The Reality of Not Following the Blue Prints
1 Cor 3:16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.
There is no mistaking the fact that everyone’s sin was placed on Christ at the cross, and everyone has been purchased by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. However, for those of us that desire the priesthood, He has written a new covenant where the parameters are in His blood, or life. The contract has been witnessed and sealed with your name on it, by the Holy Spirit. You are now the property of the Almighty God and He has made his dwelling place with you, inside your body, which he calls his Holy Temple.
Jesus did not ask you to cleanse your body before he embraced you and took on your sins; he accepted you and your temple in whatever the state of disrepair. But don’t ever think that just because Christ purchased a broken down Temple, he has plans to make do. Christ only has plans to rebuild and regenerate.
Jer 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
We find ourselves standing in His way, not comprehending the wonderful works He has scheduled.
Heb 9:16-17 For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it. For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives.
The word covenant here is, (1242), which reveals the implications of a contract. The one who is desirous of bringing us back to Himself, or reconciling us to God through a contract with us, paid the price that is demanded when a covenant is established. However, a covenant or contract has two sides, and based on the cost needed to procure the desired results, the purchaser would ask the seller for something that He considered equal value. This covenant offered only becomes valid when we, “the sellers” step into the covenant surrendering to the purchaser, that which he requires of us to match, His sacrifice. Christ died for us; we must die to ourselves in the allotted time given by His grace, to consummate the covenant. Being now dead, we must put on His body, keeping it alive with His blood and go on to do His work.
(NASB) Psalms 25:8-10 Good and upright is the Lord; therefore He instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in justice and he teaches the humble his way. All the paths of the Lord are loving kindness and truth to those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.
Without allowing Jesus to place us on His miraculous rebuilding program, by the strength of his uplifted hands, we are buying into Satan’s lie, and following Satan leads us to destruction and disgrace. Thank goodness for the strength in God’s grace, but remember, grace is a teacher to give us the knowledge so we will know where to apply His strength. We know that if we exercise grace to the fullest, we are exempt from the second death, so what does God mean when he says “If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him”?
Who you are, is what you have accomplished in your life. If someone had the ability to go back over everything you ever did and evaluate it, they would be in a position to judge your life. If this person had the capabilities of knowing every motive for every action to your work, he could render a true assessment.
God has a purifying fire which is going to test each and everything we ever did. God chooses to be practical and wants to reason with us, because this way it is possible for us to understand. Everything that you have ever done has come by way of your body. If you had no body, nothing could have been done.
If your blood and flesh is in the nature of Christ’s blood and flesh, then your body is pure, then all things coming from the body is also coming from a pure motive. Therefore, the fire needs only to test one thing, to test all things in your life; your body. When it’s your turn to go through the fire and nothing remains, not only your works are gone, but your very life has been destroyed.
There are no fruits from your life to lay at the feet of Jesus or to enjoy for eternity, for there is no enjoyment in your eternity until you pay every last cent.
Luke 12:59 “I say to you, you shall not get out of there until you have paid the very last cent.”
If you destroy God’s temple, which is your body, in the first death, God will destroy all aspects of your work on earth in the second death.
using our bodies as a barometer.
In the book of Ezra, Chapter 10, we find the remnant of Israel who have come back to rebuild the house of God, and have discovered they have been disobedient.
Ezra 9:2 “They have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and their sons, and have mingled the holy race with the peoples around them. And the leaders and officials have led the way in this unfaithfulness.”
The very people in leadership that we place our trust in, to sound the alarm, are leading the way to destruction. These foreign women have polluted God’s holy race which represents our polluted Holy Temple.
Ezra 9:9 Though we are slaves, our God has not deserted us in our bondage. He has shown us kindness in the sight of the kings of Persia: He has granted us new life to rebuild the house of our God and repair its ruins, and he has given a wall of protection in Judah and Jerusalem.
The King of Kings has not deserted us, but freed us from the sin that works through our flesh to destroy his temple. His wonderful Holy Spirit is living in us to give us a wall of protection. These Holy Scriptures are showing us a picture of what is going on inside our own bodies.
Ezra 10:2 … “We have been unfaithful to our God by marrying foreign women from the peoples around us. But in spite of this, there is still hope for Israel. Now let us make a covenant before our God to send away all these women and children, in accordance with the counsel of my Lord and those who fear the commandments of our God.”
