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Rock Report by Pastor Paul

This is a blog that comes from my personal devotions each day. It will also include sermons as I have to delete them from the audio section of the website. This blog will also keep you up to date with what is happening at the Rock in Strathroy Ontario 

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  • Jan16Sun

    Sermon: God's Temple

    January 16, 2022

        After all these years, generations in fact, you would think the church would have figured out by now that the use of human hands is not how the church is built. The bible should be our first clue. The next clue is the church looks nothing like the bible and is not doing as Jesus did. You would also think that by now, the church would realize that going to a building once a week is not church. Almost immediately, the church began to build with their hands. Cathedrals and Basilicas were built, as were church buildings of all shapes and sizes. These buildings are still being built today and some being rebuilt. After a fire “Notre Dame Cathedral could take years and cost upward of $1 billion, experts say.” There are massive churches all around the world that continue to be built and are emulated by those less massive. It appears that the successful church is defined as how big the building is, including the satellite locations and the number of people who attend or watch online. Massive churches have massive budgets. As with most churches, most of the money that comes in goes to building expenses and salaries to keep the building afloat. In this little town where I live in there are several churches that have been around 150 years or more, but they are just shells of stone that they try to keep afloat. The church isn’t in existence just the building. Most churches have an attendance of less than 100, but most of those churches look to the “successful” churches for guidance as to how it’s supposed to be done. The problem is these successful and powerful churches are powerless against the darkness.

        Today’s church has become about going and gathering in a building whether it be large or small, school or storefront or even stadiums. The pandemic really messed that up as most don’t know what the church is without the building. Most people think that time of worship on Sunday is actually what the church is, but it is not. Gathering is just a small part. People that go to church just assume that building churches is what we were commissioned to do. For some reason they think it is the same as the Old Testament and it is no wonder as men and women tell others that God gave them the plans for the church. You would think they think it is okay to add to scripture. You had people like Robert Schuller and his Crystal Cathedral. He even called his service the hour of power but there was no power. At the end people finally saw how powerless this church was even though its emptiness could be seen the whole time through its glass walls. Another guru was Rick Warren and his Purpose Driven Church and Life and Celebrate Recovery. Here is just one of the many examples where man decided the bible needed more gospels because Jesus left out how to build a church. The last example is Bill Hybels and Willowcreek. For years churches of all sizes tried to clone what they were doing but as you have seen, that was a serious mistake. The plans they say God gave them have proved false. While there may be a few successes, it does not work to copy them yet the gurus of today will still be copied and the bible will still be rejected for the ways of man.

            In the Old Testament there are clear and very precise plans for building the temple made of stone but not in the New Testament. 1 Chronicles 28:11 “Then David gave his son Solomon the plans for the portico of the temple, its buildings, its storerooms, its upper parts, its inner rooms and the place of atonement. 12 He gave him the plans of all that the Spirit had put in his mind for the courts of the temple of the Lord and all the surrounding rooms, for the treasuries of the temple of God and for the treasuries for the dedicated things. 19 “All this,” David said, “I have in writing as a result of the Lord’s hand on me, and he enabled me to understand all the details of the plan.” This is what the temple was to look like. A lot of church gurus today say the same thing. After the first temple was destroyed, the second temple was built. Ezra 5:11 “We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are rebuilding the temple that was built many years ago, one that a great king of Israel built and finished. 12 But because our ancestors angered the God of heaven, he gave them into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar the Chaldean, king of Babylon, who destroyed this temple and deported the people to Babylon. 13 “However, in the first year of Cyrus king of Babylon, King Cyrus issued a decree to rebuild this house of God.” That temple stood until it fell to the Romans. Today with all the buildings called churches, you would think there would be similar directions in the New Testament but there are no such directives to build a building of stone, metal and wood but there is instruction on building a spiritual temple. With all the attention given to building structures, the actual instructions to building the spiritual temple are ignored.

