Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
Nearly 2000 years ago, God gave the apostle Paul a revelation of what He was doing, and he in turn, shared that revelation with the churches. The plan is to is to make elect Jews and elect Gentiles "one new man" in Christ. This new man is referred to by Paul as God's temple. Hundreds of years before Paul received his revelation, God spoke of the building of this new temple to the prophet Zechariah.
And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD.The "Branch" Zechariah is referring to in this prophecy is Jesus Christ. God has ordained from the very beginning that He would be the one to build the true temple of God. This new temple would not be a temple of stone. Neither would it be made by the hands of man. It will be built by God Himself (Jesus), through the Spirit.
Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body.
Jesus was the temple of God on earth while he was here. He manifested the glory of God among men. When people came to Him and asked for healing, help, advice, eternal life or anything else, He had the power to grant that request because He was the living temple of God on earth. He was the fullness of God dwelling in man.
Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.When Jesus said, "Destroy this temple", He was letting the religious leaders of Israel know (in a subtle way) that the whole idea of God dwelling in a building was changing. He was letting them know that God's ultimate goal is to dwell in man, and that God had already begun building that new temple, and that He was the first and foremost living stone of that new temple.
I. Peter 2:6
According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
I. Corinthians 3:10
Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house [temple], an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
I. Peter 2:5
Jesus is both the Chief Corner Stone and the Foundation of God's new temple. This is why Paul said: "For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ" (I. Cor. 3:11 NKJV). After His death and resurrection, the Lord sent His apostles out to lay the foundation of the new temple.
The way they laid that foundation was by presenting Jesus to all men as their Lord and Savior. Those who accepted the gospel were brought into a relationship with God and thus became living stones in the new temple. For the past 2000 years God has been building this temple with "lively stones". When it's finally completed, He will dwell in it forever. It will be His "habitation".
This was the revelation God gave Paul. God showed him that the Tabernacle in the Wilderness and Solomon's Temple were only temporary accommodations until the real temple could start being built.
Paul saw that it's the presence of God—and the presence of God alone—that makes a building or a person the temple of God, and that once His presence is gone, that thing or person is no longer His temple. He saw that God's ultimate goal has always been to have a living, breathing temple, through which He could manifest all the facets of His Divine nature in the earth—and he saw that the Body of Christ was destined to be that temple.
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
I. Corinthians 3:16
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
I. Corinthians 6:19‑20
When correcting some of the abuses that were taking place in the church at Corinth, Paul asked: "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God"? This question should be put to contemporary believers, for surely they do not realize they are the temple of God. Whenever anyone says, "the temple of God", they automatically think of a building in Jerusalem.
This was not the way the apostle Paul thought. The revelation God gave him was burned into his mind and heart. So you can be sure that when someone said, "the temple of God", he did not think of a building. He thought of the Church, for in his mind there was no other temple. We must understand this when we read his warning in Second Thessalonians, or we will never really understand what he was saying.
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
II. Thessalonians 2:3-4
We are the temple of God! On the Day of Pentecost the Church was born and it officially became the temple of God. At that point the Temple at Jerusalem ceased being God's temple. Never again will God dwell in a building. Never again will a building function as, or be called, the temple of God. We are the ones the spirit of Antichrist wants to sit in. We are the temple he wants to defile.
People think that when Paul wrote this passage he was talking about a man entering a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem. They can't see that the whole New Testament—much of which was written by Paul!—defines the temple of God over and over again as believers.
Not only does Paul tell us repeatedly that we are now the temple of God, the few times he does mention the then-present Temple at Jerusalem, he never calls it the temple of God. He simply refers to it as "the temple" (Acts 22:17; 24:12&18; 25:8; 26:21; I. Cor. 9:13).
Unfortunately, because our heads are filled with the traditions of men we can't grasp the simple meaning of what Paul wrote. The sobering ramifications of what he said never really penetrates our understanding.
