THE TEMPLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Copyright © 2000 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
Christianity usually minimizes the significance of the human body. However, the human body is very important because it is the temple of God, and our goal is to have it resurrected in glory.
Don’t you know you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple. (I Corinthians 3:16,17)
The temple of the Holy Spirit is the human body. Perhaps because of the influence of the philosophy of Gnosticism, the religion of Christianity minimizes the significance of the human body. The truth is, the human body is of utmost importance in the Divine plan of salvation. The reason the human body is of such importance is that it is the eternal temple of God, a part of the great incarnation of God through the Lord Jesus Christ. The goal of our salvation is to have our body resurrected into eternal life and filled with the Presence of the Father and the Son through the Holy Spirit.
God is a Spirit. God chose to express Himself, to reveal Himself, in a physical form. The body of God was born through the Virgin Mary. God is now housed in flesh and bone. This is the supreme mystery.
I am not saying the Father and the Son are the same Person, nor that the Son of God is the Father. These are not true. There is a Father and there is a Son. The Son has been begotten from the Father and is filled with all the fullness of the Father. Thus God has become incarnate — made flesh. We cannot penetrate more deeply into this mystery because in the spirit realm it is possible for two to be one, while in our finite world it is not possible for two to be one.
God is building a house for Himself in which the Lord Jesus Christ is the chief Cornerstone. Part of this great mystery is that in the Father’s house there are many rooms, many places in which God and we can live, move, and have our being. Christ went to the cross, and then into Heaven, there to sprinkle His blood before the Father to make an atonement for mankind. Thus He has prepared a place in the Father’s house for whoever chooses to become an eternal room in God’s house.
The human body is central in the Divine plan. The Word has become flesh. It has been given a physical body. Today that physical body, although now greatly glorified, is at the right hand of God in Heaven.
You come next. You have a body. Your body in the present hour is the temple of the Spirit of God. Through Jesus Christ, your born-again inward nature is at the right hand of the Father in Heaven. But your body is not in Heaven; it is here on the earth. Or perhaps buried in the earth if you are deceased. If you are living on the earth at the present time, your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. The task of redemption is to prepare your inward nature so when your body is raised in the eternal life of Jesus Christ, it may be glorified, and then filled with the Presence of the Father and the Son through the Holy Spirit.
Can you see from the above how utterly important the human body is in the plan of salvation, and how important it is that you grow in eternal life in your inward nature so God may be able to clothe you with a body of life in the Day of the Lord?
There is no greater error in Christian thinking than relegating the resurrection of your body to a minor role in the Divine redemption. Part of this error is the lack of understanding of how your present behavior while living on the earth is enabling or destroying your resurrection into eternal life.
In the present hour, a house is being fashioned for you in Heaven. When the Lord returns, He will call forth your body from the grave and then clothe your body with your house from Heaven, which He will have brought with Him.
This house, or robe, is being formed from your behavior. When you lie, the lie affects your robe in Heaven. When you repent of your lie and, through Jesus Christ gain victory over lying, your robe is washed in the blood of the Lamb. Your heavenly robe is a composite of all you have done on the earth, good and bad, except as you confess and thoroughly denounce and renounce your sinful behavior and from then on resist the devil. Then the bad is eternally removed.
In the Day of Resurrection, we will be clothed with our behavior. This is the perfect justice of God.
Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) (Revelation 19:7,8)
The fine linen, bright and clean, is formed from the righteous acts of the saints. The Bride of the Lamb prepares herself for the wedding by repenting and turning away from sin, through Christ, until her heavenly robe — which she shall be clothed with in the Day of Resurrection — is bright and clean.
I answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Revelation 7:14)
The destructive, unscriptural error of Christian teaching is that when we profess Christ, we automatically wash our robes clean once and for all time, and now we are ready to go to Heaven.
The truth is, we wash our robes by confessing our sins and turning away from them throughout our life. It is only as we continue to walk in the light of the Father’s will that the blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin. The promises of the Kingdom are for the saint who is pursuing victory in Christ, not for the casual believer who is hoping to go to Heaven on the basis of some commitment he made many years ago.
