God's Spiritual Temple
By George Kirkpatrick
It was said of Solomon he was the wisest man in all the earth. But we know Solomon's wisdom came from God. Solomon's wisdom was not only for His day, but for ours also. Solomon wrote:
"The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? It hath been already of old time, which was before us." Ecclesiastes 1:9-10
Everything God did in the past is only a prelude to what He is going to do in the future. As Solomon wrote: "There is no new thing under the sun." To understand the future we must understand the past. Solomon continued his revelation:
"That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past." Ecclesiastes 3:15
The big question among God's people today is "What is God going to do with His body in the earth?" We know by the Scriptures we are to become the temple of the Holy Spirit. But what example are we given of the building of this temple?
Solomon originally built the temple, but His father David designed the temple and supplied much of the material to build it. Solomon finished the temple in 949 B.C. Throughout the centuries, the temple has been desecrated. The gold and silver were systematically removed, first by Shishak, King of Egypt during the reign of Rehoboam. Then Amaziah, king of Judah and Jehoash, king of Israel took all the gold and silver, along with the utensils from the temple. Later Ahaz took away the altar of burnt offering, and replaced it with a model of one like he had seen in Damascus. He removed the stands from under the laver, and set it upon the pavement. But the worst desecration was done by Manasseh who created altars for the whole host of heaven in both courts of the temple. He set up an image of the false goddess in the sanctuary. At the same time, Sodomites erected tents in the temple court. Through these abominable acts, the temple fell into a state of disrepair.
When Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the temple, along with Jerusalem, he burnt the desecrated temple to the ground. This happened in 586 B.C. So from the time Solomon built the temple until its final destruction, it was 363 years. The temple sat in its burnt condition until Cyrus, the Persian conquered Babylon on October 13, 539 B.C. Then God spoke to Cyrus to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. The rebuilding of the temple at Jerusalem is covered in four books of the Bible: Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai, and Zechariah. In the book of Ezra, it is recorded:
"Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the Word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah." Ezra 1:1-2
As Jeremiah had prophesied, God was freeing His people to return to Jerusalem. Zerubbabel was considered to be a prince in Judah, and Cyrus made him governor of Judaea. Zerubbabel led the first captives back to Jerusalem. When Zerubbabel left Babylon, he did not leave alone. There were many who went with him, along with much wealth. Forty-two thousand, three hundred and sixty people went with him, along with seven thousand, three hundred, and seven servants and maids, and two hundred singing men and women. So almost fifty thousand people left Babylon in the company of Zerubbabel.
Cyrus also returned the silver and gold Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of Jerusalem. Plus those left in Babylon gave much silver and gold to rebuild the house of God in Jerusalem. The trip back from Babylon to Jerusalem was a difficult trip, which took about four months.
"And when the seventh month was come, and the children of Israel were in the cities, the people gathered themselves together as one man to Jerusalem. Then stood up Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and his brethren the priests, and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and his brethren, and builded the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings thereon, as it is written in the law of Moses the man of God." Ezra 3:1-2
The first thing the people did was to build the Brazen Altar to offer up burnt offerings unto their God. Then, it being the seventh month:
"They kept also the feast of tabernacles, as it is written, and offered the daily burnt offerings by number, according to the custom, as the duty of every day required;" Ezra 3:4
This was one of the few times it is recorded that Israel kept the Feast of Tabernacles.
"From the first day of the seventh month began they to offer burnt offerings unto the Lord. But the foundation of the temple of the Lord was not yet laid." Ezra 3:6
The people were so busy praising and worshiping God they forgot what their intended purpose was - - - and that was to build the house of God.
"They gave money also unto the masons, and to the carpenters; and meat, and drink, and oil, unto them of Zidon, and to them of Tyre, to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the Sea of Joppa, according to the grant that they had of Cyrus, king of Persia." Ezra 3:7
They paid all those who were to do the work. That was the easy part, because they had plenty of money that had been given by those who remained in Babylon.
"Now in the second year of their coming unto the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, began Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and the remnant of their brethren the priests and the Levites, and all they that were come out of the captivity unto Jerusalem; and appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to set forward the work of the house of the Lord." Ezra 3:8
The work on the house of God was delayed for two years.
"And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise the Lord, after the ordinance of David, king of Israel." Ezra 3:10
They sang, they praised, they gave thanks to their God - - - and the people shouted for joy.
