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Destroy This Temple!

Posted by: Administrator on July 05, 2004 4:15:22 PM (23733 Reads)

- How many people noticed the two (2) groups of listeners to our Lord when He said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”?

- First group, the Jews who interpreted our Lord’s Word

- Second group, the Apostles/Disciples who waited for our Lord’s explanation.

- To which group do we belong?

 

"DESTROY THIS TEMPLE!"

 

Introduction

 

  • How many people noticed the two (2) groups of listeners to our Lord when He said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” ?
  • First group, the Jews who interpreted our Lord’s word
  • Second group, the Apostles/Disciples who waited for our Lord’s explanation
  • To which group do we belong?

God speaks the language of people depending on their nationalities: Spanish, English, German, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, etc., and the different dialects of with which the Holy Bible is translated. Christ spoke Hebrew in His time for that was the language of the Jews. The Jews understood the “letter” (literal), but surprisingly could not understand the message or the “spirit” of the word Jesus was speaking.

 

The Temple

 

Joh 2:19 “Jesus …said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”

 

Joh 2:20 “Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?”

 

The Jews using their own understanding mocked Jesus before Caiaphas, the chief priest. Jesus was telling the truth but they did not get the message.

 

Mat 26:61 “And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God , and to build it in three days.”

 

The Apostles/Disciples simply waited for our Lord to “explain,” actually a demonstration of the real message of His word:

 

Joh 2:22 “When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.”

 

Joh 2:21 “But he spake of the temple of his body.”

 

Warning:

 

Prov 3:5 “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”

 

Ministers of the New Testament

 

2 Cor 3:6 “Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.”

 

The “ministers of the new testament” are identified by the way they preach the word of God: “not of the letter.” At first glance it looks as if this refers to the Law given to Moses. But, if this edict does not apply to the word of our Lord and the epistles of His Apostles, why do we have the following as illustrations?

 

Jesus Christ demonstrated that “letter” does not only refer to the Law in the Old Testament, but to the literal understanding and interpretation of the word as well.

 

Example 1:

 

Joh 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.”

 

Example 2:

 

Mat 18:8 “Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. 9 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.”

 

Example 3:

 

Luk 14:26 “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”

 

 

The merchants in the temple

 

Joh 2:14 “And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: 15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; 16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.”

 

When Jesus drove the merchants in the temple, the Jews asked Him by what authority did He do this:

 

Joh 2:18 “Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? 19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”

 

Thus, the two classes of people who heard Him speak are revealed!

 

(1) The Jews under the leadership of the Scribes and Pharisees

(2) The Jews who became Apostles/Disciples of our Lord

 

The Jews who did “not see” the prophecy about how Jesus was to speak, “leaned unto their own understanding” instead of relying on His explanation:

 

Psa 78:2 “I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old.”

 

They thought just because our Lord spoke their Hebrew language, they could understand what He was saying. They even used their perception of what the temple is, to mock our Lord:

 

Mat 26:59 “Now the chief priests, and elders… sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death; 60 …though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses, 61 And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God , and to build it in three days .”

 

The Disciples on the other hand simply waited and kept silent, knowing that Jesus would explain His words anyway.

 

Mar 4:34 “But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.”

 

a. Temple is not the edifice :

 

Christ’s explanation was by demonstration!

 

Joh 2:22 “When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.”

 

Joh 2:21 “But he spake of the temple of his body.”

 

Perhaps many people reading the Holy Bible may claim to have already understood the “spirit” in the word TEMPLE , that it symbolizes the body of Jesus Christ. Further reading about the temple never referred to the edifice or the dwelling place of God:

 

Act 7:47 “But Solomon built him an house. 48 Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, 49 Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest?”

 

Since Satan has access to the Sacred Scriptures, therefore even quoting from it.

 

Mat 4:6 “…If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

 

Therefore it necessitates for God to endow “spiritual discernment” to His chosen inaccessible to Satan. And so:

 

1 Cor 2:12 “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”

 

“Spiritual discernment” is divine revelation by “comparing spiritual things with spiritual,” that Satan cannot do. The following are revealed to the “ministers of the new testament.” God’s instruction in applying His word:

 

Isa 28:10 “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.”

 

 

b. The Temple , the body of Christ, is the Word

 

Joh 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…”

 

Just as the “temple had to be destroyed,” or the “body of Christ to be nailed on the cross,” so is the “word” or the “handwriting of ordinances that are contrary to us” should also be nailed to the cross:

 

Col 2:14 “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.”

 

Initially, it appears as if the “ordinances contrary to us” refer only to the Laws given to Moses.” However Jesus Christ by means of illustrations points to the LITERAL understanding and application of the word.

