Because this is not really a sermon but results from snippets from scripture, prayer and meditation it was decided to place this here.
After the above devotionals were pondered yesterday, that stuff just stuck in this head. Laying down to sleep last night, dreaming, waking this morning, prayer in the Word, thinking while drinking that fresh robust first cup of coffee, Bible study thereafter, and thoughts on this continue even now: "the latter"...the second Temple being greater than the former...
[10+ pages, passages and abbreviated notes, had led to this thought provoker pulled out from that, and it's hoped in the reading of this that others will also recieve the message God has given here. Though it may not seem like everything is talking about life encompassed in the Temple of God, it is; and, with just a little reliance on Jesus to open understanding, His Spirit will reveal further scriptures and associated things relative to this issue. Much of the notes written are cut out simply for the sake of message flow to you. Yet, keep in mind that this is all about the latter house, the Temple of our Living God.]
Hopefully, continuity is not so abbreviate that it cannot be clearly understood.
Freely has this been recieved.
Freely it is given.
Copywronged 2010, by Beriythel Publications.
All rights reversed.
Apostle Paul's ministry to the Corinthian church could be summed up as "Temple Life", Life as members within the body of Jesus Christ.
( I Cor. 10:17 / II Cor. 5:21, 6:16 )
In I Corinthians, Paul clarifies that this body of the faith is not just in reference to an assembly. In reality, this begins in each of our own individual bodies. (What follows through this is the continual knitting of each of us as individuals into the one comprehensive body of Jesus Christ.)
(I Cor. 6:17, 18, 19, 20)
"Don't you know your body is Temple
of the Holy Spirit, which you have from God?
YOU ARE NOT YOUR OWN
for you were bought with a price.
So, glorify God in your body." (vv. 19,20)
In Matthew 10, Jesus comissions and sends his twelve disciples on their first mission as budding apostles. This is their first big adventure in living out what he declared them to be in the sermon on the mount, Mt. 5:11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16. Here they are, being preped in a big way to be salt and light.
The peculiar thing about this mission statement is that it in no way resembles the current ways and means of this 'easy-believism consumer christianity' touted today. Do you think Jesus somehow made some kind of mistake in what he said?
Of his commands to do, compare how well we fit the bill in His expectations:
1. As you are traveling, proclaim, "the Kingdom is at hand".
(How many of us do this as we travel???)
2. Make whole those oppressed with sickness, disease, and free the possessed.
(When was the last time you laid hands on another in Jesus name and watched God restore them???)
3. Raise the dead.
( When was the last time you saw that happen???)
4. Take no money with you.
( Is this our way of doing things???)
5. Don't plan anything.
( What are YOUR plans???)
6. Only bring the clothes on your back and a staff.
( Our 'staff' is likened to the Bible, so maybe some of us have one thing right.)
7. Stay with whatever community recieves you.
(O.K., maybe there may be two things there that might be done right.)
Looking at this list in comparison to today, it reveals just how lame and impotent these who call themselves the church, the latter house, the Temple, have become. In this era, this way that Jesus commands is seldom seen. Rather than relying on God to provide, resources have become the God served and worshipped.
Today, more often than not, you can hear, " that does not fit our budget at this moment" or "we need to form a committee then pray for God to provide us with ________."
Where is the going and doing irregardless of circumstance?
This is unbelief, and without confidence in our God who is Mighty to save both us and those whom we are to minister to. (If you do not trust God enough to provide, what do you think most whom you disciple will end up doing?)
Who or what will be your God?
What Temple are you really of?
It is only after we lay down what we consider to be pragmatic and right that God can move in, providing us His nature and lifestyle. This is when the power and glory of God so fills the Temple that it pours out all about. It does not work right the other way around.
What do you think the disciples were thinking when Jesus spoke these commands?
"...aaah, Jesus, we need a bigger budget? Do you think we can really operate on less than a shoe-string? No money? You have got to be joking, right?
... But Jesus, i need at least one nice second change of clothes, preferably 'three' piece in nature, for my Sunday-go-to meeting-sermons...
...how do you expect us to raise the dead?...
...well, i'll do it, but even though i won't make any plans, at least let us bring an atlas so we can figure out where we are at..."
After Jesus' exhorts them, he tells them the clincher, " You're the sheep, and i am sending you into wolf packs." Mt. 10:16a
Now that is not appealing at all. Wolves single out one sheep at a time, surround it, kill it, dedicate themselves to fine dining, and repeat this until satiated. Isn't that repulsive? ( We want to be the pack of wolves, attempting to slaughter those: who oppose our own 'godly' political agenda; who disagree with our favorite theology; who don't pursue our pet doctrine in the little corner of the Temple we run to meet. We want to be a predominating marketing entity in this godless world: the best books for study, recordings, preachers, sermons, and music...
Sheep among wolves does not seem to fit into this self-glorification very well at all:
...freely we recieved, and we'll market it to you at a cost amiable with current barter practices.
