THE TEMPLE OF GOD
God created man for His habitation. His desire is more than just fellowshipping with Adam in the cool of the evening. he actually wanted to dwell among His people but much more than dwelling among them, He actually wants to dwells in them. There is a place in man which is to be occupied by God. This article discussed to some extent the history of Jewish Temple and the present temple.
Exo 25:1-9 KJV 1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering. 3 And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass, 4 And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats’ hair, 5 And rams’ skins dyed red, and badgers’ skins, and shittim wood, 6 Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense, 7 Onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate. 8 And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. 9 According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.
God told Moses to make a sanctuary and the purpose of the sanctuary is stated by God Himself in verse 8, that He may dwell among them. God wants to be among His people. He has already made them His royal priesthood if they will obey Him Ex 19:5-6.
The word “sanctuary” means a hallowed place. This is the most comprehensive of the words that relate to the place dedicated to Yahweh. It included the tabernacle with its furniture, its tent, and its court.
The idea was not that God exclusively lived in that place, but that it was the specific place where men would come and meet God.
Tent” is the name given to it in this chapter; and at other places “the tent of meeting,” having reference to the meeting of God with His people (Exo 29:42-43 ); or the tent or tabernacle “of testimony” (Numbers 2:50, 53), as designating the place where God declared His will, and especially testified against the sins of His people, by His holy law which, within the ark, witnessed to the covenant they had entered into at Sinai.
The resources for the building are to be free will offering from the children of Israel. The Hebrew word for “pattern” is “tabnı̂yth” and it means pattern, plan, form, construction, figure construction, structure, figure, image, a model, resemblance: – figure, form, likeness, pattern, similitude.
In order words the pattern is architect model. it was a structure with vivid dimension and specifications. By “pattern” is not meant an idea of it impressed on the mind of Moses, or a picture of it which was shown him, but a little edifice representing it in all its parts, a perfect model of it.
When David was to build the temple, he was not allowed by God because God says David has been a man of war and has shed much blood. However his son Solomon will build the temple. So David made preparation for the temple and much more than that he handed over the pattern to Solomon. The same word used for pattern in verse 8 is the same used here in 1Ch 28:11-12, 1Ch 28:19. The pattern of the tabernacle was according to a heavenly reality. It was a copy and shadow of the heavenly things (Heb 8:5 ). Therefore, it had to be made according to exact dimensions, being somewhat of a “scale model” of the area around God’s throne in heaven.
The word “tabernacle” in the Hebrew is “mishkan”, which means dwelling-place. The tabernacle and all that pertained to it were to be in strict accordance with the ideas revealed by the Lord to Moses (compare Exo 25:40; Exo 26:30; Act 7:44; Heb 8:5
God gave an instruction unto Moses in verse 9 that he should make the tabernacle and the instruments to be used inside according to the pattern revealed unto him.
The directions which were given him are comprised in Exo. 25:1 31:11. The account of the performance of the work, expressed generally in the same terms, is given Exo. 35:21 40:33..
The instruction about the building was repeated again in verse 40: “According to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain” : Based on the principle of first mentioned in Exo 25:9 – that the tabernacle and its furnishings were to be built according to the specific, revealed pattern – is here again emphasized. It had to be a proper representation of the heavenly reality.
Solomon Temple was built for seven years and dedicated. It was there untill the time of captivity when it was violated, desecrated and destroyed by the invading armies of nations of Assyrian, Egyptian and Chaldees.
2Chr 36:19 KJV And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof.
When they came back from captivity, attempts were made to rebuild the temple by Ezra. It was built and dedicated again.
Cyrus made a decree giving Ezra and the Babylonian captives the right to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple in 538 B.C. (Ezr 1:1-4 and Ezr 5:13-17.
Ezr 1:2 KJV Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.
Implication under the New Covenant
The Lord functioned in the temple. He was dedicated there. He taught, healed, was abused, had so many discourse with Jewish leaders and eventually left the temple.
Mat 24:1 KJV And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.
This temple was originally rebuilt by Zerubbabel and Ezra (Ezr 6:15 ), but greatly expanded and improved by Herod. It was the center of Jewish life for almost a thousand years – so much so, that it was customary to swear by the temple (Mat 23:16 ), and speaking against the temple could be considered blasphemy (Act 6:13 ).
Forty years after Jesus said this word of prophecy, Romans under Titus came and totally destroyed the temple. That marked the end of Jewish dispensation. The temple was vast, rich, splendid. It was the pride of the nation, and the nation was at peace. Yet in the short space of 40 years all this was accomplished exactly. Jerusalem was taken by the Roman armies, under the command of Titus, 70 a.d.
The tabernacle then was a type or emblem of Jesus Christ. The temple in wilderness was a type and shadow. They point to jesus who is the substance.
