Cleansing the Temple

Date: 11/08/2017 
How did the temples represent the three parts of Salvation? Justification, Glorification, Sanctification
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>>I want to welcome each of you to our special Foundations of Faith program. The Reformation continues and we're going to be talking tonight about a subject that I think you're going to find interesting and a study that I've been working on for years where we've put together some of these very important themes that help us understand the last days and the time that we're living in right now. I want to welcome those who are here, those who are watching - now, we have two more presentations. We hope that you'll join us. We saved the best for last - tomorrow evening and then again Sabbath morning is going to be our final presentation and we invite you to come and bring your friends. If you don't have any friends, bring your enemies, (laughter) but come and you can bring somebody with you.

I like to start with an amazing fact - and this is a little bit odd, I admit. There's a lady who lives in San Diego, California, recently reported in the paper, her name is Carol Santa Fe. The reason her last name is Santa Fe is because she married the Santa Fe Railway Station in Santa Fe, California. She said she's been in love with the building for about 36 years, so about a year ago she married the building, which she calls Daidra. Now, I'm not sure if that's legal in California, but it wouldn't surprise me because I'm from California. But, yeah, she's in love with a building and she's married. They just celebrated their one-year - she said they are very happy. (Laughter) She takes a bus 45 minutes every day to spend time with her spouse, the train station.

You know, I don't advocate loving a building but, you know, the Bible tells us that there's a building that can teach us about the love of God and that's going to be our theme tonight in our study, and this is dealing with the subject of cleansing the temple. Now, when the children of Israel were first beginning their journey out of Egypt, before God brought them into the Promised Land - you might be surprised to know He asked them to get involved in a construction project. You would think, well, you know, first you would want to get settled and then do your building. But God said, 'You can't enter the Promised Land until you first get involved in this construction project.' And, in this project, in this edifice that we're going to look at, God was going to teach them something about Himself - but now I'm getting ahead of myself. So let's get into our first question.

Question 1: What did God ask them to build? And He said, "Let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them." By the way, that is in the Psalms and it says, "Let them make me a sanctuary that I might dwell among them." God wanted them to get involved in this construction project to build a sanctuary. Question 2: What did God expect His people to learn from this sanctuary? You read in Psalm 77, verse 13, he said, "Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary;" - something about the way that God reaches us and teaches us and saves us is found in the Sanctuary or in this building itself. And so, while they were there in the wilderness, God gave Moses some plans and they began to build this tabernacle.

Now, you're going to find the terms - there's three or four terms that are used for this building - sometimes it's called the tabernacle, temple, sanctuary, a couple of times it's called the house of the Lord, or the house of God, but it was a representation of a dwelling place. Is that because God lives in tents or buildings? Solomon, when he built his temple, he said, 'The heaven of heavens cannot contain You. What man is it that's going to build a house for You?' I remember when I was a young kid, I was riding with my grandma somewhere and I saw an odd-looking building. I knew it wasn't a home so I said, 'Grandma, what is that?' And it turned out it was a synagogue and she said, 'That's God's house.' Because I didn't know what 'synagogue' meant when I was young. And I thought, 'God's house, wow.' That was such an awesome thought to me. And so, through this building, though it was really simple in many ways, it's very profound in the way that it teaches us about the plan of salvation and it teaches us about Jesus. And we're going to look at that in some detail tonight and you're going to find out how even the study of this building tells us something about prophecy and where we are in the world today. Oh, I've got an amazing fact for you - is it okay if I give you two?


>>I don't know if any of you have been to Lake Havasu City, but way back in 1964 there was a wealthy businessman, his name was Robert McCullough. He was responsible for the McCullough chainsaw. Some of you remember them. And he heard that they were dismantling London Bridge because it was sinking into the river under its own weight and he thought, 'Well, how sad. That's such an iconic bridge.' And he was thinking of the song 'London Bridge is falling down, falling down' - and in his mind he was actually picturing the Tower Bridge, which is different from London Bridge and so he offered to buy it. And he said, 'We'll dismantle it and we'll set it up in America. That'd be a great attraction for people to come see London Bridge.' Well, he was a little disappointed when he found out it wasn't the Tower Bridge - bought it for 2.4 million dollars - it was the largest antique purchase in history. They completely dismantled it, labeled all the stones, shipped it to America where he had bought hundreds - if not thousands of acres in Arizona around Lake Havasu City, which was just a little spot in the desert. They reassembled the bridge, they dug a moat underneath it and put in a couple of tourist shops and well, you know, they say, 'You build it and the people will come.' Why would you go to look at London Bridge in a desert? No fog. There's no river. They basically put a bridge to go nowhere. But did people come? This whole city grew up. They've got thousands of people, golf courses and homes - they've even got a Walmart. (Laughter) And thousands of Winnebagos park out there in the desert and it's the - one, if not the second-largest tourist attraction in Arizona - London Bridge - people come - city grew up around it.