In fact, the purpose of washing our robes is so we can ride behind Christ on the white war-stallions and assist in establishing the Kingdom of God on the earth. It is not so we can recline at ease in a mansion in Heaven. At least, this is what Revelation chapter 19 tells us.
As we said, there is no greater error in Christian thinking than the teaching that minimizes the importance of the Day of Resurrection, and the relationship of our conduct to the kind of resurrection we will experience when the Lord returns from Heaven.
In addition, because of the emphasis on the unscriptural “rapture”, we have lost sight of the fact that our body is to be redeemed (resurrected). It is to be raised from the dead and then clothed with our body from Heaven, the body that is being formed today as a product of our behavior on the earth.
And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you. (Romans 8:11)
For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. (II Corinthians 5:4)
For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. (I Corinthians 15:53)
The last enemy to be destroyed is death. (I Corinthians 15:26)
In fact, the famous John 3:16 is speaking of the body — that it would not perish. It is speaking of the restoration of immortality to the body — that which was lost in the Garden of Eden. The Apostle Paul does not view us as being finally alive in Christ until our body is made alive.
For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. (I Corinthians 15:22,23)
The Apostle Paul longed for the redemption of his body, that is, the raising of it into eternal life in Christ.
Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. (Romans 8:23)
Thus, the human body has a greater role in the Divine salvation than we may have believed.
The one new Man, Jesus Christ and His Body, is being fashioned as an eternal house for God.
In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. (Ephesians 2:21,22)
Let’s consider once again the following passage:
Don’t you know you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple. (I Corinthians 3:16,17)
I don’t think the idea of our being the house of God is new to many Christians. We sing, “I was born to be Your dwelling place.” What may be new to us is that it is our body that is the dwelling place of God, and for this reason it is very important what we do in and with our body.
“You yourselves are God’s temple,” the verse states. “God’s Spirit lives in you.” But in what part of our personality does God live?
Do you not know your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. (I Corinthians 6:19,20)
It is our body that is the temple of the Spirit of God, not primarily our spirit or our soul, but our body.
“You yourselves are God’s temple”; “God’s Spirit lives in you”; “If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him.” “God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple”; “Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit”; “You are not your own.” “Therefore honor God with your body.” We are not our own, that is, our body is not our own. Our body is God’s temple. God’s Spirit lives in us.
If this is true today, and it is, how much more will it be true when our body has been raised from the dead and then clothed with our body from Heaven?
Therefore, we know that God has created us to be His eternal home, His tabernacle, His chariot. Our body does not belong to us. We actually are a caretaker of God’s house.
God’s great house is Christ — Head and Body. Our body is an apartment in that huge dwelling, so to speak. If we do not keep our apartment holy, if we disfigure it an any manner, abusing it, not taking good care of it, we will suffer for it.
Paul says that physical exercise is of little profit, so we know the emphasis is not on exercise. It is true that good nutrition and proper exercise may contribute to our health and the length of our life. We ought to do what we can to stay healthy. If we carelessly, not of necessity, break the laws of health, we will pay the penalty for our neglect. But an emphasis on bodily health can lead us away from the important aspects of the Kingdom of God. We know from the record of Paul’s life that he had little opportunity to be concerned about his physical health.
Rather, the accent is on holy behavior. Fornication and adultery are examples of what the Apostle Paul means by harming the temple of God.
“Food for the stomach and the stomach for food” — but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. Do you not know your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! (I Corinthians 6:13-15)
The body is meant for the Lord. Isn’t that some statement! The purpose for our physical body is that the God of Heaven might have a dwelling place. We are only custodians, apartment managers. Our body is the eternal dwelling place of God.
Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for [literally fear of] God. (II Corinthians 7:1)
According to my understanding, the new Jerusalem is the joining together of the glorified bodies of Christ and His saints in order to form one eternal tabernacle of God, one everlasting dwelling place for the God of Heaven.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. (Revelation 21:3)
It has been God’s purpose all along to have a living temple through which He can have fellowship with the nations of people whom He has created (the “men” in the verse above) and whom He loves. As we have stated, the Father’s house is Christ — Head and Body.
Perhaps we have known that we have been created to be the dwelling place of the Lord. What may be new to us is the emphasis on our body. Our body was given to us so God might have a visible expression among people. This is the calling of the saints, the Israel of God.
Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. (John 14:23)
What kind of temple God has in Heaven is difficult to say. We think He has one, from the following passage:
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. (Isaiah 6:1)
However, the above verse may be referring to the temple built by King Solomon.
In any case, God has told us of His desire to have a temple.
This is what the LORD says: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be? (Isaiah 66:1)
The extraordinary importance of this question is revealed by the fact that it was repeated by the Holy Spirit at the time of the death of the first martyr.
Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me? says the Lord. Or where will my resting place be? (Acts 7:49)
Man was created to be the house of God, His resting place. The plan of redemption proceeds on its course until we become the eternal tabernacle of God. This pattern is revealed in the seven feasts of the Lord. These are found in Leviticus chapter 23 and in other passages.
- The first feast, Passover, speaks of the blood of the cross.
- The second feast, Unleavened Bread, portrays our repentance and baptism in water.
- The third feast, Firstfruits, typifies our born-again experience.
- The fourth feast, Pentecost, tells us about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
- The fifth feast, Trumpets, speaks of the coming of the Lord Jesus to declare war on His enemies, beginning with the enemies that dwell in the members of His Body.
- The sixth feast, the Day of Atonement, points toward the long struggle we endure as the Lord deals with the worldliness, lust, and self-will that dwell in us.
- The seventh feast, the feast of Tabernacles, reveals the ultimate intention of God — that He might dwell in the bodies of the people He has created.
There are three great symbols of Judaism. They also show the pattern of our salvation.
- The Altar of sacrifice reveals that God’s justice can be satisfied only by the shedding of blood.
- The Lampstand speaks of the Spirit of God. It is God’s will that every saved person in the creation live in the Spirit of God rather than in the lusts and appetites of the flesh.
- The Booth in which an Israelite lived and still lives for one week out of each year points toward the ultimate intention of God — that mankind, beginning with His Israel, be His dwelling place. Once God has brought the entire creation into subjection to the Lord Jesus Christ, then Christ Himself shall be in subjection to God. Thus God shall be All in all, meaning He will be dwelling in every saved member of mankind.
The twentieth century has been the century of Pentecost. The twenty-first century will witness numerous saints being brought through the remaining three feasts of the Lord — the Blowing of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and, ultimately, the feast of Tabernacles.
Today the emphasis is on spiritual warfare. The trumpet of the Lord is sounding in the Christian churches, wherever the believers are seeking His face. Christ is standing before our hearts asking for admittance. He wants to drive His enemies from us. He wants to prepare us for war in the spirit realm, for we are being prepared to return with Christ and drive wickedness from the earth.
Then follows the spiritual fulfillment of the Day of Atonement, the Day of Reconciliation, the period when everything in us is brought before Christ for judgment. Perhaps the reader of these words is experiencing the Day of Atonement at the present time, and is wondering what is happening. Sins that we thought were taken care of many years ago are surfacing. It seems as though we are being taken through a dark tunnel and we do not understand what appears to be the anger of God directed toward us.
Cheer up! This is part of the normal Christian experience. You are being prepared for the dwelling of the Father and the Son in you. God will deal with the worldliness in your personality, the love for and trust in the world that you may have. Whoever loves the world spirit is the enemy of God. Are you a worldly person? God may bring you very low in order to free you from this bondage, to prepare you to reign with Him in your body. God will deal with the lusts and passions of your flesh and soul. Are there sins you cannot gain victory over? Keep on telling God about them. Renounce and denounce these sins. Never confess defeat. It is God’s will that you be free from all spiritual bondage. Whoever commits sin is the slave of that sin. God will not dwell in a sinful house. He will help you purify yourself in preparation for His coming.
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure. (I John 3:1-3)
God and Christ desire to sit on the throne that is found in every human being. We must get off the throne of our personality and permit God to sit there. When God is satisfied that your house has been made ready to His satisfaction, that He reigns fully over your thoughts, words, and actions, He will permit you to join Him on the throne of your own heart. Now you are ready to be God’s heart and hand extended to His creation.
