God's House.

Is God's house the steeple-ed, denominated segregated building people meet in for two hours on a Sunday to "worship" and hear from God?

In the Old Testament the Jewish people worshiped God at the temple in Jerusalem. The temple was a holy place and God did refer to it as His "house” (1 Chronicles 28:6). It was here that God dwelled "WITH" His people and made His presence known to the people of the Jewish religion.  “My Father’s house” (John 2:16), and because it was God’s house Jesus considered everything in it to be holy (Matthew 23:19-22). For  with a whip while proclaiming, “It is written, ‘My house will be a house of prayer’; but you have made it a ‘den of robbers’” (Luke 19:46).

One thing I believe most religionists fail to realize is that the birth of Jesus is not the dividing line between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant, the dividing line is the death and resurrection of Jesus. Therefore, Jesus was born under the Old Covenant, grew up under the Old Covenant and ministered under the Old Covenant, and He sometimes ministered Old Covenant theology while also ministering the upcoming Grace message that He would institute.

There is no doubt that Jesus was zealous for God’s house, the temple. He taught there when He was 12 years old with more spiritual and understanding than the learned Pharisees of His day. He attended the Sabbath temple gatherings as was His custom because He was born and raised under the Old Covenant temple system.

The fact that Jesus respected the Old Covenant temple system is what makes His other statements about the temple so shocking to the religionist of His day.

Listen to what He said about Himself, “I tell you that one greater than the temple is here” (Matthew 12:6). On the one hand Jesus exalted the temple as the holy dwelling place of God. On the other hand Jesus claimed that He was superior to the temple.  The people asked Him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?” Jesus’ response was prophetic: “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” His Jewish audience thought He had lost His marbles, and they mocked him accordingly. “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” What they did not understand was that Jesus was not speaking about the temple built with hands. He was speaking of His own body.  This is why Jesus was able simultaneously to esteem the temple and claim to be greater than the temple. Because Jesus was and is the True Temple. The stone temple, in all of its glory, was a mere shadow of the far greater reality found only in Jesus (Colossians 2:17). While God temporarily dwelled in the temple made with hands God eternally dwells in Jesus, the True Temple. While God was once accessible only to those who could come to the stone temple in Jerusalem God is now accessible to any and all who come to Jesus, the True Temple.

Such is the GRACE of God...that...Mr. Grace-Butter should cause you to take off you grace-butting shoes and set you feet a-dancing the GRACE DANCE!

Religious denominations esteem the the denominated-name-tagged-building people meet in for their Sunday spiritual fix as “God’s house.” Because this facility is considered to be God’s house it is the place people come to hear from God through the denominated seminarian trained spokesman for God and where people speak "Christianese", and act differently than they would in any other public place. To teach that any denominated name tagged building is the Temple of God is is deceiving, no temple built by man is God's dwelling place.

Because Jesus is the True Temple those who are in Christ...those who are united in Him...are God's temple.

Peter says this about the Church (meaning the people of God and not a building), “As you come to him, the living Stone -- rejected by human beings but chosen by God and precious to him -- you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house...” (1 Peter 2:4-5). Also speaking of the Church Paul explains, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple” (1Corinthians 3:16-17). Because Jesus is the True and Perfect Temple the Church has also become a temple where God dwells through his Holy Spirit and where God is worshiped and made known to the world.
Thus, it is inappropriate to refer to any building as “God’s house.” While it is true that all things belong to God it is not true that God reserves his presence for particular buildings, with particular architectural qualities and a  number of pews. Jesus is God’s house. And because of our unity with Jesus the Community of the Redeemed is God’s house it is “people”, not a denominated building. 

We do not have to go to a certain building to worship God. We do not have have to be in a certain place to experience God’s presence. We are now able to worship God and experience His presence anywhere and everywhere simply as the Community of the Redeemed in our daily living. This is exactly the way Jesus promised it would be when He taught the woman at the well about true worship. “...believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem...Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth” (John 4:21, 23-24). 

God no longer dwells in temples made with hands.

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