Unequally Yoked

What accord has Christ with Belial?

11   Our mouth is open to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide.  12 You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections.  13 In return — I speak as to children — widen your hearts also. 

14   Do not be mismated with unbelievers. For what partnership have righteousness and iniquity? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?  15 What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?  16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will live in them and move among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  17 Therefore come out from them, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch nothing unclean; then I will welcome you,  18 and I will be a father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” 

7:1   Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, and make holiness perfect in the fear of God. 2Cor. 6:11-7:1

The RSV here uses “mismated” instead of the old English “unequally yoked.” The one verse is usually used to warn young people not to marry outside the faith. However the text is not addressing marriage. For the most part, marriages were arranged in the first century Roman Empire. It is addressing paganism within the congregation. The Greek word hererozugeo has more the idea of do not attempt to work together with unbelievers or do not become partners with unbelievers. They have not part in the work of the congregation, they cannot and should not try to make disciples.

There is great danger in working with those who interests and designs are the opposite of sound Bible teachings.

Iniquity

The average English Bible reader never asks what iniquity means. They just have a vague understanding that it has something to do with sin. The English word iniquity is the translation of the Greek word animos, means to be lawless. The post-modern church has when these lawless verse come up, taught that they are generally about civil law. The civil law at the time was Roman law, and other than paying taxes, Roman law held in distain.  The early church encouraged their people to break Roman law any time it conflicted with God’s law.  This leads us to the only conclusion that animos is one who breaks Torah or a Torah Breaker.

Torah roots from yara which means to throw or shoot. It is the instructions as to how to hit the mark we are supposed to me aiming for. You have heard that sin is missing the mark. Iniquity is saying there is no mark, or the mark in no longer valid, or here this is a way around the mark.

Belial

Belial seems to pop up out of nowhere in the English translations. In English Bibles it appears only this one time. However belial is a Hebrew word that is used of worthless people of the worse sort.

12 “If you hear in one of your cities, which the LORD your God gives you to dwell there, 13 that certain base fellows have gone out among you and have drawn away the inhabitants of the city, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods,’ which you have not known, 14 then you shall inquire and make search and ask diligently; and behold, if it be true and certain that such an abominable thing has been done among you, 15 you shall surely put the inhabitants of that city to the sword, destroying it utterly, all who are in it and its cattle, with the edge of the sword. Deut. 13:12-15

Take heed lest there be a base thought in your heart, and you say, ‘The seventh year, the year of release is near,’ and your eye be hostile to your poor brother, and you give him nothing, and he cry to the LORD against you, and it be sin in you. Deut. 15:9

As they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, base fellows, beset the house round about, beating on the door; and they said to the old man, the master of the house, “Bring out the man who came into your house, that we may know him.” Judg. 19:22

Now therefore give up the men, the base fellows in Gibe-ah, that we may put them to death, and put away evil from Israel.” But the Benjaminites would not listen to the voice of their brethren, the people of Israel. Judg. 20:13

Do not regard your maidservant as a base woman, for all along I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation.” 1Sam. 1:16

Now the sons of Eli were worthless men; they had no regard for the LORD. 1Sam. 2:12; c.f. Psa. 41:8; Psa. 101:3; Prov. 6:12

These are the false believers that lead others astray.

Temple

The Bible clearly states that, “we are the temple of the living God.” There is no need for one of bricks and stone. The word here for temple is naos not hieron. The Greek word heiron is the brick and stone building and its surroundings. Naos is the room at the back or where the Holy of Holies was. The word heiron is only used in the Gospels and Acts except one verse 1Cor. 9:13. The rest of the epistles and The Revelation speak only of the naos. We are not the whole temple, just the naos. The room at the back were one meets God. We are the ark of the covenant. We are the seat of God. That is why the physical temple is not needed and the ark will never be found.

And when you have multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, says the LORD, they shall no more say, “The ark of the covenant of the LORD.” It shall not come to mind, or be remembered, or missed; it shall not be made again. Jer. 3:16

Idols

The church has a long history of idolatry. They have rewritten the second commandment from “Thou shalt not make any graven images” except the Roman church can make all they want and at Christmas even the Protestants can have them.

Unclean

Touch nothing unclean, does not mean to causally touch something, hapto means to hold onto, seize in the hand, or light a fire.