 

Example 1. Who can reconcile the commandment on LOVE with the following, taken literally?

 

Luk 14:26 “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”

 

Example 2. Was not Nicodemus, a prominent teacher of the word, sharply rebuked by our Lord for taking the LITERAL (“letter”) meaning of “born again?”

 

Joh 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.”

 

Joh 3:4 “Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?”

 

Example 3. Who can abide by the following for taking the LITERAL (“letter) meaning?

 

Mat 18:8 “herefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.”

 

Plus many more examples.

 

“Handwriting of ordinances” cannot only refer to the Law of Moses, but to the “letter” or literal meaning of the word as well. The Scribes and Pharisees who were limited to comprehending the literal meaning of the word were called hypocrites by our Lord, for this merely “cleanses the outside of the cup.”

 

Mat 23:26 “Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.”

 

Example 1:

 

Claiming faithfulness to the spouse for the commandment “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” is only half of the truth. The “other half” of the truth, the “spirit” in the word, is demonstrated in the following:

 

God is married to His chosen.

 

 

Jer 3:14 “Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you…”

 

The chosen, both physical male and female 1, are the spiritual “wife.”

 

 

Isa 54:5 “For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name...”

 

The “seeds” of God as the husband is the TRUTH. This should not be adulterated with half truth such as religious traditions 2 and human precepts 3. These are considered “strange seeds” not coming from God.

 

Example 2:

 

Claiming honesty for not stealing anything of value for the commandment “Thou shalt not steal,” is only half of the truth. The “other half” or the “spirit” in the word is revealed by Christ in the following:

 

 

Joh 10:1 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.”

 

This is the “door into the sheepfold.”

 

Joh 10:7 “Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.”

 

Simply following the “letter” by not stealing anything of value “kills” for that constitutes only half of the truth. The other half to be followed is the “spirit” in the word. This refers to the whole TRUTH both literal and spiritual honesty. How can each of the 1001 Christian sects claim the TRUTH? For verification, apply the two (2) tests for spirits:

 

Test 1:

 

1 John 4:1 “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”

 
Question:
 
Who is “Jesus Christ come in the flesh? The Father or the Son?
 
If the answer is the Son Jesus Christ, and this is the claim of many denominations, how could this be a test so as to separate the real from the pseudo Christians?
 
If the answer is the Father, what is the divine justification?
 

Test 2:

 

Rev 13:11 “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.”

 

Question:

 

What is the “voice” of the Lamb when Jesus fasted 40 days and 40 nights?

 

What is the “voice” of the dragon or Satan (Rev. 12:9), the basis for the sharp rebuke of Jesus Christ?

 

Example 3:

 

Claiming to have followed the First Commandment on idolatry 4 by getting rid of images and statues, but ignoring the following attesting to spiritual blindness of even higher degree of idolatry:

 

Mat 23:8 “But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. 9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.”

 

Jesus is speaking “spiritual things” (not political, social, or scientific). Rabbi means teacher, pastor, leader, or shepherd and Christ alone deserves those titles. Only God is worthy to be called Father, Holy, and Reverend:

 

Psa 111:9 “He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.”

 

How could professing apostles of Christ today appropriate these honorific titles citing Eph. 4:11 where “apostles, evangelists, prophets, pastors, and teachers” pertain to the FUNCTION. Nowhere in the Bible can we read Paul and other apostles addressed as Pastor, or Peter addressed as Father.

 

Would God share to anybody the honor and glory that is exclusive to Him? Is not God called Jealous 5?

 

Exo 34:14 “…for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.”

 

Therefore, for any person to appropriate these honorific titles will promote idolatry of even higher order than the inanimate statues and images.

 

Try to identify the two classes of listeners to our Lord in the following:

 

Luk 6:39 “And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?”

 

c. The Temple is the glorified body -- not recognizable

 

Jesus in His glorified body was not recognized by Mary Magdalene:

 

John 20:12 “And seeth two angels in white sitting…where the body of Jesus had lain. 13 And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? …Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. 14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. 16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.”

 

Mary Magdalene did not recognize Jesus until He revealed Himself to her through His “voice” (word). Let us be reminded of the “voice” of the Lamb and the “voice” of the Dragon. Did not Jesus tell His Disciples about this?

 

Joh 10:3 “…the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. 4 And… the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.”

 

Jesus was not recognized by His two Disciples on way to Emmaus:

 

Luk 24:13 “And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus… 15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together… Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. 16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know him. 17 And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad? 18 And one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou a stranger in Jerusalem , and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? 19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: 20 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.” Luk 24:30 “And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.”