"But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy:" Ezra 3:12
The old men and priests who remembered the original temple wept when they saw the foundation of what was to become the temple of God.
"So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off." Ezra 3:13
But while the people rejoiced and sang their praises, there was trouble on the horizon:
"Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity builded the temple unto the Lord God of Israel; Then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the fathers, and said unto them, Let us build with you: for we seek your God, as ye do; and we do sacrifice unto Him since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assur, which brought us up hither." Ezra 4:1-2
The enemies first attempt to delay or stop the work was when they asked to join in with Zerubbabel to build the house of God.
"But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest of the chief of the fathers of Israel, said unto them, ye have nothing to do with us to build an house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build unto the Lord God of Israel, as King Cyrus the king of Persia hath commanded us." Ezra 4:3
The help of their adversaries was refused. Instead they followed the commandment of Cyrus, who was informed by God to build the house to their God in Jerusalem.
Then the enemy continued to hinder the work:
"And hired counsellors against them to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus, king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius, king of Persia." Ezra 4:5
These enemies of God and of Israel delayed the work for seventeen years, until the second year of Darius. To understand what happened during this seventeen year delay, we must look at the book of Haggai:
"In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, came the word of the Lord by Haggai the prophet unto Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, saying, thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the Lord's house should be built." Haggai 1:1-2
The people had convinced themselves it was not yet time for the house of God to be built. What was Haggai's response?
"Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste?" Haggai 1:4
During those seventeen years of delay the people had built their own houses and were living very comfortably, but God was not pleased:
"Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways. Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages, earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes." Haggai 1:5- 6
God's blessing was removed from Israel because His house lay desolate. Again God spoke:
"Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways. Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? Saith the Lord of hosts. Because of Mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house.
Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit. And I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon that which the ground bringeth forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon all the labour of the hands." Haggai 1:7 & 9-11
Israel was suffering, and they did not even realize why they were suffering. Then the Lord spoke by Haggai:
"Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the Lord. And the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and did work in the house of the Lord of hosts, their God, in the four and twentieth day of the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king." Haggai 1:8 and 14-15
The rebuilding of the temple was finished in 516 B.C. Darius, the king, was killed in battle in 486 B.C, and Artaxrerxes his son took his place.
"Now after these things, in the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra the son of Seraiah, the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah . . .This Ezra went up from Babylon; and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which the Lord God of Israel had given: and the king granted him all his request, according to the hand of the Lord his God upon him." Ezra 7: 1 & 6
Ezra was a scribe, which means he knew God's Word. The Scriptures record that 1449 males went with Ezra. This did not include women, children, and servants. So again, it was a very large group. Ezra was given much gold and silver which had been donated by the king and the people of Babylon. It was in Ezra's heart to become a teacher in Jerusalem. Ezra was a man of much faith. Ezra was aware there were many who would lay wait for them in the way, but as Ezra recorded:
"For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek Him; but His power and His wrath is against all them that forsake Him." Ezra 8:22
Even though Ezra knew He faced much danger in the way, He refused to accept protection from the king's army.
At this point, we need to note the number three is the number of completion. The temple of God has been built and rebuilt three times in Jerusalem. So the physical temple of God is complete. The last temple built was constructed by Herod. This temple was destroyed by Titus, the Roman general, in 70 A.D.
An interesting fact is that the Ark of the Covenant which represents God's presence never rested in Zerubbabel's temple, nor did it rest in Herod's temple. Man has searched for the Ark for centuries, but it has not been found.
As stated before, there is nothing new under the sun, Ecclesiastes 1:9. Paul wrote:
"Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." I Corinthians 10:11
Israel is God's example to the church. If we do the same as Israel, the church, too, will suffer the same fate. So, we need to ask, "Why is the church today in such shambles?" God gave us Israel as our example today.
We need to ask, "What happened to the original temple?" First, the gold and the silver was removed by Shishack, Amaziah, and Jehoash. The silver and the gold have been removed from the church.
Silver is the symbol of redemption
Gold is the symbol of God and His Kingdom
God's plan of redemption is no longer taught in the church. The message of redemption has been replaced by story telling, and the same message, Sunday after Sunday, month after month, year after year to get the people saved. Beloved, there must be a going on from initial salvation. We need to ask, "How many times does a person need to get saved?" If there is a true change of heart, then the people need to be taught to go on to seek the deeper things of God.
