Tag Archives: Temple

One step further

You always hear people exclaim when telling scripture to prove a point to someone in discussions, but what if we take it ‘one step further’, to make it really clear, to all of us!

We all seem to know that ‘passage’ in the bible that will prove your point to someone, it’s always handy to have in a discussion. What the significance of the verse is that it alone can put the brakes on something that is being touted by someone in your discussions. It is also true that your counterpart can do the same thing to you also.

So who is right?

I, through various reading material, it has dawned on me that it is because ‘we’ (all of us) are not starting on page one together! What I mean by that, is that we are coming from different stories,examples, people, periods of time, languages, backgrounds, and theologies, and we are starting from ‘our’ base point for telling the story, or scripture.

What time has corroded over the centuries on our theology of God and the Bible has done harm on our understanding God and the Bible. I read all kinds of subject matter pertaining to religion, christianity,and the bible, and for the most part, it all starts from the time of Constantine in the 4th Century in our belief systems or our historical prowess of facts. We have used the Universal Church(Roman Catholic) and its rebellious Lutheran to get us to today. (Which I have always thought that from a religious point, we were starting from the middle of the story) All of our denominations have come from the starting point from the universal church. (Which in my opinion is based on something very misleading and misunderstood to its originality of a ‘church’)

I follow a theologian that says it quite succinctly in the problem that the modern ‘church’ is doing, and that is we are asking the wrong questions. We are asking questions to the middle of the story, when we should looking and thinking what God’s story is telling us from the beginning. God’s story is a narrative. Narrative- a spoken or written account of connected events; a story. There is meaning in a narrative story from the author, it doesn’t change or waver, it stays the same, no matter what.

There is a theme in the first two chapters of the bible. A tragedy happens, then the resumption of the theme starts back up, to the very end of the narrative. Until we get on the same page,the first two pages to be exact, we will never get to the point of why we have to have “Context”!

If we have Context from the first two pages of the Bible, it will not only stay in context thru out the bible, put the focus of the story will come to light to All of Us!!

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Upon further review

(the voice of an official in football, after looking on video if play was good)

I have had discussions with a few people on the importance of the old testament(I prefer the use of ‘covenant’) in all matters of the biblical theology to ‘see’ what God is telling us.

Side note- My interest biblically has always more New Testament(Covenant) but I have since moved my studies to the old.

Tying these two things together,old covenant and God’s eternal purpose are so tied together that We MUST start from the old testament. If we don’t ‘see’ the narrative of God’s plan then we will not see it in the New Testament. And that may be the problem with the “Church” Today,and historically the past 500+ years!

What we must do to see it, is to not look at the bible as before and after narrative of the story with the cross and resurrection in the middle, but as a narrative of God’s Eternal Purpose for His Creation. I believe that God’s desire was and always will be the indwelling of Himself with the indwelling of Creation melding into one. This was the scenario of his plan in the Garden of Eden, with His creation and Himself walking and talking in between the beauty of the Garden. It wasn’t to be.

This beginning, is key to the rest of the narrative in scripture. We must remember it, as we travel thru the scriptures. It is throughout the whole bible. The Temple narrative is one way, another one being the ‘covenant’ way, that we can ‘see’ the desire of God and His purpose.

Let me just go back to the fact that I can see that the christian community has seemed to dismiss much of the intentions of what the old covenant was pointing to. I believe that ‘We’ as christianity have just jumped into the middle of the story, when we have started with the story of ‘Jesus'(Messiah) without knowing why He comes into the narrative. We have for along time seen Christ’s coming as the ‘end all’ of man’s sinful ways. But could it be something else,too?

What if it was a more amazing thing that God was trying to do? What if He was creating that ‘Garden’ scene again, with no possible way of failure to have man and His God walking side by side forever!

You see the ‘Garden’ scene was the foreshadowing of the Temple of God, which in reality was the ‘Messiah’ Christ, who became the Temple of Mankind, within Us as we have joined to Him.