And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone forth from him, immediately turned about in the crowd, and said, “Who touched my garments?” Mark 5:30

Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Matt. 5:15

The Greek work akatharton can mean ritually unacceptable or evil supernatural spirit.

When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him. Mark 9:25

In other words we are not to bring into our naos the fire of evil spirits. These are to be removed from our lives. The holiday spirit is not the Holy Spirit.

There is so much belial in the post-modern church that few know what the truth really is. Few read their Bibles. Fewer still pay attention to the cultural, historical, grammatical context. In our Bibliography is a list of books necessary for sound Biblical studies. Most of these book are in the public domain and free to download.

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Seeking the New Jerusalem

The Old JerusalemJerusalem_from_mt_olives

We are often asked by people if we have been to the Holy Land, Jerusalem, or Israel. As if this were some kind of proper goal. Some kind of pilgrimage which must be accomplished in ones life time.

FYI: Dispensationalist teach that a literal physical kingdom has been delayed or  is yet future and therefore Israel must again rebuild the temple and resume sacrifices.

Just in case some haven’t noticed God abandoned that place and the rituals that were in it, for a more spiritual habitation, our souls. We no longer have need of a religion of form and custom. Ours is a religion of faith and action. We no longer look to physical manifestations, we walk in a mystical sacred devotion of our convictions.

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; 1Cor. 6:19

John Bunyan was right when he wrote his great Pilgrim’s Progress, ours is a spiritual walk or halakh. It is fraught with pit falls and false trails that we must avoid, or not having avoided them, make our way back to the right and true path that leads to the Jerusalem from above. Continue reading

Nehushtan/Nechushtan, or Moses’ Bronze Serpent

moses_brass-serpentThere is an argument among scholars as to the meaning of Nechushtan, some think that Necheshtan refers to nechoshet meaning bronze, copper or brass. Others think that Necheshtan refers to nachash meaning serpent or snake.

During the forty years of wandering the rebellious children of Israel were attacked by poisonous snakes. The cure for this was one of the most perplexing miracles in the Bible. Theologians argue at great lengths trying to make sense of it all.

Num. 21:4-9

4   From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the people became impatient on the way.  5 And the people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food.”  6 Then the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died.  7 And the people came to Moses, and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD and against you; pray to the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.  8 And the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and every one who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.”  9 So Moses made a bronze serpent, and set it on a pole; and if a serpent bit any man, he would look at the bronze serpent and live. 

One can immediately see the problems. This seems like some kind of idol. Then there is the problem that the serpent is elsewhere a reference to Satan or to people  who lies about God.  However there is an explanation of sorts in John.

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, John 3:14

So the bronze serpent represented Messiah. This just flies in the face of all the warnings about paganism in the Bible, as the pagans worshiped the serpent as the “Great Enlightener” of man. So it is no wonder that from the time of Moses to King Hezekiah (about 900) this became a problem. All the peoples around them were worshiping serpents, and they had a serpent they had carried around and that serpent was stored in the temple, a building set aside for the worship of God. So it must be ok.

2Kings 18:1-8

1   In the third year of Hoshea son of Elah, king of Israel, Hezekiah the son of Ahaz, king of Judah, began to reign.  2 He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abi the daughter of Zechariah.  3 And he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, according to all that David his father had done.  4 He removed the high places, and broke the pillars, and cut down the Asherah. And he broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the people of Israel had burned incense to it; it was called Nehushtan.  5 He trusted in the LORD the God of Israel; so that there was none like him among all the kings of Judah after him, nor among those who were before him.  6 For he held fast to the LORD; he did not depart from following him, but kept the commandments which the LORD commanded Moses.  7 And the LORD was with him; wherever he went forth, he prospered. He rebelled against the king of Assyria, and would not serve him.  8 He smote the Philistines as far as Gaza and its territory, from watchtower to fortified city. 

They had taken a rather strange item that had been stored in the temple for nearly a millennia and turned it into full on Satan worship. This National Treasure that was a reminder of the miracle that God had preformed. However because the people were offering incense to it, it had to be destroyed. Incense in all religions represents the prayers of the petitioners.

