The Living Temple of God

 

“Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body” – (Jn.2:19-21).

“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” – (I Cor.6:19).

 

   In (Jn.2:13-18) we see Christ cleansing the temple and showing His righteous anger at the Jews’ defiling of the temple and making God’s house a house of merchandise. And then Jesus makes this very important prophetical statement in (vs.19-21) of His death and resurrection three days later and told them plainly that His body was the temple of God. But the Jews were speaking of the literal temple in Jerusalem, and they did not understand His spiritual meaning. But they remembered His words, because at His religious trial they said of Him – “This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days” – (Mt.26:61). Even as He hung on the cross they mocked Him, saying “Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross” – (Mt.27:40).

 

   God was telling them here that He was about to change buildings. God was about to move out of the dead temple made with hands into a living temple made by the Holy Spirit. Every born again believer’s body is now the body of Christ, the holy temple of God – the church. Jesus Christ is God and His body is the living temple of God, and we are a part of that holy temple. And as Jews first cleansed the literal temple of defilement in (Jn.2) so He cleanses us of our sins before the Holy Spirit takes up residence in us making us the Holy temple of God – the living temple of God.

 

God no longer dwells in a dead temple made with wood and stone

He dwells in saved, sanctified living bodies made of flesh and bone.

 

 

   The Jews were not the last to worship a building, a program, a system. There are millions of church members who build expensive churches and reverence the building and whose bodies are not the spiritual temple of body because they have never been born again of the Holy Spirit. In the N.T., not one single church building was built, and the true churches met in homes as a sign to the world that God had changed from a dead temple to dwelling in a living, human temple. We who are born again saints are the living temple of God. “…with the church that is in their house” – (I Cor.16:19).

 

Where does God Dwell?

 

This question is not difficult

It needn’t be a riddle.

The word church is a clue,

‘U R’ is in the middle.

 

‘You are’ the church

Your body a temple.

God dwells in you

It’s that simple!

 

   Jesus said “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple.. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? Verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down” – (Mt.23:38 and 24:1,2). Not only was the whole house of Israel to be left desolate, but the house of God, the temple was to be left desolate also. When Jesus departed from the Jewish temple and started His spiritual temple, the church, that was the beginning of the end of the literal temple. In 37 years (A.D.70) the Romans destroyed Israel and the temple and the Jews were sent into disbursement around the world for 2000 years. God gave the Jews one generation to receive Christ or reject Him. Jesus is the precious cornerstone of His spiritual temple and if you reject Him, He becomes your smiting stone – (Mt.21:44).

 

   Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of everything the temple stood for. The temple and the sacrifices for sin were fulfilled in His body on the cross when He shed His blood for the forgiveness of sins as the perfect, supreme sacrifice. His body is the temple of God and He is the high priest – “…to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself” – (Heb.9:26). The Lord Jesus Christ is God in human flesh: He is the embodiment of the holy temple of God in human flesh. He is the living temple of God and we who are saved and born again by the Holy Spirit are a part of His body, the living temple of God also.

 

   The Jews of Jesus’ day made the temple a house of merchandise and a den of thieves just like Eli’s sons and God wrote Ichabod over the temple. Christ departed from the temple and never came into it again, but by His word abandoned it to utter destruction. The literal temple was destroyed and God moved into a living human temple: God changed buildings – amen. “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fifty framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit” – (Eph.2:20-22).

 

   When the Jews destroyed the living temple of God on the cross, the veil into the Holy of holies in the temple was split in two – (Mt.27:51). When Jesus died on the cross, His heavenly Father reached down into the temple and did a very significant thing – He rent the veil. Only God could remove the middle wall of partition to make available the mercy seat on the ark of salvation for both Jew and Gentile. Jesus Christ is our great high priest who opened the veil into the true Holy of holies in heaven and spread His blood on the heavenly mercy seat to make atonement for sins. That was the end of the Jewish sacrifice and the Jewish temple. The way was opened into the presence of God. You can go directly to the throne of God through Christ our High Priest. You don’t need a Jewish high priest or a Catholic high priest, the pope – “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” – (I Tim.2:5).

