The Temple of God

 

“Scriptures Taken From the Literal Translation of the Holy Bible,
Third Edition, Copyright © 1995.
Used by Permission of the Copyright Holder,
Jay P. Green, Snr.”

T here always has been, is now and always will be, only three earthly, corporate, tangible dwelling places of God.


Though the Bible makes reference to the dwelling place of man in just two chapters, it spans fifty chapters in addressing the first earthly, dwelling place of God.

The first is the Tabernacle of Moses, the second is the Temple of Solomon and the third is the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Each succeeds the former in both importance and magnificence.

The Tabernacle of Moses

One of the great verses of the Bible is

Exodus 40:33c And Moses finished the work.

Verses 33 and 34 read, “And the cloud covered the tabernacle of the congregation; and the glory of Jehovah filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to come into the tabernacle of the congregation because the cloud dwelt on it. And the glory of Jehovah filled the tabernacle."


Moses finished the work and the glory of God filled the house of God.

The Temple of Solomon

History repeats itself.

2 Chronicles 5:1 And all the work that Solomon made for the house of Jehovah was finished.

Verses 13 and 14 read, “And [they] were as one to the trumpeters, and to the singers to cause one sound to be heard to praise and to thank Jehovah. And when they lifted up [their] voice with the trumpets, and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised Jehovah [saying], For He is good; and His mercy [endures] forever, and a cloud filled the house, the house of Jehovah; so the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud; for the glory of Jehovah had filled the house of God.”


Worship draws God.

Solomon’s Temple was dedicated in the Feast of Tabernacles.

Solomon finished the work and the glory of God filled the house of God.

The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ is yet to finish building His church. The gates of hell will not prevail against it. When completed the glory of God will fill the house of God!

This will fulfil the statement in Ephesians 5:27, a glorious church. It that means anything it means a church filled with glory! And this must occur prior to the Second Coming of Christ! It would appear from this declaration that that majestic event is sometime off in the future.

Haggai 2:9a The glory of this latter house shall be greater than that of the former, says Jehovah of hosts.

The end-time church will eclipse the glory of the early church, and we certainly have seen nothing yet that approaches that.

The Church of Jesus Christ was born on the Day of Pentecost two thousand years ago. The descent of the Holy Spirit changed the temple of God forever!

From now on God would no longer dwell in temples made with hands.

Acts 7:48-50 But the Most High does not dwell in temples made by hand, as the prophets says, “Heaven[is] My throne, and the earth is a footstool of My feet; what house will you build me, says [the] Lord, or what is the place of My rest? Did not My hands make all these things?” [Isaiah 66:1, 2]


The quotation of these verses by Stephen, the first Christian martyr, was the apex of his brilliant address. It was the application of these texts that sealed his death warrant.

Verses 51 to 60 conclude, “[Oh] stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always fell against the Holy Spirit. As your fathers [did], you also [did]. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who before announced the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become betrayers and murderers, who received the Law by the disposition of angels and did not keep [it]. And hearing these things, they were cut to their hearts and gnashed the teeth on him. But being full of [the] Holy Spirit, looking intently into the heaven, he saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right of God And [he] said, Behold, I see the heavens, having been opened, and the Son of man standing at the right of God! And crying out with a loud voice, they held their ears and rushed on him with one passion. And throwing [him] outside the city, they stoned [him]. And the witnesses put off their garments at the feet of a young man called Saul. And they stoned Stephen, invoking and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And placing the knees, he cried out with a loud voice, Lord, do not make stand this sin to them. And saying this, he fell asleep.”


When the Holy Spirit is appealed to He will stir up the spirits of religious bigots.

In his marvellous address, Paul reinforces the position of Stephen in relation to the temple of God.

Acts 17:24 The God who made the world and all things in it, this One being Lord of Heaven and of earth, does not dwell in handmade temples.


It is he who explains that the Christian’s human body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 3:16 Do you not know that you are a sanctuary of God, and the Spirit of God dwells in you?

1 Corinthians 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is a sanctuary of [the] Holy Spirit in you, which you have from God, and you are not of yourselves?


When the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross, among other supernatural occurrences, the veil in the temple was rent from top to bottom, exposing the Most Holy Place for the first time in history. Why was this allowed to happen? God was finished with man-made temples, never ever to return!

Matthew 27:51, 52 And, behold, the veil in the Holy Place was torn in two from top to bottom. And the earth quaked, and the rocks were sheared! And the tombs were opened and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised.


Religious bigotry rises to the full when the greatest miscarriage of justice occurs in human history at the mock trial of the Lord Jesus.

Matthew 27:22 Pilate said to them, What then should I do to Jesus called Christ? They all said to him, let him be crucified. But the governor said, For what wrong did he do? But they the more cried out, saying, Let him be crucified. And seeing that nothing is gained, but rather an uproar occurs, taking water, Pilate washed [his] hands before the crowd, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just one; you will see. And answering, all the people said, His blood [be] upon us and on our children.


