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Tuesday: The Temple of the Holy Spirit — 17 Comments

  1. The main passage for today's lesson is 1 Cor 3:16-17 but it is germane to this lesson to continue to read to the end of the chapter.

    Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.

    Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.

    The author of this lesson applies this to the church and when you read the whole passage you can understand why. The relationship is between God and us, and not the sayings of wise men. He emphasized the idea by referring to church leaders, himself included of the day. We are a priesthood of believers, standing before God with only Christ as our mediator.

    In all our discussion about the correctness of doctrine, or the intention of church policy, the big picture issue is to maintain the relationship between God and the believers. And if we get that right, we go a long way towards the unity of the church.

    Amen!(43)
  2. I have found this lesson interesting, I had always read the text as referring to individuals, now this has expanded my understanding. It makes sense when we read 1 Cor 3:16,17 with Eph 2:18-22 and 1 Peter 2:4,5 we see as promised by Jesus(John 14:17,23) the Father, Son & Spirit dwell in us and together with other believers we are fitted together to build a sanctuary and God fulfills His covenant promise to dwell with us.

    Eph 2:18  For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. 
    Eph 2:19  Now therefore you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God, 
    Eph 2:20  and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 
    Eph 2:21  in whom every building having been fitly framed together, grows into a holy sanctuary in the Lord; 
    Eph 2:22  in whom you also are built together for a dwelling place of God through the Spirit. 

    1Pe 2:4  For having been drawn to Him, a living Stone, indeed rejected by men, but elect, precious with God; 
    1Pe 2:5  you also as living stones are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 

    Amen!(6)
    • I think you are on to something Shirley.

      And what implications might this view of God's 'temple', being made up of people rather than inanimate building materials, have for understanding what Dan 8:14 might be describing?

      Amen!(3)
      • Hi Phil,

        I believe that Daniel is taking about the sanctuary in heaven. Moses was instructed to build one on earth based on the pattern of the one in heaven.
        I would rather put the question - what implications does the actual sanctuary in heaven have on us coming together to form a dwelling place for God. I can think of a few things, like sacrifice, light the world, provide the bread of life - the Word, prayer & worship, the law in our heart, mercy.

        Amen!(2)
  3. It is wonderful to know we have the privilege of being part of the temple of God, but it is a solemn responsibility because if we are the cause of the temple being destroyed God will destroy us.

    How could God's temple of people be destroyed?
    First if my relationship with God is weakened it weakens the whole structure.
    Secondly if my relationship with the other "bricks" is affected the strength of the whole is threatened.
    In addition if all the bricks in a whole section of the temple are damaged, then remedial work will be needed to avoid the collapse of the whole temple.

    Amen!(6)
    • "...if we are the cause of the temple being destroyed God will destroy us."

      Something to ponder.

      If I am the cause of the temple being destroyed, then what I am doing is destructive.

      And if I am doing something destructive, then I am destructive.

      And if it is me that is destructive, then I am on a path of self-destruction because that is all that destructive can produce.

      And if I am on a path to self-destruction, why would God need to additionally destroy me when I am already (self-)destructing?

      Is is possible that we have attributed something to God that God doesn't actually do because it isn't necessary and perhaps because it isn't part of God's character and nature?

      In our earthly world view, we have difficulty conceptualising of a system of justice that does not incorporate punishment/destroying. Could it be that God's ways are higher than our ways (Isa 55:9) meaning that he doesn't actually operate on the principle of imposing punishment like our world does?

      What do we believe we risk losing if we were to let go of believing that God punishes/destroys but retain awareness that sin is by nature self-destruction unto death? Would verses like 3 Pet 3:9 and Jn 3:16,17 still retain their meaning?

      Amen!(3)
      • Hi Phil,

        You raise a much debated question. However you call it - God decides with whom he will dwell. He gives life or He takes it away.

        The final judgement is everlasting life with the LORD or everlasting separation from the LORD which equals non existence.

