Monthly Archives: October 2016

93. Christmas 2018 (2)

It feels like yesterday that I wrote the message for Christmas 2017! I don't know about you, but time flies. And that made me think today. What are we doing with our time? Are we busy with things that have everlasting value? Are we busy with Kingdom work even if we are in the boardroom, or at home with the kids? Do we have that mindset? Or are we simply going through the motions living from holiday to holiday, from one pleasurable moment to the next and everything in between is just bearable?

God tells us clearly why He sent Jesus:

"For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." John 6:33

Jesus is our bread. In other words He sustains us. We don't need all the things that the media tells us we need. No, we need Him and only Him. If He is all we have left we have enough, in fact we have more than enough. He walks in front and we only need to follow!!

And He came to give us life. But what does it mean? That He came to give us access into eternal life someday? Or does it actually mean we can have the fullness of life today? Let us have a look at the Greek meaning of the word 'life'.

It means Zoe in Greek. And the true meaning of the word Zoe in this context is the following according to Thayer Lexicon:

"life real and genuine, a life active and vigorous, devoted to God, blessed, the portion even in this world of those who put their trust in Christ, but after the resurrection to be consummated by new accessions (among them a more perfect body), and to last forever"

Wow. Life - real, genuine, active, vigorous, devoted to God, blessed. And did you notice the part where it says that this portion is even in this world, in other words in the here and now. Isn't that wonderful news? Jesus came to give this life to us, in order for us to live it NOW. He came so that we can have a blessed life that is not fake, that comes from a heart that is active, dynamic and devoted to God. That is what He came to give to us.

And notice the ongoing tense in this text verse. He gives life and continuous to give life. He never stops. It is a gift, one that is freely given to you. The question now is; are you going to take it? Are you going to take the step and physically take this gift? A gift is a gift, it is not forced on you and it is not imposed upon you. No, a gift is given freely, but it needs to be taken as well. What is your choice today?

Do you want to continue in the rushed spiral that you are? Do you want to continue living a life that is fleeting and without true meaning? Or do you want to take the next step forward and live a life of abundance? Jesus is standing with the gift in His hands. Picture Him in your minds' eye and see how He is presenting it to you. See yourself walking up to Him and taking it out of His hands with thanksgiving. See how you swallow this gift and make it a part of your essence. See how you start to glow and become radiant. See how it infiltrates your deepest being. See how it lifts you up unto new heights. See life as it truly is, a journey walked with God. See His abundant grace and glorify Him for it!

"I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." John 10:10

Father, we rejoice that You sent Jesus as the bread of life, to feed us and to nurture us in all our ways. We are so grateful for the precious gift of life that He came to give us through You. We rejoice and we take this gift! Thank you very much dear Father. You are infinitely special to us. Amen

22. God is proud of you as you follow Him

Last week we learned that we need to cleanse our hands and our feet in our daily walk. Not to be saved or to obtain favor from God, but to free ourselves from this world. He came and He gave us access into His Kingdom, now it is up to us to decide whether we want to make His Kingdom our primary concern, or do we still make the world and all its intricacies our primary concern. Jesus opened up the way for us to walk in freedom from the effects of this world. We now need to take up His offer and walk in the liberty that it brings.

Today we are going to look at the sea of bronze in more detail. The sea was cast in bronze and it stood on a unique footing. It was twelve oxen:

"It stood on twelve oxen: three looking toward the north, three looking toward the west, three looking toward the south and three looking toward the east; the Sea was set upon them, and all their backs pointed inward." 2 Chronicles 4:4

Okay so there were twelve oxen divided in four groups looking in each direction. Let us have a look at the significance of the numbers today.

First of all there were twelve oxen. This number is significant as it portrays the twelve tribes of Israel and also later the twelve apostles. Therefore this number refers to the governmental authority of God. The twelve tribes each had leaders and the twelve apostles were the leaders of the new covenant, and they represent all of God's children from both covenants.