We are now the temple of the Holy Spirit. What things are stored in our temple that are not truly God. Do we have a picture in our mind of what we think Jesus looks like? Do we pray to that mind image? Destroy it, it is idolatry. Are the christmas tree and easter eggs important to us? They have nothing to do with Messiah. Put them out. Do we believe in the Rapture, Seven Year Tribulation, or political antichrist? These are delusions not in the Bible. Do we take pride in our wealth or poverty over our pride in our supposed Lord?

Nearly everything in the inherited churches that does not depend on the Gospel is mere baggage brought in from the pagan mystery religions.

Temple of the Holy Spirit (Part 5)

The Full Armor of God

legionaryThe Battle

Once we have gotten our walk right. We have controlled over what is clean and unclean and put aside the profane and walk in the sacred we are ready and fit for battle, and the battle is more real than the unprepared can ever realize. If you are not right with God you will not stand against the devil. If your temple of the Holy Spirit is not clean out, the devil will use what you have neglected to throwout against you.

So clean your house before you think you can put on this armor.

10   Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.  11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  12 For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.  

13 Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  14 Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,  15 and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace;  16 besides all these, taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one.  17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  18 Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,  19 and also for me, that utterance may be given me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel,  20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. Eph. 6:10-20

When we first come to believe in Messiah we are often uncomfortable with the idea of a devil or the spirit world in general. It is one thing to believe in God it is quite another to believe in the devil. The devil is that joke we see comedians using to make fun of those religious people. However the Bible is clear that the divil is a really entity, and his name is Satan not Lucifer.

FYI: Lucifer is one of those words that is totally made up. It is Latin for shinning one. In Is 14 the planet Venus is called the shinning one, and that got translated into Latin as Lucifer. Then sloppy lazy preachers applied the name to Satan. (See Also: Lucifer just another name)

Our enemy is one fine scam artist, one of his greatest trick is to make people think he isn’t even real. That there are no such thing as the devil or evil spirits. However it is the devil and demons that we are really fighting. We tend to get our eyes on people. The teacher who teaches evolution, or the global warming advocate, the politician who passes laws to kill unborn babies etc. But it is these mere men that we were told to make disciples of, not fight. We must break that control that the demonic forces of this world have by making disciples. (See Also: The Welsh Revival) Then they to can wear the armor and fight the fight.

Our enemies are actually, the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. That is quite an alarming list of beings, which is why we need the Armor of God.

Belt of Truth

In ancient armor it is the belt that held all the other pieces of armor together. Truth is what keep everything else working. It is truth that sets on free.

“. . . and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 8:32

This is one of the most difficult things to get believer to understand. Satan can use lies. He is the father of lies.

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44

The meaning is simple, we must examine every aspect of our lives looking for truth and error. If something is not truth we must discard it. Lies are the tools of Satan. Look at the things we believe, are they Biblical or are they fiction? What is their source? The Bible, Judaism, Paganism, Legend, or Myth?

The universe is a creation of the living God and not an ascendent, Christmas is not Jesus’ birthday, Easter is not the day our Savior rose from the dead, etc. Lies are the Devils territory.

Breastplate of Righteousness

Anyone struck by sword or spear in the center of the body was sure to be killed. The breastplate were just like our modern bullet proof vests they protected the vital organs. Our enemy Satan wants to take us out before we can begin to preach and teach.

We have a problem.

as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one;” Rom. 3:10

However there is a solution. Our righteousness is not our acts, we cannot even think to do good. Our righteousness is in Messiah’s act of obedience unto death.

21   But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from law, although the law and the prophets bear witness to it,  22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction;  23 since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,  24 they are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus,  25 whom God put forward as an expiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins;  26 it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies him who has faith in Jesus. Rom. 3:21-26

To fight the spirit world we must make our stand in the righteousness of Messiah and not our own. It is by His authority that our life force is protected.

Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall hurt you. Luke 10:19

Shoes of the gospel of peace/shalom

The congregation of the Lord does not march to war, we march to peace. Peace is not the absence of conflict between man and man but rather the absence of conflict between man and God. It is that absolute assurance that no matter what happens to our life and body, our soul is safe with God. Nothing can harm us without permission from the Throne.

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. Matt. 10:34 

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:27

So Sally forth into battle, there is nothing to fear.

Shield of Faith

. . . with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one.