        2Th 1:5  For this is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God for which you also suffer, 
        2Th 1:6  since it is a righteous thing with God to repay tribulation to those who trouble you, 
        2Th 1:7  and to give rest with us to you who are troubled, at the revealing of the Lord Jesus from Heaven with the angels of His power, 
        2Th 1:8  in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God and who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
        2Th 1:9  who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 

        Amen!(1)
      • Hi Phil, you wrote: "And if I am on a path to self-destruction, why would God need to additionally destroy me when I am already (self-)destructing?"

        I believe He destroys us to keep us from destroy His temple.

        Amen!(2)
        • Thanks David. Excellent point you raise.

          So, at the moment, most people are self-destructing slowly. Why slowly? Is this the natural way 'sin' operates? Or has God slowed down the rate of sin's inherent self-destruction in order to offer people opportunity to come to salvation (2 Pet 3:9)?

          What do you reckon should have happened to Eve the moment she 'fell' in Genesis 3? The Bible supports the idea that we (and the order of the natural world) are sustained by God every moment, every breath, every heartbeat. If God (alone) is the source of life and that life is imparted on a moment-by-moment basis, then what should happen to a person the moment they disconnect themselves from God via engaging in 'sin'?

          I would propose that the natural nature of 'sin' is to cause immediate cessation of life (including immediately replacing order with chaos) because 'sin' involves me disconnecting myself from the source of life (and the order that is necessary to enable and sustain life). And because life (and order) is imparted to me on a moment-by-moment basis, the moment I disconnect from this I will die and self-destruct (due to order being instantaneously being replace by chaos - even at the level of cellular functioning of the cells, etc within me).

          But God in His grace temporarily suspends this natural consequence of engagement with sin in order to, by His compassion and mercy, give me opportunities for salvation and restoration.

          Therefore, all God has to do is release me from this 'temporary suspension' of sin's inherent consequences and I will instantaneously self-destruct. Therefore, as you have pointed out, if I reach a point of no return where I have irreversibly hardened my heart against God and then am using the life that God is granting me in mercy to instead destroy His 'temple', all God has to do is cease to temporarily suspend my inherent process of consequence and release me to that inherent process that is my inherent trajectory. Thus, I will be destroyed, but not because God destroyed me - because I destroyed myself by my choice to go my own way and harden my heart. This was all my own doing.

          Thus, I would propose that God does not destroy on 2 counts: a) because sin already does that itself, and b) because it is not part of His nature and character. God is the source of all life, because that is what God is about. 'Sin' is the source of all death, because that is its nature and character. This matches with what Jesus said in Jn 10:10 about the nature and character of the 2 Kingdoms in existence. The Kingdom of God is ONLY capable of producing life, and the Kingdom of Darkness is only capable of producing death.

          I welcome your further thoughts on this topic...

          Amen!(1)
      • Phil, are you saying the flood was brought about by the wicked who were drowned in the waters, and not by God? The Egyptian's first born killed themselves, and their army parted the red sea and then went into it to drown themselves? Korah, Dathan and Abiram caused the earth to open up and swallow them, and not God? Did the sinners in Jericho push the walls down themselves? Did Israel stand by as the Jericho citizens destroyed themselves and their cattle? Or are you not referring to this very short listing of actions God claims to have done? (Also, though I am not bringing this into the conversation, do you believe in the divine inspiration of Ellen White?)

        Yes, if I smoke 3 packs a day God does not need to give me lung cancer. If I eat poorly, God does not afflict me with diabetes or make be obese, since I will do that well enough myself.

        While I understand and agree with what you seem to be pointing out, I believe that God does not lie when He tells us what will become of the sinners who refuse to repent, while they seek to destroy His people. Or do you believe Satan will reduce himself to ashes, and not God, who claims He will do it(Eze 28:18)? How do you explain Rev 20:9?

        I'm asking because your comment is not new to me, as I have heard it over the years, and most of the time it is done to remove any blame from God for the events listed above, yet I don't recall those acts being logically explained, only that "God didn't do it", even though He says He did. So what are you saying Phil? I hope you will share a candid reply for the simple reason that you share often on this website, and thus have a broad influence here.

        Amen!(2)
        • Hi Robert. Thank you for your invitation to share a candid reply. I will try to succinctly yet meaningfully recap the views I have outlined on this website and the key principles underpinning these views, with example illustrations from the Bible. What I have outlined below (or elsewhere) has not been deduced on the basis of single verses ('proof texts'), but has come about by a combined consideration across the entirety of scripture.

