“And I saw no temple in it for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it”.
John was blessed of the Lord to be present in heaven and to see the Holy city descending out of heaven adorned as a bride for Her Husband. He did not see her built upon Mount Moriah or in the sands of Palestine. Nor did he see the nations of this world at war over her, requisitioning property to build her on or desperately attempting to usher in an earthly kingdom where she would be the center of all things. He saw a completed Holy city that was not and could never be polluted by Adam or his innate ability to fail to measure up to the standards of the Holiness of God. She was Holy and clean and her streets were of such pure gold that they were as transparent glass. In this glorious city, where dwelled those whose names are written in the book of life of the Lamb, he saw no temple.
The temple had appeared unto John in an earlier vision of the city and he saw the Ark of the covenant of God. This was the testimony of the promise of God and was the heavenly evidence of the pattern which God had given to Moses when He instructed him to build the tabernacle. Whatever God shewed Moses in the mount and then empowered the children of Israel to construct was according to the pattern of heavenly things. The Ark of the Covenant was a box made of acacia wood and covered with gold on which the Mercy Seat rested. If Moses built an earthly representation of it then there must have been an heavenly pattern to follow and thus there existed, in the heavenlies, a testimony of the promise and mercy of God before the Law was given to the nation of Israel.
Now this Ark was not built stained with blood or reeking of the stench of dried blood. It was fashioned from the wood of scourging and covered in pure gold to demonstrate the judgment of God upon His Anointed and the brilliance of the glory thereof. God shewed Israel the glory of the completed work as it stood before Him and instructed Aaron to rehearse daily, in the presence of the people, that which was finished from before the foundation of the world. John said he saw the Lamb standing, as it had been slain and that from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8). He saw the completed work of the death and resurrection of the Lamb of God before the heavens and the earth were created. Therefore, since the Lamb had already been slain, the precious blood of the Lamb had already been placed upon the horns of the altar, the Righteous Judge had seen the blood and was satisfied and the sacrifice for sin was completed for His people. The amount was exact, the intent was precise and the efficacious application was complete. Before one sin, ordered and decreed of God was ever committed, mercy had been extended and forgiveness obtained. “For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand not of works but of Him that calleth” (Rms. 9:11).
God instructed Moses to put a veil between the sanctuary and the Holy of Holies, wherein was the Ark of the Covenant, because the way had not yet been made manifest (Heb. 9:8) but the work has been finished from the beginning (4:3). So once a year, every year, the High Priest entered into the Holiest of all with the blood, first for himself and then for the people, to strike the horns of the altar, as a witness, that by the shedding of blood the sins of the people were forgiven (9:22). This veil was rent from top to bottom (Mark 15:38) at the moment that Messiah delivered His Spirit unto the Father and said, “It is finished” (John 19:30). The way into the Holiest of all was now made manifest, the mercy seat was revealed and it is the salvation of Jehovah. Now we see Jesus, who appeared in the end of the world and offered up the sacrifice of Himself for to put away sin (Heb. 9:26). This was the manifestation of the completed work of the covenant of love in God and the fulfillment of every word prophesied of old.
This tabernacle stood for many years, wandering 40 years through the wilderness, resting in city after city in the time of the Judges, captured by the enemies and paraded about as a trophy of power and might. Then it was brought to Shiloah and remained there until Jehovah appointed a King over Israel called His “Beloved”. King David danced before the Lord as he brought the Ark up to Jerusalem and there the tabernacle continued until God put it in the heart of King David to build “an house of rest for the Ark of the Covenant of Jehovah and the footstool of our God”. David did not follow after the pattern given to Moses in the mount for God gave him another pattern; “and the pattern of all that he had by the Spirit” (I Chr. 28:12). Jehovah made David understand in writing by His hand upon him, the proper way to fashion this building (28:19). Once again there was an earthly building constructed according to an heavenly pattern, but this time it was not shrouded in the dried badger skins dyed red or surrounded by embroidered white curtains. This time the Ark of the testimony of God was adorned in white marble stone and the splendid gold of Ophra. Yet the High priest continued to shed the blood of bulls and goats and to go in once a year, through the veil, with the blood, to signify the sacrifice for sin. Upon the death of the man of war, who had subdued all the enemies of God‘s people, the King of Peace, Solomon, built the resting place for the Ark of the Covenant and the footstool of God. Notice that the enemies were defeated and subdued and then placed under the footstool; “But this man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God, from henceforth expecting till (waiting to receive) His enemies be made His footstool” (Heb. 10:12). The magnificent building, known as Solomon‘s Temple, became the center of idolatry, greed and deceit and was an abomination before the Lord, therefore, it was destroyed.
“And King Solomon and all the congregation of Israel, who were assembled before him and with him, before the Ark, sacrificed sheep and oxen that could not be counted nor numbered for multitude and the priests brought in the Ark of the Covenant of Jehovah unto it‘s place into the inner sanctuary of the house, to the most Holy place under the wings of the cherubim” (I Kings 8:5).
