LIFE, WHICH IS GOD. However, Paul give us the answer, in HIS GOOD NEWS, the GOSPEL.
"ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE AND GRACE, WHICH WAS GIVEN US IN CHRIST JESUS BEFORE THE WORLD BEGAN, BUT IS NOW MADE MANIFEST (become known) BY THE APPEARING OF OUR SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST WHO HAS ABOLISHED DEATH, AND HAS BROUGHT LIFE AND IMMORTALITY TO LIGHT THROUGH THE GOSPEL. 2 Tim. 1:9-10
To rectify the situation ADAM MUST DIE! But the amazing thing is, HE IS ALREADY DEAD, for THE LAST ADAM (Jesus Christ) HAS DIED, having tasted DEATH for EVERY MAN. Paul simply says, "Knowing this that OUR OLD MAN (ADAM) IS CRUCIFIED WITH HIM (Christ) that the BODY OF SIN (ruled by the MAN OF SIN) might be DESTROYED, that from henceforth, we should not serve SIN". Rom. 6:6. How incredible it is, that for all these years we have been ruled by SOMEONE who GOD says IS DEAD, but who WE SAY IS STILL ALIVE. As long as YOU BELIEVE ADAM is alive IN YOU, you shall be "DEAD" in your consciousness of GOD. the whole WOLRD HAS BELIEVED THAT LIE, but THE TRUTH SHALL MAKE YOU FREE.
Until the MAN OF SIN has been REVEALED, the LORD cannot come to His Temple. "YOUR" Temple will never manifest Christ, until the MAN of SIN has been REMOVED and all authority taken from him. All of your striving and religious efforts, good though they may be, cannot prepare the Temple for the Lord. Most of the preaching today is directed towards making us fit to be an habitation of the Lord, but unfortunately it almost always involves SELF EFFORT, and therefore must fail. Jesus did not send the Disciples to cleanse the Temple, for it would have been an impossible task for them, so HE WENT HIMSELF, because apart from Him, the HOUSE must remain desolate.
Even today, in the minds of most Christians, the Temple of God is associated with a physical BUILDING, but of course we call it a CHURCH. Some have matured enough to see that WE ARE THE CHURCH, and it has nothing to do with LOCALITY OR BUILDINGS. But how few see THEMSELVES as THE HOLY TEMPLE OF THE LORD.
Then there is the DAY OF ATONEMENT when the High Priest Jesus Christ, is taking HIS OWN BLOOD right into the MOST HOLY PLACE WITHIN YOU, and is sprinkling it SEVEN times both ON and BEFORE the MERCY SEAT upon the ARK. From that moment, there is NO MORE CONSCIOUSNESS OF SIN, but we are declared RIGHTEOUSE IN CHRIST. It is a day for the AFFLICTING OF THE SOUL, which has aligned itself with the MAN OF SIN, and has manifested HIS character. The SOUL must be brought into submission to THE SPIRIT WITHIN who IS GOD, thus manifesting HIS IMAGE and LIKENESS.
The FEAST of TABERNACLES begins on the FIFTEENTH DAY, which is the DAY AFTER THE SABBATH, the EIGHTH DAY, the DAY OF NEW BEGINNINGS, and a NEW LIFE. It coincided with the Priest bringing a pitcher of water from the Pool of Siloam and poured upon the altar, symbolic of the WATER that flowed from the ROCK in the wilderness journey of Israel.
At that moment Jesus brushed aside all the SYMBOLS and TYPES with which the people were familiar, and expressed the REALITY of which these types were mere shadows, and said, "If any man thirst let him come TO ME and drink; He that believeth on ME as the scripture hath said, OUT OF HIS INNERMOST BEING shall flow RIVERS OF LIVING WATER". Many years before, the prophet Ezekiel had a vision of these waters issuing out from under the threshold of THE HOUSE. Ezek. 47:1. The ROCK, which provided water for Israel, was CHRIST, and when He takes up residence in His TEMPLE, the stream begins to flow. He is THE WELL the woman was told about, in John 4, which He said would be WITHIN, SPINGING UP into everlasting LIFE. This beloved, is the GLORY REVEALED when THE LORD COMES TO HIS TEMPLE.