The wall is up, we have the kindness of the King, and now it is time to enter into a covenant, that is, to commit through actions that are intentional, to stop taking in, and expel that which pollutes, and to banish that which is feeding off us.
God is not asking some small thing here, it is going to feel like I am sending away my wife and children. If you had the courage to send your wife and children away forever, it would leave you in a state of deep depression, you would commence to mourn, a state where you would not eat or drink and most likely could not go on until you died to your very self.
Heb 9:16-17 For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it. For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives.
Those of you who are the remnant of Israel, who have entered into a covenant, can see their impurity, and know there must of necessity be, the death of the one who made it!
This covenant that you made with Christ has nothing to do with Christ’s blood covenant that He made with you, even though they share the same requirements for validation. Christ validated His covenant by His death; likewise, we must validate our covenant. However, to remain in this world and still meet the requirements to validate our covenant is beyond our capacity to envision.
The only reasonable solution that would seem logical is to remove the flesh to a point where it could still function, yet be weak enough not to obstruct a further filling of the body by the Holy Spirit. It is not a coincidence that the actions required to bring about purity of the body, simultaneously bring about a greater degree of the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Remember, and consider the five foolish virgins who turn out to be short of oil for their lamps. The oil, being the Holy Spirit.
That is why we see Ezra, who is representing Christ, was there bearing our burdens and showing us the only way through.
Ezra 10:6 Then Ezra withdrew from before the house of God and went to a room of Jehohanan son of Eliashib. While he was there, he ate no food or drank no water, because he continued to mourn over the unfaithfulness of the exiles.
Likewise, we also need a prolonged time of mourning over our unfaithfulness in this area of physical purity. So we see Ezra's actions to put the priests, the Levites, and all of Israel, under an oath, and they all accepted and took the oath.
Ezra 10:7 A proclamation was then issued through out Judah and Jerusalem for all the exiles to assemble in Jerusalem. Anyone who failed to appear within three days would forfeit all his property, on accordance with the decision of the officials and elders, and would himself be expelled from the assembly of exiles.
Some of us may say, “I love my wife and children too much and could not bear to purify myself of them.” For most all of us, because of our geography, it is going to take us three full years of journeying to arrive at this holy place.
Psalms 84:5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.
Psalms 84:7 They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.
But for all of us who know we have married foreign women, we will use this time to expel them from our lives, before we appear. For all those who are ignorant of their status, they can come and be judged along with those who are afraid. After judgment is rendered, the weak and the ignorant will be placed in an authoritative environment to help them make their transition to purity. If they will not, or can not, make the transition, they will forfeit all their property and be expelled from the assembly.
The word forfeit in the Hebrew means “to ban from profane use and to devote to the Lord,” either by destruction, or by giving to the Lord’s treasury, either way, without making this journey, it makes no difference to you, which way you lose it. Also, you will be removed from the assembly of the remnant. However, there is a redeeming quality to this directive, but only for the ones who make this journey, and this would be to make secure all former works of righteousness for eternity.
What this means is, all your faithful good works which you have produced over your years of service to God, that would have been taken from you, will remain yours for eternity, after the completion of your purification journey.
The word of the Lord misses no opportunity to confirm its time line for purity.
Ezra 10:13 ...Besides, this matter cannot be taken care of in a day or two, because we have sinned greatly in this thing.
We know from Ezra 10:16 and 17 that their investigation and indictments were completed in three months. We also know God is going to send His two witnesses who will bring a message, which will act as God’s plumb-line to indict those who were ignorant of their offences. We also know that there is a time period before judgment, and one after, for those who will make this pilgrimage to purity. The first time period is a call to assemble for judgment, and the second, is the time necessary to complete judgment.
The first time period was to give time for those who could see their unfaithfulness and to rectify their waywardness before judgment. The second period of time was needed to assess who can stay, and who must be excluded from the assembly. Today, it will be no different, if you can see your unfaithfulness and repent before judgment day, great. However, those who are foolish, judgment will reveal and confirm their distance from the standard.
1 Cor 11:31-32 But if we judged ourselves rightly, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord in order that we may not be condemned along with the world.
