Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Temple

1Corinthians‬ ‭3:16‬ ‭- Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

I'd like to show you a similarity between two things. It shows that the Old Testament is just as important as the New. Things that have taken place in the past relate to things of today. There are countless parallels, types, symbols and prophecies of the Old Testament that relate to the New.

Back in the Book of 1Kings I have been reading about King Solomon. You know, the one who asked God for wisdom over anything else, who wrote all the wisdom of Proverbs. Solomon was King David's son. He was given the privilege of building a temple, which was dedicated to God, a place where God's presence could reside, where the Ark of the Covenant was stored in the Most Holy Place. It is said it was a place where His name could reside. The Most Holy Place could only be accessed by the Jewish High Priest. This place was completely shut off by a very large, heavy curtain, or veil, from everyone else.

Something to keep in mind, God does not need a building in which to reside. God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. (‭‭Acts‬ ‭17:24) Like a church today, it was a place to worship God. If worship is done correctly God's presence will be there. God can be anywhere at any time. How? He is simply God. And even today, while we attend our church services, pay our worship to God on His holy day, we can worship Him any time. 

Here's an excerpt from 1Kings 9 where God speaks to Solomon after the temple is built..
And the LORD said to him: “I have heard your prayer and your supplication that you have made before Me; I have consecrated this house which you have built to put My name there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually." (1Kings‬ ‭9:3)

There was a catch, though. "Now if you walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded you, and if you keep My statutes and My judgments, then I will establish the throne of your kingdom over Israel forever... But if you ... at all turn from following Me, and do not keep My commandments and My statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods and worship them, then I will cut off Israel from the land which I have given them; and this house which I have consecrated for My name I will cast out of My sight..." (1Kings 9:4-7)

This refers to Israel. But let me say this can refer to believers of Christ. There's one parallel, type. Before Christ, people followed and served God (sometimes). Today we follow Christ and serve Him (sometimes). 

What I'm getting at here is when we receive Christ as Lord and Savior, we become the temple where He resides. It is not built with human hands. It is built within a heart that has changed by Jesus Christ, simply by asking Him to reside there, change our hearts, give us wisdom to know Him in an intimate way. If we do not turn to Jesus and continue to worship our own lives as they are without Him, we will not be His. That's a pretty harsh statement. But God refers to it above. When the day of final judgment comes, we will be cast out of His sight. Matthew 7:18-28 will show this. 

Remember when Jesus died? Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split... (‭‭Matthew‬ ‭27:51) This meant that access to God was open to anyone providing those "anyones" went through Christ, bowed their hearts before Him, repented of their sins and asked for His forgiveness...then lived for Him, through Him, by the power of His Holy Spirit. Jesus became our Great High Priest. Do you see this? God does not dwell in temples made with hands; He lives in our heart. But we must ask Him in. He won't come in without our invitation. 

He died for, as my pastor says frequently, whosoever will call on the name of the Lord. He's thankful, as am I, to be counted as one of the whosoeversFor whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans‬ ‭10:13)

But we have the same catch as was explained to Solomon. ‭‭We must walk in integrity of heart and in uprightness. We must follow His commands, which means we must know them (through the Word). If we do these things, His throne will be established within our hearts, spiritually, forever. His presence is with us always. He is forever looking over us, protecting and providing for us. If we have chosen Christ, we are His people and are in the land that God has given us, just like the land that God had given Israel...His people.

Sound unimaginable? It's not. Call out to Him. Watch what He can do with your heart, soul and mind. He will dwell within your heart. You can become His temple, filled with His Spirit. He will give you wisdom. That veil has been torn for you. Access has been given to you. Go for it.

Ephesians‬ ‭2:19-22‬ ‭- Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

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