And thus, just as John saw, the Ark was in the temple of the Lord from the time of David, one thousand years, until the appearance of the “great wonder in heaven - a woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet and upon her head a crown of twelve stars” (Rev. 12:1). From the end of the reign of Solomon, the man, and then the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, there is no record of the Ark of the Covenant. Neither Ezra‘s nor Herod‘s temple had the Ark or the glory of the Lord. The prophet said that it was forgotten and no one desired it anymore (Jer. 3:16) and anyone who thinks they have the true Ark of the Covenant is believing and chasing after cunningly devised fables.
The temple of Solomon was destroyed by the nations of this world and the nation of Israel was taken captive for 70 years. The prophesy of Jeremiah was that there was a determined time of 70 years of the judgment of God upon Israel and then there would be deliverance. Daniel was given to understand the determination of these days and the going forth of a decree to rebuild the temple. God turned the heart of evil King Cyrus and put it in his heart to fulfill His will and the edict went forth to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. Through great tribulation, Ezra, Zerub-babel and Joshua with all the people of the land, whom God had raised up, rebuilt the temple from the ruins. Yet when many of the older men saw the rebuilt structure, they wept for they remembered the glory of Solomon‘s temple. This building was constructed of foreign materials not prepared by the Beloved and not constructed by the King of peace, therefore, when the ancient men saw the foundation of this replica laid, they wept with a loud voice (Ezra 3:12). The Spirit of Jehovah testified to those coming forth out of confusion (Zerub-bable) saying, “the glory of the latter house shall be greater that the formed, saith Jehovah of Hosts and in this place will I give peace” (Hag. 2:9). This temple had no pattern given, there was no Ark and, like the temple that Herod took 46 years to build (John 2:20), had no memorial to the testimony of God and was never filled with the glory of Jehovah, therefore, these were not the temples spoken of by Jehovah of Hosts.
That “latter house” spoken of was the body of the Lord Jesus Christ. He told the Jews that had profaned the natural temple; “destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19). He was not speaking of another rebuilt edifice of brick and mortar, He spoke of His body (21) and so when John saw the New Jerusalem adorned as a bride for Her Husband, he saw the temple of the Lord which is His body, His bride and His church. Here was the heavenly manifestation of the patterns given by God as an earthly testimony of His promise. There was no need for another Ark because the testimony of Jesus Christ is what the pattern represented. He was the Ark for in Him was the fulfilled Law, eternal life (Aaron‘s budding almond branch) and the Bread of Life (the pot of Manna). He is the mercy seat for He will have mercy on whom He will have mercy. He is the horn or authority of the altar, He is the altar and He is the shed blood for the forgiveness of the sin of His people. He has washed their garments in His blood made them kings and priests unto God. By His death are they justified and being justified by His faith they have peace with God. He has given peace in His body when He; finished the transgression, made an end to sins, made reconciliation for iniquity and brought in everlasting righteousness (Dan. 9:24), He confirmed the oath with many, caused the sacrifice and the oblation to cease and He made the overspreading of abomination desolate even unto the consummation (9:27).
Also, as the King of Peace, He appointed the courses of the priests, those joined unto Him (Levites), for all the service of the house of God. This fitly framed together house, growing up to an Holy habitation of our God, has each member, in particular, set in a specific place, with their King to perform all manner of workmanship, ever will and skillful men, for any manner of service (I Chr. 28:21). The Lord of Hosts laid the foundation and the man whose name is ’THE BRANCH‘ built the temple. He bears the glory and sits and rules upon His throne as both King and High Priest. His people, who have been created in Him unto good works, have been redeemed a people zealous of good works; “and they far off shall come and build in the temple of Jehovah and ye shall know that Jehovah of Hosts has sent Me unto you” (Zec. 6 12-15).
Jerusalem which is from above is the mother of us all. She is in Him and one with the Father. She is that New Jerusalem no longer covered in the week and beggarly elements of the dust of the earth. She was one with Him in His death, burial and has been raised up together with Him. She keeps the commandment of God because Her desire is upon Him. Because of His love for Her, She loves Him above all else and Her daughters love one another. They have the testimony of a completed work in the Beloved, who has placed all Her enemies under His footstool. He is seated in the throne of God and She is seated together with Him in the heavenlies. She cannot be tainted or polluted by this world and there is no more curse. The tabernacle of our God is with Her and Her children. He is Her light, He is Her way, truth and Life. He is Her resurrection. The mother of confusion, Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and the abomination of the earth has been destroyed and her house is left to her desolate. No more are the virgin daughters of Jerusalem held captive under the bondage of corruption for He has led that captivity captive when He fulfilled the law and nailed the handwriting of ordinances to the cross and ascended to the Father.
Rejoice holy brethren, those who have that hope of glory dwelling within, which is the anointed salvation of Jehovah, your warfare is over in David, your peace is accomplished in Solomon, the Temple is finished and your habitation is within Him. “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Lord?” The testimony of Jesus, to His called out assembly, is abundant life, peace with God and deliverance from the habitation of this dwelling because of His finished work. Your fellow companion in tribulation and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ saw these things and testified of them. Your path is set, your steps have been assigned, ordered and directed and you have been properly equipped to work in the temple and to complete all that the Master has bid you do.
Those born from above are both the sons of God and the daughters of Jerusalem. Those things which John saw were the same things that Moses and David saw unchanged from the beginning because; “I am God I change not, therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed” (Mal. 3:6).
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
November 18, 2012