Spiritual Temple Part 2
William Goff
9/15/2012

Audio: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Spiritual Temple
Part 2
   

Vendyl Miller Jones was an American Noa-hide scholar who has directed Archaeological searchers for biblical artifacts his whole life.

 

Born in Sudan, Texas in1930 and died in 2010 at the age of 80.

 

The entire life of Vendyl Jones revolved around “searching for buried treasure.”

 

Buried treasure pertaining to The Temple of God, and the Ark of the Covenant.

 

Vendyl Miller Jones, may not ring too many bells….But we probably all know “Indiana Jones”

 

“Harrison Ford” who stared in movies like “Raiders of The Lost Ark” & “The Temple Of Doom.”

 

Indiana Jones played out on the movie screen; much of what Vendyl Miller Jones, spent his entire life doing.

 

Searching for buried biblical treasures pertaining to the Temple of God, and it drew a lot of attention.

 Temples are important to mankind, because they are considered a Holy Place that is occupied by God

Today, I want to talk a little about the Temple of God, I want to try and refresh our memory concerning the physical Temples that were built in the past, and the Spiritual Temple, that is currently under construction, and nearing its completion.

 

There is a lot of talk today (and a lot of preparation being made) concerning the building of another physical temple in Jerusalem by the Jewish community.

 

But let us not forget that there is a Spiritual Temple in the making.

 

A Spiritual Temple that has been under construction by the Almighty God Himself for a long time, and soon to be completed…

  

When it comes to the Temple of God, the House of God, there are many scriptures pertaining to the different temples.

 

Pertaining to their construction (their building) and pertaining to their rebuilding after they were torn down.

 

The Scriptures speak of 3 “physical” temples that were constructed there in Jerusalem:

 

“Solomon’s Temple” (First proposed by King David, but built by his son Solomon.)

 

Then the “Second Temple” (also called “Zerubbabel’s Temple”) (Built by the remnant that returned to Jerusalem after being freed from Babylonian captivity.)

 

And “Herod’s Temple” (Built by King Herod, who was desirous of gaining the favor of the Jews at the time.)

 

All three “physical” Temples have much “Spiritual” significance, that can be gleaned from their construction & from their use.

 

One thing I’d like to note here about all 3 physical temples is that all the “Stones” used to build all 3 Temples came from the same “Quarry” known as the “Royal Quarry” the name given to the vast caverns stretching far underneath the northern hill on which Jerusalem is built.

 

Now the stones of course, represent us, the members of the Body of Christ – the church.

 

So as we proceed in today’s message, let us relate all that pertains to the physical temple, to the more important Spiritual Temple that our Creator is most concerned with.

  

Now I’m sure we’re all familiar with the magnificence of that 1st temple that was built, Solomon’s Temple.

 

How so much wealth, so much Gold & Silver and Precious Stones and Magnificent Wood were put into that temple, and so much Detail and Craftsmanship.

 

And above everything else, and greater by far, how the presence of God Himself, was in that temple at one time.

 

Remember, at the dedication of Solomon’s Temple, when the priests brought in the “Ark of the Covenant” and placed it in that Holy place that was prepared for it?

 

Remember how the cloud filled the house of the Lord, and then Solomon gave a prayer of dedication.

 

Remember Solomon made that very moving prayer of dedication at that time when the temple became occupied.

 

Solomon made a comment in that prayer that I’d like to take note of here, it’s in 1 king’s 8:27.

 

(Let’s start in V 22) (There are a few important things that should be noted here.)

 1 Kngs 8:22 And Solomon stood before the altar of the lord in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven. 23: And he said, LORD God of Israel, there is no God like thee, in heaven above, or on earth beneath, who keepest covenant and mercy with thy servants that walk before thee with all their heart: (Repeat the last part of that verse :) Who keepest covenant and mercy with thy servants (Which Servants?) that walk before thee with all their heart.
24: Who hast kept with thy servant David my father that thou promisedst him: thou spakest also with thy mouth, and hast fulfilled it with thine hand, as it is this day. 
(Remember, it was King David who wanted to build a House for God in the first place, but God said NO to David’s request, God said that He (Himself) would raise up a son to build the house. (Fulfilled here with Solomon concerning the physical Temple)(And being fulfilled by Christ concerning the Spiritual temple) (More on that, as we proceed.)

Dropping to V 27: But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?  

Solomon knew that God’s plan was not to live in any physical house (or temple) built by any man.