Well, you know, after the Lord led the children of Israel out of Egypt, there was a whole city - there may have been one and a half - two million people that pitched their camp every day around this Tabernacle. It became the center of their civilization. You're going to find that the temple appears all through the Bible and so it's important for us to study this. You find it there in Exodus and you find the temple in the visions of Ezekiel. You find it in the visions of Isaiah. You find it in the visions of Daniel. And you get to Revelation, Jesus is standing among seven candlesticks, it talks about the altar of incense, it talks about the Ark of the Covenant, and so much of the prophecy in the Bible revolves around this building. And so, we're going to see what we can learn about this building that'll teach us more about Jesus. Where did Moses obtain the blueprints for the sanctuary, and of what was the building a copy? Well, you read in Exodus 25:40, God said, "And see to it that you make them according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain." The design that was given to Moses was based on a pattern of something else. Again, it says in Hebrews 8, verse 5, "Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, 'See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.'" And so, what was built there in the wilderness was a miniature of a very real dwelling place of God that's in the cosmos.

Now, when you pray and you say, 'Our Father, which art in heaven' - we typically think up. You realize, of course, with astronomy, if there is a place in the universe were God is dwelling - I believe there is - that depends on where on the earth you are, which direction it might be. We, you know, we say 'up' but there's a place where God dwells, it's called 'The Paradise' - the dwelling place of the Father - and He dwells in this heavenly epicenter. And, on earth, it was a miniature so men could comprehend something about it. For instance, when you end up getting into the Holy of Holies, the wall paper was all angels engraved in the gold. So, in heaven, does God have gold-leaf wallpaper with angels engraved, or are they really angels? He's got a wall of living, moving angels all around him - ten thousand times ten thousand, the Bible says, of these ministering spirits.

So we're going to look, a moment, at the furniture and pay careful attention, because this all comes up a little later. First of all, when you look into the sanctuary and you want to find out what was the furniture there? Let me see if I explain this - there's really three parts to the sanctuary - three areas - you had the courtyard - there was this big rectangular square and when you came into the courtyard, then there was another room that was called the Holy Place - there were some articles of furniture in there. Then you went into what you would think of as the inner sanctum, and that's where they had the Holy of Holies. And so, first we're going to look at the courtyard. When you first walked through the door, what did you see when you came into this sanctuary? There were two principle things there: one was an altar where sacrifice was made. As you first entered, there was a place of sacrifice - keep that in mind. You can read about that in Exodus 29, verse 18, it said, "And you shall burn the whole ram on the altar. It is a burnt offering to the Lord;" - and then you can also read in - the next thing you would find is there was this large laver - Exodus 30:18. The big, large basin that held water and some believe it had water in two places - one on the top for the pure water, another one in the basin where you would actually do the washing of the hands - in some cases, even the feet. And so, first on the altar was fire, then on the laver was water.

Do you remember where Jesus said, 'Unless you're born of the water and the spirit you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven'? When the children of Israel came out of Egypt, do you know they had to get baptized in the water and they had to get baptized in the fire - first baptized in the fire - pillar of fire came between them and the Egyptians, then God parted the Red Sea. Paul says, in 1 Corinthians chapter 10, the nation went through the sea - they were baptized. And so, here, they went by the fire; they went by the water. Now there's three parts to the sanctuary: courtyard, Holy Place, Most Holy Place. How many kinds - how many parts of salvation? Let me give you the first one: justification - what's next?


>>Sanctification. Finally, glorification - those are the three places in the sanctuary. Courtyard - they were justified by the sacrifice of the lamb on the altar. Holy Place - sanctification - three things in the Holy Place - now I'm getting ahead of myself - and then you have Glorification in the Holy of Holies, okay? So now let's look at what was in the Holy Place. And this is the first room you enter when you went into the sanctuary. There are three principle things there: first there was a table; on the table was bread - if you read in the King James it looks like it says shew bread - it really means show bread. It was bread that was on display. How many loaves?


>>Twelve loaves representing the twelve tribes of Israel - the twelve sons of Jacob - and twelve was the number for God's church - His people - and Jesus is the bread - isn't that right? Then, you went over against the wall on the right - if you're moving in - and there was a candlestick. You know, we think of the menorah - it was a seven-pronged candlestick and that was the light. And then you went a little farther and you came up to a curtain - it was a curtain that was closed off and it had an altar in front of it - an altar of incense. They had sacrifices every day, morning and evening - early in the morning and at twilight - they had the morning and the evening sacrifice. The priests would then take blood from the lamb that was sacrificed, he'd bring it in, he'd put it on the horns of the altar of incense - the priest would put some frankincense or some incense on top of the coals and the smoke would waft over into the presence of God and it was representing of the prayers of God's people.