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Holy

That’s what Genesis is all about.

If we stand back and look at the story of the Garden of Eden, we will actually see what the story is all about.

First, we have to ‘see’ what the reality of what the Garden is, God’s Space that also includes his creation; mankind.

Can you “SEE” it? if you can, then it will get easier from here to see the clear picture. God’s creation his ‘abode’, his living quarters, his room and board, his head resting place, his space, his bethel, his love. You see, this is where he is Himself, He can be himself with ‘all his creation’ (I sometimes think that we forget, or don’t realize this aspect, God loves not only his humanly creation, but also the surroundings around his humanly creation) This is “His Temple”, this is the original design, altho it might of seemed small to adam and eve at the time, it was expandable, it could start as a pinpoint on the globe, but it could spread out as a ‘drop of water in the ocean’ to expand forever! God told adam and eve to ‘Be fruitful and multiply’ in the garden, this was for everything that was concerned with in the garden, all the goodness surrounding them would flourish ‘with them’, when they would. “Good” would continually to ‘grow’!

This garden was perfect, gorgeous,amazing,picture of God and his essence. You could say that it was “Holy”. It was God and creation together in one place being one in “Holiness”! Two becoming one as a model for things to come!

Have you ever had a conversation with someone and they were telling you a story of their expertise, and a storyline of events, and they mentioned something in the story that was a analogy of something but you didn’t understand it at the time, you just didn’t say anything, and went on. But then you see the person years later and he brings up the story he told you years earlier, and it suddenly dawns on you on what that person was talking about because the one thing you didn’t understand is now in reality, standing right in front of you?

This story is the telling of “God’s temple” in reality of the Garden of Eden of the ‘ideal’ purpose of mankind, but what is ‘in front of us’ is this building that we have designated as ‘a Temple’ as our blueprint of what God wants, when in reality it is just the microcosm of what it is supposed to be, not one of ‘walls'(Eden had not walls) or an institution(men create institutions),or Theology(understanding ways of God), it is much “Bigger than this”, it is not of human ways,or hands but of God’s goodness,or Holiness!

God’s Holiness is the essence that God created us by. It was ‘His Image’ that we were brought into this world, and this was what we were meant to continually be. Christ in Us, Us in Christ.

Holiness.

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Where is God?

This is not the story of searching, where you see God in the World, but something different.

The relevance of this piece is rather unique in that it will show us what the ‘Temple’ is, and all the story behind it.

As an ‘after the fact’ observer when we read the beginning of the creation of the World by God, we really don’t understand the nuances of what God is doing. Sure, he is building this big blue marble with water, land,sky,trees,birds,animals,rivers,lakes,grass,sun,moon,planets surrounding it in the sky. What is the significance of it? God makes it for some people that he will create to live on the planet. It is what we would now call it “Heaven on Earth”*. We will come back to this later.

If we follow the story of Genesis 1-2, we will also notice that God’s creation is perfect for man and for God. So much, that God lives with Adam and Eve, walking, talking with each other all day long. They are in the Garden of Eden, Where man and God are together.

Now, let us fast forward a little ways in the story, we know the transgression of adam and eve, that creates mankind to go astray. It is when God brings together His people called “Israel’ and unites them together as one and then gives them instructions to help them stay God’s people by setting up a place for them to give their sacrafices for their transgressions to God as individuals, and as the group “Israel”, and even the High Priest sacrifice was given in this ceremony.

The High Priest was ‘one of one’ that could even be ‘Holy’ enough to ‘be’ with God in this room called ‘Holy of Hollies’, This was the only place in the entire world that God was touching in his ‘being’ and presence on the earth. It was because of man’s transgression, that God was now only a pinpoint in the world, instead with his creation in a garden.