Secondly there were three oxen on each side. The number three refers to a number of things. But today the following stands out for me: It refers to the perfect Trinity. It can also refer to being formed into the likeness of Christ.

And thirdly, four refers naturally to all the directions in this world. The number also represents comprehensiveness, therefore all encompassing.

So if we take all of these numbers together we come to the following conclusion. The perfect Trinity wants His children (all in the old and new covenant), to be formed into His likeness so that they can go into all directions and spread His Kingdom and Word, everywhere, all encompassing. Isn't it just awesome?

God wants to use every single believer to reach out and touch those in desperate need of Him. These oxen are not below the sea by accident. As we saw last week, God wants us to cleanse ourselves from this world and only then can we be equipped to turn a broken world to Him. We cannot be equipped if we are so part of this world. It will be difficult as this world can easily entrap us.

No matter what your occupation is or in which way the Lord leads you. ALL our goals are the same, to lead others to Christ. Whether it is in the boardroom, in the classroom, in the corporate world, in your daily walk with your kids, even in praying from the retirement village, all our goals are the same! Reaching others for Christ! Our methods may differ, but our goal is the same. And therefore not one occupation is more important than another. They are all equal in God's sight. It is what we DO with what God has given us that is important!! And therefore no one can look down on what God has placed on their hearts or even someone else's. If they follow their calling and do what God asks, there are treasures in Heaven and a party amongst the angels and God is smiling from ear to ear.

Thank you Father that You have a job for each of us to do. Thank you that You have handpicked us to walk in Your ways. We love You and we rejoice in all Your goodness. Help us to close our ears to this world and to rather follow Your Voice. You know best! Amen

21. Dust off this world

Last week we had a look at the bronze altar in the outer court of the Temple. And we realized that if we have any idols in our lives that we should sacrifice them there and follow Jesus, the Lamb slain for us with our utmost devotion.

Today I want us to have a look at the sea of cast bronze close to the altar. This sea was used to cleanse the priests. They had to wash their hands and feet every time when they entered the Temple and just their hands when they offered something on the altar. They had to be cleansed of all dust and dirt. They shouldn't carry with them anything that represents the earth into the Holy Place. In those days the priests walked barefoot, to convey that they were standing on holy ground and also to resemble that they are spiritually newborn people. But as they walked everywhere, the dust and the mud of this world clung to their feet and therefore God wanted them to wash it off. God was so strict about the washing; He said that they will die if they don't wash (Exodus 30:20, 21). This might sound very harsh, but let us think about it.

They were representing God to the people. They had to be cleansed. They had to portray a vision of the Holy God to them. Plus God didn't want anything from this world to enter into His Temple. He was (and still is) holy and nothing unholy is allowed in His presence. Thus He wanted to protect them from His holiness. And therefore they had to be cleansed.

Now for us this is symbolic of a number of things. First of all it shows us that as we enter into the Holy Place, God wants us to leave everything of this world behind. He wants us to focus on Him. He doesn't want us to think of all our worries and cares and all the worldly orders as we approach Him. He wants us focused on Him and His Kingdom. Jesus Himself said:

"But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you." Matthew 6:33

Secondly doesn't washing of feet remind you of Jesus washing His disciples' feet? He washed it for several reasons, but I would just like to focus on one. When Jesus wanted to wash Peter's feet, Peter resisted and then Jesus said to him:

"Unless I wash you, you have no part with Me." John 13:8

Peter then reacted and asked that Jesus wash everything of him. But it wasn't necessary; Jesus was only interested in the feet. Why? Because with salvation comes total cleansing of all sins. And then from there on, we only need to wash our feet from the stain of sin we walk in in this world. Allow me to quote what 'got questions' say about this:

'When we come to Christ for the washing of our sins, we can be sure that is permanent and complete. No act can cleanse us further from our sin, as our sin has been exchanged for the perfect righteousness of Christ on the cross (2 Corinthians 5:21). But we do need continual cleansing from the effects of living in the flesh in a sin-cursed world. The continual washing of sanctification is done by the power of the Holy Spirit, who lives within us, through the "washing of water by the Word" (Ephesians 5:26), given to us to equip us for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).'