 

Solomon knew that no physical house could contain Him.

 

Our God, the one whose thoughts are higher than our thoughts and whose ways are higher than our ways, has a plan, a plan to live with His children, forever.

 

But his plan of living with his people doesn’t include dwelling in any physical house or physical temple built by any man.

 

The physical temples, from their construction, to their distraction (and everything in-between) was just more classroom, more physical, to help us comprehend (the more important) Spiritual.

 

What Solomon knew back then (concerning God and His abode) was also known by the Apostle Paul.

 

The Apostle Paul also knew and told the Greeks (or we could say told the world) on mars hill back there in Athens Greece,

 

That God has no intensions of living in any physical temple built by any man.

 

 (Let’s go there acts 17:24) Paul made this statement on “Mars Hill” in Athens, back when the construction of the “New testament Church” was just beginning.

 

I visited Mars hill back in the 70ies; about the only thing left there was its foundations.

 

Foundations last a long time.

And a good foundation will weather ALL the storms.

 

Well, what Solomon knew back at the dedication of the temple, Paul also knew, and told the world back on Mars hill, 2 millennia ago.

 

Paul had just arrived in Athens, and saw that the entire city was “wholly given to idolatry” like it says in V 16

 

Their devotion was not to the Creator.

 

They were quit Idolatrous, they liked to worship other things.

 

And Paul wanted to declare the TRUE God to them.

And he wanted to tell them what the True God expected of them.

 

Paul wanted to clear up their thinking,

Put things in the right perspective,

He wanted to get them on the right track, going in the right direction.

 Acts 17:24 God that made the world and all things there in, seeing that He is the lord of heaven, and earth dwelleth NOT in Temples made with hands. 

Neither is worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, seeing He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things.

 26 hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitations. 27 That they should seek the Lord , if happily they might feel after Him, and find Him though He be not far from every one of us. 

Our God, our Creator, cannot be contained in some physical temple.

And our God, our Creator doesn’t want man to build Him a physical house or temple.

 

Our God, our Creator wants something else from man.

 

He has something else He expects man to do.

 

It’s the same thing He wanted man to do back in Solomon’s time,

 

It’s the same thing He wanted man to do in Paul’s time,

 

And it’s the same thing He wants all of us, to do in our time.

 

He wants us to seek Him, and He wants us to seek Him diligently.

 Because He wants to dwell with us. 

It’s nothing new, God doesn’t change, His desire for man to dwell with Him goes all the way back to the Garden.

 

That’s why he made man in His own image in the first place.

 

Even if we look back to the Exodus from Egypt, where it speaks about the priesthood and the consecration of the priests, in Exodus 29:45 God says:

 

And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God. And they shall know that I am the Lord their God, that brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them.

 

Our creator created us to be with him, to dwell with him,

 

 But not in some physical temple built by any man.

 

The physical temples built by men are only a type of the true temple that is being built.

 

And all that detail that went into the physical temple

All the physical wealth, the gold, silver precious stones, magnificent woods

 

Were put there by God so we could better understand and comprehend the building of a different temple, a much more important temple, a Spiritual Temple.

 

(This past week, CBS’ “60 Minutes” (An American Television news magazine) interviewed one of the Navy Seals who raided Osama Bin laden’s home last year in Pakistan, when Osama [known as the world’s most wanted man] was killed.)

 

The seal described how they trained for the highly important mission, by using a full size replica of the compound, because they needed to know and be familiar with every detail of their mission.

 

That’s kind of what God does, by giving us the “physical” temple (and all the things pertaining to it) to teach us about the more important “Spiritual” Temple...

 

Now Solomon’s temple was physical and eventually destroyed…

 

But it wasn’t the end f the story.

God was still working at his plan of building a Spiritual Temple.

 

His plan had to do with a Temple that would never be destroyed.

 

A temple where He could dwell with His people forever.

 

Every detail (no matter how minute) concerning the construction of that physical temple, has Spiritual significance.

 

I’m sure we’re all familiar with much of the detail, concerning the physical temple.

 

Like how the “stones” prepared at the quarries, were gradually placed on the massive walls, and closely fitted together, without any mortar between them.

 

The stones were cut and shaped to fit together “perfectly.”

 

Our God is a perfectionist; He wants things built to perfection!

 

Those stones of course represent (us) the members of the Body of Christ, the church.

 

He’s preparing and shaping the “stones” (us) for His House (His Spiritual Temple) down here at the quarry.