So now let's look in the Most Holy Place and find out what piece of furniture was in there - there's only one thing, it was what you call the ark - that's not Noah's ark - the Ark of the Covenant. The word 'ark' just means 'a container for something precious'. You've got three arks there in the beginning of the Bible, you've got Noah's ark, you've got a little ark in Exodus that Moses was put in - it says she made an ark for her baby - and then you've got the Ark of the Covenant that held the stones that had the writing of God. Now the Holy of Holies or the holiest of all or the Most Holy Place or the inner sanctum was very significant.

Let me just see if I could paint a picture for you: if you read your Bible and if you even look at history - if I were to say I'm taking a trip next year to the Holy Land, where am I going? Going to Israel. Now, if in the Holy Land, and I say I'm going to the Holy City, where am I going? Jerusalem. And, if I'm in Jerusalem and I say I'm going to the Holy Mount, where am I going? Mount Zion, Mount Moriah - same place - it's where the temple is - it might be called the Temple Mount. Now, when you're in the Temple Mount, you've got the courtyard, the building is holy - it's a holy temple - then you go into the Holy Place, then you go into the Holy of Holies, so just picture the world for a minute and, if you were going to put a pin in the place on the world where you say, 'This is the holiest spot in the world,' you would put your pin in at the Holy of Holies and not just there, what's inside there? Ark of the Covenant - but the ark is just a box - it's a golden box. You know what the holiest thing of all was? The rocks in the box. A lot of people talk about, 'Boy, if we could just find the Ark of the Covenant' - we had a question on that the other night, if you remember.

And it would be nice to find the ark, just because it would be an amazing artifact but, you know, the most important treasure in the ark is in your lap now - well, if you brought your Bible it is - for some of you it's on your phone. How many of you have the Bible on your phone or your iPad? I hope if you've got a smart your phone isn't so stupid it doesn't have the Bible. So you should at least - it's free you can download a Bible. Okay? And so, you've got what's in the ark in your phone or in your Bible. It's the Ten Commandments. The word of God - the law of God was the holiest thing of all and, by the way, in the Ten Commandments the word 'holy' appears one time. You know which commandment it is? Fourth commandment - "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy" - our time with God. That's the one commandment many Christians say, 'We don't need to worry about that.' You look at how God uses the word 'holy' in the Bible and it would be like the hyper-concentration of the word there in the Holy of Holies. And so, people take that too lightly.

What was inside the Golden ark? You can read about this in Deuteronomy 10, verse 5, "Then I turned and came down from the mountain, and put the tablets in the ark which I had made." Moses means he had commanded the people to make the ark - he put the tables of stone inside and they're still there today. It would nice if we did find that, but you already know what's in it. The thing is, are those words in your heart? That's the new covenant - 'Thy law I would write in my heart.' So the very heart of the sanctuary is the law. The law was in the heart of it. The law should be in the heart of you. And if your body's a sanctuary and if the sanctuary represents many things - do you know the Bible says, 'Don't you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit?'

You know, when you look at the different things of the temple - your body has a cleansing system - circulatory system - there was a laver with water. Your body has an altar that's burning - do you know that you are burning energy all the time, even when you sleep? If you stop burning energy, you die. Your body has a light. The Bible says the light of the body is the eye. You have a spirit. The altar is where the prayers would ascend - the altar of incense. 'Thy word I have hidden in my heart - heart, in the Bible, doesn't mean the pump. It says, 'As a man thinks in his heart' - you think up here, right? Your body stores food - there was food stored. Some of us store more than we ought to, but there was storage there. So you can even find lessons about the body in the sanctuary, right? Don't take what I said too far, but I always thought that was fascinating.

So why did animals need to be sacrificed in the Old Testament sanctuary? Well, you can read - that's Question 5 - it says in Hebrews 9:22, "And according to the law...without shedding of blood there is no remission or forgiveness of sin." It was required that there was a sacrifice for there to be forgiveness. And so, back in Bible times, if you wanted forgiveness and even, you know, in the days of Abel - Abel offered an innocent little lamb and God accepted his sacrifice because it pointed to His own son. Well, in the temple, people would bring their lamb to the temple - they were, you know, largely a shepherd community - and, even when they went to the pharaoh, Jacob said, you know, 'Your people are shepherds' - Israelites. They'd take a perfect - had to be a blame - flawless unblemished lamb or goat, they'd place their hands on the head of the young victim and they'd confess their sins. And then, either they or the priests would dispatch it with a sharp knife - die quickly - they'd catch some of the blood - I know this seems very brutal and, even as I'm saying it you're thinking, 'Oh, why would God want that?' It tells you something about sin. Sin is deadly. And then they'd bring some of that blood and they'd bring it into the Holy Place every day.

