Temple Topical Study

<p><strong><span class="heading-lg">Temple in Scripture</span></strong></p><ul><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/Exodus%2025%3A8-10">Exodus 25:8-10</a>, &quot;And have them make me a sanctuary, so that I may dwell among them.&quot;</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/Exodus%2040%3A34">Exodus 40:34</a>, &quot;Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the L<span class="small-caps">ord</span> filled the tabernacle.&quot;</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/2%20Samuel%207%3A6">2 Samuel 7:6</a>, &quot;I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent and a tabernacle.&quot;</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/1%20Kings%208%3A1">1 Kings 8:1</a>, the ark of the covenant is brought out of the city of David</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/2%20Chronicles%207%3A1%2C%203">2 Chronicles 7:1, 3</a>, &quot;When Solomon had ended his prayer, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the L<span class="small-caps">ord</span> filled the temple.&quot;</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/Psalm%205%3A7">Psalm 5:7</a>, &quot;But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter your house, I will bow down toward your holy temple in awe of you.&quot;</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/Psalm%2065%3A4">Psalm 65:4</a>, &quot;Happy are those whom you choose and bring near to live in your courts. We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, your holy temple.&quot;</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/Isaiah%206%3A1">Isaiah 6:1</a>, &quot;In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the L<span class="small-caps">ord</span> sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple.&quot;</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/Jeremiah%207%3A3-4">Jeremiah 7:3-4</a>, the Lord asks the people to change their ways that he may dwell among them</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/Ezekiel%2047%3A1-2">Ezekiel 47:1-2</a>, vision of the temple</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/Zechariah%206%3A12-13">Zechariah 6:12-13</a>, &quot;he shall branch out in his place, and he shall build the temple of the L<span class="small-caps">ord.&quot;</span></span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/Malachi%203%3A1">Malachi 3:1</a>, &quot;See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the L<span class="small-caps">ord</span> whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple.&quot;</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/Matthew%2012%3A6">Matthew 12:6</a>, &quot;I tell you, something greater than the temple is here&quot;</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/Matthew%2021%3A12-13">Matthew 21:12-13</a>, Jesus overturns the tables in the temple</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/Matthew%2027%3A51">Matthew 27:51</a>, &quot;At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom&quot;</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/Mark%2013%3A1-2">Mark 13:1-2</a>, Jesus says that the temple will be thrown down</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/John%202%3A18-21">John 2:18-21</a>, Jesus predicts that the temple will be destroyed and then rebuilt in three days</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/Acts%202%3A46">Acts 2:46</a>, &quot;Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts&quot;</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/1%20Corinthians%206%3A19">1 Corinthians 6:19</a>, &quot;Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own?&quot;</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/Revelation%2021%3A3">Revelation 21:3</a>, &quot;the home of God is among mortals&quot;</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/Revelation%2021%3A22">Revelation 21:22</a>, &quot;I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord&nbsp;God the Almighty and the Lamb&quot;</span></li></ul><p><font color="#0077c8"><span style="font-size: 28px;"><b><span class="heading-lg">Reflections about Temple</span></b></span></font></p><p><span class="body-copy">The best way to grasp the full meaning of the temple is to see how the term develops through the biblical story. The following points will trace that illuminating trajectory.</span></p><p><span class="body-copy"><strong><span class="heading-sm">Temple and Creation</span></strong></span></p><p><span class="body-copy">In recent decades biblical scholars have increasingly recognized how the story of creation in <a href="https://zeteosearch.org/search/Genesis%201-3">Genesis 1-3</a> can best be understood through other ancient Near East (ANE) writings. This has led scholars like G. K. Beale (<em>The Temple and the Church&#39;s Mission</em>) and John Walton (<em>The Lost World of Scripture</em>) to recognize the creation story as the building of a temple for God to dwell with God&#39;s creation.