Eze 3:20 “Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before him, he will die. Since you did not warn him, he will die for his sins. The righteous things he did will not be remembered and I will hold you accountable for his blood.”
I believe, the righteous man / women that Ezekiel is talking about here, are people that their sins have been covered by way of a covenant, that they have entered into through purity, not sinlessness. We know that Jesus, through God’s contract, has given his life a ransom for our sinful life, but there is a choice to receive this GRACE that wants to work to transform you back to what you were, so that you can keep your side of the contract. But you cannot understand the word of God without allowing his grace to overcome that which is in your life, which blocks you from obeying. Therefore, the word of God becomes our stumbling block because we miss the practical way that grace would change our minds and by extension, our actions. Yes, it is possible to live a holy life, but this only comes through understanding that Jesus can, and will, supply everything you will need to obey the Word of God.
We think that when we finally see the light of our need for a Savior, we have all the light needed, and we are past the only stumbling block. But Christ is not a stumbling block to the holy man because he has made his pilgrimage to Zion, and seen God face to face.
Ezekiel is warning his readers that when a righteous man turns and does evil, he is no longer in a right standing with God. These actions of evil will form his stumbling block that allows him to think that grace is covering him in his contract, when in fact; it was grace that was, and is, to enable him to fulfill his contract. That is why God wants us to have a continuing healthy fear of him.
Ecc 7:2 It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart.
but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.
If your heart is in the house of pleasure you will not be with the wise, for their hearts are in the house of mourning. Remember, it was only the wise virgins, who had enough oil to go into the wedding feast.
Eze 18:20 ...The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him. “But if a wicked man turns away from all the sins he has committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, he will surly live; he will not die. None of the offenses he has committed will be remembered against him. Because of the righteous things he has done, he will live.” “But if a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked man does, will he live? None of the righteous things he has done will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness he is guilty of and because of the sins he has committed, he will die.”
But you say, this is Old Testament, and Christ did away with any responsibility that might have been placed on these people before grace came into reality. You now believe it is Christ's righteousness that is going to stand for you at judgment.
2 Cor 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
Would it be unnecessary for me to appear before the judgment seat of Christ, if it was Christ’s righteousness which was being probed? No, it is my righteousness or lawlessness which will be investigated.
(NASB) Romans 10:2-3 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. For not knowing about God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.
At this point, it is not a matter of weighing in good with the bad, and if the good out weighs the bad, then I am ok. The facts are, that if you are practicing lawlessness then it has removed any righteousness that could have been in there, leaving you exposed only to the wrath. No, Romans 11:19-23 makes it quite clear.
Romans 11:19-23 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; for if God did not spare the natural branches neither will He spare you. Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off.
God’s severity is received by the ones who displayed unbelief, but where was His kindness to overcome their unbelief? And if unbelief is a state of mind, there is no way to be sure or to gauge whether or not I am continuing in His kindness, because my emotions and doubts keep me on the edge of uncertainty. Thank goodness that believing and faith are words of action, and if I know and deploy these behaviors by recognizing and receiving His strength to overcome, I will indeed know that I am continuing in His kindness. This kindness places you on a certain road, a peculiar walk, to say the least, one that is not going to be confused with the worlds. A walk where you experience and know all things are possible.
To illuminate and define these actions of evil that wants to move us out of God’s kindness, we need to know at what point in our lives we are going to be most vulnerable.
Deu 6:10 When the Lord your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you - a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant - then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
The Lord is warning us that it is in this time of plenty, that our consuming of food has the potential to cause us to forget him, and all that he has done. This consuming of food, to the point of satisfaction, is dangerous to our intimate relationship with God. To eat to the point of becoming satisfied is to place your digestive system at its maximum load, removing any operating room for an indiscretion. There is an interval of time between when the stomach is full and when the brain senses it. The flesh always desires to eat until it is satisfied, and to pull away before that point is to go against your own human nature.
Pro 16:23 The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, And adds persuasiveness to his lips.
Paul points out how evil goes to control the body in Romans 7:14-25; “For that which I am doing I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.” He knows better, but catches his body doing evil. Who has the strength within themselves to exercise self control and discipline, on a daily basis, over such a strong enemy? You can see why a very poor man would have less need in this area of self control.
Hosea 13:6 As they had their pastures, they became satisfied and being satisfied, their hearts became proud; therefore they forgot Me.
