Vital Words to the Body of Christ
Freely We Have Received, Freely We Give
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"But take heed, Behold, I have foretold you all things." Mark 13:23
God has foretold us all things in His Word. As we begin to observe the Word with Spiritual eyes and to discern it with Spiritual ears, truly God has disclosed all things unto His creation, man. As we come to the end of the age, God is truly revealing His mysteries which have been hidden from the foundation of the world. He is revealing these mysteries to those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.
The coming of Jesus was prophesied from the beginning of time. When satan used the serpent to tempt Eve to partake of the tree of good and evil, God cursed the serpent and said,
"And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." Genesis 3:15
The head of the serpent was satan. The seed of the woman would come forth to bruise satan's head. The word bruise means "to crush". Paul wrote,
"But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law," Galatians 4:4
Jesus was the promised seed, born of the woman. He would crush the head of satan. This was accomplished on the cross. Paul wrote to the Corinthians,
"But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." I Corinthians 2:7 8
Jesus came to fulfill the curse that God pronounced on the head of the serpent. Jesus did not come to kill snakes, but to crush the head of the serpent nature in His creation.
"He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil." I John 3:8
Jesus came that He might destroy the works of the devil. Jesus came to put an end to satan's influence on God's creation. Jesus' coming was prophesied by Jacob when he spoke to his sons,
"And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather your selves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last day." Genesis 49:1
Jacob (Israel) prophesied unto his sons what would befall God's people in the last days. He prophesied of Judah,
"The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be." Genesis 49:10
The word lawgiver means "governor, commander, or captain." Jacob revealed that the rulers of Israel would come from Judah. The Word reveals that all the kings except Saul came from the tribe of Judah. Many believe the word Shiloh is a direct reference to Jesus. His lineage came through the tribe of Judah, and unto Him shall the gathering of the people be.
God raised up David to be Israel's king from the tribe of Judah. David was called the man after God's own heart. He would rule Israel for forty years. David established the house of David and a line of kings that would last for about four hundred and twenty-five years, until Judah was overthrown by Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon in 586 B.C.
David was the best king that Israel ever had. He was victorious in every battle. Under his rule the Davidic Kingdom was established,
"And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months." II Samuel 2:11
When David was anointed king over the tribe of Judah, his throne was in Hebron. Ishbosheth, Saul's son ruled over the rest of Israel. Ishbosheth was killed by his own soldiers. Then all Israel came and asked David to be their king. When David was anointed king, one of his first acts was to take Jebus (Jerusalem). When Israel came into their promise land, Judah had been unable to overthrow the Jebusites.
"As for the Jebusites the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out: but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusalem unto this day." Joshua 15:63
God had promised Judah the land of the Jebusite, but this promise was not fulfilled until David became king. David made a promise to his men,
"And David said, Whosoever smiteth the Jebusites first shall be chief and captain. So Joab the son of Zeruiah went first up, and was chief." I Chronicles 11:6
Joab was the son of Zeruiah, David's sister. The Jebusites were mighty men of war and well fortified.
"Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion: the same is the city of David." II Samuel 5:7
Mt. Zion and Jerusalem were known as the city of David. Two cities were called the city of David, Jerusalem and Bethlehem. David was born and spent his young life around Bethlehem. After David killed Goliath it was said of him,
"But David went and returned from Saul to feed his father's sheep at Bethlehem." I Samuel 17:15
David established his throne on the highest place in Jerusalem which is Mt. Zion. David not only united all Israel, but he established Israel as a trade center. Israel became known throughout the whole world.
David brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem and placed it in a tent. But it was David's desire to build God a temple, a permanent dwelling place in Jerusalem. But this privilege was denied David,
". . . the word of the Lord came to me, saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build an house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight." I Chronicles 22:8
God promised David a son who would build him a house. God spoke to David through the prophet Nahum,
"And when thy days be ful filled, and thou shalt sleep with thy father, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever." II Samuel 7:12-16
God promised David a son who would set on his throne in Mt. Zion. This son would come after David had slept with his fathers. God spoke, "I will be his father and he shall be my son", II Samuel 7:14. Through this son, God would establish David's throne forever.