          Am I saying that God is not the author of destruction, including the actual process of destruction? YES.

          I make this claim on the basis of combined consideration of a) the default nature and character of what sin is and what it does (and can only do), and b) the nature and character of God and His Kingdom.

          As Jesus summarised in Jn 10:10, God and His Kingdom is only capable of generating abundant life because that is God's nature and character. God is not the author of death - it is disconnection from God that inherently and inextricably produces death and destruction (of a person as well as of all elements within the natural world). Hence, sin is self-destructive by nature and therefore leads to (self-)destruction of both humanity and nature.

          Consequently, I believe the default state outside of connection with God is chaos (as opposed to order) and associated destruction (as opposed to life). I therefore believe that the moment Eve 'fell', she should have died on the spot and the natural world should have self-destructed also, due to the nature and character of 'sin'. But this didn't happen. Why?

          It appears that God is able to, in love-based grace, temporarily modulate the trajectory of sin without 'breaking' anything, but that He is not able to do this permanently (because that would apparently 'break' reality at the biggest level and therefore reality and everything within it would cease to exist). I believe this concept of God's modulation of the inherent trajectory of 'sin' is consistent with the Hebrew rendering of Ex 34:7b and also with the concept expressed in Rev 7:1, for example.

          In regard to the list of destruction events you outlined, yes I believe that these were all due to the consequences of the forces of sin, NOT to the direct activity of the force/s of God other than what I will mention following.

          I refer to Rom 1:18 where Paul refers to the "wrath" of God being "revealed/disclosed" (interesting deliberate Greek word choice as opposed to something like 'poured out') "against all ungodliness and unrighteousness" (ie, sin). And then Paul elaborates in Rm 1:24,26 and 28 precisely what this 'wrath' is and how it is manifest. Three times Paul states that God's 'wrath' is His giving up to or giving over to. In other words, God is releasing to something. I would contend that God is actively releasing (rather than the 'passivity' that people allege God must be displaying if He is not actively destroying) to what I have outlined above - the inherent and inextricable outcomes that sin produces.

          Sometimes God appears to release to the modulated state of sin and at other times He appears to release to the unmodulated state. Hence, the events you referred to were, I believe, examples of release to the unmodulated state/outcome of sin.

          So, do I believe the flood was the outcome of God releasing His restraining hand from His heretofore modulation of the default state of chaos within the forces of nature that had been unleashed at the 'fall' in Eden? Yes. Do I believe that the ground opening up under Korah, Dathan and Abiram was due to God's release of that part of the ground to its default state of chaos within the forces of nature? Yes. Same with the destruction of Jericho, same with the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. As for the Red Sea, God parted it in His grace for the Israelites, then released it back to its inherent state while the Egyptian Army was attempting to cross.

          You stated "...if I smoke 3 packs a day God does not need to give me lung cancer. If I eat poorly, God does not afflict me with diabetes or make be obese, since I will do that well enough myself." Why would this apply up to a point, and then need God to additionally step in and be the CAUSE of destruction?

          The most commonly cited justification for the view of God CAUSING punishment/destruction is that His holiness and justice demands it. Interestingly, Ellen White has Satan echoing this exact claim in DA pg 761.4:

          "Every sin must meet its punishment, urged Satan; and if God should remit the punishment of sin, He would not be a God of truth and justice".

          Was Satan echoing man's reasoning - or has man been deceived into echoing Satan's reasoning? And on what basis did Satan make this allegation? Was Satan referring to God's actual manifestation of truth and justice that are higher than human ways of conceiving these (Isa 55:9), or is Satan speaking of the 'truth' and 'justice' as manifest in human ways - with such was inspired by Satan himself? We hear the statement regularly: "justice will be served". This is not God's form of justice, this is man's (and Satan's) form of justice.

          I would submit that the essential cry of people is that if God doesn't punish the wicked, then that's not fair! "The law demands justice", is often said. Actually, God's law promotes justice - but this is God's type of justice which is synonymous with righteousness (see Eze 18:5-9).