Although this setup of a Temple, for the Israel kingdom was one for just Israel, It was actually a microcosm of the original one that God had created in the beginning of time. This was/is the blueprint of God’s Kingdom. But let’s clarify something here, before some get lost in their thinking. What God is showing us very special. Even tho I have described this large, glorious and splendid Temple that was in Jerusalem at one time. The majority of the Temple was used for giving of sacrifices and all that went with it.

There was a Portico, a place for semi-large congragating to talk and discuss religious things before going into ‘Holy of Hollies’ , which only the High Priest was able to go into. This “Space”, is actually the space that we can compare or use as the illustration of the ‘Temple’, the ‘place’ where God abides. Another illustration would be the use of ‘Clouds and Fire’ to lead Israel on their way for a journey. He was ‘with’ His people. Their are many examples of this in the scriptures, to show the Lord’s presence with man.

This space in the temple, was limited in size and people, one person in a room of 20 cubits squared. Small and limited to say the least in where God was.

It wasn’t until Christ resurrection that things changed. Christ’s New life and Kingdom was now established, albeit in different and totally new way. The curtain was rent from Heaven, signaling that ‘All’ would be able to be in the same place with Him, for He is now in the world for all mankind. God would not only leave this small and confining space but He would ‘go’ and be with man again in his creation. This is the story of a ‘full circle’ paradigm, that God does not change his plans for anything.

This plan of creation for his creatures, ‘all of his creatures’,man,animal,creation,heavens’ will again be back together. This scenario is one that is lost in our process of ‘learning’ things of the scriptures, but it is a major one to ‘see’ what God is doing.

God’s ‘picture’ of the Garden of Eden is one of Creator and Creation together as One.

If you can, try watching a short video by ‘The Bible Project’ group that shows this exact paradigm in a video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zy2AQlK6C5k&t

God’s ‘church’ or people are one and the same. We are God’s. We are one, in Spirit,Mind and Truth.

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John- The New Kingdom

I have always thought that the Gospel of John was the ‘Crescendo’ of the story of the Bible. But to really know what it is really saying is key to knowing what the beginning of the bible is telling us. All aspects of the bible are important.

I believe that for us to understand the Gospel of John, we have to read and understand what Genesis,Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy tell us in the first hints of God’s story. It is crucial that we do this. Each one of these books tells us an very important segment of the storyline, each one a different part, not one more important than the other, but important. They are historical, but they also lay the groundwork or foundation to the Gospel of John in the realization the the story is much bigger and is from a different world. The books of the bible do this in various themes that it incites us to look deeper into God’s eyes and soul to know.

Let me point out something right here at this point, That God is so amazing at his logical and illogical things that he brings us to in our world, even tho it makes us stop and ponder and think and be in the mind of our creator. One mind, One Spirit. Even the most studious bible reader may not catch why John’s gospel is in the order that it is, it is there for a reason.

John’s gospel, is the final frontier of God’s Heaven Trek. It is what comes to fruition when all things have been put back to rights. (this is statement that one of my authors says that puts it exactly the way it needs to be said) God has created a storyline that has wonderful beginning that takes a fork in the road, then he plans for that storyline to comeback to the original road to put things back to rights!

God created a Kingdom in the beginning. It was called the Garden of Eden, it was the realm where God(King),Garden of Eden(the land), and his people (christians) are to reign together forever. It was Heaven on earth! Let’s stop again, to define something that has historically been misidentified as to what it was,Heaven.

If we realize that all of us, now and past,and future people that are born will be citizens of the earth. It is just obvious where we have our citizenship. We also have a citizenship that is subletted even more by the country, or state, or providence that we live in. Our world is one of our making by who we are and by how we see fit to rule ourselves as a society. We have a plethora of ways to do this all around the world.

But it is different when we talk about the Creator who created everything we see, everything we participate in, everything that we have, and everyone around us. God created everything for ………..MAN! Not man for the world, as everyone seems to think. Now think of the directionality of the phrases of this statement. God created everything for Man. God created the Kingdom(earth) for man! Everything! including himself, God talked to adam and eve in the Garden of Eden, He walked with them daily with their Creator! How cool was that! A God actually having a connecting with his creation.

