|CLEANSING YAHWEH'S TEMPLE
This sounds a little bit Jewish, doesn't it? Besides, how would you cleanse something that has been destroyed for 19 centuries? Well, I'm not talking about the physical temple that stood in Jerusalem and was demolished by the Romans in 69-70 CE. Nor am I talking about a temple to be built in the future. I'm talking about the Temple that Yahweh is building right now! Let's search the Scriptures.
Do you remember under the Old Covenant, Yahweh came down to live in the Holy of Holies inside the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, and later, in the Temple. It was His tempo-rary "apartment" here on earth. The Priest went inside the Holy of Holies once each year on the Day of Atonement to make an atonement for the children of Israel. Their sins were "cov-ered" by the sacrifice and the rituals the Priest performed on that day. Read Hebrews 9.
But it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away our sins. This ritual only looked forward to the time when Yahshua would die once for all for our sins, and would enter into the heavenly sanctuary where He would become our High Priest.
And just as Yahweh's Spirit "lived" in the physical Holy of Holies, Yahshua said that when He went away, He would sent the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to "live" in our minds and hearts.
John 14:15-16, If ye love me, keep my commandments and I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that (it) may abide in you forever.
Romans 8:9, But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of Yahweh dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Messiah, he is none of His. V. 11, But if the Spirit of him that raised up Yahshua from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Messiah from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
You see, we are that Temple today. Yahweh is calling out a people today who will obey Him. We are the "elect," the "firstfruits of His creatures," James 1:18.
Paul put it even plainer in 1 Cor. 3:16-17, Know ye not that ye are the temple of Yahweh, and that the Spirit of Yahweh dwells in you? If any man defile the temple of Yahweh, him shall Yahweh destroy; for the temple of Yahweh is holy, which TEMPLE YE ARE.
Again, in 1 Cor. 6:19, Paul admonishes: What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have of Yahweh, and ye are not your own?
So the temple we are talking about, is your body - your mind - you! And we have all defiled our bodies and our minds through sin.
Romans 3:23, For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of Yahweh.
This would be a good place to mention what sin is. It seems that the churches don't know, or can't bring themselves to face it. Sin is, according to the Scriptures, law-breaking. In I John 3:4, the Apostle John wrote, under the influence of the Holy Spirit that dwelt in his mind, the following: "Whosoever committeth sin, transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression (breaking) of the law."
And since we all have sinned, we have all polluted Yahweh's temple (or temple-to-be, meaning that if you are still in your sins, you are only a potential Son of Yahweh, and have not yet started purifying your minds and bodies, His would-be temple.)
Romans 8:6-9, "For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against Yahweh: for it is not subject to the law of Yahweh, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh (carnal minded) cannot please Yahweh. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of Yahweh dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Messiah (same Spirit) he is none of His."
So we see that we have to do something if we want to be saved - if we want to become a "Temple" acceptable to Yahweh. Paul said to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.
How do we go about doing this? Yahshua said, "if you will enter into life, keep the Commandments." John said, "and his commandments are not grievous." In Acts 2:38, after the crowd had asked Peter and the other apostles, "men and brethren, what shall we do?" Peter responded by telling them to, "repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Yahshua Messiah for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."
Baptism is a rite that symbolizes our death and burial in a watery grave with our Sav-ior, and then rising up out of that grave a new person, cleansed of our previous sins.
Romans 6:3-5, Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Yahshua Messiah were baptized into His death? Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Messiah was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection.
But this is just the beginning. We are not only to repent of past sins, but we must be-gin to live a life free from sin (stop breaking the law, and keep it instead).
Romans 3:12-14, Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrigh-teousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto Yahweh, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto Yahweh. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace."
This verse is oft quoted by the no-law preachers and teachers to "prove" that we do not have to obey the Commandments. But what did Paul mean, "we are not under the law, but under grace?" Simply put, he meant that we, after being forgiven of our sins, are not un-der the penalty of the law, which is death, but we are then under "grace." Grace is unde-served pardon. Upon repentance, we are forgiven, and no longer have the death penalty hang-ing over our heads, because of the penalty that Yahshua paid for us. Yahweh did not com-promise with His law; someone had to die because we sinned, and He sent His perfect, sin-less Son to die in our stead.
Romans 3:23, quoted earlier: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of Yahweh.
Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of Yahweh is eternal life through Yahshua Messiah our Master.
So, to cleanse and purify our Temple, we must repent of breaking Yahweh's perfect, eternal law; then we must constantly be studying to root out false doctrines from past associa-tions. We must begin to think on a spiritual level, and forsake our worldly thoughts and ac-tions.
Philippians 2:5, Let this mind be in you, which was also in Messiah Yahshua.
I John 2:15, Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
These and dozens of other scriptures show that we are to clean up our minds, and let our spirit combine with the Holy Spirit to form a "partnership" between ourselves and Yah-weh, with Yahshua being our High Priest and Advocate with the Father when we fail - when we sin, and need forgiveness again.
Spiritual things of Yahweh are spiritually discerned, and cannot be understood prop-erly unless we have the Holy Spirit to help us.
Romans 8:16, The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the chil-dren of Yahweh.
