HERE IS CHRIST
Matthew 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 25 Behold, I have told you before. 26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. 27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
Here the King of kings sets forth the administration of his fifth and final kingdom of the world. He has shown the Prophet Daniel the four Gentile world kingdoms. They were the Babylonian, the Mede and Persian, the Greek, and the Roman. And in that last Gentile kingdom was introduced the fifth and final world kingdom, as the Son of man is brought before the Ancient of days to receive a kingdom which shall not pass away. It is the kingdom that the Lord Christ received upon his ascension to the Father. Daniel 7:13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
And both the very awareness of this kingdom, and the entrance into it, are by the new birth. John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
But the former religious kingdom of Israel must be replaced by the eternal and spiritual kingdom of Christ! The Apostle Paul terms the Old Covenant, or Testament, as “weak and beggarly elements,” when compared to Christ’s Gospel Kingdom. Galatians 4:9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
For that old earthly kingdom in Israel is ‘taken away’ and replaced by Christ’s glorious spiritual kingdom, which began on earth in time, but is ‘established’ to endure throughout eternity! Hebrews 10:8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; 9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. 10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
He instructed the Jews of his day that their “house,” that is, the temple of Jerusalem, shall be left “desolate.” Matthew 23:38 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. 2 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.
However the New Testament believers shall not be left without a temple, or a priest, or an altar. But they shall all be spiritual, and found in the Person of Jesus Christ!
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.
Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
Hebrews 13:10 We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. 11 For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. 12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. 13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.
Some of the most profound preaching on this subject was done to one Samaritan woman going about her daily chore of drawing water from the city well. Here is the ‘conversation’ with the very Person of the Truth Himself. John 4:19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. 21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
He instructs her that it is no longer the place, but the condition of the heart that the Father seeks regarding true worshippers! It is worshipping IN “spirit and truth,” and not IN Jerusalem, nor Samaria, nor Rome, nor in temples made with hands! (Acts 17:24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;) But the worship that the Father seeks, as the only acceptable and true worship, is in spirit and in truth. But we must remember that even though this seems to be a radical change, it is not a destruction, but a fulfillment of the law! For from the physical things of the Old Covenant are brought forth the spiritual things of the New Covenant. And from these spiritual things shall issue forth the glorious matters of eternity!
Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
The “place” for the true believers is in Christ! Acts 17:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; For the believer’s life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, (that is raised up in regeneration by the new birth), seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
The Apostle Paul stated that here he had “no certain dwellingplace.” And listen to the issue of faith as God began His dealings with Abraham, the father of faith. Genesis 12:1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: Hebrews 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
God’s people are called “strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” For their minds are not full of the place of their physical birth. As in the preceding passage, (Colossians 3:1), their affections are set on spiritual matters, as they are dwelling presently in the heavenliness with the very Person of God. Ephesians 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
Daniel, as a captive in a foreign land, where there was no temple, no sacrifices, none of God’s true priests fulfilling their temple duties, prophesied more than once that as the daily sacrifices had then temporarily ceased, they were to come to a final end. And he had it revealed to him that this would occur at the time of the Messiah.
Daniel 11:31 And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate. 12:11 And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.
And he clearly placed the occurrence of the ending of the daily sacrifice at the point of the Sacrifice which ended all sacrifices! It would be at the crucifixion of the Lamb of God! Daniel 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
Our Lord referred to this in setting forth the ending of the era of the law and the beginning of the kingdom of the gospel. Matthew 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. THE Great Tribulation took place at the time of the Gentiles polluting the Holy of holies, with an abomination that rendered the temple forever desolate. And that was so great a time of tribulation as never to be allowed again!
God’s Lamb went out of the Jew’s temple, never to return. Matthew 23:38 Behold, your house (the temple) is left unto you desolate. 24:1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: Did you ever wonder why nothing of the atonement took place in the temple, nor even within Jerusalem? God even tore the separating curtain so that the purity of the Holy of holies was removed forever. Matthew 27:51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; The Prophet Ezekiel also saw this. Ezekiel 10:18 Then the glory of the LORD departed from off the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubims. 11:23 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.
Christ’s one sacrifice that ended all sacrifices was accomplished outside the city of Jerusalem! Hebrews 13:11 For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. 12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. 13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.
For the next time the Lord Jesus comes back to earth it shall be without any farther provision for even one more sin! He shall not come to pardon another sin for another sinner. But He shall come to provide the full and complete salvation for his people. Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
God’s present temple is the individual believers who make up the church. 1 Corinthians 6:19 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.
And like a strong building, they are built on a sure foundation. Luke 6:47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:48 He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. 1 Corinthians 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Hebrews 11:10 For he (Abraham) looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
And God’s true temple, being the redeemed church, has the purifying fire of God to eliminate improper ‘materials’ i.e. hypocritical souls, from continuing on as part of its structure. 1 Corinthians 3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
The fiery eyes of God shall spot everyone without a wedding garment and shall exclude them from the eternal presence of Christ. See Matthew 22:11-14.
Pastor Gene Breed
January 16, 2020