This is a stark contrast later in the story of the roman and greek stories being far off from their ‘so called’ creations that they never saw them or talked to them, they had to make themselves the replica’s of them as a idol in their ‘temples’ to worship. Now how is god a god if you are to make a ‘image’ of them with your own hands?

God made his own image of himself. US! WOW!!!! We are HIS Image!! Guess what, He made us as an image of Him, in His own Temple! The Earth!! WOW, how neat is that! God wants to be with His creation again!

Can you see it Now? Look back at the beginning of Genesis 1-2 chapters to see the creation of the world, Now look at what John’s Gospel is saying and foreshadowing of things to come. IT IS THE SAME!!

It is the exact same picture that God made in the beginning that he is restoring back to rights!!

This is the Storyline of the scriptures that God has made and restored to Him the ‘Eternal Purpose’!!!

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Perspective, it always helps.

I have said before in alot of my blogs, that we have to get back to the basics. Get back to context. But also we must get back to perspective in the minds of people, especially the ones in the early times of the Jews, and the old testament.

To many times we screw up in our process of thinking things thru of an argument or facts. One must always remember to ‘see’ the understanding of the people, era, social, events of time to have the right perspective.

Hear is such one, for you to just keep in your mind as you read scriptures in the bible to help you ‘see’ things clearly in their mind set into what they were using as a base of their logic. Keep this handy to go back and clarify something you have issues with. Do not use an illustration from any other time frame for biblical study. What ever you do, don’t use something from ‘today’s’ picture of the World.

The Earth as seen by first Christians

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Temple

  Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” John 2.19

What does this mean to you?

Give me all your input to what you understand this to mean?

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Revelation

or Prophecy. This book in the bible is a strange one, for sure. It is different from all the rest. It is picture into what God is thinking and his mission for his people. He explains it in different ways, that are unfamiliar to us to understand, or even just to read. But it is important for us to try.

I will continue to focus on the just the last part of the book, chapters 21-22. They are the most intriguing ones of the book and some say the whole entire bible. But we will persist in trying to ‘see’ what it says and means to all of God’s children.

We talked about the ‘What’ the other day of the particulars of God’s New Jerusalem, and its impact on us. What we will now talk about the ‘How’ the ‘What’ is to be implemented. Let’s remember that the picture that we see in Revelation 21, it is the ‘Coming of the Kingdom of God(Heaven), the ways or the economy of the righteous ones. It is a picture of a pure and blameless object, A Bride of God’s making. Let’s remember, that alot of this in Revelation is allegory in its content. It is based on something God has said,or done it the scriptures or of the things He said He was going to do in the future, all working to the glory of his name. The ‘What’ is God’s creation is coming back to the original design of God and man living together again in glory! This is the ‘saving’ action that God is taking to bring back his world.

It is the ‘How’ on this journey that we are concerned with now. If you have any of the old covenant and God’s people that was turmoil,wars,hating,mistrust,scandals, and many more things to distract God’s people from understanding of God’s Glory. It has not changed. We have still going thru these things and even more issues that have taken us down the wrong path to God’s Love for us. This is what have been dealing with for the last dozen of centuries to ‘see’ God’s road to the Kingdom of God.

What we have been doing for a long,long time is that we have very short sighted in the christian perspective. We need to look at the ‘How’ we are to be as the ‘community’ of God, and remember what God has told us that we are slaves to ourselves and of their authority over us! God designed us to be servants of Him, in that we are to be stewards of the world. If are alive and well today, all you have to do is look around the world and it is looking like a world wide rebellion against the ‘authorities ‘ of mankind. Government, of whatever form it takes in each nation, their is rebellion. Some would look at this and say that the world is in a mess for all these people to be misaligned with their governments over something as a virus, but lets think about the bigger picture of it.