We know that we will die, the only question is: “Are there unacceptable manners of death for a child of God?” If there are unacceptable manners of death that I should be aware of, and my ignorance of God’s word cannot be used as a shield, then I must conclude that the consequences of my sin will shorten my earthly life by a manner that is inadmissible to God.
This premature exists through contemptible means, not only do I destroy the memory of my righteous acts, but revoke the deed or contract Christ has on me, on the grounds of noncompliance, and I will suffer the loss. But my blood will be on the hands of the ones who God placed as shepherds over His flocks. I will let you decide who has the greater responsibility.
But how can my blood be on their hands if I am in heaven with them? You can only have dead peoples blood on your hands. There is no reprieve for me, because I was foolish enough to follow a sincere pastor who had also missed the way. No, I am still looking out from a place that I don’t want to be in, even though he is in a worse scenario.
1 Cor 3:10-15 ...But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test the quality of each mans work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.
Note: The reward is not salvation, for they both end up saved. One loses something in the fire through time, as his works and accomplishments are destroyed.
God’s word is warning us to be careful when we start to build. I have had the responsibility of building six buildings in my life time and each time I start, I realize that what I do below the ground will never be seen. Nevertheless, the footings and the pony walls weigh heavy on my mind because I know that all the weight of this building is depending on these substructures.
When finished, the building can look wonderful, but if the integrity of the substructure is lacking in any way, this building will not stand the test of time. To alleviate this concern of the substructure, I always take more time and spend more monies to over build them, than would the average person. If I was going to build a structure that was going to take my entire life to complete, all my monies and all my strength, I would devote myself to study for several years before turning one shovel full of dirt.
One of the wonderful things about God’s blue prints, His Word, is that His plans are perfect and no over building is necessary, however, if at any time during building the measurements seem to be out, the wisest thing to do is stop building and recheck to see where you went wrong. It would seem very clear that Jesus Christ is our footing on solid rock, and this must make the Spirit, (the pony wall), for God’s Word tell us that (John 15:5) “If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit, apart from me you can do nothing.” For me to understand and position my building over His foundation, I must first understand what fruit Jesus is talking about because this is the evidence that I am in him, and he is in me.
Here is the point that is most crucial. If I do not study to know and apply the exact and the proper analogy to this sentence, then I could have built on a foundation that is other than Christ’s. The implications of building your life’s work on something other than Christ are so horrific, not to dedicate the time needed to sort through any and all possible discrepancies.
Not only will you reap what you sow, but you can sow good seed in unholy soil and never reap holy fruit. If I placed before you two apples, one that was grown in defiled soil and one that was produced from soil which had its' integrate reclaimed, you could not tell the difference unless you knew the history of the soil, because they would look the same, but one is sweet. Satan is the master of deception, and loves to produce in us, the counterfeit. The only sacrifices that God accepts will be holy, and holy fruit is sweet fruit. If my fruit is sweet, then it is holy, and I know Christ is in me, and I am confident that my building is squarely on the Rock.
Isaiah 5:1-4 I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard: My loved one had a vineyard on fertile hillside. He dug it up and cleared it of stones and planted it with the choicest vines. Then he looked for a crop of good grapes but it yield only bad fruit. “Now you dwellers in Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard. What more could have been done for my vineyard than I have done for it? When I looked for good grapes why did it yield only bad?”
The remarkable thing about this vineyard is that you would expect that it would only yield good fruit, not bad. But the depressing and preposterous affair is that the entire vineyard produced only bad fruit. These vines could see they were producing fruit, but in the absences of the authentic, could not distinguish their error. All fruit looked and tasted the same, consequently, no vine would suspect that he was not producing the genuine. Human nature has not changed, Satan’s tactics have not changed, and neither has God’s vineyard. Only when you place your life against the backdrop of God’s word, will you be able to know if your fruit is holy.
Haggai 2:3 ‘Who is left among you who saw this temple in its former glory? And how do you see it now? Does it not seem to you like nothing in comparison?’
Haggai 1:4 “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?”
Keep in mind that this word is a foreshadow of what is to come. That is, Christ will be dwelling in our bodies, His Temple, which we will neglect and mine, in order to build our temple to our flesh. As we’re busy building our fleshly temples, God is asking us to stop and evaluate.