We need to wash our hands and feet regularly in the Spirit. We need to cleanse ourselves, not to be saved or even to draw close to God, but to free us from this world and its influences. Jesus has set us free and opened the way for us, now it is our turn to let go and to bask in the freedom that He bought for us. When we let go of all the influences in this world, we will be lighter, we will feel lighter and we will experience a deeper spiritual walk with God. Let us make His Kingdom our primary concern. Let us look up and walk as the newly born spiritual people that we are. Cleansed by the blood and the Word.

Thank you so much Father that we can be free from this world. Thank you that You freed us and bought our freedom with Your Son's blood. We are eternally grateful and we want to walk in Your pathways, cleansed by You. Amen

 

20. Let go of idols

Today I would like us to start and have a look at the utensils that God ordained to be around the Temple as well as inside the Temple. We will start in the outer court, and then move to the Holy Place and then of course to the Most Holy Place.

Now the first thing of note in the outer court was the altar for burning sacrifices. The altar was made of bronze and used to sacrifice all the animals on that were brought by the people as stipulated in the Law of Moses.

The color bronze has a number of meanings in the Bible. One of them is the righteous judgment of God against sin. And this is clear to see with the bronze altar. But the other wonderful meaning of the color bronze is redemption. Therefore bronze can refer to a word of grace and redemption from the Lord. Isn't it wonderful to see? At the altar God judges sin, but also at the altar there is salvation and deliverance. Why? Because Jesus was sacrificed for us as the Lamb on the altar. And therefore it is liberating for us to come to the altar often.

At the altar we can stand with confidence, knowing that Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice for us. He is the one leading us unto new heights. Because of Him we can come close to the 'Temple' without feeling condemned. We can come close and stand in His presence without being reminded of our sins. We can stand there KNOWING that all is forgiven. He took our place, we don't need to sacrifice anymore, we simply need to come to Him and draw closer to Him in the Most Holy Place as we've seen last week.

Now even though we don't need to sacrifice anything anymore, I would like us to just dig a little deeper. There is symbolically so much for us to learn. So as I contemplated the altar, the Lord placed on my heart that even though we don't need to actively sacrifice our sin offerings anymore, He wants us to come and sacrifice our idols to Him. At first I was surprised as I don't see Christians as having idols anymore. But God revealed to me that we do, we might not perceive it as such.

For some it might be exercising. Even though exercising is very good for you, once you are consumed by it, when it takes most of your free time and you cannot live without it, you might need to take a second look at it. For others their work might become their idol, and for others their children might even be their idols. Thriving on and receiving your self-worth from recognition might be an idol, your friends might even be an idol for you. And yes, even work performed for the Lord might become an idol to you, like the Pharisees. I have always looked with contempt at the Pharisees as I read what they have done and how they became so proud in their positions, until God showed me that some things that I was doing for Him was not far from what they were doing. And He was right. I had to let so many things go. But it truly set me free.

Ask God this week to show you what your idol might be. He will gladly show you. And then go to the altar and sacrifice it there. Let it be burned to ashes and leave it there. It is liberating and will truly free you. Idols keep you earthbound, but God wants you soaring high above like the eagles. He wants you to be close to Him and to live within reach of His heartbeat for you. But the idols can drag you down. Rather let it go and fly high above it all, liberated and free.

Father we do have idols in our lives and we didn't even realize it. Thank you so much that You reminded us of this fact again. We are so sorry and today we sacrifice it to You, once and for all. We know this sacrifice doesn't save us, but it sets us free to be able to live the life that You destined for us. We look forward to living within Your best for us! Hallelujah! In Jesus' Name. Amen

19. Enter the Most Holy Place (1)

Last week we had a look at the three sections of the Temple, namely the outer court, the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place. And we concluded that God wants all His children to reside in the Most Holy Place. He wants all His children to live and breathe in His presence in the Most Holy Place.