The Roman shield which was the state of the art at the time this was written, were built to quench burning arrows. This was accomplished by soaking the shields leather covering in water before battle. It was impossible to stop the Roman army with flaming arrows.

Helmet of Salvation

Similar to the breastplate that protects all the vital organ the helmet protects the brain from a death blow. Without salvation you have no eternal life.

and being made perfect he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, Heb. 5:9

Sword of Word

Our only weapon is the word of God. Far to many “young in the faith” wade out into this battle with little knowledge of their only weapon. We must study, we must memorize, our words mean nothing, only the Words of the Bible have power.

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Heb. 4:12

Prayer in the Spirit

This is to be a prayer for alertness. We need help to see into spiritual realms. The evil we perceive with our physical eyes are not the true evil of this world. We must seek to become ever more vigilant to the wiles of the Devil.

There is no back plate in this armor. There is nothing covering a retreat. So we must never retreat. We must never runaway. There is only forward and attack. We must stand and face our true enemy.

Temple of the Holy Spirit (Part 1)

Temple of the Holy Spirit (Part 2)

Temple of the Holy Spirit (Part 3)

Temple of the Holy Spirit (Part 4)

The Temple of the Holy Spirit (part 4)

temple2We continue our look on what it means to be the Temple of the Holy Spirit. We have gone through what it means to be clean and unclean, and what is profane and should therefore be kept out of His Temple. Now we shall look at what needs be included and welcomed. What must be respected as coming from God, for these things are holy, separate, set apart things. They are the things that establish God’s order and are types of His love for us.

Walking in the Sacred

15   Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise,  16 making the most of the time, because the days are evil.  17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.  18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit,  19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart,  20 always and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father. 

The first thing up is to walk in wisdom. To become wise is to be our goal. Wisdom is never a question of intelligence or knowledge, true wisdom is to  know God’s will and to do it without hesitation.

To many teach that we should ask for health and prosperity, they forget that the man was born blind so that Messiah could be honored. Heath and prosperity are not on this list. We must ask God to show us what His will truly, and what part we are to play in it.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well. Matt. 6:33

We are to ask for and seek wisdom and that seeking and asking takes a fare amount of fear.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of that wisdom; a good understanding have all those who practice it. His praise endures for ever! Psa. 111:10

Praise the LORD. Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in his commandments! Ps 112:1

This is a great marker of those who know the fear the Lord, they make no jokes about Him, they do not call Him their buddy, their friend, their pal, or BFF. The wise know that He is to be revered, for He is the King of kings.

The wise understand the will of the Lord, but the fools do not. We must not follow in the footsteps of a fool. Many appear at first to be men of God, but that appearance is deceitful. Fools do not study the Bible, but rather sound like they do.  They want the respect and adulation that true men of God are afforded. So they puff themselves up, and make up what the Lord has said. They often claim special knowledge, and special authority, special dispensation, and with their claims they lead many astray.

Many shall purify themselves, and make themselves white, and be refined; but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand; but those who are wise shall understand. Dan. 12:10

The study of the Scriptures is the only way to true knowledge. Its study gives the Holy Spirit an opportunity to provide a greater high than any wine or drug can. However it takes much study and meditation on God’s Word and many are just too lazy to put the effort in.

Sacred Music

Our songs should be those of thankfulness. To often in the post-modern Church the music is nothing more than a short line repeated over and over. This is not praise music, this is Hindu mantras. If one repeats a line over and over they will created a self hypnotic high, which then leaves them in susceptible state to accept whatever teaching they are told without any analytical thinking. Whole congregations are thinking that they are in the Spirit when they are really hypnotized.

Find an old hymnal, update the music if you need to, but these old hymns are full of good teachings and great thanksgiving. Our God is indeed Awesome, but most people don’t even know that awesome means to be fearful, not cool, charming, or beautiful.

Our psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs are to be sacred. They should lift up God and not ourselves.

Sacred Marriage 

21   Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.  22 Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord.  23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.  24 As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands.  

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,  26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,  27 that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.  28 Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.  29 For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church,  30 because we are members of his body.  31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”  32 This mystery is a profound one, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church;  33 however, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. 

