The Metamorphic Temple

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Greektim, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. Greektim

    Greektim
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    Allow me a rant:

    The Bible, read as a narrative, tells a story or highlights a theme of God's presence and temple. What stays constant is God's abiding desire to bless his people with his presence. From the garden of Eden to new creation, that is the ultimate blessing – to be with Jesus!

    What changes through Biblical revelation is the temple. It is this progression that leads us into the new heavens and new earth where God is the temple. However, certain theological movements seek and desire to return to former adaptions and previous versions of the temple, at the same time ignoring that something better than Solomon's temple has come (cf. Matt. 12:42). Why teach a theology that emphasizes a literal temple in the future when the story of Scripture details that metamorphosis away from a building and towards a person and then a people???

    Let me demonstrate:

    The garden of Eden, while it was a paradise, was described in terms of a primordial temple. Adam and Eve were told to take care of the garden in the same way priests were told to take care of the temple (compare Gen. 2:15 w/ ???). When Adam fails to remove evil from the garden and away from God's presence as a priest, he and Eve are replaced by 2 cherubim who take up the role of guarding God's presence. Sin is pictured as being moved eastward away from God's presence in Genesis. Thus Solomon's temple was stationed in such a way that the entrance was from the east and going westward. Solomon's temple also had garden like stylings and architecture.

    God's presence is then localized in the ark of the covenant (again w/ 2 cherubim symbolically guarding his presence). That was put into the tabernacle, a mobile temple. Eventually, Solomon built a house for God to dwell in, full on with furniture and all. Again, there was 2 cherubim guarding God's presence in the most holy place where the ark was located.

    Israel's punishment for disobeying God was always removal from the land and thus presence of God. This is a repeat of Adam and Eve.

    Sadly yet eventually, Ezekiel 18 describes the presence of God leaving Israel. Thus the inter-testamental period was about the Messiah to restore that covenant presence.

    Jesus comes as "God with us" (in Matt. 1 and leaves with "behold I am with you always"). He is said to become flesh and "tabernacle" with us (Jn. 1:14). He referred to himself as the new temple in Jn 2:20-22. He even speaks of the fact that there will be a time when temple worship would be obsolete (Jn 4:21). Jesus becomes the temple as his presence is with mankind yet again!

    In the church, the temple adapts again into the people of God as the church assumes the role of God's presence and temple. The church corporately (1 Cor. 3:16-17; Eph. 1:19-23) and Christians individually (2 Cor. 6:19) are both said to be the temple of God having the Holy Spirit residing in us with his covenant presence as in the OT.

    Eventually, Jesus will return, God's kingdom will be consummated, new creation will be achieved, and Rev. 21:22 says that there is no longer a temple because God and Jesus are the temple. This was prefaced w/ Rev. 21:3ff where God's presence is with humanity and covenantal language is used to describe that blessing. This implies that God's presence fills the earth as originally intended back in Gen. 1-2 thus fulfilling the original plan for creation all along.

    If this is correct, then why in the world would God revert back to an older form of the temple as the over-literal dispensationalists argue??? Why go back to something that is not as good? Even Haggai says that the future temple (i.e. Jesus) will be more glorious than Solomon's temple. That is affirmed as I pointed out above. Matthew alluded to that theme in Haggai 2:9. To revert back to a brick and mortar temple is regression not progression. That is counter-productive to the mission of God as well as contrary to the unfolding narrative of Scripture.
     
    #1 Greektim, Oct 30, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 30, 2012
  2. Yeshua1

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    because God ordained that it be set up that way?

    the Milliniual reigning of Christ is His inheritence, as He will be installed as the King ruling over upon the earth the fullness of the Kingdom, now its only partially installed!
     
  3. OldRegular

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    Excellent OP Greektim! I believe that the letter called Hebrews demonstrates the validity of much of what you say. The editor of the Thompson Chain Reference Bible writes:
    Then there are the closing chapters of the Book of Revelation where we are shown the culmination of God's purpose in redemption when God Himself will dwell with His redeemed.
     
  4. Greektim

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    Or you do not understand God's decrees or ordinations. I think the merits of this narratival flow and progress of revelation reveals a major hole in dispensational theology. Jesus is the temple of Ezekiel. He is the more glorious temple of Haggai. God is not going to return to a system that has been manifestly improved upon. That is not how the revelation of Scripture progresses.
     
  5. OldRegular

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    I would remind you that Jesus Christ is now sitting at the right hand of God the Father where He reigns! 1 Peter 3:22 states this truth very clearly, and there is a multitude of Scripture that teach this same truth.
     