        Now it seems that the next step would be to build a third temple, at least according to the manmade doctrines. That’s what the Jews believed. God had said build this temple and then another and that second temple stood till after Jesus. He actually preached in the temple courts. A third temple is what the Jews and many Christians are waiting for. For many their end-time theology contains rapture, the third temple and the millennial reign of Jesus. Here is the problem according to scripture. There is no rapture, that is where Jesus takes the church away while the world is basically destroyed until Jesus returns as king and reigns for a thousand years; there is no millennial reign (His kingdom already came near and He already sat on the throne of David Luke 1:31 “You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”) and there is no third temple even though I’m sure they will try build one. We will talk about what Jesus said the third temple would be. When Jesus came everything changed, yet stayed the same. Many do not think the Old Testament applies to the church, but Jesus said Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” That means you have to read the Old Testament very carefully so that you can understand the New and vice versa. False teaching is everywhere in the church and millions have fallen for it mostly due to a lack of understanding. Sadly, the Jews rejected their Savior and many Gentiles have rejected their savior by following the Jews. Hebrews 6:4 “It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age 6 and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. 7 Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. 8 But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.” Hebrews 10:29 “How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? Paul said Acts 13:46 “We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles.” To this day they still reject Jesus as the Messiah. Go on any Jewish website and you will see. Jesus did not meet their criteria therefore they rejected Him. The Jews are still waiting for the Messiah to come and reign on David’s throne as do the Messianic Jews (Jews for Jesus). If the Jews have rejected Jesus as the Messiah, why do so many Christians believe as they do and put their hope in what they hope for. Many Christians are still waiting for the Messiah to come and reign on this earth and they want a temple to be built so their doctrines will work.

             Today the church is filled with confusion about the temple of God. The temple was supposed to be a place where God dwelt. So people thought, let’s build magnificent structures to the glory of God but that is not what God said. Notice the three so-called success stories I shared above all built magnificent structures. Notice also how most churches sit empty through the week. Yes in the old covenant we saw the glory of God come to the building, 2 Chronicles 7:11 “when Solomon had finished the temple of the Lord and the royal palace, and had succeeded in carrying out all he had in mind to do in the temple of the Lord and in his own palace, 12 the Lord appeared to him at night and said: “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices. 13 “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 16 I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there. 17 “As for you, if you walk before me faithfully as David your father did, and do all I command, and observe my decrees and laws, 18 I will establish your royal throne, as I covenanted with David your father when I said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor to rule over Israel.’ 19 “But if you turn away and forsake the decrees and commands I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, 20 then I will uproot Israel from my land, which I have given them, and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. I will make it a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples. 21 This temple will become a heap of rubble. All who pass by will be appalled and say, ‘Why has the Lord done such a thing to this land and to this temple?’ 22 People will answer, ‘Because they have forsaken the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who brought them out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshiping and serving them—that is why he brought all this disaster on them.’” So the church decided if they wanted God to dwell, they needed a building and almost immediately were off-track. Galatians 1:6 “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!” The church too has ended up in a heap of rubble.

        The interesting part here is you can read 2 Chronicles 7 and also apply it to the church. Just above that passage, we see that the temple was a place of power because that is where the glory of God was, His dwelling place. 2 Chronicles 7:1 “When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. 2 The priests could not enter the temple of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled it. 3 When all the Israelites saw the fire coming down and the glory of the Lord above the temple, they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying, “He is good; his love endures forever.” But Israel did not pay attention to the commands of God and in the end, both temples were destroyed. This is where it is important to place close attention to the words of Jesus. Even though He fulfilled the words of the prophets, He was now the temple and temple of the New Covenant was no longer a structure, but the presence of God would still be the same. In Acts we see the same fire come down except it was on people this time. Acts 2:1 “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” Moses had said Numbers 11:29 “I wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!”

        God was now dwelling among the people, not in building. Acts 17:24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands.” When Jesus was crucified, Matthew 27:51 “At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.” This showed that the temple made of stone would be no more, but the new temple of the New Testament would be one of power. Hebrews 10:19 “Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body.” The third temple would not be like the others, even though the power and the presence of God would be the same. Matthew 12:6 “I tell you that something greater than the temple is here.” Revelation 21:3 “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.” John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” 2 Corinthians 6:16 “For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” Ephesians 2:19 “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 3:16 “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.” 1 Corinthians 6:19 “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?”