And this morning the Lord showed me that there is another way to look at the three sections of the Temple too. The other lesson He wants us to learn from it (I think there are MANY lessons, but for now let us focus on those the Lord places on my heart), is that it represents the three parts of us, namely our spirit, soul and body.

The Bible declares in a number of places that we do have a spirit, soul and body. I will just quote one scripture today:

"Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Thessalonians 5:23

We consist of a spirit, soul and body. I explain this in my new book 'God's Answer' in more detail and how it works. But for now, just know that you have a body (that is obvious J), a soul (your mind, will and emotions) and you have a spirit who can connect with God.

Your spirit is the part of us who can communicate with God, because God is Spirit too. All people have spirits, but when your connection with God is severed (unbelievers) then your spirit feels dead within you. That is why most unbelievers give themselves over to either drugs, smoking, alcohol, work, meditation etc. to make themselves feel better. But the only true solution is to restore your spirit's connection with God. This happens when you accept Jesus into your life. Your spirit is born again and reconnected with God. And therefore your spirit is the part of you represented by the Most Holy Place, the area of the Temple where God dwelt.

Your soul is the part represented by the Holy Place. In the Holy Place you can learn a lot about God. You can read the Bible and you can go to church and you can sing Christian songs etc. and all of this is wonderful and good. And of course your soul can also linger on worldly things, focused on the news, films, newspapers, magazines etc. Now this is not bad in itself, but if it overshadows the amount of Godly input your soul gets, it will be detrimental to your spiritual life.

Then the outer court represents your body. Your body is the part that everyone can see and experience. This was also the part of the Temple the ordinary people could see, they were never allowed inside the Temple as we've seen last week.

Now interestingly the outer court didn't have any gold and the utensils used didn't have any gold in them either. In the Holy Place the items used there were overlaid with gold, and in the Most Holy Place the mercy seat were one solid lid of gold. Thus the intensity of gold used increased the deeper one entered into the Temple. In other words, the revelation (gold) and the presence of God increased the deeper one went into the Temple. And therefore we can come to the conclusion, that it was more important to God what went on in the Most Holy Place than in any other area of the Temple. That was where He forgave the sins of the whole nation when the High Priest presented the offering on behalf of them all once a year and this was where He could fellowship with them.

Now I can probably write another book on this topic, but I think I will stop for now. The point is this: On what part of you are you spending most of your time. Is your outward appearance more important to you than what goes on inside your Temple? And once you are in the Holy Place, what are you thinking about? What do you allow to enter into your soul? What keeps your mind busy? Do you ever enter into the Most Holy Place? Remember time spent at church and reading the Bible falls under the Holy Place section. So I will ask again, do you ever enter into the Most Holy Place? Do you make time to just spend with God? In His presence, just soaking in all of His love and leaving all your problems safely with Him? I sincerely hope that you do. It was certainly a wakeup call for me years ago when I realized that I never spent time in the Most Holy Place. I thought going to church and reading the Bible was enough. But with Jesus' death the curtain was torn between the Most Holy Place and the Holy Place and it was done for a reason. God wants us there. He wants our spirit to communicate with His and He wants our spirit to rule over our soul and our bodies, because once it does, life and life in abundance will be ours.

"For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit, you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live." Romans 8:13

Father thank you that Jesus opened up the way so that our spirits can once again reconnect with Yours. We are so grateful. Father we are sorry that we don't spend enough time in the Most Holy Place. We want to, because You are there in all Your fullness. And we know that the more time we spend with You, the more Your life will bubble on the inside of us out to all the others. Only then can we truly influence them for Your Kingdom. Amen

18. Experience God on a deeper level

Today I want to start with the second section of our series on the Temple of God. As we have seen we are the Temple of God now. And in order for us to understand the deeper meaning of what it entails to be His Temple I would like us to have a deeper look at the symbolic meaning of the Temple that Solomon built. For the next couple of weeks I want us to delve deeper into the symbolism engrossed in the whole set up of the Temple. I hope you are as excited as I am, as there are many things we can learn from that.