 

   The veil in the temple was but the body of Christ on the cross. He’s the high priest who offered up himself as sacrifice. His body is the holy temple of God, for He is God manifest in the flesh. “Having therefore brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh” – (Heb.10:19,20). The new and living way is the living temple of God, the body of Christ, the church. “Destroy this temple; and in three days I will raise it up” and so He raised up his crucified temple of God and resurrected three days later. The holy of holies was now opened and all men became privileged to enter into the presence of God by the precious blood of Christ. Christ and His true church is the living temple of God.

 

   In the heavenly temple there is now only one court, the holiest within the veil. Today, both Jew and Gentile, whosoever will, must enter by the blood of Christ, God’s eternal sacrifice. In the O.T., the only way the Jews could approach God was through the death of an animal. But Christ is the “living way” He is not dead, He resurrected from death. He ever lives and is now at the right hand of God. “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forever, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death” – (Rev.1:18). Since Christ, our eternal sacrifice, died on the cross, the way to God is a new way, a living way, the O.T. old way is passed away. Jesus said – “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” – (Jn.14:6).

 

  The unbelieving Jews will soon build a temple during the great tribulation, not for Christ, but for Antichrist, who will be worshipped as God – (2 Thes.2:4). The Jews will also sacrifice animals in the temple thus repudiating everything that Christ has done on the cross as the perfect, supreme sacrifice for all people. It will be destroyed.

 

   When Christ comes back, He will raise the temple of God from death (the dead saints) and He will then also raise the millennial temple up – (Ezk.40-48). He razed it down and He will raise it up again. The Divine carpenter will build His millennial memorial temple and we shall help Him build it – (Zech.6:11-15).

 

   Zechariah prophesied of the living temple built by God’s grace – “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts… and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shouting, crying, Grace, grace unto it” – (Zech.4:6,7). And that time they were rebuilding their destroyed temple in Jerusalem after 70 years of captivity, but this prophecy pointed to the church that is built by grace through the power of the Holy Spirit – “For by grace are ye saved through faith…” – (Eph.2:8). Jesus Christ is the headstone or cornerstone of our living temple. “To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious. Ye also as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, …Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded” – (I Pet.2:4-6). The saved, sanctified, born again saints of God are the living temple of God – living stones – PTL Jesus.

 

   The only other temple besides a building are the temples on both sides of your forehead. The forehead is the middle of your temple. The mark of the Beast-666 will be put in peoples temples. All of God’s tribulation saints will not get the mark of the beast because they are the temple of God – it’s a Holy Spirit temple and they are spiritually minded. The Antichrist-Beast will defile the temple newly built in Jerusalem and he will defile all the human temples that get the mark of the beast in their foreheads: they will be indwelt by evil spirits and become Satan’s evil spirit temple. They will be engraved with the name of the Beast. God’s saints will receive their Heavenly Father’s name in their foreheads – (Rev.22:4). 666 on the forehead marks it as the temple of Satan, his dwelling place on earth in living temples.

 

   Are you saved from your sins and born again by the Holy Spirit? Born again describes what happens to you when you’re truly saved. You are born of the Spirit, born from above, born of incorruptible seed, which is the Word of God that is germinated in your heart by faith. What is your spiritual birthday? What day did you become a totally new creature in Christ – “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” – (2 Cor.5:17). Do not say, “I’m not born again but I know I’m saved” because that is a lie and you’ve been deceived by Satan. Jesus said – “…Ye must be born again” – (Jn.3:7). Believe the truth of God’s Word, do not believe Satan’s lie.

 

   Repent of your sins and believe on Christ in your heart by faith in truth and you will be born again. Failure to repent is not true faith and will not result in the new birth and you will be thrown into the lake of fire forever which is the second death – (Rev.20:14,15). O do not spurn the grace and mercy of God in His beloved Son on the cross. Receive eternal life and forgiveness of sins through Christ.

 

Be a part of God’s living, spiritual temple.