Holy Always Forever

"There has been an inward recreation of what was an outward picture."

MEN LOOKED for a temple, a building to house God's presence. They wished for an altar and a priest to tend to it. For sacrifices made and animals slain. Fires built. Processes. They desired a man-built system, visually seen, physically tended. But what God performed, what God did that God had planned, was of the heart. Though outward signs predicted this inward change, though walls and veils and tables and costumes pictured God's will for man, given the fullness of it, few saw it, and many turned aside. To grasp an oxen's horns to slaughter it was viable. To lay the sheep or goat upon the altar and repeat the rites, something done by them for generations. But to accept the change in the heart and lay these things aside was unthinkable then and is misunderstood still now by many.

What God did, that God has done, is bring to life in the spirit of man what the hands of man had done for so long. One was meant to create the desire for the other. The heart was to become the altar where the blood of the Christ was applied, where the body was broken, the blood was shed, and the fires of the Spirit consumed it. There the prayers of the saint lifted up to the Father, who was still all He'd been. He is still Jehovah, the Self-Existent One, the Almighty God, El Shaddai, and Jireh, but now had become most intimate Father. And the Life of the Son through the Holy Spirit infilled men and women with eternity's power.

READ “God Himself.”

God designed a building and lined it with gold and precious stones. But all its grandeur was to show His beauty within individuals so that who He is on the pages of Old Covenant Law could become alive inside men who worshipped Him. Man mourned the loss of the temple and mourn it still and wish to rebuild it where it has always been, but the hunger of the shewbread, the light of the lamp, the incense which lifts heavenward, and the throne of mercy where the Spirit sat, are all inside men. The only sacrifice that is needed is that of the only Son who died for all.

The Laws that are written now are a new and better covenant (Hebrews 8:6). There is no more death needed for there is no death in Him at all. With His death, death was defeated, and with His life Resurrected, all men are raised to life if they will believe. Belief is required. The first temple required actions which could never save man. The new one which replaced it, that being our reborn spirit, is eternal and built by God Himself, who inhabits its beauty and speaks so clearly now to His children.

And there is the difference. Priests, dedicated to sin's atonement, performed rites of the flesh, seen with the eyes of those seeking God under the Old Covenant system. But atonement has been replaced by redemption. The redeemed, made children of God, are the priests at the altar of their heart, their heart made holy always, forever by God's loving hand. And the worship offered lifts to God who lives in them, who consumes them with His fragrance. There has been an inward recreation of what was an outward picture. God sent Jesus to earth to die and rise again to do in the heart or spirit what had been pictured in the temple rites.

“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;” (Hebrews 2:14)

Both actions are needed. In that Jesus died, death ended. His death ended death and condemned the devil who held the power of death. A sinless man was required for the Old Covenant’s final sacrifice because animals contain no spirit, so their death could never be enough. In that Jesus rose, His life was recreated in men, and a new covenant was written, one which has no death in it because there is no death in Him. Also, with His death, God’s inheritance was given. This is how a testament, a fulfillment of covenant, works. When the testator dies, the children inherit, and God, who cannot die in spirit, died in flesh, so that men could become His children and inherit all that He is – eternal, abundant, and high above all things.

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

• Man is a spirit, with a soul (mind, will, emotions), that lives in a body.
References: 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 4:12
• God is spirit.
References: John 4:24; 2 Corinthians 3:17

Image by Justin Martin from Pixabay

Suzanne D. Williams, Author