Haggai 1:5 Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it. Go up to the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the Lord. “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the Lord Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruins, while each of you is busy with his own house. Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the oil and whatever the ground produces, on men and cattle, and on the labor of your hands.”
For you who think that you have God’s house in the condition which will honor Him by reflecting his glory, keep right on building, but for those who are tired of working hard, only to see their efforts return half, it is time to understand how to build God’s house on His foundation.
We know that the Lord is a good God and all his actions are for our best, but how under heaven can He tie their actions of neglect for the temple to imposing a drought that removes their food and water, and then asks us to believe it’s for our best.
It seems beyond us to understand, unless we project it onto the backdrop of the new covenant. God, in his love, is intervening to correct the problems we cannot see, with solutions we cannot understand. Instead of welcoming the help, we grumble and complain, just as they did when they first went into the desert. They missed the promised land the first time around because they did not understand, and so are we. But let us not miss it completely.
Deu 29:2 Moses summoned all the Israelites and said to them: Your eyes have seen all that the Lord did in Egypt to Pharaoh, to all his officials and to all his land. With your own eyes you saw those great trials, those miraculous signs and great wonders. But to this day the Lord has not given you a mind that understands or eyes that see or ears that hear. During the forty years I lead you through the desert, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet. You ate no bread and drank no wine or fermented drink. I did this so that you might know that I am the Lord your God.
Jesus is saying today what Moses was saying back then, when he explained to the children of Israel what actually happened.
2 Cor 3:14 For their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ. But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their hearts.
They believed they had the ability to process what their eyes saw and their ears heard, because they thought they had a mind that could reason. Moses was telling them, even though they were there, and they saw with their own eyes, and heard with their own ears, they never had the mind to understand.
Isaiah 29:11 For you this whole vision is nothing more than words sealed in a scroll. And if you give the scroll to someone who can read, and say to them “Read this, please,” he will answer, “I can’t; it is sealed.” Or if you give the scroll to someone who cannot read, and say, “Read this, please,” he will answer, “I don’t know how to read.”
If they had understood who was leading them, they would not have rebelled on their first trek to Canaan, and would have been ready to go straight in. God was telling them that, because you did not understand and submit the first time around, the second will be longer and harder, but no one will deteriorate. That is to say, no one will fail to complete my requirements of sanctification, even though you may not comprehend how you arrived, you will understand and know that He who leads you, is the Lord your God. The same reason way back in Isaiah’s day, that the people could not read the information in the word of God, is the exact same reason we cannot. Why can we not read and perceive what God is asking from us? In the very next verse in Chapter 29 we are given the answer.
Isaiah 29:13 Then the Lord said, “Because this people draw near with their words and honor Me with their lip service, but they remove their hearts far from me, and their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote, …”
We read God’s word and think we understand what He is asking from us and because we believe we are complying with His wishes, we speak in sincerity as if we have. But that which needs to change, remains the same, and until the heart changes, we cannot comprehend, that, which tells us how to change.
(NASB) Isaiah 8:16-17 “Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples. And I will wait for the Lord who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob; I even look eagerly for Him.
We all read this verse and immediately project ourselves into the roll of Jesus’ disciples, without obeying and allowing the word of God to physically take us through a scourging of our temples. Without a physical cleaning inside our temples, where we cannot comprehend the results of the action, this transition to one of Jesus’ disciples is not ours to claim. Therefore, there is no way to circumvent this conundrum without moving by the Spirit’s wooing, in other words, action through faith.
1 Thes 5:23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
What would be the significance of God recording for us that the children of Israel’s clothes and sandals did not wear out? They only had one set of clothes, and this clothing represents, that, which we have only one of, our body. God sanctified them entirely, as He stands ready to sanctify us, at the place in time which is before Christ’s return. We cannot use the spirit or the soul as a gage in our measurement of sanctification, but we can determine if our bodies are failing.
If our bodies are malfunctioning, we know that sanctification has not been completed, and by extension, neither our soul nor body is being preserved completely.
These people’s lives were giving us a living illustration, where now, we have the privilege of seeing what was trying to be taught from a bigger point of view. The people could clearly see that it was God, who was sustaining them, even though they did not understand that it was, because of what they did not eat, or drink, that gave them the mind to know, or eyes to see, or ears to hear. This was only to be a three day journey into the desert to worship their God.