One could say that the world is on the same page of sorts to be rebelling of their governments, but think of the consequences of this? They are in disagreement of the handling and implementation of a pandemic by vaccines. In another words it is the question of ‘who’ has AUTHORITY! This I believe is the beginning of the ‘New’ Paradigm of thinking for all mankind. Who does have all AUTHORITY?

God is in control! He is coming down to us, in His authoritative way of speaking to us, to bring ALL of us together. One mind, One Heart and One Spirit. God is working within us, to change us in our world, to the ways of His Kingdom.

God is bringing in his people together as one, one with the spirit of God, His Kingdom will be built in the blueprint of Genesis 1-2. God’s ‘saving’ formula is the one that brings in all of creation(remember that this is not just of mankind, but of everything that God created in the beginning. God’s world includes the universe,animals,the sea(evil),Temple(church),and the fact there will not be ‘night’ anymore, these will be all in the context of everything being ‘good’!

Amen and Amen Forever!!

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Destroy this temple, and I will raise it up in three days!

This proclamation by Jesus was so profound to the people around Jesus at the time in so many ways, that the ramifications of it can still be felt today!

We didn’t see then or now?

If we can just go back to the scene of the ‘words’ of Christ and take them one at a time to understand them. This is again, a testament to the reading ways of the literal readings of black and white. We have to go deeper into the words and the meanings and most importantly, context.

John 2:19–21 (NASB95)
19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
20 The Jews then said, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”
21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body.

To stay in context with these verses we have to also look at how we got here. The Jews(ones within the Jewish hierarchy) were in discussion with Jesus in the moment of Him destroying the temple business’s that were in the temple yard. The question that was asked of Jesus “on who’s authority are you doing this?” This seems to be a straight forward question for anyone,right? But Jesus comes back with lightning bolt of an answer of “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up!” Wow. They weren’t expecting that!

So Jesus tells the ‘Jews’ to destroy this temple(Jersusalem) and I will raise it up in three days!. Jesus will put it all back together after the jews destroy it(which no doubt would take them years to do it you think about it,in the physical sense), but was He talking about the physical sense in the first part of the sentence? I believe that He was, because this is what only the Jews knew and expected of God, the reality of the things in front of them. It was a majestic site to be seen, the Temple of Jerusalem, The Temple of the one and only God.

But it was proclaimed by Jesus, to tear it down! Why, would they do it? It was because it was being marred by unholiness in the ways of His people. It was dirty. It was Unholy by the people and by their institutional ways. This had to be changed. It had to be Holy.

Jesus was Holy. Jesus had authority to change it. He ‘was’ the Temple. He was greater than the temple. The Temple was in Him, of Him. Anything that was associated with Him pointed to the Temple!

The temple of Jerusalem was to die, in less than 40 years later, to prove His point. But the exclaimation that really made the point was when Jesus hung on the cross of death, and three days later rose to the world’s morning sun, to proclaim that something better than the temple of Jerusalem was now in use. Jesus Christ! Christ is something new and better than the Temple of the old covenant.

Everyone, Everyone in Christ is now the Temple of God. We are all one. Colossians 3. 11 Proclaims that ‘All in Christ are Everything’. The Temple of the ‘old ways is under the old covenant, the new one is in ‘Christ the Messiah’.

Let us ‘see’ this in the scriptures as we delved into the scriptures of just not the words, but the meaning of them. Let us not continue the traditions of old, but let us just ‘SEE’ Jesus!

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It was changed in a instant…

      And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.
      51      And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split.
      52      The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised;
      53      and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many. Matthew 27.50-53

This was the narrative Of God changing the world as the people of the day knew it. It was going to be different, they just didn’t know how different. God had changed their lives, for good,pun intended.

By Jesus dying on the cross, things changed, more than you know. Most of us have not understood the ramifications of it all, still yet. So, let’s look back at this historical and momentous occasion and see what it really says to us.

