Finishing the Temple
Ephesians 2:19-22 NKJV: Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
1 Timothy 3:15 NKJV: but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
1 Corinthians 3:16 NIV: Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?
1 Corinthians 6:19 NKJV: Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?
The scriptures quoted above reveal to us that the church of Jesus Christ is the temple of God that He now inhabits in the earth both individually and collectively.
Right now, God is building the temple: it is growing to be a holy habitation of God by the Holy Spirit.
What is a completed or finished temple?
Individually, a completed temple is one in which the whole spirit, soul and body of the individual has been cleansed of the sin nature:
1 Thessalonians 5:23 NKJV: Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 7:1 NKJV: Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Collectively, a finished temple is one in which you have a leadership with at least one person who has perfected the love of God in their lives and a followership that is perfecting the love of God in their lives by the Word and the Spirit maintaining the unity of love:
1 John 2:4-5 NKJV: But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him.
1 John 4:12-14 NKJV: No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.
1 John 4:16-18 NKJV: And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. 17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
How do we know when the temple is finished?
Individually, your temple is finished if you have perfected the love of God in your life by the Word and the Spirit this is evidenced by the flushing out of fear from your heart. The physical proof of this is when your heart is not moved by evil tidings or reports:
Psalms 112:7 NKJV: He will not be afraid of evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.
Collectively, we know the temple is finished when the glory of God is manifested in and through the temple. We see this pattern from the Old Testament both in the tabernacle of Moses and the temple of Solomon.
Exodus 40:33-35 NIV: And so Moses finished the work. 34 Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. 35 Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud had settled upon it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.
2 Chronicles 5:1, 11-14 NIV: When all the work Solomon had done for the temple of the LORD was finished, 11 The priests then withdrew from the Holy Place. All the priests who were there had consecrated themselves, regardless of their divisions. 12 All the Levites who were musicians-Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun and their sons and relatives-stood on the east side of the altar, dressed in fine linen and playing cymbals, harps and lyres. They were accompanied by 120 priests sounding trumpets. 13 The trumpeters and singers joined in unison, as with one voice, to give praise and thanks to the LORD. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, they raised their voices in praise to the LORD and sang: “He is good; his love endures forever.” Then the temple of the LORD was filled with a cloud, 14 and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the temple of God.
In the New Testament, with the Lord Jesus as the leader and the 120 disciples in the upper room as followers we see a collective finished temple, in the unity of love, manifesting the glory of God:
Acts 2:1-4 NIV: When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
Acts 4:32-33 NIV: All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all.
Acts 5:12-16 NIV: The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. 13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. 15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by evil spirits, and all of them were healed.
At this time, God is admonishing us to finish our temples individually and collectively so as to manifest His glory to our generation.
We do this by perfecting the love of God in our lives by the Word and the Spirit and glory of this latter house shall be greater than that of the former house shown in the Acts of the Apostles!
Haggai 2:9 NIV: The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the LORD Almighty.
John 14:12 NIV: I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.