Marriages are a type of God’s love for His people, and as such they are sacred. Marriage is a God given institution, and not the creation of man. Over the millennia we have embellished the institution with ceremony and law. The institution itself is contained in the creation of one man and one woman. Any other definition of marriage mars the type, and is therefore profane.

As to the wife being subject to her husband, The fundamentalist have beat that dead horse enough. Let us move on and look at why wives are to be subject to their husband. It is because they stand as a type of Messiah. Who’s love for His bride compelled Him to surrender His life for her salvation.

There is a very old parable about this love.

Suppose that there is famine in the land. Hard to imagine these days, but let us just suppose. There is very little food to be had. You come home from a hard day of scavenging with a small bag of food. Who eats first? Now in the home of the Gentiles the man eats first because if there is to be food tomorrow he will need his strength to get it. In the home of a good man the children eat first. For all good men know that children are a gift from God. For the righteous man, his wife eats first, because you have vowed before God and witnesses to take her. It is better to starve to death than break a solemn vow with God.

The husband is to be willing to give his life just as Messiah gave His. Where the wife is to honor the husband because of His great love. When this order and commitment break down, so does our understanding of God’s love. Especially for the children who are not mature enough to understand. Fathers and mothers represent to a child all that is God. This type is in their hearts even if the adults do not recognize it. Our first understanding of God’s love and discipline come from our relationship with our father’s and then our mothers.

FYI: Five Rules to a Good Marriage
  1.  I’m sorry
  2.  I was wrong.
  3.  Please forgive me.
  4.  It will NOT happen again.
  5.  I still love you.

Sacred Family

1   Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.  2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise),  3 “that it may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth.”  

4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. 

It is important that very young children be taught to obey, for they do not have the sense to know what is dangerous, unhealthy,  or rude. They must be firmly taught, in order to live long. No! you can’t run in the street, talk to strangers, or eat that candy before dinner. As the children grow the lessons become more spiritual and less literal. They to must learn to distinguish between clean and unclean, sacred and profane.

Many struggle with obeying parents who are not in the Lord. It is impossible to honor the dishonorable. Just as an undisciplined person is unable to discipline a child, and the uninstructed cannot give instructions.

O LORD, my strength and my stronghold, my refuge in the day of trouble, to thee shall the nations come from the ends of the earth and say: “Our fathers have inherited nought but lies, worthless things in which there is no profit. Jer. 16:19 

Sacred Employment

5   Slaves, be obedient to those who are your earthly masters, with fear and trembling, in singleness of heart, as to Christ;  6 not in the way of eye-service, as men-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart,  7 rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to men,  8 knowing that whatever good any one does, he will receive the same again from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.  9 Masters, do the same to them, and forbear threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him. 

Slavery is no more. In our free society one can either work for themselves or work for another, for slaves have all been freed by the laws of our lands. However our work is to be as unto the Lord, whether we are the boss or the employee.

The boss likewise supposed to be as patient with his employees as God is with him.

The Coming Battle

Now that we know how to keep our temples of the Holy Spirit sacred, and clean with nothing unclean or profane in our hearts. Then we will be ready for the next step. To sally forth into The Battle with principalities and powers. This battle field is no place for those compromised with the world, the flesh, or the devil.

The Temple of the Holy Spirit (part 1)

The Temple of the Holy Spirit (part 2)

The Temple of the Holy Spirit (part 3)

The Temple of the Holy Spirit (part 5)

Temple of the Holy Spirit (part 3)

Profane

temple1Now a section on what is profane. Those things we cannot allow in our temples under any circumstances.

3   But fornication and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is fitting among saints.  4 Let there be no filthiness, nor silly talk, nor levity, which are not fitting; but instead let there be thanksgiving.  5 Be sure of this, that no fornicator or impure man, or one who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.  6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for it is because of these things that the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.  7 Therefore do not associate with them,  8 for once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true),  10 and try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.  11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.  12 For it is a shame even to speak of the things that they do in secret;  13 but when anything is exposed by the light it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light.  14 Therefore it is said, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.” Eph 5:3-13

It seems strange to us to connect fornication with the rest of these sins, however in first century pagan worship and sex were intimately connected. The only “sin” in sexuality in the Roman world was if the action infringed upon the rights of the husband, otherwise “anything goes”. Sex, like eating and drinking was considered natural, and necessary, therefor it was everywhere. Besides brothels for profit the ancient pagan temple served all manner of sexual proclivities for the worship of the gods.

