The Living Temple

Feb 16th, 2010 | By | Category: The Basics (click on Article name)

The Living Temple

Divine light shows us the temple at Jerusalem as more than a house of worship for its time, as a type of a greater Temple to be built by a greater than Solomon. That greater Temple, the New Testament assures us, is the Church, the Body of Christ, of which he is the Head. This is the Temple of which St. Peter declares that himself and all of the Lord’s thoroughly consecrated followers are antitypical, the living stones or members. This is the Temple of which our Lord declares, “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the Temple of my God.” This is the Temple of which our Lord again said, “Destroy this Temple and in three days I will rear it up”; he spake of the Temple of his Body, not of his own flesh, for that was but a tabernacle and was not reared up by our Lord. The Father raised him from the dead, but in a new body, a spiritual one.

Of the Temple, the Body of Christ, the Church, he declares, “I will raise him up at the last day.” The last day, the seventh day, the Great Millennium, is the third day referred to by our Lord. He was living in the fifth thousand-year day, there following the sixth, and the seventh has just begun, and with it, we believe, the raising up, the “change” to glory of the “Church, which is his Body.”

Of this Temple St. Paul writes, “The Temple of God is holy, which Temple ye are.” (I Cor. 3:17.) He here referred to the Church in its present condition, on probation, as though it were a finished Temple, because by faith may be realized the Lord’s presence and protecting care amongst these members in their temporary organization as the Church of Christ. But the same Apostle shows that this Temple is not quite complete, saying, “Ye are built upon the foundation of the apostles, Jesus, Christ himself being the chief cornerstone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy Temple in the Lord.” (Eph. 2:20,21.) In a word, as St. Peter suggests, the Lord’s consecrated ones, as living stones for the glorious spiritual Temple of the future beyond the veil, are now being shaped, chiseled, polished, fitted for their places.

“He Shall Present You Faultless”
As living stones of the Spiritual Temple requiring much chiseling and polishing to prepare us for places in the heavenly temple, let us appreciate these. Instead of seeking to avoid them, let us rather thankfully welcome whatever experiences of this kind the Heavenly One shall see fit to permit us to have. We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works. Our present disciplines are intended to develop in us the character necessary to the great service for which our Creator intends us.
The good works, the great works of God to some extent, are most abundantly manifested in this “New Creation,” the Church, and some of our good works are as colaborers with God and Christ in shaping and up-building one another in the most holy faith. The great good work of God to which He has called us is that mentioned in the oath-bound Covenant to Abraham, “In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” –Gal. 3:29.
While we longingly look forward to our glorious station of the future, when the glory of the Lord shall fill the Temple, “When we shall know as we are known,” let us not forget that unless we are submissive to the molding and fashioning influences of the School of Christ, we shall be set aside. Our names will be blotted out of that special role and our crowns apportioned to others. It is in full view of the possibilities of so great a loss of so great a prize that the Apostle wrote, “Let us fear lest a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of us should seem to come short.”
The cultivation of pride along any line, the development of an unsanctified ambition, are amongst the greatest dangers to these living stones now in preparation. Such flaws developed would render us unfit for this special service. And if they should develop in us headiness or high-mindedness, they would probably also develop envy, malice, hatred, strife, evil-speaking, evil-surmisings, all of which are contrary to the Spirit of Christ and would soon render such “none of his.”
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