There were two inner-buildings - one was for what happened on a daily basis, the Holy Place. The Holy of Holies is for what happened on a yearly basis. Holy place; daily - Most Holy Place; yearly. Every day they'd take and they'd bring a little bit of the blood for the different people who were sacrificing. They'd intercede for the nation - they'd put a little blood on the horns of the altar of incense, symbolically separating the sin from the people and it was stored there in the sanctuary. Then they'd have a service at the end of the year - you can read about this in Leviticus chapter 16 - called Yom Kippur - well, they didn't call it that, that's what we call it today - the Day of Atonement. You know what Atonement means? At - one - ment. We are separated from God by our sin. Jesus came to help us be at one with God. And so, this service, once a year, only the High Priest could go into the Holy of Holies for the people. Matter of fact, one legend says that they even put a rope around the ankle of the High Priest and, you know, he had bells on the bottom of his garment, and so, when he was ministering in there, the people could hear the little tinkling and know that he was doing his things because if he should die because he went into the presence of God with sin, and they didn't hear anything and they called him - they pulled him out because they were not allowed to go in there, it represented the presence of God. You know, we're separated from God - your sins have separated you from God, the Bible says. Jesus came to build a ladder between heaven and earth. The cross is that bridge and so our only way is through the mediator of Jesus to the Father. He came to make atonement for us - to reunite us with God. I've got more to say on that. So that's what was happening in the sanctuary. Stay with me, friends, this gets really good.

So why did the lambs have to die? You remember what Jesus says in Matthew 26? "For this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." And that's when He offered them the grape juice. He said, 'This is a symbol of my blood. So all the blood and the lambs in the Old Testament pointed to who? You remember when John the Baptist finally announced the Messiah had come? Christ, when He turned 30 years of age - that was when you were old enough to be a high priest - He went to the Jordan, He was baptized, filled with the Holy Spirit - The Anointed means the one who is filled with the Holy Spirit - that's where you get the word 'Christos' or 'Messiah'. Messiah is Jewish, Christos is Greek - it means 'the anointed. It's like if you go to the beach on a hot sunny day and someone takes out the sunscreen, you slather them with sunscreen - you're anointing them - and it means to be covered with something and Jesus was covered with the Holy Spirit.


>>It came down like a dove at His baptism. So He was The Anointed - the Spirit of God was on Him. He began His ministry at 30. You know, David didn't begin to reign until he was 30 - Joseph began to rule over Egypt when he was 30, and a priest could not begin to serve until he was 30 - and Christ is our priest. So John the Baptist said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" Jesus is the lamb that the whole sacrificial system pointed to. Now, do we still need to sacrifice lambs? No, because it was a shadow - it was a type to help us represent and recognize the real thing when it came. So how is the plan of salvation fulfilled in the sanctuary? Well, you can read in 1 Corinthians chapter 5, verse 7, "For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us." You remember when the children of Israel came out of Egypt, the tenth plague was this angel of death that went through the land and only those who took the blood of the lamb and put it above the door, on the lintel, would be spared from death - at least the firstborn in that house - when the angel went by. And the angel of judgment passed over when he saw the blood. You and I, because of our sins, are under a death sentence. How many of you want that death angel to go by? You need to have the blood. Except it's not a lamb's blood, Christ is our Passover. When we, by faith, accept the blood that He shed on the cross, and we apply it to our hearts, then God looks upon us as though we had not sinned and that angel of judgment goes by because of Christ. Aren't you glad for the lamb?


>>Not only that, Jesus is our high priest. You read in Hebrews 4:14, "...we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God," - you can also read in Hebrews chapter 8, verses 1 and 2, "We have such a High Priest, ...a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle" - oop, stop right there. Leave that slide up, I want to make sure you see that - the true tabernacle, as opposed to what? The one on earth was a miniature to just give you an idea. You know, it's often true, when a person is going to build a building - an important building - before they build the building, sometimes they make a model to help people visualize the building. With my kids, whenever I would go to town - we didn't go very often but every few weeks I'd take the boys, we'd go to K-Mart and I'd buy them a Matchbox car. I've got a bucket full of them right now. You know, it's interesting though, when they make Matchbox cars they really make them to scale. They're 100th the size of an original. Now, they're not the real thing, I mean, it doesn't have an engine in it and you can't really turn the little steering wheel - unless you've got a very expensive one - but it was to help people visualize what that Corvette looked like - or whatever it was. The temple on earth was just a miniature. It was, you know, a flawed, human, inferior representation to help us understand God. 'Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary.' - in the plan of salvation. So I don't think you should fall in love with a building, but the building can tell you about the love of God.