        Today many who go to church are still enthralled with the look of a building. They love the beauty of the stained glass or the architecture, even the accessibility. People will still look at the churches in my small town and say how beautiful, but Jesus would say Matthew 23:27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.” Ezekiel 13:13 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: In my wrath I will unleash a violent wind, and in my anger hailstones and torrents of rain will fall with destructive fury. 14 I will tear down the wall you have covered with whitewash and will level it to the ground so that its foundation will be laid bare. When it falls, you will be destroyed in it; and you will know that I am the Lord. 15 So I will pour out my wrath against the wall and against those who covered it with whitewash. I will say to you, “The wall is gone and so are those who whitewashed it, 16 those prophets of Israel who prophesied to Jerusalem and saw visions of peace for her when there was no peace, declares the Sovereign Lord.”’ Even Jesus own disciples commented on the beauty of the building. Matthew 24:1 “Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2 “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.” Mark 13:1 “As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!” 2 “Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.” Luke 21:5 “Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, 6 “As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.” In each of these passages the question is asked “when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?” Jesus was not only talking about the destruction of the temple but the desolation of the church.

        These verses are at the beginning of the chapter that talks about the end times. Not only did Jesus prophesy about the temple being destroyed, he was also warning us what was to come in the church due to disobedience. Jesus gave this warning. Matthew 24:4 “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.” He even warns us about the abomination that causes desolation just as Daniel prophesied. Most people equate this abomination to the building of the third temple but missed the fact that the church is already in desolation. Now many who are waiting for the third temple and the rapture believe this is coming in the future but these very people are false teachers who teach and preach other gospels and doctrines of demons. Jesus said watch out; do not be deceived. The church did not listen and people have been deceived ever since Jesus said that. The temple was destroyed and the church was decimated and continues to be defeated by satan. 2 Thessalonians 2:4 “He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.” Since the temple of stone was no longer, this means satan has been given access to God’s people. This happened because the church refused to believe and follow God’s word. Therefore, due to unbelief God allowed not only the deception to happen but brought delusion to the church. 2 Thessalonians 2:9 “The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” 

        Here is another example that usually goes along with the third temple, rapture etc. Many teach that Elijah will return. The Jews were looking for Elijah and many Christians are also looking for Elijah to return.” Matthew 16:13 “When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” 14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” The Jews were looking for the Messiah and Elijah and still looking. Luke 1:17 “And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Malachi said Malachi 3:1 “I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty.” Malachi 4:5 “See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. 6 He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.” Matthew 17:10 “The disciples asked him, “Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?” 11 Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. 12 But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.” Matthew 11:13 “For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. 14 And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. 15 Whoever has ears, let them hear.” Jesus makes it very clear that Elijah has already come and is not coming. I read one article that explained why Jesus was wrong and that Elijah was still coming as stated in their doctrines. Jesus said whoever has ears let them hear. Obviously, some can’t hear, let alone read but this is how false teaching works.

        So what happens if people don’t listen as most have put their trust in the church they go to. Jeremiah 7:4 “Do not trust in deceptive words and say, “This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord! 11 Has this house, which bears my Name, become a den of robbers to you? But I have been watching! declares the Lord. 8 But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless. 23 but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you. 24 But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts. They went backward and not forward. 25 From the time your ancestors left Egypt until now, day after day, again and again I sent you my servants the prophets. 26 But they did not listen to me or pay attention. They were stiff-necked and did more evil than their ancestors.’ 27 “When you tell them all this, they will not listen to you; when you call to them, they will not answer. 28 Therefore say to them, ‘This is the nation that has not obeyed the Lord its God or responded to correction. Truth has perished; it has vanished from their lips.” Mark 11:5 “On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, 16 and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. 17 And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’” 18 The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.” 

        Jesus would say the exact same to the church today. Paul said 2 Corinthians 2:17 “Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.” Obviously, the church did not listen to Paul either. If the church was truly a house of prayer, then Elijah would make more sense. Even though he is not coming, we can pray like him. We are told in James 5:13 “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. (by the way that is not happening) If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. 17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.” That is the power of prayer. That power would be available if the church would come to understand the true temple where God dwells but due to our disobedience God is not listening. Isaiah 1:15 “When you spread out your hands in prayer, I hide my eyes from you; even when you offer many prayers, I am not listening. Your hands are full of blood!”