Most have considered this promise to David fulfilled in Solomon. When David was on his death bed, he called Solomon and made him king in his stead. He commissioned his son to build God a house in Jerusalem where he could dwell in the midst of His people, Israel. David made known to Solomon the promise that God had made him.
"Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days. He shall build an house for my name and he shall be my son, and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever." I Chronicles 22:9 - 10
On the surface it would appear that Solomon was the fulfillment of David's promise. As we begin to examine the Word, or rightly divide the Word of truth, certainly Solomon's throne was not established forever. The United Kingdom of Israel David had established would end at the death of Solomon, because Solomon had been lured into idolatry by his heathen wives.
God gave the ten northern tribes to Solomon's servant, Jeroboam. Jeroboam was of the tribe of Ephraim, not Judah. There were only two tribes, Judah and Benjamin, left to Rehoboam, Solomon's son. David's throne was reduced to about the size it was when he ruled in Hebron.
Solomon built God a house, a magnificent structure of stone, silver, and brass with fine twined, embroidered linen. The lumber was the finest cedar, all covered with gold. This housed the Ark of the Covenant. From the time it was built it was called Solomon's Temple. It was not called the house of the Lord, but the house Solomon built for the Lord. This house would only stand for about three hundred and seventy-five years. So it was not God's eternal dwelling place.
The word to David was, "Thine house and thy kingdom shall be established forever before thee. Thy throne shall be established forever" II Samuel 7:16. David's house, David's kingdom, and David's throne no longer exists in the natural, nor does the temple that Solomon built for God. So it would appear that God's prophecy to David was incorrect, until we read the very first scripture in the New Testament,
"The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham." Matthew 1:1
God had promised David that He would raise Him up a son after his death. God would be his father. Jesus was the son God promised David, and God would be His Father. Jesus was the promised Son who would again build the house of David. Jesus was the promised Son who would establish an eternal kingdom. When the angel appeared unto Mary to inform her that she had been chosen of God to bring forth the promised Messiah, the angel spoke to her,
"He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:" Luke 1:32
The angel related to Mary that God would give Jesus the throne of his father David, and that He would be called the Son of the Highest. When we check the lineage of both Mary and Joseph, we discover that they were both descendants of David. We know Joseph had nothing to do with the conception of Jesus, but Joseph being in the lineage of David, continued to unfold God's perfect plan to fulfill His Word. We have all heard the Christmas story, how in the days of Caesar Augustus, that all the world was to be taxed.
"And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) Luke 2:4
Had Joseph not been of the lineage of David, he and Mary would have gone to another city to be taxed. This would not have fulfilled the prophesies of the Old Testament through the prophet Micah,
"But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, (though) thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting." Micah 5:2
Micah prophesied that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem. The ancient name of Bethlehem was Ephrath. This was where Rachel died while giving birth to Benjamin. Rachel was buried there.
"And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem." Genesis 35:19
"Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Matthew 2:1
When the wise men came from the east, they went to King Herod in Jerusalem to ask him where this new king was born. The wise men did not return to Jerusalem unto Herod, but followed the star to Nazareth to Joseph's house to see the young child.
"When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts: gold, and frankin cense, and myrrh." Matthew 2:9 - 11
The wise men did not go to Bethlehem, nor did they go to the stable where Jesus was born. They went to the house to see the young child. This could have been as much as two years after Jesus was born, because Herod had ordered all the children two years old and younger to be killed. Matthew recorded,
"In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not." Matthew 2:18
When Herod ordered the children to be killed, this fulfilled the prophesy of Jeremiah,
"Thus saith the Lord; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rachel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not." Jeremiah 31:15
God had prophesied these happenings hundreds of years prior to the birth of Jesus so that there could be no doubt that Jesus was the promised Son. Jesus was the fulfillment of God's promise to David, that he would raise him up a son to sit on his throne, and that he would establish his kingdom forever. Jesus re-established the throne of David in the earth, and He would establish his eternal kingdom, not in the flesh, but in the Spirit. He would rule from Spiritual Mt. Zion over his people, Spiritual Israel.