It is bad enough to live under a curse, to have family DNA run riot in your life. Thank God the Lord Jesus has redeemed every Christian from the curse of the Law. But to curse yourself voluntarily must be the height of stupidity. To curse your children is insanity and borders on demon possession.

Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us; for it has been written, “Cursed [is] everyone having been hung on a tree.” [Deuteronomy 21:23]

Ephesians 2:14-16 For He is our peace, He making us both one, and breaking down the middle wall of partition, in His flesh causing to cease the enmity, the Law of the commandments in decrees, that He might in Himself create the two into one new man, making peace, and might reconcile both in one body to God through the cross, slaying the enmity in Himself.

Ephesians 2:20-22 Being built up on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being [the] cornerstone, in whom every building having been fitted together grows into a holy sanctuary in [the] Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in [the] Spirit.


The Lord Jesus Himself reinforces the truth of the “third” temple immediately following His cleansing of the restored temple:

John 2:18-21 Then the Jews answered and said to Him, What sign do you show to us, since you do these things? Jesus said to them, Destroy this sanctuary, and in three days I will raise it up. Then the Jews said, This sanctuary was forty six years being built, and do you raise it up in three days? But he spoke about the sanctuary of His body.


Indeed, the New Testament writers record in unison that the Church of the Lord Jesus is not a physical building made with hands. Rather, it is a spiritual temple. The N.T. knows nothing of a physical temple. The oft misquoted statement of Paul of the [one] opposing and exalting himself over everything being called God, or object of worship, so as for him to sit in the temple of God as God, proclaiming that he himself is God, is recorded in 2 Thessalonians 2:4. This, in turn is spawned from an incorrect application of Daniel 9:27 And he shall confirm a covenant with the many [for] one week. And in the middle of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the offering to cease. And on a wing [of the altar will be] abominations that desolate, even until [the] end. And that which was decreed shall pour out on the desolator.

Firstly, it is Jesus Christ who confirms the promises made to the fathers over a one week [seven years] period. The first half was confirmed by the Lord Jesus Himself throughout His 3 ½ year ministry. The last half is confirmed by the two witnesses, Moses and Elijah, for a time, times and half a time, 3 ½ years, 42 months, 1,260 days, the length of the Great Tribulation.

It surely must strike the reader as being strange that of the 74 times the number seven is used in the Book of Revelation, not once is it mentioned in reference to the tribulation period!

Secondly, it was the once for all offering of Jesus’ sacrifice on Calvary, and that alone, which caused both the sacrifices and offerings to cease! When He screamed it is finished, it really was finished. Nothing more can be done. The work has been completed. To attempt in vain to reinstitute animal sacrifices in a rebuilt physical temple is not only superfluous, it is both blasphemous and an abomination!

Thirdly, it is to the fulfillment of this statement of Daniel, that reference is made to the abominations which make desolate even until the end. This is directly applicable to the abomination of Isaiah quoted in part by Stephen as has already been shown.

Isaiah 66:1-3 So says Jehovah; Heaven [is] My throne, and the earth the footstool of My feet. Where the [is] the house you build for Me? And where then [is] the place of My rest? And My hand has made all these things, even all these things exist, declares Jehovah. But I will look to this one, to the afflicted, and [to] the contrite spirit, even trembling at My word. He who kills an ox [is as if] he struck a man; he who sacrifices a lamb [is as if] he broke a dog’s neck; he who offers a present [is as if it were] swine’s blood; he who makes incense [is as if] he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their way, and their soul delights in their abominations.


Animal sacrifice is compared to killing a man! A sacrificial lamb is compared to a dog! Offering a present as pig’s blood! And incense as worshipping an idol!!!

Consider the KJ3 update [2005] of the phrase in verse 3: it reads, ‘he making mention of incense is as if he blessed iniquity.’ All that is required today is just to make mention of incense. Incense speaks of prayer and praise. Making mention of incense is as blessing iniquity!

What is contended here is not that a “third” temple will be built in Jerusalem, but that should it be erected, God will not be in it!

Talk is made of the Ark of the Covenant being concealed in Jerusalem, the final ingredient of the anointing oil having been found, the rediscovery of the red heifer, the restitution of the ancient Sanhedrin, the preparation of the Levitical priesthood and the building of the temple.

That there is to be a regrafting of the Jewish people into their own olive tree there can be no doubt. See Romans 11 in this regard.

But the stubborn fact remains: Every human being stands in need of a Saviour. The blood of bulls and goats can never fulfil the requirement. Only the blood of Christ can do that.

To declare that the Jews have their own approach to God, apart from Christ, turns out to be the most blatant for of anti-Semitism ever devised by a human or demonic brain. To withhold Jesus from the Jewish people is to escort them to hell.