So let us start today by looking at the whole layout of the Temple. The Temple was laid out in three different sections if we can call it that. The first area was the outer court. In that area was the altar used for the burning of sacrifices. There was also the bronze sea that the priests used to wash in. And on the sides of the Temple were ten water carts and basins for washing the sacrifices. We will have a look at the symbolism of each of these items. But for now, know that anyone could be in this section of the Temple. All priests could work there and the people could also come there to offer their sacrifices.

Then we have the Holy Place where the priests served God. Inside the Holy Place was the golden table of showbread with twelve breads there, one representing each tribe. Then there were five golden lampstand (menorahs) on the north side and five on the south side. There was also the golden altar of incense. Now here in the Holy Place only a limited number of priests could enter and only after casting lots as to whose turn it is. It was truly a holy place and couldn't be defiled by anyone. It was a privilege to enter into the Holy Place and serve the Lord there.

Then we come to the Most Holy Place. Inside was the ark of the Lord and standing guard over the ark were golden cherubim, their wings extending from wall to wall of the Most Holy Place. Here only the High Priest could enter and only once a year on the Day of Atonement, when he took the blood of the sacrificed animal and laid it on the mercy seat to atone for the sins of the people.

I truly believe that all symbolism in the Bible is there for us to learn from. So what we can learn from these three sections are the following:

Today we can also operate in the spiritual realm in one of these three sections. The choice is ours. We can stay with most Christians in the outer court. We need to sacrifice some of our time, our efforts, our behavior etc., but not a lot is expected of us. We can actually pretty much continue with our lives as is. Not many will raise an eyebrow at our behavior. And if we do step over the line a bit, we can pray and accept God's forgiveness for us. It is a convenient way of being a Christian, and that is why soooo many Christians are stuck here. Unfortunately here God cannot trust you with more and He cannot reveal more of Himself to you. It is only when you dig deeper that you will find Him.

So in the Holy Place God's presence is tangible. You are enveloped with His Holy Spirit (signified by the menorahs) and your prayers go up as incense unto the Lord. Your behavior starts to change and things that never bothered you before starts to bother you now. You don't want to continue as you were before. You start to ask questions about the Bible and you want to know God more. And as you seek God with all of your heart and all of your soul, you will enter into the Most Holy Place.

In the Most Holy Place God is everywhere. He consumes you; He takes you higher than you ever dreamed of. You don't really pray anymore as you are one with Him, you have a relationship far extended above this world. He leads you unto new heights and a deeper understanding of who He truly is. You start seeing miracles and you walk hand in hand with Him. He breathes His life into you and the abundance of the life He promised you start to manifest. You walk on clouds no matter what happens outside of the Temple. You are not stressed anymore; you are content and deeply loved. The noise of this world fades away and all that you hear is His Voice gently whispering your name. You are cherished and ready for where He wants to send you.

May we all strive for more. May we never be content just to be in the outer court. May we all hunger for a deeper revelation of Him. He has given us everything. With Jesus' death the curtain in front of the Most Holy Place was torn to give us all access. We simply need to go in. He is patiently waiting for us to come. Turn away from the lure of this world, and seek His Kingdom above all else. Then and only then can true contentment come!