David's name means "beloved". Peter recorded:
"For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." II Peter 1:17
It is recorded ten times in the New Testament that Jesus was called the Beloved Son. Jesus came to establish His kingdom in the earth. Just before Jesus ascended off the earth, His disciples asked Him,
". . . Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" Acts 1:6
Jesus's disciples, as many today, were still looking for an earthly kingdom. When questioned by Pilate, Jesus declared,
". . . My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence." John 18:36
This proclamation of Jesus was for all who had Spiritual discernment to see that the kingdom that Jesus established was a Spiritual kingdom. The Pharisees demanded of Jesus when the kingdom of God should come.
"He answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." Luke 17:20b & 21
The Kingdom of God that Jesus came to bring is not coming with observation. God is putting His kingdom within a people. We cannot go here or there to find His kingdom because it is coming without observation within a people. Physical eyes and ears cannot see and hear this kingdom. Only Spiritual eyes and Spiritual ears attuned to God's desires will bring Him to His throne. Paul understood this kingdom principle when he wrote to the Romans:
"For the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." Romans 14:17
The kingdom Jesus came to bring does not consist of the physical things of this life, what we eat and drink, but it is in righteousness, God's righteousness; in peace, the peace of God that passeth all understanding; and in joy, not temporal happiness that comes from the world, but the joy that sustains even through suffering, calamity or persecution. We can know this Spiritual joy because we are not part of the world. We have the joy of knowing whom we are in Him. Righteousness, peace, and joy are fruits of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus fulfilled the promise that God made to David of raising up a son to reestablish David's throne, his kingdom, his house and to build a temple that God would inhabit for all eternity. Many of the prophets prophesied this glorious event in the life of God's people. Isaiah prophesied:
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever, The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this." Isaiah 9:6 7
There will be no end to the increase of His government and peace. Jesus will sit upon the throne of David's united kingdom. His united kingdom is called the body of Christ. Christ only has one body, as He only has one people. Those who are not part of His body and are not His people will not be part of His kingdom. Jeremiah prophesied:
"Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS." Jeremiah 23:5 - 6
The one that God would raise up to sit on David's throne would be called the Lord our Righteousness. Jesus came to re establish David's throne in the earth.
"Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;" Romans 1:3
Jesus came in the flesh of the seed of David. Jesus was the beginning of God's restoration plan in the earth, to re establish God's kingdom in the earth, so that when He returns He can have a kingdom people who will re establish God's kingdom on the earth, as it was in the Garden of Eden. This was God's original plan. He has not changed His plan in any way.
While Jesus walked the earth, He asked the organized religious system a question,
". . . What think ye of Christ? Whose son is He? They say unto him, The Son of David." Matthew 22:42
The Jews knew their Messiah would be called the Son of David. Their prophets had prophesied this and the Pharisees knew the scriptures. Jesus proceeded to question them further:
". . . How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then called him Lord, how is he his son?" Matthew 22:43 - 45
Jesus quoted this from David's Psalm 110:1. David called the son God had promised him, Lord. Jesus asked the Pharisees, "How is Christ then the son of David?" David was dead and buried. How could he then have fathered Christ?
"And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions." Matthew 22:46
Jesus silenced the religious system with His question because all they had was a carnal understanding of the Old Testament scripture. It is no different today. The organized religious system rejects Christ, the Holy Spirit, because they can only see the flesh of Jesus. Paul wrote to the Corinthians:
"Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we Him no more." II Corinthians 5:16
We are to know Christ no longer after the flesh. Jesus was the Christ. Christ was the Anointing that was upon Jesus' life. Christ is also the anointing upon our lives. We are not to look to Jesus' flesh any longer, but we are to know the anointing that was upon His life. This anointing is upon our lives also. No longer are we to know our Messiah (Christ) after the flesh. We must worship Christ Jesus in the Spirit.
When Jesus appeared to John on the Isle of Patmos, He revealed to John what had been hidden from the religious system of Jesus' day. Jesus declared:
"I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star." Revelation 22:16
Jesus was the root of David. He was also the offspring of David. To understand this we must first note that God did not appear unto John in his flesh. John stated,
"I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet," Revelation 1:10
John was in the Spirit.
