Who am I? (part 3)

“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? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 KJV

Dear Heavenly Father – Thank you Lord for your grace. Thank for your faithfulness and love. Please speak to me and to everyone reading this as we know your word is empowering and transformative. Please open our eyes to see ourselves as you see us and to see others as you see them. Wake us up, and please open our understanding. In the name of Jesus – Amen

I am the temple of the Holy Spirit. Go ahead and say it! It feels so good and fulfilling to say! Wait, what does this mean?

Let us quickly review the history of where the spirit of God has resided here on Earth. 
First, there was the Ark of the Covenant.  Approximately a year after the Israelites’ fled Egypt, the Lord set up a covenant (one of many) with His people. The Ark of the Covenant was created (when God told Moses to create it) to be a dwelling place for His Spirit, and as a symbol* of the covenant, containing a golden pot of manna, Aaron’s rod, and the tables of the covenant. (*Symbol isn’t really a strong enough word but I am not sure what the right word is.)
This Ark was made of pure gold and all the most precious things known to man.  It was the most valuable thing the Israelites had, both spiritually (as God anointed it and put His Spirit inside it) and financially (as it was made from the best of the best of the most costly materials known to man).  God’s presence could NOT abide in something that was not pure, not anointed, and not holy. There are multiple accounts of those who were not sanctified looking at it or touching it and instantly dyeing. Because God’s Holiness is too powerful for man & womankind. Therefore, laws and rules had to be in place that only those anointed and sanctified could even be near it.  This always required a blood sacrifice to cleans the sins and purify the person anointed to be near it.

Next, tents were built to be the sanctuary and keep the Ark of the Covenant, then tabernacles, then temples – with inner rooms called the Holy of Holies, or the Holiest of all, where this valuable, powerful, reverent, and sometimes lethal, Ark of the Covenant could reside. And of course these structures were always made of the most valuable gold and precious (and costly) materials known to man. Valuable materials were used, not just because they had reverence and felt God deserved the best (although He does) – but because holiness is pure and cannot be inside something that is not pure.  They used the purist gold which had been through the fire multiple times, they used the purist (in strength and integrity) stones, they used the purest gems, etc. Even the wood had to meet certain criteria which was established because of purity. 

My quick review does not do justice to fully understanding the importance of a valuable and pure place for God’s spirit. It doesn’t fully reveal the depth of sanctification and purity required to be near God’s presence. But I try to keep these studies to a couple thousand words so we must go on as I pray God reveals to you these truths in a new way. Please Lord, reveal to them as you have revealed to me – Amen

Jesus then came to be the ultimate blood sacrifice. He came so we can be purified and the workings of the temple can be changed – as the Holy Spirit and presence of God would no longer be contained in an Ark or in the Temple.

“Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.
Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary. A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lampstand and the table with its consecrated bread; this was called the Holy Place. Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place, which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant. Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover. But we cannot discuss these things in detail now.
When everything had been arranged like this, the priests entered regularly into the outer room to carry on their ministry. But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still functioning. This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. 10 They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings—external regulations applying until the time of the new order.
11 But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. 12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. 13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. 14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!
15 For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.”
Hebrews 9:1-15 NIV

Now, those who have (or want to have) a relationship with God – as God deeply desires to have a relationship with us – can be sanctified through Jesus’s blood and be pure enough (which is completely pure) that this pure, holy, and powerful presence of God in His Spirit can now dwell in us.  We are the temple. 

What does this then say about us?  We already know that God is the same yesterday, today and forever – so a dwelling place for Him must also be the same.  Therefore, once we are cleansed through the blood and begin our relationship with God, God sees us as valuable and made from THE MOST VALUABLE MATERIAL ON EARTH! Amen! Do you see??? We are the most valuable. Lord, please open our understanding, here, with revelation! We are most valuable – others are most valuable!
Jesus encouraged us to pray daily for the repentance of sins (see the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew chapter 6) and to forgive others – this practice keeps us pure – pure to be in the presence of God – valuable enough that His Spirit (which is Holy, pure, powerful, reverent, and even sometimes lethal) can not only visit us – but enter us! ENTER US!!! Others had try to touch the objects wherein was the Spirit and died yet we can not only touch but be filled with Him!!! What amazing grace is established in this gesture! As wrong as I am even on my best day – through this grace and merciful cleansing, God can enter us and remain. Hallelujah! Glory be to my most high and Holy God!

To be the Temple of God is another free gift – but like all covenants of God we must hold up our end.  We know that nothing can separate us from Gods love (Romans 8:31) but we must remember that the word separate here mean separate God from loving us (as we have studied in past posts).  We can reject this love – but it is always flowing from Him to us and this verse is about love – not God’s presence.

And we know He will never leave us or forsake us (1 Chronicles 28:20).  And that again is God’s promise to be near us – not that we won’t reject Him. Both of these love and God’s promise to be near are flowing from Him to us – not from us to Him.  As we can see, through sin and unforgiveness we physically push God away.  He is still loving us, He is still near (as near as His holiness can be to sin), He is not forsaking us (and will answer the moment we cry out for Him in our sin) – He is trying desperately to get us to repent and turn towards Him.  Repent and be purified so that God can send His presence INTO us – so we can be the temple. A covenant always has responsibilities for both parties. He has fulfilled His – and we are learning about our responsibility in this grace.

With being the temple – we are Holy (by grace) just as God’s Ark and Temples have always been.  We are subject to His will and judgment, but we are also protected by God just as He protected His Ark and His Temple.  I am saying that it is biblically sound to say that if an impure, defiled person comes against us they shall be smitten by God. I am saying it is biblically sound that the power of His Spirit in us will affect those around us, both in positive ways (like drawing people to Christ) and negative ways – but in all ways it is for the GLORY OF GOD.

Quick side note – no evil person has tried to lay hands on me and died.  But I also find that the demonic influences know the rules of spiritual engagement better than we do. Therefore, they know not to touch the temple of God, but instead use other forces, like temptation, to defile us and keep us from being the holy temple.  

“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.” 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 ESV

Are you behaving as a temple? Or are you defiling yourself and allowing others to corrupt you? Stand firm on the foundation God has built for you. And start acting like who God says you are.

Dear Father God, today reveal your holiness as we repent to ensure our purity. Send your Spirit to fill us like never before – like we are your temple, please make us your temple.  Thank you for seeing us as the most valuable materials on earth and worthy only through grace and the Blood of Jesus. Thank you for wanting to have a personal relationship with us. – in Jesus name we pray- amen

If you don’t already, and today you would like to have a relationship with a God who can communicate with you and be part of your life (and protect you) – one who is full of mighty power and tender love, then please know that I have put the “A, B, C’s of Salvation” in my introduction. Please click here to follow the link.**

Thank you for reading ~ Grace be with you
Be healthy and blessed ~ I love you and love one another
Watch and Pray ~ Seek God & keep your eyes on Jesus!

Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

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