Father thank you so much that You opened up the way for us. Thank you that we CAN come into the Most Holy Place at any time. Father, we are sorry that You have to wait for us as we run around satisfying a world that will be gone tomorrow. We rejoice in Your patience and that You are always there waiting for us! Hallelujah! Amen

17. Be different

Last week we had a look at the seventh and last Temple mentioned in the Bible, us. We are God's Temple now. And therefore we should be proud to be God's Temple. And I am not meaning being sinfully proud, but that we need to be proud that we have been chosen to be His Temple now. We need to treat our bodies with the utmost respect and we should walk around presenting God's Shekinah glory to the world. We are His representatives on earth now and we need to display His glory and love for all to see. You also need to have the joy of the Lord within you because God is with you, every single moment of every day. Realize that everywhere you go, you are the Temple and therefore you shouldn't be seen participating in sinful practices as this is detrimental to the Temple that you are. The world looks with skeptical eyes at you if you proclaim to be a Christian. And therefore when you participate in the drinking party, if you are the first to gossip, if you speak negatively just like all the others, if you cheat on your taxes, they see it and are pushed away from God. Because you are no different than them. The world needs people who are real, people who will stand up for what is right, people that will stand firm in what they believe in no matter the circumstances surrounding them. If Christians can do that, they will lure people to God and fulfill their life's purpose in the process. And when you fulfill your life's purpose, you will feel God's peace; joy and grace descend upon you like a mighty waterfall. What more could you want from life?

Just interestingly I would like to end of this first section of our Temple series by showing you the last time that a Temple is mentioned in the Bible. It is in Revelation. John is taken and showed a vision of the unfolding of future events. And at the end of the vision he is shown the new, holy Jerusalem. The earth is destroyed and a new city descends from heaven where we all will live with the Lord forever and ever. And here he noticed something interesting:

"But I saw no Temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its Temple. The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of the Lord illuminated it. The Lamb is its light." Revelation 21:22, 23

In the New Jerusalem, our ultimate home, there will be no more Temples. God will be the Temple; He will be our light, our everything. We won't be the Temple anymore. Why? Because there will be no more people to lead to the Lord. All who ever believed in Him will already live in the New Jerusalem. Our roles won't be to lead people to God anymore. We will be assigned new roles, specifically tailored for us. I am really looking forward to that. Eternity with our Maker, our Lord and Savior! With peace, love and joy our constant companions, doing what we love doing, doing what we were created to do!

But for now, let us shine and be the Temple of God to the lost, luring them closer to their destiny. God loves all people, and if He is our Father, we will love who He loves. And we will do our utmost best to lure them knowing that He will help us every step of the way.

Father we look forward to eternity with You. We look forward to the specific role that You want us to play there. But thank you for the current roles that we know we need to play as Your Temple right where we are. Please give us the courage to stand up when we must, to speak up when we should and to stay quiet when the time calls for it. We love You and worship You as our everlasting Father! Amen

 

16. Walk worthy of your calling

Last week we had a look at the Heavenly temple of God. It is the sixth Temple mentioned in the Bible. The Temple built in Jerusalem was a replica of the Heavenly Temple. Jesus took His precious blood and sprinkled it on the Mercy seat in Heaven, atoning for our sins. He paved the way for us so that we can always enter into His presence.

This week we will discuss the seventh and last Temple mentioned in the Bible. And that is us. The Bible tells us clearly that we are now the Temple of God. He dwells in us now. Let us have a look at a couple of Scriptures confirming this:

"Or do you not know that your body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's." 1 Cor 6:19

"For you are the Temple of the living God." 2 Cor 6:16

"…you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 2:4-5

We are therefore God's Temple today and there are wonderful symbolism locked in it which I will share in the next couple of weeks with you, but what I want you to realize today is that our Temple needs to be built by the Spirit and not by our own effort. We've seen how wonderfully everything works together when it is within God's will as the first two Temples. God will provide, He will create avenues for you, He will cause your enemies to look favorably upon you, He will give you the strength and His mighty hand will be upon you. But if it is not His Will, and if you are building your temple in your own strength, the glory of the Lord will not descend upon you and success will not follow you. You need to follow His Spirit, only then will His Shekinah Glory descend upon you, only then will you find peace in the Holy of Holies, only then will your relationship with God grow. He has to be your everything. Protect your temple from the onslaughts of the evil one.