  6. convicted1

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    Very well stated Brother Tim. If the temple of the OT was any better than the sacrifice that was made upon the cross, then Christ wasted His time coming to die for us. The blood of bulls and goats was only good for a short period of time(one calendar year), and then another sacrifice was necessary. To have a desire to return to an earthly temple sacrificial system(according to the pre-mill camp), is to go "backwards" and not forwards in regards to worshipping God. He no longer dwells in temples made with hands, but in the heart(inner man) of His children.
     
  7. OldRegular

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    Unless I am mistaken it is only dispensational premillennialists who believe in the restoration of the temple sacrifices! Not all premillennialists are dispensationalists!
     
  8. Bronconagurski

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    The temple will be rebuilt and exist in the tribulation. After that, who knows. I heard a progressive dispensationalist say that Israel may resume sacrificing during the millenial. He was very coy, however, and never said why. What difference does it make if we are with Christ forever?
     
  9. Yeshua1

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    he is reigning now over the earth, but its in the stage of "Kingdom here in part/not yet in full!"

    He is allowing eveil and sinning and bad things, all under His control, but when he sets up everlasting Kingdom here, ALL that will cease, will establish direct control !
     
  10. Yeshua1

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    You are correct, as there are Historical premils, who hold to pre mil millinium, not the Dispy version of end times!

    And we do NOT say that isreal does memorials to get saved, but as the Church celebrates Jesus today in Communion!
     
  11. Grasshopper

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  12. OldRegular

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    Blood sacrifice is blood sacrifice! Communion is not blood sacrifice unless you are RCC or East. Orth..
     
  13. Greektim

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    Beale is very much influential in my theology. If you want, he wrote a much briefer version of this tome in JETS 2005 called "Eden, the Temple, and the Church's Mission in the New Creation." It is an excellent read if you can't get your hands on that book.

    I would also recommend his NT Biblical theology... it hits some of these things and is outstanding. Beale is my all time favorite biblical theologian.
     
  14. OldRegular

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    His everlasting kingdom will be in the New Heavens and New Earth. What need for a millennial kingdom?
     
  15. Greektim

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    Which has a time limit and therefore not everlasting... you hit the nail on the head. One of the reasons I left chiliasm was the lack of necessity.
     
  16. Iconoclast

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    Here is part 1 of a 62 message series on this topic:enjoy
    http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?sid=11407161733



    God with Us: An Examination of Sacred Space - Creation to Consummation.

    In this series, we seek to examine the Biblical concept of "The Dwelling Place of God." From a salvation historical perspective, the Bible clearly teaches that the goal of redemptive history is the reconciliation and reunification of man with God. This goal extends to the redemption of the cosmos and the ushering in of perfect order and harmony (Shalom) across the entire created order. The accomplishment of this purpose secures the everlasting institution of what was only introduced in preliminary form in the first creation, and then progressively revealed and portrayed throughout the balance of Old Testament history.

    But with the coming of Christ, our Immanuel (God with us), God the Father has accomplished His purpose in full, with only the consummation of that work awaiting the return of our Lord. Our question is this: How do we understand the dwelling place of God as expressed in the Scripture from Eden, to the Tabernacle and the Temple; in the concepts of heaven and God's omnipresence; in the coming of Christ and our union with Him; in the New Heavens and the New Earth as signified by the New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven? All of this to say, how does the Biblical concept of God's dwelling place ultimately speak to Christ and His coming according to the eternal purpose of God to "sum up everything in Him (Christ)"? Join us as we journey to sacred space - to the dwelling place of God!

    sermon2-
    This sermon opens the consideration of Eden as the first expression of sacred space. Specifically, it addresses the concepts of the "mountain of God" and the "garden of God" in relation to Eden.

    s3-
    This sermon continues the consideration of sacred space in relation to the first creation presented in Genesis 1-2. It examines the concepts of "shalom" and "sabbath" as the two primary characteristics of God's dwelling place as first manifested in the original creation.
    s4-
    This sermon considers man's function within sacred space as introduced in the creation account of Genesis 1-2. It has been shown that "shalom" refers to the harmonious, uncompromised existence and interrelation of all things. As it pertains to man in relation to God and the rest of the created order, this "shalomic" perfection expresses itself in man's dominion over God's creation in conformity to his identity as God's "image-son" (Genesis 1:26-28).
    s5-
    This sermon considers the matter of covenant in relation to the sacred space of the first creation. If sacred space speaks to the divine-human encounter, and man was created a certain way for a certain function in relation to God, then sacred space has a covenantal quality. The text reveals and explains this in terms of the two trees in the Garden of Eden. These two trees are considered in terms of their symbolism and the principles of life and death associated with them.
     

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