Exodus 5:3 Then they said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Now let us take a three day journey into the desert to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God, ...”
The three days is three years, because even if you marched straight day and night, you could not make this journey in three days. The Lord knew the time that was needed in this journey to transform the minds of Israel. God was going to use His laws, over this time of three years of traveling, to bring them to the borders of Caanan. It will take us three years on the Lord’s program to complete His requirements for sanctification, which is the sacrifice He demands. This sacrifice positions us to return to Him what He is seeking; true worshipers, and true worshipers know how to believe.
Pro 3:5-8 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body, and refreshment to your bones.
This is not; turn away from evil so you can be “spiritual” or “holy”, but rather, turn away from evil, so I can heal your body, My Temple. So My Temple will be Spiritual and Holy, that the Father may receive glory and honor.
For those of you who are deceived, and keep right on building on a foundation other than Christ, because you have become convinced in your own minds, by the results of your good works that your temple is holy, God has this to say to you:
Haggai 2:11 ...‘Ask the priest what the law says: If a person carries consecrated meat in the fold of his garment, and that fold touches some bread or stew, some wine, oil or other food, does it become consecrated?’ The priests answered, “No” Then Haggai said, “If a person defiled by contact with a dead body touches one of these things, does it become defiled?” “Yes,” the priest replied, “it becomes defiled."
Then Haggai said “ ‘So it is with this people and this nation in my sight,’ declares the Lord. ‘Whatever they do and whatever they offer there is defiled.’ ”
“ ‘Now give careful thought to this from this day on - consider how things were before one stone was laid on another in the Lord’s temple.’ ”
God only accepts good works from a temple that is holy. Holiness is not something that can be passed on, like one who is defiled could make bread, stew, wine, oil or other food defiled by contacting it. You don’t become pure because you know someone who is pure or become holy because you live in a land that is holy. Finding out how God wants us to rebuild His Holy Temple, is first and paramount, if we want to offer sacrifices that are holy offerings, that are not defiled.
Malachi 1:7 “You place defiled food on my altar.” “But you ask, ‘How have we defiled you’ “By saying the Lords table is contemptible.”
Haggai 2:17 ‘I struck all the works of your hands with blight, mildew and hail, yet you did not turn to me,’ declares the Lord.
The truth is that they did not know how they were placing defiled food on his altar, and so it is today. We will not believe that our actions today are saying, “The Lords table is contemptible.” Just like they could not believe what their actions were saying. So the Lord is asking the question through Isaiah back then as He is today.
Isaiah 10:3 “Now what will you do in the day of punishment, and in the devastation which will come from afar? To whom will you flee for help? And where will you leave your wealth?”
Isaiah goes on in Chapter 10, to give us a picture of what this day of punishment and devastation will evolve like.
Isaiah 10:16 Therefore the Lord of host, will send a wasting disease among his stout warriors; and under his glory a fire will be kindled like a burning flame. And the light (216) of Israel will become a fire and his Holy One (6918) a flame, and it will burn and devour his thorns and briars in a single day. And He will destroy the glory of his forest and of his fruitful garden, both soul and body; and it will be as when a sick man wastes away. And the rest of the trees of his forest will be so small in number that a child could write them down.
The first question is: “Why will God’s warriors be harvesting such punishing devastation directly from His hand?” To harvest something, you need to understand that you first had to sow it. We are sowing seeds of God’s wrath and are not recognizing what we are sowing. The Psalmist is making reference to our wicked condition in Chapter 90:8 Thou hast placed our iniquities before Thee, our secret sins in the light of Thy presence. I need to identify this secret sin before I can turn and repent of it.
Isaiah is telling us that this destruction is to come among God’s own warriors, the men and women that are out there naming the name of Jesus, the so called “Christians”, the very people that are expecting His salvation and His sanctuary. Isaiah is likening this wasting disease to a consuming fire to attack His “stout warriors”. This must be a clue to who will be vulnerable, so what can “stout” be describing in a person? In the dictionary there are several definitions given to the word “stout”, but there is one that matches with my Bible reference of Isaiah 17:4 which is: “And the fatness of his flesh will become lean”. God is referring to these stout people, these people of excess weight, as thorns and briars to be burned up in a single day. These are the thorns that Paul asked God to remove from his flesh; they can be the very sincerest of people within the Christian community.