First, let’s look at who Jesus was, and who He was representing as the death upon the cross. Jesus, was a Jew representing his followers of the Jewish Kingdom. He was perfect, He was a follower of the law. He was without sin. He lived a life of moral and honesty that people admired in his community. Jesus was God’s son, was an added bonus in that God sent him to be what He wanted to be, and do the things of God, He was His Image.

Second, Jesus was the perfect example of the system of God’s law, and His people. In Fact, He was the only one to be perfect in the system. There was no one who excelled in the understanding of the law. All God’s people were failure’s in the keeping of the law. It was only God who completed the law’s intention of being Holy. God’s people were unable to follow God’s ways of the 10 Commandments.

Jesus’ death, changed things, no longer was their going to be the ways of Israelite’s and their laws and their markers(circumcision,food laws,Temple) of who they were. Things would have to be different, the old ways did not work for the Israelite’s to follow. It was because of this that things would have to change, more of a bonding or a intimate way to succeed.

Their was going to be new ways to be identified with God, and the mode of knowing God. It started with a man named Abraham. It was his blind ‘faith’ that God recognized as righteousness unto God. God used Abraham, thru his obedience and faith in God for not only himself, but the believers with him. Abraham believed God in his life. It was that simple.

So if this was true, that God’s intended life in him was the faith that could guide us in everything, since God had made everything in our world, God was in control of it, God had only intended for us to ‘have faith’ in Him, the one true God. This would be one of those ‘markers’ of the OT that God used, that failed for his people. God was changing the identity of His people.

Their was a key moment in the story of Peter and Paul in the confrontation of the food laws of the Jews and the ones that could partake of them. It was Paul, Peter and Barnabas that were in Antioch ministering to the crowds there and eating among the jews and gentiles at the tables, when the Jerusalem disciples came to the same spot, and Peter moved from the tables of the gentiles to the table of the Jews, It is this that Paul noticed the action of Peter as not the gospel.

This was another new marker that was being introduced to all, not just the Jewish world. This was the announcement to the world that the gospel was for everyone, we were not to be recognized by food that we ate, as being a member of God’s family but by who we ate ‘with’. After all, isn’t this exactly what Jesus was doing in his journey’s. This was the marker that was telling us that God’s people had changed in definition of not who He had originally selected as the example of His people, but everyone will be His. We could all set at the same table and eat, and be His!

It is also the marker of where the Jewish God was located in the world, the Jews God was in Jerusalem in the Temple, in the Holy of Hollies. It was there that only one person actually could be in the presence of Him. It was the High Priest that was the one that was Holy in every way, that could be in His presence. God’s people were not considered Holy to be in His presence to have communion with Him. It was the High Priest that was being and representative for them to be Holy. It also the High Priest’s duty to go God to give a sacrifice to God for their failure of Holiness, a sacrifice of daily,monthly, and yearly sacrifice’s to God. But this was to be ended, in the crucified and risen Jesus that made the Jews and the world anew. They were a new Creation, all thru the Risen Jesus.

The old Markers have passed away,

Through New Creation comes new identities, the last one is where God is. Jesus’ being His son, changes this, by sending His Spirit into all, John 15.26 tells us that the “Comforter” comes to you that is from the “Father” that He will speak the ‘Truth’, He will bear witness of me! This last statement of this verse may be overlooked in importance in the actual understanding of the identity of God. Think about this, the Holy Spirit is the ‘witness’ to God!! Oh,My! God has moved his identity markers from the three things we have talked about, to actually ‘Himself’ as the witness. God’s human ways have failed and now God is using himself as a ‘witness’, not all the people of the old testament, not of the new testament, nor of the ‘witnesses’ of the ages to come but of actually God himself! Wow, Just Wow.

God has moved! He has moved from the whole world,the Garden of Eden, to a Temple,and now into His creation, Man!! All Men!!

This is the catalyst that God created by the Crucification and Resurrection of His Son Jesus. It was a Miracle, It was a witness, It was New Identity, It was God,having communion with his creation,Mankind. It was God being Himself, thru Love!

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