"And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:" Revelation 1:17
This was not the same Jesus that John had leaned on at the Last Supper. This was the Risen Christ. Jesus was no longer the Anointed One. He had become the Anointing, the Spirit of the Living God. He appeared to John as Christ Jesus in all His glory. [see "Christ Jesus" by George Kirkpatrick]
When Jesus revealed to John that He was the root and the offspring of David, He was speaking of the Anointing. David was anointed with the Holy Spirit in the house of his father, Jesse. This was David's beginning in God.
Jesus was also the offspring of David. He was the anointing in the earth to bring His anointed words to pass that He had spoken through the mouth of His prophets. Through this anointing, Jesus would complete the work that He had begun in the flesh in David.
It was revealed to those who were partakers of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost that the coming of the Holy Spirit (Christ) was the fulfillment of the prophet's words:
"Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; Acts 2:30
It was obvious to those present that day, that it was not the physical body of Jesus that would occupy the throne of David, but the glorified Christ, the Spirit of the Living God.
God's word to David was that He would not only restore his throne, but also his house. When we speak of house we are speaking of family. Family speaks of oneness, of headship, of unity. When Paul wrote to the Ephesians, he proclaimed,
"Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;" Ephesians 2:19
When we re-establish our relationship with God by receiving the free gift of salvation afforded by the shed blood for the forgiveness of sin, and ask for and receive the Holy Spirit into our lives, then as saints we become part of the household of God. We are no longer strangers and foreigners to each other. We become fellow-citizens of God's kingdom that He is bringing in the earth. A household only has one father. Jesus did not have that position when He walked in the flesh.
"For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren." Romans 8:29
Jesus was the firstborn of many brethren. Jesus came in the flesh to become our example that we should follow so that we may become brothers and sisters in the household of God. Jesus' teachings were the words of the Father. His words reveal how we must walk to come again into the image of the Son. God foreknew and predestined us to be conformed (changed) into His image so that we might be acceptable in the beloved. How do we become acceptable in the beloved?
". . . They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." Galatians 5:24
If we are Christ's, or the Anointed Ones in the earth today, then we have crucified the flesh and the affections and lusts of the flesh. These will have been dealt with in our lives. Jesus informed the multitude:
"For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother." Mark 3:35
If we want to become part of the family of God, then we must do the will of the Father in our lives. He is not coming back for disobedient children; nor is He returning to those who do not know their Father. He is returning to His family, who have allowed the cleansing work of the Holy Spirit that came on the Day of Pentecost to completely do His work in their lives.
"To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect," Hebrews 12:23
Christ Jesus is returning for those just men whose spirits have been made perfect by the completed work of the cleansing fire of the Word as it is anointed by the Holy Spirit of Truth. In Paul's second letter to the Corinthians, he stated,
"Now then we are ambassadors of Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God." II Corinthians 5:20
If we are the Christ in the earth today, then we must be reconciled to God. The word reconciled means "to change or exchange." We must change from being enemies of God, to becoming the friends of God. We must exchange the old man and the old life for the new man and the new life in Christ Jesus our Lord. He must become our everything. We must cast off the old independence and become part of the body of Christ which is of the household of faith, those who are our brothers and sisters, because we have the same Father, the Father of lights.
God has re-established the household of David in the earth. All who are of the household of faith are part of it. The word given to David was that this son would build God a house that He would inhabit forever, an eternal dwelling place in the earth.
God is building His eternal dwelling place in the earth. There are those who are looking for a temple to be built on the original temple site in Jerusalem. They refer to this as the "tribulation temple." God's Word is sure and numerically perfect. Three is God's number of completion. The temple in Jerusalem has been built three times. It was built by Solomon, Zerubbabel, and Herod. The physical temple is complete. Even if another temple was constructed again, God would not inhabit it. Solomon knew this when he built the original temple. He stated,
"But who is able to build Him an house, seeing the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain him? Who am I then, that I should build Him an house, save only to burn sacrifice before Him?" II Chronicles 2:6
God did not inhabit Solomon's temple, but He agreed to meet with the High Priest once a year if all conditions of His appearance were met. Then, and only then, did God appear above the mercy seat. Man cannot build God a physical house, because God will not inhabit an house made with hands. The prophet Isaiah spoke by the anointing of God:
"Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is My footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? And where is the place of my rest?" Isaiah 66:1
When the disciples wanted to show Jesus the beautiful temple that Herod had built for the worship of God,
"And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? Verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down." Matthew 24:2
The edifice that Herod built would cost billions today. All this worldly splendor did not impress Jesus at all. Yet man is still trying to build mega churches to impress God with bigness, while enslaving God's people with debt to pay for it.