Isaiah 29:20 For the ruthless shall come to an end, and the scorner will be finished, indeed all who are intent on doing evil will be cut off. (3772 means cut off specifically from his covenant) Who cause a person to be indicted by a word, and ensnare him who adjudicates at the gate, and defraud the one in the right with meaningless arguments.
Secondly: Who is this flame in Isaiah 12:16, who is bringing this fire, how does it start and what gets burned?
The light of Israel is #216 illumination or luminary (in every sense, including lightning, happiness, etc.) primary root; #215 to cause, to make luminous; glorious, kindle, set on fire. This light of Israel is Jesus who came to illuminate the way, He is going to kindle something and cause to set on fire through His Holy One. #6918 sacred (ceremonially or morally); (as noun) God (by eminence), an angel, a saint, a sanctuary: - holy (One), saint. From #6942 the primary root; to be (causatively, make, pronounce or observe as) clean (ceremonially or morally): - appoint, bid, consecrate, dedicate, hallow, (be, keep) holy, purify, sanctify (-ied one, self), X wholly. Jesus Christ is going to kindle a fire through His lightning strike and His sanctified One who is holy. His saint will be the flame in His fire. This burning will destroy the glory of His forest and of His fruit garden which is just a metaphor for the so called “followers of Christ”. Isaiah is not just speaking of the body, but also the soul of such a great number of Christians, that he informs us that a child could take the tally.
Thirdly: Who will remain, what have they learned and why is their yoke lifted?
Isaiah 10:20 Now it will come about in that day that the remnant of Israel, and those of the house of Jacob who have escaped, will never again rely on the one who struck them, but will truly rely on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel.
This is the remnant that returned to rebuild the sanctuary so it could be purified and holy. These people will never again put confidence in the world because it was the world who deceived them, through their sorceries, which almost took them to Sheol.
Isaiah 30:20-21 Although the Lord has given you bread of privation and water of oppression, He, your Teacher will no longer hide Himself, but your eyes will behold your Teacher. And your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left.
The Lord, our teacher, by the Holy Spirit, was hiding himself from us because of what we did not have, or rather, what we had was too much. We did not have bread of privation and water of oppression. “Privation” means: 1) The loss or absence of some quality or condition. 2) lack of the ordinary necessities of life. “Oppression” means: 1) an oppressing or being oppressed 2) a thing that oppresses. (“Oppress” means - to weigh heavy on the mind, spirit, or senses of or to keep down by the cruel or unjust use of power.)
We cannot bring ourselves to deny what we sense, or should I say, what our senses have been trained to accept, as right and proper.
Regardless of the reason, not until we eat this bread of privation and water of oppression, we will be able to see or hear the words of our teacher. We will not know the way to walk or how to stay on this highway to God’s holy mountain. This is exactly what the Lord did when He brought Israel out of Egypt, into the desert, to worship him and to know Him. He needed to give them the bread of privation and the water of oppression so they would or could know Him.
Isaiah 10:27 So it will be removed from your shoulders and his yoke from your neck, and the yoke will be broken because of fatness. (8081 means – grease, wax fat or gross)
We are commanded to “Bare one anothers burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ”. (Gal 6:2) Some of us understood, so we tried to encourage our family members and our friends to use the strength in the uplifted hands of Christ, to overcome their contamination, but now they are no more, all gone because impurity has worked as the catalyst to their destruction.
If we will turn from our ways and position ourselves to receive his best, that is, take action that transforms and rebuilds our temples to God’s specifications, by the power in his uplifted hands, then the Lord says in Haggai 2:19 ... “ ‘From this day on I will bless you.’ ”
Remember, wait on the Lord and keep persevering, it took Haggai two years to complete the foundation when he was rebuilding the temple, and I believe it’s going to take another year for the Holy Spirit to reveal His truth and our mission.
Matt 26:1 When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, “As you know, the Passover is two days away - and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.”
Our Passover is always two days away from the point we mark in time, when we hand ourselves over to have our flesh crucified, just as it was for Jesus, when he handed his flesh over to be crucified. In two days, Jesus would die to himself, and it will take two years for us to die to ourselves, but sometime after that we will be visited by God.