 

Where no sound of hammer or axe or any tool of iron is heard, as the structure rises.

 

Eventually, those stones will be brought “Tither” (To the other side.) like we are told in 1 Kgs 6:7 (not turning)

 

Are we amongst those stones brethren? Are we allowing our Creator to shape us into that Holy Righteous Perfect Character, of the Father?

 

Are we being cut and shaped “perfectly” to fit into our place in the Spiritual Temple that He is constructing?

 

Remember, there’s no motor being used to hold the Temple Stones together. Motor is only necessary when there are imperfections in the stones.

 

The blue prints for God’s Temple has “zero tolerance” for imperfections, Brethren.

 

Our Lord & Savior, the one who died in our stead, on a stake, after His gruesome Crucifixion, is going to present to Himself, a Glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be Holy and without Blemish.

 

We were recently admonished with the words of Paul, to “redeem the time, because the days are evil.” To: Wake out of sleep.

 

How are we spending our time brethren? How are our stones coming along?

 

God’s Word tells us that there is a season for everything, a time to be born & a time to die.

 

A time to Plant & a time to Pluck up.

 

Brethren, the time of planting is well spent --- Plucking up is at the door… This is 2012.

 

The construction for God’s Spiritual Temple is about to come to a close.

 

Our opportunity (our only opportunity) (as stones) to overcome the ways of this world and to conquer the lusts of the eyes – the lusts of the flesh & the pride of life, will soon be over..

  

In the autumn of the eleventh year of Solomon’s reign, (seven years after the construction of the Temple begun) the construction came to an abrupt stop, because the constructing of the temple was completed!

 

They say if you explore the “Royal Quarry” today, blocks of stone are still found in those caves bearings the marks of pick & chisel.

 

It is said that the general appearance of the whole, suggests to the explorer that the quarrymen, just abruptly suspended their work.

 

Yes, after 7 years of construction,

The last stone (taken from the Royal Quarry) to be used for the temple, was cut, shaped & polished, and the construction ended. (the unfinished stones were left behind.)

 

Then, for 13 years the temple stood silent & unused

 

It was 13 years before preparations for the dedication of the temple were made, and those preparations were made on a scale of the greatest magnificence.

 

Then the ark was solemnly brought from the tent in which David had deposited it, to the place prepared for it in the temple.

 

That’s when God’s divine presence filled the house, and Solomon poured out his heart to God in fervent prayer.

 

That dedication lasted seven days, and was followed by the Feast of Tabernacles.

 

(More significance, as we consider the completion of the Spiritual temple, after the church is Glorified, the 1,000 year reign of Christ & His saints (pictured by the feast of tabernacles) will also follow.

 

Now Solomon’s temple was eventually destroyed. Who would have ever imagined that the day would come when that magnificent temple would be destroyed, and Gods people taken captive to Babylon?

 

But ya know that captivity wasn’t all that bad.

 

(It was God’s plan that was moving forward.) (More physical lessons for us to glean from.)

 

Kind Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, who had destroyed the temple and had taken Judah captive, died in 562 BC

 

And because his successors were not strong, Babylon was overthrown by Persia in 639BC

 

The Persians had a relaxed policy towards their captives (allowing them to own land & homes and take ordinary jobs.)

 

King Cyrus of Persia went a step further, and allowed the Jews to return to their homeland.

 

(Giving them opportunity to depart from Babylon.)

 

They were allowed to return to rebuild the temple.

 

And there is something that is very interesting that happened, when they were given that opportunity to leave Babylon, and to return to Jerusalem.

 

(Not everyone had an interest to leave Babylon.)

 

Those who did leave were led by Zerubbabel.

 

The interesting thing is that the masses of the nation remained (by preference) in Babylon

 

Many had no intentions of leaving Babylon. (They had fallen in love with the ways of this world.)

 

(We can relate this, to much of the church today.)

 

Not everyone in the church today is focused on their calling, focused on the coming out of Babylon, and the building of their Holy Temple (making their tree good.)

 

Just like back then, many are content with their lifestyle, having other things on their mind.

 

Not concerned about leaving their comfort zone, (to return to the city of their God) to rebuild a Holy Temple.

 

They were content with their life style; many had good jobs and were making good living.

 

Only a minority returned to Palestine to work on the Temple.

 

The post captive books, like Ezra, and a few others deal with what is known as the “feeble remnant.”

 

A weak remnant, which alone had a heart for God, and returned on a mission.

 

They returned to build a temple.