Gold is the symbol of God's Kingdom. Is the Kingdom message being taught in the church, today? NO! God's people are being taught the Kingdom is in some far off place called heaven, but the Word clearly states:
"And when He was demanded of the Pharisees, 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 17:20-21
As God's Word clearly states, the Kingdom of God is within each of us, and it comes without observation as we study and grow in God's Word.
As the temple was restored, there must be a restoring in the church. The prophet Isaiah revealed:
"But this is a people robbed and spoiled; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses: they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith Restore." Isaiah 42:22
God's people have truly been robbed and spoiled, as they sit Sunday after Sunday, listening to the same old, warmed over, dried out message the pastor probably bought from a religious book store or a mail order sermon company. The messages sound good, but they have no life.
The gold and the silver need to be brought back into the church. There are many Ahaz preachers who stand in the pulpits today, who have as Ahaz of old, removed the altar of burnt sacrifice and replaced it with a modern substitute. The burnt offering altar is where we are to lay down our life before the Lord. This calls for repentance. The word repentance means "to amend with abhorence one's past sins." Repentance is no longer taught in the church. The message today is God accepts you exactly like you are and there is no need to change. These are told to recite Romans 10:9 and 10, and once a person repeats these words, the preacher pronounces they alre saved. This is as far as the message goes, and the message to go on to perfection goes unheard. Let's look at these Scriptures in Romans:
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." Romans 10:9 & 10
God's Word states, "Thou shalt be saved." It does not say you are saved. The phrase shalt be is a futuristic statement.
Then Paul states, "with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." Salvation is a continuing process until we come into the likeness of Christ Jesus. Pastors, we need to bring back the original purpose of the altar of burnt sacrifice.
Then Ahaz took away the support from under the Laver. The Laver represents water baptism. Baptism means to change by the process of dipping. Yet, the church continues to sprinkle and pour - - - and many churches teach water baptism is no longer necessary, since we have the baptism of the Holy Spirit. But Jesus found it necessary to be baptized before He received the baptism of the dove, Matthew 3:15. This certainly goes along with what Peter revealed:
"Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." Acts 2:38
This is the process we must take on our continuing road to salvation. [see "Three Fold Salvation" by George Kirkpatrick]
Manasseh was the most vile ruler. He made altars to all the host of heaven, and set them in the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies. He also set up idols to Astarte, the god of sex, in the temple of God. The same is true today. Many who sit in the church study their astrology charts and run their lives by these charts. It was said of Manasseh:
"Moreover Manasseh shed innocent blood very much, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another; beside his sin wherewith he made Judah to sin, in doing that which was evil in the sight of the Lord." II Kings 21:16
Many in the church are convinced abortion is alright because the Supreme Court says it is legal to murder the unborn. These fear the government more than they fear God. Abortion is serving Astarte, the goddess of sexual pleasure.
Then it was said of Manasseh he filled the court of the temple with the tents of the Sodomites, [Unger's Bible Dictionary, page 1079]. Today the church not only allows the Sodomites in the outer court, they are permitted to stand in the pulpits, and they call them reverend. What an abomination and an afront to our God. This is one of the reasons why the church is without power and why attendance has gone down. As the church, we need to know we do not have to be guilty of all these sins. If we are guilty of any one of these sins, then we will not be temple material.
So what is God's plan for His church? In order to understand this, we must look again to the prophet Haggai:
"For thus saith the Lord of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts. The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine, saith the Lord of hosts." Haggai 2:6-8
God is in the process of shaking the heavens (the Spiritual realm) and the earth (the flesh realm). Look around and see. God is truly shaking all the nations on earth.
And the desire of all nations shall come. Who is the desire of all nations? Paul reveals this to us:
"For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God." Romans 8:19
The word creature should have been translated creation. All of God's creation is waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God. This is the same revelation God gave the prophet Malachi:
"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
It is the Elijah ministry in the earth today who is preparing the way of the Lord. When the Lord returns to be glorified in His saints, II Thessalonians 1:10, then the Lord shall suddenly come to His temple. Praise God, He is going to have a temple in the earth when He returns - - - not a physical temple, but a Spiritual temple. Haggai proclaimed by the anointing of the Spirit:
"The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts." Haggai 2:9
As grandious as King Solomon's temple was, it is going to seem as nothing when compared to what God is going to do in those who follow the Lamb where ever He leads them. As Haggai proclaimed:
"The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine, saith the Lord of hosts." Haggai 2:8
The silver represents those who have been redeemed from the flesh realm, and have put on Christ.
