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Temple of God

June 2, 2022

When I was a new Christian, I thought a church was a building where Christians gathered to worship God. Just like the temple in the Old Testament where I thought God dwelled in making the building sanctified and holy. The building is where you could go to be close to God and where he would hear your prayers, a shelter where God would protect you.
But as I matured as a disciple of God’s word, I have come to understand what God’s temple is and where He dwells. This is very important to know so that we are not misled in knowing what God’s temple is and how this understanding effects the future prophesies before Jesus returns.
We first must understand if God actually lived in the temple.
God did not ask David to build him a temple it was what David’s desire to build the temple for God. God allowed David to build the temple through his son Solomon. Solomon understood what the temple would be to God and the purpose it would serve.
2 Chronicles 6: 18"But will God really dwell on earth with men? The heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built! 19 Yet give attention to your servant's prayer and his plea for mercy, O Lord my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence. 20 May your eyes be open toward this temple day and night, this place of which you said you would put your Name there. May you hear the prayer your servant prays toward this place.

Solomon said God could not be contained in a man-made temple and we should not think God would dwell among men. The temple is where God would place his name not himself. The temple was where people could pray to him and he would see from heaven and hear their prayers.
And God tells Solomon how the people should pray so he would hear their prayers.
2 Chronicles 7: 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 16 I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.

God said His eyes and ears will be attentive when they prayed with the right heart and then he will make the temple sacred and his Name would remain in it and his eyes would keep watch over it and his heart would be there. God also warned Solomon what would make him reject this temple.

2 Chronicles 7: 19 "But if you turn away and forsake the decrees and commands, I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, 20 then I will uproot Israel from my land, which I have given them, and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. I will make it a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples. 21 And though this temple is now so imposing, all who pass by will be appalled and say, 'Why has the Lord done such a thing to this land and to this temple?' 22 People will answer, 'Because they have forsaken the Lord, the God of their fathers, who brought them out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshiping and serving them-that is why he brought all this disaster on them.'

God did reject this temple when it was destroyed by the Babylonians because the Israelites forsake God’s decrees and commandments and worshipped other gods and the Romans destroyed the rebuilt temple in 70 AD because the Jews forsake Jesus’ teaching and commandments and refused to worship him as God because Jesus was the temple of God.

John 2: 18 Then the Jews demanded of him, "What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?" 19 Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days."

When Jesus gave up his spirit on the cross the curtain that covered the entrance to the most holy of holies in God’s temple was torn from top to bottom.
Matthew 27: 50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. 51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to
bottom.
The opening of the curtain meant when Jesus died for our sins we no longer will be separated from God. Before only the high priest could enter the most holy place after being purified and only once a year.
Hebrews 9: 7 But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the
people had committed in ignorance.

Read Hebrews 9:8-28, the Holy Spirit teaches why the most holy of holies was open through Jesus.

Hebrews 9: 8 The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still standing. 9 This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. 10 They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings-- external regulations applying until the time of the new order.

Because the Most Holy Place in the temple was still standing to receive the gifts and sacrifices for the forgiveness of one’s sins it would not remove the quilt of our sins it remained in our conscience.

The temple was where the Israelites were commanded to go by God to receive his forgiveness of their sins by shedding the blood of their animal sacrifice that represented their blood being shed for their sins. But this continuous need to make animal sacrifice could not free their consciences of their continuous sinning. Only when Jesus entered the temple of God in heaven as our high priest and sacrificed his sinless self once and for all for the world’s sins, only then all sins past, present and future were forgiven. Opening the door for all to receive eternal life. Jesus is our mediator before his Father in heaven, being our eternal ransom for sin which frees us from having a guilty conscience that kept us from being with God.

Therefore, there is no longer a need for a man-made temple to be with God. Jesus is the temple which we go to and be one with God.

Hebrews 10: 19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

We are told not to give up on meeting together because we become the temple of God, which is the body of Christ, the church and not a building.

1 Corinthians 12: 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

So, when the curtain was torn open it means God’s name is no longer in a man-made temple. Now his Holy Spirt dwells in the temple of a believer and when believers gather, they become the body of Christ the temple of God.

So, when Paul speaks of the lawless one who sets himself in God’s temple and proclaim himself to be God which temple is Paul speaking of, a new man-made temple which God will no longer need to dwell in or is it the temple of believer’s body that the Holy Spirit now dwells in?

Paul said we should know the schemes of Devil wanting God’s children to be unprepared for the coming of the Lord. Believing in which kind of temple will gets you ready for the Lawless One? God’s temple that exists now in believers or the man-made one that is still waiting to be built.
Be safe in Jesus,
Ps. Glenn