 

Ezra was a scribe and priest who returned with Zerubbabel.

 

He was known as “The man who Honored Scripture.”

 

Chapter 7, 8 and 9 of Ezra tells us:

 

He was a man of deep humility and self denial.

 

Ezra was a man with fervent zeal for God’s honor, and knew how to pray.

 

He was one of the few back then who had a heart for God.

 

Ezra 7:10 says: “Ezra had prepared his heart.”

 

Ezra was one of the doers of the word, not just a hearer only.

 

(He is a good example of what we (as members of the Body of Christ) need to be doing today.)

 

His occupation implied many things:

 

He was a student, and as such had a duty to himself to study the will of God as revealed in the Scriptures, that he might hide it in his own heart. (Ezra 7:10)

 

He was also an interpreter with a duty to his own generation in teaching others what he had learned. In this way he gave the “sense” of the Word (Neh. 8:2-8)

 

Ezra was also an able administrator. He conducted the Jewish exiles back to Jerusalem in peace & safety…

  

Brethren, there seems to be only a weak feeble, remnant today, who have a heart for God, and are willing to complete the temple.

 

Now there is something that is of utmost importance for that small weak & feeble remnant to realize, concerning the completing of the temple.

 

(It’s found in Zech chapter 4, let’s turn there please.) (I want to read a few verses here.)

 

The weak, feeble remnant need to keep things in the right perspective, they need to be on the right track, and headed in the right direction.

 

The temple that our Creator is mainly interested in is NOT a physical temple, it’s a Spiritual Temple.

 

And a Temple that He wants to complete, and that He wants to reside in (occupy it) with His people.

 

Things haven’t changed brethren; it’s the Spiritual Temple that God is concerned with.

 

It’s the Spiritual Temple that is nearing its completion; it’s the Spiritual Temple that “Signs Shall Follow”

 

Remember the casting out of devils, speaking with new tongues, and the sick recovering after the laying on of hands.

 

All those things spoken about in Mark 16, were signs that follow them that believe

 

Belief is a spiritual thing; it has to do with faith. (Faith comes from hearing the Word of God.)

 

It has to do with the word that God gave to Zerubbabel,

 

Yes, Zerubbabel, the ones whose hands are still involved today, in the construction of the Spiritual Temple.

 

When it comes to building this temple, it was the hands of Zerubbabel that was going to do it.

 

He was the one who lead the remnant that returned, and it was his hands that laid the foundation for the house.

 

The foundation that was completed a long time ago.

 

And it’s the hands of Zerubbabel that will complete the job.

 

(And remember it’s the completion of the building of this House (this Spiritual Temple)  that we are nearing)

 

We had nothing to do with the foundation (all though even back then, we were in the plans) but we have everything to do with the superstructure.

 

Zech 4:9 says:

 The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it. 

Zerrubbabel is still at work, brethren.

 Zerubbabel is an interesting name - it means Begotten in Babylon. 

The job that is being done by the small feeble, weak, remnant

 

The ones who have a heart for God, the ones who don’t want to stay back at Babylon, but want to come out of her, to return and complete the temple.

 

Have but only one means of accomplishing that,

 

And Zerubbabel was told the means a long time ago.

 

And it’s not by the means of anything physical.

 

We need to realize this, because this temple is not being built by any physical men.

 

The physical men (That’s all of us) are the material, the stones, the clay.

 

The one doing the building is not physical, and He’s not using physical might or physical power, to accomplish His goal of completing the Spiritual temple.

 

Zech 4:6 Then he answered and spoke unto me saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts.

 By my spirit saith the Lord of Hosts

If we want to fulfill our part of the Temple’s construction; if we want to fulfill our calling, and make it to the other side, we have to be lead by the Spirit of God.

 

We have to be spiritually minded, by minding the things of the Spirit.

 

We have to walk in the Spirit, so we won’t fulfill the lusts of the flesh.

 

We have to comprehend (or learn) from the physical, but then apply it to the Spiritual…

  

Now God’s entire Temple is Holy (When the Priests worked in the temple, they were barefoot, because the temple was Holy ground.)

 

 But some parts are Holier than other parts.

 

(Some parts are occupied by God, and some are not.)

  

There are two Greek words for Temple in the New Testament.

 

One word is Strong’s # 2411 and it applies to all the buildings in the entire Temple complex.

 

Remember when Jesus went out, and departed from the temple, and His disciples began showing Him the buildings of the temple?