        Jesus came to save His people, but His people refused to listen, so we Gentiles were given an opportunity to be saved also, but like the Jews, Gentiles have also rejected the way, truth and life to go their own ways. John the Baptist said Matthew 3:10 “The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” Matthew 10:28 “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Luke 12:5 “But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.” Most people do not fear God nor do they worry about spending eternity in hell. The deception in the church is so vast that most are following other gospels / gods yet feel safe and secure. The new temple was completely different as it did not involve stone and wood. Jesus did not say go into the world and build things. What He did say was, Acts 1:4 “On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” The church did not wait for power like the disciples did. Instead they rejected that power by using their own hands. When the people of Israel rebelled against God, Moses said to them Numbers 14:39 “When Moses reported this to all the Israelites, they mourned bitterly. 40 Early the next morning they set out for the highest point in the hill country, saying, “Now we are ready to go up to the land the Lord promised. Surely we have sinned!” 41 But Moses said, “Why are you disobeying the Lord’s command? This will not succeed! 42 Do not go up, because the Lord is not with you. You will be defeated by your enemies, 43 for the Amalekites and the Canaanites will face you there. Because you have turned away from the Lord, he will not be with you and you will fall by the sword.” 44 Nevertheless, in their presumption they went up toward the highest point in the hill country, though neither Moses nor the ark of the Lord’s covenant moved from the camp. 45 Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down and attacked them and beat them down all the way to Hormah.” The church went out in their own strength and built churches yet there was no power to do as Jesus did and in their presumption were defeated. After 2000 years plus the church is still building but remain powerless. Yes, most churches will say the building is just where we meet but their focus proves otherwise. This is also proven false by the lack of power in those churches. 

          In order to have power once again there is only one stone to build with. Matthew 16:16 “Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” No, the rock isn’t Peter as the Catholics say but Peter’s declaration that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of the living God. 1 Peter 2:4 “As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” 7 Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,“The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” 8 and, “A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for. 9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” That is the only rock that we need.

            As for the temple instructions, the temple can only be built with the Holy Spirit. There is no other way. If you look to the teaching of the Jews, then this will happen to you also.2 Corinthians 3:14 “But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. Jesus said Mark 1:5 “The time has come, the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” This means Jesus reigns on David’s throne and is the King of kings. It also means that if we obey, His kingdom will come near and the church will once again do as Jesus did. Jesus told His disciples to wait. Luke 24:46 “He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Mark 16:15 “He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.” 

        We were given these instructions to build the temple. Ephesians 4:11 “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” 1 Corinthians 12:7 “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues.” Now just in these verses in Corinthians take out the verses most in the church do not believe or have been deceived by - gifts of healing, miraculous powers, prophecy, distinguishing between spirits, speaking in other tongues and interpretation. Most disagree with what God placed first. Apostles, prophets, miracles, gifts of healing, different kinds of tongues. The ones who do agree with the apostles and prophets are usually false, that is the ones going around saying they are an apostle or prophet. We then see “infants tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.”

        These verses show us the power of this temple. There is power because God would be dwelling among us, but He can’t dwell if we refuse to obey His words. 1 Corinthians 15:2 “By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.” When we are void of the Spirit, the void is filled by human hands. Everyone can build something; some better than others. It is like water baptism. Everyone can baptize with water but baptizing with the Holy Spirit is something altogether different. You can’t fake that. Yes many try but the true gifts of the Spirit reveal the truth. Yes those who only believe in water baptism say you are filled with the Holy Spirit at the point but if you are filled then you would have churches filled with people manifesting all the gifts but that just isn’t happening plus scripture makes a distinction between water and spirit. Acts 19:1 “There he found some disciples 2 and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?” “John’s baptism,” they replied. 4 Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.” As it is, you just have people getting wet inside a building that looks nothing like the temple God intended it to be. So once again David’s fallen tent needs repaired. Acts 15:16 “‘After this I will return and rebuild David’s fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it.”

        God said that He would dwell with us. Revelation talks about heaven but also talks about the church and how it is supposed to be. Revelation begins with Revelation 1:1 “The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2 who testifies to everything he saw—that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.” It is also looks at seven churches of which only two were doing as they ought to do. While Revelation talks about heaven, this book also talks about the past and present. Revelation 1:8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation then tells is Jesus is coming soon. Acts 1:9 “After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. 10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” 2 Peter 3:10 “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. 11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.” When Jesus returns the world as we know it is over and eternity begins. One of the last things we are told Revelation 22:18 “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.” The church did not listen to that either.

        The temple is not what the church has made it out to be. The third temple is not a building but people and is where God will dwell. Revelation 21:3 “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” 5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Revelation 21:22 “I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. 25 On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. 26 The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. 27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”     

      Your homework this week is to ponder what it means to have God dwell among us. To do this read the Gospels and Acts. When the church finally decided to build this temple, the church will once again do as Jesus did and go to the ends of the earth clothed with power from on High. Mark 1:15 “Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”