>>See what I'm saying? We have such a High Priest. Now I'm going to put up a little graph - a slide on the screen and I want to just show you why this is so important. You see, you've got a sanctuary here - this is just a, kind of, a crude illustration, but there's one entrance. How many? >>One. >>One entrance. If you're outside the sanctuary, you're outside the dwelling place of God - you're separated. The idea is we're trying to get to God. We're separated from God. In the Garden of Eden God said to Adam, 'Where are you?' Man ran from God. You know, the first question in the Bible is when God says, 'Where are you?' The first question in the New Testament is when man says, 'Where is He?' We've been separated - there's this search taking place. Who's the door? Jesus said, 'I am the door. If anyone tries to come in the other way, they're a thief and a robber - they've got to come through Me.' There is only one name given among men whereby we must be saved. So you come through the door and before you can go any farther, the first thing you come to is the altar - that's the cross - that's where the sacrifice happened. You can't go any farther until you come to the cross. Christ said, 'If you would follow Me, you've got to' - do what? - 'Take up your cross and follow Me.' And then, after that, you came to the water - that represents baptism - born of the fire, born of the water - you need both births. You need to be baptized in the Holy Spirit and you need to be baptized in water. Jesus said whoever believes and is baptized will be saved. And He told His disciples, 'Go ye therefore, teach all nations, baptizing them' - but not just water baptism. Paul said to the Ephesians in Acts 19, 'Have you received the Holy Spirit?' They said, 'Well, we were baptized by John the Baptist.' He said, 'You also need the Spirit baptism.'

Now, can I speak honestly with you? A lot of churches put too much emphasis on just the water baptism and neglect the Spirit baptism. And let's admit, we have more control over water baptism than Spirit baptism, right? That's part of the reason for that, but you need both. Jesus said, 'Unless you are born of the water and the Spirit you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.' It's not optional. So, you come to the laver - this is a symbol for baptism. And then you go from there into sanctification. Three things in there: candlestick - Jesus is the light of the world; bread - Jesus is the bread of life; then you've got the altar of incense - that's prayer. The three disciplines of the Christian life are all right there in that room. If you want to grow as a Christian you need to read your Bible, you need to let your light shine - be a witness, and you need to pray.


>>That's when they would put that - and, by the way, it says in Revelation that the incense was put on the altar representing the prayers of God's people. And so, this is the disciplines of sanctification - if you want to grow in sanctification, do you have a daily devotional life? Do you spend time, every day, on your knees, talking to God? If you can't kneel because of physical problems, you know what I mean, but you should be worshiping God, studying His word, and then find an opportunity to say something for and about God every day. Let your light shine. Jesus is the bread. Jesus is the living water. Jesus is the door. Jesus is the lamb. Jesus is the High Priest. And then you enter into the Holy of Holies and what's in there? Ark of the Covenant, but what's inside the ark? The rocks were the word of God. Christ is the word; the word became flesh. And Christ is the cornerstone; He is the rock of ages.

So everything in this building is telling us something about Christ. Eventually that tabernacle that they brought through the wilderness that became all tattered. David wanted to build one to God and so they built a permanent temple and it was one of the most glorious buildings - you know, if it had lasted a little longer, it would have been one of the wonders of the ancient world. Solomon literally spent billions of dollars, by today's standards, on this building. There was a room - the whole thing was wallpapered in gold. The ark was covered in gold. The candlestick - gold, the showbread table - gold, altar of incense - gold. The most valuable metal they had on earth - most enduring - represented the love of God and it represented the purity of God. Two big bronze pillars when you came into the entrance. It was just one of the wonders of the world and it tells you when this building was being built. Just to give you the idea of the sanctity of it - notice this, in 1 Kings 6, verse 7, "And the temple, when it was being built, was built with stone finished at the quarry," - they got all the stones pre-cut. And then it says they all slid them into place quietly, "So that no hammer or chisel or any iron tool was heard in the temple while it was being built." There was a sense of reverence and awe while the temple was being built.

I could pause right here and talk about reverence and how that's often being lost by God's people in worship. But the Bible has something to say about God being in His holy temple let all the earth be silent. There's a time to just reverently, quietly worship and think about the awesome majesty of God. Well, because of the unfaithfulness of the people, He withdrew His presence from that temple and it was destroyed by the Babylonians in about 586 B.C. - King Nebuchadnezzar came. After 70 years in captivity, during the time of Nehemiah, he came and rebuilt the walls and Ezra - the people came back from Babylon, they rebuilt the city, and they began to rebuild the temple. But they didn't have the bank account that Solomon had and the temple wasn't outwardly as glorious as the first one.