 

The two Disciples did not recognize Jesus until He took bread, broke it, and gave it to them. Jesus is the “bread” of life. He is the Word. Just as the resurrected Christ is not recognizable, so is the “spiritual word” not comprehensible until it is “broken” by our Lord. Breaking of bread” is “rightly dividing the word of truth.”

 

2 Tim 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

 

Does “study” come from man’s effort? 6 Was it not Jesus who “broke the bread” for the two Disciples? Thus:

 

1 Cor 2:13 “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” 1 John 2:27 “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth…”

 

The different topics discussed in this article cannot be comprehended until our Lord Himself, through His word, “breaks” (rightly divide) and “gives” them to us as He did to His Disciples. This also is expressed in the following:

 

Mar 4:34 “But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.”

 

Did Jesus speak except in parables? Was the explanation of the parables entrusted to Peter, John, James, or to any person?

 

The present discussion is an example of the “letter” or the literal meaning being nailed to the cross, giving rise to the “resurrected word.” This becomes comprehensible only after the “word is rightly divided” and revealed to the chosen. Let us take note that it was Jesus who “broke the bread” and not His Disciples. So also it is with the guidance of the Holy Spirit that the “word is rightly divided,” sans human wisdom.

 

d. The Temple as the “body of Christ” is the church:

 

First, our Lord nullified the perception that the TEMPLE refers to the structure or edifice but to His BODY. Now the BODY of Christ further conveys the meaning of a “body or group” of His chosen or the church.

 

Rom 12:5 “So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.” Eph 5:30 “ For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.”

 

Great revelations are therefore given in this parable of the TEMPLE . If the TEMPLE further symbolizes the Church, how does God reveal the great message of the following?

 

John 2:14 “And found in the temple those that sold… sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: 15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables.”

 

Look how limited the understanding of the Natural Man 7 that only sees the “letter” of the word or the literal TEMPLE . But with the “breaking of bread,” or “rightly dividing the word of truth,” the objects in the TEMPLE entirely present different connotations. Consider the following:

  1. Does not TEMPLE symbolize the Church?

     

    Rom 12:5 “So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.”

  2. Is not the Holy Spirit symbolized by a dove?

     

    Luk 3:22 “And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.”

  3. Did not God in the Old Testament require His chosen to offer the blood of lambs and oxen?

     

    1 Pet 1:19 “But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”

     

    Exo 12:5 “Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep…”

     

    Exo 20:24 “An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen…”

  4. Does not the shedding of blood of the lamb and oxen symbolize Christ dying on the cross?
  5. Does not “buying and selling, and money changing” indicate commerce, and profit?
  6. Were not the Scribes and Pharisees provoked by Christ’s speaking the truth?
  7. Is not Jesus Christ the TRUTH?
  8. Can we not equally see the “persecution and crucifixion” of truth by people affected by this grand expose’?
  9. Are not “ministers of the New Testament” identified by their preaching of the “spirit” and the “ministers of the Old Testament” by the “letter” of the word?
  10. Today, how many can claim “ministers of the New Testament.”
  11. How many people truly accept:
  12. Mat 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

     

    Mat 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. 15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Is it worth asking?

 

Religious leaders interpret, “the letter killeth,” (2 Cor. 3:6) and “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances… nailing it to his cross,” (Col. 2:14) solely referring to Laws given to Moses. Tithes and offering is one of these laws. Then why is the “letter” taken instead of the “spirit” of the ordinance? Is this not interpreting the word of God for personal benefit and profit?

 

Since Jesus said, “ Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill, ” He should have preached the “spirit” of the law on Tithes. Read:

 

TITHES and the TEMPLE MERCHANTS

http://www.purechristianity.org/tithes.htm

 

 

What relevance is the following to the issue?

 

 

To the “chosen”

 

Luk 10:23 “And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see.” Mat 13:16 “But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.”

 

To the “called”

 

Joh 12:40 “He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.” Mat 13:15 “For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” Rom 11:10 “Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway.” Rom 11:8 “(According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.”

 

God’s counsel

 

Mar 8:18 “Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?” Rev 3:18 “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.”

 

Truly

 

Mat 22:14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

 

 

 

END

 

footnotes...

 

1 Gal 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”

 

2 Col 2:8 “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy, ...after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

 

3 Isa 29:13 “Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: 14 Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.”

 

4 Exo 20:2 I am the LORD thy God…3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God…”

 

5 Exo 34:14 “…for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.”

 

6 Jam 1:5 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”

 

7 1 Cor 2:14 “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”