The Jesus Mission: Temple Revival
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by Frederick Drummond, Sr
Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers' money and overturned the tables. And He said to those who sold doves, "Take these things away! Do not make My Father's house a house of merchandise! Then His disciples remembered that it was written, "Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up So the Jews answered and said to Him, "What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?" Jesus answered and said to them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." Then the Jews said, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?" But He was speaking of the temple of His body. Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said. ~ John 2:13-22
(See Matt. 12:5,6; 26:61; 27:40; Mark 14:58; 15:29)
It was time for the old temple to go and for the new temple to be raised up to take its place. Jesus took advantage of the opportunity brought about by His cleansing of the temple in Jerusalem to speak of the new end-time temple, His own body. What an amazing revelation. What sense He was about to make of local churches. Yes, the Old Testament's tabernacle/temple had served its prophetic purpose, and it was time for what it foreshadowed to be manifested in the New Testament, which Christ came to establish by His death, burial and resurrection in three days, and by His exaltation to His Father's right hand in heaven and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This ushered in the full force of the Dispensation of Grace and Christ's new creation a humanity born and empowered by the Spirit.
Christ's body is the temple of the new heavens and new earth in eternity (Rev. 21:22) Today in time His body, His temple body, His church body is made of believers, living stones built together by the Holy Spirit for a dwelling place for God. Because of their numbers, they are able to do more than He could as one man in the Middle East; therefore, they are known as His image-bearers (1 Cor. 15:49).
When you recognize and settle this fundamental reality that Christ is the new temple and that His churches today on earth are the earthly manifestation of His body/temple, everything you have ever believed will make new creation sense. It's all about Jesus today, tomorrow and forevermore! He is the one about whom the activities of God in heaven and on earth are operating and find their fulfillment. This is the message of the New Testament which is climaxed in the book of Revelation with the new heavens and the new earth and the new temple—Jesus in the midst of His people on a new earth in new heavens.
But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. ~ Rev. 21:22,23
Today the Holy Spirit is building Christ's body/temples all over the world, as was the case in Ephesus:
Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. ~ Eph. 2:19-22
(See 1 Cor. 3:5-17; 12:12-31)
This is the miracle of the New Testament church. In a very real sense this is why the Scriptures say He died for the church (Eph. 5:25).
The intimacy between Christ's body and the church goes way beyond analogous language. Every real church is also mysteriously a part of Christ's own body on earth today, and they should be honored and respected as such.
For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.... This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. ~ Eph. 5:29-30, 32
No one should be surprised that Christianity is about Jesus, the new Man; Jesus' cross the new rule; and Jesus' church, the new body/temple. Believers and their churches are a new miracle of grace. They are not a support system for society at large, nor are they about reforming a lost world, even though they make the best citizens. They are a spiritual ounterculture living in the midst of an unbelieving world, busy making disciples for Jesus Christ and gathering them together in their churches to be God's new worshipers in spirit and truth (John 4:23,24). Their mission is to show off the power of living by Christ's Calvary love through the Spirit of grace in their midst—true new temple worship.
Jesus designed His churches to be love feasts that would win unbelievers over to newness in Christ. They were never supposed to become, as they have in some instances, full of critical, self-righteous people who are a turnoff.
Wherever the preaching of the gospel of the grace of God is empowering believers to live by love, you can rest assured that you will also find there a sweet spirit of forgiveness, acceptance, understanding and reconciliation in their churches.
Let us now embark together on the incredible journey of newness in Christ. Right off the bat you need to become used to the term "in Christ," which God uses to describe the new you in the Holy Bible (it is used this way 170 times). Before you were saved you were dead in trespasses and sins" (Eph. 2:1-10), but now that you are saved you have had a status change, and God says you are no longer a sinner "in your sins," but you have become a saint "in Christ." This term (saint) is used 62 times this way.
For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous. ~ Rom. 5:19
To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. ~ 1 Cor. 1:2,3
What Paul had to say about the believer's newness in 2 Cor. 5:12-21 is the most complete description of our newness anywhere to be found in the New Testament. Certainly all the books of the New Testament are replete with the message of newness, but it is only here that they are brought together so eloquently.