The gold represents those who have the vision of the Kingdom, and have prepared themselves for the Kingdom age.
The prophet Malachi went on to declare those who will be part of this Kingdom Age group:
"And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness." Malachi 3:3
God is in the process of doing this today. He is purifying His silver and His gold. He is turning up the heat in their lives to loosen all the dross and the things that do not profit, so they can be skimmed off, and only the pure silver and gold will be left. Nothing of the world or the old man will be left in their lives.
This was the purpose of the Holy Spirit coming on the Day of Pentecost as cloven tongues of fire. This is God's refining fire. Yes, God is turning up the heat in us today to make us ready for sonship. These are those who will make up His manifested sons.
As Malachi related,
". . . when God returns He is going to come to His temple . . ." Malachi 3:1.
God is building His temple in the earth today, and He is preparing them to rule and reign with Him when the kingdoms of this world will have become the kingdoms of the Lord and of His Christ, Revelation 11:15.
We may ask, "How is God going to build His temple in the earth?" First, He must have a pattern, a blueprint, an example. We have that example in Jesus Christ. Peter informs us:
"For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps." I Peter 2:21
Jesus is our example, and we must follow in His steps if we are going to get to where He is. When Jesus was crucified and laid in the tomb, He became the foundation for His temple. We see this in the example of Zerubbabel. When he laid the foundation for the temple, many of the people wept because they knew what the former house looked like. The rest of the people shouted for joy. The Scriptures tell us that it was hard to discern the weeping from the shouts of joy.
The same was true at Jesus' death and burial. The multitude who followed Jesus and knew who He was, wept bitterly. But the Jews and the Romans who caused His death, shouted for joy. These were glad this pest who defied their religion and the Romans was dead.
The same is true today. Those who know and love God weep when they see what the church has become and how the name of Jesus is desecrated by the news media and by those in power. As it was when Jesus hung on the cross, in our day we again hear the shouts of joy by the powers that be against God's people in the earth today.
But those who know their God and stand on His Word know this is about to change. We are informed by Paul:
"For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night." I Thessalonians 5:7
The night is a time of darkness, and today darkness is covering the earth. Those who are asleep to the time in which we live are drunk. They are drunk with greed, lust, power, and their own importance and glory. This grieves God's heart, but things are about to change. David, the Psalmist, understood the day in which we live:
"For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." Psalm 30:5
Yes, God's people are weeping because of the darkness, but there will be joy in the morning when the new day breaks on the horizon.
By God's Word, we know the grave had no hold on our Saviour. And when He arose from the grave, He became our example of His temple in the earth. He no longer dwelt in His earthly tabernacle. He became the temple. The grave was only a brief stopover. He was victorious over the grave. And when He arose, He had His permanent dwelling place. As He stated:
"Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself: handle Me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see Me have." Luke 24:39
This is the same body God's temple will have when they are changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, I Corinthians 15:42. Concerning our future, we have the promise from the pen of Paul:
"But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you." Romans 8:11
The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead dwells in us. This is the Spirit of life. And all those who have this Spirit of life will become God's holy temple in the earth. An unknown Psalmist wrote:
"Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord." Psalm 150:6
The breath the Psalmist wrote of is not the breath we as humans breathe. The breath the Psalmist wrote about was the breath that God blew on us. In the beginning, God breathed upon man, and He became a living soul, Genesis 2:7.
In the New Testament, Jesus breathed upon His disciples, and said unto them, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost," John 20:22b. In both cases, the Spirit of life was breathed upon mankind. We need to know that until we have received the breath of life, we cannot praise the Lord, nor can we worship the Lord as the Word declares:
"But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth." John 4:23-24
There is no way we can truly worship the Father until we have totally dealt with the old Adam nature. How do we deal with this old Adam nature? Jesus showed the way to His disciples:
"Then said Jesus unto His disciples, if any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me." Matthew 16:24
Jesus stated we are to take up our cross and follow Him (our example). Many today are hanging on to the cross upon which Jesus died. But that will never complete the work in our lives. We must take up our cross. Luke recorded Jesus' words:
"And He said to them all, if any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me." Luke 9:23
We are to take up our cross daily. Why? Paul explained this in his letter to the Corinthians:
"I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily." I Corinthians 15:31
Paul had his cross with him at all times, and he died daily to his old Adam nature, as the Holy Spirit taught him daily. Those who die on the cross daily will become part of God's temple.