He was saying that in the last days, God is going to remove the restraint that’s been on Satan for over 6000 years. God will let him do things he has never been allowed to do before. Because of the revelation Paul was given, he would never again consider any kind of building to be the temple of God. How much less would he view an edifice that was subsidized by Antichrist and built by unbelieving Jews the temple of God? Maybe the unbelieving Jews who built such a temple would call it the temple of God; maybe dumb Gentiles and Gentile Christians would call it the temple of God; but the apostle Paul would never call such an abomination the temple of God. Never! To do so would be to deny the very revelation God gave him. It would contradict everything he taught.
One of the reasons people read these verses and automatically exclude the possibility of this temple being a reference to Christians is because they don't believe it's possible for Christians to accept another spirit into their lives.
But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
II. Corinthians 11:3-4
Oops! So much for the traditions of men. Paul said he was afraid that the Corinthians would be beguiled by the Serpent and receive "another spirit". If, as so many preach, it's impossible for a Christian to accept another spirit into his or her life, then Paul was terribly confused, for he explicitly states that we can receive another Jesus, another gospel, or another spirit.
Another reason people exclude the possibility of this temple being a reference to Christians is because Paul said those who allow this spirit to come in them will perish. Since almost everyone believes in Eternal Security, they automatically assume that Paul could not be talking about them. Again, contrary to what our preachers and teachers are telling us, the apostle Paul clearly taught that God would "destroy" Christians who "defile" themselves. Is anybody listening?
If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
I. Corinthians 3:10-17
People are constantly trying to figure out who the Antichrist is and when he will come. The one question they never ask is: "Where will he come? The reason they never ask where he is coming is because they assume they already know where he will come. Since they only see him as a great political and/or religious leader, they assume that sooner or later he will come to the forefront of the political scene. But listen to where the apostle Paul said he will come:
Even him, [Antichrist] whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
II. Thessalonians 2:9-10
Paul said Antichrist is coming "in" them that receive not a love of the truth. Now a political or religious ruler can do many things, but one thing he will never be able to do is come in people. Only a spirit can do that.
Prophecy teachers admit this (though of course they don't realize it), for they say Antichrist will be a man who is possessed and totally controlled Satan, who is a spirit. They say it's this spiritual empowerment that will enable him to become the leader of the world.
So they are admitting that a spirit will come in a human vessel. The only real difference between what they are teaching and what Paul taught is that they think this spirit is Satan himself, and that he will only come in one man. Paul said it's the spirit of Antichrist, and it will come in all "them" that reject the truth.
We are God’s temple and we all have a free will. Nobody can defile us without our co-operation. If we become defiled it is because we have chosen to allow ourselves to become defiled.
We are the temple Antichrist wants to sit in. We are the temple he wants to defile. If we allow him to defile us, he will make our lives spiritually desolate and God will destroy us. This is what the prophet Daniel is talking about when he speaks about "the abomination of desolation".
And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.
Friends, we have already entered the period of time described here by Daniel. The abomination of desolation is happening all over the world at this very moment! Individually speaking, the abomination begins in us when we open ourselves up to the spirit of Antichrist and allow it to start operating in our lives. Once we do, it will start communicating with us in a very real way. It will start giving us revelations and visions and all manner of supernatural experiences. In short, it will begin to imitate the voice, work, and presence of the Holy Spirit. If left unchecked, it will completely defile us and make us desolate.
Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
Jesus said the abomination of desolation would stand in "the holy place". The Holy Place is the place of the Spirit filled life. It's the place of spiritual gifts and supernatural power. It's also the place of worship. When self-seeking, carnal, uncrucified Christians start pursuing supernatural power, they are easy targets for the enemy, for they open themselves up to all kinds of counterfeit revelations and religious experiences.
Paul said Antichrist gains entrance to the temple of God by deceiving us with supernatural power and signs and lying wonders. Once this spirit has entered us (the temple), it will take its seat in us and begin to exalt itself above all that we have understood to be of God. If we do not recognize it and get delivered, it will eventually destroy every vestige of God's life in us. It's mind-boggling when you begin to see just how much of today's Christian experience and doctrine is actually coming from Satan.
Brethren, we don't have to wait for a Global Church or a Global Government to be fully established and manifested in order to see the Antichrist—that spirit is being manifested in churches all across the world right now!
By Dan Mace