To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. (Revelation 3:21)
Our goal is the spiritual experience typified by the feast of Tabernacles of the Old Testament. This is what we long for — to be the dwelling place of God, to be forever at rest in the center of God’s Person, just as the Lord Jesus is.
But we cannot jump from the Pentecostal experience to the Tabernacles experience. In between is the Blowing of Trumpets and the dreadful Day of Atonement, the time when the enemies in our personality are judged. The Day of Atonement, the reconciliation to God’s Person that we are to experience, is presented in the Old Testament as the period in which God’s anger is expressed against us and we go through a time of darkness.
In that day you will say: “I will praise you, O LORD. Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you have comforted me.” (Isaiah 12:1)
“In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,” says the LORD your Redeemer. (Isaiah 54:8)
Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. (Hosea 6:1)
Notice that in every case the Lord expresses His anger at the sin in our personality. Jerusalem always receives double for her sins. But then the Lord turns to us and binds up what has been torn to pieces.
If you are going through such an experience, take heart. You are in a tunnel, not a grave. You will come forth into the light again. God is utterly faithful and will never forsake you. Remember, you are Israel (“he struggles with God”). Your struggle is not with Satan or with people, but with God. You can forget about your enemies. We who are members of Christ’s Church, His Body, have been called out from the ranks of mankind to be the dwelling place of God. As such, we endure numerous dealings of God as He prepares us to be members of the governing priesthood.
In actuality, we are going through this program for the sake of other people, for the sake of those who one day will be presented to us as an inheritance. Because of God’s love for those people whom we will serve as priests and kings, God is removing from our personality all that is hurtful. When God presents our inheritance to us, and us to those people, He wants them to be receiving His glory and blessing, not our sinful, self-seeking personality.
We pass through waters to the ankles, then to the knees, then to the hips, and finally find ourselves in waters deep enough to swim in. Now we are brought back to the bank of the river where we are planted as a tree of life. We then are held in readiness with the other trees of life so that at the appearing of the Lord, the living water can flow from all of us into the dead sea of mankind.
In Pentecost, we are blessed with the rain from Heaven. In the spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles, the Throne of almighty God is established forever in us so we may with incomprehensible joy bring forth the waters of eternal life for other people to drink and thus to live in God’s Life.
Today the Lord Jesus is standing before the door of our heart. He wants to enter our personality and dine with us. He dines on our obedience and worship. We dine on His body and blood. Who is this who has entered us? It is the King of Glory, the Lord, strong and mighty in battle. What shall He do? He shall put all the enemies of God under His feet.
The Pentecostal experience has brought us to this point. The summit, the fullness of God, is in sight. Let each one of us make the effort to move past Pentecost and embrace all that God has for us in the present hour.
As I said previously, our present body belongs to the Lord God of Heaven. It is His eternal house. This is true now. This shall be true in the Day of the Lord.
The question is, will we be found worthy of receiving eternal life in our body when it is raised from the dead in the Day of Christ? Have we been a good custodian of God’s house? Have we pressed forward into the Life of the Spirit, who is already dwelling in us, putting to death by the wisdom and power of the Spirit the deeds of our sinful nature?
If we have been a good “apartment manager,” our reward will be to be clothed with a glorious body of eternal life from Heaven. Then we will not need to fight against the desires of our body, for our new glorified house will hate wickedness and love righteousness.
In this glorified house, we have been set free from the body of sin and death, which was the prison in which the Apostle Paul lived and in which we live. Now we are free forever to live in the very center of the Consuming Fire of Israel. Now we shall inherit multitudes of saved people who will have fellowship with God and Christ who are dwelling with us in our body.
This is the new Jerusalem. This is why we shall have the name of the new Jerusalem inscribed on us for eternity. We are now a member of the royal priesthood, having attained through Christ the first resurrection from the dead.
Seeing what stupendous marvels are ahead of us, let us take care at every moment to dwell in our body as good stewards of the Lord’s house. Then, when He comes, He shall raise us from the dead and clothe our resurrected flesh and bones with the body of eternal life from Heaven. He and the Father will settle down to rest in us. We shall be alive in God’s Life for eternity and are ready to restore Paradise to those whom God has given us for our inheritance.
(“The Temple of the Holy Spirit”, 3119-1)