Read all of I Cor. 2. Here are some selected verses: 11, For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? (This spirit of man is what sepa-rates us from animals) even so the things of Yahweh knoweth no man, but the Spirit of Yahweh. 14, But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of Yahweh: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them for they are spiritually dis-cerned.
We cannot "cleanse" our minds unless we have Yahweh's Spirit to help us. On the other hand, we can't receive the Holy Spirit until we begin to repent. As more error (sin) is revealed to us, we repent of that, too. If we ever come to a point of the law that we under-stand, yet refuse to obey, then Yahweh will stop working with us. We will progress no fur-ther until we repent. But as long as we have a spirit of humility and willingness to learn, Yahweh will continue to work with us.
Some people have problems with the statement by Yahshua that the Spirit will lead us into all truth. They think that since they have the Holy Spirit and believe certain things, someone else who believes differently than they do could not have the Spirit. But we do not all have the same understanding at the same time. Coming to the truth is a process not unlike a trip. We are all making a trip through this life; we all have been subjected to different life experiences and different religions, therefore we all have different views. And our Scriptural understanding can easily be colored by these past associations and experiences.
Repentance and change and coming to the eternal truths of Yahweh is as much a mat-ter of un-learning as it is of learning. We have to un-learn a lifetime of mis-information, and replace it with Yahweh's truth. This is not easy. In fact, it is sometimes extremely difficult.
But this is where change and growth come in. This is how we "cleanse" our Temple - the mind that Yahweh has given us. Out with the bad, in with the good, so to speak. If we can't let go of the ways of the world, including its religious beliefs and practices, then we are not cleansing the Temple, and Yahweh simply will not enlighten us with "new" truth (new to us).
If, on the other hand, we submit to Yahweh and His Word; if we purge from our minds the evils of this world, and immerse ourselves in His Word, then He will, over a period of time, reveal to us His eternal truths.
This is not an instant process. Like judgment itself, it takes place over a period of time. The Apostle Peter said that the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of Yahweh (1 Pet. 4:17). If you are being called, then now is the time to take action.
James 4:7, Submit yourselves therefore to Yahweh. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
So much for the mind and spirit, but what about our bodies? Do we have an obliga-tion there, too?
1 Cor. 3:16-17, "Know ye not that ye are the temple of Yahweh, and that the Spirit of Yahweh dwells in you? If any man defile the temple of Yahweh, him shall Yahweh destroy; for the temple of Yahweh is holy, which temple ye are."
This includes both mind and body. It takes both to make a whole human. Our minds are housed in our bodies, and our bodies are subject to our minds. We can pollute our temple in a number of ways that are not pleasing to our heavenly Father.
Just as we are (mentally) what we think, so are we (physically) what we ingest into our systems. Ingesting unclean, harmful substances into our bodies, whether knowingly or un-knowingly, will pollute us. It will harm our health and shorten our lives. Some, such as air pollutants, are often unavoidable. But many, for example, tobacco products, drugs, excessive use of alcohol, and certain "foods" are under our control. We do not have to use them. They make us "unclean" in Yahweh's eyes.
Almost all "Christians" think that the Food Laws of Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 are old, out of style, done away with, and Jewish besides. Somehow they overlook the fact that "clean and unclean animals" dates back, not to Moses, but to creation. Reference is first made in Genesis 7. Noah was told to take into the ark seven pairs of clean animals, and only one pair of unclean (Gen. 7:1-9). This was long before the first "Jew" (Judah, the son of Ja-cob) made his appearance on earth.
If we eat unclean "foods" accidentally, we pollute our physical bodies; but if we eat them knowingly, it becomes a spiritual matter. It is rebellion against Yahweh and His law, and He says rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft (it carries the death penalty) 1 Samuel 15:23 and Exodus 22:18.
Use of tobacco products certainly will pollute our bodies and send us to an early grave. No true believer would use them, if he has even a cursory knowledge of the Scriptures. The same applies to illegal, mind-altering drugs.
But what about other, less obvious food items? What about excessive amounts of cof-fee, colas, butter, mayonnaise, salad dressings, sugar, cooking oils, etc? Are these harmful? Based on what we know about nutrition, and the effect many of these items have on our bod-ies (high cholesterol levels, elevated blood pressure, etc), I would have to conclude that they can pollute if used in excessive amounts.
You who are responsible for your family's food intake, owe it to your family to moni-tor what they eat - especially children. They don't know what is best for them, and you should. If you don't, then find out. Don't let children eat "what they crave." They, being children, simply can't be expected to know anything about diet and what is good for them, so they go simply by what "looks good," or tastes good. They must be taught.
Letting them eat anything they want is akin to letting them play where they want to (in the street?), choose what movies or TV programs they want to watch, or what magazines to read.
I Tim. 5:8, But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
We think of this in terms of financial support, but we must provide all of their needs, including essential knowledge they aren't born with - knowledge of how to live, how to please Yahweh, what is harmful, what is beneficial, etc.
Yahweh has given us our bodies and minds - and those of our children - for His glory and honor. It is our responsibility to uphold our part of the covenant we make with Him at baptism. We must cleanse the Temple we are given, and make it a suitable place for His Holy Spirit to dwell. 1Cor 6:20, Ye are bought with a price, therefore glorify Yahweh in your body, and in your spirit, which are Yahweh's.
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