FIRST A FALLING AWAY
Before the COMING OF CHRIST to His Temple, Paul says, "Let no man deceive you by any means, for that day shall not come, EXCEPT THERE COME A FALLING AWAY FIRST, and that MAN OF SIN be revealed, THE SON OF PERDITION, Who OPPOSTETH and EXALTETH HIMSELF above all that is called GOD, or that is worshipped, so that HE AS GOD sitteth IN THE TEMPLE OF GOD, showing himself that HE IS GOD". 2 Thess. 2:3-4.
It is most important that we be able to accurately identify who this person really is, because the REVELATION of WHO HE IS, M-U-S-T precede the revelation of CHRIST WITHIN US. This "Man of Sin" is referred to in other places as the ANTI-CHRIST, where "Anti" means INSTEAD OF, or as a substitute, hence Paul tells us that he takes God’s place in the "Temple of God" as if he were God. Countless books have been written on this "MAN", and many have tried to align him with various people involved with world events, in an attempt to identify him. In EVERY CASE we were misdirected as to where he might be located, because the TRUTH IS….. HE IS WITHIN YOU.
This "Man of Sin" is ADAM the natural man who dwells in all of us. Remember what the serpent said to Eve in the Garden, "God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, your eyes shall be opened, AND YE SHALL BE AS GODS". Since that day, "ADAM" saw himself SEPARATED FROM GOD and INDEPENDENT, living life OUT FROM HIMSELF. Hence this "Man of Sin" is number 666 that is spirit soul and body under the control of ADAM, the natural MAN. The "MYSTERY of INIQUITY" or lawlessness is already working within us, and is a MYSTERY because it has the same source as GODLINESS. For out of the spirit of man, flows GODLINESS and INIQUITY, a DUALITY the same as GOOD and EVIL flow from GOD.
Now having identified this "Man of Sin", how do we deal with him? The first thing is that we MUST RECOGNIZE WHO HE IS. Do not blame the devil, or your parents, or your wife or husband, do not blame society or the government. YOU are what you are, because the ‘NATURAL MAN ADAM" has authority and exercises control over your life. If you want to know what this MAN OF SIN looks like, just LOOK IN THE MIRROR. Do you think I am being too hard on you? His working is after the working of SATAN, who is more subtle than all the beasts of the field. He has been sitting IN THE TEMPLE OF GOD, making you believe HE IS GOD for all these years, while you tried to find him in America or the Middle East.
Can you not see that this MAN OF SIN has to be revealed for WHO HE IS, before the Lord can ever come to His Temple. Listen to the effect this Anti-Christ has upon you. "That which I do I allow not; for what I would, that do I not, but what I hate THAT DO I. Now then it is no more I that do it, but SIN that DWELLETH IN ME. For I know that IN ME, THAT IS IN MY FLESH dwelleth NO GOOD THING; for to WILL is present with me, but how to perform that which is good, I FIND NOT…. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man, BUT I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my MIND, and bringing me into captivity TO THE LAW OF SIN,
WHICH IS IN MY MEMBERS. (Not outside of me).
But some may protest that they have been redeemed by the blood of Christ, through faith, and been filled with the Spirit of God, so this cannot be true of me!!! Beloved, if our life does not manifest CHRIST every day, there is still some alien authority sitting in the Temple of God. The "money changer tables" are still there, speaking of the deceitfulness of the heart, and those who sold doves, making money out of the "Gift ministries", making the House of God A DEN OF THEIVES.