But Question 7: What was especially significant about this third temple? Now, notice, first temple, the tabernacle in the wilderness; second temple, Solomon's; now they're building a third temple during the time of Ezra and Nehemiah. This is before Christ was born. Why was this temple so significant? You read in Haggai chapter 2, verse 7, "And I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations," - and He says in verse 9, "'The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,' says the Lord." Why was that glory greater? Jesus, as a baby, was brought to that temple and dedicated. Jesus, as a 12-year-old taught and asked questions in that temple. Jesus, when that woman caught in adultery in the temple, He wrote on the dust of the floor with His finger in that temple - that same finger that wrote on the stones - that's right, Jesus probably is the one who wrote those laws. Doesn't the Bible say all things that were made were made by Him?


>>Would that include the writing on the Ten Commandments?


>>And He is the word. And Jesus, at one point - yeah, he forgave - I think this woman caught in adultery may have been Mary Magdalene. It could have been the first encounter - can't prove that, but you can't prove I'm wrong so I say it. And then, when they began to show no reverence for the temple and, you know, they brought in all the goats and the sheep and - they weren't supposed to do that in the temple courtyard, it was all supposed to happen outside - they were hawking them and arguing and haggling over prices and you could hear the animals lowing and the pigeons fluttering around and feathers and goat hair everywhere. It was - it was like a carnival and Jesus came in with indignation and he said, 'Take these things hence. It is written, My Father's house shall be a house of prayer for all nations and you've made it a den of thieves.' He felt this indignation - this zeal for the Father's house. He did this twice. He cleansed the temple twice, once at the beginning of His ministry and once at the end of His ministry. But then, finally, after three and a half years of ministry, they rejected His teaching, didn't they? He knew that He was going to go out and something was going to leave. You know, when the ark was captured they said, 'Ichabod - the glory is departed'. What did Jesus say would happen, eventually, to the Jewish Temple? This is question #8 - you read in Matthew 23, verse 38, He said, "See!" - or behold - "Your house is left to you desolate!" That's really important because, when He cleanses the temple He says 'My [Father's] house' shall be a house of prayer, but when they rejected His teaching, He said, 'Your house,' because what made that temple important was the presence of God.


>>It makes you shudder to think that He would walk out. He said, 'Your house is left to you desolate.' Matter of fact, you can read in Matthew 24, He told the apostles when they said, 'Look at the beautiful stones in the temple, it's one of our great national treasures. We're so proud.' And Jesus said, 'Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another that shall not be thrown down." This temple has served its purpose. There's something else that God is going to do. Then, in 70 AD, when the Jews mounted their last rebellion against the Romans, the Romans came in and they destroyed the city. They burnt the temple. The ark, at that time, had already been hidden, back since the days of Jeremiah, and it has never been rebuilt. Now, how many of you have heard rumors and rumblings about 'Yeah, the Jews are going to get back the territory where the Dome of the Rock is and they're gonna - they're gonna wipe out the Dome of the Rock and they're gonna build a new Jewish temple.' Have you heard, like, rumors about stuff like that? If you channel surf through evangelical channels, you'll hear that. I've been to Israel before, there are no plans, that I know of, that are serious, for them to bulldoze the Mosque of Omar and rebuild the temple. That would be World War III just right now. I can tell you. And why would you do it? The whole thing was built around a sacrificial system. The Jews have not been sacrificing. My mother was Jewish, I consider myself still Jewish. You know, you can do that and be a Christian. Jesus did it so I figure I can do it, right? (Laughter) And - but they don't have a sacrificial system anymore. And so, the whole idea that they've got to rebuild the temple for the sacrificial system, it's just certain evangelicals saying that. Jesus doesn't say that.

Now, I think God has a special work for the Jewish people, don't misunderstand. What did Jesus say would replace the temple? John 2:19, He told them then, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." In fact, at His trial, the only two witnesses they could get to agree are the ones who said, 'We heard Him say, 'Destroy this temple made with hands and in three days I'll make one without hands.' And He spoke of His body, it says there in John. What is the church called? The body of Christ. And so, when Christ died on the cross and He rose again, something significant happened in the temple when He died on the cross. You read about this - Mark 15, verse 37, "And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last. Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom." It was way high - nobody could reach it. It was an unseen, angelic hand - no one was supposed to look in there and it just shredded and everybody, aghast, was gazing in. They weren't supposed to see. You can read in 2 Corinthians 3:14, "...because the veil is taken away in Christ." That veil that separated man from God - Christ is now the one who reveals the Father to us; He has taken away the veil.