The early church had an understanding that the church needs today. When they were about to stone Stephen, Stephen proclaimed,
"Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet," Acts 7:48
This statement so touched Saul (Paul) while he was holding the coats and consenting to the death of Stephen, that when Paul was on Mar's Hill speaking to the Athenians, he proclaimed:
"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;" Acts 17:24
God is still proclaiming, "Where is the house that you will build for me?" God is constructing His eternal dwelling place in the earth. When Jesus cleansed the temple of the money changers,
"Then answered the Jews and said unto Him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?" John 2:18
The Jews wanted a sign; or, they were asking Him, "By what authority do you have to throw the money changers out of the temple?"
"Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." John 2:19
The Jews thought Jesus must have considered Himself to be a constructive genius. They raged,
". . . Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But He spoke of the temple of His body." John 2:20 & 21
Jesus was speaking of raising up the temple of His body. Jesus' physical body was raised from the tomb in three days. When Jesus spoke to the Jews, He was referring to raising up His Spiritual body, the body of Christ, His temple in the earth, constructed with living stones, on the third day. A day with the Lord is a thousand years and a thousand years as a day. God would raise up His temple in the earth after two thousand years of time. Hosea, the prophet, prophesied the third day.
"After two days will He revive us: in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight." Hosea 6:2
God is going to raise up His temple, the body of Christ, on the third day. This is a temple not constructed by human hands. God has His temple under construction. Paul wrote of this construction project:
"In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit." Ephesians 2:21 - 22
God's living stones are being shaped in His quarry. God will construct His temple of these pre- shaped and prepared living stones on the third day. God will inhabit those who will be part of that structure for all eternity.
"And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;" Ephesians 2:20
The apostles and prophets are the Old and New Testaments which is the Word of God. Jesus Christ is the chief corner stone of both the Old and New Testaments. Those that will be used to construct God's living temple will have their lives founded on their foundation, the Word of God. Their lives will be under the direction and control of the Holy Spirit. God is not going to construct His temple in some far off place called heaven. His temple will be constructed in the earth. When it is constructed, He will establish it on the earth.
Many will say that Paul proclaimed, "We are already the temple," when He said to the Corinthians,
"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" I Corinthians 3:16
Paul was speaking of our future condition after our change from tabernacle to temple. The word tabernacle means "temporary dwelling place." The tabernacle was covered with skin, as our tabernacle is covered with skin, and is temporary. The temple is permanent, constructed of stones that will endure forever. Paul knew he was not yet temple, when in his same letter to the Corinthians, just two chapters later, he proclaimed,
"For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life." II Corinthians 5:4
We will become God's temple, His permanent dwelling place when mortality (that which will die) is swallowed up of life (that which will not die, the life of God). Peter knew that he was not temple, when he stated,
"Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;" II Peter 1:13
Peter and Paul both knew they were in a temporal body. We also will be tabernacle, until that change comes and we become the living stones of the temple. Paul continued on to show the Corinthians their hope in God,
"If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which (temple) ye are." I Corinthians 3:17
If we are temple and God destroyed those who defiled their tabernacle, He would have no people left. It is when we become His living temple, then all the things that defile the flesh will have been dealt with through the cleansing fire of the Holy Spirit. We will be raised up to live in His sight. This will be on the third day. Paul spoke more of this changed life to the Corinthians in his second letter,
"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. II Corinthians 6:16
God's people have many idols in their lives that must be dealt with. Jesus must once again cleanse His temple of the money changers. His house must once again become a house of prayer, not just a religious ceremony once or twice a week. Our walk in God must be in His footsteps as He directs through the Spirit. God is preparing His temple now that He will inhabit. Malachi, the last book in the Old Testament, proclaims,
"Behold, I will send My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, He shall come, saith the Lord of hosts." Malachi 3:1
The one whom we seek . . . The whole Christian world is waiting for the return of Jesus. Malachi stated, "He will come suddenly to His temple". Jesus will come suddenly to the people that He is preparing in the earth to bring His kingdom on the earth.