I am not seeking to condemn, but if the Man of Sin is not exposed, the TEMPLE OF GOD will remain devoid of the Divine presence. How then can we be rid of this IMPOSTOR? Do we have to fast and pray and plead with God for forgiveness? NO!! Listen to Paul’s words. "And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the LORD SHALL CONSUME with the SPIRIT OF HIS MOUTH, and shall destroy with the BRIGHTNESS OF HIS COMING." The Spirit of His mouth, is the WORD OF GOD, that TWO EDGED SWORD that can divide between soul and spirit. You see, once the "Man of Sin" has been REVEALED, the "game" is over, and the deception has lost its power, then the Lord will suddenly come to His Temple, and destroy the usurper with the brightness of His Coming. Hallelujah!!
We must be clear about the nature of the BEAST WITHIN, for YOU may be the HOUSE OF GOD, without HIM being the GOD OF THE HOUSE, for ADAM may still hold authority.
Paul said, "Know ye not your body is the TEMPLE OF GOD". Here the analogy fits perfectly, for the Outer Court represents the BODY, which ENCLOSES the entire tabernacle. With the body we are in contact with the world around us, operating out of an "Appearance Consciousness", illuminated by "natural" light. Then as we move on we pass the first veil into the Holy Place, with a NEW ILLUMINATION now flowing out of the OIL burning in the Lamp Stand. In the Holy Place we have entered into the realm of PENTECOST, and our MIND needed some adjustment from its former function in the Outer Court. We needed a New Mind to operate in the Holy Place with the Golden Altar, the Table of Shew Bread, and the Golden Lamp Stand. These were ALL MATERIAL THINGS, such as GOLD, and WOOD and OIL etc, yet they represented to our NEW MIND SPIRITUAL THINGS, which were INTANGIBLE. So Pentecost was this MIXTURE of the NATURAL with the SPIRITUAL, and its direction was towards man, for we must remember there was a VEIL that separated MAN in the Holy Place, from the REALITY OF GOD.
Pentecost is centered around activity and forms, none of which are wrong. But there is a HIGH CALLING in Christ, which brings us beyond the VEIL, and beyond all the types and shadows, into the REALITY, and WE TOUCH GOD.
Now before we leave this section concerning Pentecost, I want you to notice verse 9 in 2 Thess. 2. We have seen both in Pentecost and in the Charismatic movement, a very strong emphasis on miracles, which are so often used as a sign of God’s presence, and spirituality, and also to confirm and build personal ministry. But Paul here attributes THREE things to SATAN.
POWER, which is the Greek word DUNAMIS. Mighty works.
SIGNS, which is the Greek word SEMEION, meaning to indicate or signify. A miracle with an ethical end and purpose.
LYING WONDERS, which is the Greek word TERAS, meaning a prodigy or Omen, or terrifying works.
Miracles are not a real evidence of spirituality. Remember Pharaoh’s men could turn their rods into snakes just as Moses did! So in our progress to "perfection" we discover that we can function in the earth realm right up to that LAST VEIL. Hidden within the inner part of MAN lie powers, which are indeed awesome, and in the hands of the NATURAL MAN, can be devastating.
Beloved, the majority of Christians have failed to identify themselves with the TEMPLE of GOD, and so their "Christianity" is all EXTERNAL to them, with the ultimate goal being to live in some ethereal heaven, with a God who has never become an integral part of their lives, functioning from within their being. The Psalmist said, "The heavens declare the GLORY of the LORD, and the FIRMAMENT sheweth HIS HANDIWORK". Psalm 19:1. Sure, the natural heavens and the stars do declare the Glory of God, but,
THERE IS NOT A STAR IN ALL THAT HEAVEN, THAT CAN DECLARE THE GLORY OF GOD WITH A CLARITY THAT CAN EXCEED HIS GLORY
MANIFEST IN YOU HIS TEMPLE
My prayer for you is, "That the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation, in the KNOWLEDGE of HIM; and the eyes of your understanding being enlightened, that you may know what is the HOPE of HIS CALLING, and what are the riches of the Glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to HIS MIGHTY POWER." Eph. 1:17-19.