Jesus prophesied about His temple that He is going to raise up in the earth when He cleansed the temple of the money changers. The Jews wanted to know what sign Jesus would give them and by who's authority He did the things that He did. Jesus' reply was:
"Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." John 2:19
The Jews, like many today, only had a carnal understanding of what Jesus said. Their immediate reply was:
". . . Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?" John 2:20
How could Jesus build the temple in three days, when it had taken forty-six years and thousands of workmen to build. But by the Spirit, we know:
". . . He spake of the temple of His body." John 2:21
We know Jesus was speaking of His personal body which was resurrected in three days. But we also know He was speaking of the body of Christ which would become His temple on the third day. When the Jews threatened Jesus, saying Herod was going to kill Him, Jesus replied:
"And He said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected." Luke 13:32
The today and tomorrow represents the two days of the church age. It will be on the third day that Jesus will be perfected in His saints. Those who make up the body of Christ will become His temple. These will also make up His holy City, New Jerusalem. The third day is the most talked about day in the Bible. Paul understood the change God was going to bring to those who have dealt with the old, Adamic nature.
"And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." I Corinthians 15:49
Paul knew we have borne the image of the earthy (fleshly). He also knew we will bear the image of the heavenly (Spiritual).
"Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption." I Corinthians 15:50
Paul knew we could never inherit the Kingdom of God as long as we are in our earthy (fleshly body). The Kingdom of God has to grow and develop in each of us, until we have been made ready to rule and reign with Christ.
Paul related, ". . . but we shall be changed. . ." I Corinthians 15:51. Paul went on to reveal the time when this change will take place:
"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 15:52
This change will take place at the last trump. This is when the dead shall be raised. The word raised means "to arouse from sleep." Paul explained those who are asleep:
"But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him." I Thessalonians 4:13-14
Those with little or no spiritual understanding try to teach this as a "rapture." The rapture is a false teaching which gives those who have no hope in overcoming, a false hope.
Paul goes on to explain that corruption (a body apt to rot) must put on incorruption (that which will not rot, eternal), and that the mortal (a body that will die) must put on immortality (that which will not die). This is when our bodies will be changed, and we will put on eternal life. In his letter to the Philippians, Paul asked the question:
"Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself." Philippians 3:21
Yes, Jesus is going to have a temple in the earth. When will this occur? It will be on the third day. We know by History that Ezra recorded:
"And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king." Ezra 6:15
Zerubbabel's temple in Jerusalem was finished on the third day of Adar, which was the last month of the Hebrew calendar. Likewise, God is going to raise up His end time temple in the third day. The prophet Hosea gave us this same word:
"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 in the third day, and we will live in His sight. The beloved John asked the question:
"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him: for we shall see Him as He is." I John 3:2
When John asked the question, "Now are we the sons of God?" the obvious answer to that question is, "No, we are not yet the sons of God." We know by John's writings, the Lord has given us the power to become the sons of God, but until He breathes the breath of life on us, our lives will not be changed into His image and likeness - - - because as John declared - - - it is only when He appears that we shall be like Him. This will be the time when our Spiritual eyes will be opened, and we shall see Him as He is. This is when the word Paul wrote to the Corinthians will become a reality.
". . . Death is swallowed up in victory." I Corinthians 15:54
This is when we will put off the natural and put on the Spiritual. This is when this tabernacle will become the temple, the permanent dwelling place for God. These temples will become God's Holy City which is the bride of Christ. As Paul related 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
When the Spirit of God dwells in us, this is when we will become the temple of God. And this is when death will be swallowed up in victory, and eternal life will be ours. Yes, God will have His holy temple to dwell in for all eternity. Praise the Lord!
Related books by George Kirkpatrick
God's Glory Revealed in the Clouds
First the Natural, Then the Spiritual
The Glory of Ezekiel's Temple
The Light of Life
The Marriage Supper Calling
Awake Unto Righteousness
The Glory of the Celestial
Vital Words to the Body of Christ
Freely We Have Received, Freely We Give