The Temple of the Lord

priest-omer-barley-sacrifice-altar-2Israel is preparing to build the Temple – “It may have been almost 2000 years since the Roman Empire destroyed the Second Temple in 70 AD and even more since the Babylonians destroyed the First Temple but a growing movement of Jews is determined to see the Temple rebuilt and once again take its place at the center of Jerusalem.” The prophet Haggai records the Lord’s thoughts on this –

“‘According to the word that I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, so My Spirit remains among you; do not fear!’ “For thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; ‘and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the LORD of hosts.” – Haggai 2:5-9

Trump-half-shekel-768x450Two years ago America moved its embassy to Jerusalem and declared Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel. Since that time pressure for the rebuilding of the Temple has increased. The Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement are preparing for the construction of the Jewish Third Temple on Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem.  The Movement recently sent a letter to the Pope asking him “to return the Holy Temple Menorah, the vessels, and the treasures to Israel without delay.”

We know that the Temple must be rebuilt because the Antichrist sets up the “abomination of Desolation” in it, as Jesus and Daniel both predicted.

“And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days.” – Dan. 12:11

“Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand),” – Jesus in Matt. 24:15

But, whether this is the last Temple or not is open to question. When God spoke to Haggai He referred to the “Desire of all Nations” and the “glory of this latter” Temple being greater than the former. I have no doubt that Israel will build another Temple but, perhaps God was speaking of a different Temple. Just as there is an earthly Jerusalem, so there shall be a heavenly Jerusalem that is coming.

new_jerusalem

The New Jerusalem

“Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” – Rev. 21:2

Scripture refers to the believers being the Temple of God.

“Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” – 1 Cor. 3:16

But not everyone who calls themselves Christians can be this Temple of God, only a special class of believers qualify.

He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.” – Rev. 3:12

Only the overcomers will qualify. What must we do to be called an overcomer? Jesus tells us in His letter to the church of Philadelphia –

philadelphia open door“I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. … Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth” – Rev. 3:8,10

The overcomer must keep the words of Jesus and not deny His name. Read the red letter words in the four gospels, these are the words of Jesus. We are responsible for them, not the words of some preacher or priest. These are the words we will be judged by. If we stumble and fail, we can repent while there is yet time, but we will all be held to this standard. And then we cannot deny the name of Jesus. If we are ashamed of Him, He will be ashamed of us.

“For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.” – Luke 9:26

Finally, we must persevere through trouble and persecution. We must persevere even through our own failings.

“Although a righteous person may fall seven times, he gets up again, but the wicked will be brought down by calamity.” – Prov. 24:16 NET

This latter Temple will be filled with the glory of the Lord. There will once again be an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on God’s people. Joel speaks of it and James does also.

“Be glad then, you children of Zion, And rejoice in the LORD your God; For He has given you the former rain faithfully, And He will cause the rain to come down for you— The former rain, And the latter rain in the first month.” – Joel 2:23

“Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.” – James 5:7

The former rain was poured out on Pentecost and Peter quoted Joel calling it the pouring out of the Holy Spirit. But Joel promised also a latter rain and James uses this same analogy to place this latter rain near the end of the age before the final harvest of souls.

So, as Israel is talking of building the third Temple in the natural, we should be looking for a heavenly Temple coming and a latter outpouring of the glory of God on it. Even so, “come Lord Jesus”!

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