When Jesus, in all His glory, appeared to John on the Isle of Patmos, He spoke of the overcomers seven times in chapters two and three of Revelation. He revealed to John,
"Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from My God and I will write upon him my new name." Revelation 3:12
God will make His overcomers pillars in His temple. Pillars are the strength of the temple. The whole house of God will be supported by these overcoming pillars. God will write upon them His new name and the name of His city, New Jerusalem. These will also receive a new name from their God.
God promised David a son who would build Him an house which would be called by His name. Christ Jesus is that Son and the body of Christ is that house which is the temple of the living God.
God also spoke to David that His throne would be established forever. David's throne would be established on Mt. Zion where His son would rule forever. David defeated the Jebusites and established his throne on Mt. Zion. Jerusalem is called the city of David, but Jerusalem is also referred to as Zion in the Word.
When Solomon built his temple, he built it on Ornan's threshing floor which David had purchased to stay the plague God had sent on Jerusalem because David had numbered the people. Ornan's threshing floor was on Mt. Moriah which is north of Mt. Zion. After the temple was built, the temple site was called Mt. Zion.
Jerusalem and Zion have always represented the true place of worship of God. Jerusalem and Mt. Zion also represent our total separation unto our God. We must go up to Zion. When speaking of Zion or Jerusalem in the Bible, it always refers to going to Jerusalem and Zion as going "up." We must be separated totally unto God if we are going to come "up" into His true place of worship, to be seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
God has given us the physical so we can understand the Spiritual. When we read the New Testament, we read of another Jerusalem, a New Jerusalem. God showed John this New Jerusalem when he was in the Spirit on the Lord's day; or, the Day of the Lord, Revelation 1:10. Those who choose to be under the law will proclaim this was Saturday. Others will proclaim this is Sunday. But the Day of the Lord is the Third Day counted from Jesus, or the seventh day counted from Adam.
God had translated John through time to reveal to him what would happen in the Day of the Lord. John revealed that the angel showed him things that must shortly come to pass, Revelation 1:1. Jesus revealed the Holy City to John,
"And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." Revelation 21:2
God revealed this glorious holy city that would come down from God out of heaven. Heaven is the Spiritual realm. This Holy City was coming out of the Spiritual realm to be manifest in the flesh realm. Many proclaim this is a physical city that will travel through space to physically sit upon the earth. The heavenly Jerusalem is a Spiritual city. John went on to reveal,
"And 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." Revelation 21:3
The tabernacle of God is with men. The word tabernacle, as used here, means "habitation", or the dwelling place where God will once again be with men. God Himself will be with His people. When will this be? This will come to pass in the Day of the Lord, the third day, when God will raise up His body, His temple in the earth. Jesus revealed to John:
"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea." Revelation 21:1
The first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no more sea. We must view this through Spiritual eyes because it was given to John while he was in the Spirit. There will be no more sea. This will be after the judgment of God. The Sea of Humanity will pass away. All those who have not received the free gift of salvation in their lives, who have not come into God's protected place, will be consumed in God's judgment fire. The remnant who are left will become a new heaven and a new earth. Their minds will be cleansed, (new heavens) and they will witness the change Paul spoke of in I Corinthians 15,
"Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." I Corinthians 15:50 - 52
Flesh and blood will not be part of the Kingdom of God. If we are to become part of what God is doing, we must be changed; first, by putting on the mind of Christ, the new heaven; and to have our mortal, corruptible bodies put on the immortality of God which is incorruptible (new earth). Paul revealed,
"And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heaven ly." I Corinthians 15:49
We have borne the image of the earthly body that Jesus walked in while He was on earth. Now we must be changed into our heavenly Spiritual body that is coming out of the Spiritual realm. This is our changed body that will live for ever.