... Have we got the one and only message for you...
...but we gotta' be noticed for our beliefs so sound, and heap of accolaides with mounting praises of men, right?
Who is relying and trusting in what? ...and why?
Where are all the healings, and miracles, and dead being raised?
Don't fool yourself into thinking that buying some God annointed music or sermon or will make God's spirit automatically present with you at the push of a button!
...sheep among wolves...hunh?
Just for a moment consider another instance, where James and John were getting all worked up because not only they were not recieved, but their master was rejected.
(Lk 9:51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56):
"Hey, we should, like Elijah, call down fire from heaven and torch these sinners to purge out the sin in our midst..."
This 'easy-believism' and all the 'consumer christianity' claptrap that is parcel in it must end. This is the outward evpression of the error and we see it's results today.
In another gospel account, it states Jesus "set his face like flint" towards Jerusalem, where the Temple was, as the perfect sacrifice: the Lamb of God among wolves, spurred on by jeers and mocking of 'bulls' and 'lions'.
From the beginning to end of Jesus life on earth, everything was about sacrafice for and to God. Look again at Lk. 9:55.
Has Jesus been forgone and forsaken by His own, even at times denied, to bring more sheeple into the fold? The wolves in sheep clothing know only to devour them.
Neither that first commisioning, nor Jesus fixing His sight on His glorious sacrifice had much of anything to do with the right music or appropriate studies.
Have you ever stopped to consider what judgement will fall because of all these 'right' things we have at our disposal yet doing little if anything towards ministering to those God called this body, His temple, to seek out and deliver.
Ministry that is not the way God commands it to be is not God's ministry at all.
Don't you know that what we talk about is what we are glorifying?
Don't you know that what consumes our thoughts controls our mind?
What we talk and think about the most is what is being worshipped. This is idolatry if these things are not God's expression of Himself in Jesus Christ.
( Very few have become so dumb and blinded by their idols to be unable to comprehend this. The problem lies in the hardened heart.)
Are we, or is anything else of this world really that impressive?
II Cor 4:1 declares it is by God's mercy alone that we have been called to be sent. This means we are not to go around proclaiming our church, this preacher or that, certain books or even musicians. It is not through any human's talent, ability, or presence that glory fills the Temple. Any and all glory from God manifested in this earth, comes alone through Jesus Christ crucified as the Lamb slain before the foundations of the world in His pre-established everlasting covenant with our Heavenly Father.
I Cor. 6:19-20
II Cor. 4:5, 6, 7
"...The glory of the latter house shall be greater than..."
We are all easily broken jars of clay, and sometimes it takes falling off of some pedestal, hitting the ground and shattering for the glory of God to shine out in full measure. When we are broken, God's glory shines forth all the more from where He dwells in us.
The prophecies were all about the glory of God coming to the latter house, the second Temple. Some take this to mean either the Temple yet to be rebuilt or another. Yet, it is not a building made with stones that Jesus talked about when he promised, " if you tear this Temple down, in three days, I will rebuild it."
What did that glory of the latter house look like?
God could have showed up as Messiah, with all the appearances and words that would appeal to the eyes and ears of men. Did He?
He could have usurped the political powers of that day. Did He?
He could have obliterated even the need for any economy at all. Did He?
He could have taken complete control over Herod's Temple and all the activities in Judaic tradition. Did He?
What is this physical manifestation of the glory of God?
What does it look like?
The glory of God is encompassed in Jesus.
When he came, there was not even any room for Him at the place where sojourners rest: an inn.
He was born in a barn, wrapped in worthless strips of cloth used for such things as cleaning things and dressing the dead. Then Hw was laid upon a stone feeding trough.
The very onset of His life was a prophecy in itself of what he was about and what he came to earth to do.
The glory of God came in weakness.
Weakness is not a sin. It is only when in our hypocricy, attempting to hide it, that it becomes sin in us.
This weakness of the latter house, your body, the Temple of the Living God serves a mighty purpose. In our weakness God's glory manifests that much more. Jesus did not come to seek and to save those who think they have it all together and neither should we. Being weak does not go against godliness, holiness, or God perfecting us. Hebrews 5:8 tells us that Jesus learned obedience through suffering. In embracing Jesus, we also learn obedience through suffering.
Through this sojourn in the Faith(ful One), always recognize that one of the best ways to damage ministry in presenting the (only) Truth of and in the gospel, is to set these issues of the weakness of the Temple in opposition to the glory of God manifesting from within.
Without sins, failings, accidents, sickness, disease and death, nobody needs to be delived from anything, so nobody needs a Saviour.
God does not bring us into His family because we have it all together. God brings us into His family because we don't. This latter house glory comes in our constant recognition that we need Him. This is how He best shines forth from this Temple.
If a person can boast -(aka: glory)- in it, odds are there is little, if any, of God there.
II Cor. 4:5, 6, 7
Phil. 2:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Jas. 4:8, 9, 10
edited: for further clarity