All idolatry is profane and bars one from inheritance in the Kingdom of God, or as the Old Testament put it, “cut off from the people”. It all started back at the tower. [Gen 11] Men didn’t want to be faithful to the One True God so the built a tower to separate them from that relationship. Next they formed religions with sexual rituals that celebrated the separation and the joining to new gods. As one god after another was created with different attributes men became covetous of each others gods. Every one wanted what the other gods provided. By the time of the first century the “mystery religions” were every where, and anyone who wanted to be someone joined them. Just like the Freemasons they promise secret knowledge of the god and political connections to those who also know the secrets. So membership was highly coveted, for the wealth in this world and the next that these mysteries offered to members.

Now comes the off colored jokes. This is not just general joking about. These were about the gods, as the people made fun of all the god’s deceptions and duplicity with men and each other. There was just no respect for these philandering gods.  (See Also: Aristophanes, The Frogs)

Being involved in these mystery religions cut one off from the Kingdom of God just as they were promising the secret knowledge that gave one total inclusion in the next life. Many religions still play this game, Roman Catholics, Mormons, Freemasons, to name a few. These are all empty words, or promises. They are meant to deceive the gullible at the same time making the gullible feel special and privileged. Only the Son of God can promise eternal life. So these sons of disobedience are not to be associated with.

Which leads us to a problem that these sons of disobedience always throw in the faces of those that do not tolerate them, that we are not loving, we are in fact “judging them”.

2 with all lowliness and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love,  3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

However they are not of us, and are therefore, we are unable to maintain unity with them.

They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out, that it might be plain that they all are not of us. 1 John 2:19 

Nearly everything in the inherited churches that does not depend on the Gospel is mere baggage brought in from the pagan mystery religions. These people are in darkness and don’t even know it. For over the centuries the mystery religions have been so whitewashed with Christian words that they seem like Christianity. The best advice we can give is that if is come from Babylon it should be discarded from our souls, and as Zechariah explains, it should be sealed up and sent back to Babylon”. Zech 5:5-11

This idolatry is darkness and we are to be children of light, there should be no darkness in us. We must call these sons of darkness into the light of truth. We must expose them as darkness, and no this is no way to win friends and influence people. They hate us when we show them the truth.

“The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable.” 

James A. Garfield

It is not a question of salvation, that is free. It is a question of how then shall we live. Do we sin the more that grace may abound? Or do we endeavor to live our lives as clean and un-profane as possible. Justification and sanctification are not single acts, rather processes. It is the inner growth, as one struggles to become holy as He is Holy. It is not a one time event as the “ask Jesus into your heart” crowd would have it.

And I am sure that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Phil. 1:6 

Salvation i.e. Soteriology is a mystical movement of the Spirit, where one becomes a new creation. [2Cor. 5:17]

19 For I through the law died to the law, that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not nullify the grace of God; for if justification were through the law, then Christ died to no purpose. Gal. 2:19-21

You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. James 2:24

We are now the Temple of the Holy Spirit. Our temples need to be kept clean of paganism and darkness. For we ourselves are the sacrifices that are on our altars, and nothing unclean or profane can be offered on the altar.

1   I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.  2 Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Rom. 12:1-2

See Also:

Temple of the Holy Spirit (part 1)

Temple of the Holy Spirit (part 2)

Temple of the Holy Spirit (part 4)

Temple of the Holy Spirit (part 5)

The Temple of the Holy Spirit (part 1)

temple2The first thing a new believer should be taught is that they are now the temple of the Holy Spirit, and what that means.

Obviously if we are now the temple of the Holy Spirit, then the Temple of the Old Testament stands a type of our worship. The Temple of the Law was first and foremost HOLY, SACRED or KADOSH meaning that is was set apart for a purpose. It was a place of learning and sacrifice. As such its physical nature is the type we are seeking to make spiritual. The sacrifices that were once physical are now to be spiritual sacrifices.

I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Rom. 12:1 

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; 1 Cor. 6:19

. . . and like living stones be yourselves built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Pet. 2:5

The secondary purpose of the Temple was for the instruction of the people so that they could separate what is common from what is sacred from what is profane and unclean.