You are the Temple, to portrait God's glory to the world. You are the one that is supposed to lure people to God. You are His 'face' here on earth, His representative in every way. As you've seen these past couple of weeks, God's Temples were glorious! A sight to behold. A sense of awe and wonder filled all those who saw His Temple. His Temple lured people to come and have a look, to come and learn more of Who He is. And today as His Temple, He wants people to look at you with awe and wonder. He wants people to see something special in you. We all are special, but we need to allow His Spirit to shine through us for all to see. Therefore look after your Temple. Do not allow vulgar jokes, negativity, gossip or anything inappropriate proceed from your mouth. You need to be an example. You need to look after yourself and be presentable. We are not all rich, but we can all look neat and presentable at all times. That is how you lure people closer, how you draw them into the Kingdom of God. At the end of the day, your sole purpose in life is to spread the Gospel and to spread the Kingdom of God. God has a different way for each of us to do it, but our main purpose remains the same.

We will discuss your Temple in detail over the next few weeks. But for now stand tall, knowing who you are in Him. Knowing how incredibly special you are. When you walk with the fullness of Him inside of you, your steps will be directed, your ways made smooth and your peace will multiply as you fulfill your destiny in life.

Father thank you for regarding us worthy to be Your vessels. Thank you that You made Your home in us. We know that You are proud of us already, and today we want to walk in the confidence that You have in us. Hallelujah! We want to walk worthy as good and faithful sons of God! You are amazing. We love You. Amen

 

15. Spend time in His presence

Last time we had a look at the magnificent fifth Temple that we find in the Bible. It will be Jesus' Temple in the Millennium. During that period of time He will rule on the earth from Jerusalem. The Temple is discussed in detail in Ezekiel 40-48, it is really worth the read. It will fill you with awe of the mighty God we serve. Your current problems will fade in comparison of what lies ahead for us all.

Now this week I want us to have a look at the sixth Temple mentioned in the Bible. And that is God's Temple in Heaven. Remember when God told Moses to build the Tabernacle, He said that he must build it according to the design that He showed him in Heaven. That design was God's Temple that Moses saw in Heaven (Hebrews 8:5). There are also a number of Scriptures confirming that God has a Temple in Heaven. Let us have a look at a couple of them:

"We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected and not man." Hebrews 8:1, 2

"Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are true copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us." Hebrews 9:23, 24

"Then the Temple of God was opened in Heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His Temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake and great hail." Revelation 11:19

"Then another angel came out of the Temple which is in Heaven, he also having a sharp sickle." Revelation 14:17

"After these things I looked and behold, the Temple of the Tabernacle of the testimony in Heaven was opened." Revelation 15:5

I hope I have convinced you that there is a Temple in Heaven. This is the Temple where Jesus took His blood. Remember when He appeared to Mary after His resurrection, He told her not to touch Him, because He needed to ascend to His Father first. Why couldn't she touch Him? He still had to take His blood into the Most Holy Place. And the next time when He appeared to someone it was to His disciples. And this time they could touch Him. Why? Because He had taken His blood to the Mercy seat, where it cries out day and night for our salvation.

He was the perfect offering, so perfect! And today His blood atones for us day and night in the presence of our Father. And that is why we can come with boldness to Him. We can enter into the Most Holy place because of His perfect, sinless blood. In the Old Testament only the High Priest could and only once a year on the Day of Atonement. But now we can enter, every day, the whole day if we want to. The sad part is that we are often times too busy. We are so rushed that we never make the time. We say quick prayers and think that that is enough. It is not. Jesus opened the way for you and me with His expensive, precious blood. He paved the way that we can have entry into the most sacred place in the Universe. Do you not think that it deserves your time? I promise you that if you will make the time to enter into His presence, everything you do that day will be so much more efficient and effective. I have noticed that when I make time for God, time to be in His presence, the rest of the day's events fall into place. And the days where I don't make time, everything takes so much longer to be done and the effectiveness also lags behind.

