An activity that is near and dear to God is the construction of His temple. It is where He wants to provide a refuge for His people to receive atonement as well as be a place for worship and intercession.
All of His temples in the past have been excellently constructed and, today, is still being constructed in magnificence and in splendor. Remarkably, the way it was built in the past is the same way it is being built today. How is this so?
The Tabernacle in the Wilderness
How God is doing this today as in the past is seen by how the Israelites in the Old Testament erected the tabernacle. In Exodus 35:4-35 and Exodus 36, all of the Israelites had a part in building this tabernacle in the Sinai Desert. God did this by giving them the necessary skills to construct it! These were tremendous skills that included weaving, engraving, and woodcarving. A transportable sanctuary for God was thus built which was carried by the Israelites as they journeyed in the wilderness.
King Solomon’s temple was also built using highly skilled labor. In 1 Chronicles 28 and 1 Chronicles 29:1-9, we read about the God-given talents of craftsmen, artists, and metal workers being employed to build that structure. God especially gave a couple of the Israelites exceptional abilities from the Holy Spirit to finish the job. Solomon even used gentiles, non-Israelites, to help construct that temple (1Kings 5 and 2 Chronicles 2).
This very likely looked forward to the time when the Apostle Paul would himself go and evangelize the gentiles in the first century AD (Just my thoughts here). The temple was indeed built and God was very pleased with its construction. It was a stationary structure among men for worship, prayer, offerings and sanctification. That temple, however, was later destroyed when God used the Babylonian Empire to punish the Israelites for not trusting and obeying Him.
Jesus Christ, The Temple
Years later, when Christ walked on earth, another temple, Herod’s temple, had just been built. While at this temple, Jesus Christ proclaimed that if the temple were destroyed, it would be rebuilt in three days. He meant Himself (John 2:19). That temple, Jesus Christ, was indeed destroyed when the Roman soldiers nailed Him to the cross. The Romans used hammer and nails, instruments which were supposed to be used for building and for constructing, to crucify Christ. He was destroyed because of our (mankind’s) disobedience, our (mankind’s) sins. But, in three days He was resurrected and has been building His Church, His temple, ever since.
Christians, the Temple of God
Christians (plural) make up the temple of God. This temple is the Church (Ephesians 2:19-22). After the cross, Jesus commissioned His disciples to go out into all the world and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). God now has been building it by adding members to it and by helping others within it to edify (nurture) it. Just as He did in the Old Testament, God has now been giving the saints in the Church the “hammer and nails” from His Holy Spirit as tools. These are spiritual gifts and talents supplied to the saints for building up the Church. These gifts include teaching, serving and ministering to each other and to the world.These tools are not to be used to crucify through brutal inquisitions and persecutions of fellow Christians which has already been seen in history. Christians are not to commit sins against the Church or else those responsible “Christians” would be destroyed (1 Corinthians 3:16-17).
Christians: The Temple in the Wilderness
Also, a Christian (singular) is a mobile temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). The Apostle Paul gave the Corinthian Christians a strong reminder that the Holy Spirit of God dwells in each of them. Each Christian must behave decently and humbly before God – not in arrogance and defiance. Each Christian must grow through prayer, Bible study, fasting, fellowship and meditation. Why? Because each Christian is supposed to be a light to a dark world – the wilderness. Each Christian temple must walk in this world with Christ leading him. He is to be growing in faith throughout his journey – something which most of the Old Testament Israelites did not do and which kept them (except for two Israeilites, Joshua and Caleb, who had exceptional gifts of the Holy Spirit) out of the promised land.
No Longer Completely Destroyed
Jesus Christ needed to die only once for the world. Therefore, God will make sure that His temple, the Church, will no longer be totally destroyed as His temples were previously (Matthew 16:18). Note: Peter is not the Church. Jesus Christ is (perhaps a future blog here). God now resides among and in man – inside true believers. The business He has given Christians today is to continue working with God building His temple – a temple to serve the world and the universe forever and ever. Amen.
Amen, amen, amen.
(Sing it over)
Amen, amen, amen.
(See the baby) amen,
(wrapped in a manger) amen,
(on Christmas morning) amen, amen, amen.
(See Him in the temple) amen,
(talkin’ with the elders) amen,
(who marveled at His wisdom) amen, amen, amen.
(Down at the Jordan) amen,
(where John was baptizin’) amen,
(and savin’ all sinners) amen, amen, amen.
(Marchin’ in Jerusalem) amen,
(over palm branches) amen,
(in pomp and splendor) amen, amen, amen.
(See Him in the garden) amen,
(prayin’ to His Father) amen,
(in deepest sorrow) amen, amen, amen.
(Led before Pilate) amen,
(then they crucified Him) amen,
(but He rose on Easter) amen, amen, amen.
(He died to save us) amen,
(and He lives forever) amen, amen, amen.
(Hallelujah!) amen, amen, amen