DEPARTURE FROM THE TEMPLE
Matthew 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. 39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. 24:1 ¶ And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.
It is a serious matter when God quits coming to church! But this is the account of his leaving the temple that had once been the place of glorious worship! Now he just refers to it as your house! That is, only a religious building where unregenerate souls come to practice their traditions. And this was something that he had warned of, by his prophets for many years passed. Jeremiah 6:8 Be thou instructed, O Jerusalem, lest my soul depart from thee; lest I make thee desolate, a land not inhabited. Here in Jeremiah’s ancient prophesy are even the two main words that are used in the account of the Lord’s actual leaving. – depart and desolate.
But this is still occurring! For we see him outside the door of the church, knocking for the attention of any individuals within, to open to him. (Rev. 3:20). The Father is the husbandman, who keeps the vine of the church clean. John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
Also, in his Revelation to the Apostle John, the Lord instructs that he will remove a church as a source of light, extinguishing her opportunity, and ability to continue as part of the “light of the world!” Revelation 1:12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; 13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. 20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches. 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
As a vine, the church must be pruned in order for there to be much fruit to glorify to God. And as a source of light, she must continue in a repentant state, less her light be darkness! Matthew 6:23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
For God, as the very Light of Life, will have no part in darkness at all! Therefore when true religion degenerates into the form of godliness, without the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, God is driven out! 2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
And here is the Prophet Ezekiel’s account of the Lord’s reasonings for the abandoning the temple in Jerusalem. Ezekiel 8:3 And he put forth the form of an hand, and took me by a lock of mine head; and the spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the inner gate that looketh toward the north; where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy. 6 He said furthermore unto me, Son of man, seest thou what they do? even the great abominations that the house of Israel committeth here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary? but turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations. 9 And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here. 10 So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, pourtrayed upon the wall round about. 17 Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose. 18 Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them.
And here is the account of the glory of the Lord departing from the temple and the city. Ezek. 10:4 Then the glory of the LORD went up from the cherub, and stood over the threshold of the house; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the LORD’S glory. 18 Then the glory of the LORD departed from off the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubims. 22 Then did the cherubims lift up their wings, and the wheels beside them; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above. 23 And the glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain which is on the east side of the city.
Little do the religious of America seem to realize that those without a holy and spiritual worship amidst their form of religious practice shall one day hear him say, “Depart from me ye that work iniquity!” For they have no sense of the difference between duty and devotion! Hosea 6:6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. Matthew 9:13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Yet we come to see that there is still a true temple of the Lord God! It has never been polluted, nor ever shall be! And it is forever the place where God shall come to commune with his people! John 2:19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. 20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? 21 But he spake of the temple of his body. The “place” of communion with the Lord God, is his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ is the Temple of God wherein the redeemed of God are brought to commune with the Highest! He alone brought back to mankind the glory of God, which we came short of in our original transgression! Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
And the bringing back of the glory to believing mankind, was also to bring to them the Eternal Temple! The Prophet Malachi foretold that he would come suddenly to that temple. And so he did in his marvelous Incarnation! Malachi 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
And great is this mystery of the Eternal Son, becoming flesh within the virgin’s womb! 1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. But yet, he did! And he is most unique! There is none else like him in all the universe! Very God! Very man! THE Mediator! 1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
The Prophet Ezekiel begins to receive the instruction from God to carefully set his heart upon the revelation of the new temple of the church age. This begins in Ezekiel chapter forty. It is NOT the rebuilding of another physical worship house in physical Jerusalem! It does not pertain to an organization, but to a holy organism!
Ezekiel 43:4 And the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east. 5 So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house. 6 And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house; and the man stood by me. 7 And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile,…
The glory returns as the Lord Jesus prays the Father, who sends forth the Holy Spirit into the world in order to build a household of faith, by grace, through the effectual call of gospel. Ephesians 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
And the Incarnation is that pattern whereby the entirety of the believers shall be individually joined to the Lord, thereby becoming one with him spiritually! 1 Corinthians 6:16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. 17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. 19 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? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
For both Christ’s physical body and the spiritual body of his Bride, the Church, are filled with the Holy Spirit, and are so joined together forever! For in these is the dwelling place of God forever! These, being made one, are the very spiritual temple of God!
For this is the highest degree of marriage! And this is that of which the lower degrees of marriage speak! The marriage of the soul with the body is the lowest, and most commonly known union to every human being. Then the marriage of the man with the woman, becoming one flesh, is the next highest degree of marriage. But the marriage of the believer’s spirit to God is that to which the others speak! And this marriage alone, provides the eternal temple in which God forever dwells! For they are, indeed, builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
The new Jerusalem, which comes down from heaven (Rev. 3:12, 21:2), was formed when the Holy Spirit, like a rushing, mighty wind, came down from heaven on Pentecost, (Acts 2:1ff), is a town without walls. – that is, without physical walls! For God Himself is a wall of fire round about her!
Zechariah 2:1 I lifted up mine eyes again, and looked, and behold a man with a measuring line in his hand. 2 Then said I, Whither goest thou? And he said unto me, To measure Jerusalem, to see what is the breadth thereof, and what is the length thereof. 3 And, behold, the angel that talked with me went forth, and another angel went out to meet him, 4 And said unto him, Run, speak to this young man, saying, Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls for the multitude of men and cattle therein: 5 For I, saith the LORD, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her.
Here is described God’s true church. Revelation 21:24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. 25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. 26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. 27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
Pastor Gene Breed December 26, 2014