Make time to come into His presence. See His awesome wonder and experience His goodness. You cannot remain the same. Come to a point where you can remain in His presence, even though you are sitting in a board meeting. It is possible and God's dream for all of us. He wants us so full of Him that He will manifest everywhere that we go. Come and give Him your time. Breathe Him in and meditate on His Word and see how He transforms your life in every aspect. All glory on High!!

O Father, You are so infinitely wonderful, worthy to be praised forever and ever! In Your presence is all that we can ever dream of. In Your presence is true love and grace unending. We love You so very much. Amen

 

 

 

14. Look forward to what lies ahead (1)

Last week we had a look at the fourth Temple of God. It is the Temple that will be rebuilt before the Tribulation period begins. The Jews will sacrifice there again, but then the Anti-Christ will come and exalt himself in the Temple. He will force them to start to worship him instead of God. At the end of the day the Temple will also be destroyed when Jesus and His army comes to destroy the Anti-Christ and his forces. Then Jesus will lock the devil up for a thousand years and then He will reign on earth for a millennium. And I believe this is where the Temple prophesied by Ezekiel comes in. I call it the fifth Temple.

In Ezekiel 40-48 he prophecies about a Temple that has to be built. The specifications are very specific and direct. It is clearly an earthly Temple, with all the dimensions and details given. When and where will this temple be rebuilt? No one knows exactly, there is a lot of speculation. But it will be the biggest and most beautiful of all the Temples thus far. I personally believe that it will be Jesus' Temple when He returns to earth. He will govern from there during His millennium reign on earth. Look at these interesting verses. These verses were written with the millennium context in mind:

"In that day 'HOLINESS TO THE LORD' shall be engraved on the bells of the horses. The pots in the Lord's house shall be like the bowls before the altar. Yes, every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holiness to the Lord of hosts." Zechariah 14:20, 21.

"All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together to you, the rams of Nebaoith shall minister to you; they shall descend with acceptance on My altar, and I will glorify the house of My glory. The glory of Lebanon shall come to you, the cypress, the pine, and the box tree together, to beautify the place of My Sanctuary; and I will make the place of My feet glorious." Isaiah 60:7, 13

So according to these verses there is clearly going to be a Temple during the millennium period. And God Himself will glorify the house of His glory. This Temple will be filled with God's glory, the first time since His glory entered Solomon's Temple and God declares that He will remain there forever:

"The Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the Temple. And He said to me, "Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever." Ezekiel 43:5, 7

"…and the name of the city from that day shall be: THE LORD IS THERE." Ezekiel 48:35

The Temple Ezekiel prophesied about is going to be magnificent. And God will be there in His Shekinah glory, with the soles of His feet resting there. He will sit on His throne and rule over the earth for a thousand years. How glorifying that will be! How wonderful to behold!

Reading these prophecies makes me very excited. Go and read Ezekiel 40-48 for yourself and see the magnificence of this Temple in your mind's eye and see Jesus ruling from there. See Him in all His glory reigning over the earth as the supreme King over all! Then you cannot help but look at your current circumstances with different eyes. When I read this, my current problems look so small; it pales in comparison to the glory and honor that lies ahead. This world and all its problems and lusts will fade away and only what was done for the honor of His Kingdom will last. When I read these prophecies God is magnified in my eyes and I see how great He is. I cannot help but feel lifted up. I feel part of His royal family and I rejoice for what lies ahead, no matter what is happening on earth at the moment. I rejoice that I am part of the greater scheme of things, so much bigger than I am. It excites me and lifts my spirit, looking forward to what lies ahead!

Father thank you so much that we are part of Your bigger plan for this earth. No matter what we are facing, we are part of Your Kingdom now already. We glorify Your Name and look forward to the physical manifestation of it all! Amen