God is raising up a people who are coming into His true place of worship, separated unto Him. Isaiah, the prophet, spoke of these people:
"And I have put My words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of Mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art My people." Isaiah 51:16
Zion is His people. God is going to establish His throne in His people, Zion. Jesus spoke of these people when He gave His Sermon on the Mount. He proclaimed,
"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid." Matthew 5:14
These who are the city of Zion are the light of the world, just as Jesus is the light of the world. This holy city of God will sit on a hill shining unto all the world. As God opens our Spiritual eyes to His Word we see that every prophet spoke of this people. Isaiah wrote:
"Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee." Isaiah 12:6
The Holy One of Israel was in the midst of the inhabitants of Zion. As Jesus revealed unto John, "the tabernacle of God is with men". The Psalmist wrote,
"Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King." Psalm 48:2
Mt. Zion is the joy of the whole earth. God's people are the apple of His eye, His joy in the whole earth,
"Remember thy congregation, which thou hast purchased of old; the rod of thine inheritance, which thou hast re deemed; this Mount Zion, wherein thou hast dwelt." Psalm 74:2
Congregation is the Old Testament word for "church or assembly". The Psalmist revealed, "thou hast purchased of old". When was Jesus crucified? The Lamb of God was slain from the foundation of the world, Revelation 13:8. We were purchased of old.
We are the rod of His inheritance. The word rod means "scepter or authority." We are His inheritance, who will instill His authority in the earth. God has redeemed these, and they have become His Mt. Zion. This is where He has established the throne of David. This is the place from which God will rule. Zion is His eternal city where He will dwell and establish His kingdom. Isaiah wrote,
"Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities: thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken." Isaiah 33.20
Zion is the city of our solemnities. The word solemnities means "the appointed place." Zion is our appointed place in God. We will occupy a tabernacle that will not be taken down, nor removed. It is given to every man once to die, and after that the judgment, Hebrews 9:27. But God has a people who will not pass away until all things are fulfilled, Matthew 24:34. This people will be changed. These are the Zion, the temple of the living God, who will rule and reign forever. The Psalmist writes,
"For the Lord hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for His habitation." Psalm 132:13
God has ordained this people from the beginning. He has spoken of this special people as a special generation,
"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, that ye should show forth the praises of Him; who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light." I Peter 2:9
God has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light; a peculiar people who will become His royal priesthood, His holy Spiritual nation. Paul wrote to the Ephesians:
"That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:" Ephesians 2:12
When we were without Christ, the Holy Spirit, we were aliens from the commonwealth (nation) of Israel. Those who have received Christ the Anointing, are now part of His nation, Israel (Spiritual Israel). Now we have hope; the hope of the promise that God made to David: an eternal kingdom, an eternal throne, an eternal kingship.
Paul wrote to the Corinthians:
"For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God." Galatians 6:15 & 16
Those who walk according to the new creation that God is bringing upon the earth will become the Israel of God, separated unto Him, in the true place of worship. The demons knew this was where Jesus resided. The world will also know this is our dwelling place,
"The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the Lord, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel." Isaiah 60:14
These are those who will become the city of the Lord, the Zion of God, the praise of the whole earth, a glorious people whom God has redeemed from the foundation of the earth to establish His kingdom in the earth.
"For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee." Isaiah 62:1 - 5
God will establish His righteousness in His Zion. The brightness of that city will go forth into all the earth. God will give them a new name. Jesus revealed to John that He would write this new name on a white stone, Revelation 2:17. Isaiah states that we will be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, a royal diadem in His hand. Our new name will be Hephzibah which means "my delight is in her." God is going to rejoice over His Zion, His chosen from the foundation of the earth, Ephesians 1:4; those God foreknew and predestined to be conformed to the image of His son, Romans 8:29. God is fulfilling His Word He spoke to David. God is going to establish His house, His throne, and His Kingdom forever in Zion.
We need to be assured that God has foretold us all things, as Jesus told Nicodemus:
"If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?" John 3:12
God has foretold us all things. But we must seek His Spiritual understanding, if we are going to come to the knowledge of the truth. Paul spoke of those who were ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth, II Timothy 3:7. Jesus revealed to all who would see with their Spiritual eyes and hear with their Spiritual ears that,
"When He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come." John 16:13
The Spirit of Truth will lead us into all truth, the things Jesus has foretold us in His wonderful Word. God is raising up Zion in the earth. He is going to inhabit this Spiritual city for all eternity. We must become the living stones in the temple of our God. We need to become a separated people in His true place of worship, if we are to become that people who will be operating in His kingdom principles when He comes,
"And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom His Lord shall make ruler over His household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom His Lord when he cometh shall find so doing." Luke 12:42 - 43
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