</span></p><p><span class="body-copy">In this light, an especially striking feature is that in all temples there is an image or icon of the god who dwells there. In <a href="https://zeteosearch.org/search/Genesis%201">Genesis 1</a> the temple image of God is human beings, who are made in God&#39;s image and likeness. This emphasizes that humans represent God as vice-regents in God&#39;s creation and have God-like powers and responsibilities. This becomes especially important in looking forward to Christ, the new and perfect human perfectly united with God. In Christ, God takes his rightful place in the temple of creation, and becomes that temple.</span></p><p><span class="body-copy"><strong><span class="heading-sm">Christ, the Temple of God</span></strong></span></p><p><span class="body-copy">The fundamental issue surrounding the temple in Scripture is God&#39;s stared desire to dwell with his people. The problem, of course, is that God is holy and his people are marred with sin. How can holiness dwell in the midst of unholiness? The temple, all aspects of its architecture, and worship are God&#39;s answer to that divide. The tabernacle&#39;s (or temple&#39;s) placement in the center of the Israelite encampment at Sinai, the design of its architectural movement from the camp to the Holy of Holies, and sacrificial worship displays how God can and will live among unholy people. In this way, we see how the temple points directly to Christ, the temple of God.</span></p><p><span class="body-copy"><strong><span class="heading-sm">True Purpose of the Temple</span></strong></span></p><p><span class="body-copy">One of the dangers the temple poses for Israel is that it can become a symbol of national pride by which God&#39;s people assume God is with them. That is the point of the temple sermon in <a href="https://zeteosearch.org/search/Jeremiah%207">Jeremiah 7</a>, in which Jeremiah castigates Israel for saying with pride of ownership, &quot;This is the temple the L<span class="small-caps">ord</span>&quot; while they practice injustice and sin.</span></p><p><span class="body-copy">Ezekiel has a grand vision of the magnificent temple in the midst of Jerusalem, with four rivers flowing from the altar alongside which plants and trees grow in abundance (<a href="https://zeteosearch.org/search/Ezekiel%2043%20-%2047">Ezekiel 43 - 47</a>). This vision wonderfully anticipates the New Jerusalem in Revelation, where God finally and fully dwells with God&#39;s people and from which the &quot;river of the water of life&quot; flows: &quot;On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations&quot; (<a href="https://zeteosearch.org/search/Revelation%2022%3A2">Revelation 22:2</a>).</span></p><p><span class="body-copy">Jesus, the divine and human true image of G<span class="body-copy">od, spends a great deal of his time in and around the temple in Jerusalem. Already as a boy he calls it &quot;my Father&#39;s house&quot; (<a href="https://zeteosearch.org/search/Luke%202%3A49">Luke 2:49</a>). He is deeply disturbed by the atmosphere of business there and drives out the money changers: &quot;`My house shall be called a house of prayer&#39;; but you are making it a den of robbers&quot; (<a href="https://zeteosearch.org/search/Matthew%2021%3A13">Matthew 21:13</a>). Jesus even prophesies that he will be destroyed and rebuilt in three days (<a href="https://zeteosearch.org/search/John%202%3A18%20-%2021">John 2:18 - 21</a>), referring both to its destruction in 70 a.d. and to his own death and resurrection. Jesus will become the new temple, and by his perfect sacrifice he will make sinful people holy so they may dwell </span>with God.</span></p><p><span class="body-copy">At the moment of Jesus&#39;s de<span class="body-copy">ath, the curtain of the temple rips apart from top to bottom, exposing the Holy of Holies to view (<a href="https://zeteosearch.org/search/Matthew%2027%3A51">Matthew 27:51</a>). In this epochal moment the fulfillment of the temple&#39;s purpose is also exposed. In Jesus&#39;s sacrificial death for sin, all humanity can now be made holy through the forgiveness of sins. Now the holy God and sinful humanity can dwell together in peace through the blood of the cross.</span></span></p><p><span class="body-copy">Not only is Christ the new temple by which we can dwell with God, but those who are in Christ by faith are temples of the Holy Spirit, with God dwelling in them (<a href="https://zeteosearch.org/search/Matthew%2027%3A51">1 Corinthians 6:19 - 20</a>). Christ&#39;s sacrifice makes us holy; now we are called to live as holy temples of God. The church is also a holy temple in which we are like living stones: &quot;Let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ&quot; (<a href="https://zeteosearch.org/search/1%20Peter%C2%A02%3A5">1 Peter&nbsp;2:5</a>).</span></p><p><span class="body-copy"><span class="body-copy">The Bible closes with the picture of God having accomplished his purpose: &quot;`See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away&#39;&quot; (<a href="https://zeteosearch.org/search/Revelation%2021%3A3%20-%204">Revelation 21:3 - 4</a>). And there is no need of a temple there, &quot;for its temple is the L<span class="small-caps">ord</span> God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb&quot; (<a href="https://zeteosearch.org/search/Revelation%2021%3A22%20-%2023">Revelation 21:22 - 23</a>)</span></span></p>