You are to distinguish between the holy and the common (or profane), and between the unclean and the clean; Lev. 10:10

Ephesians 4, 5 & 6 takes us through this separation. (We will be breaking this post up into 4 or 5 posting because the rough draft stands at 15 pages. So our first section will be our Unity. Next week will be what is Unclean, then Profane, Sacred, and finally The Battle.)

FYI: A little Hebrew word distinction. Things that are common or profane are alway unclean, however things that are unclean are not necessarily profane. Things that are just  unclean carry a penalty of having to bathe after the sun goes down. However things that are profane carry a penalty of being cut off from the people.

Unity

Ephesians 4

1   I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called,  2 with all lowliness and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love,  3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call,  5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism,  6 one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all.  

Even though Paul is a prisoner he is living a sacred life or as the Old Testament would have put it “clean”. To often we live our lives as sacred for one hour on Sunday and forget the rest of the time. His goal is to maintain unity and not find so insignificant fault with others, but to be meek and patient. Meekness is not cowardliness it is the lack of pride. It is that loss of fearing what others will think when we stand up and speak out for our King, which of course looks like arrogance to those not in submission to the King, so it take patients to win people to the truth. He wants to keep the peace. This does not mean he tolerates false doctrine or the immoral. (I’ll admit my sin here, I have yet to find balance, I suffer no fools and I take no prisoners, I have no patients for them)

Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. Eph. 5:11

Then he lists the seven ONES. These are all sacred and should be afforded the kind of respect that sacred thing deserve.

One body

One spirit

One hope

One Lord

One faith

One Baptism

One God and Father

It is clear from church history that few have gotten these ONES right. This is due to our inability to get our sin natures under control and submitted to the Holy Spirit. The fact many of us are not secure enough in our faith or understanding, we are unable to leave it all in the hands of the Holy Spirit. We feel that we are right and everyone else should fall in line.

Confect reigns when those caught in the pride of life are in charge. They need to be right, they need to control others, they need to be respected, they must be right because their teachers were right. However, one is perfectly right. That is why it is called spiritual growth, or walking in the Spirit. It is a process learning to submit oneself to the Spirit.

And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Eph. 5:2

Somehow we think it is a competition. He who has the biggest congregation wins, or something. This is not faith, but rather the pride of life.

Those of true deep spiritual understanding rarely care to argue. They have come to understand that to change ones mind on this or that theological point is no big deal. It is rather a natural growth and consequence of study. So when they meet someone they disagree with, they know that as true seekers of the faith they will either grow to agree whoever’s point is correct. There is a calmness that come from understanding the work of the Holy Spirit.

The patient theologians waits for the Spirit to instruct.

. . . but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. Is. 40:31

Sacred Gifts

7 But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.  8 Therefore it is said, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.”  9 (In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth?  10 He who descended is he who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)  11 And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers,  12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,  13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ;  14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness in deceitful wiles.  15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,  16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every joint with which it is supplied, when each part is working properly, makes bodily growth and upbuilds itself in love. 

These are our sacred gifts which are explained in our other post The Gifts. The purpose of these gifts is for Unity, and since there is no unity the gifts have clearly been corrupted. Just as Korah who thought that anyone should be able to do the work of the High priest. [Num. 16] we all have our gifts and our place. These gifts are given that we might attain a state where we are no longer tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine. However men always seek after the new and novel, we don’t like that dry old theology stuff. Sound teaching is often set aside for what is exciting but unprofitable for spiritual growth.

There needs to be that measure of maturity that makes one study and seek God’s will above our own. That understanding that we are to be Holy as He is Holy, a tall order indeed. When we talk of church growth we usually mean numbers, but that is not what this growth is about. It is that unity that we seek. Through careful study of the Word that we attain spiritual truth. Only then can we grow the whole body, and join together in God’s work.

8   Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.  9 For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect;  10 but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away.  11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways.  12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood.  13 So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Cor. 13:8-13

This is what the Welsh Revival was so great at, they boiled all this down to just four points.

Temple of the Holy Spirit (Part 2)

Temple of the Holy Spirit (Part 3)

Temple of the Holy Spirit (Part 4)

Temple of the Holy Spirit (Part 5)