          The Greek concept behind the word translated righteousness is "that which ought to be". So, how ought things to be? They ought to be in accordance with what God and His Kingdom are all about - abundant life (Greek: zoe - life as God experiences it). Thus, God's justice promotes abundant life. In contrast, human justice is retribution based. I believe this sense of retribution-based justice is what is actually behind the calls for 'the law demands justice', etc.

          Remember that Ellen White has pointed out that from the outset, Satan has sought to misrepresent the nature, character and ways of God by instead portraying God with the characteristics and ways of Satan himself (DA pg 21.3):

          "Lucifer, the covering cherub, desired to be first in heaven. He sought to gain control of heavenly beings, to draw them away from their Creator, and to win their homage to himself. Therefore he misrepresented God, attributing to Him the desire for self-exaltation. With his own evil characteristics he sought to invest the loving Creator. Thus he deceived angels. Thus he deceived men. He led them to doubt the word of God, and to distrust His goodness. Because God is a God of justice and terrible majesty, Satan caused them to look upon Him as severe and unforgiving."

          This quote does state that "God is a God of justice and terrible majesty". But we need to remember Isa 55:9 when considering this - that God's justice and our typical conception of justice are not the same.

          I agree with you that God does outline what will be the inherent and inextricable consequences of choosing other than His way (ie sin). That's what God does - He outlines the 2 options we have and leaves us free to choose the option we will follow along with the cascade of outcomes/consequences that we will experience in accordance with the option we have chosen.

          The cascade of blessings that come from choosing to walk in harmony with the principles that God has informed us will lead to ‘abundant life’ and are the direct result of His life-imparting actions. Conversely, the cascade of ‘cursings’ (detrimental outcomes) are the direct result of disconnection from that which imparts, sustains and maintains abundant life (ie, chaos unto destruction).

          This is reflected, for example, in Deut 28:1,2,15 and again in Deut 30:15-20. It is interesting the use of the phrase "you will certainly perish". The Hebrew word for perish used here (tobedun: a variation of abad) is, according to Strong's, a root word that means "to wander away, lose oneself". This is consistent with what I have outlined above regarding the idea that the 'perishing' (self-destruction) comes as a consequence of disconnection from that which sustains life, rather than from the imposition of death by God.

          Do I believe that Satan's end will come about by God releasing him to self-destruction as opposed to God being the source of destruction of Satan? Yes.

          Do I believe that Ellen White was divinely inspired? Yes. Do I believe Bible writers were divinely inspired? Yes. However, what do I mean by 'divinely inspired'?

          Why do Bible writers say that God will destroy? I believe it was because that was their developmental level of understanding of God at that time. There is a developmental progression of understanding that is seen across scripture from the OT to the NT as I have commented on previously. I am not the originator of this suggestion - I learned it from my OT and NT theology lecturers and, having been made aware of this, have been able to now see it for myself.

          An interesting charge is presented in 2 Tim 2:15 regarding rightly dividing/interpreting what is contained within the Bible. Consistent with this charge is a very interesting quote (reproduced in part, though consistent with the whole article) from Ellen White in the Review and Herald Jly 12, 1898 para15:

          "... in closely investigating every jot and tittle which we think is established truth, in comparing scripture with scripture, we may discover errors in our interpretation of Scripture."

          Take a moment to notice what is actually being suggested by Ellen White in this quote that she wrote late in her life ...

          Phil

          Amen!(1)
          • Thank you, Phil, for this very detailed explanation of a complex subject that suffers from oversimplification.

            I agree with your premise that God is the Author of life and all organized creation and not the Author of death and chaos. And, yes, sin kills. It kills because sin separates us from the Author and Sustainer of life.

            Separation from God results in death just as surely as separation from the source of power makes an electric light bulb go out.

            None of us would be alive if God had let sin take its natural course. In the Person of Christ, He stepped into the gap and gave us a probationary existence during which we could choose to be saved from sin and its natural consequences. Failing to make that choice quite naturally results in eternal death.

            However, I believe it is a mistake to conclude from this that God never actively intervenes in life on this planet to punish and/or destroy. You write that God actively gives people up to the "natural state of chaos" in the biblical record of the destruction of sinners in the past, and by extension, the same would be true of the final destruction of the wicked.

