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Thursday: The Temple — 9 Comments

  1. Perhaps the most important lesson to learn from today's study is that the day-to-day logistics were not forgotten. In Nehemiah the rebuilding of a national identity is described and it is easy to get carried away by the sense of occasion. However, establishing a national identity is not the work of a moment, but something that requires strategies, tactics and daily operational detail. Someone has to chop the wood, others have to clean up the mess, and someone has to pay the bills.

    Here is an example: On a smaller scale, our church has a big breakfast every now and then. These a great events where the church gets together on Sabbath morning and we have a really nice breakfast together. It is great fellowship and it is a great event to bring our unchurched friends to. And its free. Well that's the theory. Ultimately it costs around $15 a head, and a mountain of disposable paper plates and plastic cutlery has to be bought unpackaged and ultimately disposed of. 300 people including children make a big mess and that has to be cleaned up. And that is before the food is made, or purchased. So in the background there are people who are doing all the organisation, chopping the fruit, carrying the food from the kitchen to the tables. And there is of course someone who is paying the bills, otherwise our big breakfasts are not going to happen.

    I often hear the comments that the church should be providing this support of helping people in need. That may be true but that support has to come from the hearts of the people in the church, not from some empty entity called "the church". If our hearts are in it, then our church will work.

    In our spiritual life we often fill our thoughts will the lofty ideas of salvation and faith, but running though the whole of the biblical narrative is a thread of practicality. There is someone who chops the wood. There is no need for us to be so heavenly minded that we are no earthly use.

  2. You may say, “I go to church, I must be fine.” The Judeans went to temple services. They thought they were fine. They weren’t. They were judged.
    You may say, “I believe in God.” James tells us “demons believe” (1:19) but it does them no good, because “faith without works is dead” (1:17). Such is defective faith and can’t save.

    You may say, “I’ve been baptized.” 1 Corinthians 10:1-5 tells that the Israelites were baptized in the Red Sea. “Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for the were overthrown in the wilderness” The did not receive the promises.

    You may say, “I’ve had an encounter with God.” 1 Corinthians 10:1-5 tells us that the ancient Israelites had many experiences with God, but they were judged and did not enter into the blessings of God.

    You may say, “I have Christian parents, I’ll be fine.” Ezekiel 18:10-13 teaches us that the child of a righteous parent who chooses to live in sin “shall not live. He has done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him.” For the soul that sins, dies, whether it is the parent or the child.

    You may say, “I used to walk with God, he won’t judge me.” Ezekiel 18:24 says, “But when a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and does injustice and does the same abominations that the wicked person does, shall he live? None of the righteous deeds that he has done shall be remembered; for the treachery of which he is guilty and the sin he has committed, for them he shall die.”
    Don’t trust in any of these deceptive words. Nothing can take the place of a right relationship with God; a relationship of faith and obedience.
    Let's relook again the Lamentations of Jeremiah!

  3. The temple and its services were an object lesson to explain the LORD's plan of Salvation. Why don't we need the physical things anymore?
    I believe it is because Jesus came to explain His Plan in person and the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to provide further understanding.
    We see in the Bible a progression from literal to spiritual as the LORD's people mature from childish ways to deeper understanding.

    • Hi Shirley

      If what you outline is true (which I believe it is), is it also possible that we see a progression across scripture from the "childish ways" of thinking/perceiving that God was the source of punishment to the "deeper understanding" outlined by Paul and James that sin itself (which John in 1 John 3:4 points out is "lawlessness", meaning to be out of harmony with the principles that promote and sustain life) is the source and mechanism of destruction (as per Galatians 6:8; James 1:14-15)?

      What do you think?

      • Phil I agree and disagree with you.

        I believe that sin is being out of harmony with the LORD's Principles of Life. It is the LORD alone who sustains all life and separation from Him results in the cessation of life.

  4. 33 for the bread set out on the table; for the regular grain offerings and burnt offerings; for the offerings on the Sabbaths, at the New Moon feasts and at the appointed festivals; for the holy offerings; for sin offerings[c] to make atonement for Israel; and for all the duties of the house of our God.

    Since the Priest did not have inheritance in the land, they were supported by the offering of the people.
    The significance of the burnt offering represented the shed blood of Christ cleansing us from all sin.
    The grain offering represented our newness of life In Christ.

    34 “We—the priests, the Levites and the people—have cast lots to determine when each of our families is to bring to the house of our God at set times each year a contribution of wood to burn on the altar of the Lord our God, as it is written in the Law.

    Our families, our God - indicate the oneness of the people.
    Responsibility to contribute wood was shared among God's people.
    Most of the time people get burned out because once accepting a position in the church they would be stuck in that position without replacement.
    Here all are included in the responsibility of contributing wood for the altar.
    In Leviticus the command is specifically given for the fire on the altar not to go out.
    By sharing the responsibility they allowed the wood never to run out and the people were not burned out carrying out the temple work.

    Do we take ownership of our church as contributors or beneficiary?
    If all of us share in the responsibility, the work of God will be completed because
    “Little Drops Of Water
    Make A Mighty

  5. The Holy Spirit and his temple.

    In the Bible the temple has a two fold meaning.
    1. The physical structure as in Neh 10.
    2. The spiritual as relating to our bodies.
    1 Corinthians 6:19-20 what? Know ye not that your body is the temple of God.......
    Pam 77: 13 Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God.

    Although God dwells not in temples made with hands, yet He honors with His presence the assemblies of His people. He has promised that when they come together to seek Him, to acknowledge their sins, and to pray for one another, He will meet with them by His Spirit. But those who assemble to worship Him should put away every evil thing. Unless they worship Him in spirit and truth and in the beauty of holiness, their coming together will be of no avail. PK 50
    While the practices were essential at that time, the all pointed to Christ Jesus, the Messiah who will one day take away their sin.
    Now Christ is saying I want to dwell in us, our bodies have become his temple. He wants us to care our bodies in several ways.
    But this does not mean we will not go to the temple/church.

  6. Reading through todays lesson and blog contributions, I can understand the statements I have heard in the past better.  It would behove us to spend an hour a day studying the life of Christ.  And understanding the Sancuary, is paramount to our salvation.  Both help us understand and stay within the plan of salvation, get to know God, His charactor, and His will for us better.

    For instance the single gate to the Sancuary represents Christ is the only access to God.  John 14:6.  John 10:9.

    And another example is  the laver with water.    It symbolizes the Word of God holding the water that washes us, thus filling our minds with the Word of God, changing our thoughts and habits, bringing us to and fulfilling:   Ephesians 5:26-27.

    I love it, Lyn and all other contributors of today's lesson in one form or another brings understanding to the phrase of David.  Psalms 23:6.


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