 Back in Mat 24, when Jesus (speaking of that temple) said: there shall not be left here one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down. 

The Greek word used there for “temple” is 2411 describing all the buildings of the temple.

 

But there’s another Greek word used for Temple in the New Testament, a word that depicts a very specific place in the temple (A place much Holier than the rest of the temple.)

 

Its Strong’s # 3485 the “Holy of Holies”

 

It the part of the Temple that is occupied by God.

 

It’s the part of the temple that if any man defile, him shall God destroy!

 

Brethren, these are words that are not to be taken lightly.

 

This is the part of the Temple that is of utmost importance to us, because we (as baptized members of the Body of Christ, the Church) are that Temple…

 

We are the Temple that God wants to reside in (The temple that we do not want to defile)

 

Because God will not dwell with sin.

One has to clean house before our God will even move in.

 

So He has a procedure for sinful human beings to go through, in order for Him to dwell with us. (It’s a process that many of us have already begun.)

 

This procedure starts at baptism & Hands. (It has to do with bathing – (what could be more elementary than that, when your dirty, you take a bath.)

 

(When we look at the physical Temple, we learn how that bathing is accomplished.)

 

In Ex 30:18 God instructed Moses to build a “Laver”

 

A “Laver” to hold water. (And used to bathe the Priests.)

 

Ex chapter 29: God instructs Moses himself to wash the Priest’s at the door of the Tabernacle.

 

That washing of the Priests, performed by Moses was a one-time ordeal, and Moses was required to wash Aaron and his sons’ entire body, he had to bathe them.

 

That washing by Moses pictured Christ purifying us by His one time sacrifice on the cross. But then the Laver continued to be used daily for washing the hands & feet of the Priests, and that washing of the hands & feet had to be performed by the Priest himself. Sometimes, we seem to spend a lot of time observing other men’s dirt. But we need to focus more on our own dirt, not the dirt of others. Moses washed the Priests initially, but all the washing after that was done by each priest himself. I want to spend a little time here discussing the Laver, because the Laver is still required to be used by God’s Priests today. Yes, the laver is still required to be used, by all the members of the Body of Christ, the church. The laver was situated between the tabernacle of the congregation, and the alter. It separated the place where God made His abode, from the rest of the temple. And in order for any priest to enter into God’s space, he was required (by God) (under the penalty of death) to wash his hands and his feet before entering. God will not dwell with sin. The one, who is no respecter of persons, requires sinful men to become “upright” before He will abide with them. His procedure for man is first, to have his sins completely washed away, by the blood of Christ. And then, once he is cleansed, he is required to stay clean, by washing his hands & his feet daily, at the Laver. (Hands represent work & feet represent walk.) (We’re talking behavior here.) (We’re talking about taking every thought into captivity, and (washing away) Casting down, imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God. We can read about the laver in the New Testament in Jn 14:23.(Let’s turn there please) (The laver is required to be used daily, to keep our behavior in check.)   Remember, God will not dwell with sinners, He will only dwell with the “upright” (Let’s start in V21 of Jn 14) Jn 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and he that loveth me, shall be loved of my Father, and will manifest myself to Him. (If a man hath the commandments, and keepeth them, he is not sinning, but is walking upright, and both the Father & the Son make their abode with the upright.) V 23: (latter part) If a man love me, he will keep my words, and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 

The laver is designed to keep one “upright” keep one separated from sin, by keeping our hands & feet clean, by the Word of God.

 

By taking every thought into captivity, and comparing it to the Word of God.

 

That’s how Jesus fought against sin, He used the Scriptures. Every time Satan tempted Him, He fought back with Scriptures.

 

Brethren, our God is in the process of building a Temple, a Spiritual Temple.

 

A Temple that He desires to dwell in for eternity, And that Temple is us.

 

He wants us pure; He wants us to be walking this earth upright.

 

He wants us out of Babylon.

 

He wants to make His abode with us, and He want to move in now, even while we are still flesh & blood human beings.

 

Do we realize that?

 

Talk about finding Biblical Treasures, how about the fact that we don’t even have to wait until we are changed to spirit beings for God (both the Father & the Son) to abide with us.

 

They want to move in and occupy their Spiritual Temple now…

 

I hope to continue this message at a future date – There is another aspect concerning the Spiritual Temple that we need to be aware of.

 

It has to do with the man of sin (the son of perdition) who is currently sitting in the Temple of God, and soon to be revealed.

 

uparrow.jpg
RETURN