            If what you say is totally accurate, God is still responsible for the death of sinners by any known standard of human justice, which is so much lower than God's. When a patient is on life support (as a sinner on probationary life), any person who "pulls the plug" is held responsible for the death of that person and may be criminally prosecuted. So if God sustains sinners in a state of probationary life and decides to "pull the plug," He is still responsible for their death. So I don't see that your interpretation puts God in a better light than interpreting the Bible more literally in that God actively destroys sin and sinners to cleanse the universe of the effects and reminders of sin.

            I understand this final act of destruction to be an act of love, not just for the righteous, but also for the wicked, because the wicked who are bent on self-pleasing would be miserable in a universe totally opposed to their values, quite aside from the destructive harm they would do to the righteous.

            Thus I don't find it necessary to re-interpret passages that refer to the destruction of the wicked in the past or in the future. Instead I remember that it is a "strange act" (Isaiah 28:21) to God, the Author of life and love. It is a "strange" but necessary act to assure the eternal welfare of the universe.

            God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked but would prefer to save all. (Eze 33:11)

            However, I think it's a bit of a stretch to ascribe to "natural causes" some very specific acts of destruction (the Flood, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrha, the death of Uzzah, etc.) even though you do a pretty good job of it. 🙂 Even if we accept your interpretation, we are still left with the specific instructions God gave to His people to destroy certain nations, to "slay utterly" and leave none alive. Does God order His people to do things with which He would not sully His own hands? And if He does, is He not still responsible for the death of those thus executed? My own father used such incidents as arguments against a loving God, and if your arguments could have convinced him otherwise, that would have been truly awesome. But I know my father and his way of thinking, and I'm quite certain that such arguments would have done nothing to convince him. He would have seen such arguments as dishonest.

            My understanding that God destroyed people who had reached the end of their probation/ filled their cup of wickedness/ gone past the point of no return make more sense to most people. God destroyed to preserve some chance of righteousness in this world. He destroyed to preserve some justice in this world.

            I just finished reading a book, Sins of the Father, by Marrianne Morris, detailing the sexual abuse/incest perpetrated on a young woman, and I was impressed by how she learned to trust God again when she read of His acts of destroying the wicked in the Old Testament. She had lost all her trust in God because of the apparent sheltering of abusers by the church and by the calls to "forgive" unrepentant predators. Thus God's acts of active destruction serve multiple purposes, one of them being to show humanity that He actively hates sin and its destructive power and will act to put an end to it.

            If the acts of destruction credited to God in the biblical record and biblical prophecy are all merely a matter of letting sinners experience the natural consequences of sin, then why would God resurrect them after their physical death, just to allow them to experience the "natural consequences" (by fire, no less) the second time? (I need to insert here that I do believe that there is much room for interpretation in cases where acts of destruction are ascribed to God when they really are natural consequences of sinful actions or even acts of Satan. But I believe that this does not apply to *all* acts of destruction ascribed to God. )

            I submit that God's active interventions on this planet to put an end to sin and sinners on various occasions are all acts of mercy and love. They demonstrate that He can and will deliver those who trust in Him.

            I believe that the emphasis on God's inherent character of love and His reluctance to destroy is paramount. However, I also believe we complicate matters when we try to ascribe *all* act of destruction to natural consequences. But perhaps you don't. In that case, I would love to see you clarify.

            Amen!(6)
    • Shirley, I'm fascinated by your statement, "It is wonderful to know we have the privilege of being part of the temple of God, but it is a solemn responsibility because if we are the cause of the temple being destroyed God will destroy us ". However, your question that followed ["How could God's temple of people be destroyed?"], I find equally fascinating. You appear to suggest, based on your ending statement that the "whole temple" is in danger of collapse ["In addition if all the bricks in a whole section of the temple are damaged, then remedial work will be needed to avoid the collapse of the whole temple"].
      While I understand and am empathetic to your concern, born from the truth in your logic, I encourage you to temper your concern by challenging it based on God's word. I find it interesting that the entity Paul calls "God's building" (1 Cor 3:9), for this stated purpose (1 Cor 3:16; Eph 2:21-22), he first calls "brethren" BUT "CARNAL" (1 Cor 3:1)--repeatedly (1 Cor 3:3-4). How can these two apparently antithetical states coexist and still be a "building" worthy of being God's "dwelling"?! Is there any way to reconcile what appears irreconcilable?