Not only was the veil torn, because there's a new temple now, but, during the trial of Christ, the High Priest was never supposed to rend his garments. Aaron's sons died and God said, 'Do not rend your garments.' His garments were holy and represented the righteousness, but the high priest, Caiaphas, that wicked man, he tore his clothes, pretending to be so outraged that Jesus would claim to be the Messiah. That's because we have a new temple now and we have a new priesthood. The old has passed away. Something different is happening now. Now, stay with me.

What Old Testament prophecy describes a future cleansing of the Sanctuary? I'm going to jump back, now, to the book of Daniel - very interesting prophecy - Daniel's in Babylon, he's been there for seventy years. God gives him a dream. He's wondering how long until the Messiah comes. Daniel had a habit of praying towards the temple. Did you know that? It says in Daniel chapter 6. The temple wasn't even there, but he prayed towards it as a symbol of the presence of God. And an angel gives him a vision - God gives him a vision of this goat and this ram - they're both sacrifices in the temple - they represent two kingdoms and that was the Persians and the Greeks. And, when Alexander the Great conquered the Persians, it says that then his horn was broken and his kingdom was broken and four horns sprung out of that - the four divisions of the Greek empire. Then, from one of those horns a little horn came up - Roman power - and, eventually, out of that little horn - a horn with a mouth and eyes and speaking blasphemous things - and Daniel shudders because the angel says 'This horn is going to be a terrible persecuting power for God's people and I'm telling you in advance it'll attack the people of God' "...and it cast down the truth to the ground;" - what will it cast down to the ground?

>>The truth.

>>The truth. It's talking about what happened to God's people in the temple of God and the truth of God during the Dark Ages. And it practiced and it prospered. And then it says, "Unto two thousand and three hundred days;" - and this is verse 14 of Daniel 8 - "then shall the sanctuary be cleansed." Here's another cleansing of the sanctuary. But is it talking about the Jewish temple?


>>No. There's two other temples that we're thinking of right now. The body of Christ is a temple and God has a temple in heaven - the original, right? Where's our high priest now? Christ is our high priest. So, when Daniel hears this vision, he's so worried about the future of God's people, he was sick and he faints - the angel can't even give him the starting point for the prophecy. And he's praying - the angel comes back in chapter 9 and he says, "At the beginning of your supplications the command went out, and I have come to tell you," - and he's going to, now, give him the starting point for this prophecy of two thousand three hundred days. And it says here - and that's our question, actually, What is the starting point the angel gives in the next chapter for the 2300-day prophecy? He says, "Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem..." Now, there's two prophecies here: they've got a 490-year prophecy and the 2300-day prophecy - but there's only one starting point. So, the only starting point is a command that would be given by the Persian king to restore and build Jerusalem. That date is very well established in the Bible. Matter of fact, you can find the decree in the Bible.


>>King Artaxerxes - you can read in Ezra 7:7 - 457 B.C. So here's our starting point. And he says you go 2300 days. What does a day mean in prophecy?

>>A year.

>>A year. Some people may not know that. Here's some verses - Ezekiel 4:6, "...I have appointed thee each day for a year." Numbers 14:34, "...each day for a year..." Let me give you one more from Luke 13 - they said to Jesus, 'You better go hide because King Herod just killed John the Baptist' and Jesus said, "Go tell that fox, 'Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.'" Did Jesus preach three more days or three more years? John the Baptist died six months' into Jesus' ministry. Jesus even used the day for a year in a prophecy. So, if you go 2300 years from 457 B.C., what does that come to? Comes to 1844. We'll get to that in just a minute. What warning does Jesus give to His chosen people? You can read in Matthew 21, verse 43, "The kingdom of God shall be taken from you,...and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof." And he goes on and He says - So who is the other 'nation' that Jesus speaks of which would become His chosen people? The Bible says, in Galatians 3:29, "And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." Now, God has not excluded the Jews. The Gentiles have been grafted in, Paul says, to the Jewish stock. So we read a Jewish book when we read the Bible. And so, but now the whole gospel an all the promises of Abraham are given to everybody - whosoever will. Jesus said, 'Go into all the world beginning in Jerusalem and Judea, but then go to the uttermost parts of the earth.'


>>Preach first to the lost sheep of the house of Israel and then go everywhere. The Bible says, 'To the Jew first and then to the Gentile - because the Jews already had the foundation. Paul is very clear - Romans 2:28 - For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; ...But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly." And we need this - the Bible says - circumcision of the heart. By the way, Moses even said that. We need conversion on the inside. Stephen is stoned in 34 A.D - that's the end of this 490-year prophecy from 457 until Stephen is stoned, that God had appointed for them to proclaim the Messiah to the world. Right after Stephen is stoned, Paul is converted - right there in the next chapter - he, then, takes the gospel to the Gentiles. Chapter 10, Peter is taking the gospel to the Gentiles. It then goes to everybody. So number 11, According to the angel who spoke with Daniel, what would happen at the end of the 2,300 years? We're going to jump back to that again. "And he said unto me, 'Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.'" So, if you go 2,300 years from 457 B.C., it comes to 1844.