Col 2:17 KJV Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
“The Word was made flesh, and dwelt,—or as the original expresses it, tabernacled—among us.” Such a manner of representing the sojourn of the spirit within its tenement of clay, is frequent among the sacred writers. St. Paul calls the body “our earthly house of this tabernacle. 2Cor 5: 1”
2Cor 5:1 KJV For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
St. Peter declares “that he must soon put it off,” or exchange mortality for life. Even thus.
2Pe 1:14 KJV Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.
The Saviour spake of His own flesh, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
Joh 2:19 KJV Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
His body was the vail; and in His incarnation, when He descended from heaven, and became “Emmanuel, God with us,” He shrouded essential Deity in the likeness of our flesh. And as the Most High dwelt visibly within the sanctuary, even on the ark, so did He reside in the human nature and tabernacle of His dear Son: for “in Christ dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.Col 2:9” “We beheld His glory, the glory, as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” Jn 1:14.
The Lord after His resurrection went into heaven temple:
Heb 9:12 KJV Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
And with that singular appearance in the temple He has obtained eternal inheritance for us
This consideration leads me to add, that the tabernacle was a symbol of every real Christian. God dwelt within the sanctuary in the wilderness. He dwells within every renewed and believing heart. I will set My sanctuary among them for evermore.
This was prophesied many years before Christ came: My tabernacle also shall be with them.
Eze 37:26-27 KJV 26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. 27 My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Zec 2:10 KJV Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD.
When we come into the New Testament, the reality is found. Paul emphasized this many times in his epistles:
Ye are the temples of the living God.
2Cor 6:16 KJV And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
1Cor 3:16 KJV Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
1Cor 6:19 KJV What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
Believers are likened to a building.
In Christ Jesus ye also are builded together for an habitation of God, through the Spirit.
Eph 2:21-22 KJV 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
Peter had a nice revelation of believers becoming the temple.
1Pet 2:5 KJV Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
The writer of the book of Hebrew says we are the house of God.
Heb 3:6 KJV But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.
In the soul of every true follower of the Saviour does the Father dwell, the object of his worship, the author of his blessings, the principles of his spiritual and everlasting life.
1Jn 4:13 KJV Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
The tabernacle also typified the Church. It was an emblem of the heavenly temple. “I heard,” said the beloved John, when the consummated felicities of the Redeemer’s Church burst upon him in the visions of Patmos—“I heard a great voice out of heaven, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.” Did He take up His dwelling in their hearts, as over the ark, in the ancient sanctuary?
The tabernacle, as well as the temple, was a type of the incarnation of Jesus Christ. See Joh 1:14, and Exod 2:19; Exod 2:21
As the glory of God was manifested between the cherubim, above the mercy-seat, in this tabernacle, so God was in Christ, and in him dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
When Stephen was accused of speaking against the temple, he denied it and said that the temple was commanded to be built by God so he had reference for it. However he said something outstanding:
Act 7:48 KJV Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet,
But he “now” adds that God does not need such a temple. Heaven is his throne; the universe his dwelling-place; and “therefore” this temple might be destroyed. A new, glorious truth was to be revealed to mankind, that God was not “confined” in his worship to any age, or people, or nation. In entire consistency, therefore, with all proper respect for the temple at Jerusalem, it might be maintained that the time would come when that temple would be destroyed, and when God might be worshipped by all nations.
Paul said the same thing that Stephen had spoken about God not dwelling in man made temple.
Act 17:24 KJV God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
The import of God dwelling in us believers becomes very important now because according to the Lord we can now worship God everywhere, He is not fixed geographically to a particular building;
When the Lord was having the discourse with the woman of Samaria, He did mentioned the very fact. We are not to be bothered about going to Jerusalem or another temple in Samaria. Jesus said God is a Spirt and we must worship Him in the Spirit.
Joh 4:23-24 KJV 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
Not only can we worship God everywhere, anytime and any place but it give the believer a superiority complex over the devil and his cohorts. Hear what John said:
1Jn 4:4 KJV Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
If the one that is greater than the one in the world lives in us then we are over-comers and victorious over any situations that we may encounter. The outcome is already determined. Sickness is dead on arrival.
We have crucified flesh Gal 5:24. It can not have dominion over us. Even though the spirit lust against the flesh and vice versa, we are empowered from the inside to mortify the deeds of the flesh and not yield to its lust and corrupt dictates.
We can bridle our body according to James, we can tell the devil to get out. We are the custodian of the temple. We can make our body to change if the Doctor says something is wrong with it.
Jas 3:2 KJV For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.
God expresses Himself through our temple so according to Paul when writing to the Romans, he says we must yield it as instruments of righteousness.
Rom 6:13 KJV Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
The body is for the Lord and the Lord for he body. It is His temple.
1Cor 6:13 KJV Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.
The tent of meeting of Moses or tabernacle was a place where divinity meets humanity, so also the heart of man. Divinity comes and dwells with humanity and there can be effectual communication internally. We can hear God better than through external means.
King James version of the bible
Open source commentaries of the bible from Clarke, Barnes, Gill, Guzik, Vincent word studies, Burkit.
Strong Greek Concordance
Thayer Greek Lexicon