      First of all, it may be of help to remember Jesus' own sure declaration in Mt 16:18. As the Head of the Church (Col 1:18), it is in Jesus' very capable hands (Heb 3:6). The "stones" for the "building" are being taken from the quarry of idleness (Col 1:13) and, by growth, is pictured as being transported to another place for specific use (1 Pt 2:5). By growth, spiritual immaturity (1 Cor 3:1...notice "babes" BUT "in Christ") gives way to the manifest witness of spiritual maturity (Tit 3:3-5; Jn 13:34-35). In fact, Peter employs the striking imagery of the Church as priests sprinkling, not animal blood, but Jesus' own blood (1 Pt 1:2)! So, based on the sure Word from God, His Church is assured success (1 Pt 2:5).

      Second, notice that according to the text (1 Cor 3:1), it is the "brethren" who are "carnal", who are called "babes IN CHRIST" that the apostle identifies as the source of the "envy, strife and divisions" (1 Cor 3:3). Paul goes on to say, "if ANYONE defiles the temple of God, God WILL DESTROY him" (1 Cor 3:17). In other words, God's will is to "DESTROY" the unspiritual, carnal, "BABES" who are "IN CHRIST" (1 Cor 3:1,17)--that is, the immature. How does God "DESTROY" the immature? Well, if you saw or knew the mature me and I showed you the pictures of several infants, one being the infant me, and asked you to identify my picture, believe me, that would be quite a challenging exercise!😊 My point being, that among those who are His, Christ DESTROYS by TRANSFORMATION (Heb 12:6,9-10; Rm 12:1-2; Isaiah 1:21,24-26; Mt 5:43-45)! This was actually foreshadowed in the Abrahamic covenant (Gen 17:11-14), representing the actuality of the New Covenant in Christ (Dt 30:6; Rm 2:29; Col 2:11; Heb 8:10).

      However, there is another kind of destruction, of which the body of Christ is warned. Scripture declares the assurance of severe, eternal consequence to ANYONE of His household who refuses the terms of the New Covenant (Heb 8:8-9; 6:4-8; Jn 17:12; Heb 10:28-31, 36-39).

      Amen!(1)
      • Hi Lynrol, interesting how scripture gives each different insights, indeed the LORD cares about his people and is not willing that any should perish but will destroy by everlasting separation from Him any who refused his offer of sancfication

        Amen!(1)
  4. As long as everyone seeks Jesus with all the heart and tries to do His will, we, as Church, should be ok. Differences may occurr, but the Unity shall be preserved. The thing that binds us all us the Love of Christ!
    Have you all a wonderful day!

    Amen!(8)
  5. Paul is not referring to the Church in 1 Corinthians 3:16-17. He is referring to the individual. Individuals can either choose to be temples of the LORD or be secular human beings. The conflict in Church begins with individuals who choose not to surrender to the LORD conflicting with individuals who choose to be secular human beings.

    Amen!(2)
  6. Paul's letter was to be read to each member. The Holy Spirit does not posses groups, except that every individual is filled with the Spirit of God. No one can live or work on the eternal behalf of another, and every soul will stand alone in the final judgment. One individual's lack does not mean we must be void of the Holy Spirit, but we must also conclude that those void of the Holy Spirit are not seen by God has His possession.

    Thus, this passage from Paul is speaking of “them that are His”, which will not include any who will not fully surrender to the Lord, acknowledging Him in all their ways. Through Malachi, God tells of the coming day when all will see who are the Lord's and who are not(Mal 3:18). Being listed as a church member means nothing of itself, and only “them which are sanctified” will receive the inheritance of the Lord(Acts 20:32). We could conclude that those who give the “everlasting gospel” to the world will have first received it themselves. The people of God will worship Him “in the beauty of holiness”.

    Any divisions among the church reveal that some are not yet wholly consecrated to the Lord, for the Holy Spirit will not be divided among those whom He possesses.

    Amen!(4)

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