What happened in 1844? You know, God's church had been divided because the truth had been cast to the ground. God's people had lost a lot of truths - truth about baptism by immersion had been lost, truth about your body being the temple of the Holy Spirit, about the Ten Commandments and salvation by grace - and the Reformation took people so far, but gross darkness had covered the people. They needed to come all the way out of the darkness into His glorious light. God brought together people from all over - from different denominations - and He began to cleanse His sanctuary on earth and Jesus began His work cleansing the sanctuary in Heaven.

Now, I told you there are two kinds of cleansing. You've got the daily and the yearly. The priest would go daily into the first compartment and then once a year, at the end of the Jewish ceremonial year, the High Priest would do the final work of cleansing on the Day of Atonement. In 1844, Christ began the final work of cleansing and judgment in the heavenly temple and He began cleansing His people from the truth that had been cast to the ground here on earth. And all of that began to transpire and happen during that time. It's a very interesting fact - oh, I forgot to print it out! You know how many things that happened in 1844? Evolution - Charles Darwin began to take his journey on the Beagle and write out his theory of evolution. Atheism - Karl Marx - 1844 - putting together his manuscript for his Communist Manifesto. You know when the first electronic message was sent? How many of you send electronic messages every day? You know when the first one was sent? 1844 - by a Christian - his name was Robert Morse - famous painter, but he was also the one who invented Morse Code. You know what the first message was? 'What hath God wrought?' 1844. You start looking at what happened in that year - you've got seven ages for the church, in Revelation, the last age of the church is called Laodicea - it means 'a judging of the people'. We have entered a final stage in the plan of salvation, where Christ, our High Priest, is interceding before the Father in the Holy of Holies.

Now, it should make sense to you there's a judgment that takes place before Jesus comes, because the Bible says, 'Judgment must begin at the house of God.' Have you ever read in Ezekiel chapter 9 where this judgment happens? And it happens in the temple of God and it begins with the elders - it says, 'Begin with the ancient men before My house.' And there's a judgment that takes place before Christ comes. Now, God already knows who's saved and lost, because God knows everything, right?


>>But there is a whole universe that's watching what's going on here on earth. And God raised up a movement - now it's hard for me to prove to you what happened in heaven in 1844 because I have no video, but I can show you, from the books, what happened in God's sanctuary on earth in 1844. You know, there is a temple on earth today and I want to give you a couple more verses on that before we run out of time. Who are God's special people today and where are they? You read in 1 Peter chapter 2, verse 5, "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." You are a temple of God. Christ began cleansing His people on earth and He's - He's going to cleanse His church on earth. And, when He's done with His cleansing in heaven and His cleansing on earth, Jesus is going to come.


>>And it's not far away. Another verse - Ephesians 2:19, "Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, ...Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a" - a what? - "a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit." God wants His spirit. They weren't to let the fire go out in the temple, did you know that? And did you know, when they first inaugurated the temple, fire came down from heaven and started it and it was called Holy Fire.

>>That's right.

>>And they were never to mess with that Holy Fire - keep it going - and God's spirit has been keeping His church going through the ages.


>>And it's still among His people today and He's cleansing His people today. And He wants to cleanse you.


>>You know, I remember right after 9/11, back in 2001 - just before 9/11 we were in New York City and we did Net 99 - some of you may have seen the Millennium of Prophecy program - John and Kelly were both there with us at that time. We went to the top of the World Trade Center and prayed from the top of the World Trade Center three times, with our evangelists, over the city. So I was - I grew up in New York City - I was really shaken when that happened. John and I flew right after 9/11 to Manhattan and we went down there to Ground Zero. We talked to the policemen and they kind of let us in and, literally, it was still smoking when we went there. An interesting story that was very fascinating is right next to 9/11 was a chapel - St. Paul's Chapel - 1766 it was built - a church still in operation - a church where George Washington had his inauguration. When the towers fell it decimated a lot of buildings around. Even though the chapel was right at the base of the towers, it survived. There's actually a picture of - somebody took - of what it looked like as the buildings fell. You know why it survived? An old sycamore tree next to the temple - or next to the church - took the beams and the debris and took the blow and it killed it, but the church was still there. There's a tree that has taken the brunt for you and me and it's the cross, friends.


>>And if you turn to Jesus and have faith in Him, He can save you from your sins. Do you want to do that today?